Conditioner -Alberto Vo5 - Vanilla Mint conditioner
Kandinsky 6/14/2008 9:21:00 PM
This review is for the Alberto VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying Conditioner. I use this for CO washing (see arvlyn's notepad for more info) and this is OUTSTANDING. I apply a palmful to my scalp, and a smaller palm to the length of my hair, and take the time to gently massage my scalp and hair - longer than I would shampooing. Then I put on a shower cap, finish my shower routing, rinse, then use my regular conditioner. The CO washing method gets rid up build up (I don't use silicones though, so I have less build up than people who do), and isn't harsh or drying. My hair is dry/wavy/2b/Asian and this method leaves my hair with a lot of body, moisturized, soft, and the ends of my waves are more defined. For $1 this is an absolute steal and I will continue to buy. The scent is a bit cloying but I'll deal with it!
I don't have a lot of experience with leave-ins and thus have rated this product a 3 for lack of better comparisons. But it is very gentle, and doesn't leave a residue; additionally, it doesn't have any silicones - a requirement for my hair routine. I use Saturation in addition to conditioning in the shower. I have dry, wavy (2b) hair, and this product alone does not provide enjough moisture on its own, but combined with my regular shampoo/conditioner, gives my ends the extra moisture it nees which helps prevent frizz and helps keep my waves more defined. I got this as a $2 sample at Trade Secret - can't beat the price, and will probably buy this again at some point. My hair, when straightened is nearly mid-back (when wavy is about bra-strap length) and I only use a nickel-sized amount to apply to the length of my hair (from ears to ends). Tip: apply this to soaking wet hair to help distribute the product.
I am *very* impressed by this product. I have wavy, 2b Asian hair and I use Noodle Head to define my waves and control frizz. I apply this after using a leave-in conditioner, and then scrunch gel into my hair. After plopping (see jessicurl.com for a tutorial), I blow-dry with a diffuser. The results are incredible S-shaped waves and even a few spirals. The combination of the gel and the Noodle Head means that my waves stay fairly defined and frizz-free for the rest of the day. For $6 at Sally Beauty, this is a great, cheap find. I am rating this a four b/c I do not have any comparison with other products that use magnesium sulfate to encourage curl.
Note: I am on a sulfate and silicone-free routine which has greatly improved the health of my hair; Noodle Head does have cylomethicone listed as an ingredient. Cyclomethicone is not water soluble but it can be cleansed with CO washing or mild cleansing agents found in sulfate-free shampoos.
UPDATE: This doesn't hold a candle to A/G Re:coil - and I've lowered my product rating for Noodlehead. Re:coil is a far superior product to Noodlehead due to the curl results, and also b/c it doesn't have any cones. Noodlehead is fine for the price but the results from Re:coil have convinced me to always have Re:coil on hand.
Conditioner -Trader Joe's - Balanced Moisturizing Nourish Spa Conditioner
Kandinsky 5/30/2008 10:59:00 PM
This is a very good basic conditioner for my wavy (2b), thick, dry Asian hair. Pros: creamy, no silicones (but does have parabens, FYI), provides enough slip, rinses very clean, smells great. Cons: Not super moisturizing - it won't be a deep treatment by any means. I consider this a pretty close dupe of Giovanni's 50/50 Remoisturizer conditioner but is way cheaper, and you get more product for the price. I will repurchase.
Concealers -Make Up For Ever - Extreme Camouflage Cream
Kandinsky 5/27/2008 7:08:00 PM
This is a great concealer but is tricky to use, at least in my experience. I don't have dark circles, but I have some redness around my nose and some hyperpigmentation spots that need covering. I squeeze a tiny dot onto my finger then dot the areas that need covering, then use my ring finger to pat out the dot. Seriously, you only need a dot - this product is very pigmented and creamy so it spreads and covers with only a tiny amount. Using too much will definitely flake or cake which defeats the purpose of using concealer! The staying power is pretty good; after applying, I then spray my face with one of the MAC face sprays, and set with loose powder. This will last you a normal 8-10 hour period and wears reasonably well in hot weather. I've had my tube for over a year and still have quite a bit left - the performance and cost-per-use certainly justifies the price, IMO. I use 6 which matches very well; Asian, yellow-neutral, MAC NC30/GA 5/Chanel Shell for reference.
