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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Drug store hair care finds for fine, flat hair: Dove Dry Shampoo and Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam

I have very fine, flat hair.  It takes great products to make it look good.  Want proof?  Here I am on a bad hair day – meaning this is what my hair ‘naturally’ looks like:

Fine, flat hair is not so fine to have.

Fine, flat hair is not so fine to have.

Finding great hair styling products for fine, flat hair is not an easy task.  Products that work miracles on normal or thick hair leave fine hair limp and greasy looking.  Or, products that do give fine hair volume make it dry and crunchy.  The good news is help for fine hair is right at the drug store, and the price is fantastic.  Dove sent me their Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo ($3.76) and Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam ($5.99) to test, and my hair was very, very happy.

Dove Dry Shampoo

Dove Dry Shampoo

The Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo does everything a good dry shampoo should do…it absorbs oil, makes dirty hair look clean, gives texture and volume.  It also has a very, very strong fragrance.  If your hair smells dirty, like cigarette smoke from the bar or car fumes from tailgating, the fragrance will cover that up in a jiffy.  However, if you are sensitive to fragrance, this is definitely NOT the dry shampoo for you.

Dove Dry Shampoo

Dove Dry Shampoo

It has a very powerful aerosol spray that doesn’t leave any white residue behind.  The trick is to spray it about 10 inches away from roots, then rub it in lightly and brush.  It’s a great product for those with fine or flat hair because it gives lots of volume without the heaviness and stiffness that dry shampoos can leave behind.  If it weren’t for the extremely strong fragrance, I would put this at the top of my dry shampoo list.

Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam

Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam

Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam, perfect for fine hair

Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam, perfect for fine hair

The Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam is a styling mousse specifically for fine, flat hair.  While this is also fragranced, it has a very light fresh scent.  Only those most sensitive to fragrance would be bothered by it.

Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam

Dove Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam

Most hair foams weigh fine down and kill any attempts at volume.  But the Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam is a wonder, leaving my hair soft, full, and shiny.  After towel drying, I apply two to three pumps to my long hair (it’s about mid-back length) concentrating on the roots and then lightly finger-combing through the length of my hair.  It detangles, conditions, and adds lots of volume that lasts throughout the day.

My Dove hair

My happy Dove hair

If you don’t mind the strong scent, Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo is a wonderful way to give fine hair volume and texture, not to mention getting extra mileage from your last shampoo.  Dove Moisture Leave In Foam is a winner on all counts; anyone with fine hair should give it a try.  At these prices, everyone can afford to take a hair care trip to the drug store.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Dove Dry Shampoo ingredients:  Isobutane, Propane, SD Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denat.), Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butane, Fragrance (Parfum), Isopropyl Myristate, Silica, Cyclopentasiloxane.

Oxygen Moisture Leave In Foam ingredients:  Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Dimethiconol, Glycol Distearate, Carbomer, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Citric Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Gluconolactone, PEG-45M, Benzophenone-4, Adipic Acid, Trehalose, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, PPG-9, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide, (CI 77891).

The Christie Brinkley Collection Hair Wrap from Hair2Wear

Remember when hair pieces were a luxury that required lots of time and lots of money? All those combs meant you needed to have the piece put on by a professional or else risk looking completely ridiculous. Now, however, hair pieces are super easy to put on and are quite inexpensive. A perfect example is the Hair2Wear Christie Brinkley Collection Hair Wrap ($16) that was sent to us.

Hair2Wear Bun Wrap

Hair2Wear Natural Tone Hair Wrap

Christie models perfectly, as usual

Christie models perfectly, as usual

Christie Brinkley has a very cute collection of hair pieces including four different types of hair headbands. She also offers the Hair Wrap, which fills out a bun and makes it look beautiful. It could not be easier – put your hair in a bun, then slip this around and voila!  Instant elegance.

My shade is Medium Brown

My shade is Medium Brown

The shade I have is Medium Brown and it is very pretty. I love the golden highlights because they make the wrap look just like real hair.  I have long hair, but it’s quite fine so my bun can always use a little pizzaz. This wrap isn’t super smooth, it kind of fans out so it gives a slightly messy, but much more voluptuous bun. This would also be great for someone with shoulder length hair who wants to do a quick bun or chignon.

side view

side view

another side view

another side view

The Hair2Wear Hair Wrap

The Hair2Wear Hair Wrap

There is a quote from Christie on the box, it says, “I love this wrap — it’s both current and classic, and always so flattering. Wear it with bangs or without. My guilty secret? I don’t even have to blow dry my hair first for it to look great.” And by golly, she is right. The Hair Wrap is especially terrific for disguising less-than-clean hair.

Take a look at her collection HERE. The headbands are only $10 each and the Hair Wrap is just $16. It is definitely worth it!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Three fabulous summer finds for hair, skin, and lips

When I am out and about on a summer day, I need three things:  something cute to keep my hair up and out of my face, a sheer foundation with SPF protection to keep my skin looking great, and a kick-butt lip gloss to brighten my look.  Here’s my trio of fun, fashionable, and fantastic summer must-haves we were sent that I love for this season.

Three summer must haves:  Lumene BB Cream, Scunci Bun Wrap, and Smashbox Be Legendary Lipgloss in Azalea

Three summer must haves: Lumene BB Cream, Scunci Bun Wrap, and Smashbox Be Legendary Lip gloss in Azalea

Since I have long hair, I am always searching for something cute when it gets hot and I need to get my hair up off my neck.  A hair accessory as tiny as the Scunci Bun Wrap suddenly becomes essential.

