The Daily: October 13th, 2021

Oh my darlings the sun is shining, my nose is not sniffilly and while it is still above normal temps for this time of year, the heat and humidity aren’t bad. All this means that i took a really long walk this morning. I did come back all sweaty but after a brief cool down I jumped in the shower and actually used up the last of my Annmarie Skincare shampoo and conditioner set. I was actually quite impressed with it. I’ll be posting my full review next week, but while I did test the shampoo with the hair dryer, for the most part I can let my hair air dry and just run a brush through it. And the less I have to do with my hair on a daily basis, the healthier my hair stays.

Which also meant that i got to keep my hair up in a towel while I put on my makeup today. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I have bangs and when I pull them back to put on my makeup they tend to take a lot of fixing after. this way the hair was already back and then once the products were applied, I could just let the hair down. Much less wonky. Today was interesting for me, product wise. Hold on, let me list the products first, then we’ll dive in.

Today’s Look:

Hair still damp from the shower

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

  • currently they are having a graduated sale. buying one item gives you 20% off, 2 gives you 25% and three is 30% and the Naked Cyber Palette is out now.

Foundation: Ciate London Extraordinary foundation

  • currently they have a sale on where you can get 3 Glitter Flip Lippies for $25 (usually they are $19 each)

Bronzer: Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette (also used for powder)

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Highlighter: Illamasqua Beyond Powder in OMG

  • currently you get a free Beyond Powder when you spend $60

Eyeshadow: Tuscany Palette by Nomad

Mascara: Roen Cake Lash in Black

Lips: Buxom Full Force Lip Plumping Lipstick in Fly Girl with YSL lipstick layered over it

Setting Spray: Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Supper Setter Setting Spray

Okay for the usual suspects, I am using up the primer as it has been discontinued. Still love it so this is like the long goodbye. The bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush may be my absolute favorite blush. I can dip in with a finger, apply it and blend to the color I want. I do absolutely love the formula. And this color works for my skin tone. Its Mauve Sunrise if you are wondering. I also really love the Benefit setting spray. the mist is fine and light, the smell, is well the same scent as their primer, and it works well. I do have to keep it standing upright as when it is put on it’s side it tends to leak. Otherwise it is super fab.

I like the shadow, but I have to say i am super pleased by the fewer fine lines showing around my eyes. currently using Verso Super Eye serum FYI

Now, to play time. we are in the time of year where my skin tone is shifting. (my skins needs are shifting as well, but that is something to discuss elsewhere.) Even if the heat hadn’t faded, the rain has been keeping me inside more. My tan is fading. Some foundations are reaching the, so sorry, see you next year phase, others I think I might be able to use longer. A lot of the summer I lean into BB creams and tinted moisturizers as they work well in the summer when i just want something light. The Ciate London Foundation is really a good one for me in the summer, partially because it feels as light as a BB cream, but still works as a medium coverage foundation.

Medium is kind of my sweet spot with foundations. I really like the formula and not only is the color good but the tones suit my undertones really well. As it blends really well, I want to see how long I can wear it before my skin lightens enough that I think it is too dark a product. This is one of the few foundations where I will actually buy it in a summer and winter shade as I really like it so I want to find out when I need to do the switch so I can figure out what shade I need to get me through the paler shades of me. So this foundation will be bouncing in and out of rotation as i try to figure that out. For now it seems to still be fine. and I like wearing it.

The Cocoa Contour palette I reached for also partially because I find palettes to be much better options during the fading tan and beginning tan phases of the year. I can adjust the bronze to suit my skin much more easily. Today I went light on the darkest shade, but think I might soon have to switch. Part of the reason I pulled this palette up though is that it has a row of non-shimmer highlights and I noticed the light medium is somewhat similar to my Becca Pink Haze setting powder. I was hoping that it might be a good option. So I tried it. It worked well-ish but not as good as the Pink Haze. So the search continues for a replacement. I think at least one of my other highlighter palettes has a pink powder so I might try that as well.

I also like using this palette as the Too Faced Packaging feels lux and smells like candy. It is just a fun palette to use.

My eyeshadow palette I chose because I am still on the fence about it. It barely squeaked through my last declutter as I generally only reach for the light pink shade of La Bella Vita. It performs well. The darker brown of Passaggiata isn’t quite so fabulous. It tends to be a bit patch. Once you work with it, the combo of the two can give you a rather soft look, which i really liked. Honestly I need to play around with this palette more to see if i do in fact like it enough to keep it long term. Usually I really like Nomad shadows. I adore the Berlin Underground palette. this one I need to think about.

This was my first run with the Roen Mascara. Its fine. It is black mascara and thus far it hasn’t flaked or faded. It lengthens a little but not a lot and doesn’t really thicken. I like it a lot better than the Florence by Mills, because it doesn’t require as much work to apply (Florence needed a couple of applications) since it only needs one application, but it isn’t a spectacular lash moment. It is a good office mascara. At least that is how it seems with this first use. It is in rotation and we will see how it performs over time. At the moment it isn’t bad.

I layered the lips. I really like the Buxom plumping lipstick. it plumps and lasts a long time. The shade does make my lips disappear into my face though as it is similar to my skin tone. So I dotted the YSL over it. The shade is slightly on the transparent side and a little too pink for me to enjoy on it’s own. The neutral tames the tan and locks the color into place longer than the YSL would last on it’s own. Plus the YSL feels a little bit waxy to me.

I am a big fan of the Buxom lipstick and I tend to use this one as a base for a lot of other colors that need a slight tweak to them. I could blame subscription boxes for my sometimes not so great color selection but the truth is I am the queen of picking the wrong lipstick when I shop. Somehow between the store and home the colors never turn out quite how I thought they would. I have a lot of almost right lip products. Its why the Buxom is such a trouper even though the shade on its own makes my lips disappear. It blends well with every product I’ve tried it with and it keeps my wrong lipstick purchases from being a waste.

