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).

Win a Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment for soft, strong hair

Soft, shiny, silky hair…who doesn’t want that? This just might be the blog post your hair has been waiting for because Pro Naturals is giving away two Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatments, each a $60 value.

pro-naturals-oil_5The Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment strengthens hair and gives it tons of body. It really softens up hair and is especially wonderful after any sort of clarifying treatment.

Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment

Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment

Hair Repair Treatment dropper

Hair Repair Treatment dropper

Just apply the Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment to damp hair before styling. It will leave your hair healthy and vibrant with softness and volume.

You can find Pro Naturals online HERE, and be sure to check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pronaturals. Enter our giveaway to win a Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Repair Treatment for yourself!

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.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: US only, 2 winners of 1 bottle each, ends on 8/19. (Lately the comment section has closed before the giveaway is ended. If that happens to you, please comment on our Facebook Page mentioning the name of the giveaway you are entering.)

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*sent by company for this giveaway

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

Side by Side: Coolway Hair

Coolway

Coolway is a haircare company dedicated to helping you have smooth hair on a daily basis but without damaging your hair. They do this with some unique products including a new Low Heat Flat Iron Smoothing System that detects the moisture level in your hair and keeps the temperature at a level that will protect it. “By replacing high heat tools with innovative low heat technology, the °Coolway System has won six beauty awards, including the prestigious Allure Breakthrough Product of the Year Award.” (from Coolway)

We were sent some of their styling products and we’re having a ball with them. All have been mentioned on the blog before since we’ve been enjoying them ever since we received them. Today we want to go into a little more detail on products so you can see why we enjoy them.

Coolway Knotty Girl Brush

Coolway Knotty Girl Brush

We’ve both use and love the Knotty Girl brush ($9.95). This is a great brush for everyone in your family but it’s especially great for those of us that want to gently brush wet hair. It absolutely does not tug. It would be perfect to put in a beach bag to tame your tresses when you get out of the water. It does wonders on hair fresh from the shower since it doesn’t pull your hair out, it just loosens it as you brush.

We’ve got two other Coolway products so let’s learn about those.

Marcia and True Smooth Spray

Coolway True Smooth Spray

Coolway True Smooth Spray

The goal of True Smooth Spray ($34.95) is to help you end up with smooth hair that does not need a flat iron. We are hard enough on our hair with blowdryers and endless products. Coolway created this spray to protect and condition your hair so that you can eliminate a flat iron.

It’s so easy to use, you shake it and then spray it very liberally on your hair. Just using this spray and a blow dryer will work towards any texture hair straight. I’ve done that several times but my preferred way is to take a very small amount of a hair balm or serum and apply that on my hair, then shake and spray True Smooth Spray over it. It has a long lasting fragrance that isn’t overpowering. I can’t place my finger on it but I love it which is quite unusual for me. I have been able to blow dry my hair more quickly and be done because it’s totally styled using this. The spray is quite lightweight and doesn’t contain ingredients that weigh it down. My hair feels smooth without flyaways when I use it either alone in with another product.

This is meant to be used with a hair dryer because it contains True Smooth’s AminoLock MAB molecule (patent-pending molecule which holds your hairstyle safely from inside the cuticle as you blow dry) which is heat activated. You can also use it with a flat iron on dry hair as a heat protectant but it’s best to use with one that is under 300 degrees (most other brand flat irons start at 350 degrees).

Coolway

Coolway

the spray pump

the spray pump

Follow up with Glow Finishing Oil for something special.

Lisa and Glow Finishing Oil:

°Coolway’s Glow™ ($29.95), the companion product to the True Smooth Spray, is the second half of the dynamic duo. However, it also plays well by itself and with other products.

 

Coolway GlowFinishingOil

Coolway’s Glow™ is a finishing oil that doesn’t have any sulfates, synthetic parabens, or alcohol. While it’s great for all hair types, I think it is especially terrific for color-treated or damaged hair, and if you get treatments like Brazillian Blow Outs this is just perfect. It leaves hair shiny and vibrant.

Coolway Glow

Coolway Glow

The formula includes vitamin E and porphyra seaweed extract, both of which are great for putting moisture into hair. Surprisingly, it does not contain silicones, which I know will make a lot of people happy. The finishing oil leaves my hair looking smooth and healthy, with no frizz at all. It also detangles and softens. So far, this summer has been hot and humid, yet my hair is happy thanks to Coolway’s Glow. It is pricey, but you don’t need a lot of product so it lasts a long time.

Coolway’s website has a Frequently Asked Question section that helps you learn all you need to know about these great products. Be sure to visit.

 *provided for editorial consideration

True Spray ingredients: Aqueous Infusion of Anthemis nobilis (Chamomile) flower, Urtica dioica (Nettle) leaf, Rosa damascena flower, Porphyra yezoensis (red algae), Corn Ferment Filtrate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Silk Peptide, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Lactic Acid, Amino Lock MAB, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Quaternium-80, Polyquaternium-11, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, Panthenol, Polysorbate 20, Gluconolactone, Glycerine, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum, Sodium Benzoate, Cannibis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Arginine, Potassium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.

