Tools for DIY beauty maintenance

By Janetta Mackay

Make beauty maintenance at home easier with these DIY devices.

Simply using an eyelash curler before applying mascara will make your lashes look longer. Photo / Thinkstock
Simply using an eyelash curler before applying mascara will make your lashes look longer. Photo / Thinkstock

A little home care can save you a lot of money, but it's a case of finding the right tool for the job. Here's a choice of options for getting lashes and brows into great shape and for keeping nails neat and tidy, both easy areas to make quite an impact on your appearance.

Lash extensions, lash growth stimulants and false lashes have become a big thing, but often simply curling your eyelashes before applying mascara will elongate their look. The traditional curler has now been joined by less scary-looking implements.

We've stuck with just a few simple tools today, but there's a growing trend to pitch more expensive light therapy and laser devices for use at home. Tread warily here, both in terms of what you are getting and how to use it. Aside from being assured of safety, you need to be motivated enough to get value for money from your machine, least it sit around like so many unwanted exercise bikes.

1. Utowa Eyelash Curler $58
This is the traditional type of curler much loved by makeup artists.

The Utowa design shapes well to the eyelid. Once you get the hang of slipping it over you lashes and pinching down on the rubber pad, it is quick and easy to use, leaving lashes uplifted and ready for mascara to make them look even longer. If, however, you don't like anything waved about near your eyes, then you might not be the best candidate to manoeuvre the metal contraption into place.

2. ModelCo Turbo Lash Wand $44.95
The cheerful hot-pink colour and easy-as wand makes light of the curling chore.

3. Blinc Heated Lash Curler $52
Another of the heated curlers, this design with a rounded-ridge comb makes it easy to access the underside. Good temperature control means there's no risk of drying out the lashes. The storage tin is a handy bonus from a company that also makes good and similarly packaged tubing mascaras and brow setting gels.

4. Talika Tweezers with built in light $38
The built-in light makes it easy to pick up strays day or night.

5. Tweezerman Folding Lashcomb $23
Gold-plated metal teeth glide through mascara to define and separate mascara-ed lashes. This is best done promptly while lashes are wet to help turn them upward and outward. The comb folds to protect its teeth when not in use. Tweezerman is a specialist company which makes long-lasting precision-engineered tools, especially, of course, tweezers.

6. Talika Heated Eyelash Curler $64
One of the new battery-operated curlers developed for people who are put off by wielding metal wands. This is simplicity itself, you simply push the soft heated pad to the underside of your lashes to give them a skyward boost. Effective application takes less than a minute and there's nothing to accidentally snare your lashes.

7. Smiink lashes from $27.90
If you're still lacking in lashes after curling, then try applying falsies. This Australian-owned brand is new here and gives a good thick wink in its everyday styles, with feathered, metallic and crystal effects also on offer. The lashes last up to 25-30 application and are sold with a quality glue.

8. UBU Mini Me's Tweezers $13
In pink, red, purple or yellow you won't easily mislay these little nippers. They're a bargain buy, coming in a set of four, with each tweezer having a differently angled stainless steel tip.

9. Talika Feet Therapy Socks $111
Dry feet will love slipping into these lightweight bamboo-fibre booties for a 20-minute timeout each day. The socks are lined with a gel formula that slowly releases its moisturising ingredients to soften callouses and condition hardened heels with vitamin E, ceramides and botanical oils. The stretchy socks have anti-skid soles so you can walk about while your feet get a treat. Reusable up to 30 times.

10. QVS Toenail Clipper & Catcher $10.99
This toe and floor-friendly clipper has a straight blade to prevent ingrown nails and a catcher for your clippings. It has also been made air-cabin acceptable, with a laser file built into its base to replace a pointed file on earlier models.

11. QVS Chiropody Pliers $33.99
These may look scary, but if you have especially thick toenails you will know that cutting with scissors can be a struggle. The spring-barrel action of these pliers and their sharp stainless blades makes a tough job easier.

12. Manicare Nickel Foot File $19.99
Two-sided medium and coarse grade file softens calluses and rids heels and feet of hard, scaly bits. Works best when feet are dry rather than wet, but never use on broken skin and do follow up with a soothing foot cream.

Stockists: Utowa and Talika from Mecca Cosmetica stores. Model Co from Farmers. Blinc and Tweezerman from Glamorpuss, Newmarket.

Smiink from beautysense.co.nz. QVS and Manicare brands from pharmacies, department and variety store stands. UBU from selected pharmacies and The Warehouse stores or online.

- NZ Herald

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