Balancing with the Grow Gorgeous Shine enhancing Overnight mask

I am a big fan of Grow Gorgeous. Their shampoos and leave in conditioners are some of my favorite and I tend to keep the thickening shampoo and conditioner (from the Intense Line) set in my hair care drawer for anytime i know I need my hair to look good.

that being said their scents can be a little on the strong side. Personally I love the scents. It reminds me of an upscale hair salon. I’m sure there is some sort of name for the variety of scents that make up the scent, but in the end they all merge into one and it is a high class salon scent.

This Grow Gorgeous Shine enhancing overnight mask from their Balance line has that same salon scent to it. According to the product description…

hair mask

The Grow Gorgeous Balance Shine-Enhancing Overnight Mask nourishes hair from root to tip, deeply conditioning your locks. Working overnight, this mask deeply conditions, enhancing your hair’s natural shine, leaving your hair soft and frizz-free.

Thanks to skincare ingredients, this mask targets the scalp as well as the locks, with Hyaluronic Acid to smooth and moisturise hair, giving it a shiny finish. Tung Wood fights to keep frizz under control, whilst also targeting heat damage. Finally, Blended Green Tea Extract and Fruit Acid nourish hair from the inside out, smoothing the cuticles to enhance your hair’s natural gloss and shine. If you want to nourish every inch of your precious hair, this mask is a must-have.

Free from parabens, sulphates, silicones, phthalates.

Vegan.

mask in hair, clipped up and worn for the day (inside where no one could see me)

Here is the thing. I have tried overnight masks before. I just can’t wear them. It doesn’t matter if I put a cap on so that nothing reaches the pillow case. There is something about the feel of lying down with a hair mask in my hair that I just can’t do. The last time I tried it I made it about half an hour before I got up and took a shower just to be rid of the hair mask.

However i knew this overnight mask needed overnight to work whatever magic it had. So one Saturday when i wasn’t doing anything out side of the house, I put it in my hair at nine in the morning and left it there until five that evening. I did chores around the house but I didn’t go out. (You may have noticed in the pictures this is my hair before i had it cut). There two uses of product for me in this tube. I did try it a second time and I had the same results as I did the first.

shine and body

So I did the overnight mask in the day instead of the night. Because the mask in my hair overnight kind of skeeves me out. During the day it was fine. I wrapped it up and used a clip to secure it. If I had to leave the house I could have used a head scarf i suppose, but i didn’t. It was a bit of bother but when i washed the mask out, it was worth the trouble.

My hair was soft and manageable and had amazing shine to it. Would I go through this every week? No. However once a month I would be willing to do. I would also be willing to keep this mask (full size $30) around and the day before a major event use it so that the next day my hair looked it’s best. My hair had shine, body, manageability and honestly I think it looked lovely. This mask from Grow Gorgeous was a bit of effort, but the results were definitely worth it. And if you don’t have the same over night issues I have, then it is even less work. Just remember to put on some kind of cap after you apply the mask so it doesn’t get all over your pillow and you should be fine. As for me, I’ll stick with my apply in the morning on a slow day application. And plan ahead to use this mask when i have somewhere to go where I want to look my best.

Using the Scalp Scrub Exfoliating Anti-Dandruff Treatment from Umberto Giannini

This Scalp Scrub Exfoliating Anti-Dandruff Treatment from Umberto Giannini came to me through a subscription box. Now you know me and scalp scrubs. Usually I love them. About once a month I will go to town exfoliating my scalp and my head feels fantastic (I think that might be the massaging aspect of it rather than the sigh of relief from product residue removal, but I love the feeling). My current two favorite scalp scrubs are (and I know I’ve mentioned this many times before.) The Christophe Robin Sea Salt Scrub and the Nature Lab Tokyo Clarifying Scalp scrub. I love using them to replace my shampoo and then I roll in a hair mask to replace the conditioner on that day and just have a fabulous hair moment.

My Current favorite Hair mask is Cha-Ching by The Mane Club. That and Cry Baby (also from The Mane Club) are standards, although there are quite a few fantastic masks I’ve tried recently. I actually can’t wait for the pre-black Friday Hair mask round up lists this year. I like to post those just before the sales go up and this year there were a lot of really good hair masks I tried that narrowing it down is really hard.

But that is a tale for another day.

Right now we are talking about the Scalp Scrub Exfoliating Anti-Dandruff Treatment from Umberto Giannini. According to the product page…

Scalp problems? Show your scalp some love and transform sluggish, dry, flaky and oily scalps Scalp Scrub! Packed with natural exfoliants from super fruit enzymes and micro grains of natural walnut shell, this 97% natural formula removes dead skin cells, bacteria and excess oils to prevent flakes and restore a clear and healthy scalp. 

