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Hair Shu Uemura

Review: Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo and Conditioner

May 5, 2016

Shu Hair 5

If you color your hair (including you, if you have highlights!), you already know that keeping it in excellent condition is a challenge. Coloring can be harsh, even if one goes to excellent salons. Shu Uemura’s Art of Hair Color Lustre’s series is targeted to preserve color, deliver shine, and protect the hair from damage. I’ve been using the Color Lustre Sulfate-Free Brilliant Glaze Shampoo and Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Conditioner for the past few weeks, and have experienced a noticeable improvement in shine, bounce, softness and smoothness. What’s not to love?

Shu Uemura’s Sulfate Free Brilliant Glaze Shampoo (10 oz. $48) is a lightweight, pearly liquid that cleans hair perfectly while leaving it soft and shiny. My hair felt clean, but never dry or stripped. It’s rare to find a shampoo that strikes this balance just right, and is also kind to color. I experienced no color fading. In fact, my color looked better than ever because the condition of my hair improved significantly.

This shampoo includes Musk Rose Oil, which has healing and nourishing properties. It also has Goji Berry Extract (a source of anti-oxidants) to protect color.

The shampoo has a subdued scent with the following notes:

FRAGRANCE: Rose of Japan
TOP NOTE: Mandarin, Grapefruit, Black-Currant, Cardamon Essence
HEART NOTE: Rose, Freesia, Violet
BASE NOTE: Sandalwood, Musk, Vanilla

She Uemura’s Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Conditioner (8 oz./$58) surprised me. This conditioner feels lightweight and non-greasy. Usually light conditioners isn’t really effective for me.  However, The Brilliant Glaze conditioner absorbed very easily and really delivered soft, shiny, healthy hair.  This conditioner is worthy of the premium name.

Like the shampoo, Shu’s Color Lustre adds Musk Rose Oil and Goji Berry Extract. The scent was quite similar to the shampoo. For both, I found that the scent didn’t last far beyond the treatment time and did not clash with my perfume. Overall, big love for both of these. It’s wonderful to see that Shu Uemura’s Art of Hair delivers so beautifully.  Highly recommended.

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These are both available at Shu Uemura Art of Hair online. 

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. Affiliate links.

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Hair

Review: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Nightcap Overnight Perfector

August 19, 2015

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 1

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day ($28/4 oz.) has been transformative for my travel-weary hair. In part because of using random shampoos, hard water and my colorist (whom I love but still), my hair has begun to frizz out. With five pumps and a good night’s rest, Living Proof’s Phd works overnight to magically transform my hair into something soft, sleek and shiny. Not kidding, I’m being serious here. Living Proof PhD is sold at SephoraLiving Proof online (use code PRIMESPR for a GWP), Walgreens and Drugstore.com.

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Hair Kerastase

Fighting Winter Frizz: Success with Kerastase

November 29, 2014

Keratase hair success1 copy

There have been such continual raves for two Kerastase products that I had to try them myself, especially now that winter fly-away season has arrived. I’ve been very impressed with this little tube of Kerastase Touche Perfection ($35), which can be applied directly to wet or dry hair for lovely body, control, and anti-frizz. Essentially, it acts as a finisher to make the hair look tamed, full of life, and with a touch of extra shine.
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It takes just a dime-sized amount to run through my ends to give me a good-hair day. It doesn’t weigh my fine hair down.  The line suggests that you can put this in your bag and retouch your ends throughout the day. I don’t see any reason why not, but I haven’t done that yet. Once a day in the morning has been enough for me.

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The little squeeze-tube is foolproof. I haven’t been careful in my application. I’m sure that on some days I use double what I’ve used the day before, but my hair still looks good and doesn’t get heavy or greasy. I love how this makes my hair look healthy and strong.  This feels like there are silicons in the formula. According to the line the key ingredients are:

  • Iris Royal Complexe®: Iris Rhizome Extract, protects against oxidation/ Royal Jelly, replenishes dry hair on the surfaceDiscipline-Enhancing Polymer: Tames rebellious split-ends and conditions dry ends. Smoothing Agent: Reduces friction between fibers and restores softness

I bought both products directly from the Kerastase website (they are having a few holiday discount items right now).

My other success story is Kerastase’s Elixir Ultime Moringa Immortel ($56).  This is my favorite hair oil du jour–it doesn’t feel oily in my hair at all, and looks wonderful. It adds bounce and shine, breathing some life and health into my hair. In combination with some Oribe products that I’ve been using for the past few months, these have really been game changers for me.

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This hair oil comes with a nicely-controllable pump. I am not scientific in my application technique. I just scrunch some into my ends. They’ve never looked weighed down, and this does smell really nice and fresh.

