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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rusk Pro Elements Keratin Smoothing Treatment Review+

Hey all! It's time for another review with my favorite beauty blogger Recessionista! If you're new to my blog, we've actually done this before. See our reviews on Sebastian Potion 9, and Joico K-PAK Reconstruct. I love doing stuff like this, it's so much fun! The product I'm doing this time is Rusk Pro Elements Keratin Smoothing Treatment and she's reviewing One 'n Only Brazilian Tech Keratin Smoothing Treatment, which is basically the knock off of this product. And I think it's brazenly obvious that this is a knock off considering the packaging is almost exactly the same...but whatevs! Anyway, check out her review, and YOU decide which one is for you!

This smoothing treatment is "a deep-penetrating treatment formulated with natural keratin, vitamins and proteins to help improve the strength of hair. Formulated for chemically or color-treated hair. Helps protect hair against heat during thermal styling. Keeps hair smooth and shiny." Interesting fact: both bottles say exactly the same thing. Even in the same font. Well anyway, that's mostly a bunch of nice words, but it is actually a great product. It smooths hair without leaving it feeling heavy or dirty. Let's take a look at the ingredients:
Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Keratin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Shea Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Honey, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol.
And the list de-fluffed:
Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Propylene Glycol, Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Keratin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Honey.
Before I say anything, let me just say I'm in looooove with how this smells. It's a coconut lovers heaven! Plus the scent lasts throughout the day without being obnoxious, I love that! :D

Okay so, basically what we have is some excellent conditioning silicones, emollients, and humectants. I've talked about a lot of these already, so I'll discuss some of the more uncommon ingredients. Behentrimonium Methosulfate is an emulsifier used to combine (emulsify) water and oil. Quaternium-91 is another excellent conditioning agent that softens hair and protects color. Keratin and Hydrolyzed Keratin are hair proteins that act like the same kind of protein found in human hair. There is some debate on whether or not they actually work, but they certainly don't hurt a product. And then there's honey. Not only is honey the only food in the world that doesn't spoil, it also has a myriad of uses - it's used in cooking, skin care, haircare, and more. In haircare, it's a humectant used as a moisturizing and conditioning agent, and as a thickener.

Who would I recommend this to? I think all hair types can benefit from this product, especially if you have a problem with smoothing and frizz control. Also, Recessionista pointed out that if you're having problems finding a leave-in smoothing product, try this! It rinses out of your hair and works just as well as a leave-in product! She also pointed out that the directions are extremely vague: "Apply to clean, damp hair. Massage in thoroughly. Leave in 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse and style." Yeah, THAT'S helpful. Well, if you want my opinion, I'd use this as a deep conditioner maybe every other time you shampoo your hair. You don't want to use it too much because it might over-condition your hair. I'd say when you use it, apply it in place of or after your normal conditioner and leave it in for the full 3 minutes (or more if you'd like). Personally I leave my conditioner in for the remainder of my shower, but that's just me.

Rusk Pro Elements Keratin Smoothing Treatment comes in a 150 g / 5.3 oz bottle and retails for around $16. Again, check out Recessionista's review and compare them for yourself. I'd say we both had similar experiences! How about you? Have you tried either the Rusk or the One 'n Only? Comment and let me know your experience!

Also, don't forget to enter my contest to win a Pink Hana Flat Iron! It's open for three more weeks, so tell all your friends! And take care of your hair everyone!
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

HANA Pink 1" Professional Flat Iron Review+

*THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU ALL FOR ENTERING*



Hey everyone! Wellllll, I was lucky enough to be sent an awesome Hana flat iron to review, and I have to tell you... this iron is giving my GHD a run for its money. It's awesome! I was sent this iron from a representative at Misikko.com, one of the best retailers of professional flat irons I've ever seen. Misikko carries all the best flat irons: Hana, CHI, T3, GHD, you name it. They've got amazing deals, a ton of awesome products, and the best customer service I think I've ever come across. I've dealt with a lot of online retailers, and none of them have been as great as Misikko.

