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.

See more photos! Continue reading →

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!

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

With the weather starting to feel like summer, I’ve been on the hunt for products to keep me moisturized and protected from the sun from head to toe. As to not to exclude hair, I tried out Davines’ SU Sun Care line, which is a range of hair care products to help combat sun and summer fun consequences. I’ve been using the Moisturizing Replenishing After Sun Shampoo ($19.50) for the past month and a half, and I’m loving how soft my hair is.

It has a very earthy/herbal-y kind of scent, but it doesn’t turn me off. I think I am holding neutral on the scent, which is fine, because it doesn’t linger beyond washing my hair. My only concern with this product is the packaging, because I found that it was really easy to get more than you wanted. The way I fixed this was just being conscious of it.

Otherwise, it’s been doing a fab job of keeping my hair looking healthy and feeling silky. When we get deeper into summer, I’m definitely giving the Nourishing Replenishing Mask a try!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Oscar Blandi Pronto Wet Instant Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner ($24.00 each) are new and available only at Sephora. The shampoo helps remove product and dirt build-up while adding volume to your tresses. The set is also meant to work in conjunction with Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo for those who are busy bees and can’t always find time to wash their hair (or just need an extra day or two between washes!). Both the shampoo and conditioner are scented with a lemony-citrus fragrance.

The conditioner helps to hydrate and detangle hair while also adding volume. It uses AquaFlex technology, which is a polymer that “coats the hair, delivering body, water-resistance, a non-sticky finish, and remarkable manageability for a magnificent mane—rain or shine.” Both products are formulated without GMO, parabens, petro-chemcials, phthalates, sulfates, or synthetic dyes. It also does not contain PPG, MEA, DEA, TEA, or formaldehyde donors. These products have also not been tested on animals.

My hair is pretty thick, so products that say “volume” tend not to work for me. I allow them to admit defeat with dignity, though, knowing that they had a very uphill battle when attempting to add volume to my hair. I did feel like my hair felt lighter, and it dried a little faster than usual when I let it air-dry. In terms of volume, I wouldn’t say my mane reached its full volumizing potential, but it did get a little boost that was nice for those days when I’m too lazy to style my hair (aka most of the time).

I’m actually a big fan of citrus-based scents, so the lemony fragrance didn’t bother me, though I’ve heard others mention it’s a bit too strong. I can’t tell you the same, as I liked it and was happy to have my shower smell like fresh squeezed lemons. The shampoo is more heavily scented than the conditioner based on my experience thus far, though.

Despite being sulfate-free, the Pronto Wet Shampoo does a great job of lathering up so I feel like I can get a good cleaning going on. I just find that without the lather, I’m not really sure where the product is getting, so I’m always worried I’m missing spots. I also think my hair eats shampoo/conditioner, so without the lather, it’s tough to get the product all over without using a ton.

My hair felt softer, healthier, and it had a really nice shine to it overall. I have to qualify my review a bit and let you know that my hair isn’t particularly fussy. It’s quite healthy on its own–as a result of rarely coloring or styling it–and no real texture or unruly problems like frizzy curls either. For those looking for more natural shampoo/conditioners, this is a good bet. The price isn’t too steep, because the bottles will last you several months (they’ll probably last me at least six months. And hey, if you like lemon, I think you might really like these!

Only at Sephora
Sephora.com, Inc.

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

TRESemme’s 24 Hour Body Collection features a full range of hair care products ranging from shampoo/conditioner to styling products like sculpting gels and foaming mousse. I personally wanted to try out their 24 Hour Body Conditioner and the 24 Hour Body Root Boost (’cause y’all know I need some root lifting like nobody’s business!)

The Conditioner is described as a lightweight conditioner that helps to keep it soft and prep it for volumizing products. I would completely and emphatically have to agree with its ability to make your hair feel like silk. It smells like traditional shampoo/conditioners — lightly perfume-y fragrance, but nothing too distinct. I didn’t find the scent was heavy or overwhelming. I like a very soft scent, and if it lingers, it’s fine, I just don’t want to have a cloud of it around my head, so this one worked out for me. The Conditioner is also a really good budget beauty item to have, because for under $10, you get 32 fl. oz. of product (aka a huge bottle)!

The Root Boost worked surprisingly well! First, my roots are heavy. All of my hair heavy–super thick and way too much of it. This kind of makes all volumizing, lifting, etc. products have a tough hill to climb to work. I spritzed this on my roots alone (though they say you can use it for all over volume, too), blow dried, and voila! I had a great hair day, because the top of my head wasn’t totally flat. I found that my hair also didn’t fall flat after an hour or two (as it is prone to do), which was a huge plus. I know the product talks about thickening hair up, but I can’t speak to that–my hair is naturally thick and I couldn’t really tell. This is definitely now part of my hair styling arsenal. Whenever I blow out my hair now, this is a must-use product!

See my good hair day… Continue reading →

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Lush Retread Conditioner ($22.35 for 8.4 fl. oz.)

I’m usually a big fan of Lush products, but this product left me wanting more. I found that this conditioner didn’t work as well as conditioners I’ve tried in the past (AG Hair, Herbal Essences, etc.), but what dismayed me is I felt like I needed to use quite a bit in order to cover all the hair I wanted to condition. I feel like if I used this as my regular conditioner, I’d probably go through the jar in a month–and I have shorter hair now! I think the problem I have with it is I can’t “work it in.” It just feels like it stays put wherever it first comes in contact with my hair, so I can’t spread it or work it through my hair at all.

The scent of Retread is an organic-floral kind of scent. There’s that more traditional organic scent (though not nauseating), but you can sniff a little perfume-y floral-ness to it, as well. The scent does linger a bit in the hair after rinsing the product out, and it’s one of those smells you either love, can put up with, or just hate. Since it lingers, you’ll want to try to do a sniff-test before you bring it home with you! (I was mostly indifferent, personally!)

I do feel this product is better suited as a leave-in conditioner or a hair mask worn for five minutes or so outside of the shower with damp-to-almost-dry hair. I think wrapped up in plastic, it will condition better. Since it would be used more as a treatment than part of your day-to-day routine, it would also allow you to stretch the product out over time and get more value out of it.

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