As part of the Scalp Restore range, this product contains Pineapple Enzymes which has multiple benefits for your hair + scalp with a refreshing pineapple scent. Say goodbye to itchy scalps, this product will be your new go-to!

the dark bits are walnut shell. They didn’t get to my scalp, they didn’t want to wash out of my hair and they collected like sand in the bottom of the shower. They don’t dissolve and in my opinion are a bad choice to use in a hair mask. At least for my type of hair.

I’ll be honest, I expected to like this product. I like most Scalp scrubs and when i opened this one it smelled like a Pina-colada which I thought would be a fun shower time scent. (Also I have been using a lot of unscented products and while I am somewhat picky about scent, I do actually like them in my bath products.

I did not like this mask at all. The walnut shell exfoliate is rather fine grit and really light. As such it was hard getting it actually through my hair to my scalp. The scalp scrub foamed up and the none exfoliate particles did make my hair soft and clean. The walnut shells I don’t think really reached my scalp. I did not feel as though my scalp was scrubbed and to be honest if anything was done it was due to the enzymes, not the hard bits.

And then I tried rinsing my hair. While the exfoliate bits didn’t want to reach my scalp to scrub, they really didn’t want to rinse out of my hair either. I rinsed my hair repeatedly and then finally ended up washing my hair again. By the time I finished with additional shampoo and conditioner I got all of the Scalp scrub out of my hair. All of the bits were on the times of the shower, like sand after a visit to the beach.

I am not opposed to walnut shell bits, in theory. I can see why they might be used. They are actually used in many other exfoliating products. I have a body scrub that I used to use that I really liked that incorporated them well. I just don’t think they work well with hair, especially not my hair. My hair is long and thick and it simply did not work. There are no hair pics in this post because I really can’t tell how this product made my hair look and feel in the end because I had to use so many other products just to get all the particulates out of my hair. If you have thinner finer hair, this might work for you. If your hair is thick or curly, I would advise giving this Scalp Scrub a pass. It smells wonderful, but it is not worth the trouble.

Peace Out Skincare

Trying out the Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo and the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Booster

Both of these samples came in a recent Look Fantastic Box and I thought, why not use them together. The Sachajuan Ocean Mist Shampoo had four uses worth of product in it and this sample has two uses worth of product. However i also had a foil packet with four more uses worth of product in in. This allowed me to try out the shampoo on it’s own, with the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and with a conditioner whose effects I was familiar with. It also allowed be the same flexibility with the Elasticizer, although with it I did not use it without any shampoo. It is a conditioning product so I had to use a shampoo first to keep my hair from just looking flat out greasy. As is it designed to work on clean hair, and thus always be paired with a shampoo I thought it would be fine and I just rotated through a couple of different shampoos to see if it’s use would change.

Again i always used a product I knew the use of. For comparison (for both shampoo and conditioner) my standard is the Suave Rosemary and Mint shampoo and conditioner set from their Professionals line. To be honest if you are going for a drug store shampoo, the Suave professionals line is a really good one. I love high end shampoos and conditioners because several of them do fantastic things to my hair but as a fall back option for months where splurging isn’t an option, I am a huge fan of the Suave Rosemary and Mint.

But on to the samples I am testing out. First the Shampoo. I have only heard of Sachajuan because a styling gel came in a subscription box. Because the styling gel is a full size and i am trying to clear out samples I have not tested it yet so this is a first test of the brand for me. So the Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volumizing Shampoo product info…

Take your hair to new heights with Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo. Gentle, yet tough on dirt and oil, this volumizing shampoo includes antioxidants that ward off environmental damage to keep hair strong and healthy. Ocean silk technology utilizes marine algae extracts that enhance shine, softness and strength. Ocean Silk Technology: a cocktail of marine algae extracts which works to enhance strand strength, suppleness and shine.

I am glad they broke out what Ocean Silk Technology was because I certainly had no idea how to describe it. As you can see in the tube, the shampoo is a lovely shade of blue green. It has a gel like consistency, which isn’t really unusual for shampoo. I think it just looks a little unusual because of the color. There is a rather strong scent to this shampoo. I can see why it is called Ocean Mist.

It has that scent that I tend to associate with anything that has marine algae extracts in it’s make up (Algenist is a big one with this scent). This is mixed with the scent that I often associate with ocean themed hand soaps, both liquid and bar. I think part of that is because it is a shampoo. It isn’t a bad scent, but it is really strong and it lasts your entire shower and leaves a bit of scent in your hair even after it dries. I don’t mind the scent, it isn’t one that I immediately say, nope not this scent in my hair, but it isn’t one that I would choose. It is one that I would tolerate if the product performs well enough.

