Sep 252014
 

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.

Oribe Signature and Supershine11

 

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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Jun 262014
 

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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Apr 132014
 

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair1

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.

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair2

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.

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair3

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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Apr 092014
 

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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Jan 112014
 

Hair heat protectants06

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.

Hair heat protectants07

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.

Hair heat protectants08

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

Hair heat protectants10

 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:

Hair heat protectants11

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

Hair heat protectants09

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).

Hair heat protectants01

 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.

Hair heat protectants03

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.

Alterna CC Cream2

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!

Alterna CC Cream5

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.

Alterna CC Cream6

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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