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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.
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!?!’
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…

…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…


Stylish service

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


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…


Stylish display

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


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?


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



Bronde. Dames: BRONDE!

20 Mar

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

It is hottt.
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!




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

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 only 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!

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.

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!

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

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?!?

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.

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.

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.

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


Ask Andrew! Mr Dunne From Mane Salon Answers Some Knotty Questions

13 Nov

ANDREW DUNNE from MANEAndrew Dunne is the Irish Colour Ambassador for Wella, and one of the hand-picked colour specialists who represent Wella and P&G on the global stage. Winner of The International Trend Vision Colour award 2009 for Ireland, he was voted Colourist of the year,  and was inducted into the Hall of Fame, in 2010.

So, clearly, he knows about colour + hair. His work on my own head appears here, and it’s one of the more popular posts on Bright & Beauytfull. Since people ask me about hair allll the time, and since I’ve only got expertise as relates to my own, Andrew kindly agreed to answer some of the more frequent questions…

1} I dye my hair black, always have, always will. Lately, though, the colour is not lasting past ten days. It looks like growth, but it’s not — it seems like the colour is washing straight out. Going lighter won’t suit me, and on top of it all, my hair is dry. I can’t understand why this happening, or what to do about it. Can you help?
Mary, Co. Kerry
Hi, Mary! The answer to your problem is in your question: the products you are using are working at dyeing your hair and not colouring it. The dyes just stay in the hair and have very strong, heavy pigments in them; a good professional colour will open your hair to allow new micro-pigments to enter your hair, so the shine will come from within. Not all salon carry products like this, so do your research before choosing a salon that’s the real deal.

2} How can a lady in her 40s update her look without looking like an eejit? There are so many new technique out there, and I want to be on trend, but I don’t want to, like, chop all the hair off and then dye what’s left turquoise. Any advice?
Bridie, Co. Dublin
Hi Bridie! First off, go to someone who know how to break it all down, let’s start with the colour and the way choosing the right tones works its skin and eyes first, then hair. If it works on your skin and makes your eyes pop, then the hair comes alive. Then regarding the shape, look for the focal points on your face as in: eyes, lips, cheekbones, jawline, and create a shape that shows off your best features. Now bring the cut and colour together and that’s the best trend in the world to follow: your own trend.

3} Fringe: yay, or no way? I feel like it took me about six years to grow out the hair around my face, and I like it sweeping back, but I am always thinking about chopping a few lengths over my forehead. This is cheaper than Botox, can just a few locks be sacrificed to the cause, locks that could maybe be tucked back in somehow?
Sue, this blog
Well, Sue, most of the time it comes down to the size of your forehead; that determines the type of fringe that you can wear. The general rule of thumb is: the bigger the forehead, the fuller the fringe. The biggest mistake most people make is not committing to a proper fringe, as it must be the focal point of the whole haircut! Instead, they half do it and it just doesn’t work — and they start growing it out a week later. I’d say go to someone who understands face shape and how fringes impact on them.

4} Do colour protect shampoos really make a difference?
Matilda, Naas

The difference between professional products sold in a salon and cheap products sold in smaller chains is massive, and getting bigger by the day. But if your hair is not coloured properly in the first place — as in, low volume of peroxide, the right colour for the right skin tone, the right technique — no colour protect shampoo is going to make a difference. Make sure your hairdresser uses the most gentle products possible while colouring your hair so as not to damage your beautiful locks.


Mane Salon is located in The Grooming Rooms, 16 South William Street, Dublin 2. Prices range from €100-160 for colour and €60-80 for cut.
Ring 01 672 5177 for an appointment.


How to Youthify Ageing Hair: Pantene Pro-V Youth Protect 7

4 Nov

Pantene Pro-V Youth Protect 7 Shampoo and Serum €3.45 RRPI write this with one eye closed, because: denial. I mean, okay, hair thins as we age, etc, etc, but yeah, I’d prefer to go lalalalalalala in my head. My head, which even as we speak is sprouting locks at a slower, thinner rate. Nooooooooo!

This issue wouldn’t have been brought to my attention but for receiving samples for Pantene’s latest collection in the Pro-V vein, Youth Protect 7. The 7 refers to the 7 signs of youthful hair, or less optimistically, the 7 signs of ageing hair. I’m going with the former, thanks, as attitude is everything.

Ageing follicles show more than those pesky grey hairs, and healthy hair is the very picture of shine, fullness, smoothness, strength, resilient ends, damage-free and hydration. Now, I do think it’s arguable that we each have our personal issues with our hair — one woman’s lack of smoothness may be another’s tendency to greasiness — but I do believe that if you make the effort to mind anything about your person, you’ll see improvement. I used to have terrible split ends until I stared using hair masks and intensive treatments. Since I have been, I’d totally forgotten that they were ever an issue, until just this minute.
Pantene Pro-V Youth Protect 7 Conditioner €3.45 RRP
So! Proof that taking care of business really does work, and further proof that success is due to a commitment over time. It is with that feeling of hope, then, that I tried out Pantene’s new shampoo, conditioner, and their 1 minute treatment.

I am a fan, in general, of Pantene, as far as over-the-counter hair products are concerned. I’ve always been happy with the result I get from them, and at €3.45 each, you’re not going to go too far wrong. Additionally, you can use what I consider to be a pricey product’s amount of either and still get a good result; often, the less expensive shampoos and conditioners require you use more, and then go through it faster, and then mitigate your savings.

Not so here. I got a grand wash outta the shampoo, and I found the conditioner in particular to go a long way. The real eye-opener, however, was the 1 Minute Wonder Ampoule that I used the second time I gave this a go.