So does it?

fewer flyaways lifted by humidity

It lathers well enough but not extravagantly. when used on it’s own, with no conditioner, I got the volume but my hair did not feel the softest and it felt a little overly clean. The thing is that when I used a conditioner, any conditioner, my hair became soft and full. even when I used a conditioner that was not known for adding softness. It is almost as if there is something in the shampoo that simply needs a conditioner to activate it. It worked well with both of the conditioners I tried it with, but it worked best with the hair mask. I think this shampoo is right on the edge. It cleans your hair, but is on the verge of going too far with the cleaning and really needs a conditioner to back it up. The better the conditioner, or conditioning mask, the better this shampoo is going to perform.

As for this Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Booster. It worked really well with this shampoo. According to it’s product page…

The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep‐Conditioning Treatment is a multi award‐winning formula that leaves hair stronger and healthier looking with less breakage. Acting as a conditioning pre‐shampoo treatment, it’s packed with effective ingredients like Castor Oil and Hydrolyzed Elastin to rehydrate your hair. Especially beneficial for extremely damaged hair, including Afro‐Caribbean, coarse and fine, this super moisturizing intensive treatment delivers elasticity, manageability, bounce and shine to all hair textures. The clever ingredient combination continues to provide UV protection even after washing ‐ helping prolong the life of color treatments and protecting from brushing and heat styling. Visible results from one application will build with continued use.

Now you may notice something interesting in that description. It says it is a Pre-shampoo treatment. I saw that and I did try it. As a pre shampoo treatment, I did not care for it. The scent is lovely and it smells like a high end salon. But I simply didn’t like it as a pre-shampoo treatment. However, when I used it as a conditioner (post Shampoo) replacement. I loved it. It was amazing and I could see where all the awards came from. Perhaps if my hair were more damaged at the moment I would have seen more of a pre-shampoo effect. At the moment I have been avoiding hot tools mostly because I am surrounded by so much heat and humidity that minimal styling is best. I also use masks routinely so at the moment my hair is healthy. That might be the reason I saw so little effect from pre shampoo treatment.

I am willing to let that go though as the post shampoo look was fantastic. My hair felt like silk no matter what shampoo I paired it with when using this booster. In addition, it really helped with shine body and manageability. I also had far fewer fly aways when I used this conditioner. Humidity sometimes gives me loads of puffy hairs flying away on top of my hair, almost like I have a static charge. this Elasticiser helped cut down on that significantly. The pictures are of the two products used together. The Sachajuan gave good volume and needs to be paired with a conditioner, any conditioner. The Philip Kingsley was great with shine, manageability and fly away taming. Together they were a great pair. Individually I wouldn’t mind using the Sachajuan again, but I probably wouldn’t seek it out. The Philip Kingsley however i would not mind keeping stocked in my hair care arsenal.

Keys Soulcare

Function of Beauty for Wavy Hair

Some of you are looking at the above bottles and thinking, those don’t look quite like the pictures on the Function of Beauty website. And you’d be right. For those of you who have never heard of the brand before, Function of Beauty is a fully customizable hair care brand. You go onto their website, take a quiz about your hair and your hair’s needs. You then get to choose your hair goals, scent and color and they make up a personalized batch of shampoo and conditioner for you. I believe they also have body care elements as well. I have seen a lot of people who are over the moon with the products and they have been on my list to try out for a while.

However, this is not that.

Oh, it is the same brand, just a little different.

I ran out of shampoo and conditioner and went to Target. Usually I have a shampoo and conditioner waiting in the wings for when I finish my current bottle. It isn’t that i am stockpiling it, I just tend to not remember I am almost out until I go to dispense some product and find the bottle empty. It is easier to reach into the linen closet for the spare pair then to wail fruitless ly at the shower head and hope that a simple rinsing will keep me from looking like a grease ball until i can pick up a new set. so usually I have the back up waiting and then on my next store run I replace the back up.

It’s my system.

washed and air dried

Except that my system took a knock somewhere and I didn’t have a back up. I did have a small hotel shampoo (my babydoll takes them from every hotel he visits, puts them in a basket in the closet and then forgets them. I use them when I run out or the basket gets full.

which is a long way to say i went to target and was surprised to find the Function of Beauty products sitting on the shelf. They had three varieties: Strait, Wavy and curly hair. I went for the wavy option. It clearly isn’t as wide a range in the store as I suspect it would be if you went through the full customization on line, but i liked the three categories. The Shampoo has fermented rice water in it to help with elasticity and the conditioner has argan oil which helps with shine. The scent is fresh and lightly floral for both.

close up

Quite honestly I like being able to try the brand in the less expensive store format before going in for the fully customizable option. It lets me know if their formula works well for my hair. and you know? It did. My hair felt clean, bit not stripped and I had a great healthy shine to it. During the course of this shampoo and conditioner use, I didn’t need to use a detangler at all and my hair was full of body. (I still used a heat protectant spray, and yes I use the Mane Club’s One hit wonder which is technically both a heat protectant and a detangler, but when I let my hair dry naturally I didn’t use it so i could see if i did need it, which I didn’t.)

