Should you buy the Opal by Clarisonic?

A review of the newest product from Clarisonic

photos: we heart this

I love gadgets. I love beauty. So beauty gadgets are like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup to me; wonderful separate, fabulous together. My favorite beauty gadget of all time is the Clarisonic. I will sing its praises to anyone who will listen (and often do). So, when I heard that the folks behind the Clarisonic were releasing the Opal Sonic Infusion System, I knew I had to give it a whirl. But I wondered, will this proudly share Clarisonic’s spot in my beauty gadget hall of fame? Or will it be sent to the gadget graveyard like so many other of its predecessors? (Epilady, I’m looking at you.)

The Opal ($245) is for use on the eye area and uses the same technology as the Clarisonic; sonic vibrations. But rather than cleaning your skin, this infuses serum, one that’s right in the cap, deep into the outermost layers of the skin. That’s right, it comes with a serum and that is the only product they recommend for use with the Opal (more on that later).

After applying a drop of serum on the soft, gel-like applicator tip, the Opal vibrates for 30 seconds, sounding much like a dentist’s tool, but luckily feeling much better. It mildly shakes the skin around your eyes (and your eyeballs if you get too close, which you are not supposed to) and the sensation is rather soothing. They say you will see instant results, and I’m happy to report that I did. My eye area looked noticeably more hydrated, therefore; less wrinkly (see for yourself below).

Did my wrinkles look any better than they did after a plain ol’ finger application of the same serum? Kind of. Not a huge difference, but a bit. But here’s the thing, I think with time you really would see a difference with this. Think about it, if the Opal is getting the product deeper into your skin, the product is definitely going to work faster, and probably better. I do believe in beauty gadgets, I do, I do!

Now about the anti-aging sea serum that comes with the Opal. I have to admit, my first reaction to the statement that it was the only product to be used with the Opal was annoyance. I think I even groaned. Though that quickly faded after I tried it and realized I like it quite a bit. Like my favorite serums, it’s not greasy, soaks in quickly and has an impressive list of extracts (many marine based, as the name suggests). But I guess I’m a rebel, because if I’m told not to do something, I instantly want to do it. And I did, I used the Opal with other serums and was equally happy with the results.

Price wise, the serum is relatively reasonable in the scheme of high end skincare. Replacement cartridges are $100 for two (and the Opal also comes with two). Each cartridge is an approximate 45 day supply, when used twice daily. As nice as the sea serum is, honestly, I prefer a multi-tasking serum that can be used on my whole face.

So, should you buy this? Take a look at the photo of my smiling eyes to make your final decision (after one use, on scary makeup-free skin). A bit better, no? There’s no denying that $245 is a big chunk of change. But if you have a penchant for beauty gadgets, and seem to be fighting a losing battle against crow’s feet, I think it’s a worthy investment.

The complete Opal system includes a carrying case, charger, 2 serum cartridges and a replacement tip. Buy it at Sephora.

Stef is many things. Amongst them: co-editor of we heart this, graphic designer, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

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Written by Stef Andrews

32 Comments

  1. Avatar of Kellie
    Kellie

    I love, love my Clarisonic. And I admit that I got one based on your reviews @Stef. I have never regretted following your advice on that one. I have been kind of waiting to see what you thought about the Opal. Even though the results are maybe not life changing they are visible. If I had the extra cash laying around I would love to give this a whirl based on your results and recommendation.

    @Stef Perhaps this is a dumb question. But if I were using my own serum am I not replacing the cartridges? Am I replacing the tip? And if so how often?

  2. Avatar of tiffany
    tiffany

    So glad to see you review this. When it first came out I thought I’m going to wait for some reviews before I buy and I had a feeling WHT would do one. I have to admit I’m intrigued. Would love to see the long term results. It is a big investment, but I’m with you @stef…I love beauty gadgets!

  3. Avatar of krista
    krista

    I saw this when it first came out months ago and I was really intrigued about it, but I am a little freaked about having something vibrate near my eyeball. I’m squeamish to the nth power…
    @stef —I’d like to see more updated pics after using this for say, 2 or more months. The one time use you can see a difference, but I want to see the cumulative effect :)

  4. Avatar of justjoan
    justjoan

    Wow, Stef, I’m impressed but still on the fence. I just bought an 8,000 BTU room air conditioner that costs less than this little darling, and while I have to wait 7-10 business days in 90 degree heat to get that benefit, I am naturally reluctant to shell out beaucoup bucks, even when I can take this item home and use it immediately. (My reluctance could be tinged with guilt at having already ordered an iPad this week…)
    I think I’ll wait and see whether some enterprising company will come out with a version at a lower price point. In the meantime I’m banking on my good Roseman genes to keep my wrinkles in check. But it looks luscious, and I’m not ruling out the possibility of succumbing during my next grazing visit to Sephora.

