Jun 072013
 

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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Apr 062012
 

Recently, QVC had a “Today’s Special Value” that featured T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers ($89.88). I’m not a frequent QVC shopper–my last order with the company was in 2008. Nonetheless, the demonstration really impressed me. I mean, which hair would you rather have? I’ll go with the one on the right, please.

The shine and volume that the models achieved was really impressive.

Hair that looked dry and damaged came out bouncy, healthy, shiny, and beautiful.

Since I love my T3 hair dryer, I decided to jump on it.

 The set arrived a few days ago, and I absolutely fell in love with it. My hair is longer than shoulder length, and has been permanently colored for years. Over the last year, I’ve changed hair stylists because I found that my former stylist’s dye was too harsh for my hair. Although it looks much healthier now, the damaged middle-to-end portions will not be grown out for some time. I’ve been looking for ways to restore the shine, life, and smoothness that healthy hair should have.

The set comes with a travel case, a heating base, eight rollers and clamps. The QVC Special Value added an additional four rollers and clamps, for a total of twelve. Unlike the sets of the 1980’s, these rollers have flocked surfaces that don’t superheat hair. The rollers are comfortable, and don’t get very hot at all (about 250 degrees).  The key is to curl without damaging the hair (or as little as possible!). The T3 technology allows the rollers to hold the heat for a full 20 minutes, so the hair gets low heat for a longer time than many other rollers (which heat at a higher temperature, and cool more quickly). These are the small rollers–the mediums use the same base but the rollers are larger. There’s even large diameter rollers. You can buy extra roller sets in pairs if you want to mix up the sizes.

The heating base comes with a power cord that attaches to the back of the unit. Each roller has electrical contacts which must line up with the base to heat the roller.

I had to make sure that the rollers were sitting properly on the base, otherwise they won’t heat up.

 The heating base must be turned on to operate.

 The rollers are super easy to use. The red indicators turn white when they are warm enough. You roll the hair around the flocked surface (hold the rollers by the cool ridges on the ends), put on the clamp and leave on for 20 minutes. The clamp should sit at a 90 degree angle from your scalp, just like in the video below. This keeps the roller in place so that you can move around without any falling out. I found that the rollers, although a tad heavy, stayed in place pretty well when I placed the clamps properly. Also, it’s pretty easy to place the clamps properly–just make sure that they’re standing straight out from your scalp.

Because the rollers have heating elements and insulation inside, you do want to guard against dropping them on a hard bathroom floor (not that you would!). According to the manual, the unit is auto adjusts to the power supply (110-240 volts/ plug configuration adapter needed outside the U.S.)

It comes with a little booklet, but T3 has a Youtube channel that was far more useful. Here’s a taste:

Also, this page on QVC has the on-air demonstration (at the link “Videos” and then the “On Air Presentation”). Seriously, I couldn’t be happier with this set. Although I’m used to curling with a straightening iron, I found that my hair looks so much more voluminous and healthy with the hot rollers. Even my new stylist says that my hair looks fantastic. I absolutely love these.

Although the QVC offer is over, the sets and additional rollers are available from Sephora, Nordstrom, T3’s own website and other retailers like Folica.com.

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Apr 052011
 

My “tour de beaute” of Paris would not be complete without mentioning a new hair care discovery.  Through some emails with some lovely French women who read Café Makeup, I’ve come to pay attention to Leonor Greyl hair care products.

This is not a brand that originally attracted my attention.  The packaging is classic, quiet and does nothing to draw the eye.  The name looks a little hard for the non-French amongst us to pronounce.  Plus, I’m conditioned to think that “high tech” shampoos and conditioner are somehow cutting-edge and just better. I don’t know how, but I go weak in the knees and bring out my credit card when I hear the words “ceramic” and “nano” because my hair needs all the help it can get.  It is long, colored and sometimes has both high/low lights.

Having said all that, I bring the smallest sample sized hair care products to Europe I can find.  Big bottles are too heavy.  Tiny ones run out fast, and it forces me to try the local goodness.  And Leonor Greyl seems to be everywhere.  In Sephora, the “Grand Magasins” department stores, and in the front windows of the hair salons in very elegant neighborhoods.

One of the local Sephora stores had a 3-product trial pack for 26 euros, so I took the plunge.  This includes one  Shampooing Crème Moelle de Bambou 50 ml (cream shampoo) et un Masque Fleurs de Jasmin 50 ml. (Jasmine conditioner) and une Huile de Palme 25 ml (Palm Oil).

Like many other French brands, Leonor Greyl is based on the philosophy of using environmentally friendly, natural ingredients that deliver performance.  The company has been around for over 40 years, and developed with botanicals that use “delicate aromas and plant extracts, the products give our hair more brilliance, more glamour and more beauty.”  It’s a family business that is now run by Leonor Greyl’s daughter.

Leonor Greyl

I was extremely impressed with the performance of these products.  I typically fight the frizzies, and sometimes my hair does not feel baby-soft.  The Bambou creme shampoo lathers beautifully, and when used with the Jasmin Conditioner leaves my hair extremely, extremely soft, manageable and frizz-free.  If I need a little extra help, I can comb through a little bit of the Palm Oil to further condition my hair.  Really, one of the best results that I’ve had in years.