Looking for a perfect hair day? Try Cristophe!

Rainy days have been getting me down…well, more like they have been getting my hair down. Nothing kills my volume and curl like heavy, damp days. To combat the weather, I turn to my Cristophe volumizing products.

Cristophe Volumizing Spray Tonic and Argan Oil Treatment

Cristophe Volumizing Spray Tonic and Argan Oil Treatment

Cristophe is a high-end salon in Beverly Hills, but lucky for us it is also a wonderful drugstore line that is easy on the pocketbook. Not only are Cristophe products affordable, they are also effective – always a great combination. My ‘witches brew’ for damp days includes Cristophe Volumizing Spray Tonic ($10.99). Argan Oil Treatment ($10.99), and Shaping Hair Spray ($10.99).

Cristophe Volumizing Spray Tonic

My long, fine hair absolutely loves Cristophe Volumizing Spray Tonic. This is a spray-on volumizer that is applied to roots while hair is damp. It does a fantastic job of creating full, thick volume without weighing my hair down. The formula includes something called ‘Vital Energy Complex’. VEC has several nutrient-rich ingredients including Solar Vitis, Glycogen, Adenosine Tri Phosphate, and Phospholipids.  Together, these ingredients are like a skin care treatment for the scalp. It’s really great stuff.

I follow the Volumizing Spray Tonic with a nickel-size amount of the Argan Oil Treatment.

Cristophe Argan Oil Treatment

The Argan Oil Treatment is a beautiful oil that makes my hair super smooth and wonderfully shiny. My hair absorbs it quickly, and my damp hair immediately feels smoother and not at all heavy or greasy. Argan Oil is a terrific antioxidant that makes hair stronger and provides protection from heat styling and the environment.

Cristophe Argan Oil Treatment

Cristophe Argan Oil Treatment

Just like the Volumizing Spray Tonic, the Argan Oil Treatment has the VEC blend of awesome ingredients. Once I dry and style my hair, I spray on some Shaping Spray to help my hair’s volume and curls last all day long.

Cristophe Shaping Spray

Cristophe Shaping Spray

The Shaping Hair Spray gives a flexible hold for natural looking hair that isn’t stiff or sticky. It keeps my fine hair from drooping even on damp and rainy days. I need to note that it does have a discernible sweet fragrance that definitely lingers, but for those who don’t mind fragrance this is a terrific hair spray option.

I am also happy to report that all of Cristophe’s products are color safe, paraben free, and cruelty free. The next time you are at the drugstore, pick up some Cristophe and wilted hair will be a thing of the past.  – Lisa

My Cristophe volumized hair

My Cristophe volumized hair

*products sent for editorial consideration

Guard your hair color with Marco Pelusi

I am really excited to tell you about my latest hair care obsession:  Marco Pelusi. Marco is a true expert regarding hair color and I am beyond impressed with the products he sent to test. I am just astounded at how vibrant and shiny my hair is even at the end of my ‘grace period’ between hair color appointments. Plain and simple, this stuff is the bomb.

Marco Pelusi

Marco Pelusi Color Guard products

Marco Pelusi

Marco Pelusi Color Health Shampoo

I have used every single ounce of my Marco® Color Health Shampoo with Collagen Color Guard™, ($27.25 for 8 oz). Even with lots of products waiting to be tested, I just kept reaching for this over and over because I loved what it did for my hair. It has a refreshingly minty scent that leaves hair smelling clean. It is gentle enough to use every day and it leaves my colored hair looking fresh and vibrant. Some other great points:

  • rich in rosemary essential oils to stimulate cell growth, soothe the scalp and offer anti-aging properties
  • clove essential oils offer therapeutic and medicinal benefits including an antiseptic and astringent; also help enhance and elevate mood

The Marco® Color Hydrate Conditioner with Collagen Color Guard™ ($27.25 for 8 oz) is a perfect partner for the shampoo.

Marco Pelusi

Marco Pelusi Color Hydrate Conditioner

This conditioner leaves my hair wonderfully soft and full. It smells lightly of lavender and together with the shampoo it is just amazing for keeping hair color true and fresh.The main ingredients include apricot essential oil for shine and aloe vera for hydration.

For styling I absolutely love the Marco® Anti-Frizz Leave-In Conditioner with Collagen Color Guard™  ($35.25 for 8 oz).

Marco Pelusi

Marco Pelusi Anti-Frizz Leave-In Conditioner

I still have some of this, only because it doesn’t take much to do the trick even with my long hair. It’s magic with the other Marco Pelusi products, but it also plays well with other brands. It is just a great leave-in conditioner that gets rid of frizz and leaves my fine hair fabulously smooth without weighing it down. Plus, it protects hair color from fading and gives hair terrific volume. It also has lots of the antioxidant vitamin E to protect hair from any nasty stuff in the environment. My hair is fine with a slight wave, but it’s also meant for very coarse and/or curly hair.

Marco Pelusi products are sold online at the Marco Pelusi e-store. This is a terrific line that is definitely worth checking out especially if you have color treated hair.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration