Viviscal review and grateful giveaway

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses and all the queen’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again

My personal version:

Blogger Marcia was in the hall

Blogger Marcia had a great fall

All the nurses and rehab men

Couldn’t put Marcia’s hair together again

You’ve read about my travails over and over since August. It affected my life in more ways than one. Not only was my leg broken at the knee but the trauma caused me to lose massive amounts of hair and eyelashes. Unfortunately this wasn’t the first time I lost hair but at least I know it could grow back with the right treatment.

Viviscal Extra Strength Dietary Supplement

Viviscal Extra Strength Dietary Supplement

Shortly before I was hospitalized I had bought Viviscal Extra Strength Dietary Supplements and took it for a few weeks because I knew my body needed more Biotin and no one has a better reputation than Viviscal. In the hospital and rehab they weren’t giving me anything other than my regular prescriptions and a multi-vitamin. I didn’t consider asking for the Viviscal from home because that’s not where my mind was.

When Viviscal emailed me by chance to test this and their shampoo and conditioner, you know what the answer was.

Viviscal Extra Strength Supplements, Viviscal Gentle Shampoo, Viviscal Moisturizing Conditioner

Viviscal Extra Strength Supplements, Viviscal Gentle Shampoo, Viviscal Moisturizing Conditioner

Now that I’ve been using this combination for the last 4 months I can tell you that I’m one happier woman and one with healthier and fuller hair. I take the supplements morning and evening. I used the shampoo and conditioner for 6 weeks before stopping to test other products but I still use it at least once a week no matter what else I’m testing.

Viviscal supplement stats

Viviscal supplement stats

Viviscal Extra Strength Dietary Supplements come in a one month or three month supply. The prices on their website are $49.99 and $119.99. To be honest though I’ve bought mine from Amazon since it’s less expensive there. There’s a ton of information about the supplements so I’ll try to condense. Viviscal Extra Strength dietary supplements contain the exclusive marine complex AminoMar®, as well as Biotin, Zinc, Vitamin C, Horsetail Extract and Iron, to nourish hair from within. Not only are you getting the Biotin that we’ve learned is great for hair but it’s supplemented with marine complex AminoMar®.

AminoMar

AminoMar

The Gentle Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner ($19.99 each) are free from SLS, SLES, Parabens, Artificial Colors, Artificial Fragrances and Mineral Oils. They are 96 – 99% derived from natural sources. The shampoo cleanses, conditions and exfoliates the dead skin cells on your head. The shampoo is on the thin side and is almost gel like and doesn’t lather which  doesn’t matter since it’s very effective.

Viviscal Moisturizing Conditioner is very thick. I have to keep my bottle upside down to make it easier to squeeze out. It’s a light conditioner that never weighs my hair down. Not only is this moisturizing but my hair is soft after using. It also leaves my hair smooth and with a little more volume.

Viviscal Moisturizing Conditioner

Viviscal Moisturizing Conditioner

I no longer cry when I wash my hair. My shower wall and afterwards sink used to be filled with gobs and gobs of hair. That’s not the case now. Everyone has hair fallout, that’s shedding, just like a pet sheds. My hair feels more healthy, is staying ON my head and the cycle is broken. To continue this way I am continuing with Viviscal Supplements for as long as I can. The science is behind Viviscal and I really believe in it. There’s a different supplement for men though the haircare items are the same. Since they don’t have fragrance they work equally well for all. Viviscal has a Healthy Hair Club that you can join to get free shipping and automatic delivery as well as save money.

Now that you’ve read my long story it’s time to try it yourself. If you are a US Beauty Info Zone subscriber we have a giveaway for the 3 month supply of the Viviscal Supplements, a bottle of the Gentle Shampoo and the Moisturizing Conditioner. This is open through 2/26/15 at 11:59 p.m. EST. If comments close please write your comment on our Facebook page or email me at beautyinfozone@gmail.com with your comment and then continue on. I wish you luck with both the giveaway and with having renewed, healthy hair like I do now. — Marcia

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*products provided by Viviscal for review and giveaway, product also personally purchased

Love the looks on Pretty Little Liars? Then check out White Sands Orchids Oil

White Sands Orchids Oil 2If anyone knows the best products, it’s the hair stylists and makeup artists on movie sets and television shows. The camera doesn’t lie, so any time I find out what the insider ‘favorites’ are I take notice. I recently learned that White Sands Hair Care Orchids Hair Oil ($25) is a favorite of head hairstylist for the show Pretty Little Liars Kim Ferry. She tweeted her love for this gem, saying, “I LOVE this oil! It works so well on the actors ends & smells delish! Thanks 4 sending it! It’s a new fav.”
White Sands Orchids Oil tweetSo I was pretty geeked when White Sands sent us a sample to try. This is hair oil that can be used on damp or dry hair. The oil has orchid flower extract, which seals the hair cuticle and split ends. The end result? Super shiny hair with no frizz. My hair absolutely loves this oil. I can’t decide which is the most impressive, using it with dry or with damp hair. I even tried it on my daughter because she has very fine hair that is prone to frizz. It gives her amazing hair every time.
White Sands Orchids Oil 2
 Oh and did I mention the bottle? Gorgeous. Really, it is so pretty I keep it out on the counter.  The oil’s orchid flower extract camouflages split ends, fills in imperfections in the hair’s cuticle and keeps hair from frizzing for mirror like shine.
White Sands Orchids Oil

White Sands Orchids Oil

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

White Sands Orchids Oil is a beautiful hair oil with a soft, pretty fragrance that makes hair smell clean. I love the results…this is an insider tip from the entertainment industry that should be on your ‘must try’ list.  – Lisa
*sent for editorial consideration
My White Sands Orchids Oil hair...look ma, no frizz!

