7 Beauty Tools That Aren't Worth the Money

By Ashley Marcin on 4 February 2016 2 comments

I'm relatively low maintenance when it comes to my own beauty routine. That being said, I've gotten sucked into different trends and products throughout the years. You know what? There are tons of grooming and beauty tools out there that just aren't worth the money. Here's our list of some items you can live without.

1. Toe Separators

Save money by painting your toenails at home and skipping the pricey pedicure. While you're at it, you can also skip those creepy foam toe separators. Yes, they may be cheap and make painting slightly less messy, but you can get the same benefit by weaving a little tissue paper between your toes. Save your hard-earned pennies for more pretty polishes!

2. Clarisonic

I jumped on the Clarisonic bandwagon several years ago. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it's a device that exfoliates skin using a motorized brush that costs around $149. It actually does work well. My skin did get more even with use. But the upkeep of the system is expensive and — in my opinion — not worth it when there are low-tech alternatives. For example, you should change the brush every three months and refill heads cost a crazy $22 each.

A good exfoliating cleanser (you can even make your own!) or plain old washcloth can do wonders for scrubbing your skin without the high price tag.

3. Makeup Brushes

A full makeup brush set is also not a necessity. In fact, I've never owned more than a couple brushes until recently (and those were Christmas gifts). The other 16 years I've been wearing makeup, I did most of it with my fingers or whatever tool comes free with the product.

If you just have to have some kind of applicator, makeup sponges — like these foam wedges — are the way to go. You can apply both liquid and powder products with them. Prefer something reusable? Check out this sponge blender that you can wash and dry between uses.

4. Zit Zappers

I had awful skin as a teenager and even as a young adult. Had zit zappers, like Zeno's Hot Spot, been on the market back then, I probably would have forked over the money to buy one. Unfortunately, the reviews on this device are pretty split. Some claim it really does work while others share it actually made their skin issues worse. If you look at reviews for other models, the trend continues.

Desperate for clear skin? You can try mixing together your own zit zapper balm using coconut oil and tea tree essential oil. Otherwise, keep up with cleansing your face, changing your pillowcase often, and checking in with your dermatologist for suggestions if you have severe acne.

5. Eyelash Curler

I asked my friends for their top pick in this topic, and their resounding response was: "An eyelash curler!" In fact, one of my friends had even injured herself using one, pulling out a chunk of her eyelashes before an important event. I've never used a curler. In fact, I think it looks like some type of medieval torture device, so I just wear plain mascara.

Still crave a bit of curl? Certain cosmetic brands offer curling mascara formulas. You can also use Allure's spoon method and heat a spoon with a mug of warm water, press the curved part onto your lashes, and hold for 10 seconds.

6. Hair Removers

Have you seen those tiny battery-operated hair trimmers meant to clip off unsightly hair from your lip, nose, eyebrows, bikini area, mustache, and more? They're marketed to both men and women, but they're definitely not a must-have in your personal care stash.

Similarly, the no! no! hair removal device looks great in theory. After all, who wouldn't want to remove hair from certain areas for weeks at a time with one easy process at home? The reviews on this product aren't so great. With 54% of buyers giving it just one star and many claiming "false advertising," this is yet another grooming item not worth the cash.

A razor can clean up most of your trouble areas, and tweezers or simple grooming scissors work for much of the rest.

7. Curling Iron, Flat Iron, etc.

If you like to maintain your hair in a certain way (curly, straight, etc.), a single tool of choice might be a good bet. If you like to mix your style up often, you might be surprised to learn that you don't need multiple tools. And between curling irons, flat irons, curling wands, waving tools, etc. — it pays to simplify.

Here's a cool trick: You can use a flat iron to curl hair with some practice. Simply wrap your hair in the flat iron as if you were using a curling iron, but do not close it entirely. You'll want to turn your wrist slightly as your move the tool toward the ends of your hair. Spritz with some hairspray, and you're done!

What beauty or grooming tools have you banished from your bathroom?

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Guest's picture
Kelli B

Good tips on ways to banish clutter and save money. Another way to do so is to take a good look at the products you're using. Is there overlap? Is there a product you never use but is still taking up room on your counter?

Guest's picture
IBikeNYC

I've been using a Buf Puf and/or its generic equivalent for almost FORTY years, now (YIKES!).

Great exfoliation; a lifetime of compliment-drawing skin!

Guest's picture
Angela Haley

I agree with everything you have said- except the clarisonic. I bought mine years ago and within a couple of months of using it, not only did I see a difference, but people were asking me what I was doing to get great skin. Prior to that, I was a faithful user of exfoliating scrubs (even homemade), but only the clarisonic gave me the radiant skin I now have. If my clarisonic broke tonight, I would be buying another one tomorrow. For me (& many others) it has been a game changer.