I was actually quite pleased with this shampoo and conditioner set. At Target each of the shampoos and conditioners are $9.99. When I went to look up the price on line i saw that there are now other Function of Beauty products available as well. They have hair boosters that can help with strengthening, fighting frizz or simply growing longer healthier hair. I love the fact that you can try these out in such an easy way before committing to a reorderable regime from the brand. I will certainly be repurchasing this set again, trying out the boosters and when I do get around to trying the individualized formula, I will feel more comfortable with the shampoo and the brand. And yes, I definitely want to try out the individualized one and see how it compares tot the version available at target. It will be interesting to see how the store formula varies. But that is a test for another day. As for this test, Function of Beauty functioned impressively.

Hiding the Grays in the Camo Mist (from eSalon)

As many of you know from previous posts, I routinely dye my hair. After losing my stylist (she moved, nothing untoward happened to her) I tried box dyes and then tried eSalon. They very kindly gifted me a selection of their products and I absolutely adored not only their hair dye but the well thought out way they arranged things.

Try eSalon Today! Only $15!

You can read my full review of the dying process by clicking this link, if you are interested. The short version is that their system takes into account how your hair color works with your hair from root to tips and provides you with easy to follow instructions on every step of the process. It seems like a lot of steps when you first see it but it is really easy to follow and I ended up with great results. I also like that their profile was details and their color selection was something I could play with so that I could get exactly the shade I wanted. If you are looking for at home custom color, I very much recommend them.

I actually reordered my color and will very shortly be eliminating my roots with a shipment that I paid for this time from eSalon. I think it is going to be my go to hair color for a while. I was thrilled with how it worked out and how long it has lasted without fading. Admittedly, part of that may be due to the Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner from Color Wow that I used throughout.

However, if you notice in the pictures below I really should have re dyed my hair quite a while ago. While my still dyed hair looks nice, the roots do not. It is, surprisingly intentional. I deliberately let the roots grow because I wanted to test out the Camo Mist from eSalon. I ordered it when I placed my hair dye order and it is in the same color as the hair dye that I ordered. I have to say I was a little hesitant about the concept of the Camo mist. I figured it would be like spray painting my head (and in a way it is) and I had bad images from baldness cures running through my head.

I was also intrigued by the product. I figured that if it worked then I could keep my roots touched up and extend the length of my dye so that I wouldn’t have to dye it that often. While the eSalon dye was gentle and i didn’t have a lot of breakage, in fact my hair is actually quite healthy at the moment, I still like to stretch the time between hair dyes because I feel the less I dye it the healthier my hair will remain. So I had my fingers crossed when I tried this product.

I have to say I was very impressed. I did run a comb through my hair just to see if the spray would flake off in case you are wondering why one side looks combed and the other didn’t.

When i sprayed it I kind of worked it into the hair as well. The nozzle for the spray is perfect for that. It has a small tip to direct the spray to exactly where you need it. The spray is light and has a sort of hairdresser’s scent to it. It smells like a salon. And it made my bathroom smell like a salon, which was kind of nice. I went rather light on the spray because I didn’t want to overload my hair with product. I think if I went a little heavier there would be no seam showing between my roots and the rest of my hair.

targeted nozzle

The product matched well because it was the same color as my hair dye and I think it is a very good way to extend the life of your dye. When you spray it, the product does go in wet. The label says to leave it to sit for a minute or two, which I did. After two minutes I touched the top of my head and my hair was dry. It has a slightly odd texture to the hair. While it feels weightless, when you touch it, you can tell your hair has something in it.

The texture feels a bit like you sprayed heavy duty hair spray into your hair and then brushed it out. You know where you’ve brushed out the spray so that the hair isn’t stiff any more, but you can still tell that there was a product in your hair? That is the same feeling.

Because of that, I think there is a practical limit to how long you can let your roots grow while using this to disguise it. I don’t mind using it on the top of my head, but once it got past the crown and extended down the sides of my head I don’t think I’d want to use the spray. I think it is definitely a product to use on the top of your head. For me it hid the grays and blended in with the hair. I think it is also very good for those sneaky grays that just sort of wait until I’ve dyed my hair to pop out of my scalp and laugh at me. Their taunting time is now at an end.