This iron (seen above, photo courtesy of Misikko) is in a lovely shade of pink and has 1" floating tourmaline ceramic plates with 5 different temperature settings ranging from 140-450° and it gets hot in like, 10 seconds - no joke. In case you don't know, floating plates mean the plates actually move with your hair, so you don't get those ugly creases typical flat irons can give. It also has an 8ft long swivel cord which I personally love because it's a lot less hassle, and the edges of the plates are curved! You can straighten, curl, or wave your hair with this iron! You all know how much I love versatility in my hair products. ;)


Okay, so while I was waiting for my iron to arrive, I decided to do some research on it... I can't help it, I just.. I have to. Haha, so anyway, a lot of the websites + people I've talked to who own it often compare it to the GHD IV Styler - saying it's just as good, if not better. This really made me skeptical because I L♥VE my GHD. To me, it is the best styling tool I've ever used. G H D = G O D. Can you tell I'm a fan? So when I got my Hana iron in the mail, I started using it/testing it/playing with it immediately, and I can honestly say that it is a serious contender with the GHD Styler.

So then I thought I should do some comparisons of my own with the Hana iron and the GHD. I discovered that though they are extremely similar, they both have certain strengths and weaknesses, in my own opinion, of course.

  • First off, I love the way the Hana iron feels in my hand. It's very lightweight and ergonomically designed versus the very sleek look of the GHD, which isn't uncomfortable at all, but the Hana is designed better.
  • A pro for the GHD, for me at least, is the constant heat setting. I think it's great because it prevents people from setting their irons to hotter temperatures than they need to.
  • I think, after a LOT of testing, that I like the GHD for straightening hair a little bit better than the Hana. I noticed that the Hana requires a few passes of the iron to get it perfectly straight, versus like one or two with the GHD. But, I also noticed that the Hana works better with flat iron sprays than the GHD does.
  • However, the Hana ROCKS at curling hair! You can do anything from tight sprial curls, to loose beachy waves with this iron. The GHD is good at it, but I think the Hana is better.
  • As far as cost goes, I think they're both in the same league. A nice way to say it would be that these tools are investments, and they are, but to put it bluntly: they're expensive. But what I love about Hana and GHD is that they both have pretty awesome gift sets all the time, that are really worth your while, especially the Hana gift sets from Misikko. They've got a bunch and they're all really amazing deals!
In the end I was extremely impressed with my Hana flat iron. It works amazingly well on all hair types, and the price and quality is comparable with other professional flat irons. And if you're in the market for a new iron, there's good news!

I'M GIVING ONE AWAY!
ISN'T THAT AWESOME?!

My first giveaway! I'm so excited!!! The lucky winner will receive an amazing Hana 1" Pink Professional Flat Iron courtesy of Misikko.com! Just like the one in the picture! To enter, all you have to do is:
  • Follow this blog using the Follow button on the right sidebar. (Required)
  • Leave a comment with your name and a valid email address, and tell me what kind of iron you have now, if you do have one, and why you want the Hana Professional Flat Iron. (Required)
If you want extra bonus entries you can do any/all of these too! Please leave a comment for each individual extra entry, it's easier to count them that way.
  • Follow @HeartStarBolt (me!) on Twitter! Comment this post with your username. (1 bonus entry)
  • Follow @Misikko on Twitter! Comment this post with your username. (1 bonus entry)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (one tweet per day): "Win a Pink Hana Professional 1" Flat Iron from @Misikko + @HeartStarBolt here: http://bit.ly/9pk55N" Comment with a link to your tweet! (1 bonus entry)
  • Blog about this giveaway on your blog/website! Comment with a link to it! (3 bonus entries!!!)
  • Join the Misikko Newsletter! Comment with the email you provided the newsletter. (3 bonus entries!!!)

You can enter from now until 5/16 at 11:59 PM CDT. The winner will be chosen on 5/17 via Random.org and notified the following day! I can't wait to see what happens! Good luck to you all and take care of your hair! XOXO

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kenra Platinum Hot Spray Review

Hello, hello! Today I'm reviewing Kenra Platinum Hot Spray, ultimate thermal protection with long lasting, firm hold. On the Kenra Hold Index of 0 - 26 (none - super), Hot Spray has a hold index of 20. If I were to compare it to another product, I'd compare it to Redken Spray Starch 15... although I think I like Hot Spray more. Hot Spray is actually much more versatile than Spray Starch is: I can use it with any hot tool, the scent is more appealing (kind of fruity, maybe pineapple?) and I can also use it as a light hold hairspray. And when I use Spray Starch first of all I don't love the scent, and I find that it's a bit too wet when it sprays. I don't like using it with flat irons either - it just makes the hair too flat. I do like both Spray Starch and Hot Spray for curling and with hot rollers. But, if I'm gonna reach for one, I'd probably go for Hot Spray.

