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Testing The 'As Seen On TV' Products

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Video killed the radio star and the internet killed As-Seen-On-TV marketing. Now it's more accurately As Seen By The People Who Still Watch Commercials On TV; or As Seen On That One Carousel At Bed Bath & Beyond. But the one thing here that is certain: Products with really goofy infomercials tend to be the most compelling. So even if you've given up your cable service for a monitor/HDMI situation, let's think back to the golden days of watching some actor fumble with a regular, old toenail clipper just before being shown a superior toenail clipper with a magnifying glass attached. His life (and yours) was forever changed for the better. What follows is a selection of tools you might not find outside of a vintage SkyMall catalog (RIP) or rare commercial here or there—but they warrant a genuine review anyway.

** The Sure Clip

**First, a little more on that toenail clipper. Can someone pen a joint resolution for all nail clippers to have a magnifying glass and book light attached to them? Because this shit is brilliant. As if cutting your finger nails wasn't hazardous enough (really, who among us has time to file?), putting a knee—and the rest of your leg—in the way puts toes in a much more precarious place when it comes to nail-shortening. The Sure Clip is hefty for sure—you won't go toting this one around in an overnight dopp kit unless you're serious—but all the better for thicker nails. Get a good grip—and a good look—and, all of a sudden, you're not avoiding the whole activity anymore.

The IlluMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask

The experience of using the IlluMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask is probably the closest thing you can get to this scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This light therapy mask looks like a space-age visor attached to some glasses…that you can’t see out of. Whether or not it actually works, there are other benefits of IlluMask besides claims of anti-aging. Maybe it reduces wrinkles by forcing you to chill out for 15 minutes. Seriously, you can’t even open your eyes—so you may as well just meditate. For the optimal experience, try using this in tandem with a meditation podcast/app for a more engaged 15-minute session instead of twiddling your thumbs. Or you can play Mica Levi’s soundtrack from Under The Skin and really feel 2001.

*Finishing Touch Lumina Personal Hair Remover

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Another thing that lights up! Other than that, nothing about the Lumina is all that different from other tiny, low-impact hair removers out on the market. Low-impact because this device is going to be great and gentle on your face, your arm, and other places you have fine hair—anywhere else is probably best left to a razor or wax-wielding professional. But there is this selling point: One ITG staffer described the Lumina as “What one of the girls from Frozen would use if she grew up and had a bit of a mustache.”

** The GLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device

**White teeth is the true, original, looks-good-on-everyone shade. If you’re tired of the slip-sliding drugstore slime strips you accidentally fall asleep in, try this professional-grade, dentist-conceived, LED-light-having powerhouse of teeth-whitening mayhem. It’s not without an experiential element—you’ll feel it working. You bite gently down on a very sporty-looking mouthpiece that lights and heats up in your mouth, activating the whitening gel you slather on beforehand. You end up looking like a football player at a rave for the prescribed eight-minute interval. It’s suggested you do four of these intervals in a row, changing out the teeth-gel every time. In five days, your teeth are the talk of the office/gym/bar/knitting circle. Expect results and enthusiastic compliments. Plus, it comes with a protective lip balm that shields sensitive skin from the light. Lip balm, you guys. Lip balm.

The NūFace

Let it be known that the best time to nu your face is on a Thursday evening, slightly drunk, and highly susceptible to believing just about anything. No device is a miracle treatment, but this nifty little thing does offer results you can feel—just maybe takes a bit longer to see. The instructions say to use the device for five minutes a day (it will turn off after that), every day or, at the very least, five times a week with 24 hours between sessions. There are no lights, no pulsing, and no fuss in this gadget to lure you in. What you do get is a slight electrical tingle when you touch the metallic bulbs on the head of the handheld device to your skin. There are three intensity levels ranging from wuss to champion. Though, let it be known that you’re supposed to use the NūFace with accompanying Gel Primer to help conductivity, which can completely erase the sensation. The only downside is that it absorbs onto the skin pretty quickly, and at only 2 fl oz, you’d be wise to stock up (prices range from $12 to $29). True changes are said to be seen in eight weeks with facial toning and contouring, and the manual is really eager for you to notice, encouraging you to take a picture every 8 weeks and live out your as-seen-on-TV, before-and-after transformation dreams.

Photographed by Tom Newton.