Sweet Sixteen Minus Six: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt

The criteria for choosing the ten out of sixteen all-time faves was: do I wish I had it on me, right this second, away from home? Number 5 fits that guideline like a glove — a deliciously fragrant and indulgent and luxurious glove…


Here is my recipe for the perfect home-spa experience: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt.

That’s it. That’s all you need.

I’m delighted to be able to make this recommendation in typed-out words, because confidence in my articulation abilities takes a terrible dip when I try to speak the word ‘frangipani’; ‘monoi’ is not so bad, but following hard on the heels of the preceding fail, it just makes the whole situation worse that it needs to be.

mmm elemis{I say fraangeepannee, as opposed to the more American way, which because of the longer, fancy ‘a’ sounds, would be frahhhhngeepahhhhhnee. Both sound equally awkward to me, in my actual voice.}

Linguistics aside, this stuff is the stuff of dreams. Fill your bathroom sink with hot water. Set the bottle — the lovely smoked glass bottle — in the water so that the solid material within softens into a luscious oil. Run a bath. You could even run the bath and meltify the Melt in the tub! Whatever: at some stage, shake in a few {million} drops. Enter; recline; relax.

Dunk your head under the water, then proceed to shake a few {million} drops of the Fraheheheheh on your head. Massage into your scalp. Sigh with pleasure.

Language, and pronunciation therefore, will cease to be an issue.

Get out of the bath before you, yourself melt. Shake the previously recommended number of drops of oil on your wet skin, massage. Pat yourself dry with a towel. Maybe rinse your hair out if you’re going out that evening — although why you would is utterly beyond my comprehension. You’ve just given yourself an amazingly self-nurturing treat! Stay home! Put your feet up! Get someone to make you your tea!

The only caution I have is that I’ve heard from pals who are as in the know as I, that the Fraheheheheh yokie can tend to discolour white toweling robes. Not that you’re not going to wrap yourself up in one regardless, but know that you may have to give it a spin in the washing machine sometime after your Melt event. Or you may close your eyes to this, because your robe is going to smell gorgeous — almost as gorgeous as you do.




Scenes from a Library

I don’t know why I keep taking pictures of myself in Deansgrange Public Library.

I think I am still a little squicked by my revolting cuticles, so here’s a picture of The Hair, which received a dollop of Morocanoil’s Curl Defining Cream and an air dry.

I’ve just approved a comment from a reader about how much she loves this stuff too, and since I actually had some in The Hair, and here I am working away with full access to photographic capabilities, it just seemed like kismet.


Four out of Five Senses: LUSH H’Suan Wen Hua

Because I am not going to taste any class of beauty product, not even for you, beloved readers.

This is H’Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment by LUSH.

It looks like this:

A bit like custard, only beige.

It’s got avocado in it, and balsamic vinegar, and watercress — a veritable salad for the hair. Apply it to dry locks before showering and let it do its intensive hydrating for twenty minutes.

It felt a bit light, which turned out to be a good thing, due to the amount of hair that sprouts out of my skull. There’s a lot to cover.

This is how much I used:

One third of the pot, not bad. Its lightness translated into excellent coverage, so that a little bit went all the way.

The smell? Slightly odd. Sort of like lapsang souchong tea — smoky, a little bacon-y, which I completely do not understand. There are eggs in this too, so maybe they are the culprit? Is it sulphur?

But, this is how my hair looked:

Shot in my favourite location, the back of the 46A.

Look, so shiiiiiny! And sleek, and the highlights, popping even more than they did the day I got them! Highly recommend, even with the odd fragrance.

And it felt crazy-soft, and still does, two days later.

I can hear you saying, Yeah, and the sense of hearing, Sue? I don’t know how to pronounce the name of this! So there. What’s it sound like to you?

Sounds like: if your hair needs a comprehensive conditioning, you better get some of this.


Pictures, ‘Cos It Did Happen: Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

I went through this phase a couple of years ago, when I was putting product into The Hair in order to turn its waves into curls.

