L’Occitane Vervine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo, Body Milk review, photos

Monday, June 15, 2015

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo review

The product: L’Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo & Fresh Body Milk

I’m not a huge fan of L’Occitane’s original Verbena scent, but for some reason, I always really love their summer limited edition flankers.

This year, the line is doing Verveine Agrumes (Citrus Verbena), and they’re introducing a few unexpected products to the range — deodorant, shampoo, an conditioner.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo Body Milk review

The Vervine Agrumes scent

Verveine Agrumes smells good. Like, really good. It smells like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits being squeezed for their juice — there’s that almost bitter undertone to the oils in the rind that no one ever seems to get quite right, but with Verveine Agrumes, L’Occitane gets it just right. 

There’s something immediately very real about this scent (unlike so many synthetic lemon-cleaner and lemon-sugar fragrances), and it’s paired with a cedar base for a very “fill in the blank” kind of effect. I really like the way these products smell, but they’re not overpowering — they’re definitely unisex-friendly, and they pair well with most summer perfumes and colognes, too.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo review photos

L’Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo ($23 CAD)

Okay, but like — was anyone else even aware that L’Occitane did shampoos up until now? Because let me tell you, I was very much not aware of this. But apparently they do a bunch: a Roses et Reines shampoo, a Shea Ultra Rich shampoo, a whole bunch of Aromachologie shampoos… apparently I’ve just been very (very) behind the times.

The Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo pairs with a Daily Use Conditioner ($23 CAD) that I didn’t have a chance to test, but I really like the shampoo on its own. It’s tingly and minty and just a little acidic (I’m guessing; I don’t have any pH testing strips right now), leaving my hair feeling clean and weightless without stripping it too badly.

To note, however, this one gets very sudsy. It plays well with my dry scalp, but I wouldn’t recommend it for really overprocessed or heat-damaged hair.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Body Milk review

(I couldn’t test the Verveine Agrumes Fresh Body Milk ($32 CAD) due to its silicone content, but it smells just as good!)

The verdict?

I don’t love Verveine Agrumes as much as last year’s Frisson de Verveine (which I bloody adored; I still regret not buying the EdT), but I do really like it. The shampoo is pretty good, especially from a brand that isn’t really known for its haircare range, and it’s worth a try fo a little dose of summer in your shampoo.

For anyone who loves the scent of citrus fruits being peeled, though (and really, who doesn’t?), definitely give the Verveine Agrumes EdT a look — I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Availability: Available online and at L’Occitane boutiques beginning this July. Limited edition.

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Klorane Dry Shampoo Natural Tint & Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review | For lazy Sunday mornings

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Klorane sunday morning dry shampoo brown dark hair review

The products: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (Brown to Dark Hair) and Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber

What’s that, you say? It’s not Sunday morning?

Well, no. Not even a little bit. But I’m crabby and sleepy and I’ve had strep throat for going on three weeks now, so you can shut your pretty, beautiful face and imagine that it is, in fact, Sunday. Because these two products are great for a Sunday morning, or for any other morning that you’re short on time or energy and just want to take it easy and still end up with great hair.

Klorane quick hair fixers best of

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Natural Shade ($20 USD/$24 CAD)

The one Klorane product that you NEED (yes, need) to own is their dry shampoo. Everyone keeps telling me that it’s the best, and after all this time, I can finally confirm that, yes, it’s the best. (Way better than Colab, even, thanks to the scent.)

They make four: a green-lidded one with nettle (Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo), this one (Natural Shade Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk), their Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract, and the non-aerosol Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. The non-aerosol powder and the tinted aerosol (this one) are the only ones that are silicone-free, so be careful when you purchase!

Klorane Dry Shampoo brown dark hair review swatches photos

Klorane :natural Shade dry shampoo colour swatch

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk for brown to dark hair, “swatched” covering palm

I couldn’t get to a legendary seven days with this stuff, but I love it all the same. It smells fantastic; a very clean, subtle scent (sort of a powdery-floral), and applies as a sheer, even veil of light brown powder. You’re supposed to leave it on for 2 minutes and then brush thoroughly, but in a pinch, I find that it works just as well to simply spray on as you head out the door and then tousle lightly on the train.

This stuff is so good that if I apply it on second-day hair, my third-day hair still looks like first-day hair when I wake up. It’s that good. It makes hair look at feel clean, and adds just a touch of volume without making my hair feel gritty.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Natural Shade review photos

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber ($16 USD/$20 CAD)

Klorane operates on the very cool concept of one problem/one plant, and for volume, it’s flax fiber. (For gentle balancing/second-day-hair, it’s oat milk.) Tracy from Beauty Reflections really loves this one, and when she mentioned that it doesn’t feel like anything at all on the hair, she had me.