So today had a lot of play in it as I worked with the products. Over all i don’t think the look came out too badly. But now it is back to work for me. Wednesday always makes me feel like I am running behind. So it is best to get back to it. I hope your Wednesday is fabulous and that you reach the end of the day in triumph and can coast all the way to the weekend.

Sampling the Sweet Sunrise Shampoo

I’m sure at this point everyone knows I do love sample sized products. I love the ability to try out new things without purchasing the full size right at the get go. Partially, I like the economics of it. With hair care especially, I tend to like some pretty pricy products.

(I also like some really good inexpensive products too actually. I tend to go more for what works well with my hair than anything else and one of my all time favorite products is actually the $8 One Hit Wonder Spray from The Mane Club.) While cost is a factor, I also don’t like to waste product and I really like to only purchase what I know I’ll use. I’ll pay more if I know I will use and like a product. I also have no snobbery against the drugstore products if they perform well.

With hair care, I find some of the pricier products work better than some of the inexpensive ones and some of the pricier products aren’t worth their price tag and are beaten hollow by the drugstore. Sometimes it is by brand. I know that pretty much anything by Kerastase is going to work for my hair, but that I have to be really careful which products I use from Davines. Some of Davines products work well for me, others are just horrific.

And then there is scent to consider. In the summer time when my hair is mostly tied up and out of the way it isn’t an issue. With my hair down, I really have to live with the scent of my hair products.

Annmarie Skin care is a brand that I really like. Their masks are fantastic and products I repeatedly buy. Their Aloe Herb Cleanser I not only purchase for myself but ended up sharing with several family members who now use it a their go to face wash. Currently I am loving the anti-aging serum.

However, I have never tried any hair care item from them. In fact until they sent the samples to me me, I didn’t realize Annmarie Skincare made shampoo and conditioner. The set I was sent is their Sweet Sunrise shampoo and Conditioner. It is actually the travel size set I believe.

Sweet Sunrise Shampoo and Conditioner trial sized

The set comes in metal bottles that I tend to think of as canisters rather than bottles for some reason. I do like that they are metal (with plastic pumps) as metal is more recyclable especially where I live. I’ll have to take off the plastic pumps but I can recycle the metal bottles very easily. Although to be honest, as I am traveling for thanksgiving, I may just use the bottles as travel shampoo and conditioner instead of recycling them. The pumps lock down and then there is a plastic collar to make certain they stay locked down which I like for travel. I’m also a fan of reusing a container as many times as possible before sending it to recycling in the first place.

I shouldn’t be surprised that Annmarie Skincare has the kind of bottles that can be both reused for a while and easily recycled. They have a real attention to their ingredients and sustainability that I really like (as well as liking the actual products)

But I do think of them as a skin care brand. So how did they do with the shampoo and condirioner?

washed, air dried and combed through only. No other styling or products

Well actually. The pumps worked well, although I have to say I do wish the metal bottles had some kind of ridge or groove in them to make the a little less slick in the shower. The metal was a little slick, but it ended up working well.

The shampoo and conditioner set are called Sweet sunrise and I think that is an accurate name. The shampoo is a sweet citrus that is reminiscent of orange juice. It is light and not overly sweet. Its scent is strongest when it suds up and then fades as the lather is rinsed away. I was expecting a similar scent from the conditioner, but there was no trace of orange with it. It had a light creamy scent that seemed to have a hint of honey to it. It didn’t smell as strong as honey, more like it was stored in a closed cabinet with an open jar of honey for a while and it picked up a light tint of scent. It didn’t have the sweet heaviness that I associate with honey, but just that light honey-esque memory, if that makes sense.

close up. I was impressed by the amount of body

This slight scent faded as soon as the product was rinsed out.

As it dried, my hair just smelled clean and fresh. There was no real orange or honey scent left behind really. Which is kind of nice. Especially as I have started wearing perfumes again.

I know I’ve gone through my procedure for testing shampoos before, but as a quick reminder, on the first shampoo and/or conditioner test, I use no other products and I let my hair dry naturally. (That way i don’t have to worry about heat protectors). So with this first test i let my hair dry naturally and then I combed it out. Mostly I was looking for tangles.

There were none. The comb pulled through my hair well with no issues. There was a great shine and good body to it as well. There are a few fly aways, but not as many as I would expect and I didn’t feel the immediate need to reach for the hair oil to tame the top down.

In general I was quite impressed with these hair products from a skin care line. I am also looking forward to using the rest of the sample size up. Given the large size of the sample (which I really think is the travel size rather than an actual sample size) and how little I used of the products I should be able to use the Sweet Sunrise Shampoo and Conditioner Set samples for two to three weeks, possibly a little longer. This should give me a really good idea of how they perform over time. (I wash my hair every other day, if you are trying to figure out product usage). Along the way I’ll test them out with other products and see how they perform when teamed up. As for now I am very happy with the initial use. I’ll let you know if they continue their good work until the end of the sample size. I have pretty high hopes for this one.

Sweet Sunrise Trial Size

Let’s talk Pollution Defense

Thee are a lot of hair care products out there. Some work to control your frizz despite the high humidity, others give you shine and body. Some work to keep your hair less tangled and others protect it from heat.

With each of these it is usually fairly easy to see if they work. If it reduces frizz then you will have less frizz. If it detangles, there will be fewer tangles, if it protects from heat there will be less heat damage. It isn’t rocket science.

