The Empties Bin: June 2020

The products I’ve used up this month

Welcome to the end of the month and a review of the empties bin.  This month I managed to clear out several items that just needed a little push to be used up.  I have makeup, skincare, and bath products this time, so it is going to be a little all over the place. There are links to the products mentioned. The links aren’t affiliate codes, but as everyone is having Fourth of July Sales starting up I added links to the relevant sites. The sale links are affiliate links and should you click on them and purchase something then I may earn a small commission which goes towards hosting this website. If that makes you uncomfortable in any way, feel free to avoid the links. Oh, and the one different link is for the Verb Hair mask. It takes you to a previous review I wrote of the product.

Thet the review of the empties begin!

We’ll start with makeup.  The first two items in this category were not so much used up as rendered useless.  The first of these is the ELF Camo Concealer, which sadly I left uncapped for too long.  It was getting low on product though so the loss wasn’t too great.  It is a good product and one that I will be purchasing again, probably in multiple shades.

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The second item that wasn’t entirely used up is my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed powder.  I had a very thin layer of product with a lot of pan showing and I thought I could stretch it to last one more week.  Unfortunately, I knocked it into the sink where the remaining product shattered and landed in a toothpaste smear. So note to self, do not balance delicate powder on the edge of the sink after just brushing teeth.

As it has been one of the standbys in my makeup bag for a long time, I will be repurchasing it at some point.  Because it is such a go-to item for me I am refraining from purchasing a replacement right away as I want to try other products and  if I do replace it I will just end up falling back into the habit of using it again.

In this month’s empties there are two empty primers, one old familiar and one that was new to me.  The old familiar was the NYX Pore Filler.  It is one of those reliable formulas that works well under a variety of makeup.  It has a slight tint to it and has been compared to the Benefit Porefessional.

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I’ve bought it several times and I’m sure it will make a return visit to my dressing table and makeup bag at some point, but like my Rimmel powder, I am going to be holding off repurchasing it for a while.  It occurred to me when I was using the last of it that this was the only NYX primer I have ever tried. I know they have many others.  I recently tried the NYX Bare With Me Foundation and I liked it enough that I think I might try the primer from that line as well next time I make a NYX purchase, stepping away from one of my old faves to try something new from the brand.

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The second primer in my empties bin this month was a sample sized primer from Peter Thomas Roth called Skin to Die For. While I wouldn’t go that far, I really liked the way this primer felt on my skin.  It was pore filling and mattifying.  It has a slight tint to it and I found I could wear it alone with just powder on days when I didn’t feel like wearing a lot of makeup.  It gave my skin a very healthy look to it but made it look like I wasn’t wearing anything. A full size is currently sitting in my shopping cart as I try to figure out what other products I want to order with it. I know I’ll have to use up at least one more primer in my dressing table before I open it for use, but if the full size performs like the sample, then I can see it very quickly becoming a staple.

Finally, rounding out the makeup category, I have a sample sized Smashbox Liquid lip.  It is in the Shade Stepping out and it is one I would order again.  I find the Smashbox formula to be a comfortable one to wear.  It wasn’t too drying but it did dry down enough to stay on my lips without leaving lip prints everywhere. 

The only reason that I am not immediately purchasing a full size is that it is in a neutral color and at the moment I seem to be awash with neutrals. I have a couple that are already well loved so I might pick an older one and focus on using it up, but I want to clear out a few more neutrals before adding to their number.  I suspect though that when I do order this, I will order several different shades because it is a good formula.

I know thus far it sounds as though I am in love with everything I try, but I’m afraid that with the end of the makeup, the love fest is going to slow down for a while. 

The next product in my empties bin is the Tula Skin Care Purifying Face Cleanser.  It is rare that I don’t like a cleanser, but I have to say, I did not like this one.  I will say it did take off my makeup reasonably well, but the scent of it is highly perfumed and it is not a perfume I enjoy. 

It smells as though you spilled a bottle of Jean Nate on some lavender sachets and then put them in a tightly sealed bag for a month.  It is a super intense scent that I just don’t care for.  In addition it left a slightly waxy feel to my skin. 

Since I tend to use a balm or oil to first remove my makeup and then this sort of cleanser as my second cleanse, having it leave a residue was not good.  I know everyone seems to rave about Tula Skincare but this cleanser was not for me.  I do have the eye balm from this month’s Boxycharm to try so maybe I will have better luck with it. This cleanser is a hard pass for me.

Next in the empties is the 111 Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster. This wasn’t a bad product.  It has a pleasant scent, absorbs well into the skin and did have a brightening effect.  I enjoyed using it.  However I have tried other Vitamin C serums that I like better. It is good, but not good enough to justify the price point.  It is one of those products that I would be happy to see appear in one of my subscription boxes, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase on my own.

Something I am on the fence about is the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm.  It works really well and leaves my skin super soft. 

However if I plan to use it to take off my eye make up I have to take my contacts out first.  I had a little wash into my eyes when I was washing my face and the oil clouded my contacts.  I tried cleaning them but I finally had to concede defeat, the oil wasn’t going anywhere. 

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I wear disposable contacts so it wasn’t a big deal, but when using this cleanser it was something I had to remember. That and the fact that is smells a bit like Vick’s vapor rub are the only downsides.  It was a wonderful cleanser and if you don’t wear contacts I would highly recommend it.  If you do wear contacts, then just be aware of your eyes.

One thing I have no reservations about repurchasing is the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial pads. I would buy these again in a heartbeat.

