The Skincare Line Up: June 2nd, 2023

Good morning my darlings and welcome to the weekly skincare line up. This one is going to be a bit interesting. Several of my products are on their way out and others will continue, but by 10am this morning i will be on the road with a bag full of travel skincare riding alongside. I’ll mention the products I am taking and why and then on Monday when I return I’ll break them down for you as I get back to my normal skincare routine. But first let’s look at this week’s players…

Makeup remover: Keys Soulcare Nourishing Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Farmacy Whipped Greens Oil Free Foaming Cleanser

Toner: Georgette Klinger Rose Clarifying Toner

Serum: Depology Caviar Serum Stick

Serum: Dermelect Empower Anti Wrinkle Treatment

Moisturizer: Saturday Skin Carrot + Niacinamide Moisturizing cream

Lips: Buxom Powerful Lips Scrub in Dragon Fruit

The Key’s Soulcare cleanser has been magnificent. It is especially good melting off waterproof mascara and getting even the deepest of red lipsticks off of my lips. I have just enough in the jar to be used today. Before i jump in the car, I will take off the makeup I needed to put on for a morning video call. I tend to dry out when i drive so since I can make the drive without stopping for gas, I plan to wash my face and apply a thin layer of a sleeping mask on my skin. It will keep the drive from drying me out and then when I arrive and inevitably need the restroom I will just wash my face. It is a trick I use frequently when I am driving without stopping and it really helps my skin out.

But it does mean that today is the end of the Key’s Soulcare. I will certainly repurchase it.

I adore the Farmacy cleanser. It just gives such a beautiful clean. I think it may actually be the best cleanser I’ve tried this year. Which is saying something because I have had really good luck with cleansers this year.

The toner is well, a toner. Some have things that are special about them. Others cause problems. This one doesn’t cause any problems but there is nothing about it that says Wow, that’s a toner. I will use it up, but then probably forget all about it.

The Depology Serum stick has been interesting. It can be used all over the face and as per the website it can be used either over or under makeup. I love it on the wrinkles by my eyes and i think I have really seen some improvement in them since I have been using this. It gives a really nice plumping effect. It also works well on the lines around my mouth. I don’t like it on the rest of my face. Somehow when applied to the cheeks it feels a little waxy, which isn’t how it feels by my eyes or mouth. Under makeup it is fantastic. It is a great plumping hit to the fine lines before makeup is applied and it doesn’t affect the makeup at all when used this way. I don’t like it over makeup because my setting powder tends to stick to it. This is a targeted fine line serum and a premakeup application for me.

The Dermelect treatment is also working well for me. It is an all over the face product and I haven’t had any interaction problems with it and the Depology serum. If you recall i was having overlap issues with an eye cream and the serum stick. This is a much better match and it covers the parts of my face where I don’t put the Depology. The treatment is lightweight and absorbs quickly. I am really enjoying it actually.

The Saturday Skin Moisturizer is almost empty. I am actually going to take it with me as part of my travel skincare, but i probably won’t be bringing the jar back. it is a good cream. however I think it was a better cream for my skin in the early spring. Now as the humidity is rising and temps soar, it is starting to feel a little bit heavy. This week i noticed that I was applying less and less, especially in the daytime. While that is not terribly bad as it does extend the product, I think it is a better product to use when the world around me is a little less humid and not quite as hot. My mother’s house is always chilly (it is built into the side of a hill) and my skin always feels a bit dry at her house. So taking the last of this jar with me to use there actually makes a whole lot of sense.

and finally we have the Buxom Lip scrub. It scrubs and the scrubby bits melt away while the rest stays on the lips as a night mask. it is a stick so it is easy to apply and it won’t spill or leak. While it will go with me, it will also return with me to continue in next week’s line up.

While that is all for this past week I just wanted to gie you a bit of a peek at the products I am taking home with me for this travel weekend. (Sometimes products don’t come back so I felt it was better to take the picture before I left.

Clearly I haven’t used any of the products (other than the moisturizer) yet, but I’ll list them below for those interested and explain how they performed when i get back.

Makeup Remover: Elemis Pro Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Elemis Pro Collagen Energizing Marine Cleanser

Toner: Indie Lee Coq-10 Toner

Essence: Laniege Radian-c Brightening Treatment Essence

Moisturizer: Saturday Skin Carrot + Niacinamide Moisturizing cream

Eye cream: BYBI Bright Eyed (day) BYBI Eye Plump (night)

Lips: Buxom Powerful Lips Scrub in Dragon Fruit

So those are the products I will be traveling with. And in case you are curious, I did put the hair items with them in the bag. I added a sample set of the Rahua Enchanted Island Shampoo and conditioner to try out and the Moroccanoil Treatment oil. While I have not used the shampoo and conditioner before, this is my favorite hair oil and is really useful at this time of year. Styling is going to be minimal while I am gone. This will tame flyaways and hopefully make up for any lack the shampoo and conditioner might have. It is also light enough not to weigh down my hair.