What's so awesome about Hot Spray? Let's take a peek at the ingredient list and find out. First the whole ingredient list:
SD Alcohol 40-2, Water, Vinyl Acetate/Crotonic Acid/Vinyl Neodecanoate Copolymer, Octylacrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Polymer, Benzophenone-3, Fragrance, Disiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Aminomethyl Propanol, Potassium Hydroxide.
And when we take out the fluff, we're left with:
SD Alcohol 40-2, Vinyl Acetate/Crotonic Acid/Vinyl Neodecanoate Copolymer, Octylacrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Polymer, Benzophenone-3, Disiloxane, Cyclomethicone.

Basically what we're left with is a bunch of long-winded ingredients that are hair fixatives (the first three), UV protection (Benzophenone-3), and silicone (Disiloxane + Cyclomethicone). I wish I could tell you why these ingredients have so many names, but I'm not a cosmetic chemist so I don't know. If any of my readers knows a cosmetic chemist and wants to ask them WTF is up with these names, that'd be great. :D

If you use any kind of hot tool on your hair, and I'm guessing most of you do because it's 2010 and freaking everybody does, then I strongly recommend giving Hot Spray a shot. It's rare that a product like this is so versatile that you can use it with any styling tool, usually if it's good for one tool, it sucks with the other. Curling irons, flat irons, rollers, whatevers, this product is great!

Kenra Platinum Hot Spray comes in a 8 fl oz / 237 ml bottle, and retails for $17 according to Kenra's website. If you really love it, they also make a liter refill size that retails for $45.

Stay tuned to see what I'll review next, and take care of your hair!
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Redken Wool Shake 08 Review

Hello all! Today I'm reviewing one of the products I got at ABS: Redken Wool Shake 08, a gel-slush texturizer that gives an diffused, unrefined semi-matte "wool" finish. This is for the SERIOUS texture lovers! The first time I tried it, I actually said "Wooooow!" I honestly didn't know what to expect, but I really loved the results. It enhanced my natural wave and gave me all this funky volume and texture. It kind of reminds me of the kind of texture that sea salt sprays give, but with a bit more hold. If you love texture in your hair, this is definitely worth a shot!

If you're familiar with Redken products, you may remember Wool Shake 08 from Redken's Urban Experiment collection (pic at the end). Well, it's back! It's good because I never actually got around to buying Wool Shake 08 back then, so when I saw it at ABS I knew I had to get it. The label looks like the rest of Redken's products, so I'm hoping Wool Shake isn't limited edition anymore, because when I run out I'll definitely buy another one! I love the masculine scent too, it smells sexy without being overpowering.

So what makes Wool Shake 08 so sexy and awesome? Let's see the full ingredient list here:
Water, Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Propylene Glycol, AMP-Acrylates/Allyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Sorbitol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Polyacrylate-3, Maltodextrin, Coumarin, Linalool, CI 14700/Red 4, CI 15510/Orange 4, Cotton extract, CI 42090/Blue 1.
And without the fluff:
Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Propylene Glycol, AMP-Acrylates/Allyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Sorbitol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycerin, Polyacrylate-3, Maltodextrin.
Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate is a bulking agent used to increase the volume of a product. It's also used to increase viscosity. Propylene Glycol is a humectant used to keep moisture in your hair and not dry it out. AMP-Acrylates/Allyl Methacrylate Copolymer is a film former. Sorbitol is a humectant that comes from fruits and berries. Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is an emulsifier, and can be used as a fragrance ingredient. Glycerin is used as a lubricant and humectant in hair products; it attracts water to skin + hair and locks it in, keeping your hair from drying out. Polyacrylate-3 is another film former. Film formers do pretty much what they say: they form a film around your hair and give hold. Maltodextrin is an emulsifier/binding agent. I think this is why you have to shake the product to activate it.

