No longer are the only at-home gadgets an electric razor and a hairdryer. In today’s switched-on age where there’s an app for every need, the beauty and grooming markets are eagerly adopting state-of-the-art technology. Not only is this changing how customers shop, it’s also changing the gadgets they put it their shopping baskets as they become increasingly savvy about the impressive results electricals offer and how they can make the products they apply work harder.
In the past five years, we have seen the arrival of toothbrushes that connect to smartphones and cleansing devices that remove microscopic particles of pollution. Salon technology has transferred to the home, too, with laser devices that zap hair and firm skin, and grooming gadgets that give results worthy of professionals, thanks to intelligent design. Read on for our guide to the latest developments in the world of electricals and how to educate customers about their grooming and beauty-boosting qualities
Tip top nails
With the introduction of the Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Nail Care System, you can provide consumers with an easy way to have great nails all year round. Available from September, this new slim-line gadget has three interchangeable heads to file, buff and shine nails swiftly and effortlessly. Scholl is supporting the launch with a major marketing spend of £3 million, which will include TV, digital platforms and exciting in-store activity to raise awareness and educate consumers.
The basic toothbrush is fast becoming outdated as consumers want to invest not only in the superior brushing benefits of electric versions, but also in the extras they offer. “Personalising the brushing experience is the latest trend in oral care,” enthuses Stefan Voegeding, brand communications manager at Oral-B. “Millions have already switched from a manual to a power toothbrush because of the visible benefits. For example, Oral-B power brushes remove up to 100 per cent more plaque than manual versions. As customers become more technologically savvy, they are looking for innovative technologies that are intuitive and easy to use, seeking complete oral care regimes that make the brushing experience a more pleasurable task.”
The Oral-B Pro 6000 Smart Series (RRP £229.99) is the first Bluetoothconnected brush that connects to a mobile app to create customised brushing programmes tailored to different goals, from whiter teeth to fresh breath. It has six cleaning modes, including anti-plaque and gum health, and even allows for dentist involvement in creating a brushing plan.
The Philips Sonicare range, meanwhile, provides advanced cleaning technology for teeth and gums. With 62,000 brush movements a minute, the Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush (RRP £250) provides a new and improved clean, while the AirFloss Pro(RRP £100) is a revolutionary interdental device that makes flossing easier, sending a burst of water or mouthwash to powerfully yet gently clean between teeth and along the gumline. An additional attachment for the DiamondClean is the TongueCare+, a handy click-on brush accessory that works with a tongue spray and is proven to kill 99 per cent of the germs that contribute to bad breath in just one use. Used together, all three gadgets offer the ideal solution for healthy, white teeth and clean, fresh breath.
A trend based on need
Intense pulsed laser (IPL) hair removal technology is encouraging women to enjoy long-term benefits without having to set foot in a salon. “IPL is just at its beginning, with only 1 per cent penetration in the UK market,” says Dr Shane Hanson, consumer marketing intelligence manager for Philips Lumea. “As awareness of the key long-term benefits increases, so will the popularity of IPL and we will continue to innovate with it and light-based devices. This is a trend based on need.”
The Philips Lumea Prestige hair removal system uses gentle pulses of light that effectively put the hair follicle into a resting phase, eventually preventing re-growth. It has five adjustable light settings to adapt to different skin tones and hair colours, and with separate body, face and bikini attachments, it can treat all areas of the body quickly and effectively.
Hairstyling tools have a lot to live up to, as customers want them to be easy to use, multipurpose and to protect the health of the hair as well as creating on-trend styles. Tools that have been created by professionals who work on real women as well as backstage at the shows offer all these benefits in one. “Our styling tools have been created by us as professional hairdressers who need and demand products that perform when it comes to heat, speed, cord length, design and being lightweight for use in the salon every day,” explains Luke Hersheson, creative director of Daniel Hersheson. “Come into any of our salons or blow-dry bars and you’ll see our hairdryers at the styling stations, used by some of the best hair stylists in the country, day in, day out.”
Hersheson’s Tourmaline Waving Tong (RRP £98) is a bestseller for achieving that coveted sexy, effortless style. “Use tools and no brushes to achieve this look – let your fingers be the brush,” advises Hersheson. “The ceramic barrel on the wand contains negative ions that seal the cuticle, lock in moisture and keep styles in place for longer, keeping hair protected.”
Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Hot Air Styler (RRP £34.99) combines a styling brush and hairdryer, using infrared technology for even heat distribution so hair dries faster and has a better moisture balance while minimising frizz and damage from heat styling. Scünci InstaTwist (RRP £30) taps into the trend for hippie braids, boho buns and fishtails as seen on the autumn/winter ’15 catwalks. Portable and battery-powered, it works by clipping to two sections of hair and letting the tool do the twisting, making it simple for anyone to achieve the latest hair looks.
Or for straighter styles, GHD Platinum (RRP £165) utilises technology that ensures the plates heat and stay at the optimum temperature thanks to three sensors in each, rather than a constantly changing temperature, which is damaging to hair. The result is a smooth, shiny style with less breakage and colour fade.
Electrical skin treatments have made a leap from the beauty salon and doctor’s office into the home as technology has made DIY devices safer, easier to use and more effective. When it comes to cleansing, research shows that using devices not only offers a deeper cleanse, but also makes skincare products work harder. It’s no wonder then that market researcher Mintel has found that 15 per cent of women have already added them to their skincare routines.
“leansing devices are an exciting and invaluable part of a woman’s beauty routine,” says Charlotte Hough, physicians’ services manager at Clinique. “We know that these devices can increase the benefits of skincare, as well as boosting the overall health of the skin.” Clinique’s Sonic System Clarifying Cleansing Brush (RRP £79) utilises sonic vibrations to loosen dirt and oil, and has firmer bristles to tackle more blocked areas such as the T-zone, while softer bristles are aimed at larger areas such as the cheeks.
A new head, the Massaging Treatment Applicator (RRP £20) can be attached too and used with the Clinique Contouring Massage Cream Mask (RRP £36) to lift, smooth and soften the face and neck as well as to boost radiance. Clarisonic’s new Smart Profile (RRP £199) cleanses and exfoliates both face and body, and comes with a customised programme that changes speed, intensity and time to match the area being worked on. It’s also proven to remove damaging particles of pollution and 11 times more make-up than manual cleansing.
For skin firming, electricals now offer results that, while still not equal to those you’d expect from a professional, are giving increasingly impressive results. The TRIA Age Defying Laser (RRP £450) uses the same non-ablative laser technology as dermatologists and boasts clinical studies that show 77 per cent reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, plus 90 per cent significant improvement in pigmentation. HoMedics NEWA (RRP £199) also uses dermatologist technology, stimulating energy deep within the skin to reactivate collagen production and make the skin plumper, firmer and smoother after 12 weeks.