Treatments -Unlisted Brand - BioInfusion Hydrating Conditioning Balm
holymell 2/10/2011 1:56:00 AM
I just cannot wrap my head around the possible reasons for the bad reviews for this conditioner. (Maybe the parabans, sure, I guess I can see that perspective). I absolutely adore it. I think that the smell could be improved upon. It's a nice, clean smell, but something in it reminds me strongly of the scent of cinnamon, which I cannot stand. So I have to coat my hair in a strong- smelling gel or leave-in after I use this lest I get a whiff of something cinnamon-like in odor. Anyway, I have very damaged hair. I have put my 2a wavy hair through the wringer with heat styling, at-home permanent boxed hair color (semi-permanent is the way to go if you don't have resistant grays, anyway), and even a small (but very brief) love affair with Sun-In last summer. My hair was breaking off in my hands. I started doing a modified Curly Girl method, and the condition of my hair improved dramatically, but it still tends to be on the dry side. Whenever I feel my ends getting 'crunchy', I know that it's time to bust out the Hydrating Conditioning Balm. Now, my hair IS very fine, so perhaps the more coarse-haired folk wouldn't have as good of results as I do, but every time I use this (around once a week, usually after a shampoo), my hair comes out well moisturized, shiny, soft, and much more presentable and manageable. They are BOGO free at Walgreen's right now, so I'm on my way to capitalize on that offer. My hair loves this stuff, and my hair is a picky thing. I've tried everything, believe me, and this is the best deep conditioner as far as I am concerned. I am no stranger to dry, damaged hair, either. Oh! And I DID have the real thing after a color at the salon, and honestly, even down to the scent, I noticed no difference in quality between the Biolage and this. It's affordable, it has no silicones, leaves no build up, is often on sale...you can't lose with this one. I definitely recommend it for women with fine to medium, dry/ damaged hair. :)
Conditioner -Giovanni - 50/50 Balanced Remoisturizer
holymell 2/1/2011 4:59:00 AM
Edited to add: If anyone is looking for the huge pump/ liter/ gallon bottles of this stuff, it IS possible to order online. I buy mine off the internet for MUCH less than at the store. Honestly, a liter for $12? That's really, really good. just go to the shopping area in Google Search and type it in, or send me a message for more information. I would be glad to help anyone. There are also gallons available for around $35. I buy the Tea Tree Conditioner in huge sizes, so I know my stuff:) I like this a lot. This is the perfect conditioner for me in the winter months. It provides SO much moisture, yet does not weigh down my thin hair. Which, to me, is amazing, and I never thought possible, but it is. It also leaves my hair shiny, soft, and the amount of frizz is left reduced, and can then be eliminated by a leave-in and gel. I like the smell, the ingredients are mostly natural, the packaging is cute, the consistency is thick so a little goes a LONG way, so the 8oz bottle of this stuff will last three times as long as an 8oz bottle of the Tea Tree conditioner also by Giovanni (that I also LOVE). The downsides to this conditioner are few, but they are bothersome. The price is obnoxious, especially for a poor person like me, but since it lasts so long, and it has many other redeeming qualities, it's totally worth it. The other con to this stuff is that after you are about a third of the way through the bottle- you are going to have to have the strength of a gorilla to extract the remnants. The consistency makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get all of the conditioner to the top of the bottle, even if you have somehow managed to turn it upside down. You have to slam it against various surfaces, causing others in your home and those in surrounding homes ponder whether or not 911 should be dialed, and potentially denting your nice shower surfaces. It's frustrating, yes, but totally worth it, in my opinion. I'll slice the thing open with a knife if I have to, then I will. It's what's on the inside that counts (if you can get at it).