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They were a very gentle exfoliate that I could use twice daily with no issues at all. The scent was fantastic and the pads were never too wet.  Sometimes to ensure the pre moistened pads don’t t dry out companies soak the pads so you practically have to wring them out before use.  These had just the right amount of serum.  When I reached the bottom, the bottom of the jar was damp but not swimming in left over product and at no point did the product dry out.  I really enjoyed using them and will be purchasing them again in the future.

This month I have two empty tubes of hand cream.  One from Skylar which was a Hydrating Body lotion in the scent Capri and the other  is from Cela and is the Crème de la Crème crème supreme. They were both good hand creams.

I prefer the Cela formula slightly over the Skylar, but neither really made my must reorder list.  They are both good, but I prefer both the Library of Flowers and the Pistache formulas for hand cream. Those two I generally keep reordering. 

The Skylar and the Cela I would use if they were there, but I probably wouldn’t reorder. While this is the only Cela product I’ve tried I have tried other Skylar products before and liked them.  I actually like Skylar perfume very much, in fact, I like the scent of the Capri hand lotion enough I will be looking to see if they have a perfume in that scent.  I’m just not a fan of the cream formula.

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I have two empty bath products this month as we finish out the broad skin care category. The first is the OGXBeauty Pure and Simple Coconut Coffee Scrub and Wash.  The scent was nice.  The coconut and coffee blended together to create a scent that was sweet and more vanilla with coffee undertones than anything else.  Still it is a nice scent. 

While the coconut oil did leave my skin super soft, the exfoliating scrub part didn’t always mix well.  Sometimes I’d squeeze the product out and get almost no exfoliation, other times it was like damp sand. 

I tried squeezing and shaking and turning it upside down to sit for a while.  Nothing really helped.  It was always hit or miss as to whether I was getting any sort of exfoliation or not.  It was a nice wash but I probably wouldn’t get this product again.

Also in the bath time category is the Unfiltered Raw Sugar Salt Soak in the scent watermelon and pink cactus.  This was an impulse buy because I was out of my Kneipps bath salts. While it smells nice in the jar, once added to the water, it loses all scent.  It did make my skin feel nice after my bath, which I appreciated, but for me, part of the pleasure of luxuriating in a bath is scent related.

I liked that it worked well, but I wanted more scent. Or at least some.  While it was nice to try something new, in this case my old standby of Kneipps is what I’m going back to.  I’ll still try others, but I’m going to keep my classics on hand.

The last category we have is hair. I have three items in this category of empties and I saved it for last so I could end this post on a high note.  Because all three are utterly fantastic fantastic.   Two of these products are hair masks.  The first is VERB Manage+Restore Hydrating Mask.  I wrote a post about this earlier (the link will take you to it).  The short version of the post was that it was fabulous.  There was nothing I did not like about this mask.

My conundrum is that shortly after I finished this sample I started a trial with another hair mask.  It is the Naturelab Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment mask.  It too is fantastic. 

NatureLab Tokyo’s PERFECT REPAIR Treatment Masque

It smells like a high end salon in the best possible way and it gave my hair shine and body.  I had no tangles and my hair looked wonderful. The only complaint I have is with the packaging.  As it comes in a jar, it is a little messy to scoop out.  It is hard to open with wet fingers and I tended to take more than I wanted.  I still adore the product, I just wanted a container that was a little more manageable with wet hands and portion control.

So now I want both masks.  Verb and Naturelab Tokyo.

I also want to try out the shampoo and conditioner from each as well.  At the moment I have several other hair masks to try so I am putting off ordering until I’ve gone through them all.  All but one is a sample size, so it won’t be too long a wait, but it does give me more time to make my selections.  Both Verb and NatureLab Tokyo have set the bar really high though.  I suspect I will end up getting both and then rotating them because quite frankly they are both phenomenal.  

The final item in my empties is a product I have already ordered again.  It is the Klorane Dry Shampoo.  While I like the IGK for massively grungy hair, the Klorane is my standby. 

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This is the dry shampoo I use every other day and the one by which I judge dry shampoos. On the nights I don’t wash my hair, I apply it liberally before bed, go to sleep and in the morning brush my hair.  My hair looks clean and fabulous. There is a little white cast when first applied (I have dark hair) but that soon dissipated by either letting it sit overnight or running a brush through. It is a standard in my hair care arsenal and one that will be bought again and again. In fact, I already have it’s replacement sitting in my bathroom.

So there you have June’s empties. There were some good, some bad and a few mediocre. I find I really like doing this empties review.  It forces me to actually look at the products I have finished and assess my opinion of them now that they are not new and shiny, their productive life complete.   I find it a good assessment.  I hope you find it useful as well.

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Verb Manage + Restore Hydrating Mask (Hair) Review

I picked up a deluxe sample size of this mask because I’d heard good things about the company and wanted to give it a go.   While skin care requires a couple of weeks for me to tell if I like using it, most hair masks I can tell after one use if I ever want to use it again. 

Don’t get me wrong there are some products that work well out of the gate, but lose effectiveness after repeated use. I generally find it takes a few months for that cycle to run its course with my hair.

At that point I have probably already used a lot of the product, so it isn’t a big deal.  I can trade it out for something else and then come back to it after a little while and usually it works well enough at that point for me to finish out the mask, emptying the container.  Then I can decide if I want to repurchase it based on the entire run of the product. 

At least that is my usual way with most hair products.

