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Haircare

Hair Care Hydration, Oils and Treatment Testing Roundup

November 6, 2018

Hair Care Testing Ouai, Gisou, Aquis, IGK | The Beauty Look Book

My hair care routine has changed a little over the past few weeks as I colored my hair for the first time ever with highlights! Some of the hair care items I had been testing and wanted to review had to be re-tested with colored hair as I’ve found it a bit drier in texture and in need of more moisture. The good news is most of my styling staples fortunately have still worked for me! What has changed though is the need for different shampoo, conditioner and more hair masks.

I’ve really loved trying hair oils and my staples still continue to be the ones below:

All of these worked for my normal thick hair, now that it’s colored I feel the Sisley and Moroccanoil work best to add shine. A couple that don’t work quite the same for me include the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue and the Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil. They still add softness but now my hair just soaks it up and no shine is added. Brush I currently use is the T3 Dry Vent Brush. I like it enough to keep using it, but I’m still in search for my holy grail.

Best Hair Oils Ouai, Sisley Paris Hair Rituel, Moroccanoil and Oribe Gold Lust | The Beauty Look Book

The Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil is one of the best smelling oils I’ve tried. It smells of honey, almond and a hint of coconut. It’s infused with honey from Negin Mirsalehi’s family bee garden. I was sent the Travel Size Oil (50 ml, exclusive to her website) and love it for it’s lightweight finish and soft shine. No greasy look or residue and it makes hair very soft. She just launched the Hair Perfume (100 ml) which has a more floral perfume like scent to it. It has a more powdery scent compared to the oil, I think it’s beautiful but prefer the oil if I had to pick one. I have ordered from her website before (they ship to the US), but you can also find her products at Urban Outfitters and Revolve.

Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil and Hair Perfume | The Beauty Look Book

The Rahua Legendary Amazon Oil is something I was really interested in trying out. It’s a plant-based silicone-free hair oil. It’s described as lightweight but I found it to be on the rich side and would recommend it for dry or damaged hair, and particularly if you have thicker strands. A little goes a very long way to coat the hair, I prefer using it on damp hair with just one pump. On my virgin hair pre-coloring it added incredible softness with a soft sheen. On my color-treated hair it adds softness but I find it challenging to find the right amount to use. Too little doesn’t add enough shine and one coat too much results in something that looks too heavy for my hair type. The oil has a very natural smell to it which fades after a few minutes. Based on the texture I tried I do think it would be too thick and heavy for fine hair, but if you’re looking for a silicone-free option this is a nice one to consider for very dry or coarse hair.

Rahua Legendary Amazon Hair Oil Review

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Satin Design is something I discovered and reviewed years ago. It’s a blow dry lotion used to heat protect hair, remove frizz and add softness. I used up a bottle and repurchased but it sat in storage most of last year when we moved around a lot. I rediscovered it recently and my color treated hair LOVES this. It has the right texture, emollient and finish to make my hair soft and remove any signs of dryness. After using and blow drying my hair it is incredibly soft, tangle-free and without any greasy residue. Ends still need a little bit of finishing with a shine product or oil, but overall this is a solid win. It gives hair a soft satiny glow.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Satin Design Milk | The Beauty Look Book

I love IGK for the packaging. Their products are also great too. I hauled two products from Sephora earlier this year. The Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner got me because of the name coconut. It’s a milk-infused leave-in conditioner that has a spray. The packaging and spray dispenser are excellent – these days I am always amazed when brands don’t package their products with well designed spritzers. I really appreciate that IGK packaging is all on point, not just in the fun design but function as well. As the product name implies it’s a leave-in conditioner. I found that it was very easy to overdo the first few uses. The spritzer is so even and dispenses a fine mist I wasn’t sure I applied enough. It does work like a traditional leave-in conditioner, I think I like it mainly for the scent and novelty of packaging. Performance is good and I have no regrets buying. I’m not sure I would repurchase. If you found it too rich or oily, I think simply sprayed too much on, although I can see how it could be too rich for fine hair.

