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Haircare Sephora

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Blown-A-Ouai Set

November 10, 2017

Dyson Supersonic Dryer Blown-A-Ouai Set Review | The Beauty Look Book

I finally splurged on the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer because Sephora has a Dyson x Blown-A-Ouai Set this season. It’s one of the most expensive beauty tools I’ve purchased and based on my testing I think it 100% lives up to the hype. After reviewing the new Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer I was thrilled to see how many of you love haircare posts and especially surprised many expressed interest in a review of the Dyson Supersonic. This dryer has been out on the market for quite some time now and it has caught my eye on numerous occasions but I could not bring myself to splurge as I already own and love several other dryers. The Sephora set pushed me over the edge and for those who have been contemplating it for the Beauty Insider Sale I hope this review helps you make your decision either way. This dryer comes with an ultra-hefty price tag but it 100% exceeded my expectations and to me I think it lives up to the hype.

The Beauty Insider Sale starts for round 2 from 11/10 to 11/15 – if you’re shopping online:

  • Rouge Members get 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB Members get 20% off with code 20FORVIB
  • Beauty Insiders get 15% off with code INSIDER15

The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer currently runs at $399 which includes the dryer, smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator, diffuser, non-slip mat and storage hanger. There are a few value sets available at various retailers that come with a case or other accessories. The Sephora Blown-A-Ouai Set caught my eye because it comes with all the nozzles, diffuser, mat and hanger but also has a travel bag and four Ouai haircare products including the Repair Shampoo (2 fl oz), Repair Conditioner (2 fl oz), Soft Mousse (1.7 oz) and the Hair Oil (1.5 fl oz). Because of the mousse do note this must ship ground so it may take a little longer to get to you if you order it. Also it appears that this is an online exclusive at Sephora.

Dyson Blown A Ouai Set Sephora

I didn’t take pictures of the boxes but the entire set comes beautifully boxed in three separate boxes. The dryer + attachments come in its own box. The bag has it’s own box. The Ouai products also come in their own box. Everything is packaged in a way that even in transit nothing moves around and all pieces are held securely in place. It may seem excessive but I really appreciate when items are carefully packed (especially liquids) and to me this is super important especially at the price.

Dyson Supersonic Dryer | The Beauty Look Book

I must admit I thought there was a chance this dryer was going to be a high-tech gimmick but we’ve owned a few Dyson products for the home and found them 100% worth the splurge. We also own a Dyson Cord-Free Vacuum that we bought four years ago and it’s held up remarkably well even with daily use. We find it essential as we own 3 pets with white fur and they shed constantly. We are always vacuuming, using swiffers and washing the pets. When Andrew first saw this dryer out of the box he did not think it was going to be anything special. Then I turned it on and we did a side by side performance comparison to the Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi and we both saw that the Dyson Supersonic has a lot more power, more control options, and although it is odd-shaped for a dryer, very ergonomic and easy to hold and maneuver. The air flow is a lot more controlled and for some reason the way it’s designed makes for a less frizzy blow out. I’ve experienced a lot of hair breakage from hair ties over the past few months and as parts of my hair have grown out I find my hair is prone to a lot of static or flyaways that stick up. This of course can be fixed with a bit of pomade, gel or shine product. The Dyson dryer seemed to reduce all frizz for me.

Dyson Supersonic Dryer in White/Nickel

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer White | The Beauty Look Book

This is one of the fanciest products I beauty tools own. It has what Dyson calls Intelligent Heat Control technology because it measures temperature 20 times a second and transmits data to the microprocessor. This in turn controls temperature to prevent heat damage. Power-wise- it has a Dyson Digital Motor V9 which is supposedly on average 6 times faster and a third of the weight of other dryer motors. The motor is actually in the handle which is why it feels different in your hands compared to a traditional one. It is so powerful it nearly knocked off all the things on my counter as I didn’t pay attention where I was pointing it when I turned it on.

For the features:

  • There are four heat settings and a constant cold mode
  • There are three airflow power settings
  • The nozzles and diffuser are magnetic and easy to rotate
  • There is a removable filter cage at the base you can remove for easy cleaning
  • One of the best things to me is the mat which helps prevent it from slipping or getting scratched once you set it down
  • I don’t have the hanger cord shown below as I’m always losing little things like hair ties and I’ve already misplaced the little hanging device

Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

Due to the high power it does indeed give me a super fast blow out. I like the lightest or medium heat setting for my hair type. It isn’t the quietest I own or the lightest but it’s easy to hold and use. The only con I see is the extra long cord. This could be seen as a pro or con depending on your preference and needs. I find it long and cumbersome and it takes up a lot of space. The bag it comes with doesn’t quite fold over at the top like the stock photo shows but it’s not a deal breaker. It holds the dryer, it’s super long cord + two nozzles which is perfect for travel. The cord takes up most of the space. I don’t usually use a diffuser so I did not test it out, but both nozzles provide precise control.

