Amika Shampoo & Conditioner Review


Well the image above kinda says it all, haha. I have a tough time writing about products I feel ‘meh’ about. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried a product I flat out hated, and because I am pretty good at picking stuff usually, I don’t have too many bad experiences. This wasn’t a bad experience per se, but… well let me get into it.  [Read more…]

Rusk W8less Multi 12-in-1 Miracle Treatment Review

This product has possibly one of the longest product names ever. Its official name is Rusk Designer Series W8less Multi 12-in-1 Miracle Treatment. Yikes! What a name! But how does it perform? Find out by hitting ‘read more’. ;)

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October Favorites

So what it’s a week into November already…I’m doing my October favorites and you’re gonna LIKE IT. :) As usual I don’t know what to use as a picture for my ‘favorites’ post so in keeping with tradition, here’s a random fun picture. This time it’s Barack Obama holding a book. :D My favorites for October are pretty simple, because I was SICK during October. That means my favorites all kind of go along with that…read on to find out more!

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HANA Air Dryer Review

Recently I was contacted by Misikko about reviewing the HANA Air Dryer. I’ve been using it for a little while and I’m ready to share my thoughts with you!

First let me just tell you a little about the dryer itself. This is a premium, top of the line salon tool! It has 2 speeds and 3 heat settings plus cold shot. They claim the tourmaline-lined ceramic heater will dry your hair up to 60% faster, and that the antibacterial ion technology conditions your hair and adds shine. The motor is extremely powerful– producing the equivalent of 2300 watts, and low noise. It comes with a fiberglass concentrator attachment, but I don’t see a diffuser that is made for it. That’s not a huge deal for me, but for you curly girls out there or for those of you who like to use one, that is something to consider. Here are my thoughts on the dryer itself up against what I expect/desire from a hair dryer:

I definitely don’t want a tool to feel cheap in my hand, but I don’t want it to feel like I’m holding a brick either. Let’s be honest, your arms can get tired if you’re stuck drying your hair with a massive beast of a hair dryer! This dryer is definitely bigger and heavier than my T3, but it’s not so heavy that it causes problems or discomfort. According to HANA it’s “gyroscopically balanced” – no idea what that means, but apparently it makes it easier to work with. It also has a very long (12′) cord that swivels.

This dryer has one of the coolest features of any dryer I’ve used – the cold shot button can be turned on and off without having to hold it down. I LOVE that. The speeds are good, nothing out of the ordinary, and the heat settings are perfect. The warm setting is a true warm. It’s not too hot. I’m kind of a sissy; if it’s too hot I won’t use it. This is comfortable. :)

This dryer is insane. It dries my hair really fast. Now I freaking love my T3 Pro, but this dryer is more powerful and dries my hair faster. However, it’s heavier and much louder than my T3. The product description for the HANA Air says it’s quiet, and that’s just not true. It’s loud. It’s very loud. Quiet compared to what I wonder?? The good qualities far outweigh the loudness for me, but your priorities may be different.

Bottom line is this is a BAMF hair dryer. It’s pretty amazeballs. I’m a fan. I’d never heard of HANA before being contacted by Misikko, but this is a great dryer and if their flat irons are anything like the dryer they’re probably wonderful too. I also received the HANA ShineShield serum, but I’ve decided I actually want to review that separately so that will be upcoming. I’m not completely sold on it yet so I want to play around with using it before I do a review. ;)

The price of this dryer is going to be a deal-breaker for some. Retail price is $334.99. It’s currently on sale for $194.99, but even at the sale price that’s still a large chunk of change. The HANA Air dryer is not out of the realm of normal prices for a high-end hair dryer, and performs well enough to stand up to the high price, however.