Who would I recommend this to? People who aren't afraid of texture in their hair. Anyone from people who have baby fine hair to normal hair would definitely benefit the from this product. I probably wouldn't recommend this to people with coarse hair, because coarse hair already has a lot of texture. Wool Shake 08 can enhance your natural wave, gives lots of volume and it gives a lot of awesome texture without making your hair feel like straw, like some products do. Anyway, basically what you do is just shake it up and spray it into dry hair and scrunch while you're spraying. You can use it to finish your style too. It says the finish is semi-matte, but I think it depends on how much you use. I noticed that when I only use a couple sprays, it doesn't really matte out my hair. When I use a lot, the semi-matte effect is more noticeable.

Redken Wool Shake 08 comes in a 5fl oz. / 145 ml bottle and retails for around $15.

Another review wrapped up! There are plenty more reviews to come, AND my giveaway starts soon! Keep reading and take care of your hair! ;-)

Oh by the way, here's what Wool Shake 08 used to look like:
Look familiar? I think I like the new packaging better.
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

L'Oreal Solar Sublime After-Sun Shampoo + After-Sun Nourishing Balm Review

Hey guys! Since summer is coming soon I figured I'd start reviewing more summer-related products, like L'Oreal Professionnel Solar Sublime After-Sun Shampoo + Solar Sublime After-Sun Nourishing Balm. If you're someone who spends a LOT of time in the sun, you already know how much the sun's rays dry out your hair - ESPECIALLY for color-treated hair! UV rays will fade your color and dry out your hair in the worst way, so your hair needs as much protection as your skin does! That's where Solar Sublime comes in, it's perfect for thirsty hair that's been in the sun too long. It also has UV filters to protect your hair from drying out. Also, the scent is fantastic - like fresh peaches!

First I'll start with the After-Sun shampoo pictured above. It cleans my hair and gets rid of any chlorine/salt deposits on your hair. That's definitely a plus for me because I hate using those special swimmer's shampoos to get rid of chlorine in your hair. They always strip my hair somethin' awful. It also lathers up nicely and it's super moisturizing. However, I do notice that when my hair is healthier and not as dry, it can be a bit heavy. So I'd definitely recommend this more to people with really dry, parched hair looking to protect it from the sun. Oh, and the entire Solar Sublime line is color-safe.

As always, let's see the ingredients, starting with the full list:
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Dimethicone, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Cocamide MIPA, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate, PPG-Ceteth-20, Sodium Methylparaben, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Carbomer, DMDM Hydantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Methyl Cocoate, Sodium Cocoate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance.
And the list minus the fluff:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Dimethicone, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Cocamide MIPA, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate, PPG-Ceteth-20, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Benzoate, Methyl Cocoate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Hydroxide.

So as you can see, this shampoo isn't sulfate-free, however Sodium Laureth Sulfate isn't super harsh like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. In a product like this, you need an effective cleanser. Dimethicone is a silicone; it's an effective conditioning agent. Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate works to clean the skin and hair, increase foaming capacity/stabilize foam, and enhance the body + sheen of damaged hair. Glycol Distearate is a conditioning agent that also increases the viscosity of a product and gives it that creamy, pearly look. Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride is another excellent conditioning agent, especially for damged, chemically-treated hair. Methyl + Sodium Cocoate are surfactants made from coconut oil that also improve spreadability of a product. Surfactants made from coconut oil are very moisturizing.

Next I'll talk about the After-Sun Nourishing Balm (deep conditioner). This seriously smells just like fresh peaches, way more than the shampoo, but it's not overpowering. It's just delicious. And even though I hate when conditioner comes in a pot, I really like this stuff. It's super moisturizing and makes my hair really soft and adds a lot of shine and slip. I would also just use it as a deep conditioner, even if I haven't been outside in the sun or the pool, that's how much I like it.

The full ingredient list:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Lanolin, Methylparaben, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate, Trideceth-6, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Benzoate, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Fragrance.
The de-fluffed ingredient list:
Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Lanolin, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate, Trideceth-6, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetrimonium Chloride.
What we're left with is a pretty basic, yet very effective conditioner. Cetearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol and is an excellent conditioner. So is Behentrimonium (and Cetrimonium) Chloride, which is derived from rapeseed oil. Glycerin adds slip and shine to hair, but it's useless in a rinse-off product like conditioner. Amodimethicone is a light silicone that softens hair and tames frizzies. Cetyl Esters are emollients derived from coconut oil. Lanolin is an extremely effective emollient that comes from sheep's wool. It can also be used as a base and an emulsifier. Trideceth-6 is another emulsifier. Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E) is a very potent antioxidant that helps skin + hair against pollution, free radicals, etc.

