Getting in the holiday groove with Glossybox December 2014 Subscription Box

Glossybox 2014 DecemberDecember is the holiday month and the December Glossybox has everything you need to be party ready. The Glossybox Subscription Box is $21 a month (or you can save more with a 3-month, 6-month or annual subscription.) Each box has a combination of deluxe and full size beauty products and the box that Glossybox sent to us for review this month is pretty impressive.

Glossybox 2014 December packaging

It only makes sense that the December Glossybox has a holiday theme. I adore the packaging, it is just beautiful. The box is adorable as well as sturdy and will definitely find its way under my tree this year. Once that gift is opened, I am taking my box back to reuse it again next year!

Glossybox 2014 December Subscription Box

Glossybox 2014 December Subscription Box

Four of the five items in this month’s box are full size, with a combined value of $94…pretty awesome for a $21 box. The products in the December Box are what you need for soft hands, skin, and hair, plus fabulously festive lips and nails.

Glossybox 2014 December Subscription Box takes care of skin, hair, and hands!

Glossybox 2014 December Subscription Box takes care of skin, hair, and hands!

Ritual Cosmetics Miracle Scrub in Ginseng & Ginko Biloba (full size, retails for $17):  I am so bad about wearing gloves…my hands always need a serious intervention. This is a scrub for hands (too fragranced for your face!) that does a wonderful job of leaving them soft and lightly scented.

Toni & Guy Prep Leave-In Conditioner (full size, retails for $17):  I have loved this conditioner for years because it gets rid of frizz and still leaves my hair bouncy. Most leave-ins are too heavy for my fine hair, but this stuff is the bomb.

NUXE Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute (full size, retails for $32):  This mask has the most beautiful citrus scent, one that is light enough to work for skin care. It’s really amazing for dry, dehydrated winter skin. Great for after long holiday flights, too!

Holiday color in the Glossybox 2014 December Subscription Box

Holiday color in the Glossybox 2014 December Subscription Box

Bellapierre Cosmetics Mineral Lipstick in Burlesque (full size, retails for $20):  I only recently discovered the awesomeness that is Bellapierre Cosmetics – I reviewed the 5-in-1 Mineral Foundation HERE and the Mineral Blush, Lipstick, and Nail Polish HERE. The lipstick has natural waxes and mineral pigments, iron oxides and antioxidants including Vitamin C and Vitamin E. It is a creamy, smooth, highly pigmented lipstick. Burlesque is a fuchsia pink, but don’t let that scare you – this is a very wearable, festive pink that is party perfect.

Ciate Mini Nail Polish in All Aglow ($8)  I love mini nail polishes, and this one just screams ‘holiday’.  All Aglow is a golden shimmer with flecks of red – major holiday glam over a matte black polish!

The December Glossybox is a winner. Four great full size products plus a super cute mini, with a combined value that is over $70 more than what you pay for it. Gift yourself one of these before they are all sold out!! – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

