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FOTYesterday + The Hair

10 Mar

FOTD 09 03Highlights — not just on The Hair — include:

> essence Long-lasting Lipstick {€2.89} in Come Naturally: really emollient, loving the dark nude, feels like a balm.

> Foundation via Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin {€38}, which has not let me down in the month or so that I’ve been trialing it. It’s matte, but not so matte that you look like you should be displayed in Madame Tussaud’s — a lovely, natural glow is allowed to illuminate your skin without your face ever looking greasy.

> Sadly a function of the iPhone, the No7 eyeshadow is not showing up as well as it ought. This Mini Palette {€14.25} is fabbbbbbilis, the shadows are light in weight, but deep in pigment. It felt so light, even on the brush, that I loaded it up too much the first time out, and have since pulled back a little.

> Gave The Hair a little treat before shampooing: BC Oil Miracle Barbary Fig Oil {€27} from Schwarzkopf Professional. Soaked it into the lengths and ends and left it for… well over an hour I’m sure, since I was hard at work doing keyboardy stuff. Washed it out with the matching Fig Oil & Keratin Restorative Shampoo. Silky!

***

I {Almost} Used It All Up: Kiehl’s Magic Elixir

3 Feb

Gahhhhhhhh!

IUIAAU KIEHL'S

It’s not that I wanted to be done with this, because I love ittttt — but that’s not much of a dose, is it?

A couple of years ago, scalps were the new black, and it makes sense: scalps are skin, and even if you shampoo, you’re still not really taking specific care of that specific part of your body.

Now, many may holler, ‘This is ridic! Is there not a square inch of ourselves that goes without its own special product?!’ Me, I don’t care, I love product {obvs}, so was happy enough to take yet another step onboard.

I loved this on days when I had the time to drench my roots and leave it. Nothing like a good hair treatment to make one feel virtuous. And such treatments are pretty low maintenance: just lash it on and forget about it until it’s time to shower.

After using this truly Magic Elixir, my hair was silky, and my highlights looked like they’d gotten top up. What’s not to like?

That little tiny bit in the bottle, that’s what’s not to like…

***

€28.50/£25/$20

***

Plus! Avocado oils! So good for us internally and here, externally!

***

Two Hundred Days of Sexy Hair: Wella SP Luxe Oil

29 Sep

THE LUXE OIL ITSELFI cannot even begin to tell you how I had been yearning to try this stuff. I’d gone through a small can of Luxe Light Oil Spray as they say, for a short cut. I loved it, and used it as a finishing gloss, but I wanted something that was going to really get in there and keratin-ised my hair.

When I had my colour done at Mane Salon, Andrew had used some of the Luxe Oil on my locks, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Among other things, of course, but still. I think it was the word ‘elixir’ on the label. Don’t you just love the word elixir? Combined with ‘luxe’ and ‘reconstructive’, it sounds delicious and sexy and strong, all at once.

It can’t be said often enough: if it costs more, you use less. I know that you can bop into the chemists and get some hair styling product that is significantly less costly than €29.00, but srsly: you need like the barest breath of this on the hair, an eighth of a pump — you need to dispense the slightest rumour of this glorious elixir, and you will have more than enough coverage.

I use even less than the above prescription and it is sufficient unto the hair itself. Oddly, even though it feels so sleek that it might turn up greasy the next morning, I do get second day hair out of it — with the help, of course, of dry shampoo. HEY WELLA! How about some dry shampoo in this formula? I would die.

So, the littlest bit goes the longest way for the guts of two days. If you are barely using a ml of the 100mls on tap, you could have Two Hundred Days of Sexy Hair. Imagine that!

***

 

Evolution Keratin and IRS: A Match Made in Hair Heaven

26 May

On Tuesday, 25 February, I went back to Queen Salon in Aungier Street to avail of another Intense Revival System treatment. I wrote about it here, and had been pleased to have gotten more than the predicted four weeks of straightness out of that session. This time, I was determined to make it last even longer, with the help of Evolution Keratin products, which range from Shampoo and Conditioner to styling cream.

Here we are on Day One.
FIRST DAY

The first few days pass in giddy delight: The Hair is straight without being flat, and it dries in a finger snap. The shine! The shine is spectac, as whatever the IRS does to de-wave the hair also makes my highlights pop. Other benefits include repair to damaged follicles, UVA/UVB protection, and strengthening of hair weakened by chemical processing.

