Archive for June, 2010

Paul Mitchell: The Super Skinny Serum

So, I’m… Pissed. Remember how I said I ordered that Ben Nye palette and that it should arrive early next week (especially since I upgraded to 3-day shipping)? Well, Mr. So-and-so called me yesterday to inform me that they were outta the palettes and that they wouldn’t arrive ‘til late next week.  Shouldn’t the website be automated to let customers know when something is not in stock? I mean, I certainly could have ordered this from another site and gotten it in time to do my Mad Hatter look for school Wednesday.  And I know for a fact that this site sells the individuals of the eyeshadows, and empty palette pans… Couldn’t he have offered to just send me the same individuals that are in the assembled palette? It’s a privately owned company, and this was the owner that called me after all. He didn’t even offer me free shipping or anything! So I won’t be doing a review on these for a while, but I will as soon as they come in… IN TWO WEEKS! Urg… Anyway, rant over. Time to review… Paul Mitchell: The Super Skinny Serum (finally)!


This has basically become my HG hair product.  Let’s start off with first impressions: The packaging is quite attractive, as you can see. It’s definitely something I keep on top of my cabinet. It’s sleek, chic, and altogether a welcome addition to my small display.

Pumping a bit of this into my hand, it has the consistency of a viscous liquid, and feels really slippery (due to the silicones in it).  It has a wonderful, fruity smell, either apple or watermelon (I can’t decide, and haven’t been able to reach a consensus through other people, who all say one or the other haha).  Either way, the smell dissipates from hair about fifteen minutes after application, so even if you’re sensitive to scents, there shouldn’t be too much of a worry there.

Now, the big problem with most shine sprays/serums is that they weigh hair down incredibly or make it look greasy.  Now, this serum is certainly capable of that, but only if you use too much.  And I mean WAY too much.  In my short hair, I can use one to two pumps and be fine, and have also used this on models with bra-strap length hair, so a little does go a long way.  I did once overdose, however, and use four pumps, because, when applied, it really doesn’t seem like it’s in  there at first.  This is one of those products that needs a setting time to “activate”.  I ALWAYS apply this to damp hair which I then let air-dry, which allows this both to set and activate it’s unique, amazing quality: it speeds up drying time! I’ve noticed a considerable reduction in air-drying time (15-30 minutes) when using this, and drastically improves drying time when using a hair dryer.  It also reduces frizz and protects against heat damage when used this way.  I find that when applied to dry hair, this has the tendency to “clump” and overapply in certain areas, but if you’re persistent, you can comb it out evenly.

Once my hair has dried and this product has set, I can see an instant improvement in overall hair quality.  My hair is shiny, but not greasy, incredibly soft, and has a wonderful, flow-y movement to it.  Surprisingly, my hair doesn’t feel like it has a “film” over it, which even other good shine serums tend to leave.  Simply wonderful.  Even with other products layered on top, this product still enhances their effects and makes overall styling a breeze.  LOVE it!

OVERALL RATING: A+

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GVP Wax: Compare to Paul Mitchell Wax Works

Hey all! Sorry about no postin’ yesterday; I had work from 3pm to 2am… Ridiculous. Anyway, I also bought this product yesterday.  I am simply in love with the GVP brand.  Available only at Sally Beauty Supply stores (my hair secret mecca), the brand makes really inexpensive dupes of high end brands (Paul Mitchell, Matrix, Joico, Sebastian, etc.).  It even gives a side-by-side comparison of ingredients in both products, which are often identical down to the last item.  My only gripe is the packaging, which is nowhere near luxe or pretty, and so I often keep these items in my cabinet rather than on display.

So now we get to GVP Wax, which is supposedly comparable to Paul Mitchell Wax Works.  I’ve never owned the original, but in the past, I have been quite happy with GVP’s dupes of products that I do own (even if neither is a good product, the results of both are basically identical), so I tend to trust it’s reliability in that aspect.

But did GVP Wax stand up to the high regards I hold for both GVP and Paul Mitchell? Find out after the jump.

Opening it up, the smell is very mild, and I can’t even put a name to it. No problem there.

Squeezing a small amount into my hand (about half the size of a dime), the product had the consistency of a really viscous gel.  After emulsifying between my fingers, I rubbed it through my slightly damp hair, and immediately knew it wasn’t gonna give extreme hold.  The product description promises a medium hold, which I usually expect will allow my thick, heavy hair to ‘stand up” in places.  Not that this weighed my hair down at all, just that it wouldn’t be strong enough to lift my hair from it’s natural place.  When I was done, I did however see the “Extreme Texture and Shine” shown on the front of the package.  My hair looked second-day piecey and had a definite, non-greasy luster.  I was able to shift and mold my bangs pretty well, and the hold is pretty good, but still allows my hair to move and flow.  All of my frizz was tamed, as well.

When I got home, the definition was still there, but I wanted to see if I could achieve a bit of gravity-defying styling that I wanted from this.  I took a full dime size amount of GVP Wax and applied it over my already-styled hair.  No go for the stand-up styling, but I was able to add some really nice texture and definition.

