Browsing Tag

Haircare

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.

Haircare Sisley-Paris

Hair Rituel by Sisley Review

September 5, 2018

Hair Rituel by Sisley review

Earlier this year Sisley-Paris launched a luxurious hair care line called Hair Rituel by Sisley designed to nourish the hair and scalp. I fell in love with every single item and have a review of everything launched to date. At this time they have seven pieces in their four step treatment routine:

Since moving to Florida I’ve found it challenging to maintain healthy and hydrated hair. Many of my Florida readers experience the same issues with heat, humidity and hard water. Even with a water filter many shampoos don’t lather or rinse quite the same. The Hair Rituel by Sisley has been among the few that I’ve kept using and like so much I’ve repurchased after using up press samples.

Hair Rituel by Sisley Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask

To cleanse the hair I really like the Revitalizing Smoothing Shampoo. I’ve gone through multiple bottles and think it is 100% worth the high price tag. It does help smooth the hair without making it feel heavy. It contains macadamia oil which has helped strengthen, nourish and add shine. It has a beautiful gentle scent to it and lathers/foams well. I shampoo daily.

The Restructuring Conditioner is a great gentle daily use kind of rinse out conditioner, although this is a step I don’t use daily. It’s like an instant shot of hydration for the hair and truly helps with detangling. I’ve never had issues with tangling until I moved to Florida. It helps smooth out the ends with a lightweight finish so your hair is not weighed down.

The Regenerating Hair Mask is something I use 1-2x per week. This is one of the best hair masks I’ve tried to add shine but not weight. So many hydrating hair masks won’t rinse out properly or are simply too heavy/rich for humid weather. This one has just the right combination to nourish ends of hair and scalp. It has four main oils Shea, Macadamia, Camellia and Hazelnut.

Hair Rituel by Sisley-Paris, Scalp Serum, Hair Oil and Volume Spray

For the scalp they have a really nice Revitalizing Fortifying Serum for the scalp. This is the first time I’ve used a scalp treatment at home and it does help soothe it. It has an earthy kind of scent, something I’d associate with Aesop’s skincare line. A little can go a long way and I use this 1x per week only at night or as needed. Since I’ve started using the other items I’ve had less scalp issues, but during the dry season here in Florida this helps immensely.

Hair Rituel Revitalizing Fortifying Serum for the Scalp

Last but not least are two styling products. The Precious Hair Care Oil is one of the most beautiful elegant hair oils I’ve tried. I think it is my favorite item in the collection and suitable for any hair type. This one is lightly hydrating to add shine and softness to the ends without being heavy. It’s great for me because it’s lightweight and in Florida humidity it won’t weigh it down.

Hair Rituel by Sisley Precious Hair Care Oil Glossiness and Nutrition

Sisley Hair Rituel Precious Hair Care Oil Glossiness and Nutrition

The latest launch is the Volumizing Spray which adds a nice texture throughout the hair. I use it on damp hair, spray at roots and brush it through. I follow with a blow dryer. By the time hair is dried you will notice it has more volume but also some texture. Hair is noticeably thicker with a more piecey look.

Sisley Hair Rituel Volume Spray

In addition to the full size products they’ve also launched a travel set in two variations called the Hair Rituel Smoothing Discovery Set and Volumizing Set. Both of which are a great way to try the items out before splurging on the full sizes. They each contain shampoo (one has the smoothing, one has the volume option), conditioner and hair mask in 1.6 fl oz/50 ml sizes and a hair oil in .33 fl oz/10 ml.

Sisley Hair Rituel Discovery Set Smoothing

If you are able to visit the store in NYC or their counter at Saks they have the Hair Rituel line along with Yves Durif brushes:

Sisley Paris Boutique in NYC Soho

Final thoughts are this line comes at a hefty price tag but everything performs really well. I’ve already repurchased the Smoothing Shampoo a few times over along with the Regenerating Hair Care Mask. I’ve found over the years many of my readers don’t necessarily want to splurge on makeup, but are definitely more willing to splurge on hair care or skin care. If you’re new to the line I think the Discovery Sets are the best way to start. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The shampoos work well to tame frizz and smooth my hair. I really love the mask to help with my ends.