Pantene Pro-V Strength  Shine 1 Minute Wonder Ampoules €5.69
You get three minutes for €5.65, and they may be the best three-minute investment you’ve ever made. Now, I am sure I left this on longer than 60 seconds, in the same way that when an intensive mask says to leave it on for 15 minutes, I most assuredly do not. So, I’m not gonna vouch for the time frame, based on actual stop-watch watching. I will say with authority that the texture felt rich, that the contents of the ampoule were sufficient unto my loads of hair, and that when I rinsed it out, my locks felt nice and soft, even when still wet.

Et voilá:
That’s on the day, with no styling. Like, I did the blow dry in my usual haphazard fashion, but put in no styling products, before, during or after.

Shiiiiiiny! And, hopefully, actively youthifying my follicles.

Next up: 7 in 1 Hair Perfector BB Créme. BB Cream for the hair, you gasp? Indeed!


I Used It All Up: John Frieda Luxurious Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

15 Oct

Ha, sezs she!’ sez you.

Intervention was required to prove that I did, indeed, use these all up.

Or did I?!?! O.o

That’s the shampoo, all gone.

Nooooooooo! That was enough conditioner for — no, there isn’t actually. Not enough for a treatment. Having said that: the shampoo-to-conditioner ratio being what it usually is, which is twice as much of the former to not as much of latter, I think I did really well, getting the full value out of this duo.

This was my go-to for perfect second-day hair, meaning: I used this post-horse of a Wednesday night, and wokeon the Thursday refreshed, and with fresh looking locks. Ah, well. At €6.31 {RRP} apiece, it’s great value that went a long way.


I am also a fan of the line’s Blow Dry Lotion Root Booster {RRP €6.31} which adds lift when using this combo for first-day hair.


Sneaky Peeky: T3 SinglePass Straightening & Styling Iron

8 Oct

Okay, here’s me, with what I considered to be straight hair.PRE-T3 Try to ignore the half-asleep vibe — which is ridic, as it was like 11.20 when I snapped that on the 46A — but that’s hair I’d straightened, or as an American, I always want to say ‘ironed’.

In fairness, there were a couple of things I didn’t do:
1} I didn’t spray it with any shine-inducing, frizz-flattening product.
2} I didn’t go, like, lock by lock with the straightener. I did my usual four clumps of hair, and dragged the device down each clump several times.

Still, on a normal day, I do get asked, ‘Did you get a blow dry?’ and I smugly say, ‘Oh, no, I did this myself.’

Well, I didn’t do the following myself, but I absolutely could, with the new T3 SinglePass Straightening and Styling IronAbout to roll out in Brown Thomas, Dublin, the American brand has found a UK distributor, and is ready to hit our shores, along with a fancy hair dryer and styling wand.

T3 — Arnold Schwarznegger is in no way implicated in these tools — incorporates Tourmaline and Ionic Ceramic technology, which results in an improved sealing of the hair cuticle as imparted by the heat. Every single dryer and iron are made from parts that made from actual tourmaline, so every element of each tool is imbued with the essence of the semi-precious stone.

And when it comes to your fully-precious locks, you want the heat you use to be effective, on contact. I don’t like to feel like I’m burning my hair, you know? That’s where the SinglePass aspect comes in. I availed of the offer of the stylist giving my hair a going over and I… I don’t know that there’s any going back. Every single tress was swiped through the straightener, and then it was done. That was it. And look!

It took, like, ten years offa me!

Two hours later, I’m on my way home.
T3 two hours later 2
T3 two hours later 1

More words to follow — I think I really want to give the hair dryer a go, it’s meant to dry hair even as long as mine in around seven minutes — but the proof is in the pictures…

Brace yourself, bridies: it’s €157.50. I think the words that will follow will be a forensic breakdown of why this is excellent value…


Seriously, between the flat hair and the pixellation, maybe even as many as fifteen years offa me.


Nurture Anti-Ageing Conditioning Hair Treatment: When Good Things Come In Small Packages…

15 Jul

… if the thing doesn’t sparkle, it better do something useful.

First: adorbz!
NURTURE package

Second: handy!
NURTURE capsule

Could this be any easier to pop into a going-away bag? It could not.

Third: any good?

Yes! The softness, the shine… The Hair feels good, and looks good, too.

A few things:
> You need to be patient with the twisty top. The capsule is made of particularly soft soft plastic, so it takes more than one twist to get the cap to snap. I think it took me abut six twists. Careful! Don’t want to spurt serum all over the joint!
> As tiny as the capsule is, it felt like there was almost too much in it. It’s like the wardrobe to Narnia, or something. Speaking as a long-haired person, it was ultimately the correct amount. Shorter-haired persons may even be able to get another go per capsule.
> It is oddly, and yet welcome-ly, scentless. I sniffed my locks a couple times, I was that surprised.
> The serum has UV and thermal protection qualities. I never think about my hair getting baked by the sun, which = duh, espesh as my highlights gets noticeably highlightier in the summer…
> 20 capsules suddenly doesn’t seem like enough…

You can buy them online here, on for only £7.45, which is a snip, frankly.

And there’s a whole world of product on the site designed for mature skins, and the company are located in Guernsey, which looks stunning!

Let the hording begin…


UPDATE: You won’t get second day hair out of this unless you use dry shampoo the night before. < Which, when I was first investigating how to use dry shampoos properly, wrecked my head {ha, ha}.


UPDATE, MARK II: I used two of my carefully hoarded capsules on a recent trip to France. The water in France is usually rather hard on The Hair*, and it gets all dry and frizzy and dull. This stuff was magique: softness, shine and manageability were the same as at home. So, maybe the headline should be: Travel-sized Product Travels Well!


*Occasionally, my diamond shoes pinch just the tiniest bit, too.



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