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Gorgeous gadgets


Customers are increasingly seeking to recreate salon-professional results at home, and electrical beauty and grooming appliances offer this opportunity. However, many consumers view the price points of such appliances as a barrier to purchase. Identifying current market trends and the appliances available will help to ensure consumers fully understand how these gadgets work and the results they can achieve.

Skin care

Skin care appliances can help consumers achieve results comparable to a salon treatment at home. Ian Griffiths, Panasonic beauty and grooming manager, explains: “Not only can at-home tools achieve professional results for less money than visiting a salon every six weeks, but they also fit seamlessly within into lives.”

Some skin care appliances are designed to improve existing routines, such as electric cleansing brushes like the Philips VisaPure Advanced Facial Cleansing Brush (RRP £187.99), which claims to offer up to ten times better cleansing than using the hands alone. Others focus on improving the absorption of subsequent products, such as the Panasonic Micro-Current Facial Enhancer (RRP £200), which uses warm-to-cool technology and microcurrents to optimise the effects of skin care products while stimulating ions in the skin to reduce age-related fine lines and dehydration.

The most important way to help customers find the best skin care appliance to suit their needs is to help them to understand the specific requirements of their particular skin type. “For instance, those with sensitive skin should choose a device that caters for this through softer features or interchangeable attachments. In a cleansing brush, for example, those prone to redness or sensitive breakouts should look for a device with as soft a brush as possible, rather than a thick or abrasive option,” says Griffiths.

Looking to the future, Griffiths predicts that temperature is a trend on the rise: “There is evidence to suggest that temperature can have anti-ageing benefits, and with holistic and nonsurgical approaches to anti-ageing becoming increasingly popular with consumers, we expect to see more products launching using temperature technology.” Adelina Lalu, senior marketing manager for beauty, UK at Philips, adds: “There is an increasing interest in anti-pollution solutions in skin care and growing popularity among anti-ageing devices. At Philips, we are currently working on innovations in both categories.”

Male grooming

The key benefits men hope to achieve with the use of appliances are speed, versatility and convenience, particularly when it comes to shaving. Griffiths says: “The challenge of juggling fast paced modern day routines means that men are looking for products that will speed up their grooming without compromising on results. Electronic appliances provide versatility and convenience alongside professional results, meaning trips to the barbers can be less frequent.”

Multi-functional electrical tools, such as the Panasonic ER-GB80 (RRP £69.99), come with interchangeable attachments to keep beards or stubble in check, as well as tidying up body hair, offering multiple functions in one handy appliance. Griffiths says: “This links to the manscaping trend, which has continued to grow in recent years.”

Facial hair also demands versatile tools, Griffiths says, as men are restyling their facial hair on a monthly basis. “The new Panasonic ER-GD60 (RRP £99.99) is a precision tool designed for this reason,” Griffiths says. “It can shape, style and trim while remaining lightweight, ergonomic and high quality.”

The blades used in appliances are key to their performance and longevity. Rob Smith, senior marketing manager for male shaving and grooming, UK at Philips, says: “The type of blades and the precision of cutting length define the result and performance. The blades also impact on whether or not the product is skin-friendly, creates a pulling effect or prevents nicks and cuts.”

Electrical advisors can help men find their ideal shaver by establishing their key concerns. Griffiths says: “It’s important to consider skin and hair types, as well as the type of usage, before buying an electrical grooming product. Advisors should ask questions about how the customer’s skin reacts after a close shave, how often they re-shape their facial hair, whether they prefer wet or dry shaves or even any problems they have had in the past, as these will all determine the type of product required.”

Explaining the benefits of different features will also help customers feel confident that they are purchasing the best product for their needs: “To make their grooming appliance extra effective, users should also be looking for features that enable them to get personal with their shaving routine, whether that’s attachments, such as precision trimmers, to perfect their look, or wet and dry capabilities,” Smith explains.

Hair styling

According to Mintel’s Beauty Devices and Appliances UK report (November 2016), overall frequency of hair appliance usage is on the decline. The report found that 54% cited worry about damaging their hair as a reason for using hair appliances less frequently, so it’s no surprise that damage limitation is a key claim of many of the latest appliances on the market.

