Oribe! Oribe!

I thought since I’ve spent a small fortune over the past several months trying out a ton of Oribe hair products, I’d go ahead and write a review of the different things I’ve tried and what I think of them. I don’t have any photographic evidence of how this stuff affected my hair, but I think I can use my words to describe how it all turned out.

First of all, I will say that using the Oribe shampoos and conditioners does mean my hair air-dries into a bit of a mess. It’s all natural and lacks all of the sulfites and other stuff that’s supposedly bad for your hair, so while it leaves my hair feeling soft and silky, “soft and silky” on baby-fine hair often = frizzy mess. In that sense, if I wanted to just air-dry my hair without any future styling, I’d be better off sticking with the Goldwell or Moroccan Oil products I use that have the more traditional formulations, because they weigh my hair down more and give me more curl and definition, as well as less frizz. But, since I enjoy styling my hair anyway, I do find that when combined with heat-styling this Oribe stuff is amazing, and in the end my styled hair has less frizz and some really nice wave. Also, I recently added a LOT of blonde highlights to my dark hair, which changed the texture somewhat, and also makes it more necessary to style it than it was when it wasn’t highlighted. Moving on.

I’ve tried a few of the shampoos so far, and here they are:

Oribe Silverati Shampoo and Conditioner

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I got this stuff when I was planning to grow out my gray, and continue to use it at least once a week on my blonde hair now. I don’t know that it really makes my blonde look any blonder, but the highlights haven’t gotten brassy or anything, and there’s a cool factor here because the shampoo and conditioner are both shiny silver instead of the usual purple tint. If this stuff didn’t cost $50 each, I’d dump a bunch of it over my head and take pictures, because it really does look like liquid metal coming out of the bottles.

Oribe Beautiful Color Shampoo and Conditioner

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I also bought this stuff to use on the days I don’t use the Silverati. Both of these lines smell and feel amazing, and do not take much at all to lather up and get to work. Again, they both leave my hair feeling amazingly soft and silky, the only downside being that I must style my hair to add some weight and curl to it since it turns into a little puffball without the usual goop to hold it down. Is it worth the money? I think so – if only because it’s so gentle, it smells amazing, and when used with other styling products (oh, so many styling products in my case) my hair really does turn out great, and continues to look great for 2-3 days after shampooing. With my Goldwell or Moroccan Oil, I can’t stretch a shampoo for three days without looking greasy, but with Oribe I can. So that’s something.

Supershine Moisturizing Cream

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I’ve found that when going full Oribe, products which add moisture are essential for me. My baby-fine hair tends towards looking dry and frizzy, which is interesting, since when using more traditional products with sulfites and other chemicals my hair gets weighed down and greasy, and I tend to have to wash more often. I’d never dream of using so many moisturizing creams and things on my hair before switching to Oribe, but the overall effect is still hair that feels smoother and lighter than when using heavier products. So, this cream is a real must-have for me; I work it into my wet hair right after stepping out of the shower, and can sometimes add a bit to my hair when it’s dry if it looks a bit frizzy.

Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion

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Another cream-based product to put into my hair would have sounded insane before Oribe, but here we are. I didn’t get how to use this stuff at first, and combined it with a few other gels which was too much – now, I just put this on after the Moisturizing Cream and scrunch it into my hair and it’s good to go. It doesn’t add a lot of extra texture when air-drying, but I find that it makes my hair very easy to heat-style into waves the next morning and creates a touchable hold that lasts all day.

Split End Seal

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This is the product I’ve been using up the most; it’s a smaller bottle so that has something to do with it, but it’s a great little cream that I like to put just on the ends after heat-styling. I often throw some on them when it’s still wet, too; my chemically-treated hair needs help, y’all, and I do think this cream delivers. I also like that it weighs down the ends of my hair a little, which helps since it’s so fine; the ends of my hair can look stringy even without all the highlights, and anything that adds some weight to them combats that.

Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil

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I was hesitant to commit to this oil at first, still loving my Moroccan Oil as much as I did, but I eventually gave in to the lovely bottle, the great title, and the desire to go full Oribe. It’s an oil. It’s in a lovely bottle. Like everything Oribe, it smells amazing. And in case I haven’t yet mentioned it, my hair is frizzy, y’all, and it loves hair oil. It drinks this shit up. I sometimes dab a bit on, concentrating on the ends, while it’s still wet, sometimes not – but I always apply it last after putting a ton of other products on it after heat-styling. It adds a touch of sheen and weight that makes my hair look and feel silky even though it’s loaded with expensive goop. Good times.

Oribe Balm d’Or Heat Styling Shield

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First of all, aren’t all these bottles just gorgeous? I love to just look at all this crap on my shelves. This was another one of those if-I’m-going-full-Oribe-let’s-really-go-ALL-OUT purchases, but I really ended up preferring it because it’s also a cream, and I feel I can really saturate my strands with it better than the spray form most heat protectants take. Also – and I don’t know why this is – but most sprays I put in my hair end of making it frizzy and dry-looking, including heat-protectant sprays. This stuff doesn’t make my hair crispy or dry at all. And like everything Oribe, I don’t have to use much of it for it to work.

Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray 

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First of all, another gorgeous bottle! And, this is one of the few sprays from Oribe, or any brand really, that I feel I can actually use. It’s pretty light, and it does what it says it will do, which is add some volume and texture to my waves. I don’t use it when my hair is wet, though, even though the instructions say you can – this just gives me frizz for some reason, so I stick to using it as a finishing spray, after I’ve air-dried, heat-curled, and applied the Split End Seal, but before I use the Anti-Humidity Spray and Gold Lust Oil. I just flip my hair over, spray some on, and scrub it in, and poof – a little added texture and volume. Voila!

Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray

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If I feel my hair needs it (and living in Houston, Texas, my hair often needs it) I will add this anti-humidity spray to my daily routine. I also keep a small bottle of it in my purse. Unlike the oilier shine spray from Oribe that I tried and did not like, this one smooths out frizz without making my hair look flat and greasy. I don’t use every day, but I use it often enough to know it works to reduce flyaways on high humidity days without dragging my hair down or flattening it out.

OK, so far, everything I’ve discussed is stuff I use regularly – but I’ve also tried out a lot of items that I don’t use as much because they’re either treatments you use less often, stuff I just bought and am still on the fence about, or stuff I just don’t care for. Here we go.

The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo and Essential Antidote Replenishing Conditioner

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Wow, ladies. This stuff is amazing. I’ve tried a few shampooing/conditioning products by Oribe that don’t even look like shampoos or conditioners – both of these come in cans that look like they would distribute mousse, and in fact both of these have that consistency, more or less. Hell, I don’t even know if they do a good job clarifying or conditioning my hair, but the absolutely luxurious feel of these two products almost makes me not care. The shampoo foams out into a rich, fat-ass lather that actually was WAY more than I needed the first time I used it, so now I know to press that nozzle lightly. Honestly it feels so good I kinda want to lick it after I foam it into my hands; it’s already in a lather as it goes into my hair and overall it just feels (and of course, smells) delicious. It’s also this bizarre silvery, shiny color that matches the bottle, which – how do they do that? It’s amazing.

Then, there’s the conditioner. It also foams out into the palm of your hand, but it feels – I swear to God – like warm honey, and smooths into your hair like butter. So, honey butter for your hair. Need I say any more? I used these both after a major-heavy product-trying day, including one product I seriously over-used to the point that I had a big knot of product at my scalp, and everything rinsed out easily and my hair felt soft and squeaky-clean. Love.

Oribe Bright Blonde Radiance and Repair Treatment

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This is for use in the shower instead of a regular conditioner about once a week; it’s in a pump form, and the treatment is purple-tinted like a lot of blonde treatments are. I didn’t notice anything majorly different about my hair after using this, but my husband did ask me if I’d gotten my hair highlighted any more because it looked blonder after I used it. So, there’s that going for it. It’s fine, but it doesn’t do anything noticeable enough that I would re-purchase it.

Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray

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This was the first heat-styling product from Oribe that I tried, and remember what I said about heat protectant sprays leaving my hair dry and frizzy? Yeah, that happened here. When I mentioned to my stylist that I didn’t like this spray because it left my hair feeling crunchy, she laughed and said, ‘Girl, when a product has lacquer in the name it’s gonna be crunchy,” which I probably should have figured out on my own, but whatever. That said – and this is probably going to make me sound a little crazy – I actually do use this product every day, but only on my bangs. Yes, I am very picky about my bangs, so much so that I use a teeny little half-inch flat iron on them every morning to get them just how I like them (otherwise they curl up and I don’t like them) and for some reason, this laquer spray works with the heat to give me perfect bangs every time. Go figure. So yeah, this big old bottle is only used on my bangs and no where else on my head. As is the little flat iron (in fact, I use three different hair irons to style my hair. It’s a process, y’all).

