Best Volumising Hair Products

by Reika on November 24, 2013

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:


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.



CLOUD NINE Hair Curling Wand Review

by Reika on August 2, 2013

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


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


Compared to the other large hair curling tongs


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.


L’Oreal Steampod Review

by Reika on May 5, 2013

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!


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.


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 ordindary 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.

I bought the L’Oreal Steampod from an Australian hair salon for AUD$300, and I just found out that it is available here for only £125.00 (equivalent to AUD$188)..damn! You can also check out more product information and video demonstrations of this tool through the link.


Loving Right Now

by Reika on 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.


ORIBE Dry Texturizing Spray Review

by Reika on October 14, 2012

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!


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.


Ombré hair for Asians

by Reika on 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:


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.




Best Dry Shampoo – Drugstore Brands

by Reika on July 11, 2012

Washing hair everyday is considered a chore for me – I hate it with passion and always on the look out for different ways to minimize the frequency of washes. Trust me I have experimented with a lot of silly ideas including rinsing hair without using shampoo, only washing half head or not washing hair for 5 days (which my husband was glad he wasn’t around back then!). Anyhow I have been looking for the best dry shampoo for my haircare regime for the past 2 years.  I normally use it on second-day hair, and find that it is the most convenient, time efficient, and effective way to make the hair look fresh and clean.

I have pretty much tried every single drugstore brand that is available in Australia. So I would like to give a quick run-down on my thoughts on these dry shampoos. I have also used several from the more expensive ranges, which were a hit and miss as well, so for now I like to stick with the drugstore brands until I find the holy grail.


Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo: AUD$15 at Priceline. The only thing I like about this dry shampoo is that the powder is brown which is excellent for my colored hair. Other than that there is no reason for me to repurchase it. It felt sticky on my hair and it wasn’t easy to brush out the powder, as there was always some residue left.

Batiste Dry Shampoo: I have gone through tons of it in its original version which comes in white powder. It is great – for AUD$12 a bottle I really have nothing to complain about other than that it sprays out too much powder compared to other brands. The excessive powder is great for cleaning and removing grease, but it can feel too powdery and takes longer to completely brush them out. The Batiste in the picture is a newer version which comes with gold shimmer, and I thought it would add a golden glow to my hair. Unfortunately it was awful – there were big chunky glitters in it, and I felt like a ’80s beauty queen’ every time I used it.

Toni & Guy Dry Shampoo: This is an odd one, as it applies almost invisible on my dark hair.  At first I thought I had bought a faulty one until I checked the reviews online. I could hardly see any powder on my hair, but I do feel it added “something” and it instantly makes the roots look matte. I leave it on for a few minutes then pat the “invisible powder” off. My hair looks more refreshed with lots of volume. The downside is that it doesn’t clean and remove grease as thoroughly as the other brands. It is mainly for refreshing and adding some volume to the roots. Overall I quite like this dry shampoo, and I always reach out for this one whenever I am on the go because it does not leave any white residue.

CEDEL Dry Shampoo: I buy them in little travel sizes and always carry one in my purse. I currently have the blue one which is designed for dark hair with black powder. I really like this dry shampoo, as it does everything it claims to – refresh dull and greasy hair between washes.

KLORANE Gentle Dry Shampoo with oat milk: This is my all time favorite. I believe Klorane is the first brand that brought dry shampoo to our attention (long before Batiste ), and it’s been a cult favorite ever since. I personally think this is the best out of all the drugstore brands I have used. It sprays just the right amount of powder, and it feels lightweight and very easy to remove. The hair instantly feels clean, revitalized and full of body. Compared to the above brands I have reviewed , I thought the Klorane dry shampoo performs well in all aspects.





My Best Hair Care Products

by Reika on March 11, 2012

This is another topic that is frequently requested by  my readers – my best hair care products and routine. It is quite a challenging post for me, and anyone who has been to my bathroom would agree with it is just filled with an abundance of hair care and body products. They always walk out of my bathroom with the same question “Can I ever finish that many products?” Oh well…nope! But it’s the same with my makeup collection or many other vanity items. I just like to constantly buy them and I am always on the lookout for newer and better products!