Although I do think every piece is exquisite, my top two absolute favorites are the Regenerating Hair Mask and Precious Hair Oil.

Sisley has been kind enough to do another giveaway with me! One is here on the blog and there’s another one on my Instagram @beautylookbook so there are multiple ways to enter to win! They are giving away Discovery Sets here on the blog for 2 US readers, 18 years or older. Each winner will be able to receive 1 Discovery Set of their choice. To enter for a chance to win simply enter through the widget below. Giveaway will run through September 9, 11:59 PM EST, winners will be selected within 48 hours and contacted by e-mail. Prizes will be shipped directly from Sisley. Note the first two entry options are mandatory, there are also a few bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you tried this line before? If not what are your go-to hair products? Do you have a favorite line or brand? For those curious, full ingredient list below:

Revitalizing Volumizing Shampoo: WATER/EAU (AQUA), SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINTATE, COCO-GLUCOSIDE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, PEG-120 METHYL CLUCOSE TRIOLEATE, GLYCERIN, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, PANTHENOL, PENTLENE GLYCOL, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), ARGINNE, BISABOOL, CAMELLIA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, CORYLUS AVELLANA (HAZELNUT) SEED OIL, PYRIDOXINE HCL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, MANESIUM ASPARATE, ZINC GLUCONATE, HYDROLYZED COTTONSEED PROTEIN, PALMITOYL MYRISTYL SERINATE, COPPER GLUCONATE, BIOTIN, PEG-18 GLYCERYL OLEATE/COCOATE, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CHLORIDE, POLYQUATERNIUM-47, PEG-8, PROPANEDIOL, STYRENE/ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, DISODIUM EDTA, TETRASODIUM EDTA, TETRASODIUM EDTA, TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE, PEG-8/SMDI COPOLYMER, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, BENZOIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE, LIMONENE, CITRAL.

Revitalizing Smoothing Shampoo: WATER/EAU (AQUA), SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINATE,COCO-GLUCOSIDE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, PEG-120 METHYL GLUCOSE TRIOLEATE, GLYCERIN, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, PANTHENOL, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM) ARGININE, BISABOLOL, MACADAMIA INTEGRIFOLIA SEED OIL, MORINGA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, PYRIDOXINE HCL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, MAGNESIUM ASPARTATE, ZINC GLUCONATE, HYDROLYZED COTTONSEED PROTEIN, PALMITOYL MYEISTYL SERINATE, COPPER GLUCONATE, BIOTIN, PEG-18 GLYCERYL OLEATE/COCOATE, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CHLORIDE, POLYQUARWENIUM-22, PEG-8, PROPANEDIOL, STYRENE/ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, POLYQUATERNIUM-47, DISODIUM EDTA, PEG-8/SMDI COPOLYMER, TETRASODIUM EDTA, TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, BENZOIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE, LIMONENE, CITRAL.

Restructuring Conditioner: WATER/EAU (AQUA), HYDROXYPROPYL STARCH PHOSPHATE, BEGENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, GLYCERIN, C9-12 ALKANE, CETYL ALCOHOL, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, GRAGRANCE (PARFUM), AMINOPROPYL DIMETHICONE, CORYLUS AVELLANA (HAZELNUT) SEED OIL, PANTHENOL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, HYDROLYZED COTTONSEED PROTEIN, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, PALMITOYL MYRISTYL SERINATE, BIOTIN, DIMETHICONE, POLYQUATERNIUM-22, ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, POLYQUATERNIUM-47, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PEG-8, DISODIUM EDTA, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, DIMETHICONOL, CITRIC ACID, PEG-8/SMDI COPOLYMER, SODIUM POLACRYLATE, SORBIC ACID, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, LIMONENE, CITRAL.

