Allure Readers’ Choice Awards 2023: 4 Skin Care, Hair, Makeup, and Body Winners Worthy of Breakthrough Awards
Choosing your shade on Rose Inc’s site — which shows you what skin tone and undertones each color is best for in an easy-to-navigate shade matcher — is a breeze. “They have a rainbow of shades from really dark to really light; in that way, they try to cover everyone,” says Romanowski.
Remember Transformers? We get the same childlike kick out of twisting this multitasking hot tool into different shapes — only better, because we also get frizz-free hair. The Shark FlexStyle Air Drying & Styling System starts out as a blow-dryer or diffuser with the usual L shape, and then you can turn the handle until it becomes a straight line before you pop on one of the curling iron, round brush, or paddle brush attachments.
Enabling the tool to both morph and stay powerful enough to style hair required some finesse: “If you have a pivoting point in the center, you’re not able to have electrical components heating the air, or fans spinning in the area,” says Anthony Marra, executive vice president of global product development at SharkNinja. “You have to compress all of that down into the bottom handle, while keeping the tool small [enough to hold] and insulated so you’re not feeling any high temperatures.” It meant spending about a year rethinking the usual inner workings of hot tools, but it was well worth the effort.
“I thought it was so cool. It’s super easy to get the attachments on and off, and when I switched to the blow-dryer [shape] it felt ergonomically correct,” says hairstylist DJ Quintero. More importantly, it works. “The most unique part of this ‘all-in-one’ is that each attachment works as well as or better than hot tools I have tried that are sold individually,” adds Quintero. “I think this will definitely rival and challenge any other hot tool out there. It has upped the game.”
And that’s coming from someone who was admittedly skeptical at first. “To be honest, I was not sure how powerful the blow-dryer would be. I was wrong. Not only was it super powerful but it also got just as hot as my other top-tier blow-dryers, while remaining generally quiet,” says Quintero.
That was another feat of engineering. Similar to one notable competitor, borrowing technology from vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, which Shark also makes. “We know a lot about airflow,” says Marra. They tested dozens of iterations of mechanical parts, like the fan that goes on a hot tool’s motor in order to minimize noise while maximizing power. Ultimately, they were in search of “the most efficient air path and optimized motor efficiency,” says Marra.
Also high on the list of why-didn’t-someone-think-of-this-sooner features is the tool’s unique diffuser, with a sliding lever to become bigger or smaller, accommodating longer or shorter hair. It was one of Quintero’s favorite features: “I think people will use the concentrator blow-dryer attachment, straightener, and diffuser the most,” he says. “The Shark FlexStyle will be great for home consumers and professionals, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever said in an interview.”
Our own at-home tester and resident Allure hot-tool expert, senior commerce writer Angela Trakoshis, says, “It’s powerful, lightweight, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing to keep out on your vanity. It dries, curls, straightens — it does it all. My favorite attachment, the round brush, smooths out hair in a flash, giving it a glass-like finish. I also love that the tool bends, so you don’t need to dislocate your arm to get your desired look.”