Shine Light Reflecting Spray

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Nope. One of the few utter fails from my Oribe experiment. It just leaves my hair looking and feeling greasy. I kept trying it day after day as a last-minute afterthought, thinking my hair still looked a little too dry, but it never did anything but kill all the good I’d gotten out of the other products and tools I was using. When I discovered I could use the Gold Lust Oil, Moisturizing Cream, or Anti-Humidity Spray and get better results, I was done with this one. Doesn’t even work on the bangs!

Swept Up Volume Powder Spray

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If you’ve ever tried Big Sexy Hair’s powder spray, then you know what this stuff is – I was always a bit amazed at that product, but the application of it eluded me. I’d always end up with this big WAD of that powder in my hair that I couldn’t distribute through it, so I’d have one blob of sticky, weird, volumized hair somewhere random on my head. This feels like the same product, with a catch – it’s a pump so you can spray the powder onto your head instead of coming in a shaker you have to shake onto it. Turns out (go figure) this makes a huge difference, and I can actually spritz a little of the powder onto my scalp to give my hair a boost without feeling like I’ve put glue in it. But be careful – it’s a powerful little spritzer, and if you aren’t prepared for how much powder comes out with one little pump you’ll end up with glue-head again. It kinda sucks to pay so much more for what’s essentially the same as a $10 product, but form factor matters, people, and trying to shake sticky powder into my hair like I’m salting and peppering myself for supper was never gonna work in my favor. So Oribe it is.

Star Glow Styling Wax

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I’ve been a fan of KMS’s Spray Wax for years, as I’ve often used it in lieu of hair spray as a finisher because it’s softer and more malleable, so what could be better than a spray wax but a non-spray wax, because sprays generally don’t work for me? So I decided to give this one a try – it’s described as a “gel-wax” which, whatever, but it is odd – it looks just like honey and is as hard to squeeze out of the tube as honey can be to boot. I’m still not sure what I think of it, because I’ve only used it once and I’d over-used the spray powder already, so it didn’t stand much of a chance once I’d blasted my scalp with glue. But as hard as it is to get out of the tube, I’m not sure how useful it’s going to be. I literally had to crush the damn tube with both hands to get anything to come out, so I’m wondering if I got a defective bottle or something. More on this one later. I got it in the hopes it could add just a bit more texture to my curls, so that’s how I intend to try and use it.

Gel Serum

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This was the first Oribe product I ever tried and it was at least five years ago; it was one of those times I was at a salon checking out, and I realized I needed some hair gel, so my stylist recommended this one and I tossed it onto the counter without looking at the price tag. I was shocked when it ended up costing $65, but I bought it anyway, and that one damn bottle ended up lasting me four years! You don’t need to use much of any Oribe products at all because they’re all highly concentrated, and this is a good, sturdy hair gel with a nice, medium hold that does the job nicely. It was good enough that I did re-purchase it, but I don’t use it every day, only at times when I feel a little added hold is needed. I’ve found the Texture Waves Lotion to be my primary ‘foundation’ styling product, but this gel pairs with it fine when I want a little extra hold. Plus, it literally is loaded with little gold sparkly flecks, if you’re into that.

Curl Gloss

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This is another gel that’s fine, and I use it on occasion, but only paired with other products like the Gel Serum or the Texture Lotion. On its own, it’s just too light to really give my hair the hold it needs, but at times I throw it into the mix and it doesn’t hurt anything.

Dry Texturizing Spray

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This stuff gets raves from everyone, but for me it’s just meh. As a texturizer, it’s a little drying for me, and as a dry shampoo it doesn’t tend to make any difference – but dry shampoos have never worked on me that well anyway – because again, it’s a spray.  Out of this one and the Apres Wave spray I tried, I find the Apres Wave is less drying and gives me better volume without frizzing. This is fine, and it hasn’t ever made my hair look awful, and you can read tons of raves about this stuff from other people online, but it isn’t a huge winner in my book.

Maximista Thickening Spray

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Spraying anything into my hair when it’s wet has always been a fail for me, and this one is formulated to be applied to wet hair. It failed.

Volumista Mist for Volume

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Same.

 

OK, so. That’s everything I’ve tried. I didn’t put prices on any of this stuff because it’s all stupidly expensive, and please don’t anyone add up how much I’ve spent on all this crap. I will say, unlike previous hair product obsessions like DevaCurl that I’ve had over the years, I’ve ended up using almost all of the Oribe I’ve purchased on a regular basis, with quite a low number of fails. Most of it I can still use on occasion even if it’s never going to be in regular rotation, and overall I am really impressed even with the things I’ve tried that haven’t worked out. It’s a huge line of products, by the way, and even as much as I’ve experimented with barely scratches the surface of what they offer, so there’s definitely something for everyone – if you’re willing to cough up the cash.

 

 

 

 

Reviews News!

I don’t wear wigs except for fun in photos and on rare occasions out of the house, so the ones I normally buy nowadays are less expensive and far more costume than wigs for daily wear. But I do love the internet equivalent of window-shopping – I will sit in bed at night with my iPad in front of me while I watch TV or listen to an audiobook and scroll, scroll, scroll through the new wig releases from time to time, and honestly, I have not seen much of anything in the way of new wig styles in the past few years that has motivated me to even consider spending my money. Jon Renau, Raquel Welch, Envy, Estetica, or whatever – the styles don’t look all that different from what’s been released in the past, and the colors generally aren’t all that new or exciting, either. But of course, the huge rise in prices over the past five years has a lot to do with that, too – especially when I’m not wearing them full-time anymore.

However:

ROP 2018

Damned if every time Rene of Paris comes out with new styles I don’t want them ALL. Why is this? I think one reason why is because each time ROP comes out with new styles, they also drop at least one or two new cool colors that really think outside the box – like the new color on the Kai (only pic on the bottom row) or the Hudson. And where all I feel like I see when Renau or Welch comes out with new releases is a few long wavy wigs, one bob with bangs, and a few short shags in the same colors that they’ve been pushing for years, I always feel like ROP’s new styles are truly something new. Maybe that’s because the ROP line isn’t nearly as vast as Jon Renau, so there’s less to compare the new styles to, but also, it feels like ROP will release a good mix of styles – a curly one, something long, something short, and at least one that’s just really funky. Or maybe I am a sucker for the more interesting photos they use instead of the same four women in the same four poses in front of a white background, who knows.

Anyway, what is the point of all this? The point is, while browsing around Friday morning as I drank my coffee, I wandered over to Vogue Wigs and these new styles were the first thing I saw. AND O.M.G. I immediately wanted, wanted, WANTED THEM ALL. Yes, these price points are way higher than back in the days when I could easily snag an ROP wig for between sixty to eighty bucks, BUT these retail prices are still significantly below the sticker shock of a $400 Jon Renau synthetic, and as any good online wig-shopper knows, if you search around and wait for sales and/or know where to go, you’re going to snag even a brand new style for a good thirty percent less than Vogue Wigs or Wigs.com is going to sell them. I bought four of these five new styles – every style but the Dakota – and each one was between $160-$170, which I feel is reasonable for a wig with very nice synthetic fiber in a gorgeous color (which ROP really excels at).

So, the point – WIG REVIEWS COMING SOON! I haven’t made any videos in a few years, so they won’t be great or anything, but I will review these when I get them in, because for the first time in years I’m excited about getting some new wig styles. So stay tuned! 🙂

Lagenlike

Ha! I thought of another great title playing off the term Lagenlook. I am awesome! Thank you!

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Levitation editing – in the original photo I was just sitting on a stool. VERY easy to do with these pants on, because they’re so baggy they covered up most of the stool I was sitting on, and I only had to edit out chair legs.

I am SO behind on uploading photos to my blog – still haven’t shared my latest portraits or any of my Wings Over Houston stuff – plus I’m way behind on photo editing, too. I have sets going all the way back to September that I haven’t finished processing yet, but since the actual taking of photos is hard to accomplish right now, I guess that’s a good thing. I’ve been able to take clothing shots by just moving my furniture out of my office and sticking the 7D on my tripod, but as you can see I’ve not even bothered to put up a backdrop in months so you keep getting views of my lovely, incredibly un-fashionable carpet and a blank wall instead. Sorryboutit. Moving on.

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Got this green jumper back from the tailor, with the green string-straps replaced with something more durable 

In my last Lagenlook/Oh My Gauze post, I mentioned how great these clothes photograph, as well as being wearable outside the studio, which is nice. Since that time, I’ve gotten back the pieces I took into the tailor as well as buying a few discontinued items off eBay, and buying yet more stuff direct from the store’s website. What can I say, when I get obsessed, I get really obsessed, plus they still have some clearance items for sale and the prices are so good I just can’t resist picking a few more things up here and there (in fact, I was back on the site looking at what’s left on clearance this evening and snagged a few more items. Even my husband took note of the great prices, so there you go).