And so my darlings I am off. I have a few more things to toss into the bag and then I am hitting the road. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will see you back her bright and early Monday morning.

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Let’s talk about The Shampoo by Augustinus Bader

I know some of you are looking at that sample size and then looking at the amount of hair i have and are thinking, there is no way that is going to be enough. You are close, I managed to get one try out of the trial sized container. But mostly I wanted to talk about shampoo in general.

I love haircare products. And I will be honest, i don’t mind spending extra on luxury hair care products. I generally will pick up a luxury hair care Item and use it as a reward. I will use a drug store shampoo (one I like) during the week and after workouts and then at the end of the week as a reward for making it to all of my scheduled workouts and avoiding the local doughnut shop down the street from me despite the delicious scents wafting form their building that I can now smell on my early morning walks, I will use the luxe products as my personal reward.

Part of that is as a reward for achieving my weekly goals. It actually makes me feel like I am getting rewards. I think part of it is that during the week I am rinsing off sweat post walk and just doing quick jump in the shower before getting back to my day without feeling gross sorts of things. when I reach the end of the week I will break out the luxe shampoo and conditioner and body wash and body lotion. I will take my time and really luxuriate in the products instead of racing through. And then on Saturday’s i will use a hair mask.

But here is the thing. In order for me to choose a luxury shampoo and conditioner, it has to out perform my everyday standard. If it can’t our perform my everyday standard then it is just an expensive product not a luxury one.

At the moment the standard that has to be out performed is Suave Rosemary and Mint from the Suave Professionals line. It is a good, solid every day shampoo and conditioner. I can wash my hair every other day and while my bangs may need a bit of a dry shampoo touch up in between the rest of my hair just needs to be rinsed out post work out and I am fine. It is my current standard.

And if we want to talk luxury products, the Shampoo and conditioner i am willing to spend the extra money on to have a luxury shampoo and conditioner are the Zents Mandarin Shampoo and Water Conditioner Set. The Mandarin Shampoo has a light orange scent that intensifies slightly when you are massaging it into the hair, but then rinses off clean leaving very little scent behind. What I love about it is that instead of lather rinse repeat, using more product for a deeper clean, you apply the same small amount to the hair and then let it sit for a minute or so, then rinse out. You get a deeper clean without using extra product. The water conditioner is the same with a light fresh scent that intensifies as you put it in your hair and leaves as the product is rinsed out. And yes, if you need a little extra conditioning, let the conditioner sit in your hair for a little longer, maybe shave your legs and then go back and rinse it out. You get a deeper condition again without using excess product.

Now while the Zents products have other fabulous qualities I’m just keeping this short as it is an example (highly recommend the brand though). Each bottle is $41 so the set will run $82. But even without getting into the clean ingredients, you use very little product with each shampoo and conditioning, you have the delicious scent that rinses away for the scent sensitive and while I generally only use the Luxe products once a week, when I was testing it out to decide if I was going to make it my go to luxe product I used it as my only shampoo and conditioner for a month. It was utterly fantastic and it did very much out perform my Suave. hile I treat it as a reward, I would happily use it daily.

This is my spectrum. If you want to be considered worth the luxury price, you have to out perform Suave. You have to give me things I can’t get with my base drug store products. If you can’t beat the standard than I will not buy. and whatever your base product is, I think that is a good test for a luxury brand. I love luxe products as much as anyone, but I am not willing to pay more if I don’t get more.

The product sampled here was the Augustinus Bader The Shampoo. While I love the Light Cream they make, I can’t wear the Rich Cream as it breaks me out. This was all I knew of the brand. Admittedly for me the Light cream is fantastic and well worth the Luxe price. Until this shampoo came in my Beauty Fix box, I didn’t know the brand made any haircare items. So that was well worth knowing. The Product retails for $58. And it promises fuller shinier and thicker hair in eight weeks.

Clearly my one sample was not going to last eight weeks. But it was enough to let me try it out. To be honest, i was not impressed. I used the shampoo and paired it with my daily conditioner. The shampoo was a clear gel with no real scent. It foamed well enough but the lather was not a luxurious one (which I am okay with as some of my favorite shampoos don’t foam well, but i was looking for a little luxe given the price). Post shower my hair was a little more tangled than usual, but nothing unmanageable. To be honest, there was nothing that actually stood out with this shampoo. It performed like a basic shampoo.

There was nothing extra about it but the price. And yes you could argue that it takes eight weeks to see results, but when I use a product like the Grow Gorgeous Intense shampoo and conditioner (which is my favorite volumizing shampoo) I get thicker fuller hair that is shiny and healthy with one wash. And I think the shampoo and conditioner each retail for $18 (at the moment Look Fantastic has it for sale for $10,80 if you are looking to stock up or try it for less, I put my order in this morning actually). Which means i am not sold on the eight weeks until results. While I believe in the cumulative effect of products, if I am spending $58 on a shampoo, I want more bang for my much. For me, This Augustinus Bader Shampoo fell flat and I will not be purchasing a large enough bottle to give it an eight week chance to prove itself. For me, it simply wasn’t worth it.

