Thursday, December 30, 2010

Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Straightener Review (Guest Post)

The following post was written by Shipra, enjoy - Mani :)

Hello! I am a follower and fan of Makeup Newbie. I myself am a newbie with much less experience with beauty products (and much fewer lip glosses in my stash), but I enjoy reading and learning. A particular interest of mine is hair care.

My curls are not extremely tight but curlier than Mani’s soft waves, and a whole lot frizzier too. It’s frustrating when my curls aren’t in a cooperative mood, and so, for special occasions when I want to look a bit more polished, I always reach for my straightener.

Unfortunately, an awesome and very cheap Revlon straightener I owned for a couple years experienced electronic shock in London this last July and refused to turn on after the trip. Thus, after reading Mani’s post about straighteners in August, I hung around the hair supplies aisle in Wal-Mart to find a nice replacement. After purchasing the new straightener and trying it out for a couple months, I asked Mani if I could review it here on her blog.

 “Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Straightener”
(I don’t remember how much it was exactly, but it was definitely between $25 - $30.)

The Conair Professional tourmaline ceramic 1" straightener features 25% longer plates. Promotes healthy looking hair-micro particles of pure ceramic generate infrared energy to gently penetrate hair follicles while straightening. To give you faster styling, the 1" plates are 25" longer than our standard straighteners. Promotes shiny results the micro particles of tourmaline crystals emit natural ions that reduce frizz. Conair, 1" Tourmaline Ceramic Straightener, MODEL #CS58W.

The straightener offers heat levels up to 392F, auto-off, and dual voltage (a plus considering my London problem). Conair also promises professional results, reduced frizz, and smooth hair. Sounds promising, right?

While I’ve used this straightener a couple times before, most of those times were not as relaxed as a most recent attempt to get my hair straight just after finals ended a couple weeks ago.

Right out of the shower, after applying Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine and lots of TRESemmé Heat Tamer Spray from Thermal Creations, I blow-dried my hair, not trying to make it straight, but letting it transform into a 70s fro. It took me about 10 minutes.

I then spritzed the entire poof with heat spray again and waited 10min for it to dry. After the hair was completely dry, I straightened section by section: below the ears, above the ears, around the forehead, crown, and bangs. It took me about 40 minutes to straighten my medium-length hair. Finally, I applied a tiny bit more Sleek and Shine to tame frizz, then pulled the hair back in a loose bun to consolidate the hair for about 15 minutes.

The end results were very satisfying! My hair fell nicely around my face, styled in the exact way that I had moved the straightener. Since I had paid particular attention to the roots, which I always used to mess up, the hair was smooth from the top to the ends, a very new effect for my hair!

Because I agree with Mani that the stick-straight-hair look isn’t enormously flattering, I worked in a small curve to the ends of my hair which made it more natural. My mom (I’m 20, so I’m still at home with the parental units) told me my hair looked much nicer this time than other times I straightened it (underhanded diss?) and that she even preferred it to my curly hair (which I got from her)!

  • Because it’s only 1”, the straightener is very light and easy to maneuver. For hard-to-get pieces, like the hair on the back of my head, holding the straightener up doesn’t hurt.
  • Three heat settings—some straighteners don’t offer heat setting options while some offer precise, exact-degree settings. I find that exact degrees help when baking cookies, not when straightening hair. The three settings provide easy control over how much heat is applied to the hair without getting overly technical.
  •  As Mani always says, a little goes a long way, especially with my hair which isn’t very thin, but still straightens very easily. I can do the entire bottom layers on the Low setting and switch to Medium only for the crown.
  • My hair doesn’t feel burnt or damaged after use. However, the heat tamer spray probably also had a hand in that.
  • Because the straightener has an auto-off mechanism, the straightener sometimes turns off while I’m still working with it. I’m okay with the safety of it though.
  • Since this is a cheaper straightener and I have curly hair, I find that I often have to go over the same piece a couple times, which is not necessarily the case when I use more high-end straighteners. That could, however, stem from the fact that I don’t use the High setting on the straightener.

I recommend this straightener to anyone with thin to medium-thickness hair, curls or waves, or just anyone on a tight budget. I’m definitely keeping this with my hair care supplies! What straightener do you use? 

Shipra, a Steel City native and pre-law student, is a makeup and hair care enthusiast. Don't let her self-proclaimed 'newbie' status fool you, this girl knows her way around a makeup pallet...must be the artist in her :) Thanks so much!

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