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The pants here are called the Carnival Pant and I really didn’t think I would like them. But, they were on sale in a color that was unusual and not overly available (all the clearance stuff is in discontinued colors, so I’ve ended up with a LOT of the same colors), and they were really inexpensive so I gave them a go. They turned out to be quite cute on, and they look more like a skirt than pants anyway. I actually get a lot of compliments on these when I wear them. The May vest was a longshot too – I didn’t think I’d get much use out of it but for twenty bucks (clearance price no longer available) I thought why not. And of course, it’s ended up being a very functional piece as well. The key to the whole lagenlook style is incorporating a lot of layers and creating unusual shapes with them, so a lightweight piece like this works to pull looks together quite nicely. The top is called Marcy, and at this point I don’t think there’s any more available in the sale colors. It’s one of the few tops I didn’t have to get altered, as the shape is a bit more slim than a lot of their tops.

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And for what it’s worth, I do think those shoes were a bad choice for this outfit. Oh well.

I don’t know if I’ve shown any dresses from OMG yet, so let’s throw a few in right now:

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There’s the Robin wig again

This is called the Bella Dress, and it’s the first item I saw from OMG that inspired me to investigate the brand. I’m pretty sure it came up in a lagenlook search on Pinterest, and I found the slightly rounded, bubble shape of the skirt really appealing. I did have to get it altered in the top because it was a bit too wide, but as with everything from this line I was careful not to take it in too much as its looseness is part of the appeal. The color here is Fig, and it’s one of my favorite colors – but it’s not a discontinued one. Bella is one of the more expensive pieces OMG has, but it’s hella popular so I can see why, and it was definitely worth it.

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The rare barefoot shot – only because my shoes kept flying off

Then there’s this Lea Blouse Dress, which I think may be my favorite piece so far: the shape is so casual and unusual and the fit is really interesting but still quite lovely (they only have one color left of this one on clearance, so I just linked to the full-priced version). It’s crazy baggy, and it looks like a sack, but strangely, a very attractive and fashionable sack. I love it – but I’ve already gotten the top taken in once and still feel like it’s a bit big, so I will probably take it back for another round of alterations. It’s the neckline that fits me a bit wide, and it keeps slipping off to one side when I’m wearing it, causing me to tug at it a lot to get it back into place throughout the day. It’s quite an interesting neckline, though:

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I guess you can’t really see the neckline here, but it’s kinda square. The boots are Uggs, of course. 

I don’t much agree that this could also be a blouse; it’s a whole lotta fabric to then throw over pants or a skirt, but to each her own. I had the sleeves taken in a little bit too, but as you can see there’s still a lot of room in this thing. And yet, I think it works, and I feel really pretty when I wear this. Hey, some gals want ruffles and a tiara, and I just want a fashionable sack. Whatever works (although I wouldn’t throw a tiara out of my closet if someone flung one in there either, so there you go).

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The hair is my customized Code Mono by Ellen Wille

And now for another dress – the Belva is a new style and is only available at full price:

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Please forgive the goofy face. And the hair here is Coco by Rene of Paris – another really good deal. The shoes are by Sperry, and they were not a good deal price-wise, but they are incredibly comfy. 

One interesting thing about OMG’s new fall colors is that there are a LOT of very springy shades they’re using, like the one above. It’s called Lilac but looks more Periwinkle to me, and while they discontinued a lot of khakis and grays and browns and put them in the clearance section, their new colors include some pastel yellows and greens as well as the one pictured above. I’m not complaining, as the colors are very pretty; it just seems unusual for a Fall line. There are also some more vibrant jewel tones like violet and orange, but still, the colors overall feel more like spring than fall to me (although there are some nice grays and olive greens in there, too). Oh, and this dress needed no alteration. And I adore the hemline. And the pockets. And I forgot to edit one of the many jumping pics I took in it, so you’ll have to see that one next time.

The next few pieces are discontinued items, and can’t be found on the actual site. I got them both on eBay, but they can be found through a Google search at some other online stores.

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I am wearing a hairpiece here, but I can’t recall which one. It’s one of those hairy ponytail scrunchies you wrap around your own ponytail to add volume. And, in my case, horns.

This top is called Rain, and it was not cheap, but it got lodged into my brain from the first time I saw it, and I had to have one. For awhile, all I could find were colors I didn’t really like – crimson red and coral (coral is SUCH a no on me) – but then lo and behold one showed up on eBay in gray and I snatched it up. I’m really glad I did, because it’s lovely, although I may decide to tailor this one too since the neckline might be a little wide on me. I paired it here with the Lola pant, and if you click that link you’ll see that they are a SUPER bargain right now, and in a lot of nice colors too. I did not order Lola right away, because the shots on the model didn’t make them look all that great, and I wasn’t sure how that balloon hem was going to work on a pair of pants.  But in the end – and you should be able to repeat this along with me by now – they were just too good of a deal to pass up, so I got them in a basic black, which isn’t something I normally do. I hate to buy clothes in black if there are other, more interesting colors available, but I went with it for these because I figured I didn’t have a black pair of bottoms to work with my new wardrobe so why not buy something I’m not really sure I’m going to like in the boring color and see how it turns out. Well, how it turned out is that I love them, and have already bought a second pair (in the Fig color I like so much) and I am really trying to hold back on ordering a third (again – so CHEAP!). Really, really cute.

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And just look how they move! And, I think my hairpiece flew off right after this shot.

Here’s another discontinued item I had to search for a little, and that I couldn’t get at a sale price, but was totally worth it:

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The skirt is the discontinued piece here – it’s called Robin and I think I managed to snag it for around $75 on eBay – it usually sells for about $90. I loved it, though, and finally took the plunge; that balloon hem combined with the pockets made it a bit heavy and it was pulling down on me, so I had to alter the waist a bit. But it’s a really interesting shape and it will go with a lot of things. The top is called Sweet – it was too wide on me and had to be taken in, but now it’s a great staple and the ruching gives it a little pizzazz it wouldn’t otherwise have, I’ve mentioned this jacket before – it’s the Rome that had long tails in the front which I lopped off to create a more cropped look that’s made it more wearable, in my opinion.

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Last but not least – whew! There’s a lot going on in this outfit, but I think all the different shapes are really fun:

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OK, what all do we have here? The pant is called the Basic pant, and I think you can see why. Nothing funky there, but it is a nice, loose straight-but-wide leg and in the khaki they’re incredibly wearable (I had to buy this pair off eBay because at the online store the khaki was not available – it was one of the sale colors that has already run out). The blue top (the color is actually called Washed Reef) is called Hawaii and I love it – it’s a tank top, actually, so it’s great for layering and I love how long that asymmetrical hem is. It jazzes up anything you choose to wear it with, and the color is another one that’s unusual for me, but I figured I needed to give my wardrobe a little pop; it’s also got a tie-dyed pattern that isn’t overdone but that adds interest to what is otherwise a fairly basic, subdued outfit. And of course, it was one of the colors that was on sale, which helped me decide. The white jacket is called Siesta and it’s another versatile piece I’ve found dozens of uses for already – I can’t say enough about how well all this stuff works together. I can probably get dressed with my eyes closed now, and as long as I choose OMG pieces I’m not only going to be OK, but look unique and put-together too.

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Photo nerd alert: this is a composite of two shots – yes, I did leap while holding Simon, but my legs were barely off the ground for obvious reasons. It didn’t look all that impressive that way, so I layered a different leap shot where I wasn’t holding a cat over the original and put them together.

Not as much movement with the Basic pant, of course, but those two tops are great for interesting, flow-y movement, In fact, last week we had a couple of very windy days here, and I loved walking outside and feeling everything blow and float around (except the Robin skirt, which got a little dangerous). The hair up there is my trusty Easy Edge by LuxHair HOW, and that necklace came from Nordstrom a few years ago and can only be worn in photos; it’s ridiculously heavy and scratchy against my neck, which is a shame since it’s a really cute piece. Oh well.

Believe it or not, that is it for now – and if you actually read all this, you deserve a medal. Or at least a cute piece from OMG, so get on over to their website and look around! And tell them I sent ya! Speaking of which, I sent the owners of the store a message linking them to my first blog post, and they actually sent me a $50 gift card as a thank you for my review! Ain’t that grand? I just haven’t used it yet because I have to call them to do so since the website can’t process it, and I’m usually online shopping at night past store hours (not sure what that says about me), plus I’m actually pretty shy and am a bit nervous about having to call them up and identify myself as that crazy lady who takes pictures of their clothes while she’s flying through the air and goes on way too long talking about clothes. But I’ll get around to using it sooner or later. And oh – there are probably more leaping photos coming of this stuff; I wasn’t kidding when I said the clothes take great movement photos! And no, I have not yet photographed everything I’ve bought. That may never happen. 🙂

Quick Pics of My Stitch Fix

Helloooo everyone, I know it’s been a minute, but I’m busy as usual and only have a little sliver of time in which to catch up. I’ve taken a lot more Oh My Gauze shots, both posing and leaping, and the Wings Over Houston Airshow was last weekend and I took about 2,000 shots at that. But for now, I’ll pop in here to share a few photos of the clothes from my October Stitch Fix box, then upload some of the other photos later. Let’s get to it:

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The wig here is the Robin by Noriko in Chocolate Swirl; the shoes are the “Fang” flatform sandal from TopShop (cute, but sadly, not comfortable, so I only wear them in photos for the most part)

So what we have here is the Kut From the Kloth “Kate” boyfriend jean, and the Collective Concepts “Lidy” poncho cardigan. The jeans are nice; when I took them out of the box they felt really stiff, but they are 1% spandex and do have some give, so when I got them on they were comfy, just a little heavier than my usual denim. There was nothing wrong with them, but no real reason for me to keep them, since I have all the jeans I might need at the  moment and these look exactly like a few pair of those. Plus, as you can see, they were a touch too big on me. The poncho cardigan was a keeper; it’s fairly light and will go everything. So that piece stayed.