Dyson Travel Storage Bag

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer White | The Beauty Look Book

For the Ouai products that come in this set I have already tried and fell in love with the Repair Shampoo and Repair Conditioner. I have been meaning to restock on the full sizes but just bought the Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner which I also really like. The Hair Oil is something I wasn’t a fan of originally because of the scent but it has grown on me over the past year. I gifted several partially used bottles away to friends who were dying to try it but didn’t want to buy the full size without trying it first. I’m glad I have another one now. The Soft Mousse is new to me. I’m not a mousse fan simply because I don’t like the texture and find them sticky. This one is exceptionally soft like the name implies and has a very nice dry down.

Ouai Haircare Products in the Set

Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set Hair Care products

A quick hair demo. Since I just got this I haven’t been able to put weeks of testing into this. I have tried it 8 times so far and used this multiple times in a single day. My hair has held up just fine to the heat and power. I do find the highest heat setting too strong for me right now (just for scalp sensitivity) but it did not scorch or dry out my hair. Do note the components will get hot so after you dry your hair I recommend you don’t touch it. I used the Ouai Hair Oil to prep my towel dried hair. Hair was dried very quickly within 5-6 minutes. The result was perfect evenly dried hair with a lightweight feel and airy feel without any signs of frizz. My ends needed a bit of work but I haven’t had a haircut in months.

Quick Demo with the highest airflow and middle heat setting and highest heat setting

Dyson Supersonic Dryer Demo

Because I know you all love the comparisons here is a side by side look at the Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi. I really cannot pick a favorite. All three perform exceptionally well. The Harry Josh and T3 are both lighter in weight than the Dyson. The Harry Josh is the most gentle on the hair – if you have sensitivity to heat, this one has the softest (but still powerful) heat settings so you don’t get that crispy feeling on the scalp after drying your hair. The T3 gives me shinier hair after a blow out but doesn’t cut down the dry time. The Dyson is by far the most powerful. When you look at the Dyson it doesn’t look like it would be travel friendly but when I compare it to the other two, based on the shape and design I think it is.

If I were forced to pick one to keep right now I’d say I would keep the Dyson. Harry Josh comes in very close second. Why? Simply because the Dyson packs in more power and the fact that it leaves my hair with zero frizz is really impressive. That being said I did read some of the negative reviews online and if you have very dry hair or a sensitive scalp, I’d recommend opting for the Harry Josh instead. While the Dyson did not dry out my hair I think the sheer strength and power could be too much for some.

I have a couple upcoming trips before the end of the year. I’ll be sure to let you know which one I end up packing with me as I know many of you like my packing posts as much as I love sharing them πŸ™‚

Dyson vs Harry Josh vs T3

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, Harry Josh Ultra Light and T3 PROi Hair Dryer | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a winner for me. I wholeheartedly recommend it and for me it 100% lived up to the hype. Definitely worth the splurge for me and I still can’t believe I spent $400 on this (I ordered it before the sale started). While I love it, I don’t think you need to spend this much to get a good quality dryer. There are definitely other more affordable tools that will get the job done well.

Dyson Supersonic Blown-A-Ouai Set Sephora Review | The Beauty Look Book

You can find the Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set exclusively at Sephora for $399. If you’re shopping the Sephora sale it runs from 11/10 to 11/15 – if you’re shopping online codes and discounts:

  • Rouge Members get 20% off with code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB Members get 20% off with code 20FORVIB
  • Beauty Insiders get 15% off with code INSIDER15

There are a few other sets available right now and as the holiday season approaches I suspect more could pop up. You can find the Iron/Fuchsia with a Platinum Case at Nordstrom for $399. There is the Iron/Fuchsia with a Light Pink Case at QVC for $399. Also three variations of the Supersonic + Living Proof at QVC for $399 as well.

Have you tried the Dyson Supersonic before? What did you think? P.S. My Sephora haul from round one is scheduled to arrive on Friday afternoon. Let me know if you want to see a haul post!

 

Haircare

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer

October 23, 2017

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

I’m excited to share a review of the new Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer ($349) which launches exclusively at Dermstore this week. For those who aren’t familiar with the line, Harry Josh is a celebrity stylist who has created a line of hair tools called Harry Josh Pro Tools. His products have a signature soft mint green color which I think is fun and unique. I was sent one to test out and this is my first time using anything from his line. Since I’ve already tried and fallen in love with a number of other great hair dryers including the t3 PROi, ghd Air and DryBar (reviewed here) I did not think this one could be better than what I’ve tested but it is.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

Also shown above is the Round Brush 2-inch size.

For as long as I can remember I’ve blow dried my hair on a regular basis because I find it essential to tame my thick unruly hair with a slight natural wave. If you’ve read some of my packing posts you know that even though I’m a carry on traveler for the most part I still insist on bringing my own hair dryer with me. The two main inconveniences include the fact that they take up a lot of space and also it weighs down the luggage. The Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer is smaller than the average dryer and extremely light weight under 1 pound. A lot of dryers are design to be “lightweight” but this one is noticeably lighter but still feels like it has substance. It’s easy to hold in the hand for an extended period and easy to maneuver.

