Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Conair Infiniti Pro 3Q
Conair Infiniti Pro 3Q

Conair Infiniti Pro 3Q ($119.99) is a new, upcoming hair dryer slated for launch this September at retailers like Ulta, Target, etc. It’s big promises are that it “reduces drying time by up to 70%,” “40% less noise with patent-pending noise reduction technology,” and the brushless motor means that the “life of the dryer[is extended] by up to 10x.” Conair says it has 19,000 revolutions per minute compared to 16,000-18,000 for standard AC/DC motors. It also uses ionic and titanium ceramic technology. There are three heat settings, two speed settings, and a cold button.

I’m a long-time fan of T3’s Featherweight series of blow dryers, and their various models have been my go-tos for years now. I was very curious to see how this top-end model from Conair would compare to my T3s. The Infiniti Pro 3Q dries down my hair enough within 10 minutes that it’s mostly dry (I have a lot of hair–my last hairdresser said I had enough hair for three people–and it is thick), and it keeps the frizz and fly-aways at bay overall. I used it with its regular nozzle as well as the larger diffuser (but you need to attach one or the other, as it’s like being in a wind tunnel otherwise!). I didn’t like how either attached, because you have to pop it in or out with some force, and it caused a lot of the interior paint to chip. My heavier hair did cause the larger diffuser to occasionally pop off (once every other use). I wish they screwed on rather than popped in and out.

It is a lot quieter than my hair dryer from high school, but it doesn’t seem much quieter than most of the updated, mid-end to high-end dryers on the market. I can’t really measure it other than just how it sounds to me, but it wouldn’t occur to me to describe it as quiet. It was fairly lightweight and comfortable to hold in the hand, though the handle could have been a bit longer to avoid accidentally changing one of the settings while in use. I really liked that the cold button would lock in place, rather than having to press and hold.

There is a major downside to the Pro 3Q that makes it a complete deal-breaker for me, which is that due to my longer hair, it gets sucked into the back of the dryer (the opposite of where the air comes out). When it sucks big clumps of hair, it just sits there on the exterior (there’s a grate about 3/4″ inside the back that goes across) and reduces air flow and is more annoying than anything else, but when it gets a few strands, it yanks and pulls the hairs into the dryer. This happened constantly to me, but I have longer hair than average, I would say, so it may not be a problem if you have shorter hair.

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Friday, December 14th, 2012

T3 Featherweight 2 Hair Dryer
T3 Featherweight 2 Hair Dryer

Hot Pink Hair Dryer? By T3? I’m There!

I’m a huge, long-time fan of T3’s Featherweight hair dryers (it’s a three-time Editor’s Choice Award winner). I actually have my original one, still, that’s almost four years old, along with the travel-sized version and the Evolution. I gave my mom a Featherweight 2, which she loves and probably uses hers more than I do.  For me, this product completely changed my willingness to blow dry my hair and solved a lifelong problem I had.  My hair is long, thick, and there’s just so much of it, and blow drying would take upwards of an hour or longer (at which point, I’d give up).  With the T3, I’m ready to go in 10-15 minutes. You can read my original review here.

So, when I received the T3 Featherweight 2 Hair Dryer in glorious HOT PINK, I couldn’t wait to share photos. It’s SO pink. Even the buttons are pink! It’s QVC’s TSV, so for today, you can pick up the Featherweight 2 (normally $200.00) plus two brushes (Antigravity Barrel Brush and Paddle Brush, $50 if purchased separately) for $149.76.  If you’re not in love with the hot pink, it is also available in white at the same price.  The hot pink coloring is exclusive to QVC until March 2013.

I’m as smitten with the Featherweight today as I was four years ago!  It’s almost like it was made for me — in Temptalia pink. :)

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Monday, July 18th, 2011


What’s in a brush?

Goody Jewel Shine Oval Cushion Brush ($6.49 at Walmart) is a tourmaline-infused brush designed to “smooth hair, minimize static, and enhance shine.” It has a “soft touch handle for a comfortable grip.”  When I sat down to write-up this review, I was trying to figure out how one might evaluate a brush.

For me, I use this brush each morning and evening to run through my hair.  I have long hair (about halfway down my back) that’s mostly straight, but there is some waviness from putting it up regularly.  My hair is thick and there is a lot of it–hairdressers always tell me, “You have enough hair for two people!” (That joke gets old when you’ve heard it for 15 years.)

I like that it runs through my hair easily, doesn’t catch, and there’s enough flexibility in the bristles that I can maneuver it easily through my hair.  It’s lightweight, and the grip is comfortable to hold–I haven’t had the brush fly from my hands yet. My hair doesn’t tangle much, but when I have a few loose tangles, it detangles those well without pulling painfully, because the flex and give of the bristles helps it work through the tangle steadily but surely.