So overall this isn't my everyday shampoo + conditioner, but it'll be handy to have in the summer time when I try to spend as much time outside as I can! Summer Tip: When you're going swimming, put some leave-in conditioner in your hair before you get in the water for some added protection against the chlorine. This is especially important for BLONDES - it helps to prevent your hair from turning green and/or brassy!

That's all for now! Take care of your hair! ♥
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

KMS Makeover Spray Review

Hello everyone! I don't know about you guys, but the weather here in Chicago has been CRAZY lately! Yesterday it was so hot and muggy out I actually had to turn the A/C on, and today it's so cold and rainy I'm turning up the heat! I hope I don't get sick. That would suck. I've already been sick once this year, I think that's enough.

But crazy weather aside, I'm very excited to review this next product: KMS HairPlay Makeover Spray - a matte spray that absorbs excess oil and refreshes your hair in-between shampoos. I'm a big fan of KMS, and one day I just happened to stumble upon this Makeover Spray. The name sounded interesting, so naturally I got it without even reading what it was. You know me: if it sounds cool, I'm getting it. So, when I got home and actually read the label, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was (basically) a dry shampoo. What it does is it absorbs the excess oil in your hair, without the heavy/cakey feeling that some dry shampoos tend to leave. The bottle says it's a matte spray, but I've used it several times (even my mom uses it) and given that the product has no hold, the matte effect is only temporary. Once the product sinks into your hair then it looks normal, neither matte or oily looking.

So what makes this Makeover Spray so good? Let's look at the ingredients. First the entire ingredient list:
Pentane, Hydrofluorocarbon 152a, Alcohol Denat., Rice Starch, Water, Propylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Grape Fruit Extract, Peppermint Leaf Extract, PCA, Tartaric Acid, Sorbitol, Pyruvic Acid, Malic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Fragrance.
Now let's see it without the fluff:
Pentane, Hydrofluorocarbon 152a, Alcohol Denat., Rice Starch, Propylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, PCA, Tartaric Acid, Sorbitol, Pyruvic Acid, Malic Acid, Glycolic Acid.
I like that this product isn't loaded with a bunch of fluff. Pentane and Hydrofluorocarbon 152a are propellants that shoot the product out of an aerosol can. Alcohol Denat. (denatured alcohol) can give a product hold and may be drying to hair and skin. This is actually a good thing in a product like this. Rice Starch is an absorbent substance sometimes used in place of talc. Propylene Glycol, PCA, Sorbitol, and Glycerin are humectants that draws in moisture. Lactic, Tartaric, Pyruvic, Malic, and Glycolic Acid are all part of the same group of organic acids known as Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA). They are used to exfoliate, adjust pH, soften skin, and more.

I actually much prefer using Makeover Spray over dry shampoo. I feel like dry shampoos promise too much and only certain people can use certain brands - you know what I mean? Like, my friend Recessionista reviewed Tresemme's new dry shampoo and well, basically hated it - but a lot of her followers commented and said they love it! Dry shampoo is just one of those products that's gonna work differently for everyone. So yeah, Makeover Spray isn't totally a dry shampoo. It's like the diet Coke of dry shampoos - same effect, less mess. By the way, it smells just like the rest of the KMS HairPlay line: polar grape. It has the cool, refreshing scent of peppermint with a hint of grape; I love it! I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a dry shampoo type of product, especially those with finer hair.

KMS HairPlay Makeover Spray comes in a 5.3 oz / 152 g can, and retails for around $15.

Giveaway coming soon! Keep reading, and take care of your hair! ;-)


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Friday, April 2, 2010

America's Beauty Show + Haul!

