4 tips for brushing wet hair…and a Coolway Knotty Girl Brush review

Coolway brush 3Most people will tell you not to brush wet hair.  Well, you can safely do this…just follow these four tips.

1.  After you shampoo, be sure to use a conditioner – conditioned hair is stronger and less likely to be damaged by styling.

2.  Be careful when towel drying your hair after washing. Remove excess moisture by squeezing hair with your towel – rubbing it will only create tangles and breakage.

3.  Apply a leave-in conditioner like the one from Marco Pelusi to further strengthen and protect hair.

4.  Because hair is most fragile when wet, it is very important to use the right tool. You definitely want to choose a specialty brush made specifically for brushing wet hair. Section hair into smaller areas and brush slowly and carefully. Again, it is so important to use the right tool!

A great option is the Coolway Knotty Girl Brush ($9.95).

All the good things about using the Coolway Brush

All the good things about using the Coolway Brush

The Knotty Girl Brush has SoftFlowTM bristles that are designed to handle brushing wet hair without breaking the strands. When the bristles encounter a tangle, they loosen it up very slowly and carefully, so once the brush is all the way through the hair there is no tangle left…and your hair is perfectly intact.

Coolway Brush

Knotty Girl Brush

Coolway

Knotty Girl Brush

Coolway

the perfect bristle for brushing wet hair

This gentle brush makes it easy to brush out wet hair without any pain, loss of hair, or damage. And it’s also fabulous to use on dry hair! My daughter was the WORST at letting me brush her hair, but once I started using the Knotty Girl brush she stopped throwing a fit every time she saw me with coming with a brush in hand.

Coolway brush 2

Remember, it is possible to safely brush wet hair if you are using the right tools. The Knotty Girl Brush is a perfect solution – and it’s your solution for tangled dry hair, too.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Seven Perfect Gift Ideas

Are you looking for wonderful, unique gifts for the holidays? I have seven amazing recommendations that will take care of even the most finicky gift-getters.  Some were sent to the BIZ for consideration, some were bought by me, all will make those ‘special someones’ very, very happy.

So many choices!!

Fortune Keeper – so many choices.  Check out the kitty cat one!

1.  For the spiritual deep thinkers who love holiday decor, check out Fortune Keeper Dream Wishes Collection Rhinestone Holiday Ornaments ($24).

The ornaments come gift-ready in silver organza tie bags along with a beautiful card.

Fortune

Fortune Keeper ornament in a pretty silver bag

Fortune

such a beautiful card!!

Each ornament is hand crafted and has a resin image tile along with a clear resin tile (7/8″ x 2 3/8″). They are crowned with rhinestone beads and a silver wire star topper. The ornament slides open and holds a paper upon which the owner writes his/her wishes and dreams for the new year.

Fortune

how it works

Fortune

this is the Red Dream Wishes Ornament

Fortune

from the side

Fortune

rhinestone beads and silver wire star topper

Fortune

take the paper out, write your dreams and wishes, and it’s a beautifully personalized gift

There are lots of other great gift ideas at Fortune Keeper as well, including bracelets, key chains, and necklaces.  Let the browsing begin!

 

Savvy

Savvy Sleeper Satin Pillow Case in Truffle

2.  For the gorgeous guy or gal who wants to wake up to perfect skin, Savvy Sleepers Satin Pillow Cases (from $36) are a perfect choice.

When I saw Dr. Oz recommending satin pillow cases in an episode last January, I knew the Savvy Sleeper was something I needed. Silk pillow cases are too slippery…the Savvy Sleeper satin is perfect, super soft but you don’t slide off the pillow.

I absolutely adore my satin pillow case in Truffle, which is a pure black. This pillow case hides all sins, even the occasional ‘oops I fell asleep in my makeup!’ sin. It comes in both standard and king size and is machine washable. I have my special satin pillow on my bed and my hubby knows – don’t even think about stealing this pillow from me while I am sleeping!!

Why is a satin pillow case essential? Dermatologists recommend it for keeping skin smooth and free of wrinkles. You won’t wake up with the dreaded ‘facial crease’ after a night of heavy sleeping. No matter what, skin looks smooth thanks to the low sheen satin pillow case. Plus it is fantastic for preserving hair styles and blow-outs.