Pollution defense in hair care is something a little different. It is a little harder to pin down as far as effectiveness. I think that is the reason I let the Grow Gorgeous Defense Anti-pollution leave in spray sit on my hair care shelf for so long. In general I am a big fan of the brand. Their shampoos and conditioners are absolutely fantastic. The scent is a bit strong, but once you get used to it, then it just feels a bit like a salon scent. And the scent is worth getting used to. Their thickening shampoo really thickens. and it leaves the lair feeling luxuriously soft and easy to manage. There have been other Grow Gorgeous products I’ve used and all have worked fantastically well. I really did just put off using this because I wasn’t certain of how to evaluate it. How to tell if it was in fact doing anything for my hair.

So lets start with the product description…

Pollution can wreak havoc with your hair, but Grow Gorgeous Defence Anti-Pollution Leave-In Spray aims to shield your strands from the harm urban areas can cause. Protecting against environmental aggressors as well as fading colour and heat, the spray is a handy 3-in-1 product.

Added to care for your scalp, Green Tea Extract helps healthy hair to grow with extra shine. Acting as a protective barrier, a Polysaccharide Matrix works to keep locks free from harmful pollutants. Organic Sunflower Sprout and Tarra Tannins are blended expertly to combat harm caused by urban life while Panthenol detangles and hydrates, making hair softer and easier to brush.

The anti-pollution spray is ideal for those with hair on the greasier side that often has a build up of products.

Free from gluten, parabens, sulphates, silicones, phthalates and mineral oils.

Suitable for vegans.

Grow Gorgeous

While Polysaccharide Matrix sounds enormously fantastic in a sci-fi kind of way, I have no clue how to evaluate it. So I am going to fall back on the claims that I can look into. These seem to be protecting against fading color and heat, adding extra shine and detangling and hydrating making hair easier to brush.

My color is new enough that I haven’t really noticed any fading. I don’t know if this product helped in that regard but it certainly didn’t hinder. My eSalon custom dye is really good about not fading for a long stretch of time. And really by the time it doe start to look faded I have usually already been spraying my roots with root touch up for at least a month. Incidentally, I know I have said this before but I love the fact that eSalon always matches the root touch up to the custom color. It’s also how I know that the dye takes a long time to fade. when my root touch up no longer matches my hair color, it is time to dye again.

So that’s a positive for my custom color, but not really something I can observe well in the Defense Spray. Because this does work as a heat protector (and the summer heat is fading) I did do a little curling of my hair while testing out this spray to see how it works. At the moment my hair is long enough and heavy enough that the curls only stayed in a couple of hours but this isn’t a style keeping product. And there was no heat damage to the hair.

while I didn’t do a lot of styling, I do like to run a comb through my hair to get out any tangles and this worked really well as a detangling spray. There was no problem with knots and snarls. The comb passed through the hair well. In addition, my hair had a great shine without looking greasy or weighed down.

Quite honestly, I liked this product. It made my hair look great without weighing it down. It managed to achieve everything that it said it would do, at least as far as I could test it, and I have to say I like the fresh from the salon scent that it gave to my hair in general. It is a nice product. I would happily buy this again. Currently it is actually on sale at the Skinstore. They periodically put Grow Gorgeous products on sale and I tend to stock up on them when they do. Usually this spray is $20 but right now you can get it for half price. And you all know i love a good deal on the products I know work.

First Use: Klorane Shampoo and Conditioner with Mango

Ah yes, it is time once again for a first use of shampoo and conditioner. This time, the set come from Klorane. It came to me in a package of various products sent by the brand for the purpose of review. However the opinions about them are all my own.

I’ll be honest, my main thoughts about Klorane are about their dry shampoo. They are my favorite brand of dry shampoo and I always have at least one bottle floating around my house. Usually there is one in the bathroom and another in my gym bag actually. while the Nettle infused for dark hair is my favorite, I enjoy pretty much all of their dry shampoos.

Because of this though I generally don’t think of them when i think of regular shampoo. i know that sounds really strange and I have no idea why. Recently I have been trying other products from the brand. I absolutely adore their Coneflower waterproof eye makeup remover. Not only does it take off the eye makeup without a lot of harsh rubbing (something I find more important the older I get) but it doesn’t sting the eyes.

the sealed lid

I have also been using the Klorane Mango Hair Mask. It is from the same line as the shampoo and conditioner and I really enjoy it. Actually it very much came to my rescue after a debacle with an overly stripping clearing shampoo, but that is another tale. I was curious as to how the shampoo and conditioner (especially conditioner) compared with the mask.

With shampoos and conditioners I often find that while a first use can tell you a lot about the products, it is repeated use that really gives you a feel for the product. So what I tend to do is use the shampoo and conditioner on a day when I use no other products, no detangling spray, no heat protectant. then I let my hair dry naturally and then see how my hair performs. As I continue to use the products I will try pairing them with some of my favorite leave in conditioners, heat protecting sprays and styling products, but for this first use, the shampoo and conditioner stand alone.

To the shower, Batman!

Well not showering with Batman, but well you get the idea.

Before you turn on the water I would recommend opening the bottles. I know, that sounds like a silly reminder however as easy as the pull tabs are to remove and open the bottles, they are less easy with wet hands. So open them first and save yourself the trouble of trying to grip wet plastic with wet fingers. Otherwise they are super easy to open.

Wash and Air dried before the comb

This set is designed for dry hair. I know some people have very dry hair all of the time. I know some people have very oily hair all of the time. I can actually use both products for oily hair and products for dry hair. I generally trade them out. In the summer time the sun will dry out my hair, but then walking makes it incredibly greasy. So I use dry shampoo as a quick between washes fix, which also dries out my hair. In the winter I don’t spend as much time in the sun, so no sun drying, but also not as much sweating and then the central heat dries it out. So Sometimes I use products for dry hair, sometimes for oily hair and sometimes products for all hair types.

It why I often have more than one bottle of shampoo open at a time. My hair’s condition depends on what I’ve been doing to it and in my life. The only issue i have is if the shampoo and conditioner are too moisturizing.