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review photos

When Klorane figured out that flax was naturally soluble, they put it in their volumizing products to provide actual, physical plant-lift to the hair. But while I think this one is a dream to use (it smells lovely, like a very subtle veil of perfume, and has a really solid, even mister) and looks awesome on Tracy, it didn’t quite work for me.

Check this one out if you have short or fine limp hair, but skip it if you want instant volume for stick-straight Asian hair. Unlike what it does for Tracy (which looks awesome and natural; I’ve seen it in person and can attest to this), it doesn’t give me much in terms of air-dried root lift.

It does get major points for touch-invisibility, though, so give it a look if you’re willing to put in the styling time but want something 100% non-sticky and non-gritty!

Klorane dry shampoo leave in spray review

The verdict?

The Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber feels touchably natural, but unless you have fine, limp hair (not just straight/limp hair), it’s not an instant fix-it.

The Natural Tint Dry Shampoo, on the other hand, is a total must-have. It’s a little bit pricy, but the next time you’re due in for a hair treat, you need to try this!! It absorbs oil like a champ, has the best scent of any dry shampoo I’ve ever tried (light, pretty, and clean-smelling), and makes hair look and feel clean.

Availability: Natural Tint Dry Shampoo – $15.24 USD at Escentual.com; $20 USD/$24 CAD at Sephora. Leave-in Spray – $16 USD/$20 CAD at Sephora. Klorane products are available at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations across Canada.

Ingredients & stuff »

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review, photos – Gentle Radiance Cleanser (Airy Touch)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Conditioner review

The product: shu uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser Airy Touch

By now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the giant, iconic Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils (oh, sorry, skin purifier cleansing oils), but did you know that Shu’s The Art of Hair line has a few cleansing oils in its lineup, too?

Yup. All of you cleansing oil fans can now oil cleanse your hair, too — and it is just as hysterically awesome as you’d expect.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review photos

The science: The Airy Touch Cleansing Oil Shampoo and Conditioners are formulated around the idea of onsen, the classic Japanese hot mineral-spring-water bath. To achieve this, both of the products are enriched with volcanic ferments sourced 2000 metres below sea level, and are formulated to leave the hair squeaky-clean and with an “airy touch” of volume. 

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser review

The formula: My favourite part about this Cleansing Oil Shampoo is that there is, in fact, something distinctly oily about it. It functions just like a normal shampoo (gentle, no oily residue, and a good amount of lather), but the formula is really silky. There’s no other way to put it — it just feels like a really luxe, thick, smooth, silky shampoo, and its texture is entirely unique.

Functionally, I think this one performs like a normal shampoo (maybe a touch more stripping than I was expecting), and just like with the face cleansing oils, you get a lot of bang for your buck. (I can easily shampoo my entire scalp with just one small pump from this giant bottle!)

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo 400 ml size review

The scent: One of the weird things that I’ve always liked about shu uemura is that their skincare and haircare products, for some reason, often have an actual, dedicated fragrance associated with them.

This one is scented with yuzu calm, which lists citrusy top notes, watery middle notes, and base notes of cedar, sage, and musk. Honestly, I don’t really think that it smells like yuzu, but I do like it! It smells like fancy shampoo; that’s the best I can do.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Airy Touch, conditioner review

The verdict?

I could’t try the yellow Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Conditioner due to its silicone content, but I’ve been using the Cleansing Oil Shampoo on and off for about a month, and I quite like it. 

For my dry skin and scalp, it’s a little too stripping to use every day, but it gives a good amount of volume — and its silky formula is quite a unique experience. If you’re really into textures (which you really should be; textures are great), then you definitely need to give this one a try!

Availability: $56 CAD/$57 USD for 400 ml at Shu Uemura – The Art of Hair (or $19 USD for a 75 ml travel size).

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COLAB Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo review, photos | For those lazy days

Friday, April 10, 2015

CoLab Sheer Invisible dry shampoo review

The product: COLAB Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo in London (“classic”) and Rio (“tropical”)

So, you know how some dry shampoos make it look like tiny birds spilled tiny bags of cocaine onto your hair?

These ones don’t.

CoLab Ruth Crilly review photos dry shampoo

The formula: I’ve tried a few dry shampoos in my day (not a lot, but a few), and these are my favourites of the bunch by far.