*sent for editorial consideration 

Top Ten Tuesday – Hair Masks, Conditioners and Treatments

TOP TEN TUESDAY is addressing hair this week. We’ve chosen hair masks as our topic but that extends (in my world) to conditioners and treatments for my hair. As bloggers we have more of these products than most people I’m sure, hopefully you’ll find some products that you will love having in your life. With winter peeking its ugly head, we all need more care for our hair. Enjoy — Marcia
1.  PRETTY LITTLE ELIXIR – This is my favorite of all my hair masks. It was created by both Phyrra (of Phyrra.net) and Future Derm. It takes longer than most of the other masks but it’s so worth it. This is the only hair mask that I use a shower cap with and it makes my hair as soft as a puppy.
2. BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT ACAI DEEP CONDITIONING MASQUE – I get a Brazilian Blowout or other keratin straightening treatment about every 7 months. No matter what treatment I have done I always turn to this Acai Masque. I think this whole Acai line is terrific and keep buying it. This masque is especially good to use once a week for the first month or two after a straightening treatment since it helps extend it.
3.  ECRU NEW YORK ACACIA PROTEIN MASQUE – I recently reviewed the ECRU New York Acacia shampoo and conditioner which I love. The masque is terrific, to be used with or without the other products. It’s highly recommended especially for color treated hair.
4.  BRIOGEO DON’T DESPAIR, REPAIR DEEP CONDITIONING MASK – This is one of Lisa’s favorite masks. I’ve tried a sample which was enough to make me include this rich, great smelling hair mask on my list. The ingredients are wonderful for your hair.
5. MONAT REJUVENIQE – Full review to come on this amazing hair oil that can also be used on your skin. Rejuveniqe helps with so many things like shininess, hair repair, and volume. Plus there are no silicones.
6. ROUX LEAVE IN TREATMENTS – There are 4 different kinds of Leave In Treatments from Roux and all are wonderful. My favorite changes from time to time but right now it’s the Extra Moisture one. These are leave ins so I don’t have to put anything more in my hair before I style it.
7.  KERASTASE CHROMA RICHE MASK – If you want an extra rich mask, this is the one to get. This is a very thick formula that you leave in for 5-10 minutes and then wash out. The fragrance is strong so I don’t use it often but if my hair looks damaged I do reach for this one.
8.  NELSON J ARGAN OIL MOISTURE HEALING MASK – I haven’t used this but I’ve certainly heard my blog partner Lisa rave about it enough. She is crazy about this hair mask so it’s definitely worth a look at.
9.  AG HAIR RECONSTRUCT ANTI-BREAKAGE MASK – I’ve enjoyed using all the AG Hair products that I’ve tried. This mask is great for hair like mine that does break and shed easily.  It’s great for using as a short term conditioner that you rinse out quickly or a longer time mask.
10.  DARSHANA NATURAL INDIAN HAIR OIL - This miraculous oil leaves hair as beautiful and shiny as a movie star’s. The creators of this treatment used only natural ingredients (natural Ayurvedic Oils) and left out silicone, parabens, sulfates, mineral oil making this a cruelty free product. If you want shine, Darshana is the way to go.
 –
At first I didn’t know if I could come up with 10 but I realize now that I’m lucky enough to have found 10 with others on my almost list. Have you a favorite hair mask or treatment?
Join the other Top Ten ladies to see what’s missing in your shower. – Marcia


*some products were received for review consideration as noted in original articles

ECRU New York Acacia line review and giveaway

Over the last almost 3 months I haven’t been able to control a lot in my life. But happily I have been able to control what I’ve used on my hair. There are two different lines that I used exclusively for the last few months and I’m here to not only share ECRU New York with you but to offer a giveaway for my favorite product in the line.

In the summer ECRU New York sent some of their Acacia line of products. The shampoo and conditioner went right into my shower while the BB Protein Cream went on my vanity.

ECRU New York was created to “Treat and Perform”. Silk proteins are used in every product within the collection because they strengthen and improve the integrity of the hair.

What are Silk Proteins? According to ECRU they are the highest grade protein ingredients created from the hydrolysis of silk fibers. The inner part of silk is removed by this hydrolysis. It’s been used in high grade skincare for years but research found that these silk proteins formed a protective film that sealed the hair. The result is a hair cuticle with increased elasticity, beautiful shine and protection from damage.

The products I’ve been using are from the Acacia Protein Collection. They consist of a shampoo, conditioner, BB Cream, masque and oil. Today I bring you the shampoo, conditioner and BB cream.

ECRU New York Acacia Protein Shampoo and Conditioner are both safe for color treated hair, hair that has had processes done to it (like a keratin straightening), and are paraban free. The shampoo contains Acacia Collagen™, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Wheat Protein, Panthenol, and Sunflower Extract. It is extremely moisturizing and leaves my hair soft and shiny. It washes out easily even when I am just standing on one foot at my kitchen sink. The conditioner contains similar but enhanced ingredients, Acacia Collagen™, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Wheat Protein, and Safflower Seed Oil, and leaves my hair feeling protected. One claim is that it helps mend split ends, I don’t agree or disagree with that statement since I haven’t seen proof of that in my own life. These two products keep my hair so well moisturized that I don’t notice split ends occuring.