I also adore that the Savvy Sleeper Satin Pillow Cases have a secret pocket. Put hair ties, earrings, or headphones into it…I keep hoping my hubby will slip a cute little note in one day.

Savvy

What can you hide in the secret pocket…how about ear plugs?

Savvy

Or even better, breath mints!

Besides Truffle, other shades available include Nappacino, a creamy light tan, and White Russian, which turns pillows into white satin clouds.

Great news -Savvy Sleeper has created a 20% off code for Beauty Info Zone. Use BEAUTYINFO through Dec. 20, 2013 for 20% off your order.

 

Paco

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Intense

3.  For the guy who wants to smell like a million bucks, there is no better gift than Paco Rabanne 1 Million Intense ($84 for 3.4 oz, $63 for 1.7 oz) men’s fragrance.  

Not only does it smell like a million bucks, it looks like a millions bucks…quite literally.

Paco

1 Million Intense

Paco

fantastic packaging

looks just like a bar of gold

looks just like a bar of gold

1 Million Intense is a very manly, sexy scent that was just released in September. This cologne is not for wimps – check out the notes: top notes are blood mandarin, cardamom, black pepper and saffron; heart notes are rose absolute, neroli, and cinnamon; base notes are white leather, orris root, patchouli, and sandalwood. All together it equals fresh and spicy with a touch of leather. And the packaging is nothing short of brilliant – it looks like a bar of gold. Guys who like some bling will love this gift.

 

Bango

Bango

4.  For the do-it-yourselfer who loves ingenious inventions, a fantastic option is the Bango Hair Cutting Kit ($15.99, available at Ulta, Amazon, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond).

Celebrity stylist Trey Burnette invented the Bango® after he got tired of his clients attempting to do their own trims in between haircut appointments. This neat little package really has everything you need to keep your hair looking perfect in between salon visits.

Bango

Inside Bango

Bango

2 sectioning clips and comb

Bango

Instructional DVD and 5″ Precision Shears

You can trim bangs, split ends, and top layers to keep hair looking fresh. It’s nicely affordable, and this is one practical gift that people will be thanking you for again and again. It comes with an instructional DVD, 5″ Precision Shears, 2 hair clips, a comb, and the Bango® tool. The Bango®  tool is “a patented at-home hair trimming tool that is calibrated with three comb tension to hold hair as tightly as a stylist and has straight and arched cutting edges and cutting teeth for texturizing ends.” What that means is it’s easy to trim hair – plus you can trim a little at a time to avoid the dreaded too-short bangs.

Bango

three comb tension

Bango

holds hair in place just like your stylist would

The Bango® tool has both straight and arched cutting edges with teeth so it’s easy to do all sorts of things, including blunt bangs, textured bangs, side bangs, top-layer trims, short hair, men’s bangs and children’s bangs. This is THE practical gift of the season.

 

Juara

Juara Skincare Tiare Jasmine Tea Bath and Shower Gel

5.  For the girly girl who loves her showers and baths, you can’t go wrong with Juara Skincare Tiare Jasmine Tea Bath and Shower Gel ($28).

Oh my goodness…this is a huge bottle of shower/bath gel that has beautiful packaging and the most gorgeous scent ever.

Juara

one huge bottle of showering bliss

Juara

love the packaging, it’s so pretty and elegant

I am a huge fan of jasmine, so this shower/bath gel was right up my alley with its sweet but not cloying scent of jasmine tea leaves.  It’s a perfect skin cleanser that doesn’t dry out skin and in fact nourishes it with white, black and green teas.  There is no sulfate in it, so it’s super gentle and non-irritating.  And the bottle is so huge, it will probably last until next Christmas!

The packaging is just plain gorgeous, with a beautiful and elegant floral design.  Anyone who loves bath and body products will be completely thrilled to find this under the tree.

 

SunyIslandBlu

SunyIslandBlu

6. For the good smelling friend who believes in supporting small businesses, I highly recommend SunyIslandBlu Soap Company on Etsy.  