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This is the Crescent “Spooner” Cross Back Top, and I can certainly see why my stylist sent me this shirt, since it’s khaki and loose and a little hippie-ish with the fringe trim, but it just didn’t do anything for me. I think the fringe around the bottom might actually be too heavy for the fairly sheer material of the rest of the top, making it hang a bit awkwardly when it should just flow. Plus, that fringe hits me at an awkward spot and accentuates my widest area more than I’d like. Cute, but no. And yes, it’s very wrinkly, but remember it did come in a box. Moving on.

Last shot:

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Snake-print slips-ons from Vans. And sorry about the weird face I’m making here.

Another pant by Kut From the Kloth, this one’s called the “Siena” Cropped Pant, and although they’re a little snug around the hips (making the side pockets stick out a bit), they are very light and comfortable and with the spandex in them should stretch a little with wear. I may take them to the tailor and get the pockets sewn shut, which I often have to do with chino-style pants that have them. It’s a minor detail, but it makes a big difference in how the pants fit and look once they stop poking out like that. The jacket is not from Stitch FIx, but it is another Oh My Gauze piece – it’s called the Rome jacket and it actually had two very long “tails” in the front that were just begging to be tied into a waist knot, which is something I refuse to do. So, I had my tailor chop the long bits off to create a shorter jacket all around, and I really like it now. Tailoring makes a big difference, people! #themoreyouknow

That’s actually all the shots I have from this shipment; you may have noticed I only took pictures of four items when they are always five things in each Fix, and if so, good for you for being observant! But the fifth item was a chambray, long-sleeve, button-up top, and since I’ve not once liked myself in any top like that I’ve ever tried, I didn’t even bother to put it on. Plus, it was buttoned all the way up, so I would have had to unbutton it to get it on, and it wasn’t worth the effort. Yep, I’m that lazy.

Here’s to the end of another busy week. More pics later!

Stitch Fix n’ Pix Review

Got another Stitch Fix in, and tried to take some decent pictures real quick after filming that tragic Forever Young wig review. I didn’t keep my entire Fix this time, but FINALLY at least, they did not send me skinny jeans!

And before we discuss my latest shipment, can we all just say halleloo and yaaaaas gawd that the SCOTUS ruled in favor of sanity, reason and LOOOOVE? I’m so happy I could backhand anyone who doesn’t agree, so don’t go there with me. Moving on.

Oh, and before I show any pictures, yes, I know my background in these shots is less than stellar. Apparently, this is what you get when you pay $89 for a “wrinkle resistant” material. I’m not sure which wrinkles this thing is resisting, because it seems to find most of them too good to ignore.

Anyway, back to the Fix. Item #1 is right up my alley, but it has a downside: the Skies are Blue Folla V-Neck Knit Top (kept):

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Skinny Ankle Jeans from Ann Taylor Loft, Fairwayy (NOT a typo) sandals by Lucky Brand, Misha wig by Rene of Paris

It is good in that it is basically a slightly upgraded tee shirt, so I can wear it to work and be comfortable as hell. I realized the bad Friday afternoon, when I was out and about and happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in a store window and wondered fleetingly who the prison inmate was staring back at me. You can’t see it very well, but the shirt has a v-neck, and well, orange v-neck shirt = Orange Is The New Black, basically. So, hopefully if Stitch Fix sends you this shirt you get it in a different color. Other than that, don’t wear this with orange pants and you’re probably OK. It’s roomy and comfy and easy to wear, although it wrinkles easily too. Also looks great with shackles!

Item #2 is the Market & Spruce Bernadette Lace Overlay Raglan Top (kept):

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Same jeans as above, Classic Leather/Snake Slip-Ons from Vans, Coco wig by Rene of Paris

I really like how this photo turned out, for some reason. I think its all those coordinating color tones. And that Coco wig is the business for less than $80. Normally those little shag cuts don’t work on me, but Coco is an exception. Anyway, the top. This is the second baseball-tee-with-lace-detail Stitch Fix has sent me, and since I love me a good baseball tee (as well as any glorified tee shirt I can get away with wearing to work) this one had my name all over it. The other one I got a few months ago is the reverse – the sleeves are lace while the bodice is a ribbed knit, and it’s in navy and light blue – and this one is also a bit more fancy. The jersey knit is incredibly soft, and the lace is lovely and entirely lined. My only complaint here is that it is almost a boat neck, and that’s going to cause problems because my shoulders are so narrow. I can’t stand a bra strap showing, so I’m hoping at least I can wear this gray bra I have under it that will somewhat match the top and look intentional if the straps show – it may show through that cream bodice too much though, so I’ll just have to see. Other than that, this one is a winner.

Item 3 is the Kut From The Kloth Callie Denim Jacket (returned):

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Linen tee from Ann Taylor Loft, Linen T-Strap Mary Janes from Urban Outfitters, Rainbow Stripe 4-in-1 Trapeze dress/skirt from the Gap, Laine wig by Rene of Paris

First of all, this skirt looked so great in photos that I got really distracted by it while shooting, and when I was looking the photos over later I realized I didn’t take even one where I wasn’t swooshing the skirt  around in some way, so this was the best I could do, sorryboutit. And how that skirt can be worn four different ways is beyond me – even the photos on the Gap’s website only showed the model wearing it two ways (as a skirt and as a dress) so I’m guessing they’re taking lots of liberties with that title. I mean, if a six-foot-four skinny sixteen year old can’t get into this dress four ways, how am I supposed to do it? Like, wrap it around my head as a turban, or throw it over my head and wear it as a poncho? Who knows. And those shoes are always on sale 2 pair for $20 at the UB, and you wouldn’t believe how often you’ll wear them if you keep a pair or two handy. I keep one pair at work for days that my feet hurt, and I use them in leaping photos constantly because they are practically like being barefoot but much more flattering than bare feet can be. Sure, they will forever emit a chemical smell that means you can never keep a pair of them contained in a small space without killing yourself the next time you go in there, but keep them thrown in a corner and you’re good to go. And hey, each pair is only ten bucks!

Anyway back to the jacket – it was fine; it had stretch to it and was lighter than your average denim jacket, so I was tempted to keep it, but I have one already that is practically brand-new and doesn’t get worn much so I certainly didn’t need a second one. I liked that this one was a lighter weight so I was torn, but in the end I couldn’t justify paying $78 for a second jean jacket when a barely-used one was already hanging in my closet. It would have been a nice staple,. though, had I needed it, and it was good item for them to include in the Fix as it certainly does fit my style. I can’t say the same about…

Item #4: Skies are Blue Diane Dress (returned):

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Reese wig by Noriko, Snick platforms by Jeffrey Campbell (I’ve had these shoes at least four years now but I still see them being sold in stores, are they still in style?)

OK, I did try this on earlier in the day, but at picture time I had on tons of makeup and since this is pure white linen I did not want to risk getting it dirty – especially since it would have been useless for me to keep it. I dislike everything about this; the cut is one I don’t like, the material is too stiff, the white linen is just asking for trouble, and the length is too short. If you asked anyone who really knows me to come up with a dress that’s the exact opposite of everything I like in my clothing, they’d come up with this one. Back it goes.

Then there was this little Item #5: La Made Leia Pom Pom Infinity Scarf

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I really dislike this picture; my face came out weird and the lighting and color balance are off, but I took it so dammit you’re going to look at it. Anyway, there it is – a cute enough scarf that I almost kept because I would have found use for it, but my goal was to keep my final order under $100 this time, and this piece at $38 put me right over that once I purchased the first two tops. In hindsight I probably should have kept this and sent back the Folsom Prison Special (now that I think of it, the name “Folla” top almost looks like “Folsom” if you just glance at it quickly), but at the time I didn’t realize I was going to look like an escaped convict in it, so back went the circle scarf. Cute poms poms on it, too.

While I was at it, I took some leaping shots in all these outfits as well, but I’ll share those in a different post. For now, there you go – Stitch Fix Quick Pix and some wig shots to boot. Happy weekend everyone!