The trick is finding a product that can effectively go through this cycle.  This is one of the many reasons I tend to pick up hair product samples. The samples tend to be relatively inexpensive (or occasionally free as a gift with purchase) and  if the product isn’t going to work for me, I can tell pretty quickly. While most will work initially, some don’t work at all and those I know to avoid.

(I should warn you I picked up several sample hair products recently and I’ve been spacing out trying them trying to come up with a list of full sizes I want to order and try for a longer trial so there may be more hair themed posts in the next few months.)

So having heard good things about the company Verb, I decided to pick up this Hydrating mask.  It seemed especially good for me at this time as I recently had a shampoo and conditioner combo I didn’t care for too much and needed to do some repair work. Plus there is the increasing time outside and in the sun, and the fact that I dyed my hair. All signs my hair might need a little TLC.

Oh and in case you look at the pics of me and think something is a little different. I finally couldn’t take it any more and whacked about four inches off my hair. It is still really long, but now I don’t feel as though I am planning to join some sort of cult. Plus it was getting to the point where it was becoming too much for my hair clips to handle and this is not the sort of weather to be wearing it down all day. And yse I was so nervous about cutting the length that I forgot to trim the bangs. That is on my upcoming to do list. So thus explains my hair.

So back to the mask. First let’s see what the claims are shall we?

A rich, restorative deep conditioning treatment designed to nourish all hair types. Use weekly to restore color treated, over-styled hair or to add shine and softness.

I will say that the fact that it was for all hair types made me question it.  Generally, I find that anything that is for general use tends to have limited benefits.  Its like they try too hard to be all things to all people and come across as mediocre. 

Not that I am the suspicious sort.

I will say, that was not a problem with this product.

It is a thick cream that you use after washing your hair.  You wash and then apply and let sit for 5-7 minutes.  For me that means I wash my hair, apply the mask, and then shave my legs and lather up with my body wash along with everything else shower related.  By the time I find I am ready to rinse off the soap and turn the water back on, my hair is ready to be rinsed.  Its an extra step (especially if you don’t want to waste water) but it is a once a week thing so the extra time isn’t too damaging.  Unless you have really damaged hair and then apparently you can use it as an extra conditioning conditioner.  My hair had issues, but it wasn’t as bad as all that so I used it once a week.

The mask has a clean and fresh salon sort of scent to it.  I know I really need to get a better term than, ‘salon scent’, but that is the smell I come away with. 

Maybe I need to get one of those old scent boxes that wine people used to use to learn the scents for wine descriptors.  Instead of herbs, berries, tobacco and leather I could get the various herbs and oils typically found in salons to determine what I think of as salon scent. That might be a fun project. 

But it is in the future.  Today we have a light salon scent that is clean smelling and doesn’t tend to linger over long.  Once you wash out your hair, there is no scent that remains.

I will say that after I washed out my hair I was surprised that it didn’t feel weighed down.  The cream is pretty thick, so I had my doubts. (I know, so suspicious) The thickness of the cream allowed it to get all through my hair and cling to the strands, but then washed free.  There was no residue left on my hair, but my hair felt soft and nourished.  It was fantastic and I really enjoyed using it. 

In these photos, All I did after my shower and mask was to let my hair dry naturally and then run a brush though it. That’s it, no other product. and when I fixed my hair later, I had no problem with manageability. There were no tangles or snarls to work out.

close up

I have to say, the sample sized tube of product I picked up was 0.67 ounces/ 19 g.  I used it once a week and had enough product for four washes. 

That gave me a month of use essentially. 

The full sized product is 6.8 ounces/195 grams and retails for $18 on the Verb site. That means the full sized product is a little over ten times the size of the sample. That means by extrapolation the full sized bottle would last about ten months. 

I should add here that this is in no way a sponsored post and the link is just a general link to their website and not an affiliate one. I just happened to pick up the product and liked it.

While I have several other hair masks to try out, I enjoyed this product far more than I thought I would and am tempted to go ahead and pick up the full sized version to have on hand.  I have tried a couple of masks already that were just meh. Which makes this a little extra exciting for me.

I’m sure as I experiment with various products I will come across things that don’t do well for my hair and it might be nice to have a product like this on hand as backup.  In addition, I’m walking outside more since I am not going to the gym and the summer sun really does a number on my hair each year.  At $18 it is not cost prohibitive and it is a really nice product.

I suspect that I will put it on my list of products I like, but talk myself out of purchasing it until I have tried a few more things.  Then  I’ll try something I really don’t like and I’ll finally order it wishing I ordered it earlier.  Either that or I’ll order it as part of my ‘its my birthday’ purchases at the end of the month. Regardless, at some point, I am fairly certain a full sized version of this will make its way back into my shower. I suspect that as I haven’t tried any other Verb products it will be joined by a couple other things I find to try out while poking around on the website.

In case you are wondering, this is my normal shopping experience.  I tend to forget to order things and then run out of one product, or find a need a product that I ran out of a while ago and then realize I am out of a bunch of other things (if I’m ordering from a site like Alyaka or Lovely Skin, both favorites of mine for multiple brand purchases, I’ll like the sites at the bottom of the post for those interested) and then add on so it’s a large order or I’ll go on a brand website and after picking out what I came there for, I start poking around.  Especially if there is a saving of shipping charges once your order reaches a certain price. 