I recently bought five body sprays from SunyIslandBlu Soap Company after I found them on Etsy, and I am totally bowled over by the high quality and the absolutely yummy scents.

SunyIslandBlu Body Sprays

SunyIslandBlu Body Sprays

Mmmm....loving the Cabana Coconut Body Spray

Mmmm….loving the Cabana Coconut Body Spray

I am on an eternal quest for the perfect body mist fragrances, a lighter way to wear fragrance…which led me to SunyIslandBlu.  All of Suny’s products are made by herself and her daughters in small batches by hand with only high quality, natural ingredients.  Her products have an island inspired theme, and the emphasis is on “using bold colors, unique fragrances, and high quality skin friendly ingredients with none of the icky stuff.”  You can also find handmade soaps, body lotion, sugar scrubs, lip balms, and perfume oils at Suny’s shop.

I love my fantastic body sprays so much, I placed another order as gifts for my friends!  Here’s what is on the way to my doorstep right now:  Island Chic Whipped Cream Soap, Tobacco Caramel Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner in Island Coconut, Hair Detangler in Island Chic, and a Perfume Oil Set of three roll-on fragrance oils.  I chose Exotic Coconut, Island Coconut, and Toasted Marshmallow.  Hmmm…come to think of it, a lot of these might just be under MY tree with my name on the tag!!

Suny is a real sweetheart, and has offered a special code just for BIZ readers!!  The coupon code is “BEAUTYINFO” and it is for 20% off.  Now you definitely have reason to buy for the people on your list…and also for yourself.

 

Shinola in Detroit

Shinola in Detroit

7.  Speaking of supporting small businesses, an absolutely fantastic local company – everything is made in Detroit, by people who live here and raise their families here – is Shinola.

Shinola is a small manufacturing company that creates handmade watches, bicycles, and leather goods.  This  amazing local company makes beautiful, unique, sturdy pieces that will last through generations in your family.

On my Christmas wish list is the Women’s Bixby Bicycle ($1950).  Yup, pretty spendy…but this vintage looking yet totally modern bike makes my heart go pitter-patter.

The Women's Bixby Bicycle by Shinola

The Women’s Bixby Bicycle by Shinola

What does the hubby want?  This watch:

The Runwell Watch

The Runwell Watch

This particular version of The Runwell ($550) has a huge 47 mm face that fits my husband’s Popeye forearms. The watches are Shinola are truly spectacular, do yourself a favor and check out the colors and styles for both women and men.

Honestly, my husband and I would both love just about anything from this store. You’ve got to take a look at the online website…simply gazing at the handcrafted products put together with so much love makes you feel like everything is right in the world.

Any one of these seven items/websites will make those on your gift list happy…so what do you think will make it under that tree this year??  – Lisa

*some items were sent for review, some purchased by me, all opinions are completely my own.

Seven tips for super sexy straightened hair

Photo by Glenn Weiner/ZUMA Press

Photo by Glenn Weiner/ZUMA Press

(This post is brought to you by Beauty Info Zone in conjunction with Argos)

It seems inevitable…those with straight hair want curls and those with waves want straight hair. If you want to create straight hair with volume and movement, this post is for you!
Here are seven tips for beautifully straightened hair that looks natural and flattering.
1.  Be sure to clean your flat iron! Styling products can collect on the iron and compromise the straightening efficacy of the plates.
2.  It may seem like common sense but make sure you hair is completely dry before flat ironing. Otherwise the heat will damage hair by drying it out or even scorching it.
3.  Divide your hair into sections first and then flat iron UP – go from as close to the root as you can get to the end of the section. Ironing up and out from the scalp will give you the absolute best body and volume.
4.  Use a great hair straightening tool! Argos carries some of the top flat irons available, here are a few options:
Babyliss Salon Control 235

Babyliss Salon Control 235

Babyliss Boutique Salon Control 235 Hair Straightener This one has a super fast heat up, as well as 12 different heat settings from which to choose.

Babyliss Pro 235

Babyliss Pro 235

Babyliss Pro 235 Smooth Hair Straightener This option has longer, tourmaline ceramic plates that are perfect for a frizz-free finish.

