Saturday, March 28, 2009

L'Oreal Couleur Experte Express

I love to color my hair. Usually I fork out the obligatory $100 to have a professional do it, but occasionally I just buy a box and go to town.

The one thing I've NEVER been brave enough to do is highlight my hair. That's for the professionals, I thought. Plus, how do you see the back of your hair?

Then I found myself talking to a resident and complimenting her hair, asking where she got her color done. She laughed, then admitted that she and her sister color each other's hair using the "red box" color. I was immediately intrigued.

So I went and got a box of L'Oreal's Couleur Experte in Chocolate Macaroon, a nice medium brown with "warm" highlights. I set out to start this project at 9:45 on a Thursday night, because I'm an idiot. I finished about 11, which was less than ideal, but the results were GREAT!

It really did highlight my hair an appropriate amount for a dark headed person, without getting Marilyn-blonde highlights in my Jackie-dark hair.

So, the point is, I highly recommend this product, with a few caveats:
1. It is a more time consuming process. You color with the all over color, then dry your hair to your normal style, THEN do highlights. So, all told, you need probably a good 1.5 hours. This is a good Friday night or Sunday afternoon project.

2. It might be good to enlist the help of a friend. Or mirrors set up with multiple views. Without mirrors, I might have ended up with a blonde patch behind my left ear.

3. The options offered in the kit include a brush and a little wand that works flat-iron style to make highlights. BUT, the brush includes a hook on the end, for using with a pull through cap (not included, but available at Sally Beauty Supply stores). I used the flat-iron style wand, and it did great, but it made more highlights at the part/crown of my head, which is cute, but next time I will be buying a pull through highlight cap to get a more all-over highlighting. I also think a pull through cap would make it easier to see what you're highlighting and color more evenly.

They make this in colors ranging from super blonde (this is what my friend had tried with GREAT results) to VERY dark with reddish highlights. It ranges about $13-15, and currently at CVS they are offering $5 extra care bucks if you spend $20 on L'Oreal. So this would be a perfect time to try L'Oreal's new sulfate-free line of hair care!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow (just kidding!)

Well! That was a nice little break I took, eh?

I have no excuse. I can't even think of a good reason why. The point is, I was gone for 4.5 months, and now I'm back. Hopefully in a more permanent way.

Since my hiatus has been blog-only, not makeup/hair product free, I have a HUGE list of new things to talk about. Hopefully this will lead to more frequent posting :-)

So the biggest news in my hair related life is that I recently cut off EIGHT inches of my hair! If you know me, this is a huge deal, because I have this moderate phobia about short hair. And if you've known me a long while (long enough to remember when I HAD short hair), then you understand why...but I digress. Main point is that since chopping the hair, I have had a ton of fun trying out new products and being surprised that stuff that USED to work with long hair now doesn't, and what never worked before, now does! It's all very exciting in a "wow, it's lame that excites you" kind of way...

New things I love in hair care:
  1. CHI flat iron - I was originally going to make a post called "Ode to My Chi," but I realized that my position as Last Person In America to latch on to the CHI probably made that a little strange. Yes, I'd tried one before. Yes, it was nice. But hell, my blow dryer and round brush always made better results. But then, over Christmas, my wonderful mother splurged and bought me a CHI on sale at Ulta (aka Heaven). I also got myself some CHI products to use with the flat iron, as I am obviously a product junkie. Now, I cannot stress this enough, people: If you are REALLY willing to invest in a CHI (or a GVP/Sally Beauty version), please please please get some products! They make an amazing difference in the outcome of the straightening. My two favorites: CHI's Silk Infusion and the 44 Guard. Seriously, for as much as you may like the CHI...try these. Insanity. The CHIs are currently on sale at the above link for $90, which is a pretty good deal, or you can try the GVP/Sally's Beauty version for $50. The products are available all over and typically run $10-15.
  2. D'Organiques Original Sprout - This is an organic line that makes hair care. Shampoos, conditioners, styling products. They are completely free of ANYTHING that you might possibly take offense to in a hair product - no hormones, no sulfates, no nothing. And yet, they still work well and have a lovely clean scent. Most of their products are marketed for children, and parents of such children who want pure shampoos. What caught my eye is their line for children with curly hair - a growing little group who often doesn't have many options for hair care. Having somewhat fine (although abundant) curly hair myself, I decided to try their Deep Conditioner on my hair. It's a great daily conditioner for me, and really brings my curls out without enticing the frizz to come. I also picked up some of their Curl Calmer last week, and while it's not tough enough to be a daily styler, it's definitely nice to have to revive/tame down my 2nd day hair. All this is to say I highly recommend this company and their products to anyone with a child, especially one with curly hair. The products are mild and well developed, and smell exactly like I'd want my child's hair to smell (rather than like adult products)! Prices are a touch high, but you can find specials at Ulta (I found them on clearance here!), and at certain hair care specialty stores.
  3. John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze - This product has been around a while, but I recently revisited it to revive my color. As usual, it did not fail to disappoint. Now, to preface - if you want your hair COLORED, don't buy this expecting miracles. This product is good for a few things: a) It maintains current color b) it improves shine and overall texture of hair c) it can, in certain cases, add enough color to give you a slightly noticeable change. I'm a big fan of the Brilliant Brunette, as it keeps my hair the darker brown I prefer, rather than flattening out to a blah color after a few weeks. The other upside to this glaze is that, should you not want any color assistance, they also offer a CLEAR glaze that is just there to give you shine. These run about $8.99 at any drugstore, Target or Walmart.

Ok, here's to getting back "on the wagon" and keeping up with my blogging!