No Passing Fancy: Four gimmicky beauty tools that have stood the test of time

The beauty industry is fast-paced and constantly evolving with new trends, techniques, and tools popping up seemingly overnight. Some of them, like these skincare “innovations” we reviewed, are fun but ultimately passing fads that soon go the way of butterfly clips and elephant pants.

While some trends are destined to delight then disappear, there have been a few survivors that have made the jump from beauty gimmick to beauty staple. While the fate of “washing machine” brush cleaners, jade face rollers, and pizza-cutter eyeliner are still up in the air, these tools have weathered disbelief, dissing, and dupes, and look like they’re here to stay!

Image via Instagram user @beautyblender

Image via Instagram user @beautyblender

The Beauty Blender (P990 at SM Beauty and select Watsons)

Invented in 2007, the now-iconic egg-shaped sponge/multi-tool turns 11 years old this year! It seems like only yesterday when every beauty girl was getting hyped over this makeup “supertool” that many claimed was too good to be true, but now the ubiquitous bright pink Blender (as well as its many, many imitators) has become a “starter-kit” staple, especially for those looking to perfect their liquid foundation finish for the ‘gram.

What makes this sponge so special? According to its origin story, the Beauty Blender was conceptualized by television makeup artist Rea Ann Silva, who was in desperate need of the perfect tool to keep stars’ foundation flawless in HD. The edge-less shape of the sponge does not leave creases or stamp lines that have to be buffed out, while its signature hydrophilic (that’s "water-loving" in normal English) material makes it soft and bouncy, perfect for, well, blending. The Beauty Blender was also designed as a blotting tool for makeup touch-ups, making it the ultimate “Swiss Army Knife” sponge. Is it any wonder it has stuck around for this long?

The Clarisonic (starts at P8,890 at BeautyMNL)

Fans of Youtube star Tati know that the girl loves her Clarisonics but viral videos aren't the sole reason this buzzy brush continues to make its way to the bathroom counters of beauty girls across the world. While at first glance this tool looks (and sort of operates) like an electric toothbrush for the face, fans swear that its gentle rotating motion results in a refreshing, thorough clean that leaves them flawless and keeps them breakout-free. The brand has even created a special brush head specifically for makeup application, for those who may be feeling too lazy to manually buff product into the skin.

Unfortunately, the popularity of Clarisonic’s technology has also proven to be its Achilles heel, with some beauty news reports speculating that the company itself is in hot water thanks to cheaper alternatives created by beauty behemoths such as Neutrogena, ProActiv, and Olay. Still, the very fact that big beauty brands have decided to jump on the bandwagon prove that sonic technology might be here to stay, and with Clarisonic’s current product expansions - including an anti-aging set designed with the facial massaging trend in mind - we may expect more ‘buzz to come!

Image via Instagram user @clarisonic

The Foreo LUNA (starts at P2,273 at Sephora PH)

While silisponges failed to dethrone the all-powerful ‘Blender, another silicone-based item managed take both the beauty and design worlds by storm. A contender to the Clarisonic’s throne, the Foreo LUNA is made of easier-to-clean silicone, and features a sonic “pulse” (instead of rotation) that helps cleanse and massage skin, making it ostensibly an “anti-aging” as well as cleansing product.

Boasting different “variants” based on skin type, the Foreo Luna is solidly a skincare product on its own, unlike it’s more brush-based competition. The real magic, though, supposedly lies in its reverse side: once you’re done cleansing your face with the silicone “bristles,” you’re meant to turn your LUNA over, where deep silicone “grooves” help address fine lines and wrinkles. FOREO has been so successful with this venture that it’s even expanded to include the ISSA (a reinvention of the electric toothbrush) and lately, the Foreo UFO, which is currently on Kickstarter and promises to “solve the sheet mask epidemic.” The jury is still out on that particular claim, but when it comes to the LUNA at least, it looks like FOREO is here to stay.

Image via Instagram user @foreo

Image via Instagram user @artisbrush

Image via Instagram user @artisbrush

The Artis Dome Brush (starts at P3,602 at Sephora PH)

Often referred to by the misnomer “paddle brush” (actually used to refer to a flat, rectangular hairbrush), dome or oval brushes rose to popularity thanks to the brand Artis, often attributed as being the first brand to release this unique silhouette. The product features a hairbrush-like orientation meant to be more comfortable and ergonomic in terms of makeup application. Super-dense bristles allow for sponge-like coverage (or better), while the soft fibers buff instead of “beat” the face, allowing for a seamless finish.

While the most popular dome brush is usually the full-profile oval, there are also smaller, more toothbrush-y looking ones designed to fill in lips and brows with the same seamless swipe. All of them feature the same super-packed bristles, which not only help with coverage but are designed to prevent product from seeping into the tool (unlike other brushes and sponges), so you lose less product. The strange shape also has the added plus of making a regular beauty girl feel like a beauty guru!

Have you tried any of these hall of fames? Do you think they're worth the hype? What other tools do you think will become classics?