The comb didn’t dislodge the spray or eliminate the coverage, but when I washed my hair the Camo Mist rinsed right out with no residue left behind. It didn’t cover my scalp in the deep auburn hair color, but stuck to my hair which I liked. It made me feel less like i was spray painting my scalp. It is essentially not noticeable except by touch. I think that I will be using this spray until I do redye my hair. As I ordered the same color from eSalon, the Dark Auburn, I will keep the Camo Mist until the next time my roots grow out and then use it to touch up until I feel it is time to dye my hair once again. If you are ordering hair dye, I would highly recommend adding the Camo Mist to your shopping list. It isn’t very expensive ($15) but I know when I like how my hair looks, it makes me feel like a million bucks. And since the same people are creating your custom color, you know it is going to be the perfect match.

Verb Manage + Restore Hydrating Mask (Hair) Review

I picked up a deluxe sample size of this mask because I’d heard good things about the company and wanted to give it a go.   While skin care requires a couple of weeks for me to tell if I like using it, most hair masks I can tell after one use if I ever want to use it again. 

Don’t get me wrong there are some products that work well out of the gate, but lose effectiveness after repeated use. I generally find it takes a few months for that cycle to run its course with my hair.

At that point I have probably already used a lot of the product, so it isn’t a big deal.  I can trade it out for something else and then come back to it after a little while and usually it works well enough at that point for me to finish out the mask, emptying the container.  Then I can decide if I want to repurchase it based on the entire run of the product. 

At least that is my usual way with most hair products.

The trick is finding a product that can effectively go through this cycle.  This is one of the many reasons I tend to pick up hair product samples. The samples tend to be relatively inexpensive (or occasionally free as a gift with purchase) and  if the product isn’t going to work for me, I can tell pretty quickly. While most will work initially, some don’t work at all and those I know to avoid.

(I should warn you I picked up several sample hair products recently and I’ve been spacing out trying them trying to come up with a list of full sizes I want to order and try for a longer trial so there may be more hair themed posts in the next few months.)

So having heard good things about the company Verb, I decided to pick up this Hydrating mask.  It seemed especially good for me at this time as I recently had a shampoo and conditioner combo I didn’t care for too much and needed to do some repair work. Plus there is the increasing time outside and in the sun, and the fact that I dyed my hair. All signs my hair might need a little TLC.

Oh and in case you look at the pics of me and think something is a little different. I finally couldn’t take it any more and whacked about four inches off my hair. It is still really long, but now I don’t feel as though I am planning to join some sort of cult. Plus it was getting to the point where it was becoming too much for my hair clips to handle and this is not the sort of weather to be wearing it down all day. And yse I was so nervous about cutting the length that I forgot to trim the bangs. That is on my upcoming to do list. So thus explains my hair.

So back to the mask. First let’s see what the claims are shall we?

A rich, restorative deep conditioning treatment designed to nourish all hair types. Use weekly to restore color treated, over-styled hair or to add shine and softness.

I will say that the fact that it was for all hair types made me question it.  Generally, I find that anything that is for general use tends to have limited benefits.  Its like they try too hard to be all things to all people and come across as mediocre. 

Not that I am the suspicious sort.

I will say, that was not a problem with this product.

It is a thick cream that you use after washing your hair.  You wash and then apply and let sit for 5-7 minutes.  For me that means I wash my hair, apply the mask, and then shave my legs and lather up with my body wash along with everything else shower related.  By the time I find I am ready to rinse off the soap and turn the water back on, my hair is ready to be rinsed.  Its an extra step (especially if you don’t want to waste water) but it is a once a week thing so the extra time isn’t too damaging.  Unless you have really damaged hair and then apparently you can use it as an extra conditioning conditioner.  My hair had issues, but it wasn’t as bad as all that so I used it once a week.

The mask has a clean and fresh salon sort of scent to it.  I know I really need to get a better term than, ‘salon scent’, but that is the smell I come away with. 

Maybe I need to get one of those old scent boxes that wine people used to use to learn the scents for wine descriptors.  Instead of herbs, berries, tobacco and leather I could get the various herbs and oils typically found in salons to determine what I think of as salon scent. That might be a fun project. 

But it is in the future.  Today we have a light salon scent that is clean smelling and doesn’t tend to linger over long.  Once you wash out your hair, there is no scent that remains.

I will say that after I washed out my hair I was surprised that it didn’t feel weighed down.  The cream is pretty thick, so I had my doubts. (I know, so suspicious) The thickness of the cream allowed it to get all through my hair and cling to the strands, but then washed free.  There was no residue left on my hair, but my hair felt soft and nourished.  It was fantastic and I really enjoyed using it. 

In these photos, All I did after my shower and mask was to let my hair dry naturally and then run a brush though it. That’s it, no other product. and when I fixed my hair later, I had no problem with manageability. There were no tangles or snarls to work out.

close up

I have to say, the sample sized tube of product I picked up was 0.67 ounces/ 19 g.  I used it once a week and had enough product for four washes. 

That gave me a month of use essentially. 