The comb

So We start with the shampoo. It has a light fresh mango scent that is not too sweet. However once you start to lather it into the hair, the mango more or less fades. There is a very fresh scent to the shampoo though. It lathers quite well, which I also like. I know the bubbles aren’t actually required for cleaning but I like them. Growing up my Dad described soap bubbles as prison cells for dirt. the dirt became trapped in the bubbles as you wash your hands and then the bubbles haul the dirt and germs away. So even though the lather isn’t an integral part of the process, I really enjoy a good foaming lather, which this has. It also didn’t feel heavy on my hair.

And then I moved on to the conditioner. I will admit, I had a moment of trepidation. the conditioner looks and smells almost exactly like the Mango Hair mask. I know, it is from the same line, but the hair mask is very good at infusing moisture into the hair. And while I like the mask for a once a week hit of moisturizing goodness, I thought a conditioner might be a bit much.

I should not have worried.


It looks and smells the same but it is much lighter on the hair than the mask. I applied the conditioner and made certain to massage it into the ends. At the moment my hair needs a really good cut so the ends need a little extra help. I let the conditioner sit for two minutes while I shaved my legs and washed the rest of me, then I rinsed it out.

Even while wet in the shower, my hair felt soft and manageable. There were no major tangles in the shower. So I turned off the water, toweled my hair and let it air dry completely. And then, I introduced the comb. In general, unless my hair has been stripped dry, I don’t get a lot of tangles except at the ends. (hence the reason for the extra conditioner at the ends).

just combed out (no other products)

It will tangle more when it is as long a it is now. This is why I usually use the One Hit Wonder from The Mane Club. It is a detangler and heat protectant so it helps on both counts. But a this was the shampoo and conditioner’s first test, I went without.

The comb went through like a dream. I have pretty thick hair and it has been known to snap off the teeth of combs if i don’t use either a leave in conditioner or a detangling spray. I was able to comb out my air dried hair completely with no problems. My hair is soft and shiny and doesn’t feel weighed down by too much moisture.

So clean, dry and combed through I sniffed my hair wondering if it would be mango infused. It isn’t. My hair smelled like clean hair. There was no lingering fruit scent or scent of any shampoo or conditioner. with the mango Hair mask I do get a slight hint of Mango left behind. There is none with the shampoo or conditioner. Just clean hair remains. So if you are sensitive to scent, this might be a product you might want to look into. It is delicate in the shower and gone when the hair is dry. Over all I was very impressed with this First Use of the Klorane Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner with Mango. I can’t wait to see how it performs as I work my way through the bottle.

The Shampoo Surprise

As many of you know I was working through a bottle of the Zents Mandarin Shampoo and the Water Conditioner. They were quite fabulous and I highly recommend both of them. If you are especially sensitive to scented products, this might be a good treat for you. While they are scented, the scent is mild and fleeting, a brief delightful whiff before they are gone.

I posted a final wrap up about the Mandarin Shampoo, but because I use less conditioner than I use shampoo (due to masks and leave in conditioners rotating in and out of my routine) I still had some Zents Water Balancing Conditioner left over.

I also have several sample sized shampoos in my collection that I want to try out and see if a full bottle trial is for me. I thought this was a perfect opportunity.

It didn’t go as planned.

The first shampoo I tried was the SOLU Clarifying shampoo from Davines. I have tried a couple of shampoos from the brand before and they worked out pretty well for me. So I had high hopes. I expected that I would think it was a good shampoo and then debate over whether the scent was right for me and try to decide if I wanted to try a bottle.

My shampoo and conditioner list is a bit all over the place. Color Wow Color security Shampoo and conditioner are on the list of favorites as is Suave Rosemary and Mint. I really enjoy both products. If a product makes it onto the list then it is because I have tried it and liked it enough to buy it again. I have a lot of hair and it is pretty thick. When it is healthy, I feel pretty. When it is not doing well I feel bad. I know this about myself and don’t mind spending extra money on hair products. Also if a cheaper hair care product works well, I will roll that into my routine. (I think Suave Shampoo currently runs about $2.99 a bottle). what matters is that it works and it feels good.

Admittedly when I am not testing a shampoo or conditioner, I tend to use the cheaper products during the week and then after my weekly workouts are through I ‘treat’ myself to a pricier shampoo and conditioner. Kind of like giving myself a home salon visit.

But that is beside the point.

My hair is long and thick. It desperately needs a cut, but I am holding off until the heat breaks in September and I can start wearing it down more routinely. It is dyed. I get the eSalon Custom Hair kit once every four months. In between I use the root touch up to keep the roots covered. Over all it is, at the moment fairly healthy. Part of that is because I haven’t been going out much in the past year (obviously) and styling has mostly involved a bit of the Color Wow Dream Coat to keep the humidity from turning me into a frizz ball.

One of the products I use routinely is the Mane Club’s One Hit wonder spray. While it is a fantastic heat protectant I have been using it mostly as a detangler and letting my hair air dry for the most part. I also use a leave in conditioner on the ends (partially because they need the help as I have been putting off the hair cut and while the ends aren’t really split they tend to get a bit dryer than the rest of my hair.)

I know that is a lot of background for a shampoo sample.

The thing is, the SOLU Clarifying Shampoo stripped my hair. I very quickly used up the last of my conditioner, finding myself using more of it to balance it out. I also found myself Using the One hit Wonder Spray more because my hair kept getting tangled. At the moment I am using both the Klorane Mango leave in conditioner and the Mango Hair mask.

With the leave in conditioner I was using a pea sized amount on the ends of my hair. I tend to use a little more in the winter, but in the summer, this is usually enough for me. With this shampoo I realized I was using a quarter sized dollop of the leave in conditioner.