Trying out the Act and Acre Plant Based Dry Shampoo

Tis the season where dry shampoo comes back out of the drawer and becomes an ever present player in my daily routine. I wash my hair every other day (rinsing it out in between), but here is the thing. i have bangs. And while the rest of my hair will look fine, in this heat and humidity, ten minutes outside and it doesn’t matter when I washed my hair, my bangs will look a bit I give them a little spritz and am good to go.

But all dry shampoos are not created equal. This Act + Acre was a dry shampoo that came in my Dermstore Beauty Fix box a few months ago and it has just been waiting for it’s time to shine. Or flop in utter failure. Shall we see which it is?

First a moment about this dry shampoo.

A best-selling, category-leading dry shampoo derived from plant ingredients. Unscented and perfect for those in-between days.

Not much to go on is it? Now the plant based isn’t that big a surprise. My favorite dry shampoo is from Klorane and they have been doing plant based for years. So that isn’t shocking. It is nice though.

This was a very interesting product to try out. First they recommend you shake it. Which was interesting because at first it didn’t sound like anything was moving. I thought it was empty actually. Then I held it to my ear and realized it didn’t make much of a sound because it is just powder. There is no accelerant in the bottle. It just puffs out dry powder. So the only thing shaking it does is loosen the powder.

lots of excess powder

To apply you spray it onto the roots of the hair and then massage in with your finger tips for clean hair and volume.

First the spray does get out of hand. Either wear something that is easy to brush off or plan to change after you use this dry shampoo. it is not a product to use on the go. It is a puff of product. Also, deep breath before you spray. You don’t want to inhale the powder.

There is no scent to the product, but it is a very fine powder. It is also very white. However once you massage it in, the white disappears almost instantly. It does however give you massive volume. For a moment I looked as though I was preparing to return to the 1980s. I think that may have been the last time I saw women with hair that volumized. Admittedly mine was much more messy and didn’t feature a really tight perm and or use those giant soup can sized hair rollers.

It will volumize I will give you that. And the hair did look and feel clean. Post massaging in I brushed it and I looked less messy 1980s poof tastic. Most if the volume disappeared though, but the hair still looked clean. I think the volumizing aspect could work if you had shorter hair. I have a lot of hair and there is a finite amount of volume it can take before it just becomes too much. I suspect if you have thinner hair, this would work for you.

this is after I brushed out the bulk of the volumizing. It is still quite full but not as 1980s big hair-ish

For me, I like that it has no accelerant and it plant based. I like that even though it puffs out white, the white powder disappears quickly and easily. I enjoy the non-scent and the clean hair left behind. That being said, the powder is messy. It got all over my shirt and sink. It is not a formula I would travel with and it is a bit too volumizing for me to use. I will more than likely use the rest of this sparingly, a small puff on the bangs and that is it, but I don’t think that i would actually purchase this Act + Acre dry shampoo again. It is too hard to direct and just not suitable for my dry shampoo needs.

Trying out the Joico Defy Damage Shampoo and conditioner duo

I have seen the Joico brand of hair care around for a while now. In fact Amazon keeps recommending it as a product I need to try. And yet I haven’t. I think part of it is that I have had so many samples I need to go through and I think the other part is that Joico is not a brand that is on my radar.

I think that is one of the reasons I was so pleased to see it in a recent discovery kit purchase. I love finding new hair care products. Part of that is because while I have struggled with my weight and occasionally do not like parts of myself, I always have liked my hair. There is something about the fact that I can curl it or flatten it or shape it in anyway that suits me without the massive effort it takes to shave one pound off of my body. Its one of the few things where you can see near instant results.

with a leave in conditioner added

Clearly hair products show their true colors after long term use, or simply repeated use and this is just a sample, but it is a large enough sample for me to get a pretty good feel about it. and since I know nothing about the brand, it also lets me know if this is a brand i want to look into. Mostly Shampoo and Conditioner are the staples of the hair care world. If a brand specializing in hair care products can’t get those right, I am very hesitant to try the more complex formulas they offer. There are some exceptions of course, but as a general rule it is a good first trial for a hair care brand for me.

The Discovery kits arrived last Monday and I used these for the first time that night. The samples covered a week of hair washing and are now spent. AS I wash my hair every other day this meant four washes, each time slightly modifying things as you will see.

with no additional detangler or leave in conditioner I noticed more wispy hairs as well as tangles. (combed and let dry with nothing added)

I do want to look at the shampoo and conditioner separately though. First the Shampoo.