The full sized product is 6.8 ounces/195 grams and retails for $18 on the Verb site. That means the full sized product is a little over ten times the size of the sample. That means by extrapolation the full sized bottle would last about ten months. 

I should add here that this is in no way a sponsored post and the link is just a general link to their website and not an affiliate one. I just happened to pick up the product and liked it.

While I have several other hair masks to try out, I enjoyed this product far more than I thought I would and am tempted to go ahead and pick up the full sized version to have on hand.  I have tried a couple of masks already that were just meh. Which makes this a little extra exciting for me.

I’m sure as I experiment with various products I will come across things that don’t do well for my hair and it might be nice to have a product like this on hand as backup.  In addition, I’m walking outside more since I am not going to the gym and the summer sun really does a number on my hair each year.  At $18 it is not cost prohibitive and it is a really nice product.

I suspect that I will put it on my list of products I like, but talk myself out of purchasing it until I have tried a few more things.  Then  I’ll try something I really don’t like and I’ll finally order it wishing I ordered it earlier.  Either that or I’ll order it as part of my ‘its my birthday’ purchases at the end of the month. Regardless, at some point, I am fairly certain a full sized version of this will make its way back into my shower. I suspect that as I haven’t tried any other Verb products it will be joined by a couple other things I find to try out while poking around on the website.

In case you are wondering, this is my normal shopping experience.  I tend to forget to order things and then run out of one product, or find a need a product that I ran out of a while ago and then realize I am out of a bunch of other things (if I’m ordering from a site like Alyaka or Lovely Skin, both favorites of mine for multiple brand purchases, I’ll like the sites at the bottom of the post for those interested) and then add on so it’s a large order or I’ll go on a brand website and after picking out what I came there for, I start poking around.  Especially if there is a saving of shipping charges once your order reaches a certain price. 

Seriously I am so easy, just promise to waive shipping charges and I’ll think – well I did want to try…- and then I’ll increase my order almost every time.  Of course, I also put things off until I get around to beating the shipping charges.  I have one order where I am seven dollars short of beating the $5.99 shipping fee.  My baby doll has a cream that he likes that I order from them.  It is a little over $8 so I’m waiting for him to want to reorder to place my order in. Mostly because I know if I don’t  wait, I’ll order, pay the shipping fee and need nothing from them, then he’ll ask me to reorder his cream and I’ll have to pay another $5.99 then. I think he only has another week or so left before he reaches the level where he feels like he is running out and needs a reorder.

At least he remembers to tell me when he runs out now instead of thinking the skin care and soap fairies pay us visits in the night. I am pretty sure he thinks shampoo is magical, or at least the refillable pump I keep topped off in his shower is magical and never ending. Of course I also think he believes Dr. Squatch is a friend of mine (as in ‘I’m running low on that soap, can you get your friend to send more.’) That may be just wishful thinking on his part as he is fond of Bigfoot/sasquatch/Yeti books and occasionally films.

Okay I got a little off track there, but to sum things up, great mask, I enjoyed using it and I will be purchasing the full sized version (and probably sampling some other stuff from them).


Max & Me - available at Alyaka.com

Give dad a gift he'll remember this Father's Day with the LovelySkin Father's Day Gift Guide.

Dr. Squatch

Reviewing a Christophe Robin Scalp Scrub

I’ll admit, I never actually tried a salt scrub for my scalp.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything specifically for my scalp.  I’ve used masks for my hair, but never anything for my scalp.  When I stop to think of it, it seems surprising.  After all the scalp is where the hair comes out of your head, it only makes sense to take care of it.  So I was excited to see the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt in my IPSY bag.  I received a trial size but the full size retails for $55.

While I had never tried a scalp scrub, I have heard of Christophe Robin. I have several friends who rave about their Anti Frizz Rescue Milk with Shea Butter and was thrilled to try one of their products.  The description they offer for the sea salt scrub is…

Inside the jar

The cleansing purifying scrub with sea salt is ideal as a detox treatment as it cleanses, purifies and restores balance to sensitive or oily scalps. It can also be used as a post-colour treatment to sooth tingling and itching sensations.

As those who regularly read this blog know, I recently dyed my hair so it was a perfect time for me to try it. So into the shower I went.   When you open it, it looks like a salt scrub.  As you can see, I forgot to take a picture prior to trying it out, hence the missing product. It was full to the top when I opened it.

The scrub has a vaguely oceanic scent mixed with a vaguely medicinal scent.  I know that sounds..um…vague. I apologize. I have been over and over the ingredients list trying to figure out exactly what that scent is, but I really can’t come any closer to it than that. It doesn’t smell like the ocean but it is vaguely oceanic. It doesn’t exactly smell medicinal, but it may have been stored in a cabinet with old school medicines like iodine, witch hazel and neosporin, all with faulty lids, might have been kept.

