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The Hairspray That Almost Ruined My Life

February 27, 2011

I know that beauty bloggers are supposed to be upbeat and gentle in their reviews, or at least that is what I gather from reading so many.  And not to be a drama queen (well, maybe a little), but there are some experiences where beauty products go so wrong that I cannot help but express my opinions in an emphatic, even urgent, tone.

Once while browsing in Sephora, I picked up a travel size Oscar Blandi Lacca ($11) hair spray.  I’ve used Paul Mitchel Firm Style hairspray, L’Oreal Elnet (U.S. and French), and a few other random choices.  In my defense, I bought (and loved) several other Oscar Blandi products at the same time (reviews forthcoming).  When I went out of town for an important event, I did that thing you should never, ever do when traveling (write the next sentence down). I brought Oscar Blandi Lacca, which I had never home-tested first.  You doubt this rule?  Girlfriend, do not even go there.  Friends don’t let friends pack untested beauty products.  No exceptions, because that’s exactly how you end up in an out-of-town drugstore (which is the only thing open at 7 a.m.), trying desperately to remember which lines aren’t supposed to make you look clownish, instead of what you did bring.  Which does.

I woke hours before my event, preparing.  I showered and did my makeup.  And not to brag, by my makeup was done perfectly.  Really, epic.  I’m not sure whether I’ll ever replicate it.  After styling my hair, I reached for Oscar Blandi Lacca.  Testing it in the sink first to check the spray, it seemed fine.  I went for it, then it hit me.  The scent of this product was overwhelming and, to my preference, not at all pleasant.

At this point, I was t-minus 15 minutes to event departure.  After about 2 minutes, I decided that the scent was not fading.  I could not imagine spending all day, with other people, and that scent.  I literally re-washed my hair and re-did my makeup in the remaining 13 minutes, packed, and still managed to get a receipt for my hotel stay.

Thinking my senses might have been distorted, I gave Oscar Blandi Lacca the sniff test again, in the comfort and leisure of my own home.  Nope, still there.  Oscar Blandi Lacca is not for me.  Just my opinion.

Edit: I spoke to my hairdresser about this.  He was pretty certain that this product had gone “off” either while sitting on the shelf or in transit.  Perhaps a fresher bottle will have a different scent.

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  • Charlestongirl February 27, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for the warning! I also found some products in this line obnoxiously scented.

  • Jenny February 27, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I don’t think that beauty bloggers need to be nice and gentle, but honest. If a product is really bad then as I reader I want to read it’s bad and why. It’s not as if we owe the companies any nice reviews, but the other way round! ;D Anyway, I love your blog!

  • Ariel February 27, 2011 at 8:44 am

    It’s so helpful to see what other people find to be the worst products ever. There have been a few times when I purchased something horrible and I wished that someone had warned me!

    • Amy February 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Maybe I should do a segment “Five Things I’m Hating Right Now” Honestly!

      • Lucy February 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm

        LOL, Amy! That would be interesting.

      • Gisele February 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

        I’ll second that thought. Maybe “5 Things That Aren’t Working for Me?” or “5 Fence-Sitters?’

  • Gisele February 27, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Oh, Amy, I shuddered (literally) at the scene that you so deftly described, and you used restraint! Oscar Blandi products have never, and I mean, never, worked on my hair. I use Sebastian Shaper when I use a hair spray, which is not often, but it does not make my hair crunchy. There is a smell, but it goes away. Home-test it first, okay!?

    • Amy February 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Yes, ma’am! Lesson learned! I’ve actually used Sebastian Shaper and really liked it. I’m actually not that picky in the hair spray department.

      • Gisele February 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

        After that hair-mare, you’ve earned the right to be picky or, as I like to say, highly selective!

  • Michelle February 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Kudos to you — I could never, ever get ready in 13 minutes! Too bad the hairspray was that bad. But good to know to stay away from it! :)