The IGK Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray also suckered me in with the name “smoothing.” I think their packaging and naming is genius. It gets me every time! This is a heat-protective blow out spray that is supposed to have similar effects of keratin treatments. I have not tried one so I cannot compare, but based on photos I’ve seen after the treatments I do think the IGK Good Behavior spray gives very similar looking results but in the shorter-term (as in it will last a day until you re-wash your hair). As a pre-heat treatment I see similar results with other types of products. I do like that the Good Behavior spray smooths hair, reduces frizz and does make my hair look smooth and fresh all day. As with the Thirsty Girl, I do think Good Behavior is easy to over apply. The IGK applicator spritzers are so good compared to other brands. They spray product very efficiently so you might be used to spraying more product. I’d recommend coating hair lightly and add one spritz at a time as you blow dry in sections if you feel you need more. It gets a thumbs up for me but I do think you can get similar frizz-free soft shine results with other products.

IGK Thirsty Girl and Good Behavior | The Beauty Look Book

This Briogeo Hair-O-Scopes Brightest Stars Bestsellers Kit came at the perfect time for me. It has a full-size Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask which is now my holy grail hair mask. I had to wait 72 hours to wash my hair after color treatment. The first two days I found my hair just wasn’t the same, it needed a lot more moisture. This mask rescued it and I never want to be without it now. Prior to my highlights I had been experiencing a lot of breakage in the hair. I do think using this mask (along with the Aquis hair towels) has reduced breakage drastically. I’m still sampling the other items in the kit but the hair mask makes it 100% worth trying. I’ve already ordered another mask.

Briogeo Hair O Scopes Kit with full size Don't Despair Repair Hair Mask Sephora

Last but not least are the Aquis Hair Towels. I’ve now tried multiple sizes and products in the line. I really liked the Prime Starter Kit before I had my hair colored to strengthen and reduce breakage. Post hair highlights, the leave-in conditioner just doesn’t really perform the same. It works to smooth and detangle, but I’m not seeing a lot of added moisture or shine. I’m going to put the entire kit to more testing before I give a comprehensive review.

For the hair towels I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. With new hair coloring towels are prone to staining, but the dye washed out and didn’t leave any marks on the white ones. I just made sure I threw them in the washer right away.

I thought I’d always be a towel kind of person but their Rapid Dry Turban has a really clever design with a loop on one end and closure on the other. It’s super easy to use and holds hair in place better than wrapping a towel.

For the towels, I prefer the longer lengths for my hair. The first one I tried was the Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel. I then ordered the regular sizes to try and found the longer ones easier to wrap around the head. Andrew has liked and borrowed all of mine and prefers the Waffle Luxe version. I think both textures work the same for me.

I’ve bought mine from Sephora, but I just noticed this Ouai Ouai x Aquis Set available at Bloomingdale’s at a really good price. With the holiday sets out definitely look around online for different options.

Aquis Hair Turban and Waffle Towel

For those who didn’t see on Instagram stories, my before and after hair color:

Caramel Hair Highlights before and after

After using the same stylist for nearly 10 years in San Diego, making a change was scary when I moved, but one of the best things about South Florida is that the people here are so nice. I found a salon on Yelp and decided to try based on the reviews. They made me feel completely at ease as a new client, I loved them and went back. I decided to have my hair colored for the first time there and loved the results. I was so nervous that I nearly cancelled but my husband and mother in-law came with me and assured me it would all be ok. The day of appointment the salon asked if they could film the process for their social media feed and I said sure. They put together a fun clip if you want to check them out I linked it below. Quick FYI this is all still my natural hair except for the coloring, no extensions. Just highlights – they also curled my hair for fun afterwards.

 

 

I was truly blown away by everyone’s kind words about the new hair. You made me feel so loved with the sweet comments and suggestions about hair care, shampoos and everything else in between. I’ve been testing different shampoos and conditioners which I’ll be reviewing soon, for now I wanted round up the oils and other products I have been testing for hydration and smoothness.

Overall, my favorites are still my favorites. I do love the Gisou Hair Oil for the soft finish, shine and scent. The Aquis Hair towels and Briogeo hair mask are life savers for me. I’m thrilled that I rediscovered the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Satin Design and am amazed it didn’t go bad (it was in storage for months, granted it was an climate controlled one).

What are your favorite hair products for hydration, added shine and smoothing? Let me know what hair type you have in the comments too!

 

Press samples featured include the Sisley Hair Oil, Aquis Hair Turban, Moroccanoil Hair Treatment, Briogeo Hair-O-Scopes Set, Rahua Oil.