For the Joico Defy Damage shampoo the description is…With a rich, luxurious lather featuring damage-preventing ingredients, this gentle daily cleanser swiftly sloughs away dirt, impurities, and buildup without roughing up the hair cuticle or stripping vibrant color. The result: shiny, smooth, clean strands—wonderfully resilient and healthy-looking.

The shampoo has a light, slightly floral scent. The product comes out with a white, pearlescent look to it. Oddly the scent and look of the shampoo reminds me of a shampoo I used when I was a child. It is kind of that timespan where you no longer use baby shampoo, but you are young enough that styling your hair means having your mom braid it and then choosing fancy hair ties. It looks and smells exactly like a shampoo from that time of life. Maybe in the 8-10 year old age range.

It does perform better than those shampoos. It does have the rich and luxurious lather and I really felt like I was getting a good clean in my hair. everything felt very clean and not striped. The floral scent was light and it did fade as the suds were washed away. The scent did not linger. I do color my hair so I appreciate that it is supposed to work well with colored hair. I think I would have to use the shampoo longer to see any of those benefits. A week simply isn’t long enough.

For me the shampoo was a success.

Then we get to the conditioner. It too is from the Defy Damage Line. (I believe they also have hair masks.). So the Joico Defy Damage Conditioner the description is pretty bare bones…Replenish moisture and build resilience every day without weighing hair down.

I can say that my hair had a nice shine and it did not feel weighed down. So in that aspect, it does what it claims to do. I can’t fault it for that. But here is my experience with it. when I used it with just the shampoo, just using the duo with no extra products, my hair was a bit on the tangly side when i went to comb it out. I generally find that after i wash my hair if I comb it out when wet and let it air dry I get the best results. Then if I am going to style it I will wet it down and apply a heat protector and other products and style it.

I like to only style my hair when I need to and thus not attack my hair with products until I actually need them. I find it keeps my hair healthier. and I use less product. (I should also point out I work from home so I only style on meeting days or when I am going out after work. I don’t have to style it for the office everyday because there are many days where I only talk to people on the phone or by e-mail).

So the first wash, only shampoo and conditioner. My hair had more tangles in it than usual. The second wash I used my Favorite Detangling spray (Mane Club’s One Hit Wonder, It is inexpensive and I really can’t recommend it enough. Their hair masks are good too, but the One Hit Wonder is tops). That worked, well… like a detangler is supposed to and my hair was fine.

The third wash I used a spray leave in conditioner post shower and pre combing. I am currently using the Verb Leave in Conditioning spray and it is one of my favorite leave in conditioners actually. At the moment there are really two that I switch between, Verb leave in Conditioner and the Christophe Robin daily Hair Mask That one can go on the hair when it is dry on days between washes. So if you have been out in the sun of feel your hair is fried from over styling or something, a little bit on the hand rubbed through the hair does wonders. It is also what I used on my hair for the fourth wash.

With the leave in conditioners, it really helped boast the conditioner. I simply think the conditioner needs a little back up. If I had shorter hair or was less prone to tangling, then it would be fine. It is a light weight conditioner. Because my hair is longer and thicker, it wasn’t enough. When using this conditioner I either need to follow it with a separate detangle or add in a leave in conditioner of some sort. And the fewer tangles I have the less damage my hair takes as i try to work out the tangles. I would not be opposed to using this conditioner again if it came my way, but I wouldn’t go looking for it and if I did use it, I would pair it with either a detangler or a leave in conditioner. The shampoo however I would use again with no reservations and if fact I liked it enough that I would be willing to repurchase it. So the Shampoo is nice but the conditioner needs work. Actually since hair masks tend to be amped up conditioners, this does make me curious to try a hair mask from the brand. I think a beefed up version of this conditioner would be better for my hair. So all in all while I would only repurchase the shampoo, I would certainly look into other products by Joico.

Dry shampoo….in a compact

Summer is the time when I lean on dry shampoo the most. I have to admit, it is mostly for my bangs. because they are shorter and against my forehead when i go for a walk and sweat, they often look the worse for wear, even if it was only a little sweat. In fact with the wind we get sometimes, I don’t need to actually sweat for them to look like they have suffered more than the rest of my hair. Then there is the fact that I often run my hands through my bangs when i am thinking. It is a habit I have tried to stop, but I do it when i am thinking and my mind is elsewhere.

It isn’t like i don’t use dry shampoo elsewhere in my hair, but this is my main use for dry shampoo touch ups throughout the day. And for this product test, it is sort of important to know.

The product i have been testing out recently is the Style Dry Dry Shampoo Compact Powder. Yup, dry shampoo in a compact. It is actually quit nice looking actually. It is a plain white compact with a tray of pressed powder that lifts up to store a brush. The brush is easy to grip and to use in the hair. The bristles are soft yet sturdy enough to be used on the hair.

