My Brazilian Blowout experience and review

When friends hear that I get my hair straightened they shake their head in amazement. In their mind I’m the one with straight hair so why would I want it straightened? It’s true that basically I do have straight hair but that doesn’t mean it’s the way I want it. My wants are to not have to worry about frizz, to not worry about silly kinks in my hair, and to wake up and brush my hair and be done most days. As we age our hair changes too so what is in their mind from my 20’s and 30’s isn’t what I have in my older age. Gray or white hair grows in coarser than brown hair and that coarseness can bring with it a curl or kink that wasn’t there. This is why I recently went for a Brazilian Blowout at my beauty salon.

Brazilian Blowout before and after, similar to my hair

This is probably the 6th time I’ve done a keratin process. I’ve had the Coppola Keratin done at least 3 times. I had something called Keratin Express done once and I had the original Brazilian Blowout done. All worked pretty well for the process but there were negatives with them all. The Coppola Keratin was actually terrific but it was three days of torture afterwards. You can’t get your hair wet or damp at all. That means no showers, no exercise, making sure you aren’t in the rain plus NEVER EVER pull your hair back or clip it. By the end of the third day my skin was crawling to get into a shower and wash it. Granted, it lasted well for approximately 5 – 6 months on my shoulder length hair, but the idea of going through this was again was torture.

The Keratin Express was a shorter process. You can wash it out the same day but my hairstylist recommended leaving it in at least 24 hours to let it set. Some process as above but you can wash it and leave if you want. But my hair wasn’t AS straight and it didn’t last that long.

Enter the Brazilian Blowout. Now if you are know anything about the process you’ve heard some pretty awful things in the past. I was surprised when my stylist told me that’s what she’s using from now on. But I trust her completely so when she told me about the classes she took to learn how to do it properly and about her certification I decided to go along with her recommendation.

In the past there was some controversy that Brazilian Blowout contained formaldehyde. It was really a big deal in the news and in the beauty world. Brazilian Blowout made sure their products passed all the standards and tests available to counteract the negative press they were given.

The process itself takes 90 minutes although I did have my hair tinted on the same day so I was in the salon longer. The basic steps done by my stylist are as follows: 

  1. Wash the hair very thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo. My hair was washed 3 times to make sure that it was perfectly free of color and any products so it would accept the treatment well.
  2. Blow dry the hair until it’s at least 2/3 dry. It can be slightly damp without a problem.
  3. The stylist now applies the product in layers combing the keratin through thoroughly. This takes the most time since just a small amount of hair is done at a time.
  4. Once your hair is covered with the Brazilian Blowout formula the stylist then blows it totally dry using a very hot hairdryer.
  5. Next she/he uses a 450 degree flat iron and goes through your hair a little at a time until your hair is totally flat ironed.
  6. The hair is then washed twice. I waited a few minutes and then the Acai Masque was applied and I waited a few minutes for that to set.
  7. Last is another wash (I’m not sure if this was with or without shampoo) and a blow dry using the BB Acai Serum or Balm. That’s it. Done. (official steps are HERE)

My hair was not only perfectly straight but it was as shiny as could be. I didn’t have any need to even wash it for the next 3 days though I was able to stick it up in a ponytail and put on a shower cap to take a shower. I had my hair in a ponytail often for the next few days afterwards too since that’s how I wear my hair when I’m taking care of my grandson. He’d leave and I’d take out the elastic and my hair would fall back straight and shiny.

Now I’m washing it every few days using Brazilian Blowout Açai Styling Products. Once a week it’s recommended that instead of using the Açai conditioner  that you use the Açai Masque and leave it on for 5 minutes and then wash it out. I’ve continued using my current argan oils but I’m considering buying the Açai Protective Thermal Straightening Balm to use instead. The Acai products add more keratin to your hair making the bond stronger and longer lasting.

Now for the cost… I’m sure this varies all over the country and in each salon. I paid $350 for the process which also included three full size Brazilian Blowout Acai products (shampoo, conditioner and masque).

If you live in the Detroit, Michigan area I highly recommend my stylist and salon: R Place Salon on 12 Mile Road in Farmington Hills, MI. The phone number is 248-553-4480 . My stylist is named Rima and I’ve sent people to her for a few years now with absolute confidence in her skills. The other stylists in the salon have also been trained to do the process too. (I received no compensation or discount for this process by the way.)

The day I had the Brazilian Blowout done it was absolutely pouring out. It made no difference at all. I was out all evening so I was in and out of the rain though I was wearing a raincoat. As I’m writing this I’ve recently come in from being in a light rain and my hair is perfect. I love how my hair looks since it’s shiny and silky. It’s so easy to take care of. I wake up and brush my hair and that’s it! I’m done. Shiny, swingy hair. I know too that it will last me at least 4 months and probably 6.  Would I recommend this? A resounding YES! — Marcia

For more information and the Frequently Asked Questions please read the Brazilian Blowout website. Here’s some additional information I just learned – if you have blonde hair ask for Brazilian Blowout Free. It is a better formula for those of you with blonde hair since it won’t interfere with your color at all.