Hair Care Mask: WATER/EAU (AQUA), CETYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERIN, C9-12 ALKANE, HYDROXYPROPYL STARCH PHOSPHATE, BEHENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), PANTHENOL, ARGINNE, BISABOLOL, PYRIDOXINE HCL, HYDROLYZED COTTONSEED PROTEIN, HYDROLYZED RICE PROTEIN, CAMELLIA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, CORYLUS AVELLANA (HAZELNUT) SEED OIL, MACADAMIA INTEGRIFOLIA SEED OIL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, PALMITOYL MYRISTYL SERINATE, HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN, HYDROLYZED LINSEED EXTRACT, BIOTIN, MAGNESIUM ASPARTATE, ZINC GLUCONATE, COPPER GLUCONATE, COPPER GLUCONATE, AMINOPRPYL DIMETHICONE, ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, POLYQUATERNIUM-47, PEG-8, DISODIUM EDTA, CITRIC ACID, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, PEG-8/SMDI COPOLYMER, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE, SORBIC ACID, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, LIMONENE, CITRAL.

Revitalizing Fortifying Serum for the Scalp: AQUA/EAU (AQUA), ALCOHOL DENAT, GLYCERIN. PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, PANTHENOL, ARGINNE, BISABOLOL, PYRIDOXINE HCL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, MAGNESIUM ASPARTATE, ZINC GLUCONATE, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) LEAF EXTRACT, COPPER GLUCONATE, HYDROLYZED RICE PROTEIN, HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN, HYDROLYZED LINSEED EXTRACT, BIOTINOYL TRIPETIDE -1, THYMUS MASTICHINA FLOWER OIL, THYMUS VULGARUS (THYME) OIL, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, PPG-26-BUTETH-26, YDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, CITRIC ACID, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, DISODIUM EDTA,SODIUM HYSROXIDE, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, LINALOOL, LIMONENE, CITRAL.

Hair Care Oil: DIMETHICONE, C-9-12 ALKANE, DIMETHICONOL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) OIL, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), GOSSYPIUM HERBACEUM (COTTON) SEED OIL, MORINGA OLEFERA SEED OIL, PASSIFLORA INCARNATA SEED OIL, TOCOPHEROL, HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, LIMONENE, CITRAL, EUGENOL, LINALOOL.

Many thanks to the Sisley team for providing the Hair Rituel items for review and also for hosting the giveaway.

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 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. Note the one I’ve reviewed is limited-edition for 2017. Current 2018 version Dyson Blown Ouai Set comes with the matte black dryer and slight variation of products.

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 🙂

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. One shown is 2017 version. New version here.

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 win a special limited-edition Dyson Your Blowout Set 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?

 

Haircare

Summer Haircare Loves

August 16, 2017

Summer Haircare Loves Styling and Shampoo | The Beauty Look Book

I have an updated hair care routine for summer to share today. Since moving to Florida I’ve been struggling for months to find a good shampoo + conditioner combo. The water here is so different from California and even with a filter in the home, many shampoos and conditioners simply don’t rinse or lather the same. I’ve tried a lot of my tried and true favorites alongside probably at least 15 other formulas and it’s been a real challenge to find something that works. Also with the heat, humidity, chlorine and salt my hair behaves differently. It gets dried out easily but the humidity also means sweat and oils surface so it feels like everything is just a hot mess. For a quick recap on my hair – I have long thick frizz-prone hair. It’s never been colored or highlighted (at least not yet). Many of the styling product favorites remain the same. My current favorites right now listed below.

Shampoo, Conditioners and Rinses

  • Molton Brown Inspiring Basil and Vetiver Shampoo and Conditioner ($30 each for 10 fl oz) is part of a limited-edition collection Molton Brown created for the Seabourn cruise line. This is my current holy grail duo. I’ve tried at least a dozen other brands and formulas over the past months and nothing compares to this duo for a good wash. It cleanses and leaves the hair feeling super soft and naturally shiny. It has a very soothing soft natural scent. I’m a bit upset it’s limited-edition as I’d love to keep repurchasing this for like FOREVER. I’m stocking up so I’ll be able to have this for a while. The entire Molton Brown x Seabourn Collection is amazing. I highly recommend you check it out.
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts ($53 for 250 ml) is seriously an amazing volumizing past. You apply it to dry hair and scalp, add water and it foams up into a volumizing paste that feels airy and thick at the same time. It leaves the hair bouncy and full without any added weight.
  • Oribe Cleansing Creme for Moisture Control ($46 for 8.5 oz) isn’t shown because I’ve run out twice since moving to Florida. It was a favorite in California and is still a favorite here in Florida. I use this about 2 to 4x a week switching it out for regular shampoo/conditioner. It’s perfect to restore dry hair to a more natural balanced state.