Stitch Fix Quick Pics: May

How long have I been using Stitch Fix now? I think it’s been about a year. At first, I went back and forth over keeping my service or cancelling it, but they’ve really been sending me some great stuff the past few months, and it’s become my primary way of buying clothes now since I don’t shop nearly as much as I used to (in stores, that is – let’s not kid ourselves I’ve stopped shopping completely).

While my room was set up for photos the other day when I took a bunch of macro florals (I’ll show those in a separate post later) I threw on some of the stuff I’ve gotten from them recently to share here. Keep in mind I didn’t edit these shots except to process them from RAW to JPEG, so they’re not up to my usual standard, but it seems fair to do them that way since it shows the clothes themselves in the closest representation to what they look IRL, rather than adding all my usual bells and whistles. My mug is also SOOC which bugs me a little, but hey, I am willing to suffer for you, people. Oh, and while I was at it, I put on some of my new wigs to change things up in the pics. So here we go.

First up is the Minna Crew Neck Top:

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Minna Crew Neck Top; Gap Authentic Boyfriend jeans; Seville by Noriko wig in Banana Split-LR

The shirt is more orange than it came out in the photo; it’s a true orange and white print, not red-orange. As with pretty much everything SF sends me, I took this out of the box and thought oh HAIL no and started to shove it back in there, but then remembered that I needed to try everything on since those nice people went to all the trouble of packing this stuff up for me and I should least put it on once before casting it off the island. Besides which, I never like anything SF sends me right out of the box, but usually find that I do once I get it on – and this top was another example of that phenomenon. The solid orange sleeves and shirttail are a stretchy jersey knit, which you know I am always a sucker for, and the printed front and back panel are some sort of silky polyester – which usually bugs me as I don’t find it comfortable, but it worked OK here since it was just the bodice and not the whole top. I got it in an extra small, so it was a touch tight in the armpit and chest areas, but not so much that it wasn’t wearable (just a little difficult to get off and on) and it looked great. Put this one down into my ever-growing pile of Stuff I Got From Stitch Fix That I Never Would Have Bought On My Own But Really Like Anyway, because I’ve already worn this top twice and I just got it five days ago. Moving on.

Next up is the Analisse Anorak Jacket:

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Analisse Anorak Jacket; Under Skies shell (also from a Fix I got it a long time ago); Destroyed Wash Straight Leg jeans from Ann Taylor Loft; necklace from Free People; Oprah Wig by Mica for Jessica Lin in Color 6

This jacket came from April’s shipment, but since it was clean and hanging in my closet I decided to show it anyway (I also got a really cute crochet sweater from April’s box that was in the dry clean hamper, so I didn’t show that one). This is a very light rayon jacket that is easy to carry around and throw on when needed; my only complaint is it has all these various ties and zippers and snaps that get annoying and aren’t particularly useful. I never see the point in this MacGuyver-style clothing that can be added to or taken away or converted at random. I get that camping and hiking-style wear has need for all that stuff; but when it’s a faux-outdoors jacket like this one I feel like we’d all be better off if the manufacturer didn’t play like we’re ever going to take this thing camping and leave all the shenanigans alone. I actually cut the waist tie from this one (which could  be used to cinch the waist but I would never wear a jacket that way and the ties were so long it would just come untied every five seconds anyway) and am considering cutting out the one at the bottom because it’s long also and is always banging around my knees – and again, why do I need to cinch the bottom of the jacket, exactly? Exactly. Aside from that ramble, this is nice and light and goes with everything. Love it.

Here’s two pieces put together – the Adam Crochet Detail Top and the Mea Lace Skirt:

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Adam Crochet Detail Top; Mea Lace Skirt; Lucky Brand Fairwayy Sandal (not a typo); Caitlyn wig by Rene of Paris in Coffee Latte

First of all, yes I am over-posing there which makes me look like I’ve twisted my body in some weird way, but whatever. The skirt may be lacy but it’s still casual in style and very comfortable, and an over-the-knee length which means I will actually wear it. I like to have at least a few items like this on-hand that can be dressed up on those very few occasions where I need to do so, but this can also be worn quite casually which is nice. The top was only kept because it goes nicely with the skirt; it’s cute enough but a bit fussy for me, and the cotton fabric isn’t soft or stretchy at all and requires (gasp) ironing, which to me is synonymous with dry-cleaning. It’s also pretty transparent, so although for the photos I didn’t require a cami underneath IRL I will – and there’s this lace panel in the back that hits right where my bra strap would show so that’s another reason a cami is needed. However, it is a cute top and it wasn’t too expensive, and I love me some white tops I can throw on with anything when in a hurry, so it stayed. The sleeves are also a nice touch with the elastic that gives a cute pouf to their 3/4 length.

Oooooh guys, I really love this next one – it’s the Char Geo Print Maxi Skirt:

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Char Geo Print Maxi Skirt; Sweater from Ann Taylor Loft; Braided Circle Scarf Necklace from Nordstrom; barely visible Dayna Point Flat from Free People; Amanda wig by Jon Renau

I got the skirt in my April shipment, and when I saw online that I was getting something called a “geo print” skirt I recoiled in horror. Not exactly my style. But the print is small, and the colors are lovely and spring-y (mint green, soft tangerine, navy blue and white) and it has enough of an A-line that I can actually wear this even though the material is clingy (jersey knit maxi skirts are usually a problem for me). I’ve worn the hell out of this since I got it, although when looking over my photos I realized that the point-toed flats I like to wear with it don’t look nearly as good as I thought they did, since the skirt’s so long all you see are these two little pointy witch feet poking out, and it’s odd. As Cher Horowitz says, always take a photo of your outfits, people, you’d be surprised what you find when you do.

Last but not least is a dress I almost didn’t keep, but my  husband commented that it was pretty, so I changed my mind. My face looked really goofy in this shot and I wasn’t willing to put out the effort it would have taken to photoshop a different head onto my body, so I just cut it off instead. Moving on – it’s the Briar Printed Maxi Dress:

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The color is also reading green here for some reason; the bodice is a true gray and the paisley print is far more green than the light blue it appears, sorryboutit.  The cut on this one is pretty narrow, but I guess my recent weight loss has been significant enough in the hip/thighs that I can actually pull this off. It is a jersey knit (score!) and super-comfortable, and this is another one I started wearing right away.

Now – here’s my one complaint about my recent shipments that I have to mention. Guess what else came in May’s box that I didn’t take photos of or keep? Say it with me people – FREAKING SKINNY JEANS. I have received a pair of skinny jeans at least three more times since begging Stitch Fix to quit sending them to me, and every time they do I have to send them back and miss out on the 25% discount. I am starting to think they are doing it on purpose just to mess with me. Once again I left comments online when checking out, repeating my request to stop receiving them, but so far my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The ones they sent me were a color other than black at least, I’ll give them that after they sent black ones 2 or 3 shipments in a row, but the color was hardly unique – a light faded denim. Plus, they were $160, the most expensive item in my box by far. They fit nicely and were comfortable, but of course I sent those suckers back. So, once again no 25% discount for me since I couldn’t keep the entire Fix. Sigh.

All in all, though, a successful shipment. I continue to wear most of the pieces from SF regularly (except the fabulous jeans I got a year ago that are now way too big), and they’ve certainly been sending me fun boxes of stuff. So, the subscription continues. Now if I can just get them to STOP WITH THE SKINNY JEANS I’ll be all set.

Oh, and if you liked this review and want to sign up for the service, consider using this link so i get credit for it. Until next time!

Purse Post: The Free People Slouchy Vegan Tote

I have to rave about this Slouchy Vegan Tote I bought recently from (no surprise) Free People. I loved it so much, I bought three of them.

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Simon likes the brown bag best

I am actually not a big purse person (a “purse-on”?); I tend to find one I really like, then keep it for several years, or buy the same style for several years in a row. My last favorite was a large tote by Tory Burch that was very big (I love a huge purse) and square and open (love a big-mouthed purse too; one I can just toss things into from across the room) and most importantly, it had pockets on both sides that made it incredibly convenient to place keys and cell phones in them and know exactly where they were. But in the past year or two TB quit putting side pockets in the totes, which made them decidedly less fabulous in my book, so when I realized the huge blue one I’d carried for two years needed replacing (I am VERY hard on handbags), I needed to find something new.

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My pics are unedited and kinda sloppy, sorry – had a lot to do tonight so I had to prioritize.

I wanted something big, of course, and floppy, because I much prefer soft purses to sturdy, structured ones (again, I like to throw tons of stuff in there and sort it all out later, so floppy helps with that). I also wanted something a bit bohemian, perhaps with fringe or some interesting print – but it was not to be found. Apparently, my current style obsessions are not IN style, at least not in the purse world. I’ll skip over the part where I bought a Coach bag on sale in a snake print, just because it was the closest thing I could find to an interesting print and it was good deal, and skip right to two weeks later, when my friend Candace and I spied this bag on the way out of the Free People store in the Galleria. It was floppy (check) and big and square (check-check), but then we discovered so much more when we looked inside. It also had a very large zippered clutch-type removable insert (people in their reviews refer to this as a laptop case, then complain that laptops don’t fit in it, which leads me to believe it was not intended to be a laptop case in the first place, but I could be wrong about that) and a third, small zippered bag roughly the size of a large square wallet. It also had an extra-long strap, and – here’s the real clincher – the purse is also reversible. It’s also NOT leather, although it looks like it (in fact, most people who’ve asked about the bag since I started carrying it were under the impression it was quite expensive) and it feels buttery soft, so it is both cruelty-free and inexpensive – the bag retails for $68.