The scent is supposed to be orange blossom and they have hit the nail on the head with the scent. It smells rather floral. The scent does fade after use, but can be a little cloying when applying. The brush has to be rubbed on the compact a bit to pick up enough powder to be of use. Then it is easily brushed on.

it takes down minor greasiness but the longer the hair, the less it works

Here is the thing, If you have long hair, like I do, this is really only good for the bangs and the grown of the head. It does a decent enough job on those parts of the hair, but asking it to work on longer hair is just a bit much for the compact. It is great for touch ups, and I think if you have shorter hair you might get more use out of it. The brush is just inadequate for longer hair. It is something i will happily add to my purse for touch ups though a that is it’s strong suit. I think the powder will last me a long time because that is all I am using it for. As an alternative to a travel sized can of spray dry shampoo it is a good one, if you only need minor touch ups.

In the summer a drive from my house to a meeting involves walking from the house to the car and then from the car to the meeting, which can often be enough to wilt the hair. I almost always step into the bathroom before the meeting for a last minute check (lipstick on teeth, anything out of place or missed before I left home and this is perfect for a quick touch up to the bangs. Don’t forget to bring a comb though as you will need to go through your hair to get rid of any small traces of white. There aren’t many, but they do need to be cleared away.

In general I have to say that i like this Style Dry Dry Shampoo Compact powder. i will certainly use it. It’s limited use means it will stay around for a while. However as useful as this is when I can’t use a spray bottle, those times are few and far between. If I had shorter hair or even finer hair, this would be more useful and I could see repurchasing it. For me the use is so limited that I would probably not buy this again.

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Let’s talk about Verb’s Leave in conditioner

I have a love hate relationship with leave in conditioners. On one hand they can make a just okay shampoo and conditioner fabulous and on the other hand they can make your hair heavy and greasy with excess product. And the thing is, until you try them, it is often hard to tell which is which. Most of them have similar ingredients lists and in theory should function the same way. But the devil is in the details.

Recently I have been trying out the Verb Leave in Mist. It is a leave in conditioner that you spray on. According to Verb…

A multi-tasking leave-in conditioner that moisturizes, detangles, nourishes, smoothes, tames frizz, repairs ends, adds shine, prevents breakage, enhances elasticity and preps for styling. If you haven’t caught our drift yet, this product pretty much does it all.

You know I am suspicious of any product that does it all. However I have been very pleasantly surprised by this mist. First of all, the scent. It smells clean and fresh and actually it smells remarkably like the Verb Ghost Shampoo. Personally I love the scent. It just smells so clean. The scent does fade though so it isn’t surrounding you all the time. After a few minutes all I smell is clean hair not product.

It is a fine spray that disappears in the hair. I sprayed it on my hand so you can see how the product looks. That is one spray and I was only a few inches from my hand when I sprayed it. Any further away and you couldn’t see the product, you could just see that my hand looked a bit damp.

To apply I sprayed a few pumps on top of my hair, flipped my head upside down and sprayed a few more pumps. Then I finger combed it through my hair to distribute the product. To test this i tried it with good shampoo and conditioners that add moisture and body to my hair and I tried it with products that typically leave tangles in my hair. I wanted to test out if the product would be too heavy if i used it with moisture rich products and I wanted to test out it’s detangling capacity.

After my shower I typically comb through my hair with a fine toothed comb. I do this whether I am letting it air dry or if I am using a regular dryer or a blow out brush. I just find it is better to get the tangles out before it dries or before I try to dry it. which means I use a detangling spray regardless of what shampoo and conditioner I use.

This was a fantastic detangling spray. It helped with my tangles and made combing out my hair a lot easier. And it didn’t matter what shampoo or conditioner I used. I could use it with a moisture rich shampoo and conditioner without this Verb Leave In mist making me feel like my hair was weighted. It was light and non-greasy. With the shampoo and conditioner that typically give me the most tangles, I did need to use a little extra product. But even with the extra few spritzes my hair wasn’t heavy or greasy.

I can’t say it repaired any split ends as at the moment my hair is pretty healthy. But the shine, Oh how I love the shine. my hair looks and feels healthy. Actually it feels silky and not like I have any leave in product in my hair at all, which is how I like my leave in products to feel -working, but non-existent to the touch. And this gave me that.

I can’t say I am that surprised though. I have tried out shampoo, conditioner and hair masks from Verb and each time I have been impressed with the product. In fact I have never tried a bad product from them. This Leave in Mist from Verb retails for $20. A month of use has taken me halfway through the bottle an a reorder is certainly in my near future.

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Traveling with Moroccanoil Shampoo and Conditioner

Recently I purchased the Moroccanoil Travel Kit. And then I traveled, how timely is that? Actually I picked it up because I went to buy the bottle of Moroccanoil Hair oil (light) that I purchase every summer in an effort to keep my fly aways from making me look like I am standing too close to a lightning strike. I always get the light version because even though I have thick hair, I live in a very humid environment. The hot sun makes the top of my hair dry out and wave about in the breeze but the underside gets damp. So For me the Light just works.