Styling Products -Aussie - Aussome Volume Texturizing Gel
holymell 2/1/2011 4:52:00 AM
I have very, very limp hair, and am always on the lookout for something to pump up my wimpy waves. I had read really good things about this gel on NaturallyCurly.com, and since it was cheap, decided to give it a shot. First of all, I do NOT like overly crunchy gels. They make me fear that I will accidentally break off a chunk of hair, or that it will never soften up. The crunch DOES scrunch out, but this has to be the crunchiest gel that I've tried. My hair was literally rock hard, and I honestly don't need that much hold for my waves. It also takes FOREVER to dry. I have to air dry my hair because I have damaged it too much to even use a diffuser (though I will stand beneath the heat fan in my bathroom, hehe), and once it was dry, it was STILL limp! The odd thing, though, was that after my hair had been dry for around an hour, or an hour and a half, that it got some volume. I have no idea how the hell that works. This has happened to me every time I have used it. My curls and waves aren't as defined as I would like them to be, but the volume DOES appear, just later than anticipated, and my hair was pretty shiny and frizz-free. All in all, it's not a bad gel. It has a nice, clean scent, comes out of the tube easily, does provide some sort of volume, and it's cheap. But I have found better gels. I'll definitely play with it more (as I like to do with my gels), but if even a pound of leave in conditioner underneath cannot relieve that horrid crunch, I think I'll just play with my other hair toys. Yes, I have OCD, and have a million hair products. I love playing with my hair:)
Maybe this will work better for me in the warmer temperatures, but as for right now, wow, this is terrible. Smells fantastic, but it just leaves me looking like a drowned rat, or a balding hippie. It did NOT define my waves/curls, nor make them appealing to the eye. I had to wear a hat after using this. I'll probably give it another shot or two when I'm desperate, or not going to be around any other human beings someday, and definitely when the weather changes, but I think this is probably the worst gel that I have ever used. I've tried it twice, so I guess I might need to play around with it. I really wish it worked. It's also WAY too expensive for a mere 3.5 ounces. What a rip off. luckily I found it on clearance for around $5, which was, unfortunately, STILL a rip-off. The ONLY alluring thing about this product is the smell. I seem to have bad luck with anything lavender-scented. Totally Twisted mousse left my hair in a similar condition. Oh well, at least I have 1,000 other gels to choose from.
I bought a 2oz sample size of this that I have had since Christmas, and after I am finished with it, I will probably buy the full sized shampoo. I follow the modified curly girl method, and, aside from the Yes to Cucumbers shampoo, this is definitely a VERY cleansing non-sulfate shampoo. It still foams, it makes my scalp feel all cool and tingly, and it definitely cleans all the build up out of my hair. I use it sparingly- probably one to two times a week, but whenever I do use it, my hair comes out shiny and clean, so I can't complain about it. The only thing is that it DOES make your hair a bit dry, so what I do is coat the length of my hair in the accompanying tea tree conditioner, and then just use the shampoo on my scalp. Or sometimes I'll mix the shampoo and conditioner together (I often use the conditioner to wash my hair as well), and that usually helps keep my hair from getting too dry. Overall, I really like it and will definitely repurchase. When used with it's sister conditioner, my hair is left SO shiny and soft, and it smells amazingly clean (to me, anyway). I love the duo! Giovanni makes some great products (I just wish that they weren't so pricey). I don't have any gripes about the packaging- the conditioner, on the other hand...well, same packaging, different consistency= beating the hell out of the bottle in the shower before it's even halfway empty. But the shampoo comes out just fine:)
Styling Products -L'Oreal - Paris alt.studio Out Of Bed
holymell 2/1/2011 4:32:00 AM
I cannot tell if this is great, or terrible for my hair. When I use it, my hair is shiny, the waves clump together nicely, and I appear to actually have more volume. However, there must be something in it that my hair does not like, because I can't use it more than three days in a row without getting shiny build up. Have no idea what could be causing that, because all of the ingredients are water soluble, and I DO wash my hair with conditioner (and sometimes a sulfate-free shampoo). Once I figure out what the problem is, if I can fix it, I will certainly use this stuff more often. It smells amazing, it doesn't dry crunchy AT ALL, it makes my hair soft, but I have hair that is easily weighed down, and if I get any at the roots, then my hair is flatter than usual (a really, really bad thing to happen to my hair), so I have to be careful to avoid getting any up there. Another complaint is the packaging, which isn't terrible, it's just that it could be better. The consistency is such that a stringy goopy glob follows your fingers after they have been dipped in this goo, so it does tend to get everywhere. Luckily it's not sticky:) I'll update if my opinion changes, of course. I want to love it because it makes my hair look good, and because I have read such wonderful raves about it on naturallycurly.com, and it does do some of those things to my hair that I have read about in those raves. I think I just need to find the right way to use this stuff:)
Styling Products -TRESemme - Curl Care Bouncy Curls Defining Gel
holymell 2/1/2011 4:25:00 AM
I've only used this twice so far, so I'm holding a lippie back, just in case something happens and this stuff stops working for me. I have used this for the past two evenings, and both nights, I have gotten what the bottle claims I will get from using it; bouncy curls! I have mostly wavy hair, and I'm a product junkie, so I am constantly looking for the product that does everything so that I don't have to layer products (my hair gets weighed down and won't spring up and curl if too many styling products are put into it). I don't even HAVE curly hair; I have wavy hair. But for the past two nights, I've actually had curls! And my hair is even curling on the side where it usually only lamely waves! I am so excited about this. I used a little less last night than I did tonight, and my hair was a bit bouncier, yet not very curly; still loved the results. Tonight I used about three pea sized globs of it scrunched into damp hair after smoothing in leave-in conditioner, and I am just amazed at how curly, shiny, and frizz-less my hair is! It did dry really crunchy, but once my hair was 100% dry, it was soft, shiny, and bouncy! I love it so far. This has worked better than just about any gel that I have tried so far, though I may be speaking too soon. I will update if my opinion changes.