Styling Products -Unlisted Brand - Dep Sport Styling Gel
Kandinsky 5/27/2008 7:01:00 PM
This is a fantastic gel and the price - $1.49 for 12 oz - can't be beat. I scrunch this gel into my wet hair, plop for about 10 minutes (see jessicurl.com for a tutorial - she calls it 'plunking') and then I blow-dry with a diffuser. This gel has great hold, isn't sticky, doesn't flake, and washes out cleanly - my 2b waves stay defined pretty much all day. I am on a no-silicone routine and this will have a permanent place in it!
Styling Products -Aveda - Be Curly Curl Control (old) [DISCONTINUED]
Kandinsky 5/27/2008 6:51:00 PM
I have rated Aveda Be Curly Curl Control a 4 because it meets my needs: smooths the ends of my waves, helps control frizz, defines curls/waves, and has no silicones. This product is not intended to be put on wet hair - it is a balm, and needs to be emulsified before putting on dried hair. My hair is dry, wavy (2b) that borders on loose curls. I am on a sulfate and silicone free hair routine.
My routine: after shampooing/conditioning, I scrunch in a bit of leave-in conditioner, then some gel, and then scrunch out excess water with a microfiber towel. I plop my hair (see jessicurl.com for a video tutorial - she calls it 'plunking') and then blow dry it with a diffuser. Once my hair is dry, it has quite a bit of volume, some wayward strands, and a few fuzzy ends. I squeeze some Curl Conrol into my palm (about a dime size) and rub my hands together, then scrunch the underneath of my hair and front layers. Then I take a smaller amount (about a pea size), rub my hands together, then run my hand over the top layers of my hair.
This product is *not* a curl enhancer but is simply intended to define waves/curls and control frizz. Do not put it on wet hair! And a little goes a long way - this can easily get too greasy so experiment with different amounts.
I really wish we could give half stars b/c I really think this shadow deserves a 3.5. It is a great color for adding depth and contouring without adding too much shadow or being too dark. This is perfect for that light grey-brown smokey eye that has become more popular in the past few seasons. However, the pigmentation isn't great and I have to use quite a bit of eyeshadow just to get it to show up on my skintone. And Remotely Grey is hard to blend - even with my trust 217 brush. So the color and how I use it is why I rate it highly, but pigmentation and blendability bring down its rating.
This is a beautiful golden-brown-beige frost that changes color depending on the light - a sophisticated color for spring/early summer. I had a $15 store credit so technically, I only paid $4 for this polish. In addition to the beautiful color, this applies evenly and is not goopy or thick. However, I am wholeheartedly glad I did not spend the full $19 (absurd for a nail polish) because although this is a beautiful color, it chips. Badly. Even with a base coat and a top coat. Too bad b/c the color is gorgeous but I'm never buying Chanel polishes again.
Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - New Flat Top Brush
Kandinsky 4/27/2008 9:59:00 PM
An outstanding brush: synthetic for those who prefer non-animal hair brushes, cheap ($10), and is the best brush for mineral foundations. You really use less product with this brush b/c the flat shape of the brush distributes product more evenly. Blends powder like a dream and is a steal at $10. Every makeup junkie needs this brush for blending powders and mineral foundations.
