Skin-beautifying gadgets make a lot of promises, from brightening brown spots to reducing facial hair to clearing away acne. Some work, some don’t, and we have found most are meh.

Since these devices can cost a pretty penny, we thought we owed it to our readers to point out three we found success with, so it can help you determine whether or not you want to spend your hard-earned cash on a gadget.

Courtesy of BeautySage
NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device

NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device, $325: Laura Kenney, Editor in Chief

I’ve reached that thirty-something age where a surreptitious glance in the mirror reveals a face shape that’s changing, ever so slightly, with my features becoming less pronounced, jaws a little jowlier, and youthful glow, gone. I’ve also reached that age where you’re skeptical about everything, and I never thought I’d feel confident enough about a device to plug it, but here I am: The NuFace Trinity shows immediate, visible results. I use it at night, and it leaves my skin glowing, vibrant, almost electric. In the morning my face looks lifted and tighter, and I swear my cheekbones look a little higher. How does it work? In the same way we work out the muscles in our body to improve tone and shape, the F.D.A.-cleared NuFace Trinity uses microcurrent technology to gently stimulate your skin to improve its appearance. To use it, you spread a gel all over your face and repeatedly run the device upwards over your skin, following a guide they provide you with. If the gel wears thin, you’ll feel the electric pulses, so be sure to spread it thick. One of the freakiest ways you know the NuFace Trinity really works? When you run it over the outside corner of your brow, your brow stays lifted—like you’re voluntarily raising it, but you’re not! My only complaint: It adds at least 15 minutes to my nighttime routine—but its skin benefits way outweigh a few extra minutes of sleep. (Or, try NuFace Classic Device, $249.)

This product is available on our shopping site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!

Riiviva Microdermabrasion Device

Riiviva Microdermabrasion Device, $300: Julie Giusti, Social Media Manager

Microdermabrasion was always something I’d treat myself to on occasion, but was too pricey to justify on a regular basis. In between visits to the derm, my trusty Clarisonic served as my super duper exfoliator. When I heard about Riiviva, I figured there was no way it could make my skin glow like a professional microderm session. It was the exact same experience, only better, because you can do it whenever you want! Since I found Riiviva (I’ve restrained myself to using it every *other* day) my oily skin has behaved better than it has in years. My once-enlarged pores are officially hibernating and I’ve even been breaking out less. Also, I’ve noticed my skin products are working harder now that they can access my fresh-to-death skin like never before. I’m literally obsessed. (Quick side note: Riiviva hasn’t replaced my Clarisonic—I switch on and off depending on how my skin feels. They make a great team.)

This product is available on our shopping site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!

Silk’n SensEpil

Silk’n SensEpil 65k, $600: Valerie Fischel, Photo Editor
I love my dad for so many reasons, but I inherited his body hair gene and have struggled with its maintenance for 15 years, trying every hair removal technique under the sun. My sensitive skin reacts poorly to most of them, including: combining shaving creams with various types of razors, pre-shaving oils and calming creams to calm razor burn, depilatory creams (= arm stubble!), epilators (PAINFUL/time consuming) and waxing (ingrown hairs up the wazoo, literally). With my light skin and dark hair, I’m the perfect candidate for lasers, but the $6,000 quote I recieved is way out of my range. 

Luckily, I was granted the risk-free chance to try the Silk’n SensEpil at-home laser kit.

As a quick refresher, laser technology works by using an intense colored light that can only target one specific color, and avoids others. Once the light hits the dark colored hair, the hair acts as a fuse and carries the heat down to the follicle, destroying it. Since hair grows in cycles, lasers have to be used over a certain period of time to kill all of the follicles.

Silk’n claims that the cartridge for this laser kit has the fastest and largest treatment area on the market, which makes for a speedier treatment. The applicator has a built in sensor which can see skin tone, and will not flash if the skin is too dark, or the hair is too light to be effective (or if the device is not securely pressed to the skin), assuring safe usage.

I have done two treatments so far, focusing on my legs and thighs, arms, armpits and bikini line. The treatments take me about a half hour. The first four treatments should be spaced two weeks apart, and the following two are a month apart. After that, there should be no substantial hair to remove for a while, except for the occasional light treatment.

I have already noticed a dramatic decrease in my leg and armpit hair, which is growing back in patches and I’m shaving less frequently. My arm hair seems to be falling out in small patches, and my bikini line is growing in much thinner. Replacement cartridges cost $50 and the kit comes with an extra one. It says that the cartridge will last about one or two treatments depending on the amount of space you’re treating. The process is painless aside from the occasional quick, hot zap which can be a bit alarming on sensitive areas. If this observed trend continues, I can say that it is possible to effectively remove your body hair for the long-term in about five months, at your own convenience, for way less than $6,000—with no scarring or sensitivity. This machine is my dream come true.