Babyliss Ceramic 235

Babyliss Ceramic 235

Babyliss Smooth Ceramic 235 Hair Straightener  This flat iron has rounded housing, which means you can straighten your hair OR create curls – pretty ingenious.

5.  Use the right size flat iron for your hair. Shorter or very fine hair does better with smaller irons that have shorter plates. Longer or very thick hair works best with larger irons that have longer plates.

6.  Use the right amount of heat. For very fine hair, you want about 250 degrees, no hotter than 300. Medium hair needs a temperature in the 300 – 350 range and you can go up to 400 degrees for very thick hair.

Gawjus bottle

Arganesse Hair Treatment is wonderful for heat styling

7.  Use the right styling products to protect your hair from heat damage. Some of my favorites include  ArganesseMoroccanoil, and  Unite U Luxury Oil.

Follow these seven tips and you will have beautiful, swingy, volumized straight hair.

And when you want to switch up the straight look, just go for some serious beach waves with the Babyliss Wave Envy Barrel Hair Waver!  – Lisa

Babyliss Wave Envy

Babyliss Wave Envy

Giveaway and review: teeze w/eez Back Comber and Little Tease Compact Styler

Want your hair to have a little more lift? Do you believe that the higher the hair, the closer to you are to heaven? Then teeze w/eez backcombing products are for you!

Win a teeze w/eeze Back Comber and Little Tease for yourself!

Win a teeze w/eez Back Comber and Little Tease for yourself!

Backcombing can work miracles…but it is difficult to do on yourself, and it can be so hard on your hair.  The teeze w/eez Back Comber ($19.95) and Little Tease Compact Styler ($14.95) take the stress out of getting that lift.

teeze w/eeze Back Comber

teeze w/eez Back Comber

stainless steel pins mean no static

stainless steel pins mean no static

When teeze w/eez sent the BIZ these two combs to try, I was excited. I have mid-back length hair with long layers, so getting some lift at the roots is always a chore for me. These combs make it so easy, even a klutz like me can back comb like a pro.

The unique steel pin design means that hair won’t suddenly be full of static and one stroke through is like four from a regular comb. That means fewer strokes for the same effect…and less damage to your hair. The large comb has a great handle that makes it extremely easy to use on yourself and the pick end is great for sectioning hair.

Back Combing 101

Back Combing 101

For your purse, work desk, or travel, there’s the Little Tease Compact Styler. This little gem is a great way to freshen up your hairdo quickly and easily.

The Litte Tease Compact Styler

The Litte Tease Compact Styler

one stroke is like multiple strokes with this design

one stroke is like multiple strokes with this design

the higher the hair, the closer to heaven!

the higher the hair, the closer to heaven!

It works particularly well with bangs and shorter sections of hair. I am completely amazed at how wonderfully it works without being so damaging.  These combs are perfect for prepping hair for a gorgeous updo!

The wonderful people at teeze w/eez are giving Beauty Info Zone readers a chance to win a Back Comber and a Little Tease Compact Styler  – the ones in this giveaway are both purple, a matching set. Winning is easy, so enter now and tweet often.  This giveaway is open internationally until through Nov. 11, 2013. I’m sure you will agree that it’s not a comb, it’s a magic wand!  – Lisa

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*product reviewed and giveaway items provided by teeze w/eez

Karmin G3 Salon Professional Hair Dryer goes the distance

Karmin Salon Professional Hair Dryer (myhairstylingtools.com)

Karmin Salon Professional Hair Dryer (myhairstylingtools.com)

I know I’m not alone when I say that having a good hair day is very important in a woman’s life. I can’t tell you how many teachers would complain about their day and say it was because they had a “bad hair day”. I think we all feel that way at some time or another. For me it’s always. I no longer wash my hair daily so I depend on my styling tools to work well and get me through an extra day or two.

Karmin G3 Pro Hair Dryer

Karmin G3 Pro Hair Dryer

Karmin has been in the hair business for years but mostly known for their flat irons. Now they’ve introduced their first hair dryer, the Karmin Salon Professional Hair Dryer, and happily sent one for review. This pro dryer has all the right elements:

1)      It uses ceramic heat from ceramic coils which helps to maintain even temperature for hair styling.