Styling Sprays

  • Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo ($22 to $44) is something I keep in purse occasionally in the smaller size as a refresher. I wash my hair everyday, sometimes twice a day – it’s something I’ve always done and with the summer humidity I think it’s an absolute must. I tend to use dry shampoo as a refresher to absorb oil if I’ve been out for a while and don’t have time to go home to wash it (ie mid-day). There’s really nothing that will fix extreme humidity or wet hair from being rained on, but I find this is a pretty good fix to refresh hair. Back in San Diego there were occasions I did skip a day of washing here and there. This is my go-to for a dry shampoo. It doesn’t have a white cast and as someone with dark hair I really hate any that make my hair look dusty, ashy or grey.
  • MarulaOil Rare Oil Style Extending Primer ($30 for 130 ml) this is a primer spray that’s designed to extend the life of your hair styling. It smooths and primes the hair for heat styling. On me it works to detangle wet hair. I like the way it smells and it keeps hair looking smooth and frizz free all day even with humidity.
  • Christophe Robin Hydrating Leave-In Mist with Aloe Vera ($39 for 150 ml) is a light detangling spray with the most amazing natural soothing scent. It really does work well as a detangler. I have a slight preference for this over the MarulaOil one although they have a similar effect.

Oils and Creams

  • Shu Uemura Art of Hair Blow Dry Beautifier Thermo BB Serum ($39 for 150 ml) is another favorite right now. I reviewed this back in June alongside the BB Cream. Both are really good lightweight primers for heat styling or air drying. They help keep shape but in a natural looking way. If you’re familiar with Shu Uemura Art of Hair these both have a similar effect to the Satin Design Polishing Milk but have a lighter finish/feel. If you’re more of a spray person I’d recommend the Wonder Worker. You really can’t go wrong with any of them – they’ve all performed extremely well for me as multi-tasking preheat or post styling treatments. Right now I like the BB Serum the best.
  • Moroccanoil Treatment Light ($15 to $44 depending on size) is one of those versatile multi-taskers that great for anything. I can use this as a a styling or finishing product. I love both the regular and light version but for summer I’ve been loving this light one to add a natural shine. I can add it to clean towel-dried hair and just let it air dry. For heat treatment it helps protect the ends and keeps it looking nice and shiny.
  • Verb Ghost Oil ($14 for 2 oz) is another great lightweight oil. It smells fresh and light and won’t weigh down the hair. It comes with a pump (huge plus for me) and gives the hair a fluid soft sheen.
  • Ouai Rose Hair and Body Oil (miniature shown from Morning After Kit here and here, full size here) is something I reviewed a few months ago. I still love this for both body and hair. I like this on damp hair or on ends to add a bit of shine with a nice scent.

Hair Perfume

  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Hair Mist ($65 for 70 ml) is a beautiful hair perfume. After all these years of hair mists I still haven’t tried many as I’d rather just spray perfume in my hair. This has completely changed my outlook. This one is light and soft and alcohol-free. It’s a soft floral with a bit of citrus and musk and mists the hair in a fine veil of scent. Lasting power is quite good on me – I was able to smell it even in late afternoon.

In terms of styling tools, I still haven’t found a brush that I 100% love for function and looks. Right now I use a CHI Turbo Paddle Brush which I’ve had for years and is pretty worn down. If you have any ones you love let me know in the comments. For blow dryers my go-to’s are in this post and you can also see my hair type there as well.

That wraps up my summer hair care loves! What are your current favorites right now? If you can share your hair type as well that would be super helpful 🙂 If you live in Florida or have traveled here for an extended time I’d love to hear what you’ve used or use while here!