Hey guys! Man, this year's ABS was so much fun! I've got a bunch of new stuff to show you! Okay so, this was my third year going to ABS, and coincidentally it's also the third year that's it's been held at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. Before that I think it was held at the Rosemont Center. Anyway, even though the show was a blast, I felt like it was a bit less organized than last year. It was just like aisles upon aisles upon aisles, and it was kind of confusing/overwhelming. But for the most part, it was fun! Almost everyone in the industry was there, ranging from haircare, skincare, esthetic's, makeup, massage/wellness, nails, you name it. However, I was severely disappointed that White Sands wasn't there, because they make this awesome hairspray called Stuck Up + I get two cans of it every year. But other than that I got everything I needed and a lot of stuff I wanted!

Okay so, I really did mean to take more pictures of the exhibits and stuff - but with all the mayhem going on, I didn't take as many as I wanted... but I still got a few! And I'll get to the Haul after these.



The picture on the top is what you saw before you entered... *heavenly music* On the bottom is Redken's booth, one of the first ones you see when you walk in. Sam Villa was there too, demonstrating his cool irons. Redken also had some of the best deals in the whole place.


The pic on the top shows the Hempz booth and the Pearatin booth. Hempz emphasizes the many uses of hemp/hemp seed oil. I think it's in all their products. Pearatin is an amazing brand, and I'll be reviewing a couple of their products soon. The pic on the bottom is Rusk, they really do beautiful work. Their DeepShine color line creates gorgeous results, and their models were really pretty! Rusk also makes great products, I've really been getting into them lately!


The top pic is Kenra's booth, theirs was one of the nicest looking. Very clean + simple. Kenra makes great products, but I don't love how some of them smell. I also think some of them are a bit overpriced, but it's still a great brand. The bottom pic is Sally Beauty Supply, I think they had like three or four booths. Pretty much everyone at ABS was carrying a big red Sally's bag, myself included. As the day went on, the crowd started getting thicker and I was constantly getting beaten with one of those bags! LOL! Oh well, it happens.


On the top was Dermalogica, an excellent skincare brand. If you've never tried their products, you really should give them a shot. On the bottom was Tabatha Coffey at the Matrix booth. She was holding some competition for students working on magazines. Oh my god, the people went CRAZY! She was throwing shirts, and everyone was screaming and going nuts, I had to get outta there! But it was cool seeing her.


The pic on the top was taken for my dear friend Wes (check out his blog BETTERby30) because it's his favorite - and now discontinued - shampoo. I almost bought some, but I needed to buy other things. Sorry Wes! On the bottom is a pic of some of the eyeshadows from Medusa's Makeup, some of the prettiest makeup I've ever seen. Everything was so bright and sparkly, it was hard to look away!


On the top was a quick pic taken of some models with these crazy headpieces on! They were walking fast so I had to shoot it quick, lol! The shirt you see on the bottom was what I wore, isn't it cool? It's like a phoenix made out of scissors and blades with these cool metallic royal blue reflects on it.

Now on to the Haul! There were a lot of amazing products there, and I got everything I needed and a bunch of stuff I wanted! What I really needed were new brushes, because mine were getting really worn out. The rest... well just take a look!

Here's a kit I got from Redken containing three of their latest products: Matte Sponge 05, Velvet Gelatine 07, and Wool Shake 08. They're all really cool, funky texture products that I can't wait to review for you guys!

The Redken bag was included with any Redken purchase, and it's one of those cool bags that come in a tiny zipper bag and unfold into a big tote. The Matrix tote is similar to the Sally's ones everyone was carrying around. I can't get enough bags! I honestly use all of them until I wear them out, so I always get as many as I can.

The CosmoProf booth was having an INSANE sale on GHD products - $2.00 a piece! So I got a few: A box full of 7 Indulgence Treatment weekly conditioning mask, Obedience Cream for Frizz-Free Styling, Remedy Cream Daily Leave-In Treatment, Sea Spray for Matte Waves. I can't wait to start trying + reviewing this stuff!

Of course I had to get some TIGI products! This is probably my favorite tote I've ever gotten! It's so bright and unlike anything I have, even if it's a bit small. The tote was actually a kit that contained three color brushes, a pair of gloves, a foiling comb, and a really nice apron!

I also got a set of 10 TIGI PRO clips. I much prefer clips like these as oppose to jaw clips, they're much easier to work with! I also got a set of four brushes from Monroe, an awesome brush company. There are three round brushes and a teasing brush, and they all have boar bristles. I'm already in love with them!
Here's a bunch of samples and other little stuff, including a shiny new pin for my stylist jacket! I get one every year. The last one I got was a silver scissor and comb with jewels similar to this one. It sparkles so nice!