Even though it is compact, it has a very powerful motor with a speed of 94 mph which makes for super fast drying time. I set my stopwatch to time my hair drying process with this one on 12 different occasions of using this and each time I was able to get completely dried hair in under 6 minutes (usually around 5 minutes and 46 second mark). Most of the dryers I own take around 7 to 10 minutes for me to get completely dried hair.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer | The Beauty Look Book

A quick look at the drying steps from wet towel dried hair to all the way dried hair. Also held and shown for scale. I’ve tested drying with a number of hair products for prep and heat styling. Lately I’ve been alternating between the Christophe Robin Hydrating Leave-In Mist (c/o, it’s lightweight and detangles my hair), Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue (c/o, available in a fun Super Mario packaging version for holiday) or the Moroccanoil Light. The last image shown is without any extra shine or finishing product so I could show you how the dryer performs on its own as much as possible. To finish and smooth the ends I usually add a bit of the Shu Uemura product, Moroccanoil or Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream. Also shown above: The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Bag (review soon), Drybar Hold Me Hair Clips, Diptyque Berlin Candle (city exclusive).

My drying process includes a quick rough dry all over. Then I section it by parting my hair or by using clips. If I don’t have clips I simply flip over sections and part my hair to separate it.

For brushes I still use a CHI Turbo Small Paddle Brush to do most of my brushing or drying. Then I finish with a bristle brush to smooth everything out. I tried the Harry Josh Pro Round Brush (made of boar and nylon bristles, made in China) and it was surprisingly easy to use and very effective in smoothing out flyaways. I say surprising because even though I know boar/nylon bristle brushes are the best for smoothing out hair I find them difficult for me to use in general just because of my hair type.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer In Action | The Beauty Look Book

I’m not the most savvy when it comes to hair dryer technology, but I do know that I see a difference in results with regards to smoothness, shine and the frizz factor. All three that I had previously reviewed provide excellent results: smooth, sleek, frizz-free finish. The Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer also delivers with ion technology and has two ion settings: off will deliver full voluminous style, on will give a smooth sleek finish. I tried both settings and feel that there is actually a visible difference with the two settings as the booklet describes.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

For the settings, there are:

  • 3 temperature control settings
  • 2 ion settings (as mentioned above)
  • 2 settings for speed/air flow
  • 1 cool shot button
  • 2 removable nozzles
  • removable air filter
  • 9 foot extension cord

For other features it’s relatively less noisy than other dryers but not 100% silent. It is described as being energy efficient with the dual filtration system. The tool is made in France and with the power and settings I was particularly impressed at how fast it dried my hair without making my head feel super hot from the heat like it does with most other dryers.

Size comparison to the T3 PROi (c/o, previously reviewed here):

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer vs T3 PROi | The Beauty Look Book

I didn’t want to fall in love with this pricey hair dryer but I have. As with everything I test regardless of whether it’s a press sample or something I purchased on my own I do assess it for the price point to see if I think it’s worth it and in this case I think it is. Still it is very spendy and you can definitely find great hair dryers for less. This one wins for me on dry time, size, weight and performance. It’s truly exceptional in every way and among the best ones that I’ve tried. If there is one thing I think it’s missing it’s a dust bag or something to carry it in for travel – but that being said most of the dryers I’ve seen don’t come with one either. Performance-wise I still think the t3 PROi and ghd Air are also very good ones. The main difference for me is the weight and dry time.

A lot of you have asked me over the past year if I’ve tried the Dyson Hair Dryer and I have not. However this season there’s a Dyson Blown-A Ouai set available which might push me over the edge to try it out. Let me know if you’ve tried it and what your thoughts are or if you would like to see a review.

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer Review | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line the Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer gets a huge thumbs up for me. You can find it exclusively at Dermstore. Have you tried anything from Harry Josh yet? If not what’s your current favorite hair dryer? I’d love to hear what you use!

Harry Josh Ultra Light Pro Dryer and Round Brush sent by Dermstore without charge for review. Other press samples featured indicated with c/o.

 

Haircare

Hair Oils and Dryers for Smooth Shiny Hair

December 5, 2016

Hair Dryers and Oils for the Perfect Blowout

Many of you have asked how I maintain my hair for that smooth and healthy shine so today I’m sharing some thoughts on hair oils and dryers I’ve put to the test. I’m always trying new things in hair care as I have thick and unruly hair that requires heat styling and product to smooth out the frizz. Over the years I have tried dozens of creams, sprays and oils over the years and my favorite items are the multi-tasking ones. In my experience creams are best for adding a bit more texture and shine, sprays are great to evenly disperse product through the hair and comb through, oils are a good in-between kind of option. Finding the right hair dryer can be tricky and take time. It took me a long time before I was willing to spend over $100 on one but doing so was life changing and worth every single penny. Even though a high price tag can be off putting, I would say don’t let the price tag scare you. There are a number of hair dryers that do make it possible to get a perfect salon quality blowout at home. Today I’ve teamed up with Sephora to share thoughts on three new-to-me hair oils and how they compare to some others I’ve tried. I was also able to put two hair dryers to the test and have a pros and cons list on each.