Press samples include the Shu Uemura BB Serum, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Hair Mist, Christophe Robin Volumizing Paste, Christophe Robin Leave-In Mist, Molton Brown Seabourn Collection.

 

Beauty Favorites Haircare Skincare

Best Skincare and Haircare Discoveries 2016

December 30, 2016

Best Skincare and Haircare 2016

Today I’m rounding up my top picks in skincare and haircare for the year. I discovered a lot of great items for my sensitive skin – it was a challenge to narrow it down to such an edited list. I used up quite a bit over the course of the year – to do a post listing all the items I used and repurchased in the last 12 months would be quite extensive. Part of me wanted to do a favorites roundup for every category, perhaps I’ll do one in the new year, but for now here’s are my top picks:

Haircare

Face Cleanser and Toner

  • Bioderma Sensibio Tonic Lotion is a toner I discovered a few months ago, it’s gentle and perfect for sensitive skin to balance and soothe, it’s available in two sizes and I bought the full size as well – wish I had discovered it sooner! Now I don’t have to spend $90 to replenish my La Mer The Tonic because I’ve found a great alternative
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser (review here) is a mud to foam cleanser, it’s the best clarifying one that helps absorb excess oil, reduce redness, and prevent breakouts, in the summer I use this daily in the evenings or post-workout, during non-hot months I use this 2-3x per week
  • Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash (reviewed here) is the cleanser I reach for the most and have repurchased the most, best gentle everyday cleanser I’ve tried that doesn’t dry out the skin but still leaves it clean, I’ve tried all of her cleansers and they are all great (yes ALL of them) but this one is the best for me for daily use (my brother loves this one as well), she just launched an EradiKate Cleanser and I rarely say this these days but this is something I absolutely feel the NEED TO TRY, it’s in my shopping cart right now

Face Mask

  • Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask (reviewed here) one of my favorite purifying masks that’s still gentle
  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (reviewed here) a stronger option but draws out all excess oil and helps clear up the skin, if you have broken skin or extremely sensitive skin, I’d recommend using this as a spot treatment or patch test first

Moisturizers

Night Treatments – as someone who has extra sensitive skin, I cannot use most creams with any Vitamin C or Retinol without peeling or redness, Kate Somerville is one of the best lines for me in terms of night treatments

Extras

  • Armani Prima Day-Long Skin Perfector (reviewed here) best primer I tried this year and I’m kinda an anti-primer girl because they usually don’t do anything for my skin to extend makeup wear time
  • Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover (reviewed here) is the key product I use to keep my cuticles looking groomed and healthy, I know an updated hand and nail care post is long overdue – I’ll do a 2017 version in the new year
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade (also featured here and here) one of the best nourishing treatments, it’s so good I bought a second one to keep in my purse and one to keep at  home
  • Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift (review here and here) combines hyaluronic acid and oxygen to help prevent wrinkles and give the skin a more even looking texture, this is probably the best thing I have discovered in skincare
  • Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment is the best pimple treatment, the key is to use it the minute you feel something start to surface and don’t use it on open wounds or broken skin, my husband uses this and it makes me giggle when we have matching pink spots on our faces at night because it looks so ridiculous, but it works!
  • Kiehl’s Scented Hand Cream Trio 2 of 3 shown is part of a limited-edition set exclusive to Neiman Marcus, you can find the three scents available in larger sizes individually as well or in the original unscented-version
  • Lano Lips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm in Strawberry (reviewed here) is tied with the Dior Pomade for best lip balm discovery of the year
  • Lavanila Deodorant is the only deodorant I’ve used for the past two years, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t report on that aspect, but I love that it’s natural, keeps odor away and lasts all day long for me, I’ve tried around 4 different scents by now and all of them were great, the travel-sized ones are perfect to throw in the purse or to travel with

In the upcoming year I plan to be more diligent about testing and using eye creams. I’ve gone through a few this year but did not use them on a regular basis (mainly because I was lazy). I know with the eyes, wrinkle prevention and sun protection are key so I need to stop procrastinating and start acting now! If you have any recommendations for someone who is 35 years old (me) let me know in the comments and I will be forever grateful.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup! I feel as though I left out quite a few good discoveries but tried to keep the list to under 30 products so I wouldn’t end up regurgitating the entire year of blog posts for hair care and skin care.