Okay so, here's a funny story: So I was at the show with my mom, my sister, and my uncle's girlfriend. We had been walking around for a while and came across this booth with a bunch of makeup and professional makeup brushes. So my sister and my uncle's girlfriend went over to look and me + my mom went to sit and rest near the Rusk stage cos it was right there. So they come back and join us, and we continued on looking around the show. By this time, I kind of noticed that my bag felt a little heavier, but we had gone over to the Redken booth and after that we were gonna leave so I got distracted and I didn't think anything of it. By the time we left ABS, and got in the car to leave I was going through all my stuff and I noticed that this Rusk kit had appeared out of nowhere. I was like ".....What's this?" My mom and my sister both turned around and were shocked that this Rusk kit had appeared out of nowhere! My mom told me to check to see if I had gotten someone else's bag, but no - it was all my stuff! We figured out someone must have mistaken their bag for mine and put it in there, which was easy to do considering practically everyone was carrying their stuff in a big red Sally's bag. So... lucky me! I got a Rusk color kit for free! It came with a liter of 20 volume developer and 5 different shades of red. Isn't that wild though? I still have no idea how it happened! LOL!


Well, at the end of the day, I think we all got what we wanted and we all had an amazing time! I can't wait for next year! Did any of you go? I wanna hear all about it and see if anyone else got a surprise in their bag like I did lol! I hope you liked my haul, and my little story. Until next time, take care of your hair! XOXO
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

S-Factor Diamond Dreams Shampoo + Conditioner Review

Hey everyone! Wow, ABS was a BLAST!!! There were so many awesome booths, and there was all this craziness - but I got a bunch of stuff to show you all pretty soon, sit tight!

Since I'm feeling so fabulous about ABS, I figured I'd post about another thing that makes me feel fabulous: S-Factor Diamond Dreams Sulfate-Free Shampoo + Conditioner infused with Diamonds, Cashmere, Champagne & Pearls. You've seen it in my hauls (here and here), and I've been using it for a few months so I figured a review is in order! S-Factor is kind of like, TIGI's high-end, luxury line. I've used a lot of S-Factor products, and I have to admit that even though they cost a bit more, they've all really impressed me. Diamond Dreams is a relatively new part of the S-Factor line, and I was dying to get it for the longest time, but like always I would hold back and say "Yeah, I'll get it next time." Fortunately, with the help of some birthday money, "next time" actually came! It is, without a doubt, the richest, most luxurious shampoo and conditioner I've ever used. That being said, I'm not gonna act like this is something that everyyyyone absolutely NEEDS to have, because it's definitely a luxury item... and if I didn't have that birthday money I probably still wouldn't have it. But I'm glad I do!

Let's start with the shampoo. I think the thing I love most about the shampoo, well both actually, is the scent - ohmigod, it is the most heavenly intoxicating scent I think I've ever smelled. Since so few companies actually say what the fragrance in their products is supposed to be, I read on some website that it's blackberry lychee. I'm not sure what a lychee is (I think it's a berry) but if they smell like this then I want some! The shampoo is sulfate-free, and offers "An ultra-luxe complex with diamond dust, cashmere & champagne extracts & crushed pearl to indulge hair and provide • brilliant shine • ultra hydration • superior strength • antioxidant power" Now, you all know these really have nothing to do with how the product performs, but doesn't it sound awesome? Haha! I have to say that for a sulfate-free shampoo, it really cleans my hair well. That's saying a lot, considering I put a lot of product in my hair everyday and have to wash it everyday. It doesn't dry my hair out or fade my color. So let's see what really makes this product work. First the whole ingredient list:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinaye, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycerin, Fragrance, Cocamide MEA, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Quaternium-91, Glycol Distearate, Pehnoxyethanol, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer Disodium, Cocoamphodiacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Acrylates/Vinyl Neodecanoate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-44, Polyquateruim-55, Citric Acid, Amodimethicone, Wine Extract, Soy Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Cottonseed Protein, Sunflower Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Wool, Polyquaternium-10, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Laureth-9, Polyquaternuim-67, Trideceth-12, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Pearl Extract, Methylisothiazolinone, Butylene Glycol, Diamond Powder, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Amyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Mica, Titanium Dioxide.

