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Beauty: Tools of the Trade

By Natasha Chalenko

Starting the new year with a well-organized and streamlined beauty toolkit always feels smart. Rigorous quality standards and intuitive design philosophy are among the attributes on my checklist; hence, it is no surprise that some of the featured products come from the Land of the Rising Sun. Here are three extraordinary tools for makeup and facial and body care.

Pursuit of Excellence

Westman Atelier brushes are the pinnacle of makeup artistry tools and set a new benchmark in the beauty industry. Gucci Westman, a celebrity makeup artist known for her “second skin” approach, is at the helm of her namesake clean beauty brand and oversees every aspect of product development. The brushes are handmade in Kumano, Japan, a small town legendary for its ancient artisanal techniques. Remarkable features include exquisite lacquered handles, crafted from birchwood harvested in a forest certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and cruelty-free silky-soft nylon fibers, precisely trimmed for optimal product application. In addition to the brushes, pay attention to Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks ($50 each), a versatile formula for cheeks, lids and lips with a buttery-smooth texture. Westman Atelier The Brush Collection Limited Edition, $435;

Beauty Circuit

I’ve always been a strong proponent of incorporating electrical current treatments into my facials, and ZIIP GX by ZIIP Beauty is a design-meets-function invention that delivers outstanding results. The technology behind this compact, ultralightweight and user-friendly device focuses on conducting electrical waveforms into the skin, which encourages the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an energy-carrying molecule that helps create collagen and elastin. What sets ZIIP apart is the access to a virtual library of facials via the brand’s app, with step-by-step programs guided by co-founder Melanie Simon. They are designed to fit everyone’s schedule and expectations — from the 12-minute Energize routine to the two-minute Quick Fix. For maximum results, pair it with the luxurious Golden Conductive Gel, which is included in the set. Made in the USA. ZIIP GX Set, $495;

Maximum Efficiency

ReFa self-massage rollers are known in the beauty world as the tools of choice for the true connoisseur. Each device is meticulously crafted in Japan with paramount attention to detail. The ReFa 4 CARAT model features four multifaceted diamond-cut rollers. Angling and spacing between each one are precisely calculated to re-create the professional massage technique of consecutive double kneading — with the emphasis on consecutive— where the skin is gently gripped by four rollers and not released at any point during the process, resulting in a toned and more firm-looking head-to-toe appearance with regular use. To further enhance its high-performing action, each roller is platinum-plated to avoid irritation. An embedded solar panel provides a mild microcurrent. Also, try the new ReFa Collagen Enrich Jelly ($60 for 14 packets), a delicious collagen beauty supplement of superior purity and potency. ReFa 4 CARAT Face and Body Roller, $340;

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