In addition, I was using the Mango Hair Mask from Klorane more often. Typically I use a mask on my hair once a week. It is a nice treat for my hair but it isn’t overly moisturizing so my hair is healthy but not bombarded with product. I know I reviewed this Mango Mask from Klorane before, but I just want to reiterate, it is a really good mask. So is the leave in conditioner by the way.

however with this SOLU Shampoo I was masking mid week because I felt my hair needed a little extra help. I realized how much extra product I was using (mostly because I had to re-order my One Hit Wonder and I hadn’t expected to for a while – It is an $8 product so as fabulous as it is, it doesn’t break the bank, but each bottle lasts a pretty long time too) and I stopped using the shampoo. It is definitely a no buy for me.

I was kind of irritated that I let my desire not to waste product have me using the shampoo longer than I did, so instead of breaking out the next single sample of shampoo I planned to try, I went right for the Kerastase.

I have a Sephora Insider’s account and each year you can choose a small birthday gift product. I chose the Kerastase Nutritive Shampoo and Conditioner set. I’ve used Kerastase products a number of times and I absolutely love the brand. In the last few years I have tended to go more for their Genesis line than anything else. (although the Serum Fortifiant has to be one of my favorite products from the brand. It is pricy but you use so little that it lasts for a really long time).

Because this is a set and I knew I liked the products, I was planning to hold off on using them while I tried out some new things. However if there was a time for a nutritive blast for my hair, this was it. So I opened the package. While the Mango Klorane line will take you on an instant tropical vacation, the Kerastase products whisk you off to a high end salon. The scent of the products is salon-esque and As I used them i could practically hearing a qualified stylist clucking over my not terminating my shampoo trial earlier. It didn’t help that I also trimmed my bangs a little too short a few days prior so i could feel the imaginary expert’s disappointment as at least my shampoo mistake could be corrected.

The Kerastase Nutritive shampoo smelled of the salon and create a thick rich lather. I rinsed it away and applied the conditioner. Again, there was the salon scent. I let it sit as I shaved my legs and gave the rest of me a wash. I actually just picked up the Olay Fresh Outlast Orchid and Black Currant Body Wash. Not only is it a fantastically hydrating body wash, but the scent oddly enough really complemented the Kerastase, which I hadn’t expected but found rather nice.

I rinsed out the conditioner, let my hair dry naturally and added no leave in conditioners or detangling sprays. I then took a fine toothed comb to see what the results would me.

Silk. That was the result. My hair felt like silk and there were no knots or snarls. When my hair is this long it almost always gets some snarls when I comb it out for the first time after air drying.

Not this time.

There were no tangles, my hair had body, the faded highlights from my last dye (it is time for a new eSalon custom color order)were teased out. My hair looked good and felt like silk. The salon scent faded back as my hair dried, although my babydoll said I still smelled ‘fancy’.

So I learned that while I don’t have issues with other davines products (even though they aren’t my favorite) the SOLU Clarifying shampoo is not for me. I learned that while I can make up for an overly clarifying shampoo with a Klorane hair mask and leave in conditioner double punch, I should really just stop trying to use up the shampoo that isn’t working. I have also learned that it is never a bad thing to have a little Kerastase on hand. My hair is now back to feeling fantastic and as a result, I feel really good.

It’s Hair Mask Time with Klorane

Klorane Nourishing mask with Mango

I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical when I opened the package from Klorane and saw a lot of Mango themed products. Don’t get me wrong, I love mango. It is a frequently purchased fruit in my household. I was however worried it would be either a little too tropical or too sweet or even too perfume-y.

If you’ve eaten mangos then you know mangos can fall into all of those categories. Some are ripe and delicious, some have a more pronounced vanilla flavor than others and others really do stray into the perfume section. With those, i tend to pair them with honey and yogurt in a smoothie. I find the greek yoghurt really tames down that flavor.

But this wasn’t about taste, it was about scent. Specifically the scent of the Klorane Nourishing Mask with Mango.

Still, I like Klorane products and I like mango. Perhaps it would be a good pairing. So I tried it out.

You know what? It was. The mask has a lovely tropical scent to it, but it is not overpowering. It is present, but it doesn’t dominate. And the scent dimms once it is actually on the hair. Once the product was applied to my hair I could close my eyes and feel as though a mango plant with ripe fruit was planted outside of my shower, but not feel like I was swimming in a smoothie, if that makes sense. It was just the right amount of scent. In addition the scent didn’t last past the shower. There was a light sweet scent to my hair when it was dry, but it wasn’t extra mango tastic wherever I went. which I kind of appreciate. In fact I think it is aptly named. It is a nourishing mask with mango, not a mango mask.

But although scent is a major factor to me, the product has to work. According to the website…

This 2-in-1 deep conditioning treatment provides long-lasting nourishment and hydration to dry, dehydrated hair. The plant-based mask seals in moisture and adds shine, without the weight. Can be used as an overnight mask.

  • Deeply nourishes the hair without weighing it down
  • Provides long-lasting hydration, softness and shine
  • Multi-use for an in shower treatment or overnight deep nourishment
  • Hair’s ability to lock-in moisture is strengthened
  • 8x more concentrated than conditioner
  • 98% natural origin ingredients
  • Biodegradable. Vegan
  • 100% recycled and recyclable jar

The fact that it is biodegradable and that the jar is not only 100% recycled but also recyclable, made me very happy. I’ve gotten in the habit of reusing any skin or haircare product container that can be reused but I am thrilled to see that it can be recycled if I don’t find another use for it. (A lot of my containers are now used for seed starting in the spring. Yogurt containers too, in case you were wondering.)

To test this I did first use it in the shower and then again I used it as an overnight mask. First the shower.

As I stated above, it had a pleasant but not overwhelming scent when used on wet hair.My hair was soft and shiny after using it and felt very hydrated. It has a thick consistency, like a soft butter, but it fairly melts into the hair with no harsh rubbing needed. I did find that when using this mask, you need to skip the conditioner. I know that is probably a no-brainer for most of you out there, but I get into the habit of shampoo, then conditioner followed by whatever else I am doing. When using this mask in the shower, skip the conditioner. Pair it with your favorite clarifying shampoo and then apply the mask after washing.

