I Used It All Up: Julien Farel Vitamin Restore

I finally used up the last of this lil’ beaut: Julien Farel Vitamin Restore. It’s the first low shampoo I ever tried, and liking it so much I hoarded it for-basically-ever. It’s got hyaluronic acid in, as well as echinacea stem cells, and vitamins B, C and E, and triples as a cleanse, treat and condition formula.

Everything about it is neutral in the best sense: zero fragrance, no lather, and yet its effect is shiny, healthy, bouncy hair.

I wondered: exactly how many years has this been perched on the lip of the tub, waiting for an outing? How long had I kept in reserves for those days when I wanted a guaranteed Good Hair Day™ or I was simply not arsed to do the whole shampoo/shampoo/condition thang?

I thought about doing a search on my hard drive and went: Nah. Cannot be arsed to do that, either.

I did want to find more of it, so I googled it, and lo and behold. It is alive! My past self was there all this time, hidden in The Herald website, which deigned not to give me credit, but does at least still keep a record of my tried and tested days.

Upshot: I hoarded this stuff for three years. Is that nothing or is that mad? I am not that impressed, tbqh. Maybe next time I’ll do better.

(Just fell down the Julien Farel rabbit-hole: a haircut with the man himself is $1000. FYI.) (Buying this internationally may be a ‘no’; I think I’ll pick some up in NYC at Christmas.)

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As regards the rest of that link: I quickly fell out of love with the Dermalogica‘s Ultimate Buffing Cloth. The length got on my nerves. I fondly recall both the Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser and Garnier‘s BB Cream + Blur — might be time for a run to the chemists…

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I Used It All Up: Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Keratin Restore Blonde Mask – All Blondes

Even as I was taking the photo, I thought, “Maybe I can get one more go out of this?”

BLONDE ME IUIAU

What I loved about this was the keratin mentioned on the label, and the keratin-esque effect it did in fact have on my hair. Now, there’s nothing like a proper keratin hair treatment, like the ones I’ve enjoyed from Queen Salon in Dublin, but this is pretty darned close. My hair felt silkier and stronger when I used this — especially when I used this because I had a non-sulfate shampoo whose conditioner was complete pants. Which is another post in the making: why is non-sulfate conditioner either non-existent or totally rubbish?

It felt like a waste to just use it a straightforward conditioner rather than as an intensive mask, but I never regretted it — who would ever regret a great hair day? {And, naturally, it is super fantastic when used for deep conditioning. I am really going to miss this one.}

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Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Keratin Restore Blonde Mask – All Blondes, €19.39
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Brunettes: your revenge is imminent. I’ve got a review on deck of a superb shampoo & conditioner combo that is not nice to blondes…
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FOTYesterday + The Hair

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!

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Can This Actually Possibly Work?!? Marc Anthony Instant Highlights

INSTANT HIGHLIGHTSThe actual dream hair product, as far as I’m concerned, is some class of root-touch-up biz. Like a mascara wand that dispenses blondey goodness. There is already a product that I have called Color Wow Root Touch Up, about which I will write someday, but the brush applicator — like a small blush brush — makes it tedious, if worthwhile work.

Googling in America yields better results than at home, and there were in fact many options when it came to stretching out the time between colouring: there’s a brush that dispenses what looks like dry shampoo, a brush that looks like onea dem yokes that doles out under-eye concealer, an aerosol spray can… Darn it, have to go to Sephora!

Failing the roots, pumping up the highlights seems like a good way to distract from the quickly encroaching gray, so I didn’t even think twice when I snapped up Marc Anthony’s Instant Highlights. Why did his name ring a bell…?

Not the ex of Jennifer Lopez. This memory has the frisson of high school, a chilly vibe that isn’t entirely pleasant. God knows, The Hair has some crazy, perm-y times in that era, and the minute I read that brand name I shivered and cringed simultaneously.*

Nevertheless! Instant highlights! I ask you! I do not even know how many of my dollars were required to purchase this, I grabbed it and intend to go ahead and use it.

BRB.

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Well, this picture will have to suffice, 10 JANUARYeven though it is much after the fact. And small with it, because it didn’t really work. I cop to being crap at applying the product, because fiddly + impatience = imprecision, but it’s not all bad.

So: you spray it on your dry hair, and then straighten the lock with a flat iron. There is a terrifying/satisfying sizzle when the doused hair meets the hot plate. I very clearly made the locks of hair too big, and I basically baked a sort of overall colour into my hair.

Not the intention of the product! But: hard to do by yourself, maybe? If nothing else, it got me over the Christmas holidays, and perked up the last round of highlights, which I had found dull.

I did eventually find a root-touch-up-aerosol thingie, but that’s a story for another day…

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Googling resulted in this and this, neither of which I could find in an actual Sephora outlet.

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*Anyone? Is it a Jerz thang?

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Evolution Intense Revival System: An IRS You’ll Adore

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.

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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.

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

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The Hair Goes to Canada, Likes It Lots

{Happy New Year’s Eve!}

So! There I was in the YMCA of Saint Catharines {an A, no apostrophe} having availed of their truly excellent leisure facilities; after having used the product on offer in the showers {er…}, I reckoned I could cover all impending ills using one of my stash of Nuture Anti-Ageing Conditioning Hair Treatment. Even before I lashed it on, I noticed that The Hair looked especially wavy, in a good way. In the way that looked like nice, loose waviness, rather than the usual indecisive half-assery.

Okay. I applied the serum and dried it, and it felt like silk. Full-of-volume silkiness.

I overheard someone in the dressing area talking about the softness of the water in these parts. Ah! This is a thing that is always on my mind at this time of year, what with all the travelling. I have to say that Ontarian water may be the best I’ve come across anywhere!
HAIR IN CANADIA 2

HAIR IN CANADIA 1

This looks like a frame from a music video:
HAIR IN CANADIA 3
Clearly about to begin an impassioned ode to the Ontario Water Works Association.

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Uh, yah, eh?

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