The brilliant minds behind Shop Smart magazine, got together to determine what were the top rated blow dryers and hair straighteners.
Then to up the ante, they decided to put some mascaras to the test.
Which ones made the cut?
Here's a sneak peek...
ShopSmart tested 10 models of blow dryers on swatches of human hair in an environment chamber (to keep temperature and humidity steady). Additionally, a panel of 10 staffers used the dryers at home.
Despite big differences in price and wattage (ranging from 1,300 to 1,875), drying time did not vary much. But once noise and other features were factored in, ShopSmart found three standouts.
ShopSmart’s smart splurges include the CHI Pro Dryer GF 1505 ($135) and Bespoke Labs T3 Featherweight 83808-se ($200). The bargain buy, Revlon’s Ionic Ceramic Pro Stylist RV484 ($20), had one bonus the pricey dryers lacked, separate heat and speed settings so you can control temperature and airflow. It, along with the CHI, comes with a diffuser and concentrator.
Nine straightening irons were tested in a humidity chamber and nine staffers tried them at home. Results of in-house tests and user feedback revealed that these products claims of ionic, tourmaline and nano silver technology did not make a difference in straightening performance.
ShopSmart’s choice for smart splurge, the Infiniti Nano Silver by Conair SS9 ($100), had all three features, but the bargain buy, Revlon Perfect Heat Ceramic RVST2001C ($30), had none. Paying a higher price also did not guarantee a better straightener and neither did the brand names. Conair was the maker of the top and bottom rated models while the CHI Ceramic GF-1001 ($130) was the second-most-expensive straightener tested but did not rate anywhere near the top.
Thirty-four women tested 16 lengthening and/or thickening formulas of mascara.
While the top-rated wand was the more expensive, Lancôme Definicils ($24), another very good choice was the affordable Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture ($7).
Another surprise was how beauty magazine staple Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara fared in the tests. While it rated very good overall, several panelists said it was nothing special and some complained about clumps.
Be sure to check out the full reports on blow dryers, straightening irons and mascaras in the January 2009 issue of ShopSmart magazine.
Jennifer and Christine