Seriously I am so easy, just promise to waive shipping charges and I’ll think – well I did want to try…- and then I’ll increase my order almost every time.  Of course, I also put things off until I get around to beating the shipping charges.  I have one order where I am seven dollars short of beating the $5.99 shipping fee.  My baby doll has a cream that he likes that I order from them.  It is a little over $8 so I’m waiting for him to want to reorder to place my order in. Mostly because I know if I don’t  wait, I’ll order, pay the shipping fee and need nothing from them, then he’ll ask me to reorder his cream and I’ll have to pay another $5.99 then. I think he only has another week or so left before he reaches the level where he feels like he is running out and needs a reorder.

At least he remembers to tell me when he runs out now instead of thinking the skin care and soap fairies pay us visits in the night. I am pretty sure he thinks shampoo is magical, or at least the refillable pump I keep topped off in his shower is magical and never ending. Of course I also think he believes Dr. Squatch is a friend of mine (as in ‘I’m running low on that soap, can you get your friend to send more.’) That may be just wishful thinking on his part as he is fond of Bigfoot/sasquatch/Yeti books and occasionally films.

Okay I got a little off track there, but to sum things up, great mask, I enjoyed using it and I will be purchasing the full sized version (and probably sampling some other stuff from them).

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Dr. Squatch

Three Hair products from IGK: A Review

Mistress leave in conditioner, First Class Dry Shampoo, and Good Behavior Heat protector all from IGK

Hair products are one of those things I love using and trying out, but tend to forget to write reviews about.  I think the main reason is that pictures rarely convey the full story.  The value of most hair products is in how it makes your hair feel or work.  Does it detangle easily, or does it feel greasy and weighed down.  While greasy can show up in photos, the sensory elements are sometimes hard to convey. (Incidentally, none of the links in the below post are affiliate links, I just took them from the website to link to the products I’m talking about.This is in no way a sponsored post.)

This is especially true with something like one of my all-time favorite leave in conditioning balms, Mistress by IGK (retail $29). It is described on the product page as…

Be the one they envy. This innovative leave-in conditioning balm melts into lengths and instantly boosts hydration. IGK Mistress features a feather-light formula that detangles and smooths hair, leaving desirable radiance and workability.

simply air dried with a brush run through it after using Mistress.

And I have to say, this product meets its claims.  I have thick and long hair.  At the moment it is much longer than I planned for it to be.  I kept putting off a salon appointment and now I am going to be putting it off even longer. It makes it more imperative (in my book) to keep my hair as healthy looking as possible.

I suspect I’ll have to lop off the ends in self-defense at some point, but I am trying to put that point off as long as possible.  This leave in conditioner really helps with that. Just a little dab and I am good to go.  It has the scent of a high end hair salon (which oddly enough produces a rather calming effect on me.  I think it is because I relax at the salon when someone else is dealing with my hair.) My hair becomes less frizzy, with fewer flyaways and it is soft and shiny without feeling weighed down.

In photos on the sites they always have such nice before and after photos.  I tried taking them and because my hair is so heavy, you just see a few less flyaways, nothing more.  I think if my hair were lighter then you’d see more of a change.  Mostly I just look like cousin it when you take a photo from behind.

The real benefit is that my hair feels like silk when I use the Mistress leave in conditioner.

Because I liked the Mistress so much I was very interested in trying out other IGK products.  Luckily for me two of them came to me via subscription boxes.  The first of these products was the IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo (retail $27).

I will say, I am a big fan of dry shampoo.  More so since I started working out regularly. My hair does not do well being washed everyday.  But I also can’t tolerate it when it is greasy.  Dry shampoos, when they work, are an excellent solution for me on the in between days.  I have tried a lot of them and let me tell you, they are not all created equal.  So which one would the First Class be?  Would it live up to the standard set by Mistress or would it fall flat?  First let’s look at the claims.

This heavy-duty charcoal dry shampoo allows you to go even longer between washes, even after workouts. Detoxifying charcoal powder lifts dirt and build up while absorbing oil and sweat. Cooling, calming white tea powder calms scalp and strengthens hair follicles.

I found this to be an interesting dry shampoo and a bit different from the others I’ve tried.  It is like an industrial strength dry shampoo.  If you are just skipping a day between washings and want to take out a little bit of oil and maybe build in a little bit of volume, this isn’t for you.  If you just worked your butt off cycling under the hot sun over the monster hills in your neighborhood and come home drenched with sweat, your hair dripping as though you did just get out of the shower, this could be your new best friend.  Although make sure your hair is dry before using it, or it will clump a little.

If you are using it on really greasy hair, it is a wonder in a can. The greasier the hair, the better this works. But again, it is sort of industrial strength.  If you have only a little oil, pick another product for the day.  There is a little bit of a white cast, but it is easily brushed out.  I have dark hair and had no problems with quickly brushing out the white. I will say it also doesn’t give you the itchy scalp that some other dry shampoos can give you . I don’t know if I’m the only one with that problem, but I find that in many dry shampoos if I use them on the inbetween day then the next morning my scalp is really itchy. Not all, just some. This didn’t have that problem at all.

If you are looking for volume, then this product may give you some, but it is incidental.  It is mostly a byproduct of spraying an aerated product into your hair. It is designed to take down a lot of grease in your hair and that is what it does. I find the scent lightly pleasant and really not that noticeable.  It has a similar just at the salon scent as Mistress. I like this product, but it is not one of my steady products.  It is one that I keep in reserve for the times I really need it. Every couple of weeks I’ll find myself reaching for it, not every other day.  When I do, I am really glad it is there. 

