I got lucky with the Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

Once a year the webstore Beautylish has a secret sale for Lucky Bags. This is my third year buying this and it keeps getting better. The Lucky Bag is different for everyone lucky enough to be able to buy one. The typical bag is $75 and the only clue you get when buying is that the items are brands that Beautylish sells. Considering the quality that they cover, you can’t go wrong! This year they offered a $150 bag with the same amount of items but ones with a higher value. That went in a flash. I was on an early access list, went to buy the second I saw the bags were available but no luck with that. I’m not the least big unhappy though as you’ll see from my amazing bag.beautylish lucky bag 2017 tag

6 items, 6 top notch brands! $75 plus shipping = $198 in products that I’m so excited about.

my Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

my Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

BIODERMA MICELLAR WATER: ($6.90) I believe that everyone received the small size of Bioderma Micellar. Happily for me the one I received is Sensiblo H20 which is the one I use all the time. It never hurts to have a spare of this. 5 stars!!

Bioderma Micellar Water Sensiblo H20

Bioderma Micellar Water Sensiblo H20

JOEUR LONG WEAR LIP CREME in DULCE DE LECHE ($18): There are 26 shades of this liquid lipstick available at Beautylish so I consider myself extra lucky that I received a shade that I love. I’m always receiving dark lipsticks yet I really only wear MLBB or light shades. This matte pink (which I consider warm but they say is cool) is a perfect shade for me. It also gives me the chance to try this at last to see what I think.

Joeur Long Wear Liquid Lipstick - Dulce de Leche

Joeur Long Wear Liquid Lipstick – Dulce de Leche

I have always admired the Joeur matte lipsticks on others but never was sure if I should buy one. This has a caramel fragrance that lasts for a short while and doesn’t annoy me. My lips have to be well exfoliated to wear this but that’s not a problem. 4 stars! (fragrance removed one)beautylish lucky bag 2017 joeur lip collage

ORIBE DRY TEXTURING SPRAY ($22) – Believe it or not I’ve never used a product like this. I occasionally will use a dry shampoo and always like having one in the house. Ditto with a hair spray. But it’s rare that they get used. I saw this and thought of Lisa since she’d love this (“Bigger, better, full-on glamorous hair. This invisible dry hair spray builds in incredible volume and sexy texture. Patented polymers absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just-styled hair for days (and nights).”). I’ll try it but I bet I end up giving it to my blog partner. 3 stars from me and surely 5 stars from Lisa.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

SMITH & CULT NAILED LACQUER in LOVERS CREEP ($18): I can’t tell you how much I’ve wanted a Smith & Cult polish. I just never remembered to buy plus I couldn’t decide what color. Lovers Creep is a beautiful opaque bordeaux shade. I have a lot of polish to test but I just can’t wait to have the time to wear this.  Smith & Cult is “8-Free, Long Wear, High Shine & Smooth Coverage.” Definitely 5 stars.

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Lovers Creep

NATASHA DENOUNA EYESHADOW PALETTE 5, PALETTE 13: ($48)  Well my heart skipped a beat when I saw the Natasha Denouna box. While palette 13 wouldn’t be one I’d pick to buy, it gives me the chance to try out her eyeshadows to see if I like them as much as her blush. Happily this doesn’t have the fragrance that the blush has. What it has is a duochrome green, a shimmery copper, and 3 matte shades that apply like butter.

Natasha Denoune palette 13

Natasha Denouna palette 13

Natasha Denoune palette 13

Natasha Denouna palette 13

I’m anxious to play around more with these shades. Flamingo is a great base shade with its touch of warm pink that doesn’t make me look like a flamingo. Sand Storm is very warm so I don’t think that it will get much use. Arizona is an easy to wear brown that can be built up. The prettiest shades are Pinja which looks green but reminds me of MAC Club with its green brown tone but with more oomph and Umber is an amazing golden copper. It’s a metallic shadow without visible shimmer. 4 Stars –  NO 5 stars, after all it is Natasha Denouna.

Natasha Denoune palette 13

Natasha Denouna palette 13

WAYNE GOSS OO BRUSH ($85): This originally was a limited edition brush but now it’s a permanent brush in the Wayne Goss Beautylish collection. It’s so magnificent that I don’t want to use it and get it dirty. How many times do I have the opportunity to have an $85 brush? Totally soft and luxurious. I’m overjoyed to have another Wayne Goss brush. I need to gather all the ones I have to review them for you.

Designed for a quick application with the softest finish. The large size is ideal for applying mineral or powder foundations—or any powder, bronzer, or blush—across the face. The tapered point lets you go into the eye area and do detailed highlighting work.The bristles measure 50mm in length, with a width of 20mm at it’s widest point. Hair Type: Goat. 100% cruelty free

Wayne Goss OO brush

Wayne Goss OO brush

Wayne Goss OO brush

Wayne Goss OO brush

I’m thrilled with my Lucky Bag and absolutely will be purchasing the 2018 bag. It’s been one of my favorite buys in a long time (and I’ve bought a lot). Have I tempted you? Would you spend $75 on a surprise bag?  —  Marcia

Get your freak on this New Years! Try Haircredible Freak Show.

Haircredible Freak Show HairsprayOk, so I just gave you one of my fabulous hair secrets, the Mitch Stone Essentials Luxury Repair & Style. My other secret is Haircredible Freak Show Hairspray ($20). Haircredible is a luxury hair care line specifically for fine, natural hair, which means none of their products will weigh you down. The product line is amazing for women of color, as well as for anyone else with fine hair.

