Monday, August 16, 2010

Anti-Frizz Hair Products and Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Review

My main hair concern has got to be frizz. I have been blessed/cursed with big hair. Thick wavy locks that have a tendency to fro, frizz, and look dull and dry unless I apply some taming product and blow dry with a diffuser. I have tried multiple different products over the years (since about the 10th grade when I got 'schooled' on hair maintenance by my hair guru bff). 

Here's a general list:

  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Serum Extra Strength Formula - I still have a bottle of this on my vanity...can never seem to finish this product off. It's what I use when I run out of other products. Cannot really say I see a difference after applying this serum, hair doesn't appear less frizzy or dry looking. Also, I have to be very careful to apply a tiny bit, otherwise my hair just looks oily. Not worth the price for this high end drugstore product!
  • John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shine Shock Leave-on Perfecting Glosser - Now, this product is intended more to give hair a glossy shine, but it's thick oily texture also helped tame frizz somewhat, if you go tthe amount right...too much and you end up with greasy looking locks :( Again, not worth the price to me, does not fully deliver!
  • Sunsilk Anti-Poof 24/7 Creme - Let's just say that with a name like that, I had high hopes! Unfortunately, instead of taming frizz while maintaining body, the cream simply weighed my hair down. 
  • Dove Smooth and Soft Anti-Frizz Cream - Same story as with the Sunsilk creme, left my hair flat and coarse smoothness or softness!
  • Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave-In Weightless Anti-Frizz Serum - This product had been my HG for the past couple of years! I applied a teeny tiny amount to towel dried hair and not only did it smell divine, it also helped to tame the frizzies! Why, oh why, did it have to be discontinued? Garnier Fructis now has a Sleek and Shine Cream version, but I can't say I feel the same way about it. 
  • Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Hair Serum - I recently discovered this product through It was highly rated as a top hair product under $10. Cheap, anti-frizz product in serum? How could I say no?? I've been using it for a month and am completely sold! I use a small amount (think diameter of pencil eraser) on the ends of my towel dried hair, concentrated on the ends. Since it is a serum and oily, I will apply any of the left over product on my hands to my bangs and the hair framing my face. I blow dry with a diffuser and then will apply the same amount after my hair is almost completely dry (don't usually have the patience to dry it the whole way!) to the ends and let them air dry. The result is a significant reduction in frizz while maintaining body and adding loads of pretty shine! It has a nice floral scent to boot. So glad to have found this Garnier Fructis Serum replacement...I honestly think it's an upgrade :) Also, since only a tiny amount is necessary for each use, the product will last a long's that for great value?

My 1st MAC Experience!!

I had been contemplating visiting a MAC store for the past month...I mean, I live in New York City...they are everywhere! As much as I love my drugstore brands, I just had to see what all the MAC-related hype was about. Last week I was given the perfect opportunity while walking around Brooklyn Heights. The store was cute and tiny and the sales representative was super friendly. After watching multiple YouTube videos, I also just really wanted to know what my MAC shade was...

I'm an NW 35!! I picked up the Select MoistureCover concealer for covering up any dark under eye circles. What I loved about this product when I tried it in the store was that it perfectly matched my skin tone and applied so smoothly that I didn't feel like I had anything on. It left me with a nice, dewy finish that didn't require setting with foundation or powder. A great, stand alone product for those rough early mornings!!

Now, being a lip product fiend, I had to get myself a MAC lipstick...I mean, how could I not? I decided to go for a nice, not too crazy, natural pink: Capricious Lustre finish lipstick. I find this to be a great 'my lips but better' (MLBB) shade and have been using it a lot :) Not only does it feel good on the lips, but it also smells/tastes yummy!

I got both of these products for under $35 and am satisfied! I don't think I'll be making very frequent trips to the MAC stores, but I do think that the quality of these products is high and worth the occasional purchase. A girl's got to treat herself sometime, right? ;)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Inexpensive and Effective Hair Straighteners

#11: VS175

Shipra asked me for my recommendation on a good and cheap hair straightener. Back in my undergraduate days sleek and straight was my hair style of choice, so I do have a bit of experience in this area even though I've given up the flat iron for the most part. I decided to do what any good 'newbie' knows best, google :)

Now, when it comes to straighteners, it's very important to purchase one with ceramic plates as they are less damaging to the hair cuticle and heat up evenly and quickly. I used to use a titanium one back in my heyday and while it straightened my then curly hair quite well, it also left me with a lot of damaged, dry ends. Frequent use of hot tools can dry out your hair, so it's good to use ceramic tools and some sort of heat protectant spray before straightening. I've heard good things about Tresemme's, but have never used any myself (probably also why I had such damaged hair!). has been my resource of choice lately for finding new, highly-rated hair products. I recently discovered Giovanni's Frizz Be Gone serum from this site, and am loving it (review to come soon)!! They have a Top 12 Flat Irons feature under their Advice section which I thought would be very useful to all those in search of a great flat iron for less :)