WEEK 2

eVOLUTION FAVES

eVolution Keratin Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, and Blowout Treatment

Week Two! Looking good, thanks to the products pictured here. I mainly hate sulfate-free shampoos, which is silly, I know, because they are so much better for your hair. I’ve said it before: I just don’t feel like The Hair is clean if there’s not an abundance of suds. Not the case here! This feels really effective, and the conditioner is excellent as well. Sometimes the conditioner half of a sulfate-free duo can be utter rubbish, in that I have to use nearly three times as much as with a regular concoction. Not so with this stuff.

I especially liked the Blowout Treatment: I’ve been enamoured of oils for years now, it seems, and this cream has me kind of converted back to more old school stylin’. Two pumps will do ya; I will say that one needed to do rather a lot of pumping to get the flow going, as it were. I don’t know it that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just a thing.

All the products are loaded up with Argan Oil. I have been wary of Argan Oil in the past, as it tends to dull down blondeness, but I didn’t have any issue with that in this instance.

WEEK 5
We are at Week Five. This is when it all started to go to pieces the last time. You can see some of the thickness coming back, but it still looks pretty sleek.

WEEK 8.
Week Eight, and I didn’t use the magical Evolution brew — can you tell? Of course you can.

WEEK 11!
Week Eleven! Seriously! That would have made it… the first week in May. So very pleased.

I have to say, just yesterday, when I was wringing my hair out prior to blasting it dry, I realised that I was wringing my hair out, and had a sad. The IRS is all gone now, and I can really feel it. Hmmm, must give the shampoo and conditioner a go, and see how well they do on their own…
JUST THE PRODUCTS
They do pretty darn well. Seems like I’ve got straight hair on tap!

***

I got my Intense Revival System treatment at Queen Salon, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.
€55 including blow dry
http://www.queen.ie

Evolution Keratin products are available from the salons that offer the IRS. See http://www.evolutionkeratin-eu.com and @EvoProof for more info.

***

BaByliss Perfect Curl: Is It Worth the Effort?

19 May

I have been gasping to get my hands on one o’ these yokes for ages. The BaByliss Perfect Curl has been an absolute unicorn in my life. Given my column in The Herald, and my assiduous blogging in this corner of the internet, it proved to be impossible to secure a sample of this implement from the brand’s public relations representatives. So, off to the googles I went, and came upon a site that was selling them for an incredibly good price* {hint: ‘cheap babyliss curl’} and it was in my hot little hands in about ten days.

How badly do I want curly hair? That desire was tested in the extreme.

I took this selfie at 15:04, GMT, Sunday, 18 May, 2014.
01 STRAIGHT UP
I plugged ‘er in, and waited while she juiced herself up. I kept my specs on, as I needed to read the directions.

THE IMPLEMENT

The BaByliss Perfect Curl


They were pretty straightforward:
> Always have the gray dot that appears on the one side of the implement pointed towards your head. This has something to do with heat, and not burning yourself.
> Choose how long you want your dry, clean, well-brushed hair to cook {12, 10, 8 seconds; there is also a 0 in that section, which makes absolutely no sense to me.}
> Choose which direction in which you want the hair to curl {Left, right, auto}{Chose auto, seriously, why make this any more complicated?}
> Take a 3mm-wide hank of hair, lay it into it in the maw of the implement and clasp it closed.
> When it beeps four times: release, emit curl.

Oh, yeah, and clip your hair into smaller hanks.
02 CLIPPIN
Because if you’re me, you’ll start out with the best intentions and then get bored stupid, and begin grabbing bits of hair, rhymelessly and reasonlessly, just to get it over with.

I began, after a few false starts — to the point where I’d cocked it up so badly that I had to turn the implement off, and turn it on again.

What happens is: if you’ve put too much hair in the thing, it kinda groans as it tries to pull all that hair into itself. It will also beep four times and then make no noise at all, so you know that you’ve done it wrong. I did it wrong several times, and once you stop squeezing it closed, you hair basically falls out of it.

No hair was harmed in the making of this post.
03 HALFWAY
Holy God, this is only halfway, and I want to kill someone.

When you do it right, the implement merrily curls up the hair with a happy curling sound, and then beeps in an intermittent fashion, and then beeps four times in quick succession, and then you have your curl.