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Davines OI/OIL Absolute Beautifying Potion

July 21, 2012

I recently discovered a new product called Davines OI/OIL Absolute Beautifying Potion at my local salon. Normally Phyto products are used by my stylist for shampoo, conditioning, treating and styling, but this time several different items were used. The product that caught my attention was the Davines OI/Oil mainly because of the scent (mixture of soft vanilla, freshness and powder) in which two pumps were used to coat my damp just-cut hair before blow drying. The OI/Oil is a multi-purpose styling treatment that can be used on both damp and dry hair. It comes in a small pump bottle (135 ml/4.56 fl oz). I can’t recall the retail price, but I believe it was around $36-39 US.

Davines is a new brand to me. In researching a bit about the company, I found out they were founded in 1983 in Italy and began as a research lab for high-end hair and skin care products. You can find more information about their philosophy on Davines.com.

A bit of background on my haircare: When it comes to haircare, I’m
low-to-medium maintenance. I have thick hair that has a slight natural
wave that frizzes without blow-drying or straightening (which I usually
do both almost every day). I don’t color treat my hair and usually get
it cut 3 times a year. My staple products include: my Super Solano
hairdryer, HAI ceramic flat iron, Phyto’s Phytojoba Shampoo, Phyto 7
Cream, Neutrogena Body Wash (yes, as shampoo), and occasionally various
Pantene shampoos. I’ve used a number of Frederic Fekkai and Kiehl’s hair
products in past years, but prefer Phyto. There is one photo I’ve
posted of my hair from a Dry Bar visit (here) but this might help give you an idea of my hair type.

This is my first experience with a styling oil. I’ve use other styling sprays and conditioners before but never an oil. I was really surprised that this was able to deliver a sleek soft shine. I personally have used this for a few weeks on damp hair before blow drying. One pump is sufficient to cover most of my shoulder-length hair. A little goes a long way and I use this at most every other day (usually every other other day). It leaves the hair feeling soft and smooth and also works wonders to detangle hair after it is washed. I find it keeps the hair looking nice all day without getting a greasy or heavy look/feel. I do find that you definitely need to wash your hair at the end of the day though when using this (especially in the summer months). The ingredients:

I found this YouTube tutorial very helpful: Tutorial OI/OIL by Davines with Angelo Seminara.

Since purchasing this, I’ve stopped using all other styling creams (even my Phyto 7). I do think everyday use will be a bit too heavy for me but it works wonders when used sparingly. Given my love for this new discovery, I’m anxious to try more products from Davines. Since I’m new to the brand I’m not sure where this item is carried online. I noticed Barneys.com carries a few select Davines products. You can try using the Davines US Salon Locator to find a salon near you that carries this too.
Have you tried anything from Davines? Any recommendations or thoughts?
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The Dry Bar – West Hollywood

April 17, 2011

My friend from Jonesy Loves and I have been planning our one-day LA extravaganza for weeks. She has a knack for discovering the most interesting things in fashion and hair styling and on the list of must-do’s was to try out the DryBar – a blow dry bar concept salon. Before going, we did our research. I found these resources helpful:

The Honeybee {Andee, we love your blog!}
The Fresh Fiends {cute video}
Johns Journal {great review and photos}
Arizona Foothills Magazine {nice before & after video}

The experience at the Drybar in Hollywood was amazing for me. The atmosphere was so inviting and the results were great. We went on a Saturday morning and it was packed when we got there. Luckily we had appointments early in the day and did not have to wait at all.

What is the Drybar? Their tagline is “No cuts. No color. Just blowouts. Only $35.” I can’t find a better way to describe it.

What happens at the Drybar? The staff does everything to make you feel welcome and at ease. When you walk in you are greeted and offered a drink (water, tea, coffee, mimosas or plain juice). There is a cute waiting area in the front and once your stylist is ready, they sit you down in a bar area and show you a menu and lookbook with style options to choose from. They have options ranging from straight and sleek to messy beachy to lots of loose curls. Each style has a fun bar-themed name like Mai Tai or Cosmo. There are step up options such as an extra 10 minute head massage that they call the Floater. After you pick what style you want, they shampoo and wash your hair

What I loved: The decor is bright and beautiful. The stylists make your hair look amazing. Every girl that came into the salon left with gorgeous hair that just shined and looked so flowy. The price is right. You can’t beat $35 even if you just try it once. They pamper you with magazines, a beverage of your choice and a movie while styling your hair – I could not have asked for a better experience.

Entrance area for check-in:

The menu:

The waiting area:

The dry bar area, complete with flat screen (they were playing Pretty Woman) & hooks underneath for your purses!