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According to the company, this includes:

Vitamin A and C and Immortal Moringa: Highly concentrated in calcium, iron and magnesium, key ingredients for damaged hair
Maize Oil: Delivers emollient and anti-oxidant active ingredients for ultimate shine
Pracaxi Oil: Brings shine, nourishment and deep conditioning to the hair
Camellia Oil: Helps smooth the hair fiber, resulting in incredible shine
Argan Oil: Helps restore strength to the hair and protects it from external aggressors

Keratase hair success8 copyAlso, I can over-staturate my hair with the Elixir Ultime Moringa Immortel for a Sunday morning leave-in treatment. I’m loving the results from both products so much.

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Hair

Hair Care: Oribe Signature Shampoo and Conditioner

September 25, 2014

Oribe Signature and Supershine08I started going gray in my early 20’s, and I began having it colored soon after. By this point in my life my hair needs TLC almost constantly. Although I’d love to get away with inexpensive hair products, I’ve embraced the need to use premium products to tame its tendency toward coarseness and its need for constant moisture.

Oribe Signature and Supershine12Every time I try something from Oribe, I fall more and more in love with the line. The scents are complex and beautiful, but the real payoff are the incredible results. Today, I opened a new set of Oribe Signature Shampoo ($36) and Signature Conditioner ($39).  Even a single use of this duo makes my hair soft, manageable and shiny.

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The shampoo uses a covered flip top. No messing with separate caps in the shower.

Oribe signature shampoo

It’s surprising that my hair doesn’t seem to need any styling products after using this duo.

Oribe Signature and Supershine10The conditioner uses a flip-top cap.

Oribe Signature and Supershine14This gives me “celebrity level” hair, if I can create a phrase. I actually bought the Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream ($49) to go with the set, but my hair didn’t seem to need it today after using the Signature Shampoo and Conditioner.  I’ll have to report on this one later.Oribe Signature and Supershine05Overall, another successful experience with Oribe. Bot  Oribe Signature Shampoo ($36) and Signature Conditioner ($39) are available at Barneys (free ship with all orders).

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Hair Shiseido

HUM Nutrition Runway Ready Supplements Review

June 26, 2014

Hum runway ready01 As I was running through a Sephora a few weeks ago grabbing some items, I noticed the HUM Nutrition Supplements that looked fun and friendly. Taking care of ourselves means eating right, but sometimes I need a little something to help my hair and nails to look their best. Because I really do agree with the line’s tag “Beauty Starts from Within,” I agreed to try out the HUM Runway Ready set ($36/30 pack). On my way to Colorado, I took a roughly two-week supply in my bag, which proved to be a good decision. Hum runway ready07 These daily envelopes each contain a mix of HUM’s Red Carpet and Killer Nails formulas. Each day during my trip, I found these very easy to integrate into my very packed days. I’d have one pre-measured envelope with a glass of Emergen C.  Easy peasy! Hum runway ready08 Although the line recommends that these be taken with food, I slipped up some days without any side effects (oops!). Anyway, the pills were very small and easy to swallow, and I had the side benefit of knowing that I was adding a little “beauty from the inside” once a day.  Click to enlarge: Hum ingredients If you don’t like the envelope format, these supplements are available in standard bottles, as well as other offerings to address a variety of beauty concerns, including firmer skin, hydration and omega-3 for overall health. Hum runway ready09Overall, I was impressed with the ease of use and convenience of the line. Definitely worth a look.

Hum runway ready02This was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Hair

Skincare Sunday: Nelson j. Beverly Hills Argain Oil Shampoo and Healing Hair Mask

April 13, 2014

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I was sent this set of Nelson j. Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Shampoo and Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask ($22/$20 respectively). According to his website, Nelson j. is a stylist to the stars who believes in natural hair care products that deliver. Both are wonderful for my colored hair, leaving it feeling soft and healthy. Because I color my hair, and because the water in the region where I live is not very good (despite the care and feeding of a water softener), I’m constantly battling the War on Frizz.

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The Nelson j. Argan Oil 7 Shampoo is an argan and coconut creamy liquid, that cleans, protects color, moisturizes and enhances shine. I actually love using it–it does leave my hair de-frizzed, shiny, soft and there is zero color fading. It feels great, and makes my hair feel great too. The cleansing is thorough, but my hair doesn’t feel stripped. For me, this was a big win.

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I also loved the Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask. I used the coconut scented version, which was really pleasantly scented. The texture is a cream, which does not require much to work. When used with the shampoo, I got really good results–soft, shiny hair. What more can I ask?

Overall, this is a really nice combination. I liked this more than some other shampoos that I’ve tried in this same (and lower) price range. If you see these nearby, they are worth a look.