The third product in my IGK trilogy is the Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray (retail $32).  It is described as being…

A heat-protective blowout spray that mimics the smooth, frizz-free results of a keratin treatment. 100% agreed their hair looked like they got a keratin treatment at a salon.

I’ll admit, I’ve never gotten a keratin treatment at a salon. So on that, I’ll have to take their word for it.  I will say that using a heat protectant spray is something I use anytime I use any heat on my hair. I will also say that it smells exactly like a spirulina mask I’ve used in the past.

Using good behavior and just blow drying and combing through without really styling

So I’m guessing it just smells of spirulina. 

I will say I tried using Good Behavior with both a leave in conditioner and without.  I actually tried several leave in conditioners (Mistress included).  I generally find that if I am going to use the Good Behavior spray, it is best that I leave off the leave in conditioners.  It is simply too much product. 

The Good Behavior has some of the same elements of the better leave in conditioners.  It smooths down frizz and leaves hair silky smooth and healthy looking as well as protecting it against damaging heat.  So adding a leave in conditioner is just too much.

Personally I like that.  I like that I can use a leave in conditioner when I know I am going to just let my hair air dry and then do nothing to it, and that I can switch to the Good Behavior when I am going to use heat to either dry or style. 

I also really like this product.  It is just as good as Mistress and one that I am happy to have on hand.  With extra conditioners and heat protectant spray I am less worried about the ends of my hair looking completely raggedy by the time salons start opening and I actually feel comfortable going to them. (I suspect they will open long before I feel comfortable going to them but we shall see.)  I know at some point the ends will bother me enough that I have to look into cutting my own hair instead of just tying it back, but the longer I can put that day off, the happier I will be.

I some how expect me cutting my own hair will be a comedy of errors and a much more severe cut than I planned.

Incidentally, while I am not an affiliate of IGK and get nothing from them, I did poke around on their site to get the official product information and I noticed that they are currently having a sale. It is on their shampoos and conditioners and is a buy one get one 50% off and (according to the banner) runs through May 10th, 2020. Their banner kept rotating so there were other products featured, it was just the shampoo one I caught. I’m certain other products are on sale as well, I just didn’t see the details.

I haven’t actually tried their shampoo or conditioner, but as I have liked every other product I’ve tried of theirs, I might have to look into giving it a try. The shampoo I am currently using is very much a dud and I’m going to have to restock soon anyway. (I’ll be posting a shampoo review next week.)

So there you have my take on three products from IGK. As a reminder I have long and relatively thick hair. While there is some slight natural curl to it, the weight of it actually pulls it straight. I mostly get odd waves at strange times. It is color treated, mostly because I am getting a strange poof of gray at the top of my head, but otherwise there are no special considerations for my hair (other than an attempt to ward off split ends). So if you are looking into these products (or any other products I mention for that matter), remember to take your own hair type into consideration. I know my mom and I have opposite hair. Anything that works for me, doesn’t work for her and if her hair loves it, mine will absolutely hate the product.Which is useful in its own way too. I find it just as important to know what won’t work for me as I do what will. I hope everyone out there is taking care of their locks as well as the rest of them.

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Reviewing a Christophe Robin Scalp Scrub

I’ll admit, I never actually tried a salt scrub for my scalp.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything specifically for my scalp.  I’ve used masks for my hair, but never anything for my scalp.  When I stop to think of it, it seems surprising.  After all the scalp is where the hair comes out of your head, it only makes sense to take care of it.  So I was excited to see the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt in my IPSY bag.  I received a trial size but the full size retails for $55.

While I had never tried a scalp scrub, I have heard of Christophe Robin. I have several friends who rave about their Anti Frizz Rescue Milk with Shea Butter and was thrilled to try one of their products.  The description they offer for the sea salt scrub is…

Inside the jar

The cleansing purifying scrub with sea salt is ideal as a detox treatment as it cleanses, purifies and restores balance to sensitive or oily scalps. It can also be used as a post-colour treatment to sooth tingling and itching sensations.

As those who regularly read this blog know, I recently dyed my hair so it was a perfect time for me to try it. So into the shower I went.   When you open it, it looks like a salt scrub.  As you can see, I forgot to take a picture prior to trying it out, hence the missing product. It was full to the top when I opened it.

The scrub has a vaguely oceanic scent mixed with a vaguely medicinal scent.  I know that…vague. I apologize. I have been over and over the ingredients list trying to figure out exactly what that scent is, but I really can’t come any closer to it than that. It doesn’t smell like the ocean but it is vaguely oceanic. It doesn’t exactly smell medicinal, but it may have been stored in a cabinet with old school medicines like iodine, witch hazel and neosporin, all with faulty lids, might have been kept.

To apply I scooped out a bit and massaged it into my wet hair.  I tried to get as close to the scalp as possible as it is a scalp product. The issue is that I have thick hair and the salt scrub is quite chunky.  I had a hard time getting it through to the actual scalp as the wet hair almost actively resisted my attempt. 

Part of it is the emollient that it mixed in with the salt.  It made it want to slide off the hair rather than dive beneath the strands.  I’m not entirely certain it did anything for my scalp.  I will say though that my hair feels deliciously soft and light.  It is extra clean and feels fresh and fabulous. I am just not certain it helped my scalp in any noticeable way.  While I will continue to use the product until it is gone, I don’t think I would actually spend the $55 for the full sized container.  It is good, but I have other products that I like better and that give me almost the same results.  It is nice but it isn’t going to make it on my repurchase list. I think maybe I will try the anti-frizz that all my friends rave about. Perhaps I’ll like that better.