  5. Avatar of Amanda
    Amanda

    @Stef – wow, you really can see a difference! I love gadgets and I’m a sucker for things like this, but my college student (soon to be grad student) budget isn’t super friendly to this kind of thing. *sigh* Perhaps Santa will bring it to me as a “Christmas in July” sort of present? LOL, a girl can wish!

  6. Diane Lee

    I just saw this for the first time yesterday and Sephora. I love my Clarisonic, seriously I think it’s the best thing ever. The Opal looks interesting but I’m not crazy about the only use their serum part. But then again I’m like you I’d probably try it with other stuff too. =)

    btw, you can def see the difference in the two pictures!

  7. Avatar of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    @turboterp – no photoshop involved! (other than resizing the photo) @glamazon56 mentioned that my dark circles looked better too. I think they might just be in softer focus for that second shot, I really didn’t see a difference on them in person. It was really hard to get these shots! (I had to get a friend involved). You can see from image to image that different areas are in sharper focus than others. But we made sure that the impt. part (the dreaded wrinkles) had approximately the same focus for both.

    It’s pretty good results, right? And like a said, I think a bit better results than just using your fingers to apply a serum. Plus, all the product goes where you want it to. By using something to apply it, none is absorbed into your fingertips (I could care less about fingertip wrinkles!)
    Stef recently posted..ModelCo – Wows the Audience with Lip Lights gloss

  8. Avatar of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    Ha – but fingertip wrinkles are my biggest worry!

    All right, first, I must chime in on the Clarisonic love, I’ve said it many times but for those with skin that leans towards the oily side, the Clarisonic is a must. It helps keep skin clean, less shiny, tames blackheads and with regular helps keep pimples away. I love mine to pieces.

    However, I was a bit wary over the Opal – do I need another vibrating beauty gadget that costs as much as my monthly utilities? After checking out these pics (great job @stef) the answer is looking like Yes!

    I totally see a difference in the area and like everyone else, I’m curious to see what the long term effects are.
    Tyna Werner recently posted..Recipe flashback- Corn- Avocado and Tomato Salad

  9. Avatar of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    @kellie76 – the cap holds the serum. So if you chose not to buy more serum, you’d just use the empty cap to close it (keeping the tip clean). And I think they suggest replacing the tip itself every 3 months.

    @krista – I will def. do an update on this in a few months. It may be hard to tell progress with the Opal, versus just using a serum. If I was REALLY good, I’d use the Opal on one eye only. But I’m afraid everyone would start calling me One Old Eye or something.

    But I stand by what I said, as long as I use it (you have to remember to use it!) I think my serum is going to be absorbed better, and therefore work better.
    Stef recently posted..we heart weekly – South Coast Plaza blogger event

  10. Avatar of jpal
    jpal

    I love serums and gadgets too! This is a really impressive blending – you can really see the difference in the before and after pictures. My eye area is my biggest “issue” these days…thank you for this review – looks like it is a powerful in-home solution worth the price tag if over time it delivers even more results. I’d like to see more pictures in a few months too!

  11. Clarisonic

    Stef,

    Thank you so much for the great review on the Opal- such an informative post! Please know that if you or any of readers ever have any questions or concern, we are here to help! Contact us at 888.525.2747 or info@clarisonic.com or on Facebook (facebook.com/clarisonic) and Twitter (@clarisonic).

    Thanks again for the review and keep up the amazing writing!

  12. Avatar of Mel
    Mel

    The original Clarisonic still remains my best beauty gadget ever – I imagine the great minds there got it right again with this. I can see the difference after just one use, too. I’ll be looking forward to the follow up report in a couple months!

  13. Seadanes

    I’ve been using my Opal for a few months now and a friend asked if I’d gotten Botox.

    I use the Serum provided around my eyes. Then on my forehead and around the mouth, I squeeze a little Strivectin into the rubber cap. Definitely makes a difference!

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  16. sigina

    wow that’s great! than you for sharing your beauty experience with that product. i would like to buy it for myself, but I am 27, I would like to use it with a simple eye gel, not an anti-wrinkle one as I thinkl it’s too early. If you say it works with other serums too, I’d love to buy one if I find it… I see you bought it in 2010.. Kisses!

  17. lisa smith

    acutally I don’t see a difference like the rest of you. I am curious about this product and if i purchased this i would not use thier serum. i have my own.

    Sorry. to be the dull crayon in the box

    lisa

  18. jess

    I am almost 50 and people say I look very good for my age. The worse part of my face are the bags under my eyes, puffiness and the dark circles I have been using the Opal for 3 weeks and I see a tremendous improvement in my eye area!!! Nothing I’ve tried before has worked nearly as good as this. Opal forever!!!
    I am tempted to try the serum on my whole face…what do you think?

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