My White Sands Orchids Oil hair…look ma, no frizz!

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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Top 5 homemade skin care treatments with coconut oil

Nutiva collageSince I write about beauty for a living, I spend a lot of time researching skin care ingredients and how they affect the skin and body. I am also fascinated with ingredients that work from the inside out, like vitamins and foods that help create a strong body and a beautiful complexion.  I’ve started incorporating coconut oil into my diet in place of butter, shortening, and vegetable oil because it does three things:  1.  is easily processed by the liver into lots of energy; 2.  protects the body from infections, heart disease, and illness; and 3.  helps you lose weight.  Not only that, it tastes terrific.  So when Nutiva sent us their Coconut Oil (15 fl. oz $11.99), I was already happy – but not as happy as I became when I realized what a great ingredient it is for topical skin care.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil - organic and sustainable

Nutiva Coconut Oil – organic and sustainable

Coconut oil is solid at lower temperatures, and liquefies at temps above 76 degrees farenheit.  I find it’s best for skin care recipes when it is at that ‘almost about to melt’ stage.  I’ve tried tons of recipes for face masks, body scrubs, face cleansers, and hair treatments, and these are my top five favorites. Be sure to use organic and raw ingredients when you can!

1.  Coconut oil hand and body scrub

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup sea salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix together and use this in the shower or just leave it next to the sink for a quick hand scrub.  It leaves hands super soft and moisturized.

2.  Moisturizing coconut oil facial mask

2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 mashed avocado

Mix together and apply immediately.  Leave it on for 20 – 30 minutes then rinse off.  This gives skin a great glow!

3.  Coconut oil facial cleanser

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 drops tea tree oil, 2 drops lavender oil – add some lemon juice if your skin is oily or prone to blackheads

This mixture dissolves even the most tenacious makeup and leaves skin hydrated.  Be sure to avoid the eye area – use straight coconut oil to remove eye makeup.  It’s the best.

4.  Coconut oil foot scrub

3 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

After scrubbing and rinsing off this scrub, apply straight coconut oil to feet then cover with socks – in the morning your feet will be amazingly soft.

5.  Coconut oil hair mask

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey – double the recipe for long hair.  Heat the mixture up on the stove for a great hot oil treatment.  Apply to dry hair from roots to ends, cover with a shower cap and let soak in for a half hour.  Then, shampoo and condition like normal and you will be astounded at how soft and shiny your hair has become.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Coconut oil by itself makes a great eye cream, lip moisturizer, and makeup remover!  I particularly like Nutiva Coconut Oil because it is:

  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Virgin
  • Non-hydrogenated
  • No cholesterol
  • Made from fresh coconuts

Give homemade skin care treatments a try.  It’s a lot of fun, and the results are fabulous.  With the holidays coming up, homemade skin care treatments in cute little jars make great gifts (except for the one with avocado – that has to be used immediately).  Believe me, coconut oil is going to become your best friend, both in recipes for food and in recipes for skin care.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo Oil Treatment

I remember when I was a kid green hair was a common problem. Hair got bleached out by the sun and then swimming in lakes and pools slowly turned locks a freakish-looking green by the end of August. We had no clue how to prevent this…and when I got older I experienced similar summer issues with color fading and dryness. Leonor Greyl sent the BIZ the perfect answer for all summer hair protection issues:  Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo Oil Treatment ($57).

Leonor Greyl Pre-Shampoo

Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo

Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo is a blend of different oils that is applied to dry hair. It can be a simple pre-shampoo treatment or it can be used as a protectant before swimming, surfing, or going into the sun. The oil is a combination of refined copra oil that comes from cold-pressed coconut kernels, and mongono oil, which is extracted from the nuts of an African tree found in the Kalahari Desert.

Leonor Greyl Pre-Shampoo

Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo

Leonor Greyl Pre-Shampoo

Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo

The oil has a wonderfully light, clean scent. It’s very easy to apply, just pour some oil into hands and smooth through hair. Then, go out and swim/sun/scuba to your hearts content and hair is protected from all the chlorine, salt, and UVA/B rays. The oil won’t just dissolve off when you dive into the pool or ocean as it protects hair from water to a temperature of 77 degrees. So in those cooler waters, the oil stays on beautifully. Later, just rinse out before shampooing. This PreShampoo oil is a must-have if you are a big outdoors person!

It’s also a must-have for those with colored, bleached, straightened, or dry hair. Putting this on for ten minutes before shampooing softens and detangles hair. It’s a beautiful treatment and some nights I put it on before bed for a great head of hair the next day.

Huile de Leonor Greyl PreShampoo is a cult classic and for good reason. If you have never tried this elegant haircare line before, I would recommend starting with this truly amazing product.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

**Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, **Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil, *Buxus Chinesis Seed Oil, **Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Parfum (Fragrance), **Schinziophyton Rautanenii Kernel Oil, **Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, BHT, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Citric Acid, Limonene, Benzyl alcohol, Linalool, Citronellol, Hydroxycitronellal, Amyl Cinnamal, Hexyl Cinnamal

*Origin Natural **Certified BIO

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.