Admittedly, the last brush I was using was FHI Heat’s Cushion Brush, which also used tourmaline as a selling point, so I didn’t see any dramatic difference from when I switched over, which means Goody’s doing a good job at maintaining the status quo at a third of the price!

What do you look for in a good brush?

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Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

MAC Semi-Precious Brushes: 128, 179, 234, 235 Review

Above is a video review and comparison of the upcoming Semi-Precious brushes. I thought that a video would better illustrate size and how they stack up (both in size and shape) to existing brushes.

My overall take on these brushes is that they’re nice but unnecessary. The split effect is unusual but doesn’t seem to be all that useful. I don’t think that these were meant to be gimmicky, but after using them, that’s how the split fibre technique seems.   If you’re expecting one of these brushes to revolutionize your makeup routine, you may be disappointed.  If you’re looking for a particular size/shape and one of these matches that, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  You won’t enjoy much of the split effect if you tend to use the point or edge of your brush, rather than the side.

They feel well-constructed from me, but I can’t vouch for longevity, given I have only had these for a few days.  The ferrules seem sturdy and tight around the bristles.  I had some bristles splayed around the edges of the 179, but the other three brushes were fine.  I did not experience any bleeding dye or post-wash smells.  All four brushes felt exceptionally soft, and none of them felt scratchy during application.  On the handles, all four have “China” imprinted, compared to Japan or France for many (if not all) of the permanent brushes.

I see the 234 being the most popular of the bunch, just because it shares a lot of similarities with the 217, which is one of the more popular brushes.  The 128 is a good size to add to one’s stash of cheek brushes, but it doesn’t replace anything I already have (and I don’t see myself reaching for it).   I am curious to see if that will cause each side to separate a little over time.  Right now, the split is really seamless.

These seem more like specialty brushes, which mean that they function but for particular purposes.  I see them less as becoming a new staple brush in your collection as something you buy with an exact purpose in mind.  MAC has other brushes with well-defined purposes in their permanent line-up, so I would think of these in a similar way.   One doesn’t need every brush MAC makes, but you might find a certain brush more useful than another based on what your needs are.

  • 128 Split Fibre Cheek Brush is a nice brush for smaller cheeks, though it feels a little too dense to apply blush as well as I like the application from the 116. It is very similar in size to the 109 and even to an extent, the shape, but obviously flattened. It’s a densely-packed brush.
  • 179 Angled Split Fibre Buffer Brush is incredibly soft and moves well across the skin. It also feels huge when I use it. I’m not sure just how much utility there is here, compared to a normal buffing brush. I did notice more-than-expected splaying of bristles around the edges after two washes.
  • 234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush seems to be the most useful of the four brushes. I could see using both sides separately but with the same color–say picking up the product with the natural side and then blending with the synthetic side. It is reminiscent of the 217 but not quite as fluffy or as rounded.
  • 235 Split Fibre All Over Eye Brush is like the 214 and 239 had an over-sized baby. Personally, I find the brush too big to be of much use for my eye area. I wouldn’t say I have particularly small eyes (I wouldn’t say I have large ones, either!). It could work well for applying a wash of a single color; perhaps laying down a cream eyeshadow with one side and blending the edges with the other.

To view still photos of these brushes, please see this post.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner
shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner

shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner

shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo ($45.00 for 10 fl. oz.) and Conditioner ($55.00 for 8 fl. oz.) is a duo of products designed for “coarse and unruly hair.” The big deal behind the product is the usage of black cumin oil, which is supposed to provide “deep nourishment” and “discipline the hair fiber with a fluid touch.” There is also a Smoothing Treatment ($65.00 for 6 fl. oz.), which seems like a deep conditioner, in the line.

The first time I tried out this set, all I could do was marvel at the scent–it’s very earthy, spicy, and masculine. It was reminiscent of my favorite scent–Tom Ford Oud Wood–in how I reacted. It’s heady, and it lingers, though I don’t find myself smelling it constantly, I do catch whiffs of it periodically during the day that I washed it. The brand says the scent is “gardenia with green leaves,” but I get more of the black cumin oil coming through. (I’d love a bottle of eau de parfum of this scent!)

I liked both products a lot, and they do a fine job of giving my hair a straighter look (it is slightly wavy in places as a result of years of putting it up), assuming I leave it down to dry or blow dry.  I’ve been using the set since the beginning of March, and I definitely have noticed it keeping my hair soft, hydrated, and less fly aways.   I noticed that I was able to achieve better results–really sleek, soft falls of hair–when I blow dried my hair (I used a T3 Evolution). The results were good when left to air dry, but everything just seemed a little straighter and shinier with the blow dryer.