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Eliminating Grays with a Bit of self care

The box

For a while now I’ve been seeing a few gray hairs pop up on my head.  There never arrive at the same time I’ll get one and then a few weeks later a second will appear.  I have been simply plucking them out as they arrive, thanking them for their willingness to cover my scalp but informing them their service is not needed and sending them on their way.  I think that is why they started arriving in pairs.

They wanted the back up.

While I know several people who have gone gray and look lovely with it, I wasn’t too keen on the prospect.  All of my grays were in one little area so I decided to try and grow them out a little bit to see if maybe I’d get a cool stripe or something. 

The unruly grays

I did not and they started to drive me crazy.  Still I knew if I just plucked them and dyed the hair then as soon as I did, the gray would grow back.  So I had to wait for a bit until the odd lighter spots stopped increasing.  Thankfully it didn’t take all that long.  I just had one weird spot of gray.

So I bought a box of hair dye.

At first I started to look up other product reviews for home hair dye but they were not encouraging.  Most featured funky colors or bleaching attempts gone horribly awry. Sometimes a combination of the two.  And then there were hairdressers and stylists maligning all store bought box dyes so I decided to just ignore them all for the first run through, pick a box from a company who makes other products I love and hope for the best.

included in the kit

So I came home from the store with L’Oreal’s Excellence Crème Triple Protection Color.  I chose the shade 5RB Medium Reddish Brown because all of the straight up browns looked a little too dark for me, unless they looked a little too blonde. With the red mixed in, I thought it would give it some depth instead of looking flat. 

I should point out that my experience with dying my hair oscillated between old school goth black and homemade colors involving kool-aide packets.

So I arrived home. I then set the box to the side because the world went mad.

Now I decided that a nice bit of self-care would be to actually use the dye, eliminating the grays and making me feel better when I look in the mirror.  And if the dye makes me look like Ronald MacDonald then at least I am in isolation and will only traumatize my baby doll and not the outer world at large.

So into the breach.

Not exactly for God and Country, but still an attack of sorts.

the dye in my hair

So I stripped down to an old plaid shirt that I use for gardening when it is chilly or the mosquitos are out in full force.  It already has holes in the elbows and along the bottom seam.  I’ve never figured those out actually.  I get the elbows wearing out, just not the bottom seam. Regardless I figured a little extra hair dye wouldn’t trouble it.

So dressed, I took L’Oreal into the bathroom.

The directions are quite clear and very easy to follow.  The provided gloves took a moment to actually open and get on my hands.  I started with the provided hair protector ant included, as per instructions.  It gave me some home that my hair would not come out fried at the end of this process. 

Then, feeling a bit like a mad scientist I mixed the dye with the activator, shook and applied to my head. It is thick and didn’t drip which I appreciated. It coated my hair well and even though I have rather long hair, there was enough dye to cover all of it.

I waited the recommended time and then took myself and the conditioner to the shower.  They dye rinsed out well and did not stain the tiles. I used the conditioner as one does. I will say I was a bit surprised by the amount of hair that washed out with the dye and conditioner.  It was more fall out then I usually see when I wash my hair and I was nervous.  So when completely rinsed, I stepped from the shower toweled dry, dressed and went directly for my hair dryer.

gray gone and the red faded back after a single wash

Usually if I don’t have to go anywhere I let my hair dry naturally but I was too curious to wait. Plus I wanted to know if I was going to be bald.

I was not.

I was however very impressed.

I think the hair that came out was the older duller looking hair because my hair looked great.  Perhaps I don’t brush vigorously enough to get those looser hairs out on a daily basis, perhaps they just decided it was time, I don’t know.  But my hair had great color, with no grays showing.  It also had excellent shine and body.  I really liked how it turned out.  I also want to find out if they sell the conditioner separately because it was fantastic.

My only issue was that while my hair ended up a nice brown with a slight reddish undertone, my scalp was quite red. It washed away after a day or two and was fine, but it would be something to remember for dying the hair when not in self-quarantine. In two days my scalp was back to normal and my hair still looked great. All in all, I am quite pleased. I tend to like L’Oreal products in general and I am glad I went with them on this.

It may be a bit silly of me, but I have to say I feel a little less tired and run down now that I am not looking at the odd tuft of gray in the mirror. It was only a little boost, but still much needed. Not bad for a $7.99 product and thirty minute wait time.way to go L’Oreal.

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Hit or Miss with New Day Hair Mist from Playa

Playa New Day Hair Mist

I have to say I was very intrigued to try this when it came in my IPSY box.  As last month was not terribly exciting, it was certainly a stand out.  The Playa New Day Hair Mist is not quite like a dry shampoo.  In fact It’s not really like any other product I have tried So we’ll start with their product description.

According to the Playa product page…

New Day Mist is a 3-in-1 reboot for tired hair: One part hairspray, one part hydrator, and one part fragrance. The fine mist works to smooth out dents and creases—we call it a wrinkle releaser for the hair—allowing you to reset your style without washing, hot tools, or harsh chemicals. Consider it the easiest way to get an extra day out of your style.

Interesting, no?

As I am always looking for ways to extend my hairstyle so I don’t over wash it, this seemed like it was right up my alley.  

The first thing you need to know is that it comes with two caps.  I know that sounds strange to say but I was at first confused.  I took off the first cap and it wouldn’t spray.  I thought it was defective until I realized there was a second cap underneath.  Perhaps you are smarter than me and it wouldn’t phase you, but It took me a second, and then I felt a little silly.

