HAIRCARE

The GOLDWELL DUALSENSES Rich Repair 6 Effects Serum is a hero product for making my dry and chemically processed hair look shiny and sleek. I’ve been using it everyday for the past month and I would recommend this to anyone who suffers from frizzy, dry hair as well as styling with heat on a frequent basis. It is quite a concentrated serum that aims to repair severely damaged and stressed hair.

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On damp hair after washing, I normally apply less than a pea size to the ends of my hair, and it helps to control the frizz and makes my hair feel moderately moisturized. Applying more than a pea size of this serum tends to make my hair feel overly soft… I love mixing this serum with my favorite hair oil, and the combination just completely reverses the damaged appearance of my hair – making them look healthy and smooth, and much easier to manage with less tangle.

The beauty of this product is that it is suitable to be used to on unwashed hair. Since I wash my hair every two days, and on day two the ends of my hair would start to feel dry and look frizzy again. This is an excellent product to be used as a dry leave-in conditioner, and I would totally re-purchase it for this reason as most hair oils are heavier. This serum has a lightweight milky texture that absorbs into the hair instantly without feeling sticky and greasy. When I have extra time, I like to quickly run the ends with my Steampod (reviewed here), and that would make my hair fresh and conditioned with a natural shine .

Disclaimer: This post contains product sent courtesy of GOLDWELL for review

 

 

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There is a great lineup of beauty tools I would like to talk about, and the RUSK MIRACURL is the first one that I’d like to share my thoughts on because I am just so excited about it! I have been very intrigued by this tool since it was released as it looked quite ‘magical’ to me, and it really made my day when it arrived in my hand!

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What it is

It is a hair curling tool that automatically curls your hair to perfect waves. Perhaps many of you would have seen this one in Australia already, or the Babyliss Pro MIRACURL in other countries. They are very similar in terms of look, function and performance, and they actually belong to the same mother company CONAIR but just under different brands.

How it works

It comes with 3 heat settings (230, 210 and 190) with the highest one for thick hair and the lowest one for fine hair.

There are also 3 timer settings with

- 8 seconds for loose waves

- 10 seconds for soft curls

- 12 seconds for more defined curls.

It also comes with 3 curl direction settings for right, left and auto.

- For a more neat and uniform curl, you can choose  the Left setting when styling the left side of the hair so the curl would always be in the same direction. And vice versa for the right side of the hair with the Right setting.

- For a more natural look, auto setting will alternate the direction after each curl.

As for me, I have medium to thick hair, and I normally use temperature setting of 210 with the timer set to 10 seconds in the alternating mode.

How to use:

Make sure your hair is dry and tangle free before use. For longer lasting curls, I normally prep my hair with a small amount of curling styling cream. Grab a section of hair (I find 3cm width is the best) and place the styler at where you would like the curl to start. Once you close the handle, the hair is automatically drawn into the curl chamber, and there will be beep sound indication based on your timer setting. Refer to this link for a more detailed video demo.

curling chamber

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My thoughts:

Amazing! And it is really fun and easy to use. It’s very different to the conventional curling irons/tongs, but once you get the hang of using this styler to create your desired curls (takes 1 – 2 practices), you would completely get hooked on it. Despite the ease of use, this styler gets a big thumbs up from me for delivering perfect curls consistently.  With a normal curling tool, my biggest problem is that the size of the curls can look inconsistent with some are too lose and some are too small , and I always had to go back and redo the curls. With the RUSK MIRACURL, it guarantees to gives you a professional result with absolutely no skill required.

I included some pictures of me styled with the RUSK MIRACURL. The size of the curl is equivalent to the standard barrel wand  in 1 1/4 “. As mentioned earlier, I normally use heat setting 210 with a styling cream (using Sebastian Potion 9 at the moment), and the curl lasts lasts through to the next day. You can get very defined curls with this tool, or you can brush the curls out to achieve a more effortless and loose curls look like what I did.

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Disclaimer: Big thanks to RY for sending the Rusk Miracurl for review.