After all this, my hair was still really soft and touchable, had a bit of movement, and did a fantastic job taming my frizz and adding some nice shine to my hair, all without weighing it down or making it look greasy. It won’t become a staple in my regimen, but I’ll keep it around to use for certain looks.

Who might like this:

  • Someone looking for a product that will give a light piecey look
  • Someone looking for a product to enhance shine and tame frizz without weighing hair down
  • Someone looking for a product that they can layer without looking greasy

Who might not like this:

  • Someone looking for a product with strong hold  or gravity-defying abilities
  • Someone going for a matte hair look

OVERALL RATING: B

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L’oreal Elnett Hairspray

Let me tell you, I was SO excited when I heard that this supposed gem was coming to the US from Europe a couple of months ago.  For some reason this blogger will have to research and later post, this hairspray was not allowed to be sold in this country for a long time, and was oft smuggled back in excess by fashion show hairstylists and in-the-know travelers.

This particular hairspray promises a “soft, shiny finish”, and is supposed to leave one with touchable hair.  Perhaps the most outlandish claim is that it “disappears at the stroke of a brush”, but remains impeccably strong throughout the day.  Doesn’t this seem a paradox?  Find out after the jump.The first thing that caught me about Elnett was the gorgeous packaging.  It’s very luxe, posh, and the gold quite reminds me of Chanel’s d’or nail polish collection released this season.  I started out by buying the “Strong Hold Version”, so let’s cover that first.

I picked a day I knew to be particularly windy and with some humidity to review this, as this is the true test of any good hairspray.  I rubbed some Paul Mitchell: The Super Skinny Serum (which I’ll be reviewing soon) through my damp hair, let it air dry, styled with a bit of Ion Styling Solutions Texturizing Hair Wax, and gave my locks a few quick bursts of this spray (I prefer to use hairspray in short bursts rather than a continuous stream as it gives a more even coverage and reduces product waste).  The first thing I noticed was the smell.  My god.  Have you ever smelled Aquanet?  This was about twice as potent.  I had to run out of my bathroom and open some windows, quick.  But for the sake of you readers, I decided to risk smelling like a 50’s showgirl for the rest of the day.  And boy, am I glad I did.

I stepped outside, and the wind whipped my hair around, pushing it in all different directions.  I waited to get to school to check it however.  Now, on a normal day, the humidity would have already started to make my hair frizz and poof (eek!), and I would have had to do some serious rearrangement to get it all back in place.  Much to my surprise, there was considerably little displacement of my carefully arranged waves (which the wax seems to bring out).  I shook my head a bit and everything settled right back into place, as if I had just done it! Amazing! Upon touching it, I expected a crunchy, sticky coating, as surely only a hairspray that left such a finish could produce results like this.  But no! My hair was oh so soft, and definitely the promised “touchable”, if a tiny bit stiff.  I even ran my fingers through it, and the definition stayed. The smell had also dissipated by now (about an hour later). Yay!

The finish also bears mentioning.  It is quite shiny.  But not at all greasy-looking; more of a natural, I-just-deep-conditioned-my-hair look rather than a silicone shine spray patent leather shine.  Very nice.

And the lasting power?  All day.  That’s from 8 am to 10 pm.  Okay, by about 6 pm, my hair had lost a bit of it’s luster, and maybe shifted a bit.  But even 10 hours’ wear from this is quite remarkable.

And I did test it: it most certainly brushed out.  I tried it a few days later without any product underneath (which is actually wonderful.  You know how some hairsprays only seem to work with a binding product underneath? Not this one; gives a wonderful luster and hold to natural hair), waited for it to set for a few hours, and then ran a brush through it a few times, and lo and behold, my locks fell free, and with no sticky, stiff, or coated feeling left! Fantastic!

I now also own the Extra Strong Hold with UV Filter for Color-Treated Hair version, which I actually prefer, as I find the extra hold welcome as we enter the sticky-hot summer months, and the added sun exposure which means that the UV protection is always welcome.  However, I’ll definitely keep the Strong Hold on hand for days when I’m simply running out for a few hours or want a very natural, minimalist look.

I picked each of these up at CVS for $14.99, which may be outrageous for some, but this guy is more than happy to shell that out to avoid the crunchy, stiffness or the lackluster holding power of more inexpensive sprays, not to mention the added shine and natural feel that these give.

One note: for about the first hour after application, hair will feel QUITE stiff, though still look natural.  This stuff just needs to settle in before it acquires that touchable softness every fashion guru raves about.

OVERALL RATING: A

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Quickie Intro to Me!

Hey everyone! So I’m Sam. I’m a freelance makeup artist and model, as well as a dabbler in fashion photography.  This blog is gonna mostly be cosmetic and skincare reviews and tutorials, and some photography from time to time (as well as rants and ramblings occasionally!) So, enjoy, subscribe, follow, contribute.  If anyone ever wants something reviewed, tested, etc., send me a message and I’ll do my best to get it up here!  Thanks guys!

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