Things I learned at this stage:
> If you think you’ve brushed your hair properly, brush it again. The tangles that lurk, even when you think you’ve done a thorough job of it!
> Take the smallest hank of hair you’ve ever held in your hand, in the whole of your life — then divide it in half. And divide it again. This is the amount of hair that will be successfully be drawn into the maw.
> Use clips. I would have been lost without these:
05 CLIPS

Is it worth it?
04 OH!
I think so…
06 FULL EFFECT
I think that once I get a hair cut, it’ll look less straggly at the ends? But those poor ends were the initial tresses that got the brunt of my inability to do it right; had I not had more than enough of curling, I would have gone over them again.

I officially powered down at 15.44. So with mistakes, and turning off and back on: the guts of 40 minutes to do this head.

The head felt awfully top heavy, so I finger-combed a bit.
OH THAT'S CURLY
Okay, I think I do like it. It seems really dry and flyaway, though — and this is second day hair, as well. Maybe next time, so that it takes even longer, I’ll use a styling spray on each miniscule lock of hair.

***
THE NEXT DAY. Now: I did all the curling yesterday, and never left the house, so there was no environmental wear and tear. I blasted the roots with dry shampoo and twisted it up into a knot, and slept. I combed it out lightly, and thus:
NEXT DAY
I haven’t used hair spray in about a decade, but think that if I was going out and intending to keep this hair looking good, I’d have to use some class of holding product.

I also feel like I’m always fiddling with it, making sure it is okay and wavy and fluffy and voluminous.

Verdict? High maintenance; wouldn’t do it everyday; but totally worth it.

***

*Thanks to lovelygirliebits for the heads up {ha, ha,} re: the benefits of googling this object.

***

Garnier Ultimate Blends: What’s Your Antidote?

31 Mar

Argh, which is not as good as ‘what’s your poison?’ but I’m going to go with it. The recent launch of Garnier Ultimate Blends haircare line saw each of their distinctive elements translated into mocktails, as shown below.
01 ALLL THE DRINKS
Just as well that they were mock, as the fruity/nutty blends went down very, very easily. Below, The One With the Coconut, which I inhaled before you could say ‘Where’s the little umbrella!?!’
02 THE ONE WITH THE COCONUT
Here’s the one with the coconut, which was especially delicious. This matched up with The Sleek Restorer, the shampoo, conditioner and treatment for those among us who suffer from dry, frizzy hair. It’s got coconut oil in it, hence the mocktail, as well as cocoa butter, which is just as well it wasn’t an ingredient, at least in the drink.

There is something for every hair issue, way beyond the usual dry-normal-greasy troika. In addition to The Sleek Restorer, you may avail of:

>The Marvellous Transformer
with Argan and Camellia Oils for dry, lifeless hair
>The Silky Smoother
with Vanilla Milk and Papaya for mid-long hair with split ends
>The Colour Illuminator
with Moroccan Argan Oil and North American Cranberry for coloured hair
>The Nourishing Repairer
with European Avocado Oil and African Shea Butter for very dry, damaged hair
> The Shine Revitaliser
with Chinese Green Tea and Mediterranean Lemon for normal hair

We all got a fluff-up from the stylists…
03 STYLIN
04 FRONTWAYS

…and were sent on our way with some of the flavours to test. I’ve used The Silky Smoother and the Colour Illuminator. Both smell delish, and despite this being a value range, a little bit of everything goes a long way. The first time I used the Silky, it took me about half an hour to rinse out the suds, simply because I used way too much.

Both dry to a blinding shine — truth — but I’ve found that the Colour Illuminator gives better second day hair. The line comes with a 7 in 1 Dry Shampoo, which didn’t work for me, so I couldn’t use it to extend my coiff. The brunettes at the launch were thrilled because it doesn’t turn your hair white; I found it wasn’t dry enough on contact, and that my hair flopped after about an hour. I love the 1 Minute Treatments, though, and have found them to be very moisturising, and again: they smell fantastic and therefore: spendy.