Eh. The Hair is in no way curly a’tall, and the waves, they are mainly half-hearted, they don’t know whether to go for it or just give up. Also, the texture of whatever curliness I did manage to conjure, well, it was pretty cripsy. Looked nice, but ooh, do not touch because: ouch. When I got my first flat iron I was like, Okay! Flat is where it is at! and I have been very satisfied.

Then I got given Morocanoil’s Curl Defining Cream. I got a lot of Moroccanoil stuff and you may have noticed that I have been using it over the past few weeks. I had forgotten about this, because I have pretty much given up on the notion that The Hair would benefit from curl-inducing product. I decided to try it though, because how do you know anything until you try something? And, look:

I think that is pretty good! You can’t reach through the screen, but believe me when I say that if you could, you would touch soft hair. I know it looks a little crunchy, at left, but that’s only because it is still damp, and the sun, it is blinding on the highlights.

I didn’t do anything but squinch The Hair up, from time to time.

This is perfect for the times when you go away for a long weekend and simply cannot be bothered to do the whole routine. Like, you’re down the country, and there’s going to be an open fire, and you can dry your hair in front of it. Two pumps of this stuff, depending on the length of your hair, of course, and you’ll squinch the night away, and! And you will have lovely hair in the morning, if you wind it up in an elastic.

This is next-day, post-rosette, been-under-a-riding-hat hair, at right. I think that is pretty good, too! I used a wide-toothed comb to fluff it up, and that is all. I would go out into the world with that hair.

As do all Moroccanoil products, it smells delish, and The Hair felt extremely silky. The flyaways were minimal, too.

I you are one of those betches lucky, lucky ladiez who have naturally curly hair, but hate the frizzing and the tangling, oh, how highly I recommend this. Me, I’m just happy to have the wavy option back in play, but with a degree of softness I hadn’t dared allow myself to imagine. {<The Hair, it makes me come over all melodramatic, like.}

€30 (via http://www.beautyfeatures.ie)

Magical Amazingness: Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray

Once upon a time, I used a non-aerosol hairspray that will not be named. I used it because it absolutely froze my hair into submission. Like, I could walk out on a day like today {rainy/blowy, for all my foreign readers} and my skin would wobble like on that Memorex advert, but The Hair would not move. Which was the point.

But then, should anyone want to run his fingers through said coif, there’d probably be blood, because the hair was so crispy, it would cut a bitch. {Bastard? Eh.}

This was so many years ago, I would prefer not to say.

I would still like my hairstyle to have some hold, but I’d rather not look like I’ve had my head shellacked. I’d also prefer that the product actually smell lovely, which I think we might agree that one of the more popular hairsprays on the market does not. Also! I’d like a bit of body, too, please.

Is this too much to ask?!? Not if you’re talkin’ to Moroccanoil’s Luminous Hairspray. During the hair fashion show — at the Westbury, BTW, very fancy — this can of miraculousness was employed rather relentlessly by the stylists as they crafted each new hairdo. Hmmm, I thought, I bet their hair is going to break right in half. I mean, that was a lotta hairspray to be sprayin’ on  the same head, over and over.

When I got home, the first thing I did was shake up my sample of the product and — if you’ll excuse for a moment, I’m just gonna give my hair a little blast — ahhhhh. Wow. The typically delicious Moroccanoil scent meets a spray that is light yet strong, and if you direct it at the roots, you get a nice bounce without any gunk at all. Which is all a girl can ask for, really.

Oh! I didn’t ask for this, but you get shine, too! Magic!


Haiku Review: Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream

Nope, no way in hell.
Putting cream on my dry hair!?
No way will it — oh.

Gotta love my open mind. Oh, yeah. Show me a product and my immediate reaction is, ‘Hey, that is great! I can’t wait to experiment with this thing that you are telling me is going to work a treat!’