Styling Products -TRESemme - TRESemmé's Fresh Start Refreshing Mist
holymell 1/31/2011 5:03:00 AM
I might be using this wrong, I don't know. I am well aware that it isn't going to clean my hair whatsoever, and I mainly use it to tame frizzies (which it only does a little), and take the smell of smoke out of my hair in the morning before I put it in a ponytail for work (which it also only sort of does). I love the way that it smells, and the ingredients look good, and as though build-up wouldn't be an issue, but it seems that when I use this more than once a week, I DO get build up (despite the fact that I conditioner wash my hair every single day, and shampoo once or twice a week), and it weighs my hair down a bit. This is odd. I think that it must be because I use other products with similar ingredients. I can't figure it out. I love the way that it smells, though, and wish it would last longer. Maybe I have to use the dry shampoo with it to really see any results. Dry shampoo scares me, and I will not be using it.
I keep coming back to this gel after trying others that don't seem to give me quite as consistent results. I have wavy hair and have decided to stop heat styling and follow a modified curly girl method, and I read about this gel on naturallycurly.com, thinking that I would give it a shot. I am learning, slowly, to like gels. Before I started this method, I had never had a gel in my hair in my life, and I hate that sticky, tacky feeling that a lot of them give you. Well, it took me a while to realize that that feeling only lasts while your hair is drying, and is gone, for the most part, once it is dry. I tried Curl Keeper and Aveeno Naturals Spray Gel before I tried this. I really like this gel. The hold isn't amazing or anything, but honestly, I don't really like a lot of hold; I don't want to make my hair look curly; I just want to make what I have look the best that it can. I scrunch a pea sized amount of this into my thin, shoulder length hair while it's damp, (after applying a leave-in), and then don't touch my hair until it is dry. This gel does NOT dry crunchy; it dries soft, plus it makes my hair very shiny, which I love, and frizz is reduced drastically with this gel. I have to say, it's probably the best gel that I own (and I own a lot, now) that I can use consistently and always get good results. It doesn't weigh my hair down, or build up (well, at least after a week's worth of daily use because I only shampoo my hair once a week), and it smells nice and clean. I also like the Out of Bed Texturizer from this same line. Good stuff. Highly recommended.
Lotions/ Creams -Yes To Carrots - Yes To Cucumbers Completely Cool Body Butter
holymell 1/26/2011 3:50:00 AM
I buy it mainly for the smell- it's fantastic. I have to disagree with others who say that it has no lasting moisturizing effect- my skin has never been softer in my life. I absolutely love it. The texture is thicker than a lotion, but it is a bit thinner than a butter. I think it's perfect- lotion is too thin for me, and butter is too thick. It's easy to spread, it moisturizes very well (it just absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn't leave a greasy film for an hour after it's been applied, which may be why some people claim that it 'doesn't moisturize'), and a little goes a long way. I use it every day! I only need to apply it after my shower, and my skin doesn't dry out throughout the day. I do use it as a hand lotion throughout the day. Did I mention how amazing it smells? I love it. I wish others would feel the same. Maybe I'm just the odd one out, here? I think that it IS too pricey. I wish I were into shoplifting, because this would almost be worth going to jail over, but I'll continue to pay for it, because I believe that it is worth the money. I adore it.