In fact, I was so impressed with the products that I ordered some of the full-sized versions from the Leonor Greyl website so that they will be waiting for me when I get home.  I used the product-finder at the right of the page to choose the products that are best for my hair type.  The website also lists other online retailers that cary the line, and a salon locator as well.  Highly recommended.

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Apr 012011
 

Odile Gilbert is a French hairstylist who works with the haute couture shows every season.  As it turns out, she’s made this rather genius hair pin.  I love the simple, elegant and functional design.

This pin is about 6 1/2 inches long, and is flexible and durable.  To use it,  you pull your hair into a loose bun, and pick up just a bit of the bun into the wires.  At this point, the wires are held curving away from you.  Then flip the device around (almost like closing a door), and–voila!--the bun stays all day (an instruction card comes inside the little sleeve).  I must admit it did help to have the French sales person demonstrate the product for me.

It’s shockingly easy to do, takes no time at all, it lasts the entire day and it’s extremely comfortable.  What more could one ask for?

The pins come in different colors and sizes.  I got mine at Colette in Paris, which sells online.  I understand from this article in The New York Times that the Nars Bleecker Street location is carrying them in the U.S.

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Mar 112011
 

Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray ($11 for 1.4 oz. travel/ $23 for 5 oz.) is a spray-on shampoo for those who choose to skip a day or more of shampooing.  Let’s face it, if you color or process your hair, you’ve got to be gentle.  Washing everyday, blow drying and straightening hair can be damaging, and some of us want to give our hair a rest.

On those days, Pronto Invisible is a life-safer.  It adds volume so that your hair doesn’t have that flat, lifeless look that might otherwise look weighed down.  I’ve used this several times and it’s left my hair looking clean, shiny, volumized and easy to style.

It’s also a great product for those who need about 1 1/2 days between washings (Im one of those people–every day seems too frequent and two days seems too long).

Highly recommended!  Available at Sephora.

 

 

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Nov 252010
 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been introduced to a line of hair care products that has impressive credentials-Surya Brasil.  Surya Brasil’s initial claim to fame is in henna colorants, made with 100% plant ingredients.  The company uses a philosophy of harmony with nature, eco-friendliness, being cruelty-free and delivering results.  Rather than selling their product in green packaging to evoke eco-friendliness, Surya Brazil has pursued certifications to meet standards demonstrating that their ingredients are safe, environmentally friendly, organic and vegan.

In addition to using natural ingredients, Surya Brazil avoids ingredients that might be harmful, including lead, ammonia, PPD dyes, hydrogen peroxide and parabens.   Surya Brazil started as a company that used Indian henna for hair color, and now has a complete line of other hair care and beauty products.

Because my hair is color treated, I was happy to try some products from their Color Fixation line, a gentle, conditioning series of products that is intended to preserve the quality of the hair without fading color.  It uses rice protein, cupuassu butter, buriti oil, and 15 herb/fruit extracts from India and the Amazon forest,to protect hair. I’m going to review three products in this review, which are those that I’ve used for the past several weeks and with which I have gained personal experience.

First, I tried the Color Fixation Shampoo and Conditioner:

These are well-priced at $9.99 each for 8.45 ounces per bottle, which is quite nice compared to $24/each for the No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner that I’m currently buying.  The Shampoo is quite gentle, more gentle than No Frizz.  After using it, my hair feels lightly cleansed and very soft.  The Conditioner is a daily condition, it’s light but very effective.  The Conditioner reminded me of more expensive conditioners that I’ve used, my hair had less frizz, more shine and it was easy to control.  There was no hint of heaviness or over-conditioning.  Both products rinsed very cleanly and my hair felt great. I found that both Surya Brazil Shampoo and Condition had a very light, pleasant scent.  Even better, I did not notice any color fading from its use.

Second, I loved, loved, LOVED the Color Fixation Restorative Mask ($8.99 for 7.6 ounces), a generous tub of hair-transforming product.  For the past several weeks, I’ve been deep-conditioning my hair using the Restorative Mask on Sunday mornings for roughly twenty-minutes or so.  Afterword, my hair feels wonderful–very sleek, conditioned and shiny.  I was surprised how effectively this deep-conditions my hair.  It’s as good as a professional deep clean.  The product rinses clean, without leaving a weighed-down feel.  For this price (or for that matter, even higher), it’s definitely worth it.

I haven’t seen Surya Brasil’s products in my local stores, but they do have a website and Google searching turned up a few more sources.

Shampoo: Deionized Water (Aqua), Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Xanthan Gum, Dihydroxanthan Gum, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Essential Oils (Rose Flower Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale Oil and Santalum Album Oil), Lawsonia Inermis Leaf Extract, Arnica Montana Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Paullinia Cupana Fruit Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Genipa Americana Extract, Malva Sylvestris Extract, Corylus Rostrata Seed Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa Root Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Zizyphus Joaseiro Bark Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Malpighia Punicifolia Fruit Extract, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Hydrolized Rice Protein, Vegetable Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol and DMDM Hydantoin.