ECRU New York Acacia Protein Shampoo

ECRU New York Acacia Protein Shampoo

ECRU New York Acacia Protein Conditioner

ECRU New York Acacia Protein Conditioner

The other product is one I mentioned in an Ipsy review since I received a travel size one in my last Ipsy bag. I was thrilled and started using it right away since I wasn’t able to go upstairs to get my full size one. This is the Acacia Protein BB Cream which is my favorite of these three products. This is a styling cream that is both lightweight and easy to use. I don’t notice fragrance in any of these products when I use them but if there is fragrance then it’s just light and refreshing. The Protein BB Cream contains Acacia Collagen™, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Silk Amino Acids, Jojoba Oil and Monoi Oil. These excellent ingredients are what makes this BB Cream so special. I like to use this on my towel dried hair prior to blow drying. I can comb through my hair with ease and this is helping protect it from the heat of my appliances.

ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream

ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream

We were sent an extra ECRU New York Protein BB Cream and are happy to have this as a giveaway for one of our readers. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do since I know we all care so much about the way our hair looks.  The giveaway is open for US and Canada only through 11/15/14.  — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration.  You can find ECRU New York on their website as well as on BeautyBar which has free shipping.

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The dynamic duo for rescuing summer hair

Summer is just brutal on hair.  Strands get weighed down by salt, chlorine, and styling products.  Color fades as hair gets dry and brittle from the sun and wind.  Ever the ‘mad scientist’, I have come up with a go-to hair combo for soft, shiny, and super smelling summer hair!

The dynamic duo for summer!

The dynamic duo for summer!

When used together, two products we were sent to test are a total dynamic duo: Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo ($18) and OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner ($6.99).

Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo

Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo

Superfruit Renewal™ Clarifying Cream Shampoo is a beautifully creamy sulfate-free shampoo.  As a clarifying shampoo, it gets rid of build up like chlorine, salt, and the gunky build-up from hair products.  However, it is probably the most gentle clarifying shampoo I have ever used.  It doesn’t leave my hair stiff and dry like others I have tried.  Superfruit Renewal has all kinds of excellent, nourishing ingredients like açai, blueberry, cranberry, papaya, and pomegranate.  Plus it has banana extract that helps to replenish hydration so hair is left clean and soft.  It is a wonderful summer shampoo, especially if you spend a lot of time outside.

OGX Nourishing Coconut Water Conditioner

OGX Nourishing Coconut Water Conditioner

The OGX Nourishing Coconut Conditioner has the best coconut scent of any hair product I’ve tried.  The best part is it stays, so all throughout the day I get whiffs of this creamy vanilla coconut scent that screams SUMMER! The days I use this conditioner I am continually transported to a beautiful sunny beach, relaxing in the sun as a muscle-bound cabana boy serves me pina coladas….sorry.  This conditioner doesn’t weigh down my fine hair, but it still drenches it with moisture and leaves it soft and shiny.  It is a wonderfully affordable conditioner that my hair just loves.

Together, these two are my summer dynamic duo that rescue my hair and leave me smelling like a total beach babe.  It’s a good thing, since it is the only way I could be classified as one these days!  – Lisa

* sent for editorial consideration

Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo Ingredients:  Water (Aqua)/(Eau), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Glycerin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside/Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauroryl Sarcosinate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Glycol Stearate, Polysorbate 20, Glycolic Acid, Panthenol, Euterpe Oleracea (Açai) Fruit Extract, Musa Sapientum Fruit (Banana) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Propanediol, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Fragrance (Parfum), Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium PCA, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Red 33 (CI 17200).

OGX Nourishing Coconut Conditioner Ingredients:  Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Cocos Nucifera Water (Coconut), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Glycol Distearate, Glycol Stearate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Pro Naturals Hair Repair System

Pro NaturalsI don’t know about you, but my hair loves argan oil. Argan oil makes my color-treated hair super soft and shiny. Pro Naturals sent their argan oil-based Pro Naturals Hair Repair System to test, which is a 4 step repairing system for hair that needs some help. What is unusual is it’s used once a week for at least 6 weeks to give dry and damaged hair new life.

The Pro Naturals System...oops, they misspelled Authenticity!

The Pro Naturals System…oops, they misspelled ‘Authenticity’!