To apply I scooped out a bit and massaged it into my wet hair.  I tried to get as close to the scalp as possible as it is a scalp product. The issue is that I have thick hair and the salt scrub is quite chunky.  I had a hard time getting it through to the actual scalp as the wet hair almost actively resisted my attempt. 

Part of it is the emollient that it mixed in with the salt.  It made it want to slide off the hair rather than dive beneath the strands.  I’m not entirely certain it did anything for my scalp.  I will say though that my hair feels deliciously soft and light.  It is extra clean and feels fresh and fabulous. I am just not certain it helped my scalp in any noticeable way.  While I will continue to use the product until it is gone, I don’t think I would actually spend the $55 for the full sized container.  It is good, but I have other products that I like better and that give me almost the same results.  It is nice but it isn’t going to make it on my repurchase list. I think maybe I will try the anti-frizz that all my friends rave about. Perhaps I’ll like that better.


KerastaseFree Shipping & 3 Hair Care Samples With Any Order. Use Code: AFFAIR20. Valid:4/2-4/6.

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Eliminating Grays with a Bit of self care

The box

For a while now I’ve been seeing a few gray hairs pop up on my head.  There never arrive at the same time I’ll get one and then a few weeks later a second will appear.  I have been simply plucking them out as they arrive, thanking them for their willingness to cover my scalp but informing them their service is not needed and sending them on their way.  I think that is why they started arriving in pairs.

They wanted the back up.

While I know several people who have gone gray and look lovely with it, I wasn’t too keen on the prospect.  All of my grays were in one little area so I decided to try and grow them out a little bit to see if maybe I’d get a cool stripe or something. 

The unruly grays

I did not and they started to drive me crazy.  Still I knew if I just plucked them and dyed the hair then as soon as I did, the gray would grow back.  So I had to wait for a bit until the odd lighter spots stopped increasing.  Thankfully it didn’t take all that long.  I just had one weird spot of gray.

So I bought a box of hair dye.

At first I started to look up other product reviews for home hair dye but they were not encouraging.  Most featured funky colors or bleaching attempts gone horribly awry. Sometimes a combination of the two.  And then there were hairdressers and stylists maligning all store bought box dyes so I decided to just ignore them all for the first run through, pick a box from a company who makes other products I love and hope for the best.

included in the kit

So I came home from the store with L’Oreal’s Excellence Crème Triple Protection Color.  I chose the shade 5RB Medium Reddish Brown because all of the straight up browns looked a little too dark for me, unless they looked a little too blonde. With the red mixed in, I thought it would give it some depth instead of looking flat. 

I should point out that my experience with dying my hair oscillated between old school goth black and homemade colors involving kool-aide packets.

So I arrived home. I then set the box to the side because the world went mad.

Now I decided that a nice bit of self-care would be to actually use the dye, eliminating the grays and making me feel better when I look in the mirror.  And if the dye makes me look like Ronald MacDonald then at least I am in isolation and will only traumatize my baby doll and not the outer world at large.

So into the breach.

Not exactly for God and Country, but still an attack of sorts.

the dye in my hair

So I stripped down to an old plaid shirt that I use for gardening when it is chilly or the mosquitos are out in full force.  It already has holes in the elbows and along the bottom seam.  I’ve never figured those out actually.  I get the elbows wearing out, just not the bottom seam. Regardless I figured a little extra hair dye wouldn’t trouble it.

So dressed, I took L’Oreal into the bathroom.

The directions are quite clear and very easy to follow.  The provided gloves took a moment to actually open and get on my hands.  I started with the provided hair protector ant included, as per instructions.  It gave me some home that my hair would not come out fried at the end of this process. 

Then, feeling a bit like a mad scientist I mixed the dye with the activator, shook and applied to my head. It is thick and didn’t drip which I appreciated. It coated my hair well and even though I have rather long hair, there was enough dye to cover all of it.

I waited the recommended time and then took myself and the conditioner to the shower.  They dye rinsed out well and did not stain the tiles. I used the conditioner as one does. I will say I was a bit surprised by the amount of hair that washed out with the dye and conditioner.  It was more fall out then I usually see when I wash my hair and I was nervous.  So when completely rinsed, I stepped from the shower toweled dry, dressed and went directly for my hair dryer.

gray gone and the red faded back after a single wash

Usually if I don’t have to go anywhere I let my hair dry naturally but I was too curious to wait. Plus I wanted to know if I was going to be bald.

I was not.

I was however very impressed.

I think the hair that came out was the older duller looking hair because my hair looked great.  Perhaps I don’t brush vigorously enough to get those looser hairs out on a daily basis, perhaps they just decided it was time, I don’t know.  But my hair had great color, with no grays showing.  It also had excellent shine and body.  I really liked how it turned out.  I also want to find out if they sell the conditioner separately because it was fantastic.