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A peek inside the smallest pouch.

I bought one, then a few days later decided I needed a few more. One reason for that is the one I’ve been carrying around since I bought it is starting to “peel” a little around the edges (see pic below), so I thought having a few others to switch around might help slow that down a little. I don’t really care about the peeling so much though, and mostly wanted a few more just because I love this bag to death and was feeling spendy. When it comes to bags, I am not opposed to handing over some decent cash (although I’d never pay the cost for a Louis Vuitton or anything like that, at least I haven’t up to this point) for whatever it is that I like, and since this one was not expensive, I figured getting two more still kept it in a good price range for me.

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A close-up of the peeling – you can also see the magnet that holds the purse closed no matter which way you’ve reversed it

The cool thing is how many ways I can mix and match all these pieces. Because the bag itself has nothing going on inside (no pockets of any kind), I have everything I regularly carry arranged to be either in my wallet, my makeup case, or one of the two pouches that come with the bag. My ID holder/debit card and cell phone fit perfectly into the smallest bag, I think it’s obvious what my wallet and my makeup bag hold, and the big zippered pouch holds everything else. This way, it’s super-easy to switch purses by grabbing those four pieces and stuffing them into another big purse; no pockets to go through and organize or anything. If I have time I can do some color-coordinating, of course, by taking all my stuff out of one colored pouch and putting them into another one, but if I don’t want to mess with that, the switch can be made in about four seconds.

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A peek inside the larger pouch – Simon was interested, too

I’ve also found that the small zippered pouch works well when I don’t want to carry the big bag somewhere, as I can just pull it out and go, and the larger zippered one is easy to pull completely out of the purse and dig through for whatever it is I’m trying to find. The only downside I’ve discovered so far is that the inside of the big zippered pouch is black, which can make it hard to find what I’m digging for. And, I found the dark brown one to be stiffer faux-leather than the black or the natural one, so the softness of the vegan material isn’t consistent I suppose. But other than these two things, I am in love with these bags. I got six purses, really, for the price of three (although the reversed color of the black is almost identical to the natural colored one, it’s just a touch lighter) plus 6 multicolored pouches to play around with, and in total I spent about $210 for all of it.

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The black purse – the reversible side is the same cream color as the small pouch

I’m not one to go around switching bags to match my outfits, but for that price and for how easy it is to do with these, I am going to start. It’ll also help each bag last longer to switch them out, because as I said, I am hard on bags. I’ve carried all my usual stuff, plus my lunch, an iPad, and an extra pair of shoes in this thing a few times (when going to work) and it can handle all that and still look great, but I know from past experience that won’t last forever. Fortunately this appears to be an incredibly popular bag at the Free People site, with a lot of color options they keep updating, so I think it’ll stick around for a season or two if I ever need more. It certainly feels sturdy to me, even when loaded down and requiring the bigger strap to carry, so I hope they last awhile.

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The brown bag reverses to cobalt blue

Now I just have to figure out what to do with that Coach bag that I only carried for three weeks and no longer want…if anyone wants to buy it off me, make an offer!

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The bags reversed!

Random Hair Products Review

Here’s a quick run-down of some non-DevaCurl products I have liked in the past (pre-perm) and still love now. No pics this time as I’ve been too busy getting ready for the school year, but there are links included so you can check these products out.

KMS Hair Play Dry Wax

My “holy grail” styling product if one exists. I’ve been using this for years as my finishing spray; I do not like hair sprays but I want something to help hold my style, and this has been my go-to for a long time. I started using it when my hair was still short, and it helped keep my layers nice and spiky without making it stiff. As it grew, I tried other finishing sprays, but always came back to this one. When my hair was to my shoulders and straight, I could spray this through while fluffing it with my fingers and it added lift while also keeping the flyaways at bay. After my perm, I tried other hairpsrays and finishers concocted, supposedly, for curly hair, but I’ve come back to this again and find it is still the perfect finisher. It’s the only product I use right now that has silicones and sulfates and all that stuff that’s supposed to be bad for my hair, but I can’t help it – it gives me the perfect amount of hold while also helping my curls stay defined as well as touchable. And again – it worked this way for me when my hair was straight too, as well as when I wore it short. I keep three bottles of this on-hand at all times, so I am never without it.

PHYTO Phytolisse Mask 6.7 fl oz

After the disaster that was DevaCurl’s Heaven in Hair, I appreciated the fact that this deep conditioner specifically instructed the user to rinse it out immediately after applying it. I sure learned the hard way that this can be quite necessary when using such a product, so that’s exactly what I did. Doing so made it hard for me to tell by feel if the product did anything or not, but I did notice my hair looked very bouncy the next day, and less dry. So overall I’d say it’s a win, and will use this about once a week until it disappoints me or I find something I like better. I chose this mask because it didn’t have sulfates or silicones, and I want to stick to that as much as I can. I don’t like that it comes in a little pot you have to stick your fingers in while in the shower, because that’s a pretty messy proposition, but the HIH was that way also, so it could have something to do with both products being very thick and not able to squeeze out of a bottle easily.

Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner, 4-Ounce

This is a nice leave-in conditioner that helps combat frizz and gives my hair the extra moisture it needs, and it’s sulfate- and silicone-free. It’s very light and a little goes a long way. I was hoping to find a leave-in that was protein-free since I was told protein can be drying, but it turns out it’s quite a common ingredient in leave-in conditioners, and the only protein-free ones I could find have sulfates and parabens and other things I’m trying to avoid. Sigh. My plan was to use this some days, and other days just put a little extra One Condition into my wet hair as a leave-in; most days I’ve gone with the One Condition and left this alone since I have decided to use DevaCurl’s B-Leave-In strengthener every day and that already adds protein. I did like it the few times I used it, though, and will keep the bottle on-hand for whenever I feel I need a little boost. But keep in mind there’s protein in this one if you’re sensitive to that.

Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Wave-Enhancing Spray

This is a very nice spray gel that you can get for around eight bucks (they call it a hairspray but it feels much more like a watered-down hair gel to me, and is made to be used on wet hair). It’s not as easy to find in grocery stores as it used to be, but Amazon still carries it. It’s very light. I spray this onto damp hair right before blow-drying, and it does a great job holding the curl. Currently I am using the DevaCurl Spray Gel as I think it has a little bit better hold, but if I had to go back to this one I’d have no problems with it. Doesn’t follow the sulfate-free philosophy though, so that’s another reason I’m not using it anymore. But it’s a great, cheap spray gel that does the job.

Redken Curvaceous Wind Up Re-Activiating Spray

Ditto for this one. I’ve used it in the past, and it does the job nicely. Smells better than the Garnier Wonder Waves, but also has sulfates and all that jazz. Doesn’t cost quite as much as the DevaCurl gel, so it’s a decent mid-range spray-gel option.

Moroccan Oil Treatment

A very nice serum I’ve used off and on for years. The Moroccan Oil line has some excellent products that feel VERY luxurious and can help repair damaged hair; this oil works nicely on my dry, frizzy ends and just the tiniest dab is all I need. The shampoo and conditioner are especially nice, but I don’t think they are silicone-free; I tried to research this but got conflicting reports, so correct me if I’m wrong about that. The oil is quite expensive for a little bottle, but you literally just need a dab of it at a time.  A good serum to have on-hand when the hair looks dry. I like to use it when my hair is wet but in a pinch, I can rub some on dry ends and it helps.

 

DevaCurl Products Review: Part Two

Heeeere we go: Part Two of my Great DevaCurl Product Experiment (part one is here)! I know you’ve been dying to read about more crap I’ve put on my hair in the last month. Let’s get to it.

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It’s called “No-Poo” and I took a picture of it near Sprocket’s butt. Get it? ‘Cause I’m really twelve years old.

DevaCurl  No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser – 5 stars

Love this stuff. I must mention again that when my hair was un-permed and had just the slightest wave, I hated using this shampoo. But now that I am permed it’s working great to cleanse my hair, and the no-lather formula doesn’t feel unpleasant when working it through my hair at all. In fact, regular shampoos feel unpleasant now when I use them, as I can feel them creating tangles and snarls. This cleanser slips nicely through my fingers and my hair, and leaves my hair feeling clean without feeling stripped of its natural oils. My un-permed hair was so baby-fine that I think I just could not handle that feeling, with its tendency to be greasy, using No-Poo just made it feel even greasier. But I definitely need all the moisture I can get right now, and according to the Curly Girl philosophy so do people with natural curls. It’s really interesting to experience using it both ways and being able to feel how differently curly hair reacts to it as opposed to straight hair. Unless what I’m feeling is just the reaction of chemically damaged hair, but either way, it’s working. My hair feels clean and looks great using this – I’ve been “no-poo” for two weeks so far and have experienced nothing but good results.

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DevaCurl One Condition Conditioner – 5 stars

This is the conditioner I use after washing my hair with the No-Poo Cleanser. It’s lovely. It’s much silkier than other conditioners I’ve used, quite honestly, and it follows the Curly Girl method of using no sulfates, parabens, or silicone, and I’m trying to be as faithful to the process as possible, so I’m happy with it. Lots of people use a bit of it on wet hair as a leave-in conditioner, and after my experience with DevaCurl’s “deep conditioning” product I started doing the same, since I trust this one. It also helped my hair recover from that horrid experience, so it gets another star for saving my locks when the Heaven in Hair fried it out (you’ll read about that below). It has a wonderful, thick and smooth consistency and really does feel delicious in my palm as well as in my hair. I’ll need to invest in the huge bottle of this stuff soon.

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DevaCurl  B’Leave-In – 4 stars

I was a bit confused by this product, as the title suggests it’s a leave-in conditioner, which is something I really wanted (then again, the product DevaCurl labels as a deep conditioner was anything but, so perhaps there’s a trend here?), but recently I’ve discovered it’s not actually a conditioner as much as a strengthener with protein in it, which as one of my blog readers, Alma, pointed out, can be drying to hair. People still like the product and the effects of using it, though, which they say are primarily strengthening and adding definition to curls, but at first I was so disappointed it didn’t do what I thought it did that I didn’t give it a chance. Ultimately, I did notice nice curl formation when using this, and it works well with the Volumizing Foam to give me bounce and definition, so it’s a good product to keep on hand and pair with the Foam.  I’d just recommend DevaCurl change the name so people don’t think they’re moisturizing their hair with this, when the may in fact be drying it a little.

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DevaCare ArcAnGEL Gel – 4 Stars

This smells lovely, kind of like orange juice. On wet hair it dries slowly, and with not as much hold as the Volumizing Foam. I woke up to super-bouncy curls, and my hair looked nice right away, so I wet it down and added a little foam for styling.  The end result was fine, but I still prefer the Foam for my primary styling tool right out of the shower. It’s got a nice hold and gave my hair a LOT of bounce, just not quite as much hold and definition as the Foam. It definitely has a stronger hold than the Spray Gel though, so I can see why it’s so popular – my hair was bouncy and curly even after sleeping on it. Definitely springier than when I sleep on the foam, but the curls were a bit lighter and not as defined. By the way – it’s called DevaCARE because this is DevaCurl’s rather limited line of products for color-treated hair.

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DevaCurl No-Poo Quick Cleanser – 3 stars

I have used regular dry shampoos before, when my hair was straight, and I find them drying due to the talc (hence the name, right?), which mostly just adds static to my hair. This one does not feel chalky or talc-y like other dry shampoos I’ve tried; it actually feels moisturizing, which is nice since my hair has a tendency to be dry already (notice it’s not called a “dry shampoo”). I sprayed this into second-day hair and it actually added some bounce and shine right away. I’m still too in the habit of washing my hair every day to get much use of it, so we’ll see if this ends up being a part of regular routine for me. I like how it works to revitalize curls without drying them out when I do give it a go, so it might also be a good product to revive hair throughout the day, too.

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DevaCurl Styling Cream – 2 Stars

Feels silky but when emulsified it gets tacky and sticky. Not necessarily a bad thing; reminds me of Tigi’s Curls Rock, which had killer hold for curls but felt like glue in the hands. Feels heavier than the Foam but that’s not surprising. When I put it on wet hair, it made it way too puffy, and it didn’t have the hold I need so my curls were too soft without definition.  I ended up re-wetting my hair and adding Volumizing Foam, then air-drying, and my hair looked much better, but after an hour or so my hair got big and puffy again, so this one is a no-go for me. Still a nice cream though, and I can see why people like it if they need volume and moisture more than hold and definition. A lot of people really like this stuff, so I hate to rate it so low, but it was not a good one for me so I gotta be honest about that.

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DevaCurl Heaven In Hair Deep Conditioner – negative stars

Oh dear. This one’s gonna be a little long, because this item has the dubious honor of being the first hair product to make me question my sanity. Allow me to explain.

I checked it out because of a positive YouTube review I saw, then bought it when I saw all the raves on Amazon.com. However, it turns out this is one of those items that inspires polar opposite, love/hate responses among users. Unfortunately, before buying it I only stumbled across the “love” ones. I put this stuff in my hair when it was wet and followed the instructions, which were to leave it on damp hair for 30 minutes and rinse – easy enough. It felt OK when applying it, but even from the start it didn’t feel as moisturizing as I expected. By the time I rinsed it out, it had gone crunchy. Then – I tried to run my fingers through my hair. I was confused. Why did my hair feel like straw? I got a comb, and tried to run that through my hair. Why was it all so tangled? I doused it with the De-Tangling Spray I’d recently decided was useless. Still useless. I grabbed a brush. I began to question my knowledge of my own hair – has it always been this hard to comb and I never noticed before? I ran to Google and typed in “heaven in hair made it dry” – and THEN I saw the flip side to all the rave reviews I’d read before purchasing the product.  It’s even been dubbed “Hell in Hair” by many a disappointed customer. People said it made chunks of their hair fall out. That it took weeks to recover from one application. That the best you could do was immediately run back to the shower and dump gallons of regular conditioner on your hair in the hopes it would recover.

Being me, I decided to go ahead and see it through the end. I added Volumizing Foam as I would normally do, then waited until my hair was almost dry and ran over it with a blow-dryer. And what I got was a frizzy mess. I could run my fingers through it, at least, but to prove my point, I of course have photographic evidence:

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Pic on the left was taken right before shampooing and using the HIH; pic on the right was taken after using HIH and letting my hair air-dry, then styling it EXACTLY as I had styled the left side. Seriously.

It was 11 PM by this time, but I decided it was best to run right back to the shower and re-moisturize with normal conditioner to see if that would help. I dumped a ton of One Conditioner on it first, let it set for about five minutes, then cleansed with the No-Poo cleanser. Then I dumped more One Conditioner on it and let it set again. I rinsed it out with cold water to seal the cuticle, then for added measure ran a little more One through my wet hair and left it in. Fortunately, I was then able to run my comb through it and it felt more normal. I put more Volumizing Foam in it and let it air dry. It was still a little wet when I went to bed, but in the morning it looked normal, if still a touch dry.

Heaven in Hair is also the first product to make me afraid of trying any other new ones; if I hadn’t already spent money on a few other things it might have ended this entire section of my blog. Hands-down – THE WORST product I have EVER put on my hair. And yet, some people swear by it, so there you go. I will say that most people who love it claim they don’t put much of it on their hair, and they apply heat to it to help activate it. I glopped a ton of it on, and did not apply any heat, so perhaps doing those two things would have netted better results. But in my defense, the instructions said nothing about applying it sparingly, and they said adding heat was optional. So if those two things are needed to make this work instead of turning one’s hair into a tumbleweed, that needs to be addressed.

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Photo of Simon posing with DevaCurl’s Shine Spray, which I already reviewed in my previous post but accidentally photographed, thinking I’d not reviewed it yet. 

That’s about it for my review of DevaCurl’s line, but I do have some non-Deva products I like that I’ll review at another time. And how about a round of applause for the cutest product photos ever? I’d like to thank my models, Sprocket and Simon, for being good sports about it. Penny, as usual, declined to participate.

*Everything I review in this post was purchased with my own money, and no one requested I write about these items. I never review products that are given to me for free – mostly because no one ever offers, but even if they did I wouldn’t do it. Just so you know. 

Sulfate-Free Hair Products: DevaCurl

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve tried out a ton of products targeted for curly hair since getting my perm a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d share here what I’ve tried, and what I liked or disliked about them. It’s not the most thrilling subject in the world, so I’m going to keep my comments about each product brief.

Keep in mind that any of this stuff could be used on whatever type of hair you have; just because it says it’s for curly hair doesn’t mean a person with straight hair couldn’t use it. The line I’m going to discuss in this post, DevaCurl, consists of all sulfate-, silicone- and paraben-free products, and the website also highlights its use of botanical extracts (even though the list of ingredients on the bottles still reads like a lab experiment -but some of the first ingredients listed are things like beeswax, soy, or olive oil). So even though none of this stuff is cheap, it might still be up your alley no matter what type of hair you have.

