A new giveaway from ECRU New York for amazing haircare

Last week we were thrilled to bring you the first of two ECRU New York Giveaways and this week we have the second one. Promotion6ECRU NEW YORK has some fabulous buys for the holidays or for general gift giving. We have two sets of this deluxe set called GET LUXE to give to two US subscribers. It contains Silk Nectar Serum (40 mL), Luxe Treatment Shampoo (2 oz), Protective Silk Conditioner (2 oz), valued at $48.50 but sold for $36. ECRU New York has become a favorite brand for me and I’m anxious to try these products myself.

Another great buy is their SEA CLEAN HOLIDAY collection which contains Sea Clean Shampoo (2 oz), Protective Silk Conditioner (2 oz) and Sunlight Styling Spray (2 oz) and is only $20. Promotion5

Here’s what you are going to love about this giveaway:

LUXE TREATMENT SHAMPOO: A luxurious, nutrient rich cleanser bathes hair in moisture as it cleans and hydrates. High potency vitamins and nutrients combined with essential amino acids promote healthy hair and scalp. Antioxidants, soy bean lipids and gardenia flower extract balance moisture retention, increase elasticity and protect hair from chemical and thermal abuse.

PROTECTIVE SILK CONDITIONER: A 60 second treatment that immediately improves the texture and appearance of all hair types. Panthenol, sunflower oil and hydrolyzed wheat proteins thicken and repair dry, damaged hair while healing and protecting the scalp.

SILK NECTAR SERUM:  A remarkably light serum for all hair types to smooth and polish the hair while providing moisture and strength. Silk proteins, vitamin E, and safflower oil moisturize, strengthen and nourish hair by restoring the cuticle and providing protection from damage caused by UV rays and thermal abuse. Capsicum frutescence, a cayenne pepper extract, acts as a mild exfoliant for the scalp to promote healthy hair growth.

Today’s giveaway from ECRU New York will close on December 31, 2014. Maybe you’ll be one of the two that wake up to an email on New Year’s Day that you got lucky! Use the Rafflecopter to enter. If comments close early you can comment on our Facebook page or email to [email protected] Lots of luck! — Marcia

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*products provided by ECRU New York

A Brazilian Blowout followup and review of the Açai hair care line

Here’s the followup to the Brazilian Blowout I had done in early December 2011. I raved about the process at the time and almost 6 months later I want to share that I’m still so happy I had this done. The process has lasted me all this time and I’m just now seeing the end of its days. Even though I’m noticing more waves in my hair, I still don’t seem to be having frizzy hair.

I only have to wash my hair 3 to 4 times a week with the Brazilian Blowout keratin process in my hair. I find it so time consuming to dry my hair, even with the best of blow dryers, so having days off without spending that time is a relief. What’s also a relief is knowing that my hair looks as good on second and third day hair as it does on the first day.

I’ve used the Brazilian Blowout Açai Hair Care almost exclusively for the last 6 months and I’m still using them. When I had the Brazilian Blowout done I came home with the Açai Shampoo and Conditioner as well as the Masque. I’ve since acquired all the products that Açai makes and want to share my experience with these with you. All the products are have a proprietary Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex to infuse your hair with an exclusive blend of smoothing and sealing properties. Using this line guarantees that you are doing what you can to make the keratin process last as long as possible. There is NO Sodium Chloride in Brazilian Blowout products. They are also sulfate free.

Açai Shampoo and Conditioner: these gentle to use products are excellent. After all this time I’m not even finished with them. A little goes a long way. They are gentle yet effective. I’m not the person that believes in “shampoo, rinse, repeat” like I did when young. One time shampooing is all I need. A small amount of conditioner is enough to leave my hair feeling smooth. The shampoo lathers well but not too much. A brand I had used previously on my keratin processed hair always left my hair feeling dry but these work perfectly keeping my hair moisturized and smooth.

Açai Deep Conditioning Masque: I use this once a week. Sometimes I can leave it in for 5 minutes, sometimes it’s just about 2 to 3. On days you use the masque, you don’t need the conditioner. You need just a tiny amount of the masque for it to be effective. I have shoulder length hair and I haven’t made a dent in my Açai masque yet.

