From high-tech haircare and bespoke makeup to new supplements and skin-saving patches, these innovations prove we're headed for a bright (dare we say, more beautiful?) future.
Last year, mineral-infused face masks that you remove with magnets hit the U.S. market—and Instagram hasn't been the same since. Now, Madonna (yes, that Madonna) and Japanese tech firm MTG Co. introduce the MDNA SKIN REJUVENATOR SET: Smooth on the rich, clay-based mask; wait a few minutes; then hover the magnetic end of the included tool over your face to lift off the formula, leaving behind a serum containing epidermal growth factors, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins. Next comes the real magic: Flip the tool and glide the infusion end over your skin for three to five minutes. The gadget reads your skin's moisture level, calibrates accordingly, and then delivers alternating cycles of positive and negative charges that push the ingredients deep into skin and stimulate cellular activity. (The current is undetectable, but there's a gentle vibration, so you know it's working.) Your complexion gets plumper over time and looks glowy immediately afterward, as if you're bathed in a...ray of light.
BUY IT: mdnaskin.com.
If you want to tune in and drop out—for a little while at least—try floating on salt water in a tank devoid of sound, light, or stimulation. Originally popularized in the 1960s and '70s, and now making a comeback, sensory deprivation is thought to promote mental clarity, reenergize the mind, and speed workout recovery. Two spots to do it: Float On in Portland, Oregon, and Lift (above) in Brooklyn.
Float On Oregon, from $65
BOOK IT: floathq.com.
Lift Brooklyn, from $79
BOOK IT: liftfloats.com.
Plenty of research has shown that fermented foods are full of health-boosting probiotics, but pickled veggies can be a little tough for some to swallow. The solution: Farmhouse Culture's sparkling probiotic Gut Punches. Each beverage packs 4 billion good-for-you cultures and tastes like your morning juice or your afternoon cola, depending on the flavor.
Farmhouse Culture, $4
BUY IT: farmhouseculture.com.
All you need for that "I got such a good workout I can barely walk down stairs" feeling? Twenty-seven minutes and a vibrating platform. At L.A. studio Platefit, trendy Power Plate machines are the basis for full-body workouts that stimulate multiple muscle groups, build core strength—and are actually kind of fun.
Platefit, from $27 per class
BOOK IT: platefit.co.
This app helps you find your perfect foundation. Use your phone's camera to scan different points on your face; then the app analyzes the various shades of your complexion and orders up a custom color of foundation, which arrives at your doorstep in as little as 72 hours. On the off chance that it's not a flawless match, you can send it back and request adjustments.
BUY IT: iTunes.apple.com.
THE TESTER: Riza Cruz
THE DEAL: Inspired by medical-grade silicone patches that promote wound and burn healing, SiO's Facelift includes four overnight skin smoothers with a gel-like adhesive that promises to fade wrinkles and boost collagen growth by creating an occlusive (read: moisture-retaining) environment while you sleep.
THE TRYOUT: Tasked with testing SiO's patches (because I'm "of a certain age," said the beauty editor, not meeting my eyes), I agreed, given my aversion to needles—and the fact that the experiment involved sleeping! After cleansing and drying my skin, I stuck the patches on trouble areas: forehead, smile lines (the comma-shaped patches can also be used on crow's-feet), and neck. The face stickers were unobtrusive, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to swallow with the neck one on. After Googling, "Do you swallow while you sleep?" (short answer: yes), I managed to doze off.
THE VERDICT: The next morning when I peeled off the patches, I expected a plumped- up face devoid of creases, but the only difference was that the marionette lines I usually wake up with on the sides of my mouth were less pronounced. The patches can be reused up to 15 times, so I wore them again for the next four nights. The next four mornings, the same results: fainter lines but lines nonetheless. The upshot: If you're into subtle improvements, you will be thrilled.
BUY IT: siobeauty.com.
Work imitates art for this rising star; her paint-palette-inspired looks for Eckhaus Latta's fall fashion show caused crazy buzz, she's collaborated on international exhibitions, and her portfolio is one of the most eclectic in the MUA game.
THE TESTER: Alexandra Engler
THE DEAL: First there were hair extensions, then lash, and now? Bring on the brows. Trained aestheticians are reshaping and filling out thin arches by attaching individual synthetic hairs—that look just like real human strands—using a skin-safe, semipermanent glue. The results last up to two weeks.
THE TRYOUT: My brows have always been the same: thin and sparse with a pointy arch. It worked in the '90s, but not so much anymore. So when I heard that NYC's Wink Brow Bar offered extensions, it sounded like an ideal solution. During the treatment, my specialist used extra-long tweezers to dip individual hairs—in a variety of lengths and shapes—into a small pot of glue and then placed them strategically. Delicate, curved hairs extended my arches closer to my nose; a row of short straight strands along the bottom added thickness; and a few more hairs elongated the tails. The entire session took about 45 minutes, and I left with careful instructions: Don't sweat or get the hairs wet for the first 24 hours, and don't use oil-based products for the next two weeks.