My only issue was that while my hair ended up a nice brown with a slight reddish undertone, my scalp was quite red. It washed away after a day or two and was fine, but it would be something to remember for dying the hair when not in self-quarantine. In two days my scalp was back to normal and my hair still looked great. All in all, I am quite pleased. I tend to like L’Oreal products in general and I am glad I went with them on this.

It may be a bit silly of me, but I have to say I feel a little less tired and run down now that I am not looking at the odd tuft of gray in the mirror. It was only a little boost, but still much needed. Not bad for a $7.99 product and thirty minute wait time.way to go L’Oreal.

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Kerastase

Flaminglow Review

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a time or two, I have a lot of hair, and it is on the thick side. I actually really need to get it cut again. I tend to tie it up when I’m working out and then forget how long it is. It used to only be a problem in the summer when I tied it up to keep from sweating to death but apparently the gym knows no season. (trust me, I’ve tried to argue for a winter break but the gym has the scale on it’s side and it was two against one so winter ponytails it is.)

So when I take my hair down and actually do stuff with it I like to to look nice. So I have been trying out a variety of products. While I really like FoxyBae’s heat protectant spray, and tend to use the travel Foxybae fat iron to keep my bangs from going wonky.

the travel iron is perfect for straightening bangs in the morning

It is a great tool, but given it’s size I can only really use it to curl the ends and deal with my bangs. if I tried using it on the rest of my hair it would take forever. It is however a life saver with my bangs. It heats up quickly and is the perfect size for them. I can live without having to straighten the rest of my hair, but when bangs go bad, there is no reprieve. This keeps them from going bad at least until the wind takes them. Plus I like the marbled effect and compact size.

But that was not the point, the point was the Flaminglow Leave in conditioner. The spray is a mist. it is not a super fine mist and occasionally you will get a few splotty splashes, but over all it works really well. The nozzle also doesn’t get sticky and clog, or at least it hasn’t in the past month I’ve been using it. the bottle feels comfortable in the hand as well. Surprisingly a lot of spray bottles don’t take that into account. Not to get all three bears about it but some are too thin and some to thick to fit comfortably in the hand.

This is especially important with a leave in conditioner and thick hair. To apply the conditioner I flip my head upside down and give a light spray to the underside of my hair and then flip my head up to give the top a light spray, then I use my fingers to comb through the hair and distribute it throughout. So having a bottle fit comfortable in the hand helps through the manouvering.

But what does the product do according to the website? well…

So little time, so many hair problems to solve! If only there’s a product that can fix most of them… oh wait, it’s this! The Flaminglow Leave In Conditioner is the answer to all your prayers, it can detangle your hair, tame frizz and moisturize your lovely locks all at the same time! What’s better is that it has biotin in it that helps your hair grow faster and stronger. Don’t worry because we got you, all you have to do is be-leave!!!

I use this conditioner when my hair is wet right after a shower. I towel dry it enough to keep from flinging water everywhere but that is about it. Using my fingers I can actually feel my hair tangling less as I run my fingers through it to distribute the product. Sometimes with other products my fingers snag and I have to work out tangles. This was not a problem with the Flaminglow. The detangling nature of the spray works really well and my fingers didn’t catch. it meant I was pulling out less hair when I worked.

Hair was left to dry naturally then combed through with no problems

I really like leaving my hair to dry naturally when I can as I don’t like to put excess heat on it. In these pictures I applied the conditioner and then let it dry. I then used a fine toothed comb to comb it out. There is no other styling done. there were no snags with the comb, no tangles and my hair has a nice healthy shine to it. Because I couldn’t photograph the back of my head without assistance I had my darling dearest assist me with the camera. Because he insisted, I added the sun glasses so he could get the full Cousin It effect. It was my thanks for him taking the photos, in case you were wondering.

My darling dearest could not resist adding sunglasses when I asked him to help take the pic. Yup, that’s still the back of my head.

The scent of this product is slightly sweet, like a candy with vanilla somewhere in it’s blending. I can’t identify the candy, but it is a light pleasant scent that is not overpowering. It fades to almost nothing as the hair dries. The conditioner is not heavy and it left my hair incredibly soft. When I did style my hair the conditioner worked well with the heat protector and didn’t feel at all greasy or heavy. There was no battle of the products. I have to say I also like the price. The full sized bottle is $18.95 and I have used it after every hair wash for the past month and I am only a quarter of the way through the bottle. I amy have to set it aside to try out different products, but I will be returning to this one. it is a good price for a great product.

For those interested there is a promotion currently running (Exclusive Mother’s Day Offer! Take 60% Off Sitewide. Use Code: FOXYMOM) It isn’t my code, it is just a sale they are running. If you have tangling issues, this is a product you might want to look into.

foxymom