Dan Read: Interview with a Cosmetic Rock Star

     Dan Read is a rock star.  Yes, he is the creator and owner of Dan Read Cosmetics, one of my all-time favorite cosmetics lines – but he is also a rock star.  For real.

      Dan was born to very creative, talented parents.  His mother was a portrait artist who also designed artwork for album covers in the seventies.  She created album cover art for stars like Eddie Arnolds, Buck Owens, and Elvis.  Speaking of Elvis, Dan’s mom had a real soft spot for him – so she married a man who looked and sounded just like Elvis.  Dan’s father, Ronnie White, had the very first Elvis tribute show.  He so closely resembled Elvis his act eventually opened for superstars like Tina Turner.  At age 16, Dan found himself playing drums onstage with his dad in Las Vegas.  That was only the beginning of a long career in show business.

Ronnie White, Dan's father, as Elvis

Ronnie White during an Elvis Tribute show

Dan went on to become a double bass hard hitting drummer in 1980’s big hair bands in Hollywood.  He was in the band Kingdom Come, and then moved to Bust’er Chops, managed by Eddie Van Halen.

Bust'er Chops - Dan Read is far right

Dan breaking some sticks in Bust'er Chops

Bust’er Chops was getting ready to go on tour, opening for the Stone Temple Pilots in the Monsters of Rock Tour, when the group decided Dan was too pretty. 

Early 80's Dan Read

So Dan was out, and a guy with a less perfect visage was in.  Dan thought he had missed his chance – and then he met up with a former band mate after the tour.  After a short conversation, Dan realized that the bands actually didn’t make a lot of money even with a huge tour (as Dan says, it was ‘rags to recognition’, not ‘rags to riches’).  He decided it was time to create Plan B.

     Dan answered a newspaper ad in the Los Angeles Times for a job cleaning beakers.  The man who placed that ad was none other than makeup legend Joe Blasco, who at that time was just starting his makeup line Joe Blasco Cosmetics.  Dan’s first job was on the Three Stooges lot in Hollywood, CA.  While he started out cleaning toilets, beakers, and sweeping, he was mesmerized by all the cool cosmetics – monster heads, arms, body parts, all the special effects.  Dan quickly graduated to learning how to create compound makeup, and he helped bring the Blasco line to the forefront with the marketing skills learned from playing in the bands.  Dan’s goal was to  promote the Joe Blasco line the way they promote a rock band.

     By 1988 the Blasco line went international.  Dan became the VP of Education, Joe Blasco Makeup Centers Hollywood, creating with makeup during the day, and still drumming in his rock band at night.  Dan worked as the Joe Blasco VP for over 12 years, eventually quitting his band to go to Orlando, Florida to work with Joe opening the Makeup Center East Corporation Headquarters.  Dan put together the very first makeup department for Universal Studios in Florida in 1992. 

Dan Read

     In 1997, Dan launched his own cosmetics line focused on what he knew was coming in 2000 – HD television.  For the past 13 years Dan has been doing his own HD-ready line, he really is the Father of HD makeup.  Dan’s philosophy is glamor makeup that looks natural, not overdone. 

     I asked Dan what he thought was the best part about being a makeup artist. His immediate answer?  “Making people cry.”  Of course he meant cry with happiness!  He loves making port wine stains, lupidermis, vitiglio, rosacea, or any skin condition that causes low self esteem disappear.  He lives to help people feel good about themselves, to be a part of that moment when someone really realizes how just how beautiful they are.   

     Dan has worked with tons of celebrities, including quite a few beauty icons. 

     He did Lauren Bacall’s makeup for the 61st academy awards.  He’s worked with supermodels like Kathy Ireland, with country music stars like Brooks & Dunn and Lori Morgan, and he even did makeup for Elizabeth Taylor.

     Dan has been in the business a long time, but he often feels like David versus Goliath.  He says, “There are far too many celebrity experts in this business who don’t know squat.  People listen to these quack experts and are frustrated when the products don’t work.  My products are based on logic, and they work.”  His DRC line features the famous HD-ready Silver Screen Series Foundation.  This foundation is revolutionary technology in Full Coverage, Clarifying, Comfort Foundation made with almost all powdered ingredients instead of oils and waxes.  It is highly pigmented, so it works as both a foundation and a concealer.  What makes it a truly amazing foundation is that it provides superior, long lasting coverage without powder, yet it’s sheer enough to look completely natural.  It’s also one of the very first foundations to use an organic preservative with no parabens. With Dan Read Cosmetics you will achieve the perfect match for your skin undertones.

Dan Read Silver Screen Series Foundation

      For women with visible wrinkles, Dan recommends using his foundation as both the concealer and the foundation.  The foundation clarifies the skin, it doesn’t settle into lines and it lets the skin breathe.  His foundation perfects the skin and de-emphasizes wrinkles.  When used in conjunction with his fine micro-milled setting powder it minimizes large pores.  To pick the correct shade, there is a great questionnaire on his DRC website.  Shades are based on ancestral background, so you should be able to find your match quickly – and if you can’t, just pick up the phone and give Dan, or one of his highly trained staff, a call. 