Not so much — at least not where my hair is concerned. We all know by now that the hair {or, better, The Hair} is of primary importance, and a bad hair day is enough for me to hide under the bed, or even crazier, jump back in the shower and start over.

Last Sunday week, I attended a Moroccanoil fashion show. Again, as this fashion-y business is new business to me, so I was wondering how they do a hair fashion show? They do it like this:

Models model clothes and hair, and then stylists make changes to the hair using the sponsor’s products.

Now, Moroccanoil are the original creators of argan oil-based products, and continue to innovate. Their signature treatment can be perceived to be ‘the’ oil, the one that opened up the whole ‘let’s use oil on our hair’ market.

I love the way it smells, and using the oil as a pre-blow dry styling product is like weaving silk into the very core of each individual hair on your head.

But when the talk turned to the Hydrating Styling Cream, I was like to close my ears entirely.

That is a cream. And you’re telling me to put it on my dried hair? My hair that I have just put oil in, and let me tell you, how much risk was involved in that!

I even saw it in action, on the lovely tresses of representatives of the brand, and still I did not believe.

But I wanted to. Why? Who knows, except that anything that I can discover that gives me silky, lovely hair is to be sought. So I pumped out a dab, such a wee dab that it should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for Smallest Amount of Hair Product Ever Dispensed, and I smoothed it onto the ends.

Ooh. It was nice. It didn’t feel greasy, it didn’t weigh the hair down, and it smelled gorgeous.

Okay. Since I was just sitting around, and I wasn’t going anywhere that evening, I pumped up some more, and like a wild woman, applied it about halfway down the hair shaft and combed it through.

Oh, wow. Now, my hair on that day was second-day, unstyled, no dry shampoo — nothing special, not going-out-into-public hair, and I have to say, the cream gave it such a lift. I would never show you pictures of my hair in that state, so forget it. The thing is though, I felt like it revitalised the locks that had been going limp, and if pushed, I might have made a run to the corner shop for some buns, if I had to. I don’t think I can say any better than that.

You can of course use this on damp hair as well, and I’ll do that next. And see the can the model is holding, in the picture? That’s Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray, and WAIT until I tell you about THAT.

€28.45/£22.85/$31; available in select salons.

Snap Judgements*: Springing into Summer

Or ‘summer’ as we generally call it in these parts. No! Let’s be more positive than that! We are springing into SUMMER here in Ireland, yeah!!! Let’s fake it ’til we make it!

Ahem. Snap Judgements is the way that you, the reader, can experience what it’s like to be a beauty journo when the stuff starts piling up on the desk. I’m going to give my instantaneous responses to a variety of products, and over time we’ll see if I was too hasty or dead on target.

Let’s begin… Continue reading

This Just In: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Sublime Hair Enhancer

Literally, just in the door, like. I opened the shiny padded envelope and went, ‘Yay!’

The field of hair care is littered with styling oils and serums, and I’ve tried many {many} of them — and I’m very much looking forward to giving this a go.

The notion of putting an oil on my fine hair is something I would have sneered at years ago, and indeed, any time I tried to use a hair wax— remember hair wax? — it looked like I’d been forcibly prevented from cleaning my hair for a year: lank, dull, and greasy. It was a massive risk, trying my first hair serum, but I haven’t looked back since.

L’Oréal have created a concoction that can be used at any stage: pre-shampoo, which I’m going to do as soon as I’m done here; as a 30 minute weekly treatment used on towel dried hair; overnight; as a styling product before blow-drying; and as a shine-enhancing finishing product.

My sample is suitable for all hair types, but you can get a blend that is tailored for colour treated hair. At €14.99/£9.99 for 100mls, it’s excellent value. Will it be excellent for my hair? We’ll see.

Three Days Down The Country: The Winner and Undisputable Champion

I have given out about dry shampoos in the past, and I did find one that I liked, although it did claim to be a ‘dry cleansing spray’, which: what? I don’t know, is ‘dry shampoo’ too plebe-y a term?

