A few months ago, I witnessed actual magic take place. The setting: Violet Grey's plush, product-bedecked flagship store in West Hollywood. The talent: legendary celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff. At an intimate master class highlighting how she creates her iconic, glamorous red carpet moments, Dubroff took her very much entranced audience through her step-by-step process, much of which centers around skincare and skin prep. (Out of the two hours she'll typically spend with an A-list client, a good 40 minutes is dedicated to skin.)
It was then that I witnessed her administer some seriously game-changing skin sorcery to the face of her model. Not only did she prime and massage some of the industry's most wanted skin elixirs into the model's complexion, she also used a number of devices (that I had always brushed off as unnecessary phooey), which, quite miraculously, shifted the shape and look of the model's skin right before the audience's eyes. I was awe-struck. After all, Dubroff had just disproved my assumption that skincare devices were simply expensive gimmicks with really no bearing or visible outcome. Well, color me completely incorrect. Thanks to the ZIIP's Nano Current Device $495 (the brilliant brainchild of Jennifer Aniston's long-time esthetician, Melanie Simon) and an extra dose of sculpting from Joanna Czechs's equally iconic Facial Massager ($189), I'm officially on the skincare device and tool train. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.
Now, I totally realize that at just under $500, the sticker shock of this sleek little skincare device is enough to make anyone's stomach twist with nausea. That said, you have to understand one very important thing: This is not your average facial device. Pretty much every time you use it, you're getting an in-office level treatment from the comfort of your home and in significantly less time. Obviously, with continued used the results will just get better and better over time, but in just a day, week, and month of using my own ZIIP, my face, if I do say so myself, has become significantly more snatched—sculpted and lifted, brighter, more even, smoother, dewier, and plumper. Basically, every skin perk I'd been dreaming of but thus far unable to attain from my skincare regimen alone.
Essentially, this travel-friendly, palm-sized device (think a far chicer version of a Mac mouse) delivers the same benefits of an in-office electrical nanocurrent facial from the comfort of your couch or bed. (Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston swear by these kinds of facials for their taught and glowy skin, by the way.)
"Think of your ZIIP as an exquisitely beautiful battery that creates a circuit with your skin," the brand explains on its website. "Our groundbreaking, patented and FDA-cleared technology is able to deliver intelligent energy beneath the skin’s surface to create change on a cellular level." Using nanocurrents (think teeny electrical currents that sync to your body's own frequency, the device actually communicates with your skin cells to generates more collagen elastin (plumpness!), decrease the onset of breakouts, boost circulation, accelerate wound healing, and heal and repair compromised skin tissue.
Even more amazing? You can actually customize the electric treatment you receive by pairing your device with its app on your smartphone and going from there. Depending on what your skin needs, there are eight different treatments to choose from—be it the four-minute Vital Eyes option targeting puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines, or a Total Clearing option, (my personal favorite). which does battle against acne and can span from one to eight minutes. Quite truly, it's brilliant. It's also worth pointing out that your ZIIP comes pre-programmed with the Energize treatment, so, even if someone doesn't own a smartphone, or has one but refuses to use it (ahem, my mom), they can get in on the magic.
For best results, the brand recommends using the ZIIP device three times per week, with a maximum of six times per week. Although keep in mind you can layer your treatments or do a few back to back to create the ultimate all-inclusive regimen each time. Taking a few days off per week, however, is important as that's what allows your skin to process and manifest the benefits of the treatments you're doing.
To begin, you'll apply a generous layer of one of the two Conductive Gel Treatments from the brand. (This is important—you MUST use the gels as they've been specifically designed to safely and effectively pull electrical currents from the ZIIP device to your skin, and that's how you'll reap all of the amazing benefits.) Then, you'll choose your treatment of choice and follow the directions, wipe off all the excess gel, and then proceed with your normal cleansing sand skincare routine as usual.
As I mentioned, the brand makes two different gels—the Gold or the Silver—and while both are filled with tons of amazing ingredients, the silver is better suited for those with sensitive skin, while the gold is better for those seeking anti-aging and lifting or firming perks. (For what it's worth, I have slightly sensitive, acne-prone skin, and have been using the Gold Gel exclusively with no problems.)
As a perpetual skeptic, I'm not usually one to be dramatic. But I must say, this device really is on another level. I understand that it's an investment and not within everyone's budget, but if you do have the means to splurge or want something epic to save up for (or gift!), I couldn't recommend this device any more vehemently. Plus, if you think about it, the price is comparable to one big spendy in-office treatment, except you're getting way more bang for your buck thanks to the daily access you gain with ZIIP.
Using my ZIIP has become a morning (or sometimes nighttime if I'm running late) ritual that I hold sacred, and I'm never NOT blown away by how much tighter, firmer, and lifted my skin and face looks immediately post-treatment. Plus, I swear my skin has had few acne and textural flare-ups and looks brighter and more even, in general. I've only used the Golden Conductive Treatment Gel thus far, which is oil-, silicone-, and paraben-free and features 24-carat gold, five growth factors, hematite, snail venom peptides, and bio-placenta. Although, being that the silver gel is technically geared more toward my type of skin concerns (acne and sensitivity), I'm keen to try that formula as well. (Think brightening and soothing ingredients like finely crushed pearl and a Japanese hyaluronic acid.)
Keep reading for the products I pair my ZIIP ritual with to get even more glow for my buck.
Even though I'm not usually a sheet mask person (I much prefer traditional leave-on formulas), 111Skin makes the dreamiest versions that quite literally transform your skin from dull and under the weather to glowing and healthy-looking. I tried these Bio-Cellulose picks after seeing Dubroff use them to prep her model's skin for that same master class and have been hooked ever since. They are on the expensive side, however, so I reserve them for special occasions only.
Sorry, I know I sound like a broken record here, but Dubroff used this cult-loved facial massager from celebrity esthetician Joanna Czech, and it did an amazing job of enhancing the magic that the ZIIP had just performed. It boosts circulation, does lymphatic drainage, and basically gives me the poreless, far-more-chisled-looking cheekbones of my dreams.
I'm obsessed with Shani Darden's skincare line and she, quite literally, cured my relentless breakouts and textural issues in about one week flat. (No joke.) In the morning, I use this oil-free SPF she recommended, and in the evening, her namesake Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer ($42). Both have beautiful finishes and look amazing under makeup—all while keeping my skin clear and radiant. Thank you, Shani! I'm hooked for life.
Lots of face mists house hidden ingredients (yo, like pore-clogging oils) that, historically, have given me some grief as far as breakouts are concerned. Chantecaille is one of my favorite makeup and skincare brands, and I'm completely devoted to this delicate rose-infused mist. If I need an extra layer of hydration after my moisturizer or throughout the day, I give my face a couple of spritzes and immediately feel (and look) refreshed. The rose petals are sourced from Grasse, France, and are loaded with vitamin C for a much-needed hit of antioxidants—especially this time of year. (It's also amazing doused on a Beautyblender.)
If I ZIIPed in the morning and plan on wearing makeup, I usually like to layer a color-correcting primer on top of my moisturizer, which helps to alleviate redness, pigmentation, and other imperfections I want to diminish pre-foundation. Koh Gen Do's yellow tube is my forever go-to.