What were your 2016 favorites in skincare and hair care?

Save

Save

Save

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 🙂

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

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Haircare Holiday Gift Guide Skincare

Holiday Gift Guide: Sephora Favorites Sets and Birchbox Discovery Kits

November 3, 2016
Holiday Gift Guide - Birchbox Kits and Sephora Favorites Sets

I have my first holiday gift guide of the year today featuring some great discovery gift sets. Birchbox and Sephora each have their own curated box sets with hand-picked items. They’re often grouped and boxed by themes such as dry shampoos, berry lips, nude lips, sunscreen, skincare etc. They’ve basically taken their best sellers and packed them into sampler boxes with minis at a value price. I love these for myself because it allows me to try a lot of items without having to buy the individual full sizes I’m unsure about. Each store has their own exclusive selection which makes them unique.

There are tons of boxes and kits to choose from. Many are pretty affordable and tons at the $25 price point. This year I shopped sets early as I know there’s a good chance the value sets of them will sell out early. My friends this year are all about hair styling and highlighters. It seems like every single female friend I have doesn’t have time to wash and dry their hair on a daily basis. The good thing this year is that there are TONS of dry shampoo sets and holiday styling sets for all hair types. Highlighters are also as popular among my friends as they are on Instagram lol. Sets are great because even though I think I can find the perfect highlighter or dry shampoo for my close friends we all have different tastes and preferences.

Up first are some of the Birchbox Kits. Birchbox is known for their monthly subscription boxes and for the longest time I thought that was all that they offered. Not true. The Birchbox Collection has an entire shop of discovery kits, limited-edition box sets, and much more. If you visit their store you’ll see their products grouped by product type and then brand. An entire wall will be dedicated to suncare and they’ll split it by types of sunscreens. Their value sets are really cute and well put together. You can also buy individual full-sized items as well.

Up first is The Dry Shampoo Starter Kit for $32 ($74 value) you get an amika (Fort)Tress Shower Cap, amika Perk Up Dry-Shampoo, R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo (one of my favorites), Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, Living proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.

To date the R+Co had been my favorite but has been replaced with the Oribe Dry Shampoo that just launched a couple months ago. Neither leave my hair looking dusty or matte and there is no white residue. One of my friends swears by the Living Proof one which I tried. It left my hair looking too matte. As this set is a gift I won’t be reviewing the other items but thought you would like a peek at this one.

Birchbox The Dry Shampoo Starter Kit - The Beauty Look Book
If Dry Shampoo isn’t your thing, not to worry. They have a Thin to Thick Styling Kit ($20), Coily and Curly Hair Kit ($18), The Wavy & Curly Hair Kit ($18). Numerous brands have their own sets as well.
Next is the one I’m just beyond obsessed with. In my What’s In My Bag post I mentioned this Birchbox + Oribe Styling Kit. It has five minis of Oribe – cute beyond words!! I ordered two of these, one for me, one for a friend. I suspect I will be ordering a few more as you just can’t go wrong with Oribe. It’s priced at $35, each bottle is tiny but if you’ve never tried Oribe before this is a great way to try out the line without having to buy individual bottles which are around $20 each for the minis.

Birchbox Oribe Styling Kit - The Beauty Look Book

One kit I received as a press sample was the Complete SPF Kit. When I visited the Birchbox Soho Store over the summer I was just blown away by the presentation and display of the store. If you’re in NYC definitely make a stop there. The bottom floor is for men’s grooming and skincare so bring your boyfriend, husband, brother or male friends with you. They can build their own Birchbox too!

This one is priced at $18 – you get mini sample sizes of Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream, MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50, Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day SPF 30 UV Sun Fluid, Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50, COOLA Face SPF 30 Unscented, COOLA Daydream SPF 30 Mineral Makeup Primer. I have yet to try all of these but I’ve tried both the Coola ones and find them suitable for my sensitive skin.
Birchbox Complete SPF Kit - The Beauty Look Book

Next are the Sephora Favorites. I think one could seriously get carried away with the sets because they have SO MANY good things in them! One of the complaints my friends have about makeup is that the size of some things are just too big and it take them forever to use something up. Minis are popular among friends who like to rotate items frequently because you can use them up faster.