But! See the prices below: the value is enormous, and the line extends to hair oils as well. Because I am spoiled, I can be a bit leery of using economy brands, especially on the highlights, as cheaper products can be pretty harsh. These felt great, and gave an posh finish, as fancy as any of the higher priced brands I’ve tried. They do seem to be erring on the side of dry hair, probably a result of all the heat we have been applying over the last number of years, but I wonder at the lack of a greasy hair formula. I suppose the dry shampoo is there for that, but I’d want something that goes — ha, ha — directly to the root of the problem in the cleansing process…

***

Garnier Ultimate Blends:
Shampoos and conditioners: €3.99
One minute treatments: €6.99
7 in 1 Dry Shampoo: €5.49
Hair oils: €10.99

***

KEVIN.MURPHY is Australian For ‘G’Day Hair’

25 Mar

Have you seen Preen? It has installed its stylish salon self on Dame Street, slap bang in the middle of everything, and amongst its many appealing aspects, such as…

00 STYLISH SERVICE

Stylish service

… really pretty presentation of one’s cappucino and eensy cupcake…

02 STYLISH WASH

Stylish shampooing

… one of the most chilled shampoo rooms I’ve ever encountered, one that not only has massage chairs, but also wafts the scent of relaxing essential oils throughout…

01 STYLISH DISPLAY

Stylish display

… a design ethic that even embraces the way things are put on shelves…

03 STYLISH S&C

Style in bottles


… and the actual product that’s actually on the shelves. I would have been drawn to KEVIN.MURPHY simply down to the rectangular bottles — shallow packaging design groupie that I am — but what’s in it is as good as it looks, in style and substance.

What’s not in the Antipodean product is good, too. No parabens! No sulphates! Me, I love a good sulphate even though they are bad. I am of the mindset that suds = clean, and it’s correct as far as the dirt goes, but those foaming sulphates strip the natural oils out of the hair, the ones that keep your locks from drying out, and your scalp from getting all flaky. When I do use a sulphate-free shampoo, I always feel like my hair is still dirty even after the repeat after the rinse, and I go for a third round. Not an efficient use of time or product!

KEVIN won me over simply because I do feel like my hair is clean, despite the lack of bubbles. The first wash is fine, but the second really does the job, and I can feel the cleanliness. The conditioning rinse is fab, and I don’t think I’m using any more than I would of a sulphate-laden sort.

It is as though the products pictured have been tailor-made for my blonde, fine hair; you can check out the brand’s website for more information regarding your own type of tress. There’s some fab looking styling stuff as well!

Oh, and the result, thanks to my stylist Merilee?
04 STYLISH BLOW DRY

***

Preen Dublin is located at 52 Dame Street, right near the junction of Georges Street, but opposite, if ya get me. See preendublin.ie for prices, and ring 01 670 8080 for an appointment.

KEVIN.MURPHY: BLONDE.ANGEL.WASH is €25 and ANGEL.RINSE is €24.

***

Bronde. Dames: BRONDE!

20 Mar

This is thing, via L’Oréal Professional and their Marijel Mocha spectrum.

It is hottt.
Malena_Bronde_RVB
That’s Spanish model Malena Costa, who looks amazing.

One time, I got a balayage and I hated it. I would look in the mirror and want to cry from the lack of blonde. I am guessing I myself wouldn’t be terribs happy with this look, but I am also guessing that there are many among you who could kill this.

Have to go to the salon for this, as far as I can tell, but: so worth it. < Did not mean to do that!

***

BRONDE.

***

O.M.Fibrology: In Word and Deed

14 Mar

L’Oréal Paris’ latest launch, Elvive Fibrology Thickening Haircare Range, is very science-y. It would have to be, I s’pose, to be able to back up claims that your can increase the follicular volume of fine hair just by washing it. So: there’s this thing? Called Sol-Gel Technology? They use it to fix cracked windscreens? {Windshields, to you Americans!} What it does is, it makes a liquid turn into a solid, and in the case of this product, there’s also these Fixollane molecules that bond with proteins in the hair shaft, and they stay and grow when the hair dries, making it thicker, and more able to hold a style.

OMGGGGG. Here, just look:
FIBROLOGY 02  day2
Did not style — as in, did not use any ‘big hair’ drying devices, did use any root-pumping-up product, no spray, nothing. Not much ‘fluffing’ either, just enough to drape it about the shoulders.
FIBROLOGY 01  day2
SRSLY.

I have a lot of time for the Elvive line in general, and here, I couldn’t be more impressed. There’s your standard FIBROLOGY BOOSTERS&C, as well as a Thickness Booster, which is a tube of serum that you mix in with the conditioner, or put directly on the hair before using the Intensive Texturising Mask. The tube is little bit fiddly, and there’s no way to balance it properly, tub-side, but you’ll get over it, as I did. It’s not for use everyday, and the tube contains about four applications, so save it for days when you need to guarantee good, big hair.

