Friday, February 28, 2014

My Hair Care Products: Macadamia, It's a 10, Dove, and Garnier

I've been long-plagued with coarse, frizzy hair that has no volume up top but never fails to curl and become unruly below. I have to use the highest heat on it to even get it to sit flat. Given that, I've tried out a few products and wanted to share my thoughts.

Macadamia Leave-In Cream

To be honest, I don't feel this is at all worth the price. It doesn't do anything to my hair and will very quickly look greasy if you put more than a dime-size amount. I'm also not a fan of the smell, which is this strange herbally-scent. You're supposed to apply it to damp hair, but I honestly don't notice any difference between when I use it versus when I don't. I can only trust that it's doing what it claims to in terms of protecting my hair from the elements. 

The one thing this does have going for it is that the ingredients list isn't terrible as far as hair products go, so I don't feel bad sleeping with it in my head. The large bottle will also last forever. However, I will not be repurchasing this.

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Plus Keratin 

This is noticeably more effective than the Macadamia at smoothing out my hair, but is also plagued with a rather harsh ingredients list (containing parabens and other nasties). However, I do find this leaves my hair significantly softer and more tame if I spray it in while damp. The caveat is I don't really care to sleep with all the chemicals in my hair, so I end up not using it except for prior to straightening my hair. Decent product, but hopefully I can find a more natural alternative.

Dove Dry Shampoo

This is the best one I've yet tried, and from a performance standpoint it's top notch. It gives my hair volume and texture while also effectively keeping it oil-free the whole day. I use it solely on no-wash days. The one issue I have with it is the scent. It's overwhelming, to the point where everyone around me can smell it on days when I use it. This isn't so great for subtlety. The scent itself is a heavy artificial fragrance, and I personally am not the biggest fan. I'll be trying something else after I'm done with this bottle.

Garnier Anti-Humidity Hairspray

This line has multiple products with a range of hold capabilities, and this one, which is labeled as a "Volumizing" hairspray is medium-hold (3 out of 5 on their ranking). I wish I'd gone with a stronger hold, because this just doesn't keep my heavy hair up for more than half the day. Additionally, it can make your hair hard and clumpy if you overspray it.

I do like the scent, which is a very subtle candy-sweet smell. It also works better than nothing at adding a bit of volume to the roots, but again it's not that effective overall.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ciate Mini Mani Month Set: Pepperminty

There's nothing like some great post-holiday sale items. I've long wanted to expand out my limited nail polish collection, and found the Ciate Mini Mani Month Set on sale from Nordstrom. The price worked out to under $2 per polish, which I thought was a pretty great deal.

It comes with 17 mini colors plus one full-size of a pink glittery shade called Serendipity, two caviar blends, two glitters, and a top and base coat. I'll be doing reviews on the colors one-by-one as the weeks go past, but overall I'm very pleased with the purchase. Truthfully, I don't see myself getting much use from either the glitters or the caviar because it's a bit of pain to have to apply those to wet nail polish (plus I find the caviar never stays put). But the colors are gorgeous, and the first one I wanted to feature is Pepperminty.

I used the base and top coat too, which were pretty fantastic. The top coat set after just a couple minutes.

Pepperminty is a pastel greenish-blue shade that is just beautiful. I've already received multiple compliments on the color. Additionally, it seems to be wearing well, with hardly any chipping after a few days. This is a great color for the winter / spring, and I'm looking forward to getting plenty of use from it. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion

I purchased this item almost a year ago, during a phase of skincare obsession. It's a very pricey product, retailing at $75, though I got it during a Sephora discount period for just over $60. Relative to the rest of the SK-II line, this is actually quite "affordable", in that their typical products retail for well over $100. I'll admit I haven't really used the others in the line, but was quite disappointed with this product.

For starters, even after months of use I'm still confused as to what this product is designed to do. The description states it's "A mask in the form of a toning lotion that delivers immediate and long-lasting hydration." It describes it as a pre-lotion that's meant to enhance hydration. The fluid has a slightly milky and very runny consistency. Unfortunately, I've found minimal to zero hydration benefits, which rather goes against its definition as both a "mask" and "lotion". On the plus side, there's zero residue, as the product absorbs quickly and disappears almost immediately on the skin. But that leaves me skeptical as to whether it's actually done anything.

On the anti-aging front, I've also not noticed any difference. I've used other creams and products that get the job done far better than this seems to. Overall, it's like a very expensive water for the skin, and I will not be repurchasing it.

The Body Shop Honeymania Eau de Toilette

I hauled this item a few months ago, and have since used it almost daily and wanted to provide an updated review. To be honest, none of The Body Shop products I purchased in my original haul met expectations. For this Eau de Toilette, while I love the floral honey scent, I find the scent fades within a couple of hours maximum (and usually even before that). It rather defeats the point of a fragrance if you have to reapply every hour.

For now, I've decided to step away from additional The Body Shop purchases, which just really haven't cut it in terms of overall quality.