2)      The ceramic seals the cuticle, repels humidity and most important to me it helps with locking in my color.

3)      It comes with all the extras you could need. Attached is a narrow nozzle but they also supply an extra nozzle which I’ve never seen before. There is a professional diffuser too that fits perfectly. I probably have 3 diffusers in my house that fit nothing.

4)      The cord is extra long which helps especially when I’m traveling.

5)      It has 3 different temperatures and 2 different speeds and a great cold air button.

6)      It has 1875 watts which is exactly what I look for in a blow dryer.

7)      The cool shot button actually works to set the style. It feels cool not wimpy.

Karmin Pro Hair Dryer controls

Karmin Pro Hair Dryer controls

When I first received the box I worried how I’d lift the dryer, it was so heavy. But it’s really no heavier than my previous dryers. The packaging is luxurious and since it contains all the extras plus a velvet carry case that added to the weight.

Karmin G3 Pro Hair Dryer

Karmin G3 Pro Hair Dryer

I absolutely can not use a hotel blow dryer. Even when visiting friends in faraway places (or close) I’ll look at the blow dryer they keep in their guest bathroom and know I’ll be spending my entire trip drying to get my hair dry, only to come out and have it frizz instantly. I need a powerful hair dryer. My hair is about 2 inches below shoulder length and it is on the thick side. Hairdressers complain about how much water my hair retains when their arm is about to fall off. They should be investing in this Karmin Salon Professional Hair Dryer. This thoroughly dries my hair without drying it out. It is very quick because the motor is so powerful. With all the choices of speed and temperature too it makes it a snap to style my hair.

This Karmin retails for $189.99 on their website but the best price I’ve found is $159.99 at My Hair Styling Tools. From what I understand too Karmin has specials that they announce on their Facebook page. While $160 is a lot to pay for a hair dryer, you won’t be replacing this. This will last and last and last. It has a 3 year warranty which I have a feeling you’ll never need. When you buy the best you don’t have to worry about replacements. Karmin Salon Professional Hair Dryer is going to go the distance for you. — Marcia

Karmin carrying case

Karmin carrying case

Karmin defuser

Karmin defuser

Karmin nozzle

Karmin nozzle

Karmin Salon Professional Hair Dryer

Karmin Salon Professional Hair Dryer

*sent for review

John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air brush – and a thank you

John Frieda salon Shape Hot Air brush

John Frieda salon Shape Hot Air brush

Thank you Makeup Wars! You ladies have changed my daily routine and I’m very grateful for that. Not too long ago our topic was favorite hair tools. I struggled with this personally while others knew instantly what to use for their article. Two of my Makeup Wars friends wrote about the JOHN FRIEDA HOT AIR BRUSH. My ears perked up, my eyes brightened and my credit card twitched.

First Brooke from Blushing Noir taught me the official name of the product John Frieda salon Shape Hot Air Brush. This is made by Conair so when she wrote about it she also included Conair in her title – too many words for me! She’s the one that got me started. Then Cindy from Prime Beauty sealed the deal. I know Cindy struggles with her hair so when she raved and said it’s the only hot tool she’ll use on her hair, I was a goner.

John Frieda Hot Air Brush

John Frieda Hot Air Brush

This brush sells for $39.95 and can be found at Ulta but I had no time to shop and I wanted this. I bought mine from Amazon for $29.99 and had it just 3 days later with Prime. From the first time I used it I knew it was a best buy for 2013.

John Frieda salon Shape Hot Air brush

John Frieda salon Shape Hot Air brush

I have shoulder length straight (thank you keratin) hair. It’s in great condition thanks to the wonderful products I’ve discovered because of blogging. My favorite style is to wear it straight but curled under at the bottom. I don’t want anything wild, I just want a little volume and some natural looking curl.

John Frieda hot air brush

John Frieda hot air brush

Here are the facts:

The brush has a 1 1/2 inch barrel although I believe they also sell a 1 inch one too.

It’s 500 watts.