 

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Styling my hair is a challenge – quote from my hairdresser.  It wasn’t until my HD told me why – I have naturally frizzy and puffy hair but with very flat roots! So not only do I need products to make them sleek and smooth, I am also constantly on the lookout for the best root lifting products. I have tried tons and here are the products I recommend:

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1. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – Absolutely my HG. I have mentioned this product in my past posts. Basically it’s a texture spray that goes on completely invisible and weightless, and adds lots of volume and refreshes the roots at the same time. It also keeps my hair dry and soft which is what I like the most. I normally used it on my roots but I have seen celeb stylists use it throughout the whole hair on their clients for some va-va-voom volume. The downside is that it is expensive for using as a dry shampoo, and it is not available in Australia! I am down to my last can now so I am saving it for special occasions.

2. Alterna Bamboo Volume Uplifting Root Blast – My second favorite product that I almost use everyday. It gives just enough volume and lift to my limp roots, and I like this product because it has holding power that lasts for several hours, and it doesn’t make my hair sticky nor stiff. The downside is that it’s not a dry spray so  it may take some time for the product to dry if too much is applied.

3. SACHAJUAN Root Lift - Works very similar to the Alterna Root Blast. It’s a non-sticky styling spray in an aerosol can that adds volume and hold. I bought this because I was attracted to its clean and sleek packaging.

4. Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti Humidity Hair Spray – I really like the Alterna line so I bought this product to try after my success with the root blast. This is more of a flexible holding spray which also helps to control frizz. I normally use this product after I give the roots a hot blast with blow dryer, and it helps to hold the lift with a dry finish. The downside is that it gives the hair a harder texture (as most holding hair sprays do), and I have to run my fingers through to soften it.

5. Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray – I always like my ‘beach hair’ after a swim as my hair just dries up in natural waves with volume in a way that I can never recreate with any tools. So that made me purchase this volumising hair spray in the hope of achieving the same texture. I spray it on to the dry roots then scrunch it up, and it helps to add massive volume. The downside is that it feels quite heavy on the hair due to the salt content, and can make hair sticky and crunchy.

6. Aveda Pure Abundance hair potion - There is a lot of hype about this product when it was first released. It’s a root lifting product in powder form but turns into liquid wax as soon as it applied on to the hair. It volumises the hair by adding thickeness and texture. I think this would work great on fine hair, and as for me who has medium to thick hair, I find this product is too heavy and thick for my liking.

 

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I am so excited that I finally have the CLOUD NINE Hair Curling Wand which has been on my wishlist for so long! And I cannot be more happy with it – it is worth every penny and it does everything I ever wished for a hair curling tool can do. Prior to this I have tried tons of mid range curling tongs, and although they function as expected, the Cloud Nine Wand just completely blows the others out of the water in terms of design and performance.

For those of you who are not familiar with the brand Cloud Nine, it is a company that makes professional and revolutionary hair styling tools. The founder of Cloud Nine is actually the creator of the legendary GHD straightener, and they have established this relatively new brand after the huge success of GHD. So as soon as I heard about this I just knew their products would wow me.

CLOUD-NINE-Wave-Curl-Wand-review-1Packaging is sleek and modern, it also comes with a glove to protect your hand

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What is CLOUD NINE Wave & Curl Wand:

It is a hair curling/waving wand that has 3 heat settings.  The barrel is coated with their signature ceramic finish which is designed to give your hair added shine and smoothness. The tapered barrel design also gives you the freedom to create different sizes of curls. When I first received the wand, I was quite surprised at how big this wand is compared to others.

The Wand comes with a protective heat guard in frosted finish

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Compared to the other large hair curling tongs

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Why should you have it?!

1. It heats up within 2 seconds. The design is very sleek and it looks and feels expensive.

2. I normally use the highest heat setting which works magical for my hair type. I have naturally frizzy medium/coarse hair which is very curl resistant. The problems I had with my other ordinary curling tools is that they take a long time just to curl one small strand of hair. Since I have so much hair, by the time I reach the other side of the head, the first section of hair became straight again! So I always had to go back and re-curl some hair over and over, and  the entire process was very time consuming and frustrating. With the Cloud Nine Wand, it takes literally no effort to curl the hair – I can just grab a large strand of hair and wrap it around the wand and take it off immediately (without holding it for seconds). And voila the curl looks smooth and stays in its shape all day! It allows me to curl all my hair within 10 minutes with very minimum effort.

