It looks so casual and carefree. Just what you want when it comes to heavy machinery for your face.

I like tools, this is no secrete, I wrote an obnoxiously long blog entry about how to find quality makeup brushes… because I care that much about makeup brushes.

I’m also a product junkie (as my recent decent into all things Lush, clearly confirms) and I have weakness for extremes, I want the most pigmented eyeshadow, the softest hair, the best fit bra (come on who doesn’t want that?).

So, naturally the Clarisonic facial brush, with its claims of anti-aging benefits and the cleanest clean for your face, held great interest for me. To top it all of this little gem came in pink and by this time it should be no surprise that I love things that come in pink. I purchased the Clarisonic Mia (the simplest model) (in pink) roughly 4 months ago and used it faithfully twice a day… up until two weeks ago, and after 4 months of frustration, I have found that this tool is not for me.

Here’s the thing, I have never had problems with my skin, I didn’t have acne as a teenager, I haven’t had it as an adult either, and when I do “breakout” it’s hardly something to complain about.  In spite of this, I do have picky-sensitive skin, and what I mean by that is that I can wear any makeup in the world with no problem, but I have to be more careful with the skin care I use.

The first week I’d been using my Clarisonic I started breaking out, which was to be expected as the sonic pulse was getting all of the dirt and junk from deep inside of my skin… but then it didn’t stop, and not only that, these weren’t normal blemishes I was getting, they were painful bumps, closer to the cystic acne I’ve seen before, and they left dark red spots on my skin. This continued the entire time I was using the Clarisonic brush. The last straw was two weeks ago when I realized I’d gotten some makeup on my neck and decided to just clean my neck with my brush as well and what I ended up with was a bright red neck that looked like it had been burned and took a full week to heal completely.

Sounds pretty horrific, right?  It wasn’t pleasant, that’s for sure, but instead of warning you to save your time and money, I’d like to offer a slight disclaimer and some good advice.

I do work in cosmetic retail, and I do sell Clarisonic brushes to clients all of the time, and I do it with completely confidence that their experience will be much different from mine. I know many people who sing the praises of the Clarisonic (some of whom may be reading this and are either cringing or ready to kill me). It’s our job as beauty industry professionals, to identify the people who will benefit from tools like this, because when they work, they work really well.  My pink Mia has gone home to live with my very happy sister and her skin is more than grateful for it.

This post is not intended as a scathing review, but rather as an honest account of my experience, and a caution to you, my friends and fellow beauty junkies, so I offer this advice:

Because not all beauty industry professionals or retailers are as committed as others to making sure you get what’s best for you, it’s important for you to know your skin, and, as they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  We all know there are places and people who will try to convince you that you need something just to make a sale, but any retailer worth spending your money in would rather make a good sale, than see something returned.

If your concern is anti-aging, you’ll get results from this brush. If you suffer from acne, you’ll definitely benefit from this brush. If you’re concerned with neither, but you just like the luxurious experience, then most likely you’ll really enjoy this brush as well. Just keep in mind that while the cleanest clean might sound great, your skin might not need it. My skin would have been happier if I’d have spent that $145 on makeup brushes instead. =)

-Photo credit: I borrowed this picture from this blog post (which you should also read if you’re considering purchasing the Clarisonic brush.)

— I should also mention that 2 weeks of non-Clarisonic use has my skin clearing and feeling much happier.