The ingredient list without the fluff:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinaye, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycerin, Cocamide MEA, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Quaternium-91, Glycol Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer Disodium, Cocoamphodiacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Acrylates/Vinyl Neodecanoate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-44, Polyquateruim-55, Citric Acid, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-10, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Laureth-9, Polyquaternuim-67, Trideceth-12, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol.
As you can see, sulfate-free shampoos are much more complicated than normal shampoos. Most of it is just gentle cleansing and conditioning agents. As such, I'm not going into too much detail about every single ingredient - but I will talk about a few of them. Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a synthetic surfactant made from coconut oil. It's also used in conditioner as an an anti-static agent, in cosmetics as a thickener/emulsifier, and also seems to be replacing Cocamide DEA. Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is used to enhance the appearance and feel of hair by adding shine, body, and improving the texture of damaged hair. PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate is another surfactant, and an emulsifier. PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate is an emollient that enhances shine and provides a silicone-like feel to hair. Trideceth-12 is a PEG used as a surfactant, sometimes derived from vegetable oil. Butylene Glycol is a humectant and an emollient often found in personal care products; it's used to draw in moisture to hair and skin.

I absolutely love the conditioner, too! It's got the perfect consistency for me. It's thick and creamy as opposed to being too thin or thick and goopy, and conditions my hair extremely well without making it feel heavy or dirty. I can also use any products on my hair afterward, unlike some conditioners where it feels like if I put any other product in my hair, it'll totally weigh it down and look bad... you know what I mean? It has the same scent as the shampoo, but it's a bit more toned down. I guess they don't want you to get sick of it - although I never could. The label is also the same, but in place of "superior strength" this has "superior manageability." So now, here is the ingredient list:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Parfum (Fragrance), Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonim Methosulfate, Propylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate Glycol, Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Quaternium-91, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Ceteth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Divinydimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Polyquaternium-55, Dicetyl Phosphate, Sunflower Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Polyquaternium-37, Aminomethyl Propional, Olive Fruit Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Wine Extract, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Soy Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Cottonseed Protein, Hydrogenated Castor Oil/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Sunflower Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Wool, Butylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Pearl Extract, Methylisothiazolinone, Disodium EDTA, Diamond Powder, Cetrimonium Bromide, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Amyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Mica, Titanium Dioxide
And when we take out all the fluff, we're left with:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonim Methosulfate, Propylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycol Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Quaternium-91, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Ceteth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Polyquaternium-55, Dicetyl Phosphate, Polyquaternium-37, Aminomethyl Propional, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Hydrogenated Castor Oil/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide.
Basically what we're left with is a very rich conditioner, but with really not that many silicones. Good thing too, since everybody seems to be so anti-silicone lately. Anyway, just like I did with the shampoo, I'll go through some of the ingredients I haven't really talked about before. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient made from coconut oil that forms a barrier on hair and skin to prevent moisture loss. Glycol Distearate is what's used to create that cool pearly effect in shampoos and other cosmetics. Technically it is fluff, but I figured I'd talk about it anyway since it's so common. Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer is a film former derived from silicone. C12-13 Pareth-23 is used as an emulsifier. Cetrimonium Bromide is a cationic conditioner that adds shine.

Wow, that was a lot of typing. My fingers kind of hurt. I hope I don't have pancake butt from sitting in this chair for so long. Maybe it would help if I didn't distract myself so much, but whatevs, no big deal.

So who would I recommend this to? Everyone. I doubt anyone could not absolutely love Diamond Dreams. Unless you're someone who doesn't like products that have a strong scent, or you don't like sulfate-free shampoo, or silicones. However, like I said before, it really is a luxury item - and no one really NEEDS to have it... but I'll definitely be re-purchasing it in the bigger tween size. It probably is too much for some people's budget, but I haven't found a shampoo and conditioner that I actually want to rane-purchase in a long time, so it's kind of a big deal for me LOL!

S-Factor Diamond Dreams Shampoo + Conditioner comes in an 250 ml / 8.45 fl oz. bottle and both retail for around $25. The Tween size is 750 ml / 25.36 fl oz. and they both retail for around $35.

My ABS post/haul will be up tomorrow! Until then, take care of your hair! =)
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