Gels/Soaps -Yes To Carrots - Yes To Cucumbers - Cleansing Cucumber Shower Gel
holymell 1/26/2011 3:45:00 AM
I love it! Smells great, and is absolutely AWESOME if you have sensitive skin (which I do), and are prone to breakouts. I have had much less issues with bacne since using this stuff. It is pricey, but to me, it's totally worth it because the bottle is enormous, and lasts a while. I only wish that the smell would linger after I've rinsed it off, but oh well, that's what the body butter is for! I love how it lathers, and how clean I feel after using it, without feeling dry, or as if I haven't been cleansed properly. I love how it doesn't have SLS (though it does have a very mild sulfate), and how it doesn't irritate my skin, as many things do. I did happen to notice that the ingredients are almost identical to the ingredients in the shampoo from the same line...I haven't yet tried them interchangeably, but if i do, I will surely update.
Cleansers -Yes To Carrots - Yes To Cucumbers Face Cleanser Towelettes
holymell 1/26/2011 3:41:00 AM
I love these! They smell great, they clean well, remove makeup, and don't irritate my skin too much. I do have a small complaint- my eye area gets a bit irritated after use, but nothing that the accompanying soothing moisturizer and eye gel cannot combat, so I will continue to use them. They smell absolutely fantastic, and the packaging is great. They are so easy to remove! I love them:)
Treatments (Eye) -Yes To Carrots - Yes to Cucumbers - Soothing Eye Gel
holymell 1/26/2011 3:38:00 AM
I have horrible eye issues- puffiness and really, really dark circles. I thought that nothing would ever help to control this issue. This stuff, at first, did nothing. Made my eye area feel great, but I noticed no difference. After about five days, though, the puffiness was GONE, and the darkness has reduced to the point where the dishwasher at my waitressing job no longer asks me if I have been punched in the eye! The darkness is still there, but it is lessened to the point where just plain foundation will cover it up. It has certainly brightened my eye area, and it smells GREAT! I wish it wasn't so expensive because I am very poor, and these Yes to Cucumbers products are putting my poor boyfriend and I in the poorhouse. I am obsessed with them. I love everything that they make! The shampoo, conditioner, body butter, shower gel, face wipes, they are all awesome. Expensive, but awesome. I would love to find a cheaper substitute and am open for suggestions if anyone would be willing to help. I can't say whether or not it was worth the money. Yes, it's worth the money if you have money to throw around. Yes, it's worth it if you are desperate to relieve your bags/ dark circles. No, it's not worth the money if you are expecting results akin to those of an under- eye transplant from an 18 year old.
Conditioner -Giovanni - triple treat tea tree conditioner
holymell 12/31/2010 3:04:00 AM
I LOVE this conditioner! I had thought that another conditioner was my HG, but I don't know, this is certainly giving it a run for its money. I love it. The bottle says that it only provides a moderate amount of conditioning, and for me, it provides just the right amount. I just cut all of my hair off, so most of the damage is at the bottom of my hair, and so the healthy parts just love this stuff! I wasn't sure of the smell at first, but I love it after it is rinsed out. it's a clean, minty smell that has just a hint of sweetness. Not overwhelming at all, so if you are sensitive to scents, please try this! I also like that I can read and understand the ingredients list! It's great. My scalp feels good and clean, my hair is shiny, soft, and actually has some movement and body (which is unusual for me), and it really perks my waves up! It can also be fairly affordable, depending on where you find it. I've found it anywhere from $5- $11 depending on where I have seen it. I usually shop around to try to find the best deal. it's also a popular conditioner, so it's not often in stock in some places. Oh yeah, and Target has 2oz samples for $2, so if you want to try it before you commit to a whole 8oz, check out Target. I love this stuff! The only downsides are the cost (sometimes) and the top of the container is slightly domed, so it's a bit hard to get it to stand upside down, but I just solve that by leaning it against something. If you have scalp issues, try it! You'll love it! It's also great for fine-haired people because it will not weigh your hair down!
Styling Products -Clairol - Herbal Essence Set Me Up Spray Gel
holymell 12/31/2010 2:57:00 AM
I really like this gel. I have naturally wavy hair that hates most gels and mousses, so it's really hard to please. I have tried many gels, and I rarely like one. This one is cheap, easy to use, smells fantastic, the hold lasts forever, and it actually SPRAYS unlike most 'spray' gels that squirt you with a viscous mess, so it's easy to distribute. It didn't do a whole lot to control frizz, but I am confused right now as to whether what I am experiencing is actually frizz, or static, so I can't really determine how good it really is for that. It CAN dry just the tiniest bit crunchy (if you don't spray half the bottle into your hair, that is), but it is easy to scrunch out. I would definitely repurchase this gel.