Powder -Everyday Minerals - Foundation Matte Formula
Kandinsky 4/27/2008 9:56:00 PM
This does a very good job evening out my skintone without looking mask-like, and has very good coverage w/out using a lot. I am NC30/Chanel Shell/GA 5 (Asian, yellow-neutral) and use Medium Beige. I like using this with the Everday Minerals Flat Foundation Brush (a steal at $10) and the Sephora #25 Bronzer Brush - so the investment for a good brush is imperative. I get great coverage with less product by first spritzing my face with MAC Fix+ or a MAC Charged Waters, then buff the powder into my skin. This seals the makeup (no need for loose powder afterwards) and prevents that powdery look inherent to powder foundations. I use a retinoid at night and can get flaky but using EM Matte Foundation while wet elminates flakes. This product has the right combination of performance, price, and ease of use which earns it a 4.
Essie's Mademoiselle nail polish has officially replaced my former favorite pale pink neutral, OPI Bubble Bath. I like the color better - not as milky as Bubble Bath but a pink with more clarity - very classic look and perfect for manicures. It doesn't chip as easily as Bubble Bath and isn't as streaky. What more can you ask for?
As of now, this is my favorite mascara - which is saying something, considering how high maintenance my lashes are. They are short, straight, sparse and prone to shedding. Lancome Definicils, though waterproof, does not damage my lashes. I have found that the best way to apply this mascara is to apply from root of to tip of the lashes, and then to use short, quick strokes to fan and feather lashes. For me, this technique builds both length and volume. I use Lancome Definicils in conjunction with the Shiseido Mascara Base (a must to hold curl) and together, I have the best curl-holding power with no smudging, flaking or drooping at the end of the day.
In general, I'm sorta iffy on the Mario Badescu line - but I absolutely adore this moisturizer. I have combo skin: oily T-zone but dehydrated elsewhere. This winter, Tazorac use + subzero temperatures have completely dehydrated my skin - it flakes and peels, but I still get oily shine and it's kinda red and irritated. Enter MB's Kera Moisturizer. It's a very emollient yet light moisturizer that has calmed irritation/redness, completely reduced flakes, and works wonderfully pre or post-Tazorac use. I also use it after applying MaMa lotion (a very strong AHA serum). Kera Moisturizer is a great base for makeup as it sinks in quickly to hydrate but never feels greasy. Lately, my skin has been a bit erratic - vacationing in Mexico to coming back to a Midwest winter - so I've taken to adding a drop of jojoba oil and Kera Moisturizer mixes wonderfully. I don't mind that it doesn't have SPF as I prefer to use a separate sunscreen (usually LRP Fluide Extreme SPF 60 or Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF 55 or 70) and this is excellent under sunscreen as well. It works at night and in the morning, under sunscreen, as a base for makeup at night, and calms my skin and I've had absolutely no adverse reaction to it. This is simple, versatile moisturizer and I would definitely recommend it to retinoid users, or those w/ combo skin who need hydration w/out greasiness. I have absolutely no glitter in my bottle and am confused to why others do.
I love MB's packaging - nearly clinical and conveys the simplicity of the line, but I do wish this came in a bigger size. It's 2 oz for $20 which is pretty good; this is very emollient and I only need about a pea size to cover my whole face so I do think this is fairly priced. I will continue to repurchase. Ingredients: Deionized Water, Keratoplast, Polyglycerylmethacrylate (and) Propylene Glycol, Carnation Oil, Glycerin, Oatmeal, Pentavitin.
Conditioner -Giovanni - Nutrafix hair reconstructor
Kandinsky 2/25/2008 10:01:00 PM
This is my favorite deep conditioner - and it costs like, $8. Amazing. I love to use this after the Joico K-Pak Recostructor once a week, and it keeps my wavy 2b hair moisturized, healthy lookind, and minimizes damage from heat styling. This is a creamy thick conditioner without any sulfates or silicones and I love it b/c it moisturizes without using silicones to temporarily change the texture of my hair - and then drying it out later. This also works, in a pinch, as a daily conditioner- it's not so heavy that it will weigh hair down. However, you really get the best results from this when it's left on your hair for 5-10 minutes. Highly recommended.