Hair Oils Madame CJ Walker Living Proof Ouai Oil

Up first is a look at some of the oils. Smell is extremely important to me as I have a sensitive nose and usually prefer something that isn’t too strong so it won’t interfere with my perfume of the day. In terms of texture I like oils that have more of a lightweight finish so it won’t weigh down my hair as the day progresses. Moroccanoil Treatment has been a long-time staple because it’s versatile and works every time without fail to help detangle and tame flyaways. I love the argan oil scent and it’s one that I can use without having to worry about it weighing my hair down. Thoughts comparing six different oils below.

Hair Oils Ouai, Living Proof, Moroccanoil, Madame CJ Walker, Verb Ghost

Notes on each from left to right. Each brand describes the oils as multi-tasking oils and suitable for all hair types. I do find most of these versatile. Thoughts on each one below:

  • Ouai Hair Oil ($23 for 1.7 oz) is a lightweight oil designed to control frizz, nourish hair and protect hair from color fading. It is indeed a luxurious rich oil but comes with a floral scent that I’m not a huge fan of. It’s not a deal breaker for me but if it had a different scent I would reach for it more frequently. The best part of the oil is the packaging. It comes in a pretty package and the pump is well designed to dispense just the right amount of product.
  • Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil ($38 for 3.4 oz) is described as a fast-absorbing oil and is designed for coarse hair. You can scroll down to the bottom of this post to see what my hair looks like with one drop. It’s described as a nourishing oil and for my hair it did add a nice healthy shine. It has that signature fresh scent all living proof hair products have but is light and doesn’t overwhelm you. Texture was easy to work through the hair – Living Proof has something they call OFPMA technology incorporated into this to block frizz and lower surface tension to help formula spread evenly. It does exactly what it claims without making the hair feel heavy. I did need to add one more pump after drying on the ends to help seal and smooth split ends.
  • Moroccanoil Treatment ($34 for 1.7 oz) is a classic I would say everyone should try, if you have thicker, dry or coarse hair. The only downside is that these do not come with a pump which would make application easier. After using this pre-heat treatment the hair is easier to manage as it acts as a detangler and hair is soft and shiny. It does work to strengthen the hair as well.
  • Moroccanoil Treatment Light ($34 for 1.7 oz) is similar to the regular one, if you have fine hair or oily hair, this will probably be the better option for you. For my thick hair this works just as well but has a noticeably lighter texture and finish. When I use this hair is light and fluffy but frizz-free. Both the oils cut down drying time with a dryer.
  • Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Scent and Shine Coconut Oil ($26 for 1.7 oz) is a strongly scented oil that smells of sweet coconut and vanilla. I am normally not a fan of sweet scents for the hair but if you look at the reviews on Sephora there are a lot of other women who love it. This one has a thinner texture and absorbs quickly into the hair. For those with curly hair it’s supposed to maintain your curls but since I style my hair straight I can’t report on that aspect. As a finishing product it makes the hair ends look super healthy. If you like vanilla scents I think you will love this. For me it’s too strong to wear throughout the hair but I can apply it on the ends as a finishing product.
  • Verb Ghost Oil ($14 for 2 oz or $18 for this duo set) is one I bought a few weeks ago because I was researching hair products online and this looked really interesting to me. It’s a clear restorative oil with a moringa oil blend which is great for dry or damaged hair. It smells amazing – it’s hard to describe but I would describe it as fresh and lightweight. It is one of the best lightweight oils I’ve tried that really almost disappears into the hair as it absorbs quickly and blends nicely into the strands. It does what it claims: removes frizz, smooths hair and adds shine.

Next are three dryers from T3, ghd and Drybar. When it comes to dryers aside from overall performance I’m also concerned about noise level and weight. Since I have thick hair I sometimes dry my hair in sections or layers from the bottom to the top which takes extra time. Finding a dryer that isn’t too heavy is important so it doesn’t weigh down my arm. The noise level is something I take for granted until I use one in a hotel on a trip and realize how loud the motors are.

T3 PROi ghd air professional drybar baby buttercup

T3 PROi Professional Hair Dryer ($350) is the most expensive hair dryer I own and I’ve had for over a year now. It was in my top 2 dryers for giving my hair a salon quality blow out. It has a Tourmaline and Ceramic electric ionizer designed to emit negative ions and infrared heat to help seal ends and eliminate frizz. There are two nozzles with a wide and narrow tip that allow you to concentrate air in different ways. It truly does work to give you an amazingly smooth blowout. There are three heat setting options, a cool shot button and two speed settings which is great for those who want more control. The aesthetics and design are amazing. This is the prettiest dryer I own. I’ve tried a number of other T3 dryers and found them just ok but the PROi works a lot better than the rest. Even though it’s on the large side it isn’t too heavy. The noise level is low which makes it pleasant to use.