Conditioner: Deionized Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Sorbitol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Essential Oils (Rose Flower Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale Oil and Santalum Album Oil), Lawsonia Inermis Leaf Extract, Arnica Montana Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Paullinia Cupana Fruit Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Genipa Americana Extract, Malva Sylvestris Extract, Corylus Rostrata Seed Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa Root Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Zizyphus Joaseiro Bark Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Malpighia Punicifolia Fruit Extract, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Hydrolized Rice Protein,Tocopheryl Acetate,  Phenoxyethanol  and DMDM Hydantoin.

Color Fixation Restorative Mask:  Deionized Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Orbignya Oleifera (Babaçu) Seed Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa (Buriti) Fruit Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuaçu) Seed Butter, Sorbitol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Essential Oils (Rose Flower Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil and Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil), Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Leaf Extract, Arnica Montana Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla) Fruit Extract, Paullinia Cupana (Guarana) Fruit Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Genipa Americana Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Corylus Rostrata (Hazel) Seed Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Açaí) Fruit Extract, Zizyphus Joaseiro Bark Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Malpighia Punicifolia Fruit Extract, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Hydrolized Rice Protein, Phenoxyethanol and DMDM Hydantoin.

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup by press relations for consideration for review.

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Sep 032010
 

Living Proof’s No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner ($24 each) has been my go-to for about a year.

Here are some concerns that I was trying to solve:

  • I live in an area with extremely hard water.  Although we have a good water softener for our home, I’ve noticed that my hair is much shinier and smoother when traveling than when using even the best hair treatments with out own water supply;
  • My hair is colored, and sometimes highlighted.  This processing can make hair very fragile;
  • My hair is fine, thick and with a slight uncontrollable wave.  It has a tendency to frizz unless treated like a diva.

Formerly, I was using Ojon’s Tawaka line, which is very gentle and did not strip out my color.  After reading about Living Proof’s scientific approach to innovation, I bought sample sizes of their shampoo and conditioner from Sephora.com.

Even with my first wash, my hair was noticeably softer and smoother.  Even my colorist, who charges me a flat fee because I go so frequently, noticed the difference immediately and asked what I had done.  I’ve since ordered full sized versions, I go through a set every two months or so.  Since using these, I’ve noticed that my hair feels less fragile, is fuller and far softer.  This does not strip out any color (although I rarely go more than two weeks without a touch up, so I couldn’t tell you how it fares in the long term).

Living Proof’s No Frizz has not been a cure-all miracle.  I still add Moroccan Oil and an occasional sweep with a straightener to smooth my hair down.  Still, I’m going to continue to rely on No Frizz for the time being.

This can be ordered from either Sephora.com or Living Proof’s own website.  As an aside,  I noticed that Living Proof is running a trial offer with a small size Shampoo, Conditioner and a mini-styler for $25 including shipping.  I’m not affiliated with them, but that’s a nice way to try out the line without investing in a full-size set.

Shampoo ingredients (from Living Proof’s website):

  • Water/Aqua/Eau
  • Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate Cleansing Ingredient
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine Cleansing Ingredient
  • Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate Cleansing Ingredient
  • Lactamide MEA Moisturizer
  • PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate Hair Conditioning Agent
  • Glycol DisterateHair Conditioning Agent, also gives a pearl appearance to the shampoo
  • PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate Hair Conditioning Agent, also makes shampoo thicker.
  • Fragrance/Parfum Fragrance
  • Polyfluoro Ester Anti-Frizz
  • ActiveLaureth-23 Emulsifier to keep the product uniform
  • PEG-6 Caprylic / Capric Glyceride Moisturizer
  • Tetrasodium EDTA Chelator – Material to allow for great lather, no matter what water you use
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Moisture Balancing Protein
  • Behenyl Alcohol Hair Conditioning Agent
  • Polyquaternium-47 Wet Combing and Detangling Aid
  • Laureth-23 Emulsifier to keep the product uniform
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone Preservative
  • Methylisothiazolinone Preservative
  • Limonene Fragrance Component
  • Hexyl Cinnamal Fragrance Component
  • LinaloolFragrance Component
  • Citronellol Fragrance Component
  • Butylphenyl Methylpropional Fragrance Component

Conditioner Ingredients (from Living Proof’s website):

  • Water/Aqua/Eau
  • Cetearyl Alcohol Conditioning Agent/ Emulsifier to keep the product uniform
  • PolyflouroEsterAnti-frizz active
  • Behentrimonium Chloride Detangling/ Conditioning/ Anti-Static
  • Fragrance/Parfum Fragrance
  • Quaternium-87Detangling/ Conditioning/ Anti-Static
  • Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride Hair Conditioning and Anti-Static Agent
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein – Moisture Balancing Protein
  • Citric Acid Agent to balance pH of product
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone Preservative
  • Methylisothiazolinone Preservative
  • Limonene Fragrance Component
  • Hezyl Cinnamal Fragrance Component
  • Linalool Fragrance Component
  • Citronellol Fragrance Component
  • Burtylphenyl Methylpropional – Fragrance Component

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