I tried it with my clarifying shampoo and it worked well. I also tried it with the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying scrub with sea salt. When used the scrub replaces shampoo. Adding the Klorane nourishing mask right after in place of conditioner is just an amazing tag team duo for a little extra fabulousness.

But it pairs well with any shampoo,really, just skip your conditioner.

Trying it as an overnight mask was interesting. I have long and rather thick hair. So I applied it to the dry strands, twisted them up and put on a shower cap not only to keep the hair in place while I slept, but to keep it from getting all over my pillow (instead of staying in my hair).

The next morning I washed it out. My hair did feel nice and silky soft and well nourished. It might have felt a slight bit more nourished than when I used it in the shower, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell that much of a difference in my hair from when i just used it in the shower. The additional time did let the product sink in a little bit more so that was nice. I also needed slightly less product.

At the moment though my hair is fairly healthy. I think if I had a lot of damage from hot styling tools and other intense damage the overnight mask would have been fantastic as it would give my hair time to absorb it. I can see using this mask overnight when I did have some intense damage to take care of. However I think for me, if i am going to leave it on a longer period of time I would pick a day when I was working alone at my desk (or a weekend day) and apply it in the morning and rinse it out in the evening.

Part of that is that I just don’t like sleeping with masks on my hair. well actually it isn’t the mask I mind, it’s the shower cap. I think that the desk method would work better for me. I think I would use the mask over a longer period to deal with more damage or if it was a day or two before I was going somewhere and wanted my hair to look absolutely fabulous. As it is, I will happily use this mask in my once a week hair masking (usually Saturdays) until the mask is used up. And then I will repurchase it. The Klorane Nourishing Hair Mask with Mango worked as fantastically as every other Klorane product I’ve tried and I am now much less hesitant to try out all of the other mango scented products that were sent to me. I have a couple of shampoo samples I want to clear out, but soon, I will see how the mango shampoo stacks up to the mango mask. If it keeps pace, I will be a happy camper indeed.

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Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo: Final thoughts

A while ago Zents very kindly scent to me this shampoo (along with conditioner) and I have been using it pretty much since it’s arrival. But now the bottle is alas empty. As I always go through more shampoo than I do conditioner (although I have never quite figured out how) I still have a week or so left on the conditioner. I plan to use it with a shampoo sample that didn’t arrive with a conditioner buddy.

And so we discuss the shampoo alone. This is the Mandarin balancing Shampoo. According to the Zents’ website…

Warming & Exotic
ginger, mandarin, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, vanilla bean

Renewing color-safe, sulfate-free MANDARIN Shampoo uplifts and balances all hair types. Packed with moisturizing shea butter and lotus, nourishing MANDARIN Shampoo leaves hair soft, full, and beautifully luminous. Passionflower soothes and calms to support a healthy, flawless scalp. The gentle formula luxuriously cleanses without stripping hair or weighing it down, for maximum vibrancy, volume, and shine.

Before we look at those claims, I have to say a word about the scent of the shampoo. As the name implies, it has an orange scent. what I find interesting is that Zents has range of products in each of their scents. For example in addition to Mandarin Shampoo, there is also a Mandarin Bath truffle and a Mandarin Eau de Toilette. So you can get the same scent in multiple products. What I find interesting is that they aren’t the same in each product.

Compatible, yes. Identical, no.

With the Eau de Toilette much more of the warm spices come through in either of the bath products. The Bath truffle has more spicy elements than the shampoo (as well as fabulous epsom salts and shea butter – it is seriously wonderful to soak sore muscles in). The shampoo, I have to admit, smelled predominantly of oranges. It was clear that there was something mixed in to deepen it and tame the sweetness of orange, but the spices weren’t identifiable to my nose.

I think part of that is the subtlety of the scent. It is designed for people who are sensitive to scent. while it gives the lightly pleasant scent of orange it isn’t overpowering. It is a delicate whiff of scent that is gone even as the suds rinse out of your hair. I think that is part of the reason my nose mostly just picked up the orange. The scent was there and gone before I had time to react. If you are sensitive to scent, but still want a product that smells like something (rather than the neutral scented products) this might be something to look into.

But scent isn’t everything.

I have a lot of hair and it is rather thick. At the moment it is actually far longer than I usually have it. Mostly because just before the first quarantine, my salon closed shop and my stylist moved across country and before I could find a new one everything was shut down. By the time I felt comfortable looking for a salon again. the summer heat arrived. In the summertime, my hair spends about 90% of the time tied up on top of my head or (for variety) clipped up on the back of my head. I know, wild right?

Which is why I don’t get my hair cut in the summer, I generally go for fall and spring and let it grow out over the summer so it can all be bundled up without bits sliding out. Summer heat can knock the style right out of you.

The ends

However this is longer than I’ve been without a haircut and the longest my hair has been in a while. So the emphasis is on keeping it as healthy as possible until I can get to a stylist in the autumn. In this, the Zents’ Mandarin Shampoo has done a fantastic job.

It takes two pumps of product to wash my hair and the two pumps lather well. I had a head full of luxurious bubbles. What I really love about this shampoo is that it does not say, lather rinse repeat if you want a better clean. Id states in it’s usage, lather and let it sit for a minute do get deep down clean, then rinse it off. which sounds strangely logical when you think about it. The product works better if you give it time to work. Who knew?

It also really works.

Without using extra product.