My experience with Misikko has been great! My dryer arrived packaged very nicely with some sweet extra goodies. They generously included the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi shampoo & conditioner. I don’t know if this product line was handpicked exactly for me or if it was just selected at random, but after reading up on it I think I will really like it! *fingers crossed* According to the website these products are ideal for adding body to fine hair, safe for color-treated hair, and moisturizing. I have dry, fine, color-treated hair. So if these were picked at random, lucky me! And if they weren’t, well then Misikko gets big hugs from me, because that’s really thoughtful. Either way I’m super appreciative and look forward to trying it out when I finish my Redken Smooth Down, which will be pretty soon!

This experience with Misikko has definitely made a good impression with me, but it did not in any way affect my review of the dryer. If your aim is to invest in the best professional hair dryer, this one would be a great choice.

February Favorites

Hello hello everyone! It’s MARCH, so that means it’s time to talk about FEBRUARY. Err, in other words, my favorites from February. Woot!

Favorite Hair Products

Um realistically my favorite hair product in February was my beloved Stephanie, aka Awesome Colorist, but since calling her a product is kind of rude, I’ll go with the kind that are in bottles!

Ahh the precious. I have talked about the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Overnight Hair Rescue (long enough name for ya?) before, but it is basically like an intensive night cream for your hair. You put it in at night and then wash it out in the morning. I love it! My hair has been dry (because really I’m overdue for a trim) and this doesn’t make it go away completely (needing a trim is cured by, -gasp- getting a trim) but it really helps. Now, no lies this stuff is expensive, so it’s definitely a splurge item. ($35 at Sephora or Ulta)
Another favorite of mine recently has been the Wen Cleansing Conditioner in Winter Vanilla Mint. This scent was limited edition around holiday, so I’m sorry for talking about it now, but I just now have really been using it the past month, give or take. I already used up a bottle of the Sweet Almond Mint last fall, and reviewed it for Stylebell. I love Wen Cleansing Conditioners! They don’t weigh my fine hair down and they really make it feel bouncy and healthy. The Winter Vanilla Mint smells like candies, and if I had to point out any flaws it’s just that it makes me hungry. (Available at QVC – $29)

Favorite Skin Products

I haven’t really been doing a whole lot differently with my skin. Still using either Caudalie’s foaming cleanser or my Neaclear. I’m also still using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E moisturizers (love love love love love!). But as I’m wearing more makeup lately, I’m adding a few things that help makeup “play nice” with my skin.

I’m still learning how to deal with my dry skin. For years I had oily skin, and I’ve really only had dry skin for the past year or so. It’s a whole new experience! I took for granted that I never had the problem of my skin looking too matte. Now, even on days where I’m not wearing any makeup, I like to go over my whole face with MAC Strobe Liquid. It’s just a thin, slightly hydrating lotion that has a very pretty pearly pink luminescent quality. It gives my face that natural glow that has since left me along with my overactive oil producing skin, lol. I’ve also been using my MAC Fix+ more, as it takes down the powderiness of face powders. (Strobe Liquid and Fix+ are available from MAC for $30 and $20 respectively.)