While I was there I realized that as many times as I have purchased the Hair oil from Moroccanoil, I have never picked up anything else. I always see the bottles on Instagram and thing, ‘oh…Pretttttty,’ but then when I am on the site I order the same thing.

Every time.

So I decided to branch out. Plus I thought the makeup case the travel items came in was really pretty. It was the travel bag I used for my makeup this weekend and it was the perfect size for a weekend getaway.

But I digress.

In the kit was the Shampoo and Conditioner set from the Moroccanoil’s extra volume shampoo. So I packed them this weekend. The scent of the products is very much as though you mixed the Moroccanoil hair oil with soap. It has that clean soapy, shampoo scent mixed with the spicy sandalwood-y sort of scent.

I really enjoyed it.

The shampoo wasn’t much for lathering. It did get some lather but it wasn’t the sort of shampoo where you are going to get a thick mound of bubbles cascading from your scalp. It has minimal lather. It did however require very little product to get my hair clean. It is a shampoo that does need a conditioner or a hair mask to follow it. The shampoo doesn’t strip the hair, but it is an excellent clean.

I always find if I don’t use a conditioner or hair mask after this sort of clean then my hair gets really tangled.

third day hair, no dry shampoo

Luckily this has a conditioner with it. The scent is the same as the shampoo, only slightly more muted. The scent is strongest in the shower but it does fade as your hair dries.

After my shower I did comb my hair while it was wet. I didn’t use a detangling spray but a spritz or two would not go amiss. The tangles were minimum, but they were there. I have noticed that with most volumizing shampoos I do get more tangles. The first wash, I didn’t use the detangler. the second wash I used just two quick little sprays and it was enough. For me it was minimal, but it is something to keep in mind.

While I do love the scent and feel of my hair, for me the strength of this set is the longevity. I tend to wash my hair every other day and then rinse it in between. when it looks a little greasy I will use a bit of dry shampoo on the day between. With this shampoo and conditioner I washed my hair. I combed it out, let it dry and went to bed. The next day I worked out walked and then after sweating rinsed it out. I combed it out again and let it dry. The pictures are from the day after I skipped a day. I used no dry shampoo and had no issues with combing out my simply rinsed hair (that is when I get the most tangles and they weren’t an issue).

For me this shampoo was great. I needed less with each wash and on the days between my hair looked fantastic with no additional products. I will say there was more volume on the first day than there was when i took these photos. I was very impressed with this shampoo and conditioner set and I will certainly be looking into a full sized bottle of each.

I have to say I am also very excited to try out the other new to me Moroccanoil products. Sometimes branching out from your standard can be a very good thing.

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The Ghost in the Hair Mask

The more I try from the brand Verb, the more I like them. A while ago I tried the Verb Ghost shampoo and conditioner but I didn’t get around to trying out the Ghost Hair mask from Verb. And so I decided to give it a whirl.

A light-as-air deep conditioning treatment that nourishes, defrizzes and promotes shine without leaving behind any residue or added weight. Designed to be light enough for fine hair, yet nourishing enough for any hair type in need of weightless hydration.


This hair mask has a light almost but not quite floral scent to it. I have had the same scent from other products that have moringa oil in them and I think it is just the scent of the moringa. Moringa oil is made from pressing the seeds of the moringa tree. The tree is native to the Himalayas and is also called the miracle tree because virtually all parts of it can be used for something.

I know that just says that moringa oil is the oil from moringa but really that is all there is to it. Like almond oil or maybe cotton seed oil I suppose.

In general ,my hair reacts well to moringa. One of the key benefits for me is that it usually helps my hair detangle. And after using this mask I was able to pull a fine toothed comb through my hair without snarls ore the use of a detangling product. As my hair has been known to eat combs when it is an a bad mood, this is an impressive feat.

The come glided through my hair and then I let it dry. The slight scent from the Verb Ghost Hair Mask faded like a ghost in sunlight one might say. The shine remained and my hair looked healthy without looking greasy. There is sometimes a fine line between shine and greasy for me. This stayed firmly on the healthy and shiny side for which I am grateful.

I for one am glad I finally got around to trying out this sample sized Verb Ghost hair mask and I will be putting it on my to be repurchased list. First though I do have a full size of the leave in conditioner from Verb so I will be trying that out to see if I like it as much as I like the items from the Ghost line. Thus far though, everything I have tried from Verb has been a smashing success. So hopes are high that it will continue. For that though, you will have to stay tuned.

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Moroccanoil Travel Sets

One of my favorite things about getting ready for summer are the travel sets that come out. I absolutely love travel sets. Even if I am not traveling. Pretty much every product I use on a regular basis I tried out in a travel or sample size. I dislike wasting product about as much as I dislike wasting money.