Açai Protective Thermal Straightening Balm: this is my favorite product of all I have. After washing my hair I’ll put about a quarter’s worth in the palm of one hand, rub my hands together and pull this through my hair. It’s got a lovely sweet orange fragrance that doesn’t linger though I wouldn’t mind it if it did. I can then comb through my hair without having to tug and pull. This balm is clear and thick.

Smoothing Serum

Açai Smoothing Serum: this is part of the original aftercare set. It’s infused with the ingredients needed to extend the process. It not only detangles but also conditions your hair when you are using it. When it’s raining or even threatening rain, I reach for the Smoothing Serum. The serum is white and looks more like a cream.

Spray Shine

Açai Shine & Shield Spray Shine*: I really didn’t think I needed this spray until I actually used it. I don’t use hairsprays very often but this is not my mother’s hairspray. This not only makes my style last longer but it imparts the most terrific shine. The Açai Shine & Shield Spray is so light but it adds in extra shine and more important it adds in UVA/UVB protection helping my color last longer. I’ve been able to make my color last a week longer when I use this regularly.

Açai Instant Volume Thermal Root Lift*: I reach for this on “old” hair – the times that I’ve had to skip an extra day and want to impart new life into my hair. The first time I used too much but I’ve since learned to use it more judiciously. I lift my hair at the roots and spray it just there. The nozzle is perfect for that job. I then use my blow dryer with my round brush and voila, my hair looks new again. A quick spray of the Shine & Shield Spray and it’s like I came from my beauty salon.

Acai Sculpt & Define Polish

Açai Restorative Sculpt & Define Polish*: This is the one product I haven’t used yet. What it does though is help when you want that “piecey” look to your hair. Here’s what Brazilian Blowout tells us about this product: This unique polish transforms the hair by adding weightless texture, definition and flexible hold to desired pieces. The exclusive Brazilian Super-Nutrient Complex works to fortify and protect while helping to deliver that much-desired “second day after blow-dry” texture. Full spectrum UVA/UVB protection.”

What adds even more to this line of Brazilian Blowout Açai products is that a little goes a long way. When I have my Brazilian Blowout done again I won’t need more product other than the shampoo. After all these months the rest are still going strong. I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of my Brazilian Blowout and the Brazilian Blowout Açai hair care line. I’ll also continue using them with or without the process, they are that good and that gentle. — Marcia

*starred products were PR samples, others were purchased

images from brazilianblowout.com

Hana Air Professional Hair Dryer is the Ultimate

I love quality beauty tools so today’s review for the HANAAir Professional Hair Dryer by Misikko is a delight to write. I spent many years owning inexpensive (and pretty crappy) hair dryers and only within the last six years have I expanded into the world of quality. Little did I know though that there was a dryer that worked as quickly and efficiently as the HANA. The HANAAir dryer has been named the best blow dryer and I certainly understand why.

I’ve been using the HANAAir for several months now so I’ve had the opportunity to try it with my “normal” hair as well as with my recently straightened hair. This powerful dryer has 2300 watts making it so efficient and advanced. It has 2 Fan Settings, 3 Heat Settings and a Cold Shot button. The HANAAir cut my drying time on my normal hair by at least 6 – 8 minutes and now it takes me such a short amount of time to dry my hair that I’m amazed. Hairdressers have always told me how much my thick hair retains water. It takes them forever to dry my hair. One hairdresser I used to go to always made me sit under a bonnet hair dryer since she said it hurt her arm to blow my hair dry!

Here’s some information from Misikko

  • Ion Technology- condition hair & reduces static electricity
  • Tourmaline & Titanium Oxide Technology- natural ions promote healthier hair
  • Silver Nanotechnology- for antibacterial Protection
  • Scratch Resistant Shell with black metallico finish adds durability and is easy to clean
  • Long life motor with low noise
  • Gyroscopically balanced for easy handling
  • Fiberglass concentrator
  • Italian Design

The HANAAirdryer is $194.99 and receiving it is like getting a present in the mail. There’s free shipping on the product plus it comes with a free heat proof pouch. Not only that but there are always extras in their packages. Each seems to be different. Mine included a high end travel cosmetic brush set, a small bottle of their terrific Hana Shield Shine Thermal Protectant, a small stuffed animal and a rose! Plus their customer service is superb. There’s a 2 year extended warranty on the dryer, which is just about unknown in the industry.