I got a sample of Batiste Dry Shampoo Original from Aldi (€2.39) just before I left on the Big Easter Getaway Down The Country, and as I reckoned that the hair would not be undergoing its usual grooming regimen for a couple of days, well, why not give this a go?

I’d recommend getting to Aldi sharpish, because I may go and spend a whole buncha money buying this stuff up.

What I disliked about the other dry shampoos that I have tested is their penchant to turn the hair into a bale of hay. Sure, the oil at the roots is totally gone, but at the expense of manageability, much less looking like you’ve just stuck your whole hand in an electrical socket. I suppose if it had occurred to me at such times, I could have attempted a beehive, since my hair was all volumised and massive… but what if you just want your own hair, only less limp and lifeless?

Then, my friends, you turn to Batiste. I sprayed it on, finger-combed it through, let it dry for a second or two… then combed it out… and, holy wow, my hair felt light and clean — and it looked shiny.

I was absolutely not expecting the shine. Also, it was soft, which I would have thought was a fairy tale. Or an outright lie. But nope: shiny and soft hair from a dry shampoo, and I lived happily ever after for two days.

Two days! And the thing is! After the Big Easter Hill Walk, and then getting soaked, even though my hair was in a pony tail and I was wearing a hat and a hood {Irish rain, eh?} my hair got damp. And even though I dried it a bit by the fire, it didn’t really get all the way dry. So when I twisted it into a random knot on the top of head, for sleeping, I wasn’t expecting a good result the next day, Miracle of Batiste or no.

Well. I gave the hair a spray in the a.m. and it looked wavy and full and really, really good. I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo, for proof, but hand on heart, even after all its trials and tribulations, another spritz of Batiste made me look 100% Country Girl Chic.

This also comes in Tropical and Blush, neither of which would appeal to me {what does a blush smell like? Shame?} I found the Original version to be perfectly scented, which is ‘only just’. Funny, you’d think that given my fragrance fetish I’d want hair that wafted scent, but: no. I am perfectly delighted and satisfied with the original version, so I’ll leave those others  for the rest of yees.

Happy Hair Day!

I’ve decided it is happy hair day, because look:

Wowee, it is like a hair care bonanza! {OMG is she going to link to — yep, there she goes again*heaves huge sigh*.}

So, what have we got here? From Revlon, the new Equave Instant Beauty line is all about the keratin. it offers a conditioner for four different conditions of hair, to be wedded with one shampoo. Now, as you can imagine, I would be a heartfelt advocate for a million kinds of shampoo, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of my shampoo-addicted doubt.

What is keratin, you may ask? Why, it refers to a family of fibrous structural proteins, of course. Also, this:

Hair starts growing from a bulb which is lodged just under the skin. The beginning of a hair is made up of cells, which are bulging with keratin. The cells lengthen and then die, leaving behind protein bundles. There are two types of keratin: I and II. And their intertwining form long coils which accumulate in hair.*

Wooo-ooo, you know me and the science. Anyway, from what I gather, the keratin treatments that you get in the salon are the heavy-duty, hardcore hair straightening yokes, and this keratin-enriched shampoo and conditioner is what you can use at home to gentler effect. I haven’t cracked these open yet, so I don’t know from experience.

Cannot wait to experience! What we’ve got is:
> Hydro Detangling Shampoo
> Hydro Nutritive Detangling Conditioner, which you leave in
> Volumizing Detangling Conditioner, which is also a leave-in conditioner, for fine hair
> Blonde Detangling Conditioner, which is for me because I am ‘blonde’
> Sun Protection Detangling Conditioner, which is for your hollllidaaaaays. And also everyday, because of the UV damage that is always happening, right???!

Also! For the stylin’: Volumizing Foam, Substance Styling Cream, and Shine Serum.

Prices range from €10.99 to €14.99, which is excellent value for what is salon-calibre stuff.

I will let you know how I get on…