Two downsides include the size and dry time. This is a full size dryer which means it will take up a lot of counter or drawer space. It also means it’s not travel-friendly. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but as someone who prefers tools that are more compact this is larger than I would like. Still it performs well and I’ve found space to store it. The other downside is dry time but I will say there is a trick to using this one. Most of the complaints I’ve seen online is that for the price this should cut down dry time but many have reported it does not. It has a powerful motor which does emit a lot of concentrated air but if you blow dry your hair from the time it is completely wet it will take extra time. The trick to cutting down dry time is to make sure your hair is towel dried and to rough the hair first. This may seem like an extra step but it will only take a few minutes and getting it roughly dried to about 80% as they recommend makes a huge difference for the remainder of the drying process. After rough drying divide the hair into sections and dry them with either of the nozzles. I’ve used this a number of ways and will say that I usually don’t mind how long it takes to dry my hair as long as the results are good. This one gives smooth frizz-free full looking hair every time.

T3 PROi Dryer

ghd Air Professional Performance Hair Dryer ($199) is new to me and quite impressive. It’s smaller and more lightweight than the T3 but is the motor has a smoother quieter sound and yet emits a stronger feeling air stream by comparison. This one truly cuts hair drying time up to 2x faster like it claims. It has ionic technology to keep hair free from frizz and give a smooth finish. There are two heat settings plus a cool option, a cool shot button and two speed settings. The nozzle tips are skinnier which help force air into a more concentrated flow. Dry time is at most 10 minutes but I was able to cut it to down to 7 minutes from towel dried to completely dry. I can’t think of any cons with this one although the nozzles can be a bit hard to remove. Once they are on they are locked in pretty tight – but the upside is that they don’t move around easily if you run your hair through a stiffer brush.

ghd Air Professional Performance Hairdryer

ghd Air Professional Performance Hairdryer

Drybar Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer ($135) is one of the cutest hair tools I’ve seen. My husband actually bought me the full size Buttercup Dryer quite a few years ago and I liked it a lot but it took forever to get my hair dry with it. I’ve mentioned that long dry time isn’t a deal breaker but sometimes having something that gets the job done 2-3 minutes faster makes a huge difference. I was eager to see how the Baby Buttercup compared and think it’s better than the full size. It does have a louder motor compared to the T3 PROi or ghd air professional but it’s not too loud that it bothers me. Since this one is smaller and more compact they’ve combined the heat and speed settings into the same button. It’s a powerful one even though it’s small and dry time is pretty quick with this. I love that it folds into a compact size and comes with it’s own drawstring bag that says “I’m Full of Hot Air” which is perfect for travel. Performance-wise it’s a lot better than the T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer which I bought a couple years ago but I know a lot of others really like that one. The Drybar Baby Buttercup has better drying power, cuts the drying time, doesn’t dry out the hair and gives a nice smooth blowout. The only downside is since it’s small the options for heat and speed are limited but that’s expected with the compact design. It gets the job done and is one I’ll be taking with me on my trip this upcoming week.

Drybar Baby Buttercup Dryer Drybar Baby Buttercup Dryer

Blow out how-to before and after with the Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil and ghd Air Professional Performance Dryer. Total time from towel-dried hair to a completely smooth blowout was around 8 minutes. For oils I usually apply 1 to 2 pumps from ends and work my way up. Note there are a number of ways to blow dry your hair. I often use clips to divide and section my hair but sometimes parting it without clips works too.

  1. Wet hair and work oil from ends all the way throughout hair
  2. Rough dry everything from the ends
  3. Move the dryer to the roots and rough dry some more for a more textured layered look
  4. Run a brush and dry in sections, I use a vent brush as most round brushes cause my hair to become static or frizzy
  5. Use the cool shot to blow through everything to set
  6. Finished blow out look, ends still need a bit of product to smooth but I wanted to show you how my hair looks right after drying with the blow dryer with a little bit of brushing

Blowout Living Proof No Frizz Oil and ghd Air Professional Performance

One last look, the Drybar Hold Me Hair Clips are my favorite for keeping hair up when I’m drying:

Hair Dryers and Hair Oils from Sephora

In terms of the three dryers I featured it’s hard to pick a favorite as they each have their own benefits. The T3 PROi performs well and gives amazing results but dry time can be longer than what you may want. The ghd Air Professional is one of the most powerful yet compact dryers I’ve tried and truly cuts down dry time while giving smooth looking hair. The Drybar Baby Buttercup is great for those who don’t need a lot of options for heat/speed and want something compact or travel a lot. If I could only have 1, I would say the ghd is what I’d gravitate towards for dry time although I really like the larger size of the T3 nozzles.