The four products included in the set cleanse the hair and scalp, removing any built up styling products. Plus the recovery system conditions thanks to the 100% Pure Moroccan Oil, which also strengthens hair and gives it tons of body. The Moroccan Oil softens up the hair after it is clarified with the cleansing products.

This system is meant to be used in conjunction with your normal hair routine. The products include:

  • Pro Naturals Hair Shampoo
  • Pro Naturals Hair Conditioner
  • Pro Naturals Hair Mask
  • Pro Naturals Argan Hair Oil
Hair Repair Mask

Hair Repair Mask

inside the jar...

inside the jar…

The mask is wonderfully hydrating. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes for a deep treatment that definitely leaves hair silky and frizz-free.

Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment

Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment

Hair Repair Treatment dropper

Hair Repair Treatment dropper

The Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment is applied to damp hair before styling. After clarifying hair and removing build up, the mask and hair oil bring hair back to where it should be – healthy and vibrant with softness and volume.

You can purchase the Pro Naturals Hair Repair System HERE for $149.95, which seems expensive but you get four products that are only used once a week – so it lasts a long time. You can find them via social media at:

If your hair loves argan oil as much as mine does, this is definitely a set worth checking out!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Pro Naturals Hair Repair System Ingredients:

Pro Naturals Hair Shampoo: Aqua, Cocamidopropyl betaine ­ an organic compound derived from coconut oil, Polyquaternium 10 ­ Antistatic Agent, Hair Fixative, Citric Acid, Argania spinosa kernel oil (Argan Oil).

Pro Naturals Hair Conditioner: Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) ­ thickening agent, Cyclopentasiloxane ­ silicone fluid, Dimethicone – moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations.

Pro Naturals Hair Mask: Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) ­ thickening agent, Argania spinosa kernel oil (Argan Oil), Aqua.

Pro Naturals Argan Oil Argania spinosa kernel oil (Pure Argan Oil), Hydro Cordium: Vegetable based amino protein (strengthener), Purely Natural Plant Control-oil: Supplies hair nutrients and provides a protection layer, Multiple Tartaric Acid Complexes: Facilitate cell rejuvenation.

NATU Hair Care: my holy grail of hair products?

WOW, this is a real find!! I don’t throw the term ‘holy grail’ out very often, but NATU Hair Care has earned that status in my book. I test many, many hair lines and have discovered some wonderful products. But I am not exaggerating when I say this line blew me away.

When NATU sent us the products, I thought – wow, cool packaging! It’s unique and attractive. But I never thought I was going to be discovering some of my favorite hair products ever.

Natu

NATU Hair Care…are the bottles pretty?

NATU is known for being a truly natural hair care line. Here is a list of everything that is NOT included in NATU products:

All The Un-Natural Ingredients That Didn’t Go Into The Creation Of NATU:

No Sulfates
No Silicones
No Parabens
No Resins
No Phthalates
No Petrolatum
No Ethoxylates
No Artificial Colors
No Artificial Fragrances
No Animal Products

Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate) aren’t great in hair products because they dry out hair and can cause breakage.  Synthetic parabens (Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben) can be a problem because they cause allergic reactions for some.  NATU uses none of those ingredients, and in fact only uses natural-born proteins, lipids, amino acids, nutrients and vitamins that clean, condition, and repair hair beautifully.

They only have one shampoo and one conditioner, stating that different types for various kinds of hair aren’t necessary. Here is what I can tell you:  my long, fine, color-treated hair LOVES these products!

Natu

NATU Liberating Shampoo

NATU Liberating Shampoo ($15) is a gentle cleanser that gets rid of product buildup without stripping or drying hair. It gives crazy lift and volume after just one use.

Natu

NATU Reawakening Conditioner

NATU Reawakening Conditioner ($15) is a beautiful, lightweight conditioner that is wonderfully moisturizing without weighing down hair. It leaves my hair extremely soft and shiny.

Natu

NATU Reviving Mist

NATU has several different mists. The mists are leave-in conditioners that are applied to damp hair before any styling products. There are four different types: Volumizing Mist for Fine HairManaging Mist for Normal HairSilkening Mist for Thick, Coarse Hair, and Reviving Mist for Dry, Damaged Hair. I tested the Reviving Mist ($15), which adds moisture and strength to processed or dry hair.