Scunci Bun Wrap

Scunci Bun Wrap

Wrap your style!

Wrap your style!

being a bun head with my Scunci

being a bun head with my Scunci

Could that blue with white polka dot print be any more adorable?  It looks totally picnic ready.  The Scunci Bun Wrap is actually a wire encased in a pretty, gauzy fabric.  It easily wraps around any ponytail or bun and looks fabulous, even if you are as klutsy as me with hair.  These cute little wraps are found in drugstores like Walgreens or Walmart.

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream SPF 20

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream SPF 20

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream in 01 Light

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream in 01 Light

As you can see, the Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream in Light is actually more of a medium shade…unfortunately I don’t think those of you with very pale skin will be able to use this.  (It only comes in two shades, Light and Medium.)  But for the rest of us — hooray!  It luminizes, evens skin tone, and protects from UV rays.  I also find it to be incredibly forgiving.  I slap this on using my fingers and it looks great every time.  It is awesome.

Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Azalea

Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Azalea

Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Azalea

Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Azalea

swatch of Azalea

swatch of Azalea

The new Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss ($20) lives up to its name – this really is some legendary lip gloss.  If you are a lip gloss girl, get yourself several of these STAT.  The formula is incredibly moisturizing and silky, and it lasts longer than any other typical lip gloss I have tried.  I think the shade Azalea is the quintessential summer color.  Azalea is a bright melon pink that is very flattering and so wearable.  It keeps its shine and has a great slip without any stickiness whatsoever.  Be Legendary Lip Gloss comes in 16 different shades, but my recommendation is to make Azalea your first one!

wearing Lumene BB Cream and Smashbox Azalea

wearing Lumene BB Cream and Smashbox Azalea

My Scunci Bun Wrap, Lumene BB Cream, and Smashbox Azalea Lip Gloss make up my summer superhero trio.  What products make your list?  – Lisa

 *sent for editorial consideration

Gray roots begone! Everpro Beauty Gray Away

So who gets their hair colored?

Raised hands

Yeah, me too. I have been getting my colored – and to cover the gray, mind you, not just for fashion – since I was 17 years old. My hair grows super fast so that means I need something to cover my roots in between trips to the salon.

Everpro Gray Away 3

For years I have used Bumble and Bumble Brown Hair Powder ($36 for 4.4 oz). It’s a spray-on colored hair powder and it works. It covers the gray. It’s not perfect though. The brown is quite intense so it makes me look like I don’t even have a natural part – which sort of makes my hair look like it’s a wig. Also, the powder is messy. If I scratch my head, my fingernails are brown. It smears onto my pillow at night. It’s also expensive and not easy to find. So when Everpro Beauty offered to send us their Gray Away Temporary Root Color ($12.99) to test, I was very happy to try what I hoped would be a better alternative.

Everpro

Everpro Beauty Gray Away Temporary Root Concealer

three different shades

matches these hair colors

First selling point for me:  Gray Away is inexpensive and it’s easy to find. It is available at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

It comes in two different shades. I use the Light Brown, which matches my hair perfectly. If you aren’t sure which shade is right for you, go for the lighter shade rather than the darker one.

cool applicator

fantastic thin applicator

The applicator is a very thin spray wand, much different from the larger sprayer I was used to using. This means greater control and less color on areas you don’t want covered, like your natural part. The spray itself is mineral-derived pigment which means it is safe for everyone to use, even pregnant women. Plus it dries very quickly. It will come off if you rub or scratch your head, but not nearly as noticeably as with the Bumble and Bumble.

Just shake the can, then spray on dry roots. It takes seconds for all that gray to disappear! The color is temporary and easily washes out with your next shampoo.

before...

before…

...after!

…after!

This is an absolute winner of a product! With up to 40 applications in one bottle it is a wonderfully affordable way to stretch out the time between your salon visits. I love it. Everpro Beauty Gray Away is the only root concealer I am buying from now on.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Heat and humidity? No problem with AG Hair Smoothing Balm

AG Hair is a line that has never disappointed me, so when they sent a sample of their brand new Smoothing Balm I was really excited. My hair tends to get frizzy with tons of flyaways, especially in the heat and humidity.

The Smoothing Balm ($22) is a lightweight balm applied to dry hair for shine and frizz control.

AG Smoothing Balm

AG Smoothing Balm

inside the jar

inside the jar

Because the Smoothing Balm has a water-based formula, it can be re-applied as necessary throughout the day without any nasty build up. The balm has three essential oils sourced from Africa:  organic argan, Marula, and Mongongo oils. These oils give exactly the right amount of smoothness and shine that hair needs. A very small amount calms and smooths frizz and instantly eradicates flyaways. It makes hair wonderfully soft and manageable.

my smoothed out 'do

my smoothed out ‘do

The new Smoothing Balm just became available today, July 1st! If you are looking for something to smooth away frizz and add major shine, this is definitely the answer. And I adore AG Hair’s motto:  Use. Love. Repeat.

A portion of every bottle sold goes to AG’s Women Leading Change Foundation educating underprivileged girls in Africa.  – Lisa

* sent for editorial consideration

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.