Also keep in mind that I didn’t try out anything but styling products for this post – I purchased some rather expensive shampoo and conditioner at the salon when I got the perm, so I didn’t try DevaCurl’s “Low-Poo” or “No-Poo” cleansers and conditioners, which claim to be the first sulfate-free (and therefore lather-free) shampoos on the market (although there are others out there now). I did try them years ago, both the No-Poo and Low-Poo offerings, and honestly I could never get into them, but that was when my hair was un-permed and basically straight, and I felt the no-poo method left my hair looking greasy and limp. As a side note, I’ve been following the no-poo method the past week, and am getting terrific results out of it so far now that my hair is permed – but I’ve written about that in a different post. And I just bought the low-poo and no-poo cleansers to try out (along with a few other products I hadn’t yet tested), but haven’t used them enough to write about them yet, so stay tuned for more about those.

Aside from wanting to try these out for the botanical aspects and lack of certain chemicals, you may love the smell of these products as much as I do. However, I’ve noticed when reading reviews of these items that not everyone loves the scents, so that may be a love-it-or-hate-it aspect of them.  Personally I think they smell nice, with one exception, but it was a product I hated overall so it didn’t matter too much. But keep in mind that fragrance-free these products are not. Moving on.

Gotta Love It – Five Stars

Deva-Curl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam  

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This is DevaCurl’s version of a mousse. I put it in my towel-dried hair and let it air dry at night. While I don’t think it performs all that differently from any other mousse I’ve ever tried (yes, if you put it in wet hair and let it air-dry without touching it, it will dry “crunchy,” but that’s part of what helps reduce frizz, and I can use my diffuser and a few other products to de-crunch it a bit) I love the consistency of the product and the smell is fantastic. It’s more of a liquid-y foam than a true mousse, and it feels silky and downright luxurious when pumped into my hands. And did I mention the scent? It smells like lemon candy, which I just love. Even though it’s not anything earth-shattering, this is the favorite of everything I’ve tried so far.

Pretty Good – Four Stars

DevaCurl Spray Gel

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It’s a spray gel, which has always been a part of my hair styling routine. Mousse at night after the hair is towel-dried, then re-wet in the morning and apply some spray gel before drying. I’ve used many different kinds of spray gels over the years; they’re all basically hair gel thinned out with water so it can be dispensed through a spray nozzle, and they all work about the same way. But I do notice this one is a touch lighter than some of my other standbys I’ll discuss in an upcoming post. It’s easy to apply, and it adds the extra hold my hair needs to get through the day without allowing my curls to droop or fall, so I’ll give it the four star treatment even though it’s not doing anything unusual. And it’s got that whole sulfate-, paraben-, and silicone-free thing going for it, so there’s that. A bit of a medicinal smell to this one, but it’s not strong and doesn’t linger.

 

It’ll Do – Three Stars

DevaCurl  Mist-er Right

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This product is…interesting. Way back in 2004 when Lorraine Massey, who owns the DevaCurl line, first published the book “Curly Girl,” which landed her on the hair styling map, one of the things she recommended for women with curly hair was this homemade solution of water and lavender oil to spritz onto hair and re-vitalize curls throughout the day. I remember making my own batches of it back in the day, and while I never felt like it did anything magical to my hair (again, part of the problem was I was trying to use her methods to make my non-permed hair transform into springy curls, which was never going to happen) it didn’t hurt it to spray some on every now and then, and it sure smelled heavenly. I’d say pretty much the same thing about this version. It doesn’t hurt to spray it on my hair, but it doesn’t help either. It certainly doesn’t help combat frizz or give my curls extra definition if I start to get too fluffy throughout the day.  A little spray bottle filled with plain old water would probably work better, actually, but then my hair wouldn’t smell like lavender. My husband loves the way this smells, and it does feel like a nice little luxury to me, something to refresh the hair if you’re out and about and feeling like you need a little pick-me-up. But that’s about all it does, at least for me. It’s actually the most-used product I’ve tried aside from the mousse and the gel, so even though it’s quite possibly a ridiculous product, it still gets three stars.

Deva-Curl Set It Free Moisture Lock Spray

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I’m on the fence about moving this one too – I still don’t see much frizz reduction with this or added shine, but it’s not horrible and actually has some uses for me. So far, I’ve found it works best to spray a few pumps into my hand and rub it through my hair when it’s looking a little too “crunchy” from the mousse, gel, and/or spray wax I use for final hold; this will add a little moisture and softness. With my baby-fine hair, generally too much of such a product will turn my curls to mush and make me look like a puffball, so I do use this product sparingly. This is another one I dumped into a little spray bottle to carry around in my purse for use throughout the day if I see fit, and as a big plus this one has the awesome lemon candy scent of the Volumizing Foam,  so it gets an extra star for smelling delicious. Some of these products may become more useful as my hair adjusts to the no-poo routine I’ve only been on a few days now; we’ll have to see about that. But right now, it’s not performing any miracles.

I’ll Probably Pass – Two Stars

DevaCurl Shine Spray

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I bought this to try as a finishing spray, but it had zero hold for me and left my hair looking a little limp. The only product I’ve ever liked using for hold as a finisher is a spray wax, and I’ll discuss my favorite in a later post as it isn’t a DevaCurl product. I did notice, however, that this can be useful if my hair is looking a little too dry; I can spray a bit into the hair and it moisturizes it a bit, so there’s that. It also has an interesting, citrus smell that’s slightly medicinal, but still pleasant. I may use this from time to time, but I don’t know if I’ll re-purchase it once it runs out.

Deva-Curl No-Comb Detangling Spray

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I forgot to take a cutesy picture of this one, sorry

My hair is much more prone to tangling now than before, so I was hoping this stuff might help with tangles right out of the shower so I didn’t have to tug on it when it’s wet. For about a week, I sprayed it liberally into my hair right out of the shower, sprayed a little more on my hands, and worked through the tangles with my fingers. I think it might have helped with tangles a little bit, but ultimately I didn’t see too much difference between using this and not (nor did I see too much benefit to trying to work through the after-shower tangles with my fingers as opposed to a comb). I certainly don’t feel like my hair is coated with anything after using it, and have tried using a little more in the mornings when I re-wet my hair to style it, but it never did wow me with its effectiveness. It has a faint scent I’d describe as “lotion-y” for lack of a better word – not unpleasant or long-lasting. Even though it doesn’t feel like it’s coating my hair, it isn’t effective enough to justify applying it every time I shower and adding one more layer of product I’ve got to deal with later. That said, it didn’t have any negative effects on my hair that I could tell.

DevaCurl DevaFuser

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I know, you guys. I know. Look at that thing.  But it looked so insane, I figured it must have the ability to do something fabulous to curly hair to justify how silly it looked, as well as how much it cost (I got it for $44 at an Ulta store, but found it later on Amazon for $25). The truth is, though, I don’t get near the amount of curl from using this as I do from my regular diffuser, which came as a free attachment for my hair dryer. I guess if I want more toned-down curls I can use this, but that’s not likely to happen. One decent use is that it does give me a little bit more lift and volume if I mash the “hand” right up against my head and aim some heat directly at the roots, and that is nice, so it isn’t a total loss. It fits awkwardly onto my hair dryer and occasionally pops off, however, so it’s a bit of a pain. Overall it’s much easier for me to use my normal diffuser – with that one I can use the highest heat setting and a low speed to give my curls the right amount of definition and spring.

Ugh – One Star

DevaCurl Set Up & Above Versatile Styler

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This stuff claims to add volume, texture, hold, and definition to curls, and interestingly, it did all that for me while simultaneously making my hair look horrible. How this is possible I am still unsure, as you would think a product that did all those things would make curly hair look fabulous, but it also created more frizz than all the humidity in Texas could accomplish. The results of using this stuff were just…weird. I had some random tight, deadlock-y curls, and then acres of frizz between that curl and the next one. I was almost in Roseanne-Roseannadanna territory whenever I tried to use this, and I tried applying it both to wet and dry hair. I had curls all right, but zero hold, and it made my hair way too soft for its own good. I looked awful both days I tried this, plus it smells like molding clay and in the jar it looks just like a green Jell-o mold without the marshmallows (mmmm…marshmallows). Fail.

So that’s it for this round of my DevaCurl experiment. And yes, I did purchase all these products over the course of about two weeks, which is pretty impressive as I’m not usually a huge hair-products person; I tend to use the same stuff or products just like it that I get at the grocery store on my weekly trip and I’m happy. But what can I say, with the new hair I got curious. I’ve already talked enough about hair products for one day, so in another post, I’ll share with you the other DevaCurl products I’m currently testing – the No-Poo and Low-Poo Cleansers and Conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and a dry shampoo (that post is up now – you can read Part II here). I also have some non-DevaCurl products to share – It’s just a few more, in case you’re worried you’ll have to sit through another post as long-winded about hair products as this one. And you can go here if you want to read about the results of my no-shampoo experiment,  which may in fact render some of these less-useful products more useful as time goes by (although I don’t ever see that Set Up & Above working out).

*Everything I review in this post was purchased with my own money, and no one requested I write about these items. I never review products that are given to me for free – mostly because no one ever offers, but even if they did I wouldn’t do it. Just so you know.