For oils I think finding the right one depends on your hair density, hair length and whether or not you color your hair. My personal favorites are still the Moroccanoil regular and light, but I’ve been really impressed with the ones from Living Proof and Verb.

I hope you found this review helpful! For haircare junkies there’s nothing quite that feeling of finding a great new styling tool. Having great looking hair can do wonders in confidence boosting and there are lots of products that can help. My hair when air dried is a disaster and most people think I have naturally good hair – it’s not the case. With the help of product and good heat styling tools my hair looks smooth and shiny. There are tons of options to choose from at Sephora and for the holiday there are lots of great value sets which will allow you to test things out at a more affordable price. If you have a favorite hair oil or dryer let me know in the comments. To this day I’m still trying to find the perfect brush for blow drying. If you have a favorite please let me know in the comments πŸ™‚

This post was sponsored by Sephora. As always all opinions my own.

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Haircare

Hair Care Loves in Rotation

January 25, 2016
I love testing new things in hair care and playing with different kinds of shampoos, oils and tools. Since the summer, my go-to daily shampoo and conditioner has been the Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, but I’ve been experimenting with some new items and discovered some new favorites. For a bit My hair is thick and has a slight natural wave to it and extremely prone to frizz without any product or heat treatment. My hair color is natural – it’s never been colored or highlighted (at least not yet). I like to switch shampoos up and alternate frequently – I wash my hair daily, so sometimes I feel like it needs more moisture, other times it needs a clarifying rinse. The two lines of shampoos/conditioners I used up recently are the Moroccanoil and R+Co Moon Shine. If you have any favorites/recommendations please let me know what you think I should try next!

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First up is the T3 PROi Professional Hair Dryer ($350, c/o). In terms of hair dryers, I’ve been a long time fan of Solano tools. In my experience they have been the best for my hair – they dry quickly, leave the hair shiny, smooth, glossy and frizz-free. I decided to give several other brands a try and nothing has given me the same results until I tried the T3 PROi. My beauty friend Rae raved about it and her hair always looks amazing everytime I see her – so I was thrilled to be able to try this. The PROi Hair Dryer comes with a mega hefty price tag but it does not disappoint. It far exceeded my expectations and allowed me to create a salon-quality results unlike anything I’ve tried before. My heart still belongs to Solano but this new one from T3 just might replace it’s spot as my new favorite. (For reference, the last one I bought was the Super Solano 3600 Ion.) The T3 PROicomes with 2 detachable nozzles, three different heat settings, a cool-shot option and two different intensities/speeds. It’s fairly lightweight for a full power full size dryer and easy to maneuver. The description says it’s supposed to cut the dry time – if you blow dry with completely wet hair, it will not (but you’ll still get amazing results). If you towel dry and then spend a couple minutes doing a rough dry first, the overall time to completely dry the hair is shortened compared to other dryers.

There are several different brushes that T3 launched. I decided to order the Freeflow Vent Brush ($17) first to try – it’s a good medium size brush and allows air to flow through the hair allowing for faster dry time. I like the design – it’s simple but aesthetically pleasing and seems very sturdy and well made. I’ve ordered a few more to try – I’ll do a more detailed review once I receive them. Good hair brushes are something I feel like I’m always searching for. I have good basic tools, but most of them look meh.

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Next are three shampoos/cleansers. I’m a traditional liquid shampoo and conditioner kind of girl, but there are some really interesting products on the market that I would have never thought to use that surprised me. Maybe I’m late to the party, but I would have never thought to use scrubs or oils to clean the hair.

Above from left to right:

  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt ($52 for 250 ml, c/o) is something that is relatively new to the US. Christophe Robin is a colorist from France and launched his own salon and line of products. Net-A-Porter sent his new Cleansing Purifying Scrub for me to try a few months ago and so when I had the opportunity to meet him in person while he was in LA, I jumped at the chance. I will have a dedicated feature on more of his products soon, but in the meantime you can read about his story here. It was so great to learn about his story and the background behind the creation of his line. The Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is an amazing clarifying product. It is a grained-paste product that you rub into your scalp. It rebalances the hair and rinses out completely without any residue left behind. It removes impurities and leaves the hair feeling squeaky clean. If you have normal to dry hair, you may need to follow with a moisture mask. For me this is a game changer. You can find his line at Net-A-Porter, Sephora and Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser x Maison Kitsune ($57 for 400 ml, c/o) has been on my radar for a while but the concept of using an oil to wash my hair just didn’t seem appealing to me. Still the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo has cult-status and rightfully so. There are several formulas of the Cleansing Oil, the one I tried is the Limited-Edition Maison Kitsune in the Gentle Radiance Formula. It foams up into a really nice lather and cleans the hair really well. For me this is best used as once a week a clarifying treatment (alternating with the Christophe Robin) – at most 2x per week or on days after I work out. I do think it’s absolutely necessary to follow with some kind of rinse out conditioner if you use this one as it can be stripping if you skip. Some shampoos I don’t feel the need to use conditioner after, but this one you do.
  • Oribe Cleansing CrΓ¨me for Moisture and Control ($44 for 8.5 oz/250 ml) is the most amazing cleansing creme I’ve tried. My local salon always uses some kind of cleansing creme to wash my hair before a cut but I’m particularly sensitive to scented hair products so I never end up purchasing what they use even though the results are amazing. I love all things Oribe although the line is fairly spendy so I feel like I have to keep this brand at arm’s length or it can get very expensive at the rate that I go through hair products. This one moisturizes perfectly and leaves the scalp feeling well nourished but clean. Hair is perfect afterwards – tangle free, smooth and left light and bouncy with a bit of natural shine. I don’t need to search for any other cleansing cremes as I have found THE ONE with the Oribe.
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Last but not least are some hair treatments and finishing products. I’m always trying minis of hair oils, sprays, creams and what not. It takes me forever to use up anything because I have so much in rotation. Scent is a big deal to me. If a hair product smells too floral, too vanilla, too perfumey or strong, I simply won’t use it – no matter how good it is.

Above from left to right:

  • Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($49 for 100 ml, also in this travel set) is one of my favorite hair finishing oils. The full size is very expensive but you only need a little bit to coat the ends of the hair so it lasts a long time. It adds the perfect amount of shine to the hair, especially when the ends start to look or feel dry. It is fairly strongly scented but I love the way everything from Oribe smells.
  • Drybar The Chaser Shine Cream ($29 for 100 ml) this has made an appearance on my blog many times. I like it because it adds shine and also helps as a pre-heat treatment. It maintains and controls frizz and leaves the hair feeling ultra soft. My husband likes to use this one too.
  • Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsune Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil ($69 for 150 ml, c/o) smells amazing and has notes of camellia, grapefruit, white essence, musk and heliotrope. This is a multi-purpose oil. The directions say you can apply it on the hair pre-shampoo or afterwards as a leave-in product. I prefer to use it after shampoo either on slightly damp hair before I blow dry or just simply as a leave in product as my hair air dries. It’s nourishing but very lightweight and won’t weigh down the hair or make it look greasy. Hair absorbs it quickly so there’s no residue left afterwards if you touch your hair. One pump is more than enough to cover my hair (it’s a little past the shoulder length). I will definitely be repurchasing this once it is used up.
  • Kiehl’s Heat-Protective Silk Straightening Cream ($17 for 150 ml) this is something I bought in store a while ago. I needed something as an add on to qualify for an in store promo so I decided to try this. I had used the Creme with Silk Groom when I was in college and liked it but it can be very heavy and easy to overdo. The girl at the store recommended I try this since I heat treat my hair regularly. I really like it to help straighten the hair and keep it smooth looking. I found it makes a noticeable difference in the way the hair looks in terms of helping give a more straightened look.
  • Edward Bess Black Sea Hair Hero ($44 for c/o) is my favorite texturizing hair product. It helps add volume, smooths hair, adds texture. Full review in this post here. The bottle is huge and even with regular use it’s lasted me for like forever.
  • Original and Mineral Know Knott Detangling Spray ($26 for 250 ml) is the best detangling product I’ve tried. Some days my hair just feels extra tangled and there are knots in my hair even after shampoo + conditioner. A few sprays of this one makes any comb or brush glide through the hair easily without any tugging or pulling. I tried this at my salon in a mini first and loved it so much I bought the full size.

That wraps it up for new hair discoveries along with favorites I consider staples. Have you tried anything from any of these lines before? If yes please let me know what you recommend. If not, I’m open to other suggestions on what you’ve tried and love πŸ™‚ Do you have any hair products you consider game changers? I’m in the market for a new liquid shampoo and conditioner – what should I try next?

Some items featured indicated with a “c/o” beside the product name were sent free of charge for review consideration. Other items purchased by me.

Haircare

T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer + SinglePass Compact Flat Iron Set – Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusive 2015

July 22, 2015

I picked up the T3 Compact Styling Set ($150, limited-edition set) from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It’s a two-piece value set that comes with the Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer (retails separately for $150) and SinglePass Compact Flat Iron (retails separately for $79). I’ve had the compact dryer on my wishlist for a while and the sale helped me pull the trigger. Both are very compact and perfect for travel or if you have limited space in your bathroom. I’ve been testing both for a few days and have comparisons to other styling hair tools that I currently own.