The shampoo lathered well and left my hair feeling clean but not stripped, while it had a thicker consistency.  I actually used just the shampoo a few times alone, and my hair still felt soft and silky without conditioning afterward.

I love that the conditioner comes with a pump (wish the shampoo did, too!), because I always find myself pouring on the conditioner to get enough coverage on all of my hair, so it’s nice to be able to get a feel for how many pumps and be more consistent. The conditioner smoothes on easily, and it does a fabulous job of re-hydrating hair.  For a conditioner, it has a thinner consistency, but I think that makes it easier to smooth on with less excess used.

These are rather rich formulas, though, and so I don’t think they’re the most appropriate for my hair type and as much as I love the scent, I’m not sure I’d make these my go-to personally–but I do think they will help those who are looking to tame fly aways and frizzy hairs, because this product did so well for me in those areas.  I readily admit, however, that I don’t find my hair overly fussy, so I can only review based on my experience with my relatively easy-to-deal-with hair.

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Friday, May 28th, 2010

Head & Shoulders

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, ego was so inflated after last week’s debut review, he was quick to write another! He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).  But apparently he has one very itchy scalp…

Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan. Or maybe not! He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes to being my shoulder to cry on.

Back by popular demand, the TECH GUY! IN 3D!

After reading all of your comments I got such a big head that I started strutting around the house like a Pharoah. I commanded Mellan to get me my royal slippers, but he just stared at me for a minute then whined for me to take him for a walk. Christine’s gone from withholding food to Corporal Punishment for this review, so let’s get this going before she figures out that I used up all her ExfoliKate and replaced it with anchovy paste.

I’m a simple man… Simple tastes.. Simple… In the brain.. Simple! And I like me some Head and Shoulders Shampoo ($7.99)!  What’s wrong with that?! I imagine the people at Head and Shoulders are Witches and Warlocks who sit over a boiling brew stirring their magical elixir and having forest animals bottle it. It’s magic! My head itches like crazy if I don’t use whatever is in the Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp bottle and I’m pretty sure whatever is in it has ruined my head and hair for life. I’m bound to them!

It had to happen–the unfortunate day when I ran out of my much loved Head and Shoulders Bottle, and I was required to buy a new bottle. Christine said she had plenty of shampoos for me to try! So I did whatever any man would do when faced with change: I ran out to the store to buy another bottle of Head and Shoulders! I got to the supermarket and found it. EIGHT DOLLARS FOR A SMALL BOTTLE?!?! Those Witches and Warlocks must have hit hard times, because they must be out of their mind if they think I’m spending that kind of scratch on shampoo!

So, I came back home and faced the precipice of change, and it looked grim. One bottle was bright yellow and smelled of flowers. This was not a good start. The other bottle was black and the spout was on the wrong end… The logic of it made sense, but how could I get used to such a change in basic bottle structure? Things were looking bleaker than ever.

I started off with the black bottle, and it went okay for a couple days, but then… The itching started. It was a bit itchy at first, but then it turned into full blown two-handed epic scratching that lasted for hours! The itching would start around 5pm and get progressively worse until I went to bed. This would inevitably end up with me itching my head profusely while trying to sleep and keeping me awake. My ability to covertly scratch my head was lacking, so it also woke Christine up, and let me tell you, she is not a happy camper when she is rudely awoken.

After having my head itch and ruin my sleep and turn my scalp raw from itching, I tried the yellow bottle. Things still did not go well. My head was itching, it was hard to get to sleep, and I was in an unfortunate state. By this time I had gone to Costco to try and find my best friend in the world H&S and it was no where to be found! What’s going on in this world?!

The last straw happened on a sunny Saturday. My brothers came down to visit and we were having a nice time chewing the fat and walking around our nearby park. That’s when it happened… From the sky ascended a beast of unknown origin, sent on a mission by the very Witches and Warlocks that created my fine elixir. I heard a buzzing right next to my ear, so naturally, I swatted at it. It became persistent. Then I felt a tap on my head, and another… AND ANOTHER… So by this time I was flailing around and screaming in a high pitched whine. “GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF!!!” (Keep in mind that I’m a 6 foot tall, 200lb guy screaming like a 6 year old girl and flailing around like a crazy person.)

A minute or so into this, it’s still attacking the side of my head, and by now I’m literally running across the park swatting at my head in a mad dash for safety. After running across the field the merciless attacker finally relented and apparently vanished into thin air having made it’s point. I can only assume that it was a bee that had attacked me, but I also somewhat believe that it was the spawn of satan come to earth for five minutes to torment any guy unfortunate enough to be wearing floral smelling shampoo.

Needless to say, I broke down and bought a big bottle of Head and Shoulders and will never go back!

Recommendation: Great for a man who has an itchy head. Why buy anything else?! Head and Shoulders is the greatest product ever made!