Topic: Hair

Three Wallet-Friendly Products From Umberto Beverly Hills That Protect, Tame and Add Glorious Shine!

Published in: Guest Post, Hair


Umberto Beverly Hills Controller Conditioning Spray ($9.99), Shimmer Shine Spray ($9.99) and Regular Hairspray ($9.99)

NYC summer is in full swing, and it is HOT.

When it’s breazy, it’s bearable, but when it’s not…it’s awful, y’all. I have to wash my hair every day, which is not how I normally like to roll.

When it’s hot like this, my best buddy is dry shampoo, but I’ve also been on the lookout lately for something to add extra texture and shine.

So, as a self-proclaimed greaseball, whenever I’m contemplating a new hair (or skin) product that’s supposed to add shine, I tread very carefully (some shine is good, but some shine is not).

I had such a good experience with Umberto Beverly Hills Lifting Powder recently that I decided to give some of their other products a try, including their $10 Shimmer Shine Spray, Controller Conditioning Spray and Regular Hairspray.

Umberto Savone is a popular stylist and salon owner over in Beverly Hills, and his line of products is exclusive to his salons and Target.

I’ve been trying to find a leave-in conditioner/detangler that doesn’t weigh down my hair for YEARS, and the Controller Conditioning Spray is perfect. It’s my favorite one of these three, and it also does heat protection! Yay!

Surprisingly, I also really like the Shimmer Shine Spray. Because of my oily skin and hair, I’ve never used a spray specifically made for shine before. I was a little nervous to give it a try, but it actually works! It adds QUITE a bit of shine (but not shimmer), and the greasiness depends on how much I use. If I go overboard, it does grease up my roots a bit.

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5 Fab Products for Curly, Kinky Hair

Published in: Guest Post, Hair


My haircare must-haves

When it comes to haircare, I have NO LOYALTY.  I will switch things up in a minute because I usually don’t feel like there’s anything that’s all that unique.  But, despite my persistent product junkie-ism, I find myself always coming back to these five products.

1. Oribe Shampoo For Moisture and Control ($45)

Ok…so this is really expensive ($45!). It’s probably the most expensive hair product I’ve ever used. I tend to go for cheaper hair shampoos and conditioners because of how thick my hair is, and because I go through products super quickly.

Despite wanting to hate this product and my hope that I’d never want to re-purchase it, I have to admit that it’s the ONLY shampoo I’ve ever tried that actually feels moisturizing.

Ironically, as a rule, I mostly only buy “moisturizing” shampoos, but they all leave my hair feeling the same as it ever was. But this shampoo, my goodness, is incredibly moisturizing. It also lathers up into nice, big, refreshing suds. If you’re looking for a haircare splurge, this is it. By the way, the conditioner is great too.

2. Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner ($9)

I’ve tried so many different leave-in conditioners, but I’ve NEVER found one quite like this one. The formula has the perfect consistency (not too thick or thin), it’s an affordable $9, and it just works. I am 100% committed (I actually buy it in bulk on Amazon).

I slather it on my hair when it’s soaking wet in the shower, then comb it through with a wide-tooth comb. It coats and provides lasting moisture, but it doesn’t leave behind a thick residue. Whether I’m going to slick my hair into a bun or add some gel for a wash & go, this is always the first thing on my hair after I wash it.

3. Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Wrap Set Mousse ($6.89)

This little miracle product is the secret to all of my twist-out styles! Here are some pics of the hair styles I do with it:

kat von d shade and light palette

Thanks to ORS Olive Oil Mousse! (Details on this look in this post)


Another look achieved with the help of ORS Olive Oil Mousse (Details on this all-pink makeup look in this post)

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With John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse and Forever Full Hairspray, a Blowout at Home Is Easy and Affordable!

Published in: Guest Post, Hair

hairspray, john frieda

These products may make you feel blazin’ hot, but don’t handle them near an open flame! The John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse ($6.99, left) and Forever Full Hairspray ($6.99, right)

If you live in the NYC area or, well, any area that has a few hair salons, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a blowout. Blowout salons are VERY popular around these parts, and for good reason. Your hair looks fabulous afterward! — and the style lasts for days.

But blowouts get expensive after a while, which is why I only get them when I get my hair cut/colored.

What’s a thin-haired girl to do?

When I wash my hair, I don’t blow dry it often because of its texture, but sometimes I still crave a finished, full hair look.

When I do improv and give myself a “blowout” at home, here are the products I use to help get my baby fine hair looking voluminous and shiny.

Here’s my hair right after a wash…

wet hair, thin hair,

Fresh out of the shower, my thin hair is already almost dry.

Now, I don’t do my home blowouts like many people do because I don’t use a round brush. Because round brushes cause more knots in my hair (yes, it’s that cranky). Instead I use a comb and my hands.

Lately I’ve been washing my hair with Loreal Everpure Volume Shampoo. It’s color-safe and has lovely notes of rosemary and juniper, and I don’t find it to be stripping at all.

Next is the actual drying, and I always make sure to spray a heat protectant in my hair before I start, as well as a little bit of Dove Serum in Oil.

Flipping my head upside-down, I dry my hair until it’s about 80% dry, then turn to part one of this duo…

I wasn’t impressed by earlier iterations of this line, but these I like. Mousse is always SUPER tricky for me, it either weighs my hair down to the point that I need to wash my hair again the next day, or it makes my haircrunchy, but the Perfectly Full and Forever Full formulas from the Luxurious Volume line have been doing a great job for me lately.

mousse, john frieda, luxurious volume,

I tried very hard to get this in the shape of a meringue, which is what mousse always reminds me of…

As far as fragrance goes, well…it smells like mousse. Less like hairspray (not as heavy on the chemicals), and more like a light mix of clean and floral.