THE VERDICT: The finished look was my brows but a billion times better; my eyes looked larger, and my face just seemed more balanced. Unfortunately, I got the service on one of the hottest days of the year, and a few hairs detached during a long, sweaty wait on a subway platform. But the following morning (and for the next two weeks), my arches looked so good that I was able to skip my usual pencil and fiber gel. Would I do it again? Absolutely—but I plan on taking an air- conditioned taxi home afterward.
Wink Brow Bar; $195
BOOK IT: winkbrowbar.com.
Backstage at Alexander Wang's fall show, all eyes were glued to this Korean stunner and her badass buzz cut—and it's been that way ever since. She's already booked major shows like Chanel and Hermès, and her killer street style ensures she'll be a fashion-world favorite for seasons to come.
The Korean beauty giant is finally available stateside and expanding its physical presence with interactive, innovative stores. The first, which opened in New York City in September, boasts a sheet-mask bar and a customization station, where you can design every detail of a bespoke cushion compact, from the shade, finish, and texture of the formula to the art on its exterior.
Innisfree, from $25
BUY IT: innisfree.com.
If you see sexy waves on the red carpet, chances are this New York City–based stylist had a hand in creating the look. Her clients include a gaggle of Victoria's Secret models and celebrities such as Allison Williams and Amber Heard.
This co-owner and aesthetician at NYC's Take Care takes facials to the next level: the entire body. Her strategic use of gentle electric currents—combined with natural skin smoothers—leaves clients glowing scalp to soles.
Despite all the makeup lines available, many women—especially those who are mixed-race or of South Asian descent—still have trouble finding colors that work. But things are changing. Earlier this year, India-born entrepreneur Monika Deol launched STELLAR BEAUTY. "Before we began development, I used the Pantone SkinTone chart to map every foundation shade at Sephora, which I think of as the benchmark retailer, and there were serious holes in the medium range, especially if you wanted something under $50," Deol says. Her collection includes foundation in 22 shades—many in that elusive middle ground—and a plethora of color products.
BUY IT: sephora.com.
Another line you miiight have heard about also launched recently with myriad options for medium skin: FENTY BEAUTY, designed by Rihanna, whose heritage includes a mix of ethnicities. It features only one lip color (a rosy-gold gloss that looks good on everyone), but there are 40 (!) liquid foundation shades and 30 Match Stix Skinsticks that can be used to conceal, highlight, correct, or contour, depending on the hue. And don't worry, dark- and light-skinned beauties: Both lines have options for you as well.
Fenty Beauty; $25 each, $54 for set of three
BUY IT: fentybeauty.com.
THE TESTER: Jennifer Goldstein
THE DEAL: Beauty Tribe's Jetset Hot Roller The Volumizer comes with an induction heater that warms curlers individually, so each goes into hair at the optimal temperature. Plus, the roller caps stay cool the whole time, so there's no chance of burning your fingertips or ears.
THE TRYOUT: The weight of my long hair stretches out curling-iron- created waves within hours, so when a stylist friend told me that a "roller set" would last longer, I decided to give these a try. The curlers looked like others I've seen, so I ignored the instructions and popped a curler into the heater. Instead of removing it when the machine beeped after eight seconds, I accidentally hit the button for another induction cycle. Within seconds, I saw smoke. When I pulled out the curler (ends still cool to the touch, as promised!), the center had a bubbling black blister. I threw it out and followed the instructions for the remaining 15 curlers. Five minutes later, I had set my entire head in the (properly) heated rollers, which were easy to secure with the included clips.
THE VERDICT: After another few minutes, the little white dots on the curlers turned red, indicating that it was time for removal. When I let down my strands, the roots had tons of volume, and my hair cascaded down my back in soft, loopy tendrils that lasted two entire days. If you think of these as "volumizers" or "blowout perfecters" rather than "curlers," you will be extremely satisfied—provided you also read the instructions.
Beauty Tribe, $179
BUY IT: beautytribe.com.
You've probably heard of THC, the psychotropic that gives marijuana its special kick, but the plant packs more than 400 other active chemical compounds, some of which offer health and beauty benefits sans intoxication. One of these, CANNABIDIOL, OR CBD, is quickly gaining popularity because it's been shown to reduce inflammation and decrease pain when applied topically. (Legality technically depends on the source and the state you live in, but many companies ship CBD products nationwide, as the laws are constantly changing.) As with all active ingredients, quality and formulation matter. Here are a few CBD standouts: Lord Jones' body lotion is a balm for bruises, sore spots, and sunburns; Ambika Herbals' bath salts offer head-to-toe relief after an intense workout; and CBD For Life's eye serum (pictured) helps reduce under-eye puffiness and dark circles.
Lord Jones, $50
BUY IT: lordjones.com.
Ambika Herbals, $30
BUY IT: ambikaherbals.com.
CBD For Life, $32
BUY IT: cbdforlife.us.