I’ve learned many lessons in 21 years of happy marriage. Lift the toilet seat—and replace it when done. Embrace the 3 a.m. feeding and diaper change. Don’t text while driving. Ah the Hamptons.
Here’s one you might not know: Every day is Mother’s Day. If you’re one of the poor souls who missed this year’s official event in May, the good news is it’s never too late! Here are a few belated ideas for beauty apps that can help you work your way out of the doghouse and back into her heart.
The App: BYOUTIK:
Let’s face it; women love spas and beauty treatments. It’s the only generic gift that is always appreciated and redeemed. At the same time, it can be hard to find a good local spa or beauty professional. The system is broken; it’s about word of mouth or knowing someone on the inside.
BYOUTIK is a free phone app that just hit the market. Founded by two female entrepreneurs, the company set out to create an efficient network where beauty customers can access freelance beauty experts without having to wait days or weeks for an appointment or travel across town for the treatment. By the same token, the App can also help talented technicians reach more customers without the middleman.
It’s kind of like what Uber is doing for taxis, or Craigslist even—except it lives on your phone, is simple to use, focuses solely on beauty, and hopefully doesn’t have all the creeps and weirdos.
Open the App and you access a huge list of different spa services: Mani/pedi, haircut, and waxing are just a few. The App uses your phone’s GPS to pinpoint your location and set up appointments at available spas and providers in your immediate vicinity. BYOUTIK also lets you pay in advance and earmark the tip you want to leave. And of course it provides photos and client reviews to help steer you to the right technician.
There are a few limitations, mostly because it’s new. First, the App is only available on iPhone. Second, you have to sign in to use it—and they require a phone number. Third, the list of beauty technicians is limited, because it takes time to sign them up and verify their credentials.
The App’s biggest improvement area is its search feature. You need to manually enter your favorite addresses, which kind of defeats the purpose if you’re walking down the street and have a few minutes for a quick spa treatment.
I’m hoping the company adds an “around me” feature to deliver instant results no matter where you are. Even with these limitations, I love the idea of using technology to efficiently and directly connect consumers with practitioners.
The Product: Bring It Home: I know. The whole idea of spa treatments is to help mom escape the house and visit a calm, serene and luxurious place. That said, this column is about making every day Mother’s Day, so here are some quick gadgets that can help her find some rest and relaxation right in her home.
Conair Heated Stone Therapy System: This device comes with special smooth stones that heat up inside the Conair’s plastic bed. Mom can then use for back, hands, and of course sore feet at the end of a long day.
Gilden Tree Inflatable Foot Bath: Speaking of feet, this unit lets mom soak her aching soles wherever she goes, even on business trips. It also comes with recipes for combining salts, scrubs and other healing
Silk’n SensEpil: When it comes right down to it, most moms really want to keep body hair growth in check. I still recall my wife’s Epilady electric wire brush from back in the day. I think they are presently in use at Guantanamo Prison.
The SensEpil unit seems like a vast improvement. (I say “seems” because I’m far too hairy and simian to use it myself.) It’s compact, handheld, and uses light pulses to attack dark hair follicles in all the wrong places. It’s not cheap—priced around $350—but it could save mom a lot of money in the long run.