I asked for a combination of the Manhattan (sleek and smooth) with a little bit of Mai Tai (messy beachy) at the ends. The result was a lot more volumized and curly than I’m used to so I asked my stylist to smooth it out for a more straightened look. I’m super low maintenance and super chicken when it comes to hair experimentation and have my hair cut 2 times (maybe 3 times) per year. At the Drybar I probably could have done something more curly or wavy – maybe next time.

The left is photo is right after our appointment. The right side is late evening.

Another close up from late evening:

Bottom line: I’m now a fan! I would definitely go again for a special occasion or with girlfriends just for fun. Check out their website TheDryBar.com for more photos, info and locations. All photos taken by me.

Have you been to a Dry Bar yet? If so what were your thoughts?

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Hair Care Loves

June 5, 2010
Hair care is one area I don’t like to splurge on, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find good products that are reasonably priced from the drugstore. If you have any holy grails please share your successes with me, I’m always open to trying new bath and shower products 🙂

The 411 on my hair: I have thick dark black-brown hair with natural red highlights. It’s not exactly straight but not perfectly wavy either. Without a blowdryer and/or flat iron it dries to a huge poofy mess. I usually keep it around just below the shoulder for length. I would like it longer, but it just takes me a really long time to grow it out.

My hair care routine:

  • Daily: shampoo, leave in conditioner treatment and blow dry
  • Weekly: condition and straighten with a flat iron
  • Monthly: hair mask treatment
  • Misc: Hair cuts once every 3 to 4 months
  • Never: Color or highlight
Brands I’ve used repeatedly in the past include Aveda, Frederick Fekkai, Goldwell, Phyto, Redken, Neutrogena, and Crew for Men (yes, I use my hubby’s shampoo sometimes). As much as I love Aveda, I find the scents to usually be too earthy and herbal. Frederick Fekkai has been reformulating his shampoos so I haven’t used his line for a long time.

Right now my staples include, left to right:

Phytojoba Shampoo, Phyto7, Phytokarité,
HAI Ceramic Iron, Supersolano 3600 Micro

  1. Supersolano 3600 Micro Hair Dryer – This is my second Solano in the past 8 years. I really love this brand. After I decided to retire my first one, I tried a number of other always-raved-in-magazines type brands and was thoroughly disappointed by *all* of them (especially T3). None gave my hair that soft glossy shine or smooth blowout like my Solano. I’m not exactly sure what it is about the Solano, but it’s just amazing. I got mine at Ball Beauty Online on both occasions and they seem to have really good prices.
  2. HAI Convertible Ceramic Straightening Iron – Another fabulous birthday present from my sister 🙂 I’ve had this one for about 5 years. I’m not sure where she purchased this one from, but it’s also available online at Ball Beauty. Again, I’m not sure what technology this one has that makes it so great, but it makes my hair shine and ends look pretty.
  3. Phytojoba Shampoo – It’s meant for dry hair (even though my hair isn’t super dry) but I still love this. Has a delicious subtle pineapple-coconut scent, gets a rich lather, leaves the hair and scalp feeling good. My only 2 rants are the price for the size you get (I go through it really fast) and the fact that there is no pump (which makes it hard not to spill too much into my palm sometimes).
  4. Phyto7 & PhytoSpecific Integral Hair Care – Phyto7 is a hydrating cream I apply before blowdrying. A little goes a long way and I’m on my second tube right now (the first tube lasted me a year). I’ve written about PhytoSpecific here before but recently ran out so I don’t have it available to photograph. It’s a HG for me and allows my hair to airdry nicely like no other product.
  5. Phytokarité Ultra Nourishing Hair Mask – I recently had a 45 minute Phyto Hair Treatment at my local salon and the Phyto specialist used this on my hair. It was incredible and gave me baby soft hair. They gave me tons of sample packets of this conditioner to try out (since I got the regular Phytojoba Conditioner in a set). One packet has enough product for 2 uses. I’ve gone through 3 packets already (six weeks worth) and am definitely going back for this once my current conditioner is used up.
What is your hair type and what are your favorites? Do you have any special treatments you like to indulge in?
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Ten Things I’m Loving Right Now

November 16, 2009

Here’s November’s List of Ten Things I’m Loving Right Now. As always, I want to hear your lists too! And they don’t have to be beauty/makeup related.

1) Henri Bendel Candles from Bath & Body Works $26 – these are the best candles I’ve tried with so many feel-good scents. My favorites are Vanilla Bean, Fig, Quince, Pomegranate – and my husband loves these too.