Two things you really ought to know about me. First of all, I am rather frugal by nature. It isn’t that I mind spending the money, but I want to know i am getting good value for the money when I spend it. The second thing is that if something works well with my hair, I am willing to spend a little bit more. The Zents Mandarin Shampoo is pricey. There is no getting around that. However I started using this one bottle around April 14th. (That is the day I posted my first thoughts, so I probably used it the night before if you want to get technical). I used the last of the bottle last night, July 25th.

Because it takes just those two pumps and because you don’t just add more product when you want better results, it lasts. Which means that for me it was a great value for the money. It seriously felt like I was never going to get to the bottom of the bottle. (I should also point out I wash my hair with product twice a week, sometimes three. I have to rinse it every day, but I don’t use shampoo every day.)

I really like the way my hair looks and feels at the moment. It is clean and shiny, not weighed down and it feels great. I know I need to get the end cut as they look a little on the rough side, but you can see in the photo, there are no real split ends. They look as healthy as they possibly could. I am very impressed by it.

In the end I would have to say that the Zents is a splurge purchase, but definitely worth it. It is a product that I would definitely pick up again and use on my hair, especially if i wanted to treat myself. I am very sad that this bottle now has to go to the empties bin. At some point though, it will return.

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Trying out the Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfood Mask

In my house Saturday night is hair mask night. We’ll we do other things as well. we don’t sit around thinking Oh hair mask night, highlight of the week. It is however the night that I tend to treat my hair to a little extra something special in the form of a hair mask.

With mosk skin and hair care products I generally find that it is through repeated use that I can tell how much I like them. Hair masks are sort of a special category. Because they aren’t used every day, at least not by me, I can generally tell if I like them in one use.

I generally pick a hair mask that suits my hair’s needs at the moment and then see if the mask addresses them in that moment. It is probably why I find hair masks so satisfying. There is little waiting for a cumulative effect for most of the, There are some exceptions of course, but in general, you know if you like them with one use.

It is also what makes sample sizes so perfect. This week’s sample size is the Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture superfood mask. It is a deluxe sample size and even though I can tell after one use how much I like it, the tube had three uses worth of product in it and this was my third use of this mask. The tube is now empty.

According to the product page…

For those with dry, dull and parched hair. This protein-free, nourishing hair mask is proven to boost moisture for softer, smoother and more manageable hair after 2 uses. 97% Naturally-Derived, Vegan & Cruelty-Free.

The first thing you notice when opening the mask is that it is green. I don’t know why I was expecting it to be white. I think it is because most maskst tend to be white or at least white-ish. But given the avocado and kiwi, the green makes sense. Given that I have been spending a lot of time in the sun, my hair does qualify as dry and parched, at least those were the concerns I went after this week.

This mask smells lovely. It actually smells a bit like candy to be honest. Very sweet and fruity. It has more of a kiwi sort of smell than anything, except the slight tartness I associate with kiwis is missing. I like the scent. It is quite delicious.

The mask applied well, it provided moisture and rinsed out easily, leaving my hair clean and hydrated. There was no heavy residue. It is a good mask. Is it my favorite mask? No. Don’t get me wrong it is a nice mask and there was nothing wrong with it. In fact if I received another tube in a subscription box I would be thrilled and I would use it. However I don’t think I would purchase it. I actually proffered the moisture in the Mane Club’s Cry Baby Mask, It made my hair soft, hydrated, silk and very manageable. To be honest, it worked a little bit better than the Briogeo. It was also $3 for a pouch that gave me between three and five uses. This mask is $38.

And it isn’t just the price. I also get better results from ESPA Pink Clay hair masks and at $72 per jar, they are more expensive than this Briogeo mask. I just find this Briogeo Mask to be very middle of the road in terms of results. It isn’t the best, but it isn’t bad. Would I use the Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture superfood mask again? Yes, it is a good mask. However, there are other hair masks, both more and less expensive, that I do prefer. It is simply not as stand out as some of the others and would not be my first choice when buying a hair mask. It is nice, I just probably won’t be repurchasing it anytime soon.

The Daily July 1st, 2021

Oh my darlings we have made it to July. I have no idea where june went. It sort of flew by in a haze of stress and pain. Quite frankly i am rather glad to see the back of it.

I have high hopes for July.

And a good feeling.

Today there was an early morning walk to get the blood pumping through the veins and the limbs moving. My legs have mostly recovered from the bike ride earlier in the week. I really do have to figure out a way to set some sort of timer on my bike rides. Perhaps i just need to simply set an alarm on my I-pod so that it interrupts the music when I’ve reached the halfway point.

Its just that once I get going, I tend to stay moving until I have gone way past the point where i know I should have stopped.

I’m sure I will figure it out though. And I do have time. The days are getting hotter and while we may still have a splash of a cool day some time, July and August tend to be brutal here so i am not counting on it. I doubt I will manage to get my bike out again until September.

But the walk was nice.

And the mail actually came early today. Guess what arrived?

My order from The Skin Store. They had a sale going on for Grow Gorgeous (25% off) and since I have been liking their Overnight Hair mask (The review of which I will try to get posted next week) I decided to take advantage of the sale and pick up a shampoo and conditioner set. I am still using (and loving) the Zents Mandarin Shampoo and Water Conditioner so it will be a while before I get to try this out, but i did want to take advantage of the sale. It is still going on by the way, I’ll post the link below for those interested. I figure that my Zents will last until close to the end of the summer and then I will switch up the shampoo and conditioner sets as fall descends. About that time my dye kit from e-salon will come in and while I will probably still dye my own hair, I will be getting a professional to cut my hair.

I have come to the realization that I am useless with anything but trimming the ends. At this point there are no layers left in my hair and that someone other than me really needs to be in charge of trimming my bangs. I made an absolute mess of it this last time. You’d think I’d get better, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. At least by fall they will have grown out again and need a trim, instead of being the overly short and not quite even set I have now.

Yeah, everyone has their own skills and talents. Cutting hair is definitely not in my wheelhouse. while it is good to branch out and try new things, sometimes it is also good to know what you need to delegate to someone else.

