Best Bet: Sarah Potempa’s Beachwaver

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If I had a dollar for every time a friend of mine wailed, “Curling irons are too hard for me to use!” I would have enough money saved up to buy at least one of them: a truly idiot-proof curling iron, Sarah Potempa’s Beachwaver. This curling iron is the beauty equivalent of the Shake Weight — it does all the work for you, has a perhaps slightly sexually suggestive form (when I received it in the office, my colleague shrieked, “Save that for home, Kathleen!”), but with the notable exception of having believable, tangible results. Once, not too long ago, I, too, was a beach-wave dummy. My DIY curls came out more lopsided than Tara Reid’s chest region circa 2006. But even at the risk of sounding too much like a late-night infomercial, I maintain that the Beachwaver will help you to get perfect, identical, long curls each time. The secret is this: A rotating center core, that does the curling for you. After indicating via a button that you’re curling either the right or left side of your hair, clip a one-inch section of hair into the clasp, press start, and the central barrel rotates up (yes, up — no, I don’t know how it does it, either. It’s patent-pending) to wrap your clipped hair around the center. It rotates for as long as you hold the start button. After five to ten seconds of holding your hair in the iron, you’re curled. And the effect is one glossy, loose Shirley Temple curl that becomes a beach wave worthy of Gisele Bundchen once you comb your hands through it.

Sarah Potempa's the Beachwaver, $199 at Beauty.com.