While these days I do get a lot of my samples in subscription boxes, way before there were subscription boxes, there were always travel kits to try out. And every spring I would stock up on the ones for summer and make a list of the items I really liked so that I could see exactly what it was I liked.

This year I decided to pick up two travel sets that caught my eye. The first of these is the new travel kit from Moroccanoil. I tired out the Moroccanoil Treatment oil in one of my first subscriptions. It was Birchbox and I think the year was 2010 or maybe 2011. (it was quite a while ago) I received a little sample sized bottle of the Moroccanoil Treatment oil and I fell in love.

For me the Moroccanoil Treatment oil has become a summertime staple. A drop or two on my hands, rub my hands together and then a light touch over the top of my hair and fly-aways are gone. The scent is fantastic and it doesn’t leave my hair greasy. So it is a big win for me. And as much as I love it in the summertime it is really good in the winter. Somehow though I always order it in the spring and then just use it up until the following spring. It is very good on the winter dry hair too, but because I always oreder it in the spring I think of it as a summertime thing.

If that makes any sense.

This time I went on to the Moroccanoil site to restock my supply and I saw these adorable travel kits. Because I love the oil treatment so much I tend to forget they make other products. I know that sounds strange but I tend to do this with a lot of companies. There are entire brands that I think of as ‘that brand that makes the lipstick’. For me, Moroccanoil is the brand that makes that super fab hair treatment oil. So I have never tried anything else from the brand.

And then I saw the travel kits and decided it was time I did.

This travel kit comes with a 25 mL bottle of the Treatment oil. I tend to prefer the light treatment oil even though I have thick hair. Oddly i have a friend with very fine hair who prefers the regular. But she also does more hot styling to her hair. She uses hot tools every day and I use mine about once a week. I am fairly certain that makes a huge difference. They have these travel kits with both the regular and the light version.

I also chose the light version as it also had the Volume Shampoo and conditioner. I have been wanting to try these out for a while and I really do prefer shampoos and conditioners that provide volume. So it was sort of a win for me.

The fourth item in this travel kit is a hand cream. I have to admit, I didn’t even know they made hand cream. But as my hands are constantly drying out from hand sanitizer I am more than happy to try out a new hand cream.

Technically i get to try out more than one hand cream though. With each order you get three samples and I chose three samples of differently scented body lotions from Moroccanoil. It turns out they not only make hand cream but they have a range of scented body lotions. I picked up the scents, Spa du maroc, Oud Mineral and Ambre Noir. The descriptions all sounded absolutely fantastic. I’ll have to get back to you as I try them all out. In addition I also used points to pick up another small sample sized bottle of the treatment oil. I figured with the sample size and the travel size i would have enough to last me a while. In case you were wondering what the little bottle was.

In addition to the fabulous products, the items in this travel kit came in a really nice bag. It has a blue/teal cloth outside with a wipeable interior. It has a zippered fop and a sturdy handle at the top. While the products fit well in the bag, I have to say it is the perfect size for a makeup bag for me for weekend trips.

We tend to go on a lot of short weekend trips rather than big long trips. It has more to do with aging family members than anything else. Short trips provide getaways while longer time off is spent with family. For those short weekend trips, this bag is the perfect size. And yes I did already check to see if my TSA approved containers fit inside.

They do.

I suspect i will get a lot of use out of the bag. I am also excited by the products. I will get to try out new hand creams, shampoo and conditioners and of course indulge in my favorite treatment oil. Which was why i was going to the website in the first place. For me this Moroccanoil Travel set was certainly a win.

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A little Blue Ginger from Herbal Essences

In general I tend to write posts and reviews of pricier shampoos and conditioners. In general I don’t mind spending a little more on hair care items. However most of the pricier items it is easier for me to order than it is to pick up at a local store. And I am not always the best at remembering to order things before I actually run out. Plus some times it just isn’t in the budget.

There are also some very good drug store shampoos and conditioners out there. There are also some expensive shampoos and conditioners out there that aren’t really worth the price. and often times a good hair mask or scalp scrub paired with a not so fabulous shampoo and conditioner (whether that not so fabulous set is pricier or inexpensive) can make a world of difference.

One of the reasons that I tend to forget about writing the reviews of the drug store shampoo and conditioner sets is because I almost always pick up the same set. If I find myself running out of shampoo and need to pick some up at the store i almost always pick up the Suave Rosemary and Mint. In fact there is a large bottle of this in my empties bin that I finished out at the beginning of the month. And did I remember to order another Shampoo and Conditioner set to try out or to indulge in one of the pricier ones I like?

Of course not.

So I decided to pick up something I hadn’t tried before from the Drug Store. I went with the Herbal Essences Blue Ginger and Micellar water Shampoo paired with the Blue Ginger Conditioner. It is …

The Herbal Essences bio:renew Blue Ginger & Micellar Water collection is made to refresh flat, limp hair. This collection is infused with blue ginger, micellar water & other botanicals certified by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The collection includes a shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo crafted to refresh for volumized hair. Enjoy a scent experience of ginger, floral bouquets and clean musk.