So back to the hair topic…Unlike most Asian girls who are blessed with a head of straight, glossy and smooth hair, I was born with naturally wavy hair and prone to frizz. The grass is certainly always greener on the other side, as I always wanted to have sleek and straight hair, so for years I have been battling with my natural hair to achieve the desired look. I have been coloring my hair ever since I was in high school, and after experimenting with every possible hair color on the planet, I have settled down with ashy highlights, and I think it is the best my hair has ever looked.

I get my hair colored on a frequent basis so my hair gets very dry and damaged. The utmost important goal in my haircare routine is to supply as much protein to my hair for strengthening and repairing. The KERASTASE RESISTANCE BAIN DE FORCE Reinforcing and Refinishing Shampoo for weakened hair and CIMENT ANTI-USURE Reinforcing and Refinishing Treatment for Damaged Ends are my everyday protein shampoo and conditioner – they make my hair much stronger and significantly reduce the breakage of it. I alternate them with Fekkai Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo and PHYTO PHYTOSESAME Express Hydrating Conditioner, and they are a heaven-sent for dry and lackluster hair. I am especially loving the Phyto Conditioner at the moment, as it has a lotion texture and melts into your hair upon application. It keeps my hair so hydrated without weighing it down.

Ashy color can turn brassy or orangey after some time if your hair is naturally dark. To prevent that I use the Matrix So Silver shampoo once a week to eliminate the dull yellowness in my hair. I also use the KERASTASE BAIN CLARIFIANT Regulating Shampoo for Oily Scalp once a week – it’s a clarifying shampoo that removes the built up of my hair and purifies the scalp. It’s the best I’ve ever used as it doesn’t strip the natural oil and makes my hair feel feathery light and clean without being crunchy.

I like to treat my hair with an intensive treatment mask after it is deep cleansed with a clarifying shampoo. My favorite picks for repairing damaged hairs are the ALTERNA CAVIAR ANTI-AGING SEASILK Hair Masque and Fekkai PROTEIN Rx Anti-Breakage Treatment Masque. The Alterna completely rejuvenates and brings life back to my dull hair but its’ quite expensive, and the Fekkai also does a good repairing job and restores moisture.

frb-best-hair-intensive-mask-alterna-caviar-fekkai-protein-rxTo slow down colors from fading, I like to use Fekkai Salon Technician Color Care Rapid Results Moisture Mask. It revives the color and deeply moisturizes my hair. When my hair feels relatively healthy but requires a pamper, I reach for the H2O Milk Silkening Hair Mask. It transforms my dry and frizzy hair into silky soft and smooth, and I can sniff my hair for the whole day for that heavenly scent. I always bring a tub of KERASTASE SOLEIL Masque UV Defense Active with me when I go on vacation, as the sun; the chlorine; and sea salt guarantees to make my hair feel straw-like. This is the savior for replenishing overly exposed hair to become softer and radiant.


When my hair is still damp, I like to apply a tiny drop of KERASTASE REFLECTION CHROMA RICHE Luminous softening essence for highlighted or very sensitised colour-treated hair to the ends of my hair – it protects my hair from heat and completely smooths out the cuticles and makes my hair super shiny and sleek. I then a apply a pea size of Bumble and bumble Styling Creme around the roots before I blow dry my hair straight. It is a lovely lightweight styling lotion that gives the hair body and holds the style.

For next-day hair, I like to freshen it up with a nicely scented protein spray. The Aveda Brilliant Damage Control used to be my favorite but at the moment my heart belongs to Label M Protein Spray. If my roots are looking too flat the next day I would rely on my Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion which gives instant volume to my hair and requires zero skill. I don’t use hair spray much, but if I do my holy grail is the Alterna Hemp Maximum Hold Volume Lock. It is unlike any other hairspray I have used, as it gives instant body and hold to my hair without making my hair stiff! Unfortunately most sites do not ship aerosol products to Australia now, so I am really saving this one for special occasions!


Thank you for reading if you have made it to the end! :-)