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A Closer Look: Tools And Implements

This season’s new tools and implements promise energy efficiency and chic styling with streamlined design and ultra-mod technology.

The newest tools and implements feature futuristic science; eye-catching, ergonomic design; inspired collaborations, and a push toward environmental friendliness. From celebrity hairstylist and Jessica Simpson– BFF KEN PAVÉS comes Professional Styling Tools, designed to create a midlevel price point in the category.“There’s a big jump in styling tools,” says Pavés.“There are drugstore brands with drugstore prices and then there are salon-grade brands with salon-grade prices. I wanted to create a line that offered both the quality and affordable price tag.” The collection, including a hair dryer and curling and straightening irons, launched at Ulta in September, and prices range from $60 to $100.…SULTRA, launching in December, claims to defend hair from thermal stress. Company founder and chief executive officer Dana Story says his goal is to offer products with very specific functions. The Slim Luxe Creative Styling Curved Half-Inch Iron, $225, features Kyocera ceramic technology for even heat distribution and hair protection, and is fitted with both concave and convex plates for waves, curls and flipped-out ends. Available at Sephora, the range includes styling irons and hair dryers, from $95 to $280.…Two new styling irons, both launched in November, put a new twist on straighteners. SALON TECH’s Silicone 450, $200, is being billed as the first to feature strand-conditioning silicone technology. The iron’s red plates, made of a solid form of frictionreducing silicone, heat from zero to 450 degrees in 17 seconds. Meanwhile, COPPOLA DESIGNER HAIR CARE introduced the Stealth Professional Titanium Digital Straightening Iron by Keratin Complex, originally designed to seal in the brand’s shine-infusing Keratin Smoothing Treatment. “Actual particles of silver are put into the titanium plate for minimal friction, even heat distribution and to eliminate static electricity,” says Lisa Loria, media and education coordinator…

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In October, PAUL LABRECQUE unveiled three new thermal brushes to help reduce consumers’ carbon footprints. “Almost everything about the brushes is recyclable,” says Labrecque. The brushes’ centers are made with 100 percent recycled metal and the wooden handles are crafted from reforested wood. Additionally, the brush’s boar bristles are gathered in a humane way that causes no harm to the animal. The brushes, priced from $46 to $52, are available at Fred Segal, Selfridges and…CONAIR also went green with its newest offering, the EcoDry Styler, $19.99. “The hair dryer has one of the highest carbon footprints because of the high wattage and frequent usage,” says Paulette Heller, marketing manager. Packaging for the lightweight, 1400-watt styler is 100 percent recyclable and is printed with soy-based inks. “The heater is designed in the shape of a Christmas tree so it forces the heat towards the front end of the dryer while operating on 1400 watts of power,” says Heller. “The result is a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption with the same drying rate.”…Actress and environmental activist Alicia Silverstone teamed up with ECOTOOLS on a collection of cruelty-free makeup bags and brushes. “I can’t imagine not making a conscious choice if it is easy to make,” says Silverstone. “There are so many excuses, [like] it won’t be pretty, it’s too expensive. We’ve taken the excuse factor out of the equation.” The collection, available at Walgreens and Target, includes four bags, priced from $8.99 to $19.99, and a 5-Piece Brush Set, $15.99. The floral design on the bags is a mélange of Silverstone’s garden favorites, including lavender, rose, chrysanthemum and thyme. “We have to start making responsible choices in everything we do, even the small things,” says the actress.…In September, Brooklyn, N.Y.–based indie hair brand AMIKA launched the True Tattoo Tourmaline Curler, $150, touted as the first clip-free tapered curling iron. “Because it is clip free, there is no pulling or tugging,” says Vita Raykhman, creative director. Raykhman says the new design is very user friendly. “You hold it steady and wrap the hair around,” she explains, noting that a heatresistant glove is included with the tool.…CRICKET has launched an energy-efficient, quiet dryer, called the Centrix Q-Zone Quiet Dryer, which retails for $199.95 at Ulta. “The noise from a blow-dryer is one we could do without,” says Jared Clark, general manager. Clark says the dryer uses patent-pending “Insanely Quiet” technology to run on less power without compromise on performance. “It’s changing the whole salon environment,” says Clark. “It’s more serene; stylists can consult with their clients.”…Private label brush manufacturer ANISA INTERNATIONAL’s new Magnetic Half-Moon Applicators, available for 2010 makeup collections, promise a multitude of uses to beauty brands. “You can keep them together and use them flat for contouring and highlighting, take them apart and use one brush at a time or press them together for a Kabuki-style brush,” says Julie Scudder-Feldman, vice president of sales and marketing…

TWEEZERMAN aims to provide creativity and affordability with its Brow Beauty Bubble, launched in November. “This is a great opportunity to give value to the consumer without compromise on quality,” says Erik Hoover, vice president of global marketing. The clear clamshell case contains red mini Slant Tweezers, individually priced at $15, and a 10X Magnifying Mirror, $15. The Beauty Bubble, $20, is available at Ulta and Neiman Marcus.… PHILIPS has updated its Sonicare Flexcare+ toothbrush to address gum health. “Eighty percent of Americans have gum disease,” says Shannon Jenest, senior public relations manager. The streamlined design features an illuminated panel display, a sleeker UV sanitizer and less vibration than its predecessor. The brush, $189.99, also has an additional one-minute “gum mode” brushing time after the two-minute brushing cycle. “It will keep gums healthy, but if you already have gum disease, you will see improvement in the bleeding sites, decreased inflammation and less recession,” says Jenest.…REMINGTON’s Cool Style line brings fun to the forefront. Cool Style includes a hair dryer and flat iron, available in four lively prints, including blue leopard, pink dots, pink fl owers or plaid, at $19.99 each. The line is exclusive to Target. “It was a collaboration with Target to freshen up the assortment and offering for guests for the holidays,” says Susan Gill-Kloppenburg, national sales director.“It’s uplifting and incredibly giftable.”…Barbie has lent her classic style to the limited edition BARBIE LOVES T3 Featherweight Dryer, $200. As part of a teaser campaign, the dryer was used by stylist Orlando Pita at the Barbie runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February. Before its official launch at Bloomingdale’s in October, the brand went live with a Web site featuring styling tips from Pita and Barbie facts and trivia.…In October, multifunctional hair tool the INSTYLER went from infomercials to the counters of Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s and Ulta. The InStyler, $199, features a rotating, heat-distributing barrel and two sets of bristles for strand separating and polishing. The model sold in stores has been tweaked slightly from the original and has an automatic shut-down feature if too much hair goes in at once.