3. I have previously mentioned in my other hair tool review posts that I am very bad with hair styling, especially with curling my hair. This wand is a life changer for me as it is definitely designed for novice users like me. The tapered design of the barrel gives you the freedom to create all types of curls, and the extra large size is also a bonus for people with long hair. I can easily create the looks below in a short time:

  • Wrap a small section of hair around the thinner end of the barrel to create tight and mermaid-like curl.
  • Wrap a medium section of hair around the whole barrel to create voluminous Victoria Secret like waves.
  • Wrap a large section of hair around the whole barrel to create an effortless beachy waves.

Bottom Line: When it comes to electronic beauty items, I am a firm believer in what you pay is what you get. The Cloud Nine Wand is a life changer for hair curling for me. If you are frustrated with the fact that you can never achieve the “magazine perfect curls” as you’ve seen on celebs/models with the tools you have, then I highly suggest you give this one a go. It works with all hair types, and it will blow you away at how easy and fast to use. The CLOUD NINE Hair Curling Wand is available here (currently on special!) with more information on the product.

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In the word of my HD “L’Oreal Steampod will change my life”. I trusted her, and bought this tool as soon as it was available in Australia. I might be a beauty junkie when it comes to skincare and makeup, but I have always been very loyal with my hair products. For the past 10 years, I did not look beyond any hair straightening tools other than my trusted GHD – I have gone through 5 of them and have them in every color/size…So I felt very guilty that I have to replace my GHD with the L’Oreal Steampod ..since I paid AUD$300 for it!

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What is Steampod:
Similar to the traditional hair straightening tool, Steampod is a hair styling tool mainly used for hair straightening (as well as curling) whilst delivering purified steam to hydrate and nourish dry and damaged hair, and further strengthening the benefit of any leave-in hair treatment.

My Experience:
I cannot believe I am saying this “I love Steampod more than the GHD!”, as I find that it is a better straightening tool for my medium to thick naturally frizzy hair. Here is a whole list of reasons why:
- It only takes half of the time compared to a traditional straightener.
- It tames unruly and frizzy hair more effectively.
- It makes the hair sleek straight, frizz free, shiny without making it look flat! Which is a big bonus for me as I find GHD can make my hair too flat sometimes.
- I always use a hair leave-in treatment before using any heated hair styling tool, and the steam from the Steampod helps to penetrate the product deep into the hair shaft which makes my hair more nourished! This is absolutely a savior for my very dry and damaged hair.

Note: L’Oreal recommends the use of the L’Oreal Steampod Preparation Cream which contains keratin in conjunction with the tool. I have checked with my HD and she suggests that it would work with any type of hair treatment products, so it doesn’t have to be this particular one.

There are always a few things to nit pick on:
- It is slightly heavier than the GHD (though it doesn’t bother me as I get to work out my arm muscle!)
- There are 5 different temperature settings, and it defaults back to the lowest temperate (170) each time you switch it on. I normally use 200 or 210 so I would prefer it has an automatic saving option.
- I have to be clear that I am not good at curling my hair with any straightening tool (not even with GHD). And with the Steampod, I find that it is actually easier to work with for curling purposes because of the curved plate at the top. It gives nice loose bouncy waves, but it can make my hair look a little frizzy. However when my HD curled my hair with the tool, my hair looked totally fine and smooth so I think this problem is to do with my limited skill.

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Other factors:
You can only use filtered water with this machine.
I use it everyday and it takes about a week to replace the water tank.
The machine heats up within 3-4 seconds, but it takes about 10 seconds for the steam to come out.

Bottom Line:

I highly recommend this tool for anyone with unruly, dry or damaged hair. It truly makes a difference compared to the ordinary as the steam helps to further nourish your hair in conjunction with any hair treatment and causes less damage from the heat. For people with healthy and naturally sleek hair, if you are happy with what you are using now, it might not be necessary.