2) L’Occitane Holiday Sets – Still loving the scented hand creams, in particular the Shea Vanilla and Frangipani scented ones! I wish they weren’t limited edition. Also love the Shower Celebration set – wish all the scents came in larger sizes (I believe the only one available individually right now is the Almond Shower Gel).


3) Paul & Joe Lip Lacquers $20 – You’ve seen these in my look features earlier in the month and my regular readers know that I bought practically every color. They are absolutely fabulous and I hope these are here to stay. They are great alone or over a liner/lipstick. I can’t rave enough about them. Cute packaging, nice pigment, non-sticky texture, very wearable colors. I’ve purchased my Paul & Joe items from Bergdorf Goodman, The Primping Parleur’s Online Boutique, Beautyhabit.com and Dermstore.com – but check the Paul & Joe Beauty website for locations around the world.


4) PhytoSpecific Integral Hair Care – this is a spray hair treatment which is supposed to “restore moisture, smooth, redefine curls, detangle, make setting easier, and protect hair from heat damage.” I have thick slightly wavy hair which I cannot air dry because it poofs up into a huge frizz ball. Up until a year ago when I started using this, I religiously blow dried and straightened my hair daily. I tried a number of no-frizz serums and straightening sprays, but I still had to go through the daily ritual of blow dry/straighten. This spray is incredible for me and once I spray and comb through, it allows my hair to air dry without turning into a huge frizz ball. I haven’t tried any of the other PhytoSpecific products, but I do love the shampoos in the regular Phyto line.


5) Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Blush $44 – I love nude blushes and this one is pretty without looking muddy on my skin. You can buy D&G online at saks.com, but I highly recommend ordering through the Saks NY or Beverly Hills counters because you get excellent customer service and the makeup artists who run the counter are very good at recommending colors. If you have any questions about other products, you can ask me too! I’ve accumulated quite a few things from them since they launched the line.


6) Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer $48 – By far my favorite powder bronzer of the moment. Wasn’t so thrilled with the hefty price tag, but I have to say that it gives that natural tanned glow. My skintone is on the pale side right now, I’m the equivalent of what’s in between MAC NC30-35. Normally I’m more of a NC35-40ish. You can purchase Edward Bess at Bergdorf Goodman or online at EdwardBess.com. Compared to some other bronzers:


7) Le Metier Eye Brightening & Setting Powder $36 – I’ve always been skeptical of brightening powders mainly because I usually don’t see a difference when using them. This, however, is every bit as great as Ellyn (from Neimans King of Prussia) and Lisa (my fellow Le Metier fan) have both raved. I use the shade Revive which is good for medium-tanned skintones. The next shade down Refresh is quite a bit paler. Seems like they need a shade in between. I use it after I apply my foundation in place of concealer under the eyes and it is an instant-brightener/evener all in one. (FYI – Neimanmarcus.com has free shipping with code and a promotional Peche Lip Creme with any Le Metier purchase, good as long as supplies last.)


8) MAC Pigments: Naked, Fairylite, Your Ladyship, Shimmertime – I like light/neutral pink shimmers for a natural barely-there all over eye color. I believe all of them have been discontinued except Naked, but you can get a full sized Shimmertime Pigment in one of the MAC holiday sets and Naked is also available as a mini in one of the holiday pigment sets.


The swatch picture couldn’t capture the real color, so I’ll try my best to describe the differences:

  • Naked is the most neutral
  • Fairylite has the most pink and most visible silver sparkle/micro glitter
  • Your Ladyship has a golden sheen to it
  • Shimmertime is the most pink/frosty throughout

9) MAC Style Black Mineralize Eyeshadows: Gilt by Association, Cinderfella, Young Punk $19.50 each – Yes, I do like MAC products even though I don’t write much about the line! I was afraid these would be too glittery, but they work well when applied with a damp brush or over a gel liner for a pretty smoky eye. It appears they are sold out online, but most MAC stores usually still carry seasonal stock so check your local store.


10) Hot Chocolate – I know many of you prefer I stay on the beauty topic, but I really love this time of year because it’s the perfect time for hot chocolate, apple cider, and warm teas. A classic favorite is the Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate that they only carry during the holidays. I’ve seen a few at Godiva and Crate & Barrel that I’m dying to try out. I know Trader Joes has a lot of holiday ciders and goodies, so I’m hoping they have a hot chocolate too. Do you have a favorite hot chocolate?

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