Up first is the Sephora Favorites Scouted by Sephora set which is $24 for five minis. This one features 5 up-and-coming brands at Sephora. I received this one as a gift and haven’t had a chance to try the items yet, but have been really curious about Milk Makeup so I’m eager to try the mascara. It has a Bésame Cosmetics Red Matchbook, GrandeLIPS Hydrating Plumper, Makeup Eraser Mini in Pink, MILK MAKEUP Ubame Mascara, Wander Beauty Lip and Cheek Mini in Pink City.

Sephora Favorites Scouted By Sephora - The Beauty Look Book

Next is the Sephora Favorites Glow for It. This one sold out online but I spotted it in store and picked up two. It’s since been restocked online and I can see why it’s been a popular one. For $30 you get minis of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Moonstone, Benefit Watt’s Up, Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops in C+ Lemongrass – Radiance, Hourglass Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder in Incandescent Strobe Light, MILK MAKEUP Sunshine Oil and a full size Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Crème Highlighter in Glowing Lights 06. The Lancome blush itself is $30 so the set is a steal.

I already have 3 of the items in the full size (Hourglass Strobe Powders swatched here) but almost want one for myself.
Sephora Favorites Glow For It - The Beauty Look Book

Another one is the Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue Masks on the Go ($25). This one is listed as being an $85 value. It has quite a lot of product to sample – to date I’ve tried three of the items from Ouai, Phyto and Christophe Robin and all three are great. This one has Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque, Phyto Phytokératine Extrême Exceptional Mask, Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Masque, Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil
, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day® Night Cap Overnight Perfector, Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask, Ouai Treatment Masque, VERB Hydrating Mask, and two packet sets of Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy Treatment For Deep Hydration & Superior Shine Treatment Step 1 & 2. 

I wish I had this set last year when I was traveling for a month. It would have been perfect as it has packets small enough to pack in a carry on. One of my friends is obsessed with masks – skincare and haircare. She is going to freak out when she gets this one.
Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue Mask Set - The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least is the Sephora Favorites Ready, Set, Style! This one was a bit pricier at $29 but the sizes of each spray was pretty impressive. You get five sprays for hair refreshers, volumizers and texturizers. It includes Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, IGK Down and Out Dirty Spray, Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray.

Sephora Favorites Ready Set Style Hair Set - The Beauty Look Book

I’m also a sucker for hair care minis like my friends. Three sets that caught my eye for me were the Ouai Style Edit Set ($25), Bumble and Bumble Big Beachy Hair Surf ($31), and the Sephora Favorites Style, Treat & Repeat! Custom Hair Essentials On the Go ($25) – you can mix/match to pick 5 of 15 of their bestselling hair treatments. As my bathroom is overflowing with hair care products I’ll have to try to resist these and use up what I have. I won’t complain if one of them shows up in my Christmas stocking though 🙂

That wraps up my first holiday gift guide. I hope these give you a better idea of what the sets look like compared to stock photos although I do think that both Birchbox and Sephora do a really good job at giving us accurate stock images on their websites.

The Sephora VIB Rouge 20% off sale starts tomorrow November 4th and runs through November 7th. If you’re shopping online use code 20ROUGE. I received an early code from a Sephora employee so was able to shop the sale early. I’ll have my Sephora shopping recommendations roundup up later this afternoon for those who are trying to research early.

For now I hope this sets post give you some ideas for affordable gift options. The ones I featured are all very reasonable in price ranging from $18 to $35 which won’t break the bank if you buy multiples. They’re great for holiday gifts or to treat yourself. I’m seriously tempted to keep a few of these for myself – I may order one or two more once the Sephora sale starts.
The Birchbox Complete SPF Kit and Scouted By Sephora Set gifted as press samples. Remainder featured purchased by me.
powered by chloédigital