If you are in Australia, you can purchase the L’Oreal Steampod here for Australian voltage as well as better shipping and warranty service. It is also available here for international customers.

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Loving Right Now

November 10, 2012

Hi everyone, happy weekend! You may have noticed that I’ve been really into doing ‘instagram-inspired’ posts lately. They are fun to do and allow me to share more frivolous things!

1. MOSCHINO Teddy Bear iPhone Case (bought here): It is the cutest iPhone case I have ever seen!! I wanted it so much when it was first released which was before the release of iPhone 5, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to upgrade my phone. I have now decided to keep my iPhone 4s so…bear with me ;) By the way Shopbop has started its latest SALE with up to 70% off days ago, and I just placed a massive order which I am so excited about!

2. St Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion (bought here): It transforms my pale light reflective legs into sun-kissed color – instantly!

3&4. Everyday hair styling: I have been asked about how I style my hair, so these two pictures pretty much show how I style my hair every morning. The large hair rollers are by Denman (bought here), and I blast them with hot air for a few seconds before putting them on my hair. They make my deadly straight hair more bouncy, and gives a nice smooth wave. I then lightly spray my hair with the Oribe dry texture spray for some texture.

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A quick post for Sunday. I thought I’d share something amazing with you which is the ORIBE Dry Texturizing Spray. I love it so much I even have multiple backups of it!

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ORIBE is a very exclusive and prestige haircare brand which is based in the US if you haven’t heard of it. They have lots of amazing products with the Dry Texturizing Spray being their award-winning star product. It’s a multipurpose product which can be used as:

1. Dry shampoo – For the hefty price tag (around $60!)I personally wouldn’t use it for this purpose as there are many cheaper products that can do the same job.

2. Adding mega volume to the roots and feels weightless and looks completely invisible on the hair – Amazing…I use it every morning to lift the roots.

3. Adding texture – I love spraying my hair with it after I curl my hair. It gives this effortless beach wave texture to the curl. I spent years trying to figure out how the models/celebs have  this “undone” and effortless wavy hair (just like they got out of the bed but much better), and this is the key product! Of course having highlights in the hair also helps to bring out dimension and texture. I have tried numerous texture sprays and I love this one the most as it doesn’t make my hair sticky and crunchy nor does it weigh my hair down. The particles of this spray are so small so they go on invisible and still keep your hair look natural.

Bottom Line: Expensive, but totally worth every penny! I bought mine here.

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Ombré hair for Asians

September 16, 2012

I have been having ombré hair for the past two years, and I’m still loving it which is quite rare as I normally get bored of the same thing very quickly. So I’d like to share my experience and a few tips with you as requested by my readers:

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Why should you have it:

- If you want to change your hair color but do not want a drastic change, ombré hair can be a good compromise compared to full head color.

- Believe it or not – it’s low maintenance as I don’t need to visit my hairdresser every few months for a touch-up.

- Lastly it’s still very much on-trend (if that matters to you)!

Some Tips:

-  I find that there is a fine line between ombré hair and grown-out hair! Make sure your hairdresser is very experienced in the balayage/ombré hair field, and has the skill to deliver a natural gradation from one color to another.

- Bring in lots of pictures to show your HDs, particularly the models/celebrities with ombré hair who have the same natural hair color as you. I brought in pictures of Jessica Biel, Mila Kunis and Lily Aldridge. Never tell your HD “to do whatever you want” if you already have an image in your mind!

- It can be expensive, so do get a quote from your HD before you book it in. To give you an idea, I paid about AUD$450 for a mixture of services including  half-head balayage, highlights at the crown area and finish with a toner, and it was a 4 hour long process.

- Once you get the ombré effect , it is very easy to maintain the color as the regrowth tends to blend in easily. If you ask for blond or ashy highlights, make sure you wash the hair with a purple/silver shampoo at least once a week to prevent the hair from going brassy (I’m using the Matrix So-Silver Shampoo reviewed here). Ideally professional toner service is preferred every 3 months. I am due for one very soon as I noticed my hair is getting more yellow.

 

 

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