Brands are borrowing technology from the professional salon market in order to deliver damage reduction, such as steam technology. Tim Wright, Vice President for appliances in Europe at Spectrum Brands, which owns Remington, says: “The Remington PROtect Straightener (RRP £89.99) uses HydraCare technology to deliver 68% less damage than a standard hair straightener. It works by prepping hair with a fine, cool mist, allowing for styling at lower temperatures without compromising on results.”

Meanwhile, variable temperature settings are a common feature of many modern hair styling tools and allow customers to find the lowest possible temperature for their hair without compromising on results. Some stylers, such as the BaByliss 3Q Hair Straightener (RRP £90), automatically adjust the temperature to suit the user’s hair by continually monitoring its moisture content and adjusting accordingly.

Special coatings on curlers and straighteners can also help achieve smoother results with fewer passes over the hair, to reduce heat damage.

Michelle Wilson, EMEA brand manager at Helen of Troy, advises: “Look for smooth coatings, such as tourmaline ceramic or titanium, which are perfect for locking in moisture and aiding colour retention.”

Beauty advisors can help customers select the best styler for their needs by asking some key questions about their hair type, needs and required results. Wilson says: “The key questions to ask are: what length is their hair; how thick is it; what look do they want to achieve; what product have they been using until now and what they like or dislike about it; whether they regularly colour or heat style their hair; and do they use heat protection. The answers will help when advising on what temperatures they should be using and why variable temperature is important.”

Looking to the future, the automation that has been seen within the category, such as auto-rotating curlers like the BaByliss Curl Secret (RRP £119.99), is likely to become more commonplace. Wright says: “As the average consumer has less and less time to spend on themselves due to increasingly busy lives, new product development will see an increase in styling tools that automatically style hair to the desired result, taking the technique emphasis away from the user. This will reduce styling time and maximise consistent results.”

Personal care

Oral care and hair removal are not the most glamorous aspects of beauty routines, but for most customers, they are a necessary daily chore. Electricals can help make these processes easier, quicker and more effective.

Hair removal is a key category that sees constant innovation. According to Mintel, epilators have the greatest penetration of all beauty devices (excluding hair appliances), while intense pulsed light (IPL) devices, which apply salon-professional technology to home use devices to permanently reduce unwanted hair growth, are becoming more accessible, both in terms of choice and price. However, new multipurpose trimmers, such as the Veet Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler (RRP £23.99), provide an alternative hair removal option at a much lower price point. It comes with two heads – one for optimal brow shaping and one for precision bikini trimming. Elise Cockley, RB category marketing manager, says: “The device is both quick and gentle – its blades don’t touch the skin, so there’s no need to fear cuts. It is also highly precise, with dedicated accessories that ensure accurate shaping and styling, making it ideal for quick touch-ups whenever you want.”

In oral care, advancing technology has transformed the power toothbrush market and these devices can have a significant impact on overall oral hygiene and health. Emily Napier, marketing manager for oral healthcare UK at Philips, says: “Important features to look out for include brush head replacement reminders, pressure sensors and connected technology.”

Toothbrushes that combine sensors with connectivity, such as the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Sonic electric toothbrush with app (RRP £360), allow users to monitor their brushing habits, then address any issues to improve their technique. Napier says: “Smart sensors send brushing data to the Philips Sonicare app, which provides personalised coaching and feedback, giving users a clear picture of their brushing habits. The location sensor shows you where you are brushing to help avoid missed spots, giving you 100% coverage every time you brush. The scrubbing sensor helps guide you to reduce scrubbing for optimised technique, while the pressure sensor provides visual and vibration feedback to alert users when too much pressure is applied.”

Modern power brushes can cater for every consumer’s oral health needs, so ensure you recommend the right ones for your customers. Napier says: “Sonicare offers a range of brush heads designed to suit individual needs, including gum health, plaque removal and whitening brushes. Additional brushing modes compliment use to help to deliver optimal, personalised results.”


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