Ingredients for shampoo:  Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived from Coconut), Dimethicone (Derived from Volcano Rock), Decyl Glucoside (Derived from Sugar), Argania Spinosa Seed Oil, Glycerin (Veg and Coconut Oils), Stearalkonium Chloride (Plants Derived), Behentrimonium Methosulfate (Rapseed Oil), Orange Oil, Pepper Mint, Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived Coconut), Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived Coconut), Dicetyl Phosphate (Derived from Coconut), Glyceryl Stearate (Derived from Rapseed Oil), PEG-100 Stearate (Derived from Palm Oil), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol (Plants Derived), Beads, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plants Derived), Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Beads, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plants Derived), Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Ethylhexylglycerin (Vegetable Derived).

Ingredients for Moisture Healing Mask: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol (Derived from Coconut), Amodimethicone (Derived from Volcano Rock), Cetrimonium Bromide, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Argania Spinosa Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane (Derived from Volcano Rock), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ethylhexyl Stearate (Plants Oil), Tocepheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citrus Acid, Jojoba Crystal, Dimethicone, Scent, Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Ethylhexylglycerin (Vegetable Derived), Yellow 11 and Red 17.

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Bite Beauty Brushes and Tools Hair

Here’s Three Things I’m Obsessed with Right Now…

April 9, 2014

Here’s a quick review of the top three things that I’m obsessing about right now….

First, remember that Sephora 15% off discount for beauty insiders ends on Thursday, April 10, 2014. This is a great time to try new things, or to stock up on staples like hair care, skin products, and tools.

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This time around, my “fun” item that went into my cart is this Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss set ($49.00 before discount). Although these glosses aren’t full size, there are twelve (12) at a fairly generous 0.05 ounce size. If you want to start seeing the world through rose-colored glosses, here’s your set.

Decontructed Lip colors

Second, I tried the Wayne Goss concealer trick, and it really works for me. I thought I’d highlight it for you, because my under eye concealer is outlasting some of my foundations these days. That’s a beauty first.

To do this method, I’ve been using UD Anti-Aging Primer Potion ($24), although others will work too (so long as they aren’t too drying).

UD Primer Potion Anti-Aging1

Third, “the higher the hair….” has been my motto lately. There’s something so fun about building volume, volume, volume.  I’m still addicted to my T3 Voluminous Hot Roller set (don’t knock ’em till you’ve tried ’em), and these are 15% off right now at Sephora through April 10th for insiders. For an even quicker way to add a spritz and a tiny tease, Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray ($21 for small size) does the trick.

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This beautifully presented spray is a pleasure to use, and gives me the mane that makes me feel ready to meet my day.

oribe dry texturizing

What are you obsessed with right now?

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Hair

Sketchbook: Thermal Protectors for Hair (Kerastase and Alterna)

January 11, 2014

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Listening to the advice from different hair stylists, they all appear to agree on one thing–heat is not good for hair. Still, I’m not giving up my styling tools. Although I’ve invested in a dryer, hot roller set, and the like that promise the gentlest forms of heat, I’ve also begun to explore leave-in products to ensure my hair is as protected as possible.

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My favorite of the ones that I tried is the Kerastase Chroma Thermique ($48/5.1 oz.). Although designed for color treated hair, I have friends who have recommended it that have never had their hair colored (one, in fact, uses it on her 10-year-old daughter). It’s because this leaves your hair all kinds of awesome, and you do not need color-treated hair to get those benefits. This leave-in treatment softens, protects, and conditions hair. Kerastase Chroma Thermique’s beneficial properties are heat-activated (smart!). In fact, it’s accompanying literature claims that the beneficial properties are five times more effective when used with heat.

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This was immediately transformative, giving me far more manageable, softer, conditioned  and shiny hair.

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 For me, Kerastase’s claims for the products all seemed to be present and accounted for:

Protects hair from the stress of heat styling tools
Adds brilliance and mirror-like shine
Smooths the hair fiber
Improves hair drying time and straightening performance
Nourishes, softens and moisturizes hair
Keeps hair color vibrant with UV protection

This does not weigh my hair down at all, and the effect lasted all day and through the next. Gorgeous product. Ingredient list:

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I love this product and never want to be without it.

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It comes in a large five-ounce container, although the company sells a mini-sized for $18 if you’d like to try it with a smaller investment.  I found mine at a spa, but then I ordered a second when Kerastase had a free-ship deal around the holiday (register for their website to learn about their occasional promotions).

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 The second product that I loved was Alterna’s Bamboo Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant ($25/4.2 oz.). I should add that I have liked a few of Alterna’s products, I believe that they offer good results for the price. This is a spray leave-in product, my pump was a little wonky at first but now it seems to be working smoothly. The ingredient list is here.

