After reading all the negative reviews on here I almost decided not to open it and just return to ULTA...however, I'm actually really really impressed with this product! First of all, the design is amazingly adorable with little cherries all over- usually I'm so sick of getting ready but this makes it kind of fun! So girly! I used to have an expensive CHI straightener but gave it to my sister bc she was badly in need of one...her hair is fried up and she needed something to really smooth it out. For me, the CHI made my hair really flat but really soft...too flat to complement my face unfortunately. She traded me & gave me a WIGO which was awful, snagging my hair and burning my fingers just from the hair getting so hot itself...yikes. So on to the Zoe...it's the first straightener I've liked!! It makes my hair look nice and straight without losing all the volume I work so hard for with expensive shampoos. Hair isn't shiny and stick straight but more like you had a really good volumizing blowout. I'm not even sure that it's necessarily a straightener since they call it a styling iron-supposedly u can waves or curl your hair with it. The plates on mine definitely meet, it's just not noisy with the plates clinking. It doesn't burn my fingers at all when I touch my hair after going down the strands, and you don't need "gloves" to use it cos the handle is not hot at all. It does heat up really fast though. My hair is really healthy so for me I don't need ceramic, I just need volume and texture if anything. That being said, I don't think it would work on really thick curly hair. I am so happy I bought this and for the price-ahhh it feels like a great purchase!