As promised, the original COLAB formula goes on totally transparent, absorbs oil like a champ, and leaves my hair looking (and feeling) very clean. They’re actually very unlike traditional dry shampoos, which bulk up your hair and have a bit of grit to them — these Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoos just make your hair look freshly washed again.

» If you like a lot of body from your dry shampoos, COLAB now does an Extreme Volume formula, too!

I get the best results with these by shaking, spraying very liberally, giving them a few minutes to work their magic, and then tousling my hair gently to make sure the product is evenly spread out.

CoLab Rodial, TBS Universal FOTD review

Contouring before/after from this Rodial review. 2nd day hair + COLAB Sheer Invisible dry shampoo in BOTH frames!

CoLab Dry Shampoo review - travel size

Tiny, tiny travel bottles

The scents: Rio (tropical) and London (“classic”) are unfortunately the only two COLAB scents available here, but both are pretty well done for budget products. They do definitely smell like “fashion fragrances,” (their words, not mine), but both will cover up any scalp/sweat smells right away!

If you sniff these in person, note that Rio opens with a particularly chemically blast that fades within the first 60 seconds. (Past that, it’s very fruity and tropical.)

CoLab Sheer Dry Shampoo review

The verdict?

If you’re looking for a dry shampoo that’s going to be super easy to use and won’t make your hair feel gritty, then these are a total must-have. My bottle of London is already pretty much empty, and I will definitely be re-purchasing soon!

You do need to use a lot product with these, though, so I’d definitely recommend getting the full-sized bottles (50 vs 200 ml). The minis are great for overnight trips and important end-of-day emergencies, but they are tiny!

Availability: $5.49-$9.99 at London Drugs, Jean Coutu, Lawtons, and select Pharmasave and PharmaChoice locations. (£2 to £3.50 in the UK!)

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Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler review, before & after, and photos | Hair curling for dummies (with no risk of being eaten)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kiss Instawave Automatic Curler review

The product: Kiss InstaWave automatic curler

To all of you out there who are bad at curling your hair: you’ve heard of automatic curlers, right? The Conair Curl Secret (which I reviewed here for the Best Buy VIVA Blog) and the BaByliss Miracurl?

Well, this is like the lovechild of the creepy turtle-curler and the clamp-less curling wand, and it is beautiful.

Kiss Instawave review

How it works: The KISS InstaWave (yes, KISS like the nail brand) is the only product that I know of that functions quite like this, and it works by using a rotating base to feed your hair around a wand instead of using hidden mechanics to suck your hair into a Terror Shell™ of tangles.

Like the $200 BaByliss Miracurl, it can curl in either direction (the Curl Dial switch is also the “on” button, and will rotate the base when you press it), and you can switch directions without having to reload your hair onto the wand — you just grab some hair, put it by the base of the InstaWave, and let the iron do its thing.

Kiss InstaWave how to

Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler how to use

What’s really awesome about the InstaWave, though, is that its totally terror-free — and I tried my hardest to make it mess up. Because it curls everything around a curling wand instead of wrapping it up inside of a Cave of Doom, hairs going in the wrong direction will just get mussed up, instead of devoured and solidly knotted, and you can start your curl anywhere with zero risk of fish hooking.

It also shuts itself automatically after 90 minutes (you know, because house fires are scary) and has two heat settings, the highest being 420˚F. I use the lowest setting, and my hair takes 5-10 seconds per section to curl and the curl lasts all day.

Kiss Instawave review before after

The problem with the InstaWave: Okay, so here’s the deal. This baby is pretty much perfect, save for being a little heavy, but… it makes an audible, high-pitched squeal when plugged in. And the squealing only gets louder when you turn it on.*

So, you’re going to have to store this thing unplugged, and if you have auditory sensitivities (I do), it’s a bad choice for you right now. However, I’ve been assured that KISS Products is addressing this issue currently, so hopefully the InstaWaves will be properly silent by the end of the year!

Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler

The verdict?

If you want to try out an automatic curler, KISS is pretty much the only brand you should be looking at. The InstaWave is very affordable (other automatic curlers run at $130-$250), relatively lightweight, and both more versatile and easier to use than the shell-type models. 

However–and this is a big however–the cheap price tag comes at a cost. You’ll need to unplug your InstaWave after every use, and the squealing noise (similar to the noise a cheap battery charger will make) is unavoidable, at least for now. I liked this curler a lot more than the Conair Curl Secret, but if you can wait for the second run (which should be quieter), do!

Availability: $69.96 CAD/$74.39 USD at Walmart (CA) and Target (US), in stores and online.

Keep reading! »

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