As for today’s makeup, I’m afraid there isn’t any. Today I decided that since i wasn’t going to really see anything but a few dog walkers on the walking trail and my computer screen, I would let my skin have the day off to breath. tomorrow i will start testing the natasha Denona Foundation. Doday, I have gone au naturale. Sometimes, you just gotta let the skin breathe.

And now it is time for me to get back to work. I’m hoping to clear off enough paperwork that tomorrow will be a nice and easy slide into the weekend. I’m not counting on it, but hope does spring eternal. I hope the rest of your day is absolutely fabulous.

4th of July Sale! Up to 50% + Extra 10% off Best-Selling Skincare

Ah…now that is a refreshing mask

There is no way not to look just a little bit crazy where wearing a face mask. I’ve accepted this. At least this Purlisse Match Green Tea and Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask doesn’t make me look like I am ineptly attempting bank robbery. It is more of the pie in the face version.

I am quite surprised by the whipped cream look to the mask. With the word Charcoal in the title I thought for certain it would be black. Clearly I was mistaken.

This Purlisse Mask came in a subscription box this month (Birchbox I believe) and after applying one layer I can tell there is enough product left in the tube for two more applications. According to the Purlisse website this $35 mask will…

Detoxify, brighten, and clarify all in one step!


I know, a one sentence description. Technically I don’t think that’s even a full sentence. It is however short, sweet and to the point. And to be honest, Today I don’t feel like long drawn out descriptions. This week started off slow and steady and then got very stressful. To be honest, I was okay with what the oral surgeon had planned, but then they gave me three pages of worst case scenarios to read through. I know legally they have to cover themselves and I know I need to know what is going down before they start, but those were a dramatic and traumatic three pages. It is a back tooth so you can’t see it actually, it just affects me eating.

But it caused stress and as I will not be unwinding with a happy hour tonight as food is problematic and I really don’t think alcohol is a good idea, I made my friday masking time a little longer than usual.

I applied the mask using the masking brush. Mine is from Cosmedics and I do like the rounded edges, but really any silicone brush will work. Using the brush lets me use a little less product as I don’t have bunches stuck to my fingers that I have to wash off. So it lets me get the most out of this small tube.

As I mentioned before, I was not expecting the mask to be white because of the charcoal in the name. However it was. The mask has the consistency of a thick cream and a slight grittiness. I’m guessing those are the charcoal bits. They are very fine grained and when you rub a little bit of the mask between your fingers it feels like there might be a slight exfoliation going on but mostly it feels kind of like a sticky primer. It has that same, slight tacky feel to it.

The scent however is lovely. If you have ever had a bottle of the Lipton Iced tea green tea with lemon then you know what this smells like. This smells exactly the same. Which really shouldn’t come as a surprise as it is a Matcha Green Tea + Lemon face mask. I think I just expected it to smell more like skincare. The scent is very refreshing and the mask applied well.

Once the mask was on, I lit my candle (loving the La Playa Salted Blue Agave by the way – the fresh scent complemented the mask well) and lay back on the bed. Because I wanted something without words to I could just float away, I went with Vivaldi since it is light and frothy and seemed to suit both the mask and the candle.

When my fifteen minutes were over, I regretfully put the music aside and blew out the candle. The mask, while stiffer than when first applied, did not dry down hard and stiff like a clay mask. It stayed supple enough to allow facial movements. As I sometimes like to wear masks while working at my desk, I like to identify what masks I can wear at my desk and still, if necessary answer the phone, even if it is using the speaker function.

Instead of going to the small powder room I use for my skincare needs, I went to the full bathroom and went ahead and took a shower to wash off the mask, and wash my hair (still using the Zents Mandarin Shampoo and Water Conditioner – super fabulous and they continued the fresh theme. Even though I normally go with a hair mask on Saturdays, i decided today was the day i was going to need a little extra destressing time, so I used My ESPA Pink Hair and scalp Mud. It is the one that needs to sit in the hair for about 25 minutes.

I applied the mask,. cleaned out the shower/tub, ran a hot bath and dropped one of the Zents Mandarin Bath Truffles into the water. In addition to smelling absolutely yummy, they have both shea butter and epsom salts in them. My muscles were relaxed and my skin was softened.

More importantly, tension drained.

I did forget my I pod so there was no music, but I did spend quite a lot of soaking time contemplating one of those in shower speakers. I’m thinking that might be an upcoming purchase. We haven’t gotten around to upgrading the bathrooms yet so I am still kicking around ideas as to what i want to do when we do move into fixing up the bathrooms.

Regardless of future improvements, the face mask, hair mask and bath soak did wonders. (I washed out the hair mask at the appropriate time). It was a little longer than I usually take on a Friday. Usually I just have the fifteen minute masking time along with clean up and application time added in. Today I took a little over an hour as a relaxation time and I have to say I do feel much better because of it. It wasn’t over the top extravagant. i used items that I already had in the house, but just taking that little extra time to completely unwind did me a world of good.

I feel better both body and soul and I am confident that my afternoon will be much more productive because of it.

As for the mask, I really liked this Purlisse Match Green Tea and Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal mask. My face feels soft and clean and I am looking forward to using this mask again. It’s light fresh scent makes it a mask I will reach for more in the summer time months, but I think that there will definately be a full sized purchase in my near future.

But for now, it is back to work.

Today there will be no Happy Hour post because quite frankly my treat is going to be a bowl of the Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt from Greek Gods paired with plain bubble water via my soda stream. This will be paired with a couple of Ibuprofen. But oh that happy hour once this dental business is settled will be fantastic. For now though, it is back to work for me so i can slide into the weekend without leaving a load of paperwork behind. I hope the rest of your Friday is productive and that you have a wonderful weekend.

Summer 2021 728x90