OK, can we talk about Forever Young?
The first few wigs I bought and wore were by Rene of Paris, but, as a burgeoning wig addict I found myself venturing beyond them soon enough, and on an early part of that journey I encountered FY. At the time, they seemed too good to be true; the advertising photos showed lovely, trendy styles, and the prices were certainly right: between $35 – $55 U.S. dollars.
I ordered several, since I could get at least two for the price of one ROP, and when I got them in I did love them, but the quality was not on a par with the entry-level line from Rene of Paris. It was OK, though – the styles were fab and looked a lot like the photos as far as cut and color, a few could even be worn out of the house without being self-conscious (Picture Perfect and Vintage Vixen come to mind), and they were a lot cheaper so it was easier for me to purchase a bunch of them to play around with.
The cap construction was all over the place size-wise: some of the caps would barely fit on my head while others were so huge I could pull the whole wig down past my nose (not kidding). The hair fiber was shiny (used dry shampoo to tone that down) and was significantly heavier than a more expensive manufacturer. Some of them shed terribly, and it didn’t take long for all the long ones to tangle. In short, FY was a classic case of you get what you pay for – you bought a $40 wig, and for that you got about $40 worth of quality. Very cute trendy styles to wear out once or twice, but overall not your average day-to-day wear wig. Does that mean no one uses them for daily wear? Of course not. But since it’s my blog and what I say goes, I do say that for me, FY is not a brand I’d wear regularly if I needed to cover up hair loss. For photos, definitely, and I’ve had some friends ask me to help them find a wig for a fun night out and I’ve shown them FY without hesitation, but for someone wanting a realistic alternative to going out on a daily basis as their own hair, then no. Moving on.
Recently, FY came out with about 6 new styles, and being me, I decided I needed to try one out. As usual, the photos were quite pretty and fashionable, making them all look too good to be true. Except – not so much this time, because these wigs fall into the $80-$100 range, which to me means the wigs better fall more into the true category than the to good to be one. Sadly, they don’t live up to their price point – at least not the one I tried.
I am sometimes amazed at what manufacturers think they can put over on the wig-wearing public. In the case of Forever Young here, it seems they thought they could slap a lacefront on one of their $40 wigs, make it out of heat-stylable synthetic fiber instead of regular, and jack up the price by fifty bucks. It’s rather insulting that a company would come out with a line of wigs sporting a price range similar to a serious player like ROP and do nothing to improve the quality of the wigs – but not particularly surprising. I’m sure to them, the addition of the lace front and the HD fiber automatically translated into a much better wig that was worth far more money. And people who don’t wear wigs regularly may very well believe them, but they would be wrong. Who wants to pay $93 (the retail price on this one) for a realistic hairline if all the tracks in the back of the wig are visible? And only someone with little to no experience thinks HD fiber is a luxury feature; even people who like it recognize it requires a lot more work and has a shorter shelf life than a regular synthetic.
Personally, I would have rather seen FY forgo the added bells and whistles and come out with a higher-priced line with improved quality. As I said before, they have some great ideas for unique, trendy, pretty styles, and it would be awesome if they were a more viable option for daily wear. But this new line is NOT a step in that direction. It’s the same hit-or-miss Forever Young whose quality I didn’t concern myself with too much when the wigs were economical, raised to a price point that pretty much moves them out of the category of “being willing to try and cut my losses if it doesn’t work out.”
Hm – except for that new Urban Gypsy one. I admit to really wanting to try it even though I know it’s going to be disappointing. Part of me thinks, even if it isn’t worth the $83, it can’t be as bad as the Kell I reviewed below – because Kell is horrid. It’s actually the worst Forever Young I’ve ever seen, so could Urban Gypsy really be this bad? It sure couldn’t be worse. So yeah, I’ll probably try the UG, but I’ll wait for 4th of July weekend when stores will have their 25%-30% off sitewide sales and snag it that way. Because the damn stock photo for that one is sucking me in, even though I know the wig is gonna suck. And by the way, FY still has loads of wigs in their original price range, and I don’t see them stopping the manufacturing of those any time soon. So there’s still plenty that’s good about this line, just not these new releases.
Now, about this video. #1, I had no idea Kell looked as terrible as it did until I watched the video while editing. Holy cow. Had I known this wig looked this awful I would have been much more harsh while reviewing than I actually was; at the time I thought it was a “close but no cigar” situation. Now I realize it’s a “use the cigar to light this wig on fire” type of deal. It’s funny to hear me say in the video I hope you can see how thin it is when there is literally no hair covering the tracks in the back of the wig. I had no idea. As I’ve said before, taking pics from all angles (and snagging some video if you can) is so helpful when trying/deciding on wigs. Sheesh.
And #2, I looked up online and tried out some different camera settings when filming this, in attempt to create a better-looking video. White balance is hard to measure this time out, since that wig color looks so awful on me and makes me appear gray; when shot against a gray backdrop and while wearing a mauve top (terrible choice) who can tell if the problem is the camera or not? So the jury’s out on that bit. The tutorials I found recommended turning the contrast setting down as low as possible when shooting video to improve color and contrast representation, which I think was a good choice, and bumping up the ISO so that I can use a different highlight protection setting was probably the right thing to do also, but it did result in more noise, I think. I definitely noticed it in my focus shots (which I usually use for a photo representation, but they were so noisy this time out that I had to disguise that with a bunch of edits and texture – hence the goofy photo at the top of this post). I also abandoned the 85mm lens even though I feel like it creates a more appealing and softer look, because one tutorial said clarity isn’t even a priority in shooting video anyway and what I really need to think about is speed. My 85mm is fast enough, for sure, but it’s a pain to work with, so I pulled out my wide-angle 17-40mm instead so I could use it’s zoom feature to more easily get my shot set up without having to move the camera and my body all over the place. I also didn’t have to stand as still in this video since the wide-angle lens has a much wider focus range. I know, I know, who cares. But I thought I’d share anyway, since there’s possibly a noticeable difference to the look of this one.
Now, to save some of you the trouble who just want to know upfront – just how bad is the back of this wig? Can it really be as awful as she says it is? – I set the thumbnail to the portion of the video where I’m showing you the back so we can all cut right to the chase on this one. After seeing that alone, hell, you may not even need to see the rest of the vid, but it’s there anyway if you want to witness the madness in its entirety. Such a shame too, because it showed such promise in the stock photo. Ah well. Live and learn.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately I bought this wig with my own money. My opinions are my own, and my opinion is you should not buy this.