Heat proof pouch

The HANA Shield Shine Protectant is excellent. Like the hair dryer I’ve used it on my hair both before and after straightening. I’m getting compliments galore on how shiny my hair looks. It swings. I use less than a dime’s amount for my shoulder length hair and it keeps my hair smooth for days.

Hana Shine Shield

Besides these two that I’ve tried HANA makes some outstanding Flat Irons and I hope one of these is in my future now that I’ve seen the excellence of HANA.

If you’ve been wondering what you can do to make your hair look its best then I think I’ve found the answer with HANA. — Marcia

Entranced by nTrance

I have been totally seduced by the new ‘hair oils’ out there – Moroccan Oil, Indian Gooseberry Oil – I love them both.  I found they differed from one another slightly in terms of what they did for my hair, so I was excited to try Argan Oil, hoping it might be even a bit better.  You hear about Argan Oil being an ingredient in everything these days – from lipstick to skin treatments.  Moroccan Oil actually contains Argan Oil – it is a combination of  silicones and  Argan Oil.  The difference between Moroccan Oil and the Argan Oil by nTrance is that there is a higher concentration of Argan Oil in the nTrance product, plus some Pro-Vitamin B5 (which strengthens and thickens the hair shaft).

So what exactly is Argan Oil?  It’s an oil that is native to Morocco, rich in Vitamin E, Omega-9, Omega-6, Linoleic Acid and unsaturated essential fatty acids.  It is completely free of alcohol.    nTrance is a company that sells Argan Oil, you can find it in salons all over the U.S.  It seems to be a little less thick of an oil than Moroccan Oil, and it smells totally different.  nTrance Argan Oil has a very slight perfume scent, while Moroccan Oil smells more like vanilla to me.

The Argan Oil has a pump bottle, which is fabulous – you can control the amount you use, and it’s sanitary.  My hair is fine but I have lots of it, and it’s long – about mid-back.  It’s color treated and slightly wavy.  I use about three or four pumps of the nTrance Argan Oil on my damp hair, and I find that it does the following things for me:

1.  Noticeably shorter drying time – for someone with long hair, this is HUGE.  I can’t stand taking a half hour to dry my hair, so anything that helps cut the time down is a huge bonus for me.

2. My hair is noticeably shinier and frizz-free.

3.  My hair color lasts longer and stays true.

4.  My ends stay moisturized and manageable.

5.  I can style my hair with just a hair dryer – it’s nice and smooth so I don’t even really need a flat iron.

That’s what I have noticed over the past month. Here‘s a pic of my hair after I just blew it dry – no flat ironing or anything:

In addition, Argan Oil aids in fixing split ends, hydrates dry and damaged hair, helps dry itchy scalp, and protects against sun damage, salt and chlorine before swimming.

I like that I can’t seem to overuse this – no matter how much I put into my hair, it just keeps looking better.  I love Moroccan Oil, but when I use it I find it works best when I mix it with a styling cream.  With Argan Oil, I find I don’t need any other treatment.  I use this first on damp hair, concentrating on the ends.  Then if it’s extremely humid out, I might put some more on dry hair later.

Apparently, Argan Oil can be used as a skin treatment, too.  It’s supposed to nourish dry skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, prevent stretch marks, and even moisturize your nails and cuticles!  No wonder the ingredient is showing up everywhere these days.

If your salon doesn’t carry nTrance, check out their website to find local shops.  I also found it online at Brighton Beauty Supply, $35.05 for a 3.4 oz. bottle.  It’s absolutely worth looking for, I know I will never be without it again!!  – Lisa

Ingredients for Argan Oil: Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Argan Oil (Spinoza Kernal Oil), Linseed (Linum Usitatissimum) oil, panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), fragrance

Ingredients for Moroccan Oil: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Butylphenyl, MethylPropional, Argania Spinoza Kernal Oil (Aragan Oil), Linseed (Linum Usitatissimum) Extract, Fragrance Supplement, D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone

Item was a PR sample sent for consideration for review.  For more information see our disclosure page.