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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