The T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer is really well designed. It comes in a simple sleek black design with a removable nozzle. I like that it’s lightweight but still has a lot of power. The noise level is minimal, it’s designed with a quiet motor which you can still hear but it’s not as loud as others that I’ve tried. The handle absorbs vibration from the motor which is nice so it’s not bothersome if you have to dry your hair for an extended amount of time. It comes with 2 speeds and 2 heat settings along with a cool shot option. I have thick hair that gets frizzy without any hair treatment (product or styling tool) so it takes a long time for me to dry my hair. Dry time with this one was fairly quick – about 15 to 20 minutes when dried in sections.

I photographed the dryer in my hands so you could get a sense of the size. It’s small and compact but not too small. I like that it has a folding option which makes it nice for travel or storage. (On the nails is Chanel Le Vernis in Chataigne, new for fall.)

I now own three hair dryers with this purchase: T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer, Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer and a mini from Original & Mineral. The best ones I’ve owned were from Solano, in particular the Supersolano which is hands down well worth the price – it makes the hair ultra sleek and shiny and doesn’t overheat the hair. I went through two and after my second one died (after about 6 years) I decided to try new things. I wish I hadn’t because they are just so good.
Onto the ones I own. I’ve had the Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer for quite some time and really like it. It dries the hair nicely, it’s large but not heavy, noise level isn’t too loud and it comes in a fun bright yellow color. Since it’s a larger dryer there is more room for options. It has three temperature settings, two speeds and self-lock cool shot so you don’t have to hold it down with your thumb.

I bought the Original & Mineral one that came in a Net-A-Porter set which is super cute and compact. It has a lot of power for something that tiny, but unfortunately the design is very simplistic and the handle doesn’t absorb any vibrations so you can feel it in your hand. It does a good job at drying the hair quickly though which is nice.

The T3 Compact Dryer has less power compared to the Drybar, but more power than the O&M. I’ve brought the Drybar one with me on trips although it does take up a lot of space. The T3 is much more travel-friendly. It’s also dual voltage 125V/250V for worldwide use while the Drybar option is 100V/120V and requires a step-down converter + adapter.

Close ups of the options:

The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron is basically a free add-on with the Nordstrom Anniversary Set. I purchased the SinglePass Straightening Iron (full size) a number of years ago and hated it. It left my hair frizzy and made it look fried. Based on the number of rave reviews on the compact version, I decided to give it a try since the set came at a really good price. The SinglePass Compact Flat Iron performs much better than the Full Size (maybe I had a dud), but I would say for me it doesn’t really live up to the name “single pass.” It takes at least two passes per section for my super thick hair but it does leave the hair shiny, sleek and smooth. I could probably section off smaller amounts of hair but it would take 3 times longer to straighten everything. The iron is really well designed and comes with a cap which I wish all flat irons came with.

Comparisons to two other flat irons I own. GHD Bird of Paradise is a full-size flat iron that measures 26.5 cm long with plates that are 2.4 cm x 9 cm. I’ve had this since December of last year and really like it although out of all the flat irons I’ve owned, the HAI Ceramic Convertible Iron is hands down the best one I’ve tried (mine died after I dropped it on a hard surface, but it lasted 4 years before it stopped working).

The CHI Smart Titanium Ceramic Travel Iron is fairly new to me. I received this one at a QVC event a few weeks ago and really like it. I can’t find the temperature listing anywhere but I was told it heats up to 390 degrees. This one measures 22 cm long with plates that are 2 cm x 7.5 cm. For my hair it does a better job at straightening with a single stroke but it is very small so it takes longer to straighten my hair.

The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron by comparison heats up to 410 degrees. It’s similar in size to the CHI. The T3 Compact Iron is 22 cm long with plates that are 2 cm wide x 7.8 cm long.

I’m overall really pleased with the set. I had the Compact Dryer on my wishlist and the Flat Iron with this set was an added bonus. I really like the Dryer – it performs well, it’s compact and well designed. It will be my travel dryer for all my upcoming trips.

For the flat iron I have mixed feelings. With any travel sized flat iron I think it should be expected that it won’t work the same as a full sized flat iron for my super thick hair. The T3 SinglePass Compact Flat Iron works well but it takes more time for me to straighten my hair compared to ones from GHD and HAI. Out of the two travel flat irons I featured, I have a slight preference for the CHI, although the two are very close in performance. The T3 has a more visually pleasing design and the cap is an added bonus for me (even though many brands have an extra storage or carrying case for travel).

That being said I have close friends who are die-hard loyal fans of T3 and swear by the line. Since I don’t need two travel flat irons, I will probably be regifting this one to a friend.

The T3 Compact Styling Set retails for $150 and is currently a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive (it’s a $229 value). In case you miss out on the sale this month, you can purchase the Featherweight Compact Dryer and SinglePass Compact Flat Iron individually. I give the compact dryer a huge thumbs up and the compact flat iron a semi-thumbs up mainly because I am super picky about flat irons in general, but it’s great for the size and travel purposes.

Did you check out the T3 Styling Set from the sale? Do you have any T3 favorites? If not what are your favorite styling tools?

The CHI flat iron was gifted as a press sample. All other items purchased by me.