The product itself feels very light and almost a little too watery, so be careful because it might just melt in your hands.

After scrunching a bit into my hair, especially at the crown of my head, I finish by blowdrying on low with the diffuser attachment, and to avoid knots, I continuously comb/finger-comb my hair while I’m drying.

I’ve been OBSESSED with this comb right here, and I was devastated when mine broke a few days ago. Even more tragically, my Target hasn’t been stocking it anymore. 🙁 Thank goodness for Amazon!

And here’s what my hair looks like when I’m done…

thin hair, luxurious volume,

A decent bit of volume for a thin-haired gal!

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Revisiting Old Friends With Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner

Published in: Guest Post, Hair, Herbal Essences

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner ($4.99)

As I sit writing this, I’m riding the Amtrak 69 train from NYC toward my hometown of Moriah, New York. I haven’t been home in a while, and it’s my grandmother’s birthday this weekend, so a lot of my cousins who I haven’t seen in a long while are going to be in town.

Making the trip by myself can be tiresome, but the scenery is nice. The Adirondack train runs daily from New York City to Montreal (and vice versa), so it’s a convenient, albeit long, trip (about as long as driving would take with stops to rest).

This week, in the spirit of visiting old friends and family, I also decided to revisit a shampoo I’ve tried before, but not since they updated the packaging and, I assume, reformulated it.

Now it’s called Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo ($4.99), but I think it used to be called Herbal Essences Naked Volume when it first came out. I remember being less than thrilled about the original version.

When I tried it back then, I was looking for something affordable that would cleanse my hair well and didn’t contain parabens and all that. The Herbal Essences Naked line was an affordable option.

While the Naked Clean and Refresh line (there’s also a $4.99 conditioner) isn’t marketed as “cleansing,” the combo gets the job done.

My hair is ultra-thin and fine, so experimenting with new shampoos and conditioners is always perilous. I don’t wash my hair often (maybe twice a week), but when I do, I typically alternate between a cleansing shampoo (for when my hair is super greasy or full of dry shampoo) and Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioning Shampoo, because I’m not about that brassy life. And some days I’ll use a combination of both.

The (new?) formula

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo definitely doesn’t lack in lather potential. If you’re a dime-sized amount user (short hair), you should get a good lather, but it shouldn’t be too much. I use about a quarter-sized amount for my hair and get a lot of nice suds.

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5 Hair and Skin Care Products I Currently Can’t Live Without

Published in: Guest Post, Hair, Skin Care

Best Hair and Skin Care Products

Dove Advanced Regenerative Nourishment Serum-in-Oil ($5.99), Ponds Wet Cleansing Towelettes in Evening Soothe ($5.49), Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser ($9.99), KMS California Stay Dry Xtreme Hairspray ($19.50), and Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask ($15.99)

I spent a few lonely days this month keeping myself occupied while my boyfriend was out of the country for work. While he was away, I tested some new products and, of course, I had my cats and friends for company, and not to mention you lovely readers!

I thought it was high time to share some of the hair and skin care products I’ve been absolutely loving lately, so here they are. A lot of these are things I didn’t necessarily expect to like, but now I’m singing their praises.

1. Dove Advanced Regenerative Nourishment Serum-in-Oil

When Dove Advanced Regenerative Nourishment Serum-in-Oil ($5.99) caught my eye, I was interested…but I wasn’t convinced I actually needed it. I only wash my thin, often flat hair once or twice a week to avoid excess oil, so adding more oil to my hair wasn’t something I was inclined to do. But it has actually helped.

The pump dispenses the perfect amount for my hair!

One pump dispenses a perfect amount!

Normally I use about one pump, and then I flip my hair upsidedown and massage that through my ends — but only my ends, and maybe to around the middle of the length of my hair, but never to the roots.

That’s been the key to not having the oil increase the oil already atop my head.

My ends do tend to get a little brittle at times, and Dove Advanced Regenerative Nourishment Serum uses a mixture of palm, coconut, sweet almond, and sunflower seed oils. Oddly enough, it actually does leave my ends feeling light and fluffy.

2. KMS California Dry XTreme Hairspray

I don’t have a ride-or-die hairspray, so I usually bounce from brand to brand. KMS wasn’t a brand I’d previously heard of before, but now thanks to KMS California Dry XTreme Hairspray ($19.50) it’s one I will definitely repurchase from.

Dove Advanced Series Regenerative Nourishing Serum-in-Oil and KMS Dry Xtreme hairspray.

Dove Advanced Series Regenerative Nourishing Serum-in-Oil and KMS Dry Xtreme hairspray

This hairspray tames my flyaways and still leaves me able to run my fingers through my hair at the end of the day. Seriously, there’s nothing more annoying than trying to brush your hair or run your fingers through your hair quickly and actually pulling out strands. 🙁

3. Ponds Evening Soothe Cleansing Towelettes

When my boyfriend was out of town, I spent a lot of time with friends, and that often involved being out late. Several of my friends are leaving the city after graduate school, so I took the week to spend time with people I haven’t seen in a while. Getting back to my apartment at 2 a.m., though, didn’t leave a lot of time for skin cleansing.

Front and center, Ponds Evening Soothe Cleansing Towelettes

Front and center: Ponds Evening Soothe Cleansing Towelettes

I mentioned liking the original scent Ponds cleansing towelettes in my post about wearing makeup at the gym, and the Evening Soothe ones ($5.49) are just as great when your skin needs a quick cleansing.

Like the regular ones, they aren’t the best at taking off my makeup, but as far as getting off that grimy feeling from the subway and the city in general, they’re top notch.

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