Finding a great hairspray that gives the right amount of hold without weighing down fine hair is truly a challenge. I want soft, touchable hold that keeps my curls all day, but doesn’t make my fine hair stiff, sticky, or flat. Freak Show is absolutely everything I want in a hairspray and then some!!                                                                         sample

Haircredible Freak Show Hairspray

Freak Show gives me volume without any heaviness at all. I can also reapply the next day without any buildup or stickiness. What truly makes this hairspray unique is the spray nozzle. It can be adjusted to three different levels for three amount of hold – light, medium, or heavy.

Haircredible Freak Show Hairspray

On days that I go with straight hair, I chose the low or medium setting for soft, touchable volume. When I go full on curly, I use the high setting for soft but strong hold that works all day long. Freak Show is humidity resistant and is as amazing for volume as it is for hold.  Haircredible Freak Show Hairspray

Haircredible Freak Show Hairspray really is incredible. Get your freak on and keep it on all day long with this fantastic hairspray. You can find the Haircredible line online at haircredible.com.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

The recipe for a perfect blowout with Kenra Professional Hair Care

Kenra Professional Hair Care

Kenra Professional Hair Care

The search for a perfect blowout never ends. Why is it that my hair looks so amazing when my hairstylist blows it dry, but it’s such a challenge for me to get the same results at home? Kenra Professional Hair Care recently launched some new products at Ulta that make it easy for me to recreate a great salon blowout that lasts all day. Here are the three Kenra Professional styling products that make up the recipe for a perfect blowout:

Kenra Platinum Thickening Glaze

Kenra Platinum Thickening Glaze

1.  Kenra Platinum Thickening Glaze ($22)  Maybe it’s the shape of the bottle, but for some reason I kept thinking this was a spray and tried to mist it onto my hair. It probably took me three times before it finally sunk in that this is a hair SERUM, not a spray! My hair is very long and fine so it needs help with volume without being weighed down. I find that the Thickening Glaze does a great job of giving my hair oomph by making it look fuller with lots of body. It’s also very moisturizing, so my dry ends are much happier when I use this.

Kenra Perfect Blowout Styling Creme

Kenra Perfect Blowout Styling Creme

2.  Kenra Perfect Blowout Crème ($17)  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this styling cream!  It leaves my hair so soft and full…it truly makes for a salon-worthy blowout. I don’t even need to use my flat iron because this cream smooths the hair shaft without making my fine hair limp with weight. If I did want to use my styling tools this cream would be a bonus, because it gives thermal protection up to 450 degrees. Combined with the Thickening Glaze I know I am in for a great hair day. To keep the look all day long I add in one more ‘perfect blowout’ ingredient, the Fast-Dry Hairspray.

Get a perfect blowout with the dynamic trio from Kenra Professional Hair Care!

Get a perfect blowout with the dynamic trio from Kenra Professional Hair Care!

3.  Kenra Fast Dry Hairspray ($17) is an impressive hairspray that doesn’t have a ‘hairspray’ scent and doesn’t get all flaky or crunchy. I have a problem with hairspray build up and I can’t stand a spray that makes my hair stiff. At the same time. with my probably too-long layers. my style goes flat after a few hours if I don’t use something with substantial holding power. It’s so difficult to find a happy medium, but Kenra’s Fast Dry Hairspray definitely does the trick. The spray comes out super fine, and this can be used as a prepping spray for styling tools since it gives thermal protection up to 450 degrees. It doesn’t build up or change hair texture, so when I use the Thickening Glaze and the Perfect Blowout Styling Creme on damp hair, then spray my blown dry ‘do with the Fast Dry Hairspray, I end up with incredibly smooth, soft, volumized hair that lasts all day long.

I am very, very impressed with Kenra Professional and definitely want to try more from this line.  If you are always on the hunt for a perfect blowout, I think this trio from Kenra will be your answer.  You can find Kenra at Ulta Stores and Ulta.com.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration, affiliate links

Firm but flexible hair with ColorProof styling products

Firm….but flexible. That approach works in many areas – parenting, teaching, architecture…and hair. Especially hair.

All that...and a mullet, too!

All that…and a mullet, too!

I definitely want my hair to be firm – I need volume and curls to stay in place! But I also want flexible. My days of shellacked, AquaNet hair are safely ensconced in the ’80’s. I am able to find my happy medium with two products that ColorProof sent us to test:  RuleBreaker Firm Flexible Wax and HardCore Epic Hold ColorProtect Hair Spray. The added bonus? They are both perfect for color treated hair.

ColorProof

ColorProof 3

  • Uniquely elastic fibers derived from liquid bamboo fused with a proprietary blend of 3 vegan waxes provide maximum pliability and supreme stretchable hold
  • Revolutionary, ultra-lightweight polymers infuse texture and definition with a touchable semi-matte finish
  • Perfect for sculpting, piecing and spot-styling
  • Unsurpassed color and heat protection

I put a little on my bangs while my hair is damp, and after drying and styling I rub some on my palms then smooth through my hair.

Once I do that, I get busy with some HardCoreTM Epic Hold Color Protect Hairspray.

ColorProof 2

  • Next generation, ultra-light polymers boost volume, amplify and strengthen while providing extraordinary long-lasting supreme hold.
  • Micro-silicone technology illuminates hair with brilliant shine and never weighs hair down
  • Unsurpassed color and heat protection
  • Your go-to spray for updo’s, editorial work and must-hold styles

HardCore Epic Hold Hairspray has a scent, but it is more than tolerable and it dissipates after a while. It’s rare to find a hairspray with this level of hold that doesn’t have a heavy-duty scent. It is one of the best hairsprays I have ever used and will be a constant repurchase for me.

Big hair, don't care with ColorProof!

Big hair, don’t care with ColorProof!

I highly recommend RuleBreaker Firm Flexible Wax and HardCore Epic Hold Hairspray for big hair that is just right for 2015. You can find ColorProof Hair Care products at salons worldwide, just use the Where to Buy link at the website.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

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

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