The mist comes out in a very fine spray.  Even though it is a pump it is the type of spray I associate with an aerosol, although manually produced through the pumping action.  I liked the spray.

I did not like the scent.

And as that is touted as one of the three main reason for this product to exist, that’s not a good thing.  To me it has the cloying scent of dying flowers mixed with baby powder.  To be honest it makes me think of sitting between two elderly ladies at a funeral. Not exactly the scent I want to carry around in my hair.

But I can put up with a lot if the product is good.

I will say that it did smooth out the flyaways but didn’t do much for the marks of my ponytail holder. It made them a little less noticeable maybe. So as a wrinkle releaser for hair it was marginally effective. But then again, I have several spray in conditioners that do more or less the same thing.  The FoxyBae Flaminglow is particularly effective in this regard.  And it smells a lot better.

As any sort of hairspray, it was an utter failure.  It wasn’t holding anything in place. I don’t know if my hair is simply too heavy for this product to be effective or if it just doesn’t work.  Normally I would add before and after photos but to be honest, it did nothing really noticeable and so the pictures are rather pointless. The only thing it really seemed to do was to make me think of old ladies and funerals. 

I really like to see the potential in products, but as excited as I was to try this out. I have to conclude it is just not for me.

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Kendo - Kat Von D

Flaminglow Review

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a time or two, I have a lot of hair, and it is on the thick side. I actually really need to get it cut again. I tend to tie it up when I’m working out and then forget how long it is. It used to only be a problem in the summer when I tied it up to keep from sweating to death but apparently the gym knows no season. (trust me, I’ve tried to argue for a winter break but the gym has the scale on it’s side and it was two against one so winter ponytails it is.)

So when I take my hair down and actually do stuff with it I like to to look nice. So I have been trying out a variety of products. While I really like FoxyBae’s heat protectant spray, and tend to use the travel Foxybae fat iron to keep my bangs from going wonky.

the travel iron is perfect for straightening bangs in the morning

It is a great tool, but given it’s size I can only really use it to curl the ends and deal with my bangs. if I tried using it on the rest of my hair it would take forever. It is however a life saver with my bangs. It heats up quickly and is the perfect size for them. I can live without having to straighten the rest of my hair, but when bangs go bad, there is no reprieve. This keeps them from going bad at least until the wind takes them. Plus I like the marbled effect and compact size.

But that was not the point, the point was the Flaminglow Leave in conditioner. The spray is a mist. it is not a super fine mist and occasionally you will get a few splotty splashes, but over all it works really well. The nozzle also doesn’t get sticky and clog, or at least it hasn’t in the past month I’ve been using it. the bottle feels comfortable in the hand as well. Surprisingly a lot of spray bottles don’t take that into account. Not to get all three bears about it but some are too thin and some to thick to fit comfortably in the hand.

This is especially important with a leave in conditioner and thick hair. To apply the conditioner I flip my head upside down and give a light spray to the underside of my hair and then flip my head up to give the top a light spray, then I use my fingers to comb through the hair and distribute it throughout. So having a bottle fit comfortable in the hand helps through the manouvering.

But what does the product do according to the website? well…

So little time, so many hair problems to solve! If only there’s a product that can fix most of them… oh wait, it’s this! The Flaminglow Leave In Conditioner is the answer to all your prayers, it can detangle your hair, tame frizz and moisturize your lovely locks all at the same time! What’s better is that it has biotin in it that helps your hair grow faster and stronger. Don’t worry because we got you, all you have to do is be-leave!!!

I use this conditioner when my hair is wet right after a shower. I towel dry it enough to keep from flinging water everywhere but that is about it. Using my fingers I can actually feel my hair tangling less as I run my fingers through it to distribute the product. Sometimes with other products my fingers snag and I have to work out tangles. This was not a problem with the Flaminglow. The detangling nature of the spray works really well and my fingers didn’t catch. it meant I was pulling out less hair when I worked.

Hair was left to dry naturally then combed through with no problems

I really like leaving my hair to dry naturally when I can as I don’t like to put excess heat on it. In these pictures I applied the conditioner and then let it dry. I then used a fine toothed comb to comb it out. There is no other styling done. there were no snags with the comb, no tangles and my hair has a nice healthy shine to it. Because I couldn’t photograph the back of my head without assistance I had my darling dearest assist me with the camera. Because he insisted, I added the sun glasses so he could get the full Cousin It effect. It was my thanks for him taking the photos, in case you were wondering.

My darling dearest could not resist adding sunglasses when I asked him to help take the pic. Yup, that’s still the back of my head.

The scent of this product is slightly sweet, like a candy with vanilla somewhere in it’s blending. I can’t identify the candy, but it is a light pleasant scent that is not overpowering. It fades to almost nothing as the hair dries. The conditioner is not heavy and it left my hair incredibly soft. When I did style my hair the conditioner worked well with the heat protector and didn’t feel at all greasy or heavy. There was no battle of the products. I have to say I also like the price. The full sized bottle is $18.95 and I have used it after every hair wash for the past month and I am only a quarter of the way through the bottle. I amy have to set it aside to try out different products, but I will be returning to this one. it is a good price for a great product.

For those interested there is a promotion currently running (Exclusive Mother’s Day Offer! Take 60% Off Sitewide. Use Code: FOXYMOM) It isn’t my code, it is just a sale they are running. If you have tangling issues, this is a product you might want to look into.