Favorite Color Products

Wee! The fun part! Like I said, I’ve been wearing more makeup lately. I made you a collage!
These are all the things I’ve been feeling much love for over the past month. I’ve been wearing very little in the way of foundation or concealer, but I do sometimes wear a little MAC Mineralized SkinFinish Natural just to even out my complexion. Sometimes you just wake up looking a little blotchy, yanno? Yeah.  And NARS Laguna is a staple product that I’m obsessed with because it adds warmth/glow without looking orange or dirty. (MSFN is $29 at MAC; NARS Laguna is $34 at Sephora)
The drugstore lip products are killing it right now, and I’ve been wearing my Rimmel Stay Glossy Lipglosses and Revlon Lip Butters pretty much exclusively day to day. Revlon Lip Butters are another one of those products that have been getting a ton of hype lately, and they’re TOTALLY worth it. I have three (Creamsicle, Candy Apple, and Sweet Tart) and I LOVE THEM. I was just saying on Twitter that I want more. :) (Price varies on these from drugstore to drugstore.)
I’ve been on a bit of a NARS Eye Shadow kick, using the heck out of my Doceurs de Paris palette and my Best of NARS palette, particularly a couple shades from the Kalahari and All About Eve duos. But as usual, I’m using drugstore mascara. Rimmel ScandalEyes is my lash of choice lately. It’s really dramatic. It’s not my absolute favorite mascara, but I like it. I will be reviewing it more in-depth soon. If you liked MaxFactor 2000 Calorie mascara but are living in the states and can’t get it anymore, try Rimmel ScandalEyes. I think you’d like it. For my brows, I still love my Billion Dollar Brows brow powder (holy grail!) but I have been really liking the new Senna Cosmetics Sketch-a-Brow pencil too. The effect is very natural-looking and it’s so simple to use. (NARS eye shadows vary in price at NARS; Rimmel ScandalEyes will vary depending on the drugstore, and Sketch-a-Brow is $18 from Senna Cosmetics)
I just realized I completely forgot another product when I was making my collage!
The Magic Hair Pad is one of those genius inventions that makes you think “why didn’t I think of that?!”. The concept is super simple– it’s a square of velcro. Really. That’s all it is. But you press it into your hair to hold it out of place while doing makeup, washing your face, doing a facial mask, etc. GENIUS. The picture shows black, but they come in pink too. I like them so much sometimes I will sport one just to hold my bangs out of place while I’m hanging out around the house. Not the most fashionable statement, but the rest of my outfit usually consists of flannel pajama bottoms and a tank top when I’m doing this, so I have thrown fashion to the wind at that point. ;) But pretty much any girl with hair needs to own these. I think that’s most of you. (Available in a pack of 2 for $7 at

Samples of some products mentioned here were sent by PR for consideration.
All opinions are my own, and not sponsored by any brand/company.
No compensation was received for including these products as favorites.
Disclaimers are fun to type because they are super tiny and stuff. xoxo <3

Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo

It’s not very often that I write negative reviews. Most often, I try a product and either like it (positive review) or just feel “meh” about it. Who wants to take the time to read my review of simply “meh”? I don’t like writing them (*snooze*) and they aren’t very interesting to read. 
However. Once and a while I use a product that I really don’t like. This is one of those products. Now, I’m kind of surprised and/or disappointed at not liking this, because some of my other fellow bloggers really like it! I feel left out of the Suave party. Oh well…
Why don’t I like this product. Well, I can explain it best by letting you know those photos above are the AFTER pictures. AFTER using the ‘refreshing dry shampoo’. EWW. My hair became greasier than it was before! This was sprayed the morning of the third day (I wash my hair on the evening of the third day). I do not have oily scalp/roots by any stretch of the imagination, and had not overloaded my hair with product. And this is the result? EWWWW. I was trying this out on a whim before work and hadn’t planned on taking pictures for my review, but it just was so bad I had to snap a few with my camera phone to document the experience. I still have the can, and I might give it another shot sometime, but wow. 
FYI my hair:
– fine, but lots of it
– color treated
– normal-to-dry
– is shampooed with Alterna
– is conditioned with Alterna and Sojourn 
Just. Ick. Ew ew. Maybe I got a dud, I don’t know. But this did NOT work for me at all. :( That makes me a sad panda.
Sample provided for editorial purposes.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product First Impressions

