Is there anything worse than splurging only to find out that a product doesn’t quite work up to snuff? All those wasted dollars on some gadget/beauty buy/shiny new thing that completely bites.

Yeah, we hate that, too.

So at Bombshell, we’re road testers, taking a crash course to give you first hand reviews so you’ll know what’s worth time and your dime.

CHI ARC Automatic Rotating Curler

I’m genetically blessed with/cursed and annoyed by naturally curly hair, so hot tools have been my best friend and most hated enemy. In the third grade I got a haircut with a set of bangs so huge they literally took up half the frame in my school picture. To keep them piled mile-high, my mother spent every morning before school curling and teasing and spraying those suckers into place.

All those required early-mornings in the beauty chair (i.e. the edge of my parents’ queen bed) soured me on hot tools for years to come. But by high school I realized that my frizzy orange mane was fit to be tamed. My tool of choice was usually a straightening iron because all curly girls really wish for a silky smooth head of straight hair and visa versa. I dabbled in curling irons but usually gave up quickly when the clip got so irreversibly tangled I considered cutting out the chunk of hair that was wound around the searing hot rod just to escape.

I tell you all this so you know, I’ve road tested every heated beauty tool I could get my hands on for under $50 before working my way up to professional-grade CHI tools. Now some beauty buys are a huge waste of money. (Hey, $8 lip balm that does exactly the same thing and shares ingredients with a $1 jar of petroleum jelly, I’m talking to you!)

So I set out to discover if all curling irons were in fact created equal. Maybe my problems were just inept user error combined with sheer laziness.

As it turns out, CHI has a curling iron for speaks to both of these problems beautifully.

The CHI ARC Automatic Rotating Curler is a professional 1-inch ceramic barrel styler with a tiny, goof-proof clip, varying heat settings and — get this — buttons to twirl your hair into perfect spirals. It’s a curling iron that curls your hair for you! No more weird wrist gymnastics and sweaty-handed struggles with curling irons of olde.

It’s admittedly a little scary the first few times it sucks your hair onto the barrel. Is it going to stop in time when it gets to your scalp? (Yes, but the directions tell users to give at least an inch of leeway.) Is it going to get tangled just like the rest of them? (No, thankfully.)

Messing with the settings you wonder if you’re about to singe off your own hair because no other implement before it has full on said “This hot stick by your face? Yeah, it’s 450 degrees.”

But all of my fears were unfounded. The rotating buttons made it easy to change directions to wind the perfect curl without leaving me looking like Shirley Temple. The slow speeds never felt like my hair was caught in a conveyor out of my control.

And that clip! Why were all of my previous curling wands sporting a clip as long as the barrel when it made it impossible to release a curl without unwinding and undoing all of your handiwork?! But this pint-sized version is so delicate and easy to release. With a little practice I was getting perfect spirals, people!

When I was done my natural curls were tamed into a coif that didn’t resemble an angry lion (which is no small feat if you’ve ever seen my hair first thing in the morning). But unlike my days with the straightening iron, it still looked like my hair. A smoother, sleeker, still bouncy, but more polished version of my regular hair.

That, my friend, is worth every penny.

About The Author

Kristin Baver is a Contributing Editor. She writes for Bombshell and Blast, and she rocks the entertainment beat like nobody's business.

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