MoroccanOil Treatment Review

MoroccanOil Treatment (trial size)

I have always been leery of hair oils.  In my mind they bring thoughts of used car salesmen from the 1950s with the slicked backed hair. I don’t know why.  I’ve never actually met a used car salesman who had slicked back hair. But still the mental image remained.  However, in 2019 I decided to start trying more new things and leave behind at least a few of my preconceived notions. So I tried a hair oil for the first time and to my surprise, I liked it.

Who knew?

Because of my success with the previous oil, I was less hesitant to try a second one and as I heard a lot about the Moroccan Oil Treatment, I decided I would start there. Still a little on the hesitant side (and not liking the thought of greasy hair) I picked up a trial sized bottle of the Moroccan oil Treatment (light) to test out.  I figured that if I liked it I could always pick up a full sized bottle and if I didn’t, then at least I wouldn’t have a whole lot of product hanging around.  Plus the trial sized bottle looked large enough that I could test it out multiple times and over a longer period before I made my judgement.

I have to add right here that I am always glad when products have trial sized versions that are actually large enough for me to do my own personal trial.  There are so many products on the market that I either tend to stick with what I know when shopping or attempt a trial sized version before committing.  The trial size lets me try out multiples of a type of product, especially if it is something I am less familiar with using, so that I can choose the right version for myself.

It makes experimentation much less costly and it causes less waste of products, or at least less products being added to my ‘find a new home with someone else or find a way to dispose of without feeling guilty’ basket I keep in the bottom of my linen closet.

Having said that, the full sized version of this product retails for $15 and contains 0.85 fluid ounces of product.  My trial sized version contains 0.34 fluid ounces of product.  I found that using it required very little of the actual product.  I have been using this trial sized bottle for about a month now and still have product left. I expect the full sized bottle will last a really long time. It comes with a pump and recommends 1-2 pumps per use.  Judging from other pumps I’ve used in the past, I’d say one pump was about the amount that I used each time I used the product.

So on to the claims of the oil.  According to the website…

Get the silky, shiny and healthy hair you’ve always wanted. Moroccanoil Treatment is the product that pioneered oil-infused hair care and created the worldwide buzz on argan oil. The original foundation for hairstyling, Moroccanoil Treatment can be used as a conditioning, styling and finishing tool. Infused with antioxidant-rich argan oil and shine-boosting vitamins, this completely transformative hair treatment detangles, speeds up drying time and boosts shine—leaving you with nourished, manageable, and smooth hair with each use. Outshine the rest.

Everyone clear on what to expect?  Excellent, let’s move into the trial. The product claims to be useful for both wet and dry hair so I tried both. First, of course, I opened and took a sniff.  If something is going to be in my hair, chances are that I am going to be smelling it all day.  Even when I tie my hair back it is long enough that I catch the scent of whatever product I’ve used in it.

This Moroccan oil, in the bottle, has a light, slightly spicy scent to it that I don’t mind.  It didn’t smell like it would be overpowering to wear throughout the day and it didn’t smell strong enough to overpower whatever perfume I happened to apply.  It was a soft scent that I was certain would more or less fade into the background of my day.

It did smell more like oil than I expected, which made me a little nervous.  It once again brought to mind thoughts of greasy locks.  But I persevered and poured a little oil into my palm. The oil is slightly viscous when poured into the hand.  Just a little is needed and for my first use, I dispensed it into my hands, rubbed my hands together and applied it to my damp hair straight from the shower. 

In this photo I applied the oil to damp hair and let it air dry. I then just fan a brush through it.

It did not weigh down my hair and to my relief the light oil scent faded completely away as my hair dried.  There was a lightly spicy scent remaining which was pleasant.  Not wanting to affect this first trial, I let my hair dry naturally, then brushed it out when it was dry.  That is actually the picture off to the side. My hair was shiny without being greasy and it felt extremely soft to the touch. 

As my hair dried, most of the scent faded and the scent of the oil was barely detectable.  Essentially I had to press a lock of hair to my nose and take a sniff to smell it at all. As this meant that it would not be fighting with any other scented products I applied, I am perfectly fine with its lack of distinct aroma.

I tried the wet hair application again, only this time I blow dried my hair and I came up with the same results.  Shiny, soft hair that wasn’t greasy or weighed down.  The oil helped with keeping my hair from getting tangled during the drying process as well.  Thus far I was happy with its claims.

The next time I tried it, I used it on my hair when it was dry.  I rubbed it into my hands and then ran my hands over my dry hair.  This is where this product really shines.  It tamed all of my flyaway, giving my hair a sleek polished look without making it feel heavy and weighted down. The effect lasted for several hours, which is pretty good for me.  I think I half expected it to dry and leave my hair in worse shape than it was before.  That did not happen.

I think that this is a good product to use to quickly tame flyaways if you need something just before you go out.  It is a quick fix that won’t cause later issues a few hours down the road.  I used a very little amount for this purpose as I was leery of having greasy hair, but a little amount is all you really need.  I think I like it best when using it on wet hair on days I don’t want to use a blow dryer.  It kept my hair manageable and soft without having to use heat on it, which is always a plus.  The fact that it isn’t terribly expensive either is a definite plus as well.  I think I will definitely be picking up a full sized bottle of this Moroccanoil Treatment as soon as my trial sized bottle runs out so that I can keep it in the bathroom to add to my post shower routine. I know they have a full line of other products including shampoo and conditioner which I will definitely have to try out soon as well. Hopefully they’ll work as well as the oil.

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