Beauty & Hygiene Product Reviews

I've decided that I better have an excuse for all those dollars gone to waste on many a beauty and hygiene purchase that turned out to be less exciting or productive, than originally anticipated. So therefore I've decided to publish mini reviews of products that I've purchased in an attempt at providing information that may prove useful to shoppers out there.

Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form related or being supported financially or in any other way sponsored by these companies. These are independent reviews based on my very own costly mistakes.

Without further delay, here it is:

Hair Care and Styling -- in search of: non sulfate, non silicone, curly hair, moisturizing (but not too much!)
Redken Extreme shampoo and conditioner/anti-snap
-- I actually found this to have enough silicones and sulfates that it affected my hair negatively, and my hair is porous/colored/wavy/semi-curly. Though I must admit, it served as a quick fix to heal some over-colored hair in the middle of winter, quite well. It also helped shininess during blow-dries. I really enjoyed using the anti snap on my ends just before blowdrying or to air dry, as it helped with shine and manageability, though I'm sure this is just the silicone, short-term effect because after a day the hair was limp and dull.

Redken Smooth Down shampoo and conditioner
-- I bought this as an emergency when I ran out of the above and faced a head full of frizzies due to a humid summer kick-off in late Spring. This did not help my hair any, and I found the shampoo very drying, leaving my hair like straw before I drenched it in the conditioner. Will not be buying this again.

Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-dry Lotion
-- this was really, really great for shiney and sleek blowdries, but added some greasiness to my hair by the next morning

Bumble & Bumble Color Support Cool Brunettes shampoo and conditioner
-- this is bad bad bad for my hair. It dried up my hair until I could almost hear it scream. I only use this now every now and again if I feel my natural red becomes a tad too brassy. The shampoo dried my hair to the consistency of a corn broom's bristles and the conditioner didn't do much to help. I am waiting for this to finally run out so I can sigh in relief. I was absolutely shocked considering how much this cost me!

Ouidad Water Works shampoo
-- I read that this shampoo is not only 1) gentle for wavy/curly hair, but also 2) helps with hard or mineral water problems. Well since I fall in both these camps, and I was a fan and was dying to try these products, I went for it. The line in its entirety is a godsend. The shampoo left my hair clean, but not dry, and my curls came back almost instantaneously after the first shampoo. My only gripe is that it has sulfates of some kind. Let me tell you, I've not yet been sorry I paid so much money to get these products--since she only sells them off her website and shipping is steep! It's better to stock up after receiving one of their email discount promos.

Ouidad Deep Treatment Intense Conditioner
-- This is the best conditioner ever, and it's worth every penny. It's rich enough to support even the driest, most colored and heat treated hair, while leaving it like new--it returned my hair to its defined wave glory! If only I'd found this earlier! You can use this as a conditioning treatment for about 20 mins or in the shower for about 5 mins.

Ouidad Climate Control gel
-- This is a great gel, but a little goes a long way. It helps define the curl if you use it like they recommend it on the website and literature. Not crunchy or slick/greasy in any way.

Ouidad Summer Shield spray
-- I found this to dry out a little like hair spray so instead of spraying it liberally and creating tangles, I spray it on my hand and run it where I want to exert some control.

Ouidad Botanical Boos Spray-in conditioner
-- This is awesome for those days my hair's acting greasy so I skip the conditioner in the shower. I spray this liberally on my ends and work the product through scrunching all the way in and up--or spray on my hand and apply to flyaway fizzies to control them. Very cool product, and my first-ever spray conditioner that's been light enough for me to use.

Ouidad Playcurl Volumizing Mousse
-- Very good mousse that doesn't overly weigh hair down. I use it on days when it's especially humid or my hair requires additional control. Does dry to a mild crunchy consistency, that is corrected with minor scrunching post-dry. Integrates itself well into the hair to manage the wave and body/bounce. This helps me air dry without worrying about bride of frankenstein after-effects.

MOP pomade
-- this is organic and water based, what else can you ask from a pomade? It helps control any hairstyle, but is especially useful for shorter ones. Very excellent standby to control fizzies and halo flyaways.

Ion Purifying Solutions Hard Water Shampoo
I bought this as a purported replacement for when I run out of Ouidad water works, and it's been doing an ok job so far, but I'm noticing the effect of the higher sulfate content on my strands, not leaving them quite as healthy or moisturized as I'd like. All around I think this is a good clarifying treatment, and coupled with a good moisturizing conditioner should be ok.

Generic Value Products Tea Tree Oil Shampoo (compare to: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo)
-- This is my favorite claryfing and scalp reconditioning shampoo. I'll use it once a month or whenever I notice that the hair is dulling up a bit (usually around the time the seasons change or in winter). I've been using this in alternation with the Ion shampo above, about once a month.

Facial Care -- in search of: SPF, non greasy, non comedogenic, sensitive
Oil of Olay Sensitive Moisture Therapy Lotion
-- This was way too greasy for me so I handed it off to my significant other, who loves it.

Sonya Dakar Hydrasoft Lotion Scarring and/or Acne
-- Althought this is very expensive line of products, and purportedly natural and expires easily with temperature variances or length of time from opening, I didn't find one thing to like about this line. Including the too greasy moisturizer.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 (with Parsol 1789)
-- This clogged my skin in the worst way, too rich for oily or combination skin with cell turnover issues (like mine!).

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
-- This is a great exchangeable lotion of medium weight for wintertime and/or hands and body moisturizing. For facial moisturizing I apply a mini pea size to unblotted, freshly toned-skin.

Simple Solutions Pure Copper Morning Dew
-- This is for ageing skin with special collagen and tightening needs, and was not compatible with my winter moisturizing needs--got sold into buying this by a new facialist that I never ended up going to anyway. Lesson: trust your gut feelings.

Bioelements Beyond Hydration
-- Pricey but worth it, this product line is truly what a cosmosceutical should be. Excelent gel like consistency works wonders for oily skin, and can be layered for more moisture or used as a moisture mask.

Bioelements Decongestant Cleanser
-- Very excellent facial wash, though it has some detergents of the sulfate nature in order to create a little foam. Helps rinse off cosmetics, facial oil and superficial flakes and dead skin cells. Non harsh or corrosive in any way. Doesn't make eyes sting, depending on eye makeup.

Cetaphil Daily Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin
-- This is an excellent, mild, and non comedogenic cleanser that I also use as a hand wash and for washing some of my delicates and cosmetic brushes. Can be used in conjunction with baking soda, or sugar, or salt as a scrub. Just make sure you emulsify it with soem water in your hands before you apply it to your face and then use circular motions to dissolve facial oils and cosmetics. Splash lots of clean cool water to make sure it's completely gone--I even do circular motions as I rinse to assure all materials are completely rinsed off. Safe for the eyes, and non harsh or abrasive in any way.

Bioelements Kerafole
-- My one and only for getting rid of dead skin cells and stimulate my otherwise sluggish cell renewal process. This stings as it's a fruit acid combination that really gets in there. Very beneficial to reveal dewy and fresh new skin under the piles of stuff that's not getting off otherwise. Excellent for adult acne caused by slow cell turnover that clogs the top surface area of the skin, preventing other good stuff from reaching deep down. Worth every expensive and shiney penny.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Papaya Enzyme FAcial Mask
-- This is a miniatureKerafole with strong fruit acids to help peel old gunky stuff off your glowing complexion.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hibiscus Toner
-- The only toner my skin's been able to tolerate. Very mild and lemony, leaves skin supple not tight or irritated.

I hope these reviews prove useful to you in your search for the perfect standbys in your bathroom cabinet!

All the luck in your search and congrats for your successful finds!
- J