Best Beauty Buys

Styling Tools

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        Best Round Brush 2016

        Ibiza G4

        Best Round Brush 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014, 2011

        Ibiza G4

        Trying to style hair with the wrong brush is like trying to cut steak with a butter knife: It doesn’t work. This round brush—a stylist-decreed top tool—expertly lifts up hair at the roots to build in volume. “I use this every day to deliver my
        blowouts,” says L.A. pro Craig Gangi, who works with Anna Kendrick. “Its boar bristles help get rid of frizz,” and with a feel-good easy-grip handle, it creates tension in the hair, which is key for smoothing, as well as curling the ends, during a blow-dry. 

        $42
        Best Inexpensive Blow-Dryer 2016

        Infiniti Pro by Conair

        Best Inexpensive Blow-Dryer 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Infiniti Pro by Conair

        Its price tag can save you a few bucks—or a hundred of them (hair-dryer sticker shock: It happens). The tool gets superhot and has powerful airflow, notes Bridget Brager. And it produces the results you get from a professional machine, says Christophe Saluzzo. His tip? Use the nozzle to direct the stream when you want to work by sections (which you should do to get the smoothest, sleekest styles). 

        $35
        Best Blow-Dryer 2016

        Harry Josh

        Best Blow-Dryer 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015

        Harry Josh

        If you obsessively follow beauty pros and red carpet regulars, then we know you’ve spotted this mint green mini all over your social feeds. When time is money, speed is king. “You can dry even the coarsest sections of hair quickly with a few passes of air from this tool,” says Chuck Amos, who has used it on Uzo Aduba’s hair, among others’. Try flipping on the ion function to further help smooth strands, says Nathaniel Hawkins. 

        $300
        Best Curling Wand 2016

        GHD Curve Classic Wave

        Best Curling Wand 2016
        WINNER 2016

        GHD Curve Classic Wave

        Two distinct details make this a stylist favorite: its even heat distribution and the uniquely oval shape of its wand. Together, they allow you to heat the length of your hair uniformly instead of just scorching the center. And the barrel excels at creating loose waves, not precisely rounded curls. So if you crave that bouncy Victoria’s Secret Angel look, this is a godsend, says L.A. pro Craig Gangi, who works with Anna Kendrick.

        $199
        Best Flatiron 2016

        GHD Platinum Styler Flatiron

        Best Flatiron 2016
        WINNER

        GHD Platinum Styler Flatiron

        Feeding flatiron addictions across the country, this plug-in heats up evenly to 365 degrees and slips through your strands for a salon finish. The secret here is in the plates—they’re cushioned with a ceramic finish that promotes a smooth glide and helps prevent snagging, but they maintain just enough tension to completely transform your texture. Another feature we love: the sleep mode, which means if you forget to turn it off before you run out the door, it’ll power down on its own after 30 minutes. 

        $249
        Best Curling Iron 2016

        Hot Tools 1 Inch

        Best Curling Iron 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015

        Hot Tools 1 Inch

        “If I had to pick one hair tool to have for the rest of my life, this would be it,” says Michael Dueñas, who works with Morena Baccarin. Not only does the gold-plated, fast-heating, durable iron reach over 400 degrees and deliver lasting curls, but the 1-inch barrel gives you the versatility to create everything from loose waves to classic, roller-like sets, “depending on how you wrap and hold the hair,” he says. (We hold the iron vertically and then wind chunky sections around it—omitting the ends—to get those tousled, Alexa Chung–like bends.)

        $50
        Hall of Fame
        Best Paddle Brush 2016

        Mason Pearson Paddle Brush

        Best Paddle Brush 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2014

        Mason Pearson Paddle Brush

        It’s the brush you wish someone would wrap up and give you for your birthday. Since that probably hasn’t happened yet, stylists such as Lacy Redway promise this luxe classic (which has won our Best Beauty Buys award 14 times) is worth your considerable investment—and not just for its price-per-use ratio. The boar and nylon bristles slip through hair, distributing oils from the roots down to drier ends. Michael Dueñas, who works with Morena Baccarin, recommends spritzing the brush with hairspray to lend an even finish and staying power to freshly curled waves. It makes the hair look like glass, he says. Our fine-haired beauty editor, whose strands snag with the slightest breeze, swears it’s one of the only tools that can detangle her hair without prompting tears. 

        $205
        Best Eco-Friendly Blow-Dryer 2016

        Parlux 3800

        Best Eco-Friendly Blow-Dryer 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Parlux 3800

        Sure, air-drying might fly sometimes, like when you’re on vacation. But for those times when you need to whip out the power tools, this crazy-strong dryer will work fast—and do so without driving up your electric bill, says celebrity hairstylist Chris Lospalluto. It also emits negative ions to help zap frizz and flyaways. 