Here are the products from their list that were under $45:
- #12: Revlon Tourmaline Heat Ionic Ceramic Straightener - $32.99 
- #11: Vidal Sassoon VS175 Studio Tools 1-1/2" Tourmaline/Solid Ceramic Professional Ceramic Straightener - $32.99
- #7: Vidal Sassoon VS182 Gold Series Professional 2-1/4" High Heat Straightener - $25.49
- #4: Revlon Amber Waves Dual-Edge Straightener - $25.77
- #3: Conair Infiniti 1" Straightener - $44.99

Lingo check: According to, tourmaline hair straighteners are good for giving a shinier, silkier result than just a ceramic straightener alone, in less time! Sounds good for those busy mornings.

Take a look at the article and be sure to read the reviews to see if the straightener is good for your particular hair type (i.e., thin, wavy, curly, thick, frizzy, etc).

Good luck finding a new straightener :) 

If anyone else has any questions that they'd like me to address on this blog, please feel free to shoot me an email at

First Impression: Aveeno Nourish+ Care Collection

Happy August Readers! :) 

Today's Mini-Sample: Aveeno Active Naturals NOURISH+ Care Collection -- Volumize Shampoo and Conditioner (0.3 fl. oz. each)

Being a huge fan of Aveeno body moisturizer and facial scrub, I was quite interested in giving this product a try! Now, I'd like to be upfront and state that I normally do not use volumizing hair products, simply because I have big hair :P What I mean is that I have medium to thick hair that has a tendency to expand in humidity. But, since my hair is heavy, I sometimes find that I may lose volume at roots, especially when my layers need a trim. Anyways, I'll give you all my honest, first impression of this product and you can apply that to your own hair type.

Here is what Aveeno claims:
The NOURISH+ Hair Care Collection is "infused with Active Naturals Nourishing Wheat Complex, these formulas replenish lost moisture as they target the weakest part of hair, fortifying the hair shaft with protein where it needs it most." Also, that using these products, "nourishes damaged hair back to life in just 3 washes."

The collection includes products for 5 different purposes: 
1. Moisturize - "Drenches the driest hair with a fusion of gentle conditioners to give hair silky new life."
2. Revitalize - "Smoothes and helps repair everyday damage to hair, invigorating it with new life."
3. Volumize - "Adds body with a fusion of lightweight conditioners, giving hair lush, rich life."
4. Shine - "Illuminates the dullest hair, giving it shiny, vibrant life."
5. Condition (Leave-in treatment) - "Quenches the thirstiest hair with a fusion of deep conditioners and moisturizers, recharging it with healthy new life."

The packaging of the sample contained a lot of information about the hair care line and a $1 off coupon (yay!).

The 0.3 fl. oz. amount of both shampoo and conditioner were more than enough for my just below shoulder length hair. The smell was very nice and relaxing, not too fruity or sugary, more floral, which I prefer. The Volumize shampoo and conditioner are said to have nourishing wheat complex and blue lotus flower which "strengthens and adds body to fine or limp hair." Well...after blow drying and styling my hair as I normally do, I did notice a lot of body! It was not the fro-y, poofy kind either :) My hair felt very clean and was shiny. All in all, I was very pleased with the 'immediately after' results. The true test, in my opinion, is will my hair fall flat the day after? This product delivered there as well! The next day my hair was not flat, even though I pulled it up into a bun for most of the evening before and slept on it. I was able to quickly restyle my bangs and walk out with my hair fully of body and shine! I am currently on Day 2 after washing, and I still feel like my hair is pretty clean and only slightly oily...which is very normal for me. If I choose to, I could very easily skip washing today as well, this is a major plus in my book for those early mornings when I'm rushed to get ready for work and still want to look my best! Gives me more time to focus on getting my look together rather than blow drying and styling my hair!

First Impression Verdict: I am actually heading out to my corner Rite Aid to purchase the Volumize Shampoo after finishing this post, that's how much I like this product :) This shampoo really makes my hair look it's best and without too much effort on my part, which is just win-win for me!! I am going to stay away from the conditioner for the time being as I still have some conditioner that I'd like to finish up. 

Will update after the aforementioned "3 washes" to let you know how things went!

Have been using the shampoo for a little over a week now and must report that I have never received this many compliments on my hair from strangers before! Seriously...people have been telling me that my hair is full of body and shiny and I honestly give all the credit to this gem of a shampoo! In addition to the body and shine, it is also soft to the touch and not as frizzy. Definitely recommend Aveeno Nourish+ Volume Shampoo :)