Herbal Essences

I have not tried the dry shampoo although I think that would be an interesting item to try. If my store has it when next i shop I may pick that up to try, not so much because of the Blue Ginger Line but because I am always looking for a good drug store shampoo that I can have on hand, especially when the summer heat hits and makes my bangs look scraggly.

great clean and good body

I also find it amusing that there is a dry shampoo in this line, but I’ll get to that later.

But for now let’s look at the shampoo and Conditioner. The set is free of silicone and parabens which I like. The scent oddly reminds me more of water lilies than ginger. At least that is the scent I get from the bottle. It is lightly floral but very clean smelling at the same time. Once out of the bottle and on the hair the scent does intensify so make sure you like it when you sniff the product. Also The scent does linger in the hair. If I washed my hair at night and let it dry naturally (no other product) then went to bed, I could still smell the shampoo and conditioner the next morning.

So make sure you like the scent.

I happen to like it. The shampoo foams really well but I did find that I had to do two washes before moving on to conditioner. Looking over the product information I realize it is targeted more for fine hair which mine most decidedly is not. with two washes my hair was clean but not stripped. and the second wash was more due to my own hair’s thickness. I will say though once clean it did feel really nicely clean.

The shampoo was light and again I think it is more designed for fine hair. I used the same amount I would normally but I applied it in half. I dispensed half and went under the hair to work it up through the hair and then took the other half of what i would normally use and worked from the top down and then combed it through in the shower. the I rinsed it out. It took a little bit longer but I did get the conditioning I liked.

It is a very light weight conditioner for daily use however I do have to say I really ended up looking forward to my Saturday Hair mask more than usual.

Normally I will let my hair dry naturally (sometimes with a little detangler sprayed in while wet) and then comb through when it is dry. With this Herbal Essences I did need the detangling spray (I used my all time favorite One Hit Wonder from The Mane Club, it is the most inexpensive hair product ($10 per bottle) I have and it is by far the BEST product I have tried Also their hair masks are absolutely amazing Cry Baby and Bad Attitude are my favorites).

lightweight and good on the ends of my hair

I also found myself combing it out when wet because it made for fewer tangles. It tangled so much more when I allowed it to dry and then brushed and combed my hair out.

Her is the kicker though. I normally wash my hair ever other day. Since I am working out every week day at the moment, on the days when I don’t wash my hair I just rinse it out when I shower. This kind of treatment has always worked well for me. It works well with most of the high end products I use and with Suave.

It does not work well with this. When I tried it I was a tangled mess. I also noticed my hair would get greasier looking faster, making a dry shampoo a necessary thing to have around. Usually at this time of year i only use a dry shampoo on my bangs between washes to kind of freshen them up. As the heat and humidity rise that changes, but for now that is my go to. with this shampoo set I really needed the dry shampoo in between washes.

To be honest I mostly ended up washing it every day while using this. I will say that if used daily it worked really well. I simply could not skip a day. Which means that the shampoo bottle emptied pretty fast. I know part of the reason is that it is targeted for fine hair. However that is not on the bottle. If it was I would have chosen a different shampoo. what is on the Herbal Essences bottle is 90% natural origins, 0% silicone and parabens, pH Balanced and Color Safe. All of which are things that I like, Hence why i picked it up. It wasn’t until i looked on the website that I saw it was for fine hair.

I am all about research. I love doing research and looking things up. And when i spend more money I do my research. If I am buying a $30 or more shampoo I read all about it to make sure it targeted for my hair concerns. When I am adding a shampoo to my cart while doing my groceries because the bottle in my shower ran out that morning and I don’t have a back up, I rely on knowing what brands I have tried and liked in the past nd what is printed on the bottle.

Because that detail was left off I purchased shampoo that wasn’t quite right for me. It is good shampoo and smells lovely. I had to use more than expected because of the fine hair issue. Of more concern is the fact that I needed to wash my hair every day. I simply like washing my hair ever other day. Mostly because it reduces the amount of product that goes into my hair and because my hair has always liked being washed every other day.

I think if you have fine hair, you would get a good clean with a regular amount of product, but I still think there is going to be the need to wash your hair every day and if you are prone to tangles you will need to add a detangler to your list of products needed. I had more tangles with this shampoo and conditioner than i had in the last five or six shampoos I tried. So for me this will not be a repeat purchase. I think that before I repurchase any Herbal Essences shampoos I will be looking on line to see which sets are targeted to my hair before i go shopping. Will I buy again from the brand? Yes I will and I will probably try out the dry shampoo as well if i can find it. I would like to hope that the scent of the dry shampoo matches the scent of the shampoo and conditioner. I don’t know if it does but I would like to find out. It just might be the scent form a different set.