It has two heat settings plus a cool setting.

The barrel is titanium ceramic coated.

It has “advanced ionic conditioning”.

The cord swivels and it has enhanced air control.

john frieda settingsWhatever it has – it’s great. I am using this almost every day. I blow dry my hair much more quickly now because I can do it as messy as I want. I’m not concerned with style, I’m just concerned with getting my hair about 75-80% dry. Then I take out John Frieda and let him do his magic. I section off my hair and finish blow drying and styling with the brush. It takes me so little time and when I’m done I’m happy! That’s a change of pace. Because my hair is basically dry before I use this brush I’m not worried about breakage. I’m also able to use both hands more easily to style than if I were using my round brush and my heavier blow dryer.

It’s also great for refreshing my hair whenever I want to rather than using my flat iron. Unless I’ve slept really crazy it’s usually enough to use this on low to refresh my style. john frieda close upThis lesson in hair tools has taught me how much I’m learning from my fellow bloggers. They may cost me money but when it’s for a product I like this much I’ll be happy to let them do it over and over again. — Marcia

 

 

 

Beautiful soft vintage curls with Verge Ribbon Wand

I recently reviewed the Verge One Bubble Wand - loved how it gave me beautiful round curls.

Bubble Wand hair

Bubble Wand hair

And then I reviewed the Spiral Wand, a magnificent option for ‘S’ waves:

Spiral Wand hair

Spiral Wand hair

One more excellent texture wand possibility is the Ribbon Wand ($120) for looser, vintage-looking curls.  I know there is a Verge One Wand for you, read on to find out which one(s) you need.

curls

Ribbon curls

The Ribbon Wand has the same great features as the other texture wands by Verge One.

Ribbon

The Ribbon Wand

It has Ceramic NB Technology that heats the hair evenly and leaves it healthy and manageable. It instantly heats to 410 degrees, and has the same ‘cool tip’ that makes the wand easy to use. Plus it has the same tangle-free 360° swivel cord.

Ribbon

The unique shape of the Ribbon Wand

What makes it different is the shape of the barrel.  The Bubble Wand has a series of ‘bubbles’ that give the hair a rounder curl. The Spiral Wand has spirals through the barrel that give the hair an S-shaped wave.  And the Ribbon Wand has a distinctive flatter barrel, giving hair a ribbon-shaped wave.

Ribbon

same clip, different shaped barrel

See how the barrel is sort of flat?  It creates an interesting, flatter-shaped curl than the other wands, so it can either be a curl or else it can be brushed out into more of a wave.

Ribbon

and another view for you

The clip on the bottom looks the same as the other Verge texture wands. It’s a short clip, you put the end of the hair section into it then roll the hair away from the face. The only difference I found was that the Ribbon Wand seems to clip a little looser, which isn’t a big deal unless you have thin or extremely fine hair. If you have either of those issues, then go for the Spiral Wand. Any of the three wands work well for shorter hair, although those with very short layers wouldn’t be happy. You need to be able to wind your hair around the wands to get the effects.

Ribbon

Ribbon

After waiting about 30 seconds, you release the clip and get a curl that looks like this:

Ribbon

the Ribbon curl right after curling with the iron

You can leave the curl as is, or you can run your fingers through the curl for a more dramatic, piecey look.

Ribbon

and the curl after finger combing through it

Sometimes I like to run my brush through the curls, which really gives a rather vintage looking wave that is soft and pretty.

soft waves

soft waves

It probably takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to style my hair with the Ribbon Wand. I separate out sections and pin them up, then curl working from the bottom sections up.

ribbon hair

Ribbon hair

While the other two texture wand options give a tighter curl, I love the looser, more casual wave from the Ribbon Wand.

Ribbon

I love my Ribbon Wand!

So which one is my favorite, the Bubble Wand, Spiral Wand, or Ribbon Wand? That is like asking which one of my children is my favorite. They are all unique, and they all get the same amount of love from me. It’s truly fantastic to have such a wonderful variety from which to choose. I feel very lucky to have all three texture wands, and if it fits your budget, investing in all three would be something to consider.   – Lisa

*pr sample