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The best beauty tech of 2023: go back to the future with these top-tier gadgets

Let’s face it, getting old sucks. We all wish we could keep our youthful looks forever. Imagine waking up 30 years from now with that same glowing complexion you have today. One can dream, right? Well, maybe you won’t have to for much longer.

As it turns out, it might not be as far-fetched as it seems. So take a seat and join us in our pursuit of perfection as we take a look at some of the top beauty-enhancing gadgets 2023 has to offer.

Bear by FOREO

Face toners are everywhere in this day and age. While they are all similar in their purpose, one product stands above all else in this category: the Bear by FOREO.

The Swedish company comes out swinging with two variations of this sleek, top-quality item. While the Bear provides full facial and targeted routines when paired with an accompanying app, the Bear Mini provides just the full facial element. But don’t let that fool you. Both come with a combination of ‘Anti-shock system’ and ‘T-Sonic massage’ which help “tighten and firm skin for a youthful, contoured complexion, exercising the 65+ muscles in your face and neck in just 2 mins,” according to the company’s website. Paired with one of its special serums, your youthful looks won’t be going anywhere fast.

Slip Silk pillowcase by Slip

It’s a nightmare we’ve all experienced. You wake up in the morning after carefully applying your nightly serums and moisturisers and, to your horror, your pillowcase has absorbed the whole lot. Well, we’ve got the solution to all your nighttime woes.

Introducing the Slip Silk by Slip. What looks like a standard pillowcase is actually the secret weapon you didn’t know you needed. Touted by the website as being “anti-ageing, anti-sleep crease, anti-bedhead,” these are some of the things you can expect from this unique pillowcase. With it also being anti-absorbent to boot, your evening skincare routine will last you through the night. Sweet dreams.

Droplette Skin infuser device by Droplette

What started as a way to treat a genetic skin disease has branched out into a skincare device to aid the masses. We’re talking about the Droplette skin infuser by Droplette. Utilising a painless, injection-free delivery system, Droplette delivers a micro-mist of active ingredients from one of three formulas—glycolic acid, retinol and collagen.

Not only do these come in easy-to-install capsules, but the unique delivery system also hydrates and protects the skin against any side effects the active ingredients may cause. Science and beauty—a match made in heaven.

Dr. Dennis Gross spectralite faceware by Dr. Dennis Gross

Fancy looking like a superhero and beating the ageing process? Look no further because the Dr. Dennis Gross spectralite faceware is here. With anti-ageing properties and acne-beating treatments applied with special light therapy, in just three minutes a day, you can turn back the clock. The device claims to “help build collagen and kill acne-causing bacteria while healing, repairing, and preventing damage.” All this, while looking like Iron Man? We’re sold.

Zuvi Halo hair dryer by Zuvi

Hair dryers are a staple of most households. But what sets one apart from all the rest? “All they do is dry hair!” we hear you cry. Indeed, they do, but there is one that does so much more than that. Introducing the Zuvi Halo hair dryer by Zuvi. This sleek, compact device mimics the sun’s natural rays and uses its patented ‘LightCare’ technology which quickly dries the water on the hair’s surface, leaving the inside happy and healthy.

By utilising this technology, Zuvi promises “+38 per cent shinier hair, +17 per cent smoother hair, +57 per cent colour retention and +9 per cent stronger hair,” which is music to our ears. On top of all that, the Halo is one of the most sustainable hair dryers on the market, boasting an impressive 60 per cent reduction in energy usage than a standard dryer and with a year of use, can even remove up to 30 kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere—the equivalent of planting a tree. Looking good and saving the planet? It’s a win in our books.

Beauty on the run: you can soon order your favourite skincare products on Uber

Be it DoorDash, Lyft, or Bolt, on-demand delivery services are undoubtedly having their moment. What if beauty brands could piggyback on the ultra-flexible and fast services such companies offer and maybe deliver dinner with a side of blush?

The Beauty on Demand Shop

After acquiring Postmates Unlimited, a loyalty programme that offers unlimited deliveries for a monthly fee, ride-hailing app Uber is now providing an updated service on the menu for Los Angeles-based subscribers. Enter the pandemic-accelerated world of on-demand beauty products. Featuring cult indie brands like Furtuna Skin, Summer Fridays and Corpus Naturals, the app is offering a bundle of 18 products curated by beauty experts—delivered straight to the consumers’ doorstep for a price of $375 (£275).

Termed ‘Beauty on Demand’, the service follows Uber’s vision of broadening out from its origins as a ride-sharing app. Part of the company’s strategy is to build customer loyalty by doubling as a delivery service. “In the post-lockdown landscape, service has become an overriding priority,” said Julie Kim, Postmates’ global head of membership. In an interview with Vogue Business, Kim highlighted how brands are increasingly investing in mechanisms and solutions to ensure reliability and convenience for their customers.

Beauty on Demand, therefore, follows the launch of Uber Direct—a project which builds upon Uber Eats’ expansion into grocery and convenience store delivery. The white label solution essentially allows the company to partner with fashion and beauty brands to fulfill deliveries that originate on the companies’ own websites or apps. “Uber Direct is a great tool for retailers who want an operationally efficient way to reach their customers,” Kim added. “Anybody who has an e-commerce mechanism can basically utilise our backend technology to enable same-day service.”

However, this isn’t Uber’s first maneuver into the beauty industry. In May 2021, the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) became the first beauty company to partner with Uber Eats to fulfill deliveries in the US. Available across 60 store locations, customers can presently order ELC-owned brands like Origins and Jo Malone London through the Uber app. Last month, the company also partnered with Dr. Barbara Sturm to provide Hollywood-approved skincare on-demand for consumers. LA-based members of Uber’s Eats Pass, a monthly subscription package offering unlimited food delivery, can not only have Sturm products delivered to them within 35 minutes but also receive a free anti-aging body cream and cleanser with purchases above $300.

“These launches are the first in a series of member-only experiences being lined up by Uber,” Kim said, adding how the company’s membership programmes are presently on the quest to make everyday life effortless for its customers.

On the other end of this conversation, a linkup with Uber could be the first big step into on-demand services for many beauty brands. “We’re testing it to see how people react to buying products on instant delivery,” said JP Mastey, founder of Corpus Naturals. In the interview with Vogue Business, Mastey added how the company had initially decided to offer free domestic shipping, primarily to meet the expectations set by retailers such as Amazon. “With the pandemic, people have become really used to ordering and receiving goods within hours or minutes. If that’s the way people want to consume and purchase, then we’ll have to meet them there—and services like this are ideal for that.”

A catch to the win-win-win situation

With retail research finding 77 per cent of gen Z and 82 per cent of millennials to be regular online shoppers, Uber’s attempt at shaking up the beauty industry might just be a successful and cost-effective one. However, experts warn how convenience doesn’t necessarily equate to luxury. “If you don’t make your consumer dream about who you are then you’ll face challenges,” said Audrey Depraeter-Montacel, global beauty lead at Accenture. According to the expert, Amazon has been trying to penetrate the luxury and fashion industries for years, “but I’m not sure that they have succeeded because they are still perceived as a convenient platform.”

Then there is the bigger question as to what such initiatives could cost everyone involved in it. “Uber wants stuff for free that it can add to a loyalty programme with as little cost to it as possible. The brands and retailers want Uber to give free marketing. Consumers just want free stuff,” said Sucharita Kodali, vice president of retail at the research and advisory firm Forrester. If everyone just wants as much as possible for as little as possible, how do you create a compelling offering that someone wants and is a win-win-win?

For Uber to succeed with on-demand membership, plenty of benefits will need to be baked into a loyalty programme to encourage its regular use. According to Kodali, Uber’s operation will also need to be seamless and in sync with the inventory carried by brands. With American beauty brand Coty landing a deal with the food and alcohol delivery service Gopuff and Sephora inking a partnership with grocery service Instacart for pickup and deliveries, curation is another factor that could help set Uber apart.

As of now, the company plans to announce more benefits and partnerships with brands in November 2021. So don’t be surprised if you suddenly have the option of ordering a $50 overnight serum alongside $1 french fries from McDonald’s.