Top Ten Crazy Beauty Devices

The Top Ten Crazy Beauty Device list idea came to me as I was doing some research on cellulite treatments for a presentation at the upcoming Hot Topics session of the Aesthetic Surgery Society meeting. There are some pretty wild ideas that have appeared over the years, some old, some brand new. In no particular order, and for your amusement only, here is my list:

1. Anyone remember Linda Evans pitching Rejuvenique back in the ‘90’s? This was the mask fitted with electrodes that supposedly tightened the skin for a nonsurgical facelift. Some of the before & after images were pretty impressive, but I can confirm that at least one of the models in the infomercials for it had a surgical facelift.  We still do not have a true nonsurgical facelift though technology continues to improve.

2. Breathing Balloon for breast enlargement. [breathing balloon for breast enlargement] We must! We must! Wonder how long it was before this idea went bust.

3. Glamour Bonnet. According to the inventor of this device, the Glamour Bonnet creates a high altitude effect  “…similar to what a person feels who climbs a high mountain or flies high in a plane…” Apparently, this invention pre-dates pressurized cabins in commercial aircraft, and any scientific understanding of the actual effects of oxygen deprivation.

4. Heat Mask. This rather frightful looking apparatus was supposed to make the skin appear fresher by stimulating the circulation. A lot of devices on the market today make the same claim, just with high-tech names and somewhat less scary looking contraptions. (And now we know where PacMan came from!)

5. Max Factor’s Beauty Micrometer was something right out of a sci-fi B-movie from the 1940’s. By measuring the features of the face, makeup artists could work with greater precision. Or torture them, apparently.

6. Another idea that seems to stick around is the vacuum lip plumper (reminds me of something from Austin Powers.) I came across this when I was on a local TV show about plastic surgery, and one of the guests was there pitching this as an alternative to injections. The effect only lasts a few minutes, but why not?

7. The Beauty Lift High Nose DIY rhinoplasty. I’m not saying it doesn’t work (I honestly don’t know) but it’s hard to imagine anyone actually wearing this enough to have a lasting effect.

8. The Curves of Youth Chin Reducer is one of my favorites: Who wouldn’t want to just “pull the cords” to give their skin the resiliency and freshness of youth? Modern versions of this such as the Face Trainer (available from Sky Mall next time you are on a plane) show the appeal of the idea, whether it works or not.

9. The Wilsonia Magnetic Corset was an idea so far ahead of its time that its time has still not arrived! (And probably never will.). Its “scientifically arranged” batteries “recharged the blood” and cured everything from nervousness to paralysis. Magnetic fields have in fact been proven useful in some applications such as wound healing but I don’t see them bringing paraplegics to their feet anytime soon.

10. Last but not least is the Venus-Adonis Electric Normalizer, [vacuum type device for body contouring] a convenient way to “streamline your figure” in the comfort of your own home. Just plug it in and strap it on, and you are on your way to shapelier legs and a flatter abdomen while enjoying a relaxing massage.

What is most interesting to me about the devices on this list is that some are still on the market today, while some are quaint relics from a bygone era. I’m not the only one to take interest in consumer products aimed at achieving beauty – throughout history humans have always strived for the perfect appearance, and as technology advances and cultural preferences change so too will the devices, tips, and tricks used to achieve the “perfect look.” For further reading, check out The Plastic Surgery Channel’s video on Weird Asian Beauty Products

What’s your favorite crazy beauty device?

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