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Pretty Amazing: Beauty Tools Pros Love

The best at-home beauty gadgets that make the pros go gaga.

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Go, Go Gadget

Smooth wrinkles, defuzz your bikini line, whiten your smile and get pro-like results -- without even leaving your bathroom. We rounded up the latest batch of at-home gadgets and sent them to the best experts in the biz to be tested. These are the six standouts, plus tips on how to maximize results and save major time and money.

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Illumask Anti-Acne Light Therapy Mask

How it works: Slip on the zit-zapping LED face mask and push the power button to activate red lights that help calm inflammation and blue lights that attack acne-causing bacteria. Use it once a day for 15 minutes (it turns off automatically).

Why it's cool: "While the blue and red light concept isn't new, this mask's lights are evenly distributed over the face so you won't miss any areas," says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a dermatologist in Boston. The built-in sunglasses allow you to skim Instagram, say, while the mask is working.

Insider tip: The secret to clear skin is preventing pimples, so use the mask to try to help do that, Dr. Hirsch says. For instance, if you get acne every third or fourth week of the month, use Illumask one week before you typically break out. In addition, see a derm about the best regimen for you or try an over-the-counter salicylic acid wash -- let it sit on your skin for a few minutes -- or a salicylic acid lotion, Dr. Hirsch recommends.

Buy it, $30

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Go Smile Sonic Blue Teeth Whitening System

How it works: This combines the technologies of a blue light and a rechargeable sonic toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide gel to clean and help whiten teeth in one step. Use a dollop of the gel plus toothpaste and spend about 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your mouth (the brush has a two-minute timer).

Why it's cool: "The concept of using an electric toothbrush with a light-activated bleaching system is unique," says Marc Lowenberg, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in New York City. "Though you don't need a light to whiten teeth, it does speed up the process. Without it, you have to leave the bleach on longer, which can increase sensitivity."

Insider tip: "The most effective tooth-whitening method is an in-office bleaching treatment, in which 37 percent hydrogen peroxide is used," Dr. Lowenberg says. "The most important factors are the percentage of hydrogen peroxide -- the higher, the better -- and the length of time that it's in contact with your teeth." With this system, "the short time the hydrogen peroxide is on your teeth isn't enough to make a huge difference," he explains. "But this tool works to touch up and maintain a white smile."

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Silk'n Flash&Go Freedom Hair Removal

How it works: Place the applicator flush against your skin (you can treat your body, not your face). It uses intense pulsed light to slow and significantly reduce hair growth. You should start to see results in about two months (four treatments).

Why it's cool: The sensor scans your skin prior to firing and pulses the type of light waves suitable for your skin tone and hair color (women with light skin and dark hair will see the best results). The trigger allows you to control when it zaps.

Insider tip: "This device won't work if you have blond, red or gray hair or dark skin," says Adriana Martino, the cofounder of Skinney Medspa in New York City and a licensed aesthetician. Remove lotions or deodorants and shave before each treatment so the gadget can target the follicle beneath the skin. "Skip your big toes and your knees because the Flash&Go can't achieve full contact," Martino adds.

Buy it, $200

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Tria Age-Defying Laser

How it works: This handheld device, which has been cleared by the FDA, emits a beam of light that penetrates the surface layers of the skin on your face to trigger the body's healing process, which regenerates cells and stimulates collagen so fine lines appear smoother. The treatment, which feels like a series of quick rubber band snaps, takes about 10 minutes and is recommended for use five days a week.

Why it's cool: "The Tria is comparable to an in-office LED device, which is one of my favorite anti-aging treatments," says Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. But it's cheaper, easy to use at home and doesn't result in much recovery time (although you may have some redness). "The device has a safety mechanism [it won't fire unless it's in complete contact with your skin, so it doesn't hurt your eyes], clear directions and clinical data that show the benefits of using it," Dr. Day adds. "I also like that it can help maintain the results of any in-office treatments you've had and that it works deeper in the skin than creams do to help stimulate new collagen."

Insider tip: "Use it regularly and be patient -- it will take about 12 weeks to see full results," Dr. Day says. For younger-looking skin, she also recommends incorporating retinol and sunscreen into your everyday routine; eating foods that are rich in essential fatty acids, such as olive oil, avocado and walnuts, and those that contain antioxidants, like pomegranate and pumpkin; and using spices with anti-inflammatory properties, like turmeric.

Buy it, $495

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Bliss 'Pout'-O-Matic

How it works: Pucker up and kiss chapped lips goodbye. Simply apply the walnut-shell-and-jojoba-oil sugar scrub to the battery-operated brush, which rotates 500 times a minute to gently slough dry, flaky skin from your lips.

Why it's cool: "The brush is gentle, but it really does remove the dead skin that builds up," says Joanna Vargas, a celebrity facialist and the founder of the Joanna Vargas Salon in New York City. "I love how lightweight it is; it's a great little tool to travel with."

Insider tip: "Don't use too much of the scrub," Vargas advises. A tiny dab will do. "Also, take time to scrub your lip line. That's the area that gets superdehydrated, which can emphasize fine lines. Keeping it exfoliated will leave you looking fresh, even after a cold winter." You can use the tool to create fuller-looking lips, too: "The massaging action stimulates blood flow to create a plumping effect," Vargas explains.

Buy it, $48

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L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Ombre Touch

How it works: At-home hair color just got easier. Slip on the gloves and the "expert touch applicator," which is a fine-tooth plastic brush that fits on your index finger. Mix the lifting powder, lifting creme and developer creme and squeeze onto the applicator, then use your thumb and the brush to coat your strands wherever you desire a lighter effect. Rinse thoroughly after 25 to 45 minutes. There are shades for dark blondes, medium brunettes and dark brunettes.

Why it's cool: "Results can be similar to highlights done with balayage or foils by a professional colorist," says Min Kim, a colorist for the Butterfly Studio Salon in New York City. "The finger applicator is effective and easy to use, and the formula has a creamy consistency that doesn't run, so you get precise results."

Insider tip: Secure your hair in a loose, low bun and pull out the strands you want to lighten. "Work on small sections at a time and make sure they're completely saturated," Kim advises. "Never go more than two shades lighter than your base, or your hair will look brassy. For a subtle ombre effect, color pieces around your face and the bottom half of your hair."

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2014.

Buy it, $11

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