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According to the company, Alterna’s Anti-Breakage protection offers protection of up to 428 degrees (my, that’s precise!).  I can confirm that, at least for me, Alterna is right to claim that the product “works to detangle, soften, and create a protective moisturizing barrier around the hair’s outer layer, eliminating dryness and brittleness while naturally increasing its strength and elasticity.” My hair looked very healthy and soft, and it really volumized my hair to a noticeable degree. Comparing this to the Kerastase Chroma Thermique, the Kerastase left my hair noticeably smoother and shinier. With Alterna’s Anti-Breakage, I had to add an additional product to smooth my hair and to add shine. Also, Alterna’s Anti Breakage added volume, but unsurprisingly the volumizing effect did not last overnight.

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Finally, I’ve been using Alterna’s Caviar CC Cream ($25/2.5 oz.) for the past several months. This leave in cream promises ten different benefits:  moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, anti-breakage, heat protection, light hold, UV protection, manageability, and strength. Whew!

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I’ve been using this mostly for its heat protective properties. It does make my hair look and feel very nice, and it’s a good all-in-one product that also works well as a leave-in-conditioner. Compared to the Kerastase, my sense is that if your hair is already healthy and shiny, this is a great product to keep it that way. If you need the big guns to transform your hair into the other-worldly shampoo-commercial condition, I’d go with the Kerastase. On the price/volume ratio, the products are about even.

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The Alterna is nice for travel as well, as the slim little tube goes easily into a overstuffed suitcase. If you’ve tried any thermal protectors, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links for the Alterna products at Sephora. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup.

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Hair T3

T3 Bodywaver 1.75″ Professional Curling Iron

November 13, 2013

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The T3 Bodywaver 1.75″ Professional Curling Iron ($149.00) caught my eye during a recent trip to Sephora (the T3 Bodywaver is also available at Nordstrom). First off, it looks like a cross between a Dyson fan and Lady Gaga’s ‘copter dress. Second, I love T3 products because they are gentle to my colored hair. Third, although I love my T3 rollers to add volume and shine, sometimes I want some even more packable and quicker for those days when I’m running really short on time. The T3 Bodywaver seemed to have all the answers.

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As the name implies, this hair tool is meant to add body to hair.  With the large 1.75″ barrel, it is not designed to provide a defined curl. Rather, this gives soft, defined, polished waves. The bottom of the box illustrates:

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Click to enlarge to read a little bit about the ceramic design, designed to add shine:

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So here is the T3 Bodywaver in all of its white, modern designed glory:

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We really weren’t sure how to approach this one, but I think we’ve figured it out now. So let’s walk through it–as you’d expect, it has a large, ceramic hollow barrel and blade to hold the hair in place as you twirl it around:

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The middle and other end has stands to keep the hot barrel away from your counter.

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The silver filigree ring is a part of the heat stand system.

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At the bottom is a swivel cord and a ring that can be turned to regulate the temperature from 280-410 degrees Fahrenheit (137-210 degrees centigrade). The lower temperatures are less damaging, the higher temperatures give a stronger, faster effect.

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The T3 Bodywaver has a 1-hour auto-shutoff.  There is a little set of lights to inform you of your temperature settings (translated to degree ranges in the accompanying booklet).

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The heat stand in the front (in action):

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Although Liz has years of experience with straighteners, the T3 Bodywaver was her first experience with a round curling-iron type product. I think she did well!  Here is Liz before our experiment, with her air-dried hair.

T3 Roller close ups liz1

After treating her hair with Alterna Caviar CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction ($25) to add heat protection, she used the T3 Bodywaver on a very low heat setting.

T3 Roller close ups liz3

For a first time user, Liz was pleased with the results. I’ve been using the T3 Bodywaver for the past few days, and I agree. I don’t like a tight curl, and I do like body and shine. I find that the T3 Bodywaver tames my flyway ends, helps the hair cuticle lie flat so my hair appears shinier, and it adds volume and life. I also like the temperature control and auto-shutoff feature. Although I still love my T3 rollers, I don’t always have time for them–this T3 Bodywaver heats up in about 30 seconds and I can get my hair done in under 5 minutes. If you are looking for something to add some polish on busy mornings, the T3 Bodywaver is worth a look.

Available at Sephora and Nordstrom.

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Hair

Oribe Volumista Mist Review

June 7, 2013

Oribe Volumista1

Oribe Volumista ($38) Mist for Volume is, as the name suggests, is a treatment spray used to give hair some oomph. Beautifully packaged in a tasteful paper box that whispers “this smells nice” (and it does, it does), this is a quick and easy way to give yourself some pouf. Not being talented with round brush twirling or major rollers. I just spray mostly into my roots, dry my hair upside down using a blow drying, and voila, I’ve got some all-day volume.

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