        $225
        Editor’s Pick
        Editors' Pick 2011

        Remington Ceramic Styling Wand

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2011

        Remington Ceramic Styling Wand

        Pearl-infused ceramic plates are the secret behind the effectiveness of this tapered, clampless iron. It heats up in a flash, producing glossy, limp-free curls.

        $30
        Editor’s Pick
        Editor's Pick 2015

        Remington 3-in-1 Styler

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2015

        Remington 3-in-1 Styler

        The cords of your flatiron, curler, and dryer shouldn’t resemble Clark Griswold’s Christmas lights. This multitasker can help you declutter. Two detachable sleeves—one rounded, one studded with spikes—transform this straightener into a curler and a volumizer. But here’s the thing: All three functions actually work, meaning you can be Gisele one day and Ariana Grande the next.

         

        $33
        Editor’s Pick
        Editors' Pick 2015

        Sarah Potempa Beachwaver S1

        Editor’s Pick
        WINNER 2015

        Sarah Potempa Beachwaver S1

        Spinning electronic devices near the hair sounds like trouble, no? That’s what you might think until you try this self-rotating barrel. Hair smoothly wraps around the ceramic wand, making defined curls or loose waves. Two speeds, an adjustable temperature gauge, and arrows to control direction eliminate burns and impatience.

         

         

        $129
        Best Eco-Friendly Blow-Dryer 2015

        Barbar Eco 8000

        Best Eco-Friendly Blow-Dryer 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2013

        Barbar Eco 8000

        A feat of engineering, this ceramic model uses 700 fewer watts than the standard tool and saves 40 percent more electricity. And it’s gentle on your biceps. “This won’t kill your arms,” promises Galotti.

        $125
        Best 2014 Best Flatiron

        ghd 1" Classic Styler

        Best 2014 Best Flatiron
        WINNER 2014

        ghd 1" Classic Styler

        This ceramic model has unique digital technology that ensures a steady temperature and uniform results, cutting down on damage. “You don’t have to go over each section several times,” says L.A. hair- stylist David Stanwell. “It tackles really difficult hair on the first pass,” so even air-dried curls can skip the blowout and get straight down to business.

        $185
        Best 2014 Blow-Dryer

        Elchim 2001 Classic

        Best 2014 Blow-Dryer
        WINNER 2014

        Elchim 2001 Classic

        Lightweight and long lasting, this dryer’s turbocharged airflow “makes me feel like I’m driving a race car,” says nL.A. hairstylist Paul Norton. And the adjustable heat, small nozzle, and long cord all contribute to optimum control, drying even sopping strands in no time.

        $142
        Best Flat Iron 2015

        Harry Josh Pro Tools

        Best Flat Iron 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Harry Josh Pro Tools

        Fact: A flatiron is actually the most versatile tool in your kit. Abergel uses this one, with its beveled edges, 45-second heat-up time, and ceramic plates, to smooth and “create great angles and waves.” The “edge-to-edge” heat means fewer passes for sleek strands.

        $250
        Best Curling Wand 2015

        Sedu Revolution Clipless Curling Iron

        Best Curling Wand 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Sedu Revolution Clipless Curling Iron

        Channel your inner Michael Jackson, pull-on the heatproof glove, and get prepped to really like the (wo)man in the mirror. “You can do so many different looks without any technical expertise,” says hairstylist Domingo Quintero, who has used it on Blake Lively and Katie Holmes. Wrap a strand around once or twice for “Alexa Chung bends” or go Victoria’s Secret sexy with a headful of waves.

        $120
        Best Inexpensive Blow-Dryer 2015

        Infinity Pro by Conair, 1875 Watt

        Best Inexpensive Blow-Dryer 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2013

        Infinity Pro by Conair, 1875 Watt

        This tough-as-nails must-have (which lasts three times longer than other standard models) makes quick work of even the thickest hair and is perfect for travel, says Rihanna’s hairstylist, Ursula Stephen. All at a price that looks like it should be adjusted for inflation.

        $35
        Best 2013 Blow Dryer

        Turbo Power Twin Turbo 3200 Model 323

        Best 2013 Blow Dryer
        WINNER 2013

        Turbo Power Twin Turbo 3200 Model 323

        This winner doesn’t have to blow a lot of hot air to prove it’s up for the job. With both ceramic and ionic technology (and an antioverheating mechanism), it leaves your do “shinier, softer, and static-free,” says N.Y.C. hairstylist Alejandra Nerizagal.

        $135
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