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.

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008


visit to purchase

FHI Heat Curling Iron (1 1/4″) ($195.00) is really the creme de la creme of curling irons. FHI’s curling iron barrel sizes range from 3/4″ to 1 1/2″, and my girl Pursebuzz recommended I get a 1 1/4″ as a multi-tasking curling iron. This particular barrel size gets you larger curls, and without a curl styling product beforehand, gives you more beachy waves than tight curls. For those less hair savvy, the smaller the barrel, the tighter the curl. Thus, larger barrels are more likely to give you waves than ringlets. Also, longer hair can tolerate larger barrels, because there is more hair to wrap around the barrel.

With my shorter hair style (although, it is rapidly growing out!), I do find the 1 1/4″ to be a little large at times, but I know it would be the perfect size on my previous, longer hair. You can definitely get your Victoria Secret’s full, sexy hair with it! I think I need to pick up a 3/4″ or 1″ barrel curling iron at some point, so that I switch as I need to. Another trick I picked up from Pursebuzz is to use those plastic rollers (they cost a few bucks, and you can find them at a beauty supply store or even your local drugstore). You can pick them up in different sizes, so after you’ve used the hot curling iron, wrap them up in these, to let the curl set and conform a bit more while you do your makeup.

Design: I really liked the handle design of this particular curling iron. It has a digital temperature display, and the temperature can adjust from 212 degrees to 410 degrees Farenheit. Although, mine displays in celsius, and I’m not sure if there’s a way to change it (and I’ve been too lazy to check the instructions manual!). Thicker hair needs higher temperatures in order to keep the curl, while thinner, finer hair requires less heat. To find a good heat setting, you shouldn’t have to hold the barrel in place for more than several seconds. If you find you can’t get a curl unless the iron is in place for a minute, you probably need to crank up the heat. The handle comes equipped with an up and down button for temperature, as well as the power button. Once you’ve found your desired temperature, you can then press the power button once to lock in your temperature. This is great, because I do find I occasionally bump the up or down buttons, and this way, the temperature doesn’t change. There is also a kickstand to allow you to prop up the curling iron on your countertop so the hot bits don’t come into contact with the surface, which is always helpful. I find it doesn’t heat up, as long as you don’t allow the metal to touch the barrel itself.

Time: This baby heats up in under five minutes. I would say just a minute or two, and it’s pretty much ready for me to use. I have thick hair, so I do keep the temperature of this quite high (300+).

Get the low-down on some more pros and cons! Continue reading →

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

PROENZA SCHOULER
Hair lead: Didier Malige for ghd
ghd lead: Omar Lopez

“Industrial Meets Deco” | Jack and Lazaro rocked the runway by merging a military feel with late 70s and early 80s inspired shapes and lines, to create a collection that was equal parts tough, confident and feminine.

To compliment the juxtaposed runway looks, Didier Malige for ghd led the Directive Team to create a deeply parted, eye-sweeping finger wave, artfully pulled back to one side and cascading down one shoulder. Using the ghd IV mini styler, a modern “finger wave” was created by sectioning off hair, and starting at the crown gently rocking the iron back and forth all the way to the ends. Then, ghd sea spray was worked through ghd Runway Report the model’s hair to soften the wave and add light hold. Next, the hair was set with clips around the face to help accentuate the waves. Finally, the clips were removed, and the hair was swept back to one side and secured using bobby pins, while the front fell loosely over one eye a la 1970s Jerry Hall. The look was finished with ghd ultimate hairspray.

Get details on the hair at Monique Lhuillier! Continue reading →