Normally I do not review a product right after I try it, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I saw this product on Youtube and it’s been on my radar since then, but when I had my recent 20% off coupon for Ulta I decided to give it a whirl. It’s available in 4 oz and 10 oz sizes at Ulta, so I picked up the 4 oz to try. Apparently there’s a 2 oz too, but I didn’t see it. I’ve only tried it once so far, but I just had to tell you guys about it and my first impressions.
It’s a 10 claims to do these 10 things:
– Repairs dry damaged hair
– Adds shine
– Smooths & controls frizz
– Seals & protects hair color
– Flat iron spray & thermal protector
– Detangles
– Stops hair breakage
– Creates silkiness
– Enhances natural body
– Prevents split ends
Quite a tall list of claims, right? Well I used it the day before yesterday and I gotta say, so far it lives up to all of the claims that I could possibly tell in one use (some of those, like split end prevention etc. you just couldn’t know in using it once). It definitely made my hair very silky, almost bouncy, detangled, smoothed, controlled frizz, added shine, and made my hair feel less dry even on the ends. It made flat ironing a breeze, too. I had such an awesome hair day yesterday and the day before and I just know it was in part due to this product I’ve added to my stash. As I’m growing my hair out, if this continues to perform the way it did the first time, this will be essential to keeping my hair manageable! I’ve been using Alterna products lately to boost my hair’s moisture, and this product complements the items I’m already using pretty nicely. 
Have you tried this? Was it a 10 for you too?

Review – GVP Smoothing Serum

A couple of my friends swear by Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. It sounded like a great product, so I got excited when I found out Sally Beauty Supply has a generic for only $7.99!

The product description says:
– Provides incredible shine
– Improves manageability
– Smoothes and conditions
– Reduces frizz and flyaways
– Thermal protectant
It also claims to reduce drying time! Well shoot, I was sold. That sounds pretty awesome, right? :) And it is really awesome. Now that I have the hang of using it, I am madly in love. Here’s how I incorporated it into my routine:
After washing my hair as usual I towel-dry it as much as I can to get a lot of the excess water out of it. Then I squirt a nickel-sized bit of this serum into the palm of my hand, rub my palms together, and then apply the serum all over my hair. My hair is a little dry for some reason right now, so I also squirt 3 or more sprays of Aussie Hair Insurance leave-in conditioner in and work that into my hair too. Then I comb it with a wide-tooth comb to get my part in and make sure everything’s evenly coated over my hair. Afterward, I blow dry and then flat iron as usual. After I flat iron, depending on how my hair is behaving, I add more of the Aussie conditioner, and I’m also trying out that Living Proof anti-frizz creme, which is pretty nice so far but I haven’t tested it out enough to do an official review. ;)
Anyway, the end result (even without the Living Proof stuff) is fantabulous. I was really concerned about my hair being weighed down or greasy, and I don’t get that at all. I have fine hair (but a lot of it), so a lot of products weigh my hair down and I have to be really careful. Before adding the GVP Smoothing Serum to my routine I just used the Aussie and while it helped (and smelled great) nothing really sleek-ifies my hair like this stuff. I’m totally sold.
The GVP Smoothing Serum is available at Sally Beauty Supply. I paid $7.99 as my club membership had expired, but if you have a membership it’ll be even less. ;) It does have a fragrance; I think it smells like fruity candy. It’s pleasant but I don’t find it lingers on my hair if it’s not your thing. The bottle is 8 oz, and even with every day use I’m sure it will last me a very long time, so it’s a great value! I am thrilled to have discovered this.

Review – Nature’s Gate Hair Products

Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
3 out of 5 – would not purchase again
I liked the idea of this shampoo– silicone free, tea tree oil for the scalp, inexpensive, and easily accessible (they have it at my grocery store super close to where I live). However, it didn’t really work out. It was great for my sensitive scalp (no flakes, no irritation, etc), but not so much for my hair. It left my hair feeling DRY (and I’m normally oily), straw-like, frizzy, and very hard to detangle without breaking the hair. I have fine, damage-prone hair to begin with so, that was unacceptable. I ended up returning it.

Nature’s Gate Chamomile Replenishing Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair
4 out of 5 – would not purchase again
Nature’s Gate describes this conditioner as deeply moisturizing, and that’s certainly the case! It smells good and leaves my hair feeling very soft, but somewhat weighed down. It would be great for damaged hair, I’m sure. My hair is fine, though, and this is too heavy. I returned this one too.