The scent is lovely, the texture of all the products is great, and there is a Double Serum styling product that can be used wet or dry; haven’t tried that, but I’m guessing it’s in the same line of country as all those new BB hair creams. {BB hair creams, you ask? Stay tuned!}

Second day hair — always an important consideration — is good, with the usual application of dry shampoo at the roots the evening before. The thickening of the follicles helps them stay that tiny bit less greasy, which for fine hair is always an ish.

All in all, a total scientific success, and I for one am happy to never have to think about the ‘why it works’ ever again — I’m quite satisfied with the ‘what it does’. It does good.

***

Shampoo (250mls) €5.84/£2.89
Conditioner (250mls) €5.84/£2.89
Thickness Booster €9.19/£5.99
Intensive Texturising Mask €8.49/£5.49
Double Serum €10.79/£6.99

***

Evolution Intense Revival System: An IRS You’ll Adore

17 Jan

Every time I looked at the press info for this stuff, my stomach did an unpleasant little flip. Clearly, Evolution’s Intense Renewal System does not originate from the States, because that acronym has only one meaning, and it’s got nothing to do with making you feel sleek and sexy.

This stuff, IRS Boxhowever, certainly does. Four weeks and a bit ago, I was asked along to Queen Salon in Aungier Street, Dublin 2, to take the IRS’s treatment for a spin. It’s along the lines of the class of keratin twelve week blowdry, only this is far less chemically, and lasts for four weeks {or does it? We shall see…}

I never went in for one of those twelve week yokes. My hair is too fine, and colour treated, and frankly, I was afraid. I was even a little worried about this, but Queen’s Salon Director, John Maher, calmed my fears. ‘This is suitable for almost everyone, as it enriches the hair with Keratin and reduces frizz without taking out the natural movement,’ he explained. “It is a really easy in-salon treatment taking less than 15 minutes, on top of your usual blow dry.’

What about my highlights? I was instilled with a fear of double-processing from when I was a wee un. ‘When we refer to double processing as hairdressers, we mean that overdoing it with chemicals is to be avoided,’ he said. ‘The good news is there are no harmful chemicals in the IRS treatment: only keratin, the natural protein of which the hair is constructed.’

Okay! Let’s go for it!

01 DRENCHED HAIR
Here’s my hair after it had been drenched from root to end with the product. There was a brand advisor present, and she told my stylist that the recommended dosage was 15mls. 15 mls for The Hair! Ha!

Er, it did actually amount to that, in fairness. At this stage, I was already impressed by its apparent magical qualities.

02 BLASTING IT DRY
In a smart move, the stylists who had gathered round my chair decided to just blast The Hair dry, in the same exact way I do it every day, except in this case, I didn’t flip my head over. With two of them at it, it took no time at all to dry. John points out that ‘the IRS is a conditioning treatment that will add strength and shine to the hair, making it easier to blow dry and manage.’ Saw the proof of that immediately!

03 HOW MANY, ETC
Let’s everybody straighten it! I felt like the Cowardly Lion, in the best possible sense.

04 ALL DONE
Don’t know why I got my bitchface on, because off-camera, I was warbling with delight. My hair was sleek, shiny, and poker-straight without feeling flat and lifeless. Oh! I really hope this does last!

So… did it?!?

4 DECEMBER
As seen the next day, after horseriding. The Hair never looks like this after a lesson, ever. It was sweaty at the roots, sure, but the ends fell back into place like nothing had ever happened.

HAIR IN CANADIA 2
Three weeks and bit later! Now, I have to say that I do believe the Canadian water had something to do with its extra smooth smoothness, but still looking shiny and drying super fast.

7 JANUARY
Home again, and drying time is starting to creep back to normal levels, and I’m using a bit more styling product than I had been. But still! We are coming up to five weeks.

10 JANUARY
Second day hair! I ask you.

***
THE VERDICT is that I would deffo do this again, and really recommend it. If you’re going on holiday, and don’t want to be bothered with a bunch of styling products, then I can’t imagine a better way to deal with yer barnet.

And you don’t have to do your hair straight-straight: you still keep your volume, and yet any frizz goes buh-bye.

Also! This process takes only 15 minutes in addition to your regular blow dry.

Never thought I’d say this, but: gonna miss you, IRS.

***

Currently available exclusively at Queen Salon, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.
€55 including blow dry
http://www.queen.ie

***

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