    Here’s a big secret for you – Dan is holding a huge celebrity party in Hollywood next month.  It’s by invitation only, and the guest list includes a wonderfully eclectic mix of celebrities like Loni Anderson, Billy Idol, Tommy Lee (of Motley Crue fame), and even George Clooney.  That’s an invitation list I would pay to be on!

     These days Dan is known as the ‘Modern day Max Factor’, and is one of the  most sought after makeup artists in film and television.  He’s continued his career in music too, he just finished his latest CD album with Russell and Hop.

Russell and Hop. Dan Read is pictured far left.

Dan Read is still a rock star, in every sense of the phrase.   – Lisa

Dan Read, still breaking sticks.

Bye bye baby, buy buy – IT Cosmetics

It’s wonderful when a company actually listens to customers. It makes me feel even better about buying their products. IT Cosmetics is the company I’m referring to. They reformulated their already wonderful Bye Bye Under Eye concealer and made it even greater than it was before. The complaint from customers was that the concealer could get gritty. The reason this happened is that the product contains high concentrates of collagen which balled up in the tube. I used it in spite of that because I could easily rub away the little balls. But when IT Cosmetics heard from enough customers they knew it was time to change something. I recently started a brand new tube of this great concealer  after actually finishing up my first tube. The new one is smooth as can be yet works just as superbly.

Bye Bye Under Eye ($24)  is a full coverage concealer. It’s especially great for those dark circles under your eyes. It also can be used on any part of your face, I use it to cover those little red marks I get from being a little overzealous with my tweezers at times and I use it on the inner corner of my nose. I need the teeniest amount. I mean teeny. A little goes a long long way. I gently squeeze out a drop on the back of my hand and then pick it up with my finger to apply. I like the heat from fingers since it helps meld the concealer into my skin. I’ve tried it with a concealer brush and it’s fine that way but not my preference. I then apply my foundation and powder and I’m set. I rarely have to touch up under my eyes at the end of the day. Once in a while I’ll use something like a highlighter or YSL Touche Eclat when I’m going out at night though.

The formula is moisturizing and contains vitamins K, A, C, and E.  Vitamin K is great for dark circles,  vitamins  A, C, and E  as well as Collagen reduce puffiness and strengthen the delicate skin under our eyes. It’s a waterproof formula which for the Hot Flash Queen, aka Marcia, is the best!

I first bought this in Medium Neutral from because that’s the color that is recommended for 70% of IT’s customers. I liked the shade and used it often but then decided I wanted to see what Light was like. I read that it was ultra fair but then again, so am I. It’s the perfect shade for me. A friend of mine wanted the Medium Neutral after my raves so there was no guilt in buying Light. I’m currently on my second one in Light after at least 8 months of use on the first.

I have double thanks to IT Cosmetics – first for putting their customers as Numero Uno and then for creating such a fabulous concealer. — Marcia

It’s Pinkalicious – Beauty Blender Sponge

I love my pink egg. I really, really love it. I use the Beauty Blender sponge 9 days out of 10, that’s how much I love it.  I believe that good tools really are a help in perfecting the way you look each day and the pink Beauty Blender sponge rocks my world.

I remember when I first heard about it from Kellie, a friend on a beauty board. She posted a picture of it and the price ($20) and we all sort of looked askew. $20 for a sponge?? Why would we spend that kind of money on something we can buy in the drugstore for a whole lot less? Seemed pretty silly to me. I bought one and put it in a cupboard and forgot about it. But my luck changed the instant I received it from another friend on the beauty board. From that point on I’ve continued to buy and cherish this sponge.

There are now a whole world of imitators out there. Stores like Sephora and Ulta copied this, companies like Sonia Kashuk and Trish McEvoy came out with their own versions. But for me the pink egg is the one to own. The others truly don’t compare. I’ve written reviews on of the two versions that Target carries for the Sonia Kashuk line, they weren’t glowing like this is. I’ve also previously reviewed this on in January, 2007 and I love it more now than I did then.

How to use it? One word: BOUNCE!!  I lightly dampen my beauty blender (I use Evian but plain water or a liquid like MAC Fix + can also be used). I dot my liquid foundation on my face and then I take my sponge and just bounce it around on my face. That’s all there is to it. It magically blends without any lines or seams.  With a cream foundation, I put the sponge into the foundation to pick it up and then bounce it on my face. With a spray-on foundation I spray it onto the back of my hand, pick up the color with the sponge and then BOUNCE. Easy as can be for a seamless look. It works great for cream blushes and for concealer. The pointy end gets in smaller areas like around your nose and eyes.

You can buy this in a variety of packaging. You can buy a single for $19.95, a single with a full size cleanser for $34.95, a double for $25.95 or a double with a full size cleanser for $39.95. Sometimes you can find these one sale for 20% off too. I purchased this without the cleanser. Each sponge has lasted me a year before I’ve decided that it either looks too grungy or it’s not working as well as it used to for me. I don’t use the cleanser they sell but it is fabulous. It really gets the sponge clean but I’m not a fan of the lavender fragrance in it.  The Beauty Blender company even has a recycling program that‘s listed on their website (

If you are going to make one new purchase to improve your tool collection, make it the Beauty Blender sponge. You won’t regret it. — Marcia

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