I have pretty good hair, but I am astounded at what NATU does for me. My hair becomes full, soft, and floaty. It has incredible body and holds curl all day long. Plus is gives me great second AND third day hair.

My Natu hair...holy smokes, what a difference!

My Natu hair…holy smokes, what a difference!

The picture above was taken after using the Liberating Shampoo, Reawakening Conditioner, and Reviving Mist. I blew my hair dry and put it in hot rollers for ten minutes. That’s all!

NATU is sold at Target and at salons. You can find a store closest to you at their website, www.natuhaircare.com. Cute packaging, good prices, easy availability, and results like this?? NATU has joined my list of Holy Grail products. I know that if you try it, it will join yours too.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Are you a curly girl? Then check out Miss Jessie’s

If you are a curly girl, Miss Jessie’s just may be a miracle hair care line for you. I have several super curly friends who swear by this line, so even though I am not uber-curly I was more than happy to test some products Miss Jessie’s sent us. Keep in mind that my hair is quite fine, although I have a lot of it. I have natural wave to my hair – not enough to be called ‘curly’, basically just enough to be sort of annoying. So I need to either air dry it with salt spray product for pronounced waves, or else blow dry and curl with rollers or a curling iron for curls.

Miss Jessie's Super Slip Shampoo and Creme de la Creme Conditioner

Miss Jessie’s Super Slip Shampoo and Creme de la Creme Conditioner

Claiming to be ‘the best darn’ anything is going out on a limb, and Miss Jessie’s does so on every bottle of product. I tested the Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo ($11) and the Creme de la Creme Conditioner ($11).

Miss Jessie's Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo

Miss Jessie’s Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo

Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo is billed as “The Best Darn Detangling Shampoo. Period.” Many who have very dry and coarse hair sometimes can’t even use shampoo because it just wrecks their hair. But even those with incredibly difficult hair swear by this shampoo. It is a wonderful detangler that leaves hair extremely smooth and soft. It  has a green apple scent that is fresh and enjoyable. The shampoo is very thick and sort of…well…goopy – triple slip is no exaggeration. However, it lathers up nicely and rinses out clean. It works best for those with wavy, curly, tight curly, or kinky hair.

Miss Jessie's Creme de la Creme Conditioner

Miss Jessie’s Creme de la Creme Conditioner

The Creme de la Creme Conditioner leaves my hair very, very soft. Surprisingly, it is actually more on thin side, almost the consistency of a shampoo. I think those with very curly hair could easily use this as a leave-in conditioner to help keep curls soft and moisturized. It doesn’t weigh down my fine hair, which was surprising, and when I air dry I have no frizz at all.In fact, after using the combo of Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo and Creme de la Creme Conditioner I have full volume that lasts all day.When I use heat styling for curls, my curl definitely stays longer. My guess is that this would be a really terrific conditioner for those with super curly and/or wiry hair.

This line has tons of extremely satisfied and loyal customers who won’t use anything else. I think it should be on all curly girl’s list to at least try. And if you are an only sometimes curly girl like me, Miss Jessie’s is a great line to always have on hand.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo Ingredients:  WATER (AQUA), AMMONIUM LAURYL SULFATE, DISODIUM COCOAMPHODIPROPIONATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, POLYSORBATE 20, POLYQUATERNIUM – 7, GLYCOL STEARATE, FRAGRANCE, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, TETRASODIUM EDTA, ISOSTEARYL ETHYLIMIDAZOLINIUM ETHOSULPHATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, CITRIC ACID, PEG-55 PROPYLENE GLYCOL OLEATE

Creme de la Creme Ingredients:  Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetrimonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Lauryl Alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, C13-16 Isoparaffin, C12-14 Isoparaffin, C13-15 Alkane, Dimethiconol, Fragrance (Parfum), DMDM Hydantoin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Ceteareth-20, Polyquaternium-11, Panthenol, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Disodium EDTA, Trideceth-12, Cyclomethicone, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Chlorella Pyrenoidosa Extract