InstaNatural Argan Oil and Argan Oil Hair Mask

This is part 5 of a series on InstaNatural’s products.  InstaNatural is US company based in Florida with beauty and skincare products inspired by nature.  They pride themselves on using natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe.

You can read my earlier posts on other products in InstaNatural’s line here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.

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ARGAN OIL

Key ingredients:

  • 100% Pure Certified Organic Virgin Argan Oil

This oil comes in a brown glass bottle with a nice pump.  Because it is pure argan oil, it has a strong aroma that is best described as nutty and fruity.  I have used argan oil in many different hair oils before, but never 100% argan, so the smell was unexpected and hit me right in the face.

The main advantage of pure argan oil as opposed to an oil blend is how multipurpose it can be.  The oil can be used as a leave in hair treatment on towel dried hair, which is my main use, and it can also be used on your face, cuticles, or anywhere that needs extra nourishment.  If you have dry skin, the best way to use argan oil in your skincare routine is to pat it on after your regular moisturizer to ‘seal in’ the hydration.  I have heard of some people using it as a cleanser in the Oil Cleansing Method (to learn more about OCM, check out /r/SkincareAddiction’s post), although I’m not sure about it’s comedogenic rating.  When it comes to OCM though, I would recommend an oil cleanser with an emulsifier, such as Etude House Real Art Cleansing Oil, which can be rinsed off with water.

arganoilhairmaskARGAN OIL HAIR MASK

Key ingredients:

  • Argan Oil
  • Amino Acid Complex
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Vitamin B5

This hair mask should be applied to towel dried hair and rinsed off after 5-15 minutes.  It can also be used in the shower, after shampoo, in lieu of conditioner.  The Argan Oil Hair Mask smells primarily like shea butter and argan oil, and has the look and consistency of conditioner.  I found this difficult to rinse off – more difficult than LUSH Fluff Eaze but easier than Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment Plus.  When it comes to hair treatments, the LUSH Fluff Eaze is still my HG (although it’s important to note that Fluff Eaze is meant to be applied to dry hair, followed by a shampoo).

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More Makeup by One Direction and a Giveaway!

Awhile ago I reviewed one of the limited edition Makeup by One Direction kits, Up All Night from The Looks Collection.  One Direction and Markwins have come out with more colors for select hit products, which are now available in type-specific sets.

ELECTRO GLAM MASCARA

3o3jMzpOTwm8YoklXKeo_ElectroGlamMascara_comp_Edit_smGive your look a jolt of electric colour, with this limited-edition trio of ultra-bold coloured mascaras for hair and lashes, in three heavily pigmented, buildable colours.   Make a subtle statement by adding a pop of colour to the tips of your lashes, or add coats to your entire lashes for a shockingly chic look. The more the better! Or apply to small sections of hair and swipe through for instant highlights.  Unfortunately, this kit is missing the all-around useful black mascara (which came in all the original Looks Collection kits), but it does include these three colors:

Why don’t we go there- Shock of blue
Does he know?- Pinkest hot pink
Story of my life- Amped canary yellow

LIQUILIGHTS GLOW GLOSS

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If you remember from my Up All Night kit review, this gloss was my favourite product of the bunch!  Liquilights Glow Gloss sparkles brilliantly during the day and illuminates under UV black light after dark. Enriched with natural oils and vitamin E to keep your lips soft and hydrated all day and all night.  Gloss can be worn alone for a pop of sparkle and color, or paired with One Direction crème lipstick for a bolder look.  It is a surprisingly good dupe for the Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss, one of my favourite lip glosses.  In the set is three colors:

Through the Dark- Electric glitter poppy lip gloss that glows to neon red-orange under UV light
Kiss You- Orange glitter rush lip gloss that glows to neon yellow under UV light
Taken – Powerhouse glitter pink lip gloss that glows to neon orange under UV light

ROCK ME NAIL KIT
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You know I love dressing up my nails, so I was especially excited about this set.  It features UV-reactive Nail Varnish and UV-reactive glitter that add even more sizzle to your mani, for nails that light up day and night.  Sprinkle the glitter over wet polish for a subtle accent, or go for the glitz and dip your entire wet mani in mega-watt sparkle!   It can be messy (work on top of a big piece of paper!) but coating your polish with glitter will give more zing and be longer lasting than ordinary glitter polish.  In each set is three nail polishes and three bottles of glitter:

Nail Varnish:
Happily– UV iced blue glitter
Moments- UV neon pink
Diana- UV 3D holographic

Glitter Toppings:
Kicks- UV snow cone blue
Not afraid- UV electrified pink glitter
Star– UV holo glitter

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE TO WIN ONE OF THESE THREE SETS!

You can buy these new kits now at Macy’s, Dillards, Boscov’s, Stage Stores, Beauty Brands, and Lord & Taylor.

Keep up to date by following the official Makeup by One Direction Facebook page.

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Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler

The Kiss InstaWave Automatic Curler is one of the coolest things I’ve been sent to review.  This year there has been a lot of excitement about automatic hair curlers, and I’m pumped to get to try one myself!  The InstaWave is a hybrid traditional barrel style curling iron that forms curls automatically by wrapping your hair around the barrel and keeping it there with a plastic guard system.

THIS IS THE EASIEST WAY TO CURL YOUR HAIR.  EVER.  I am not exaggerating – this girl loooooves curly hair and has tried all sorts of things.  I’ve gotten perms and used rollers, non-heat methods, and of course, traditional curling irons.   Kiss InstaWave will give you a tangle-free flawless curl, every time.

HOW TO USE

It’s easy!  Brush through clean, dry hair, and taking 1 to 2 inch sections of hair at a time, place it in between the barrel and the plastic de-tangler/guard at the point where you would like the curl to start.  If you have thick hair, it may be easier to separate it into layers and clip the section you aren’t working on.  Press the Curl Dial to spin the guard, which will automatically pick up and organize your hair around the barrel.  After 5-10 seconds (experiment!), release your hair by pulling the barrel downwards.  You can alternate between curling right and left to create the most natural looking curls, or curl everything away from your face to really frame it.  To see everything in action, check out Kiss’ video tutorial:

PROS

  • Effortless – because everything is mechanized, all you have to do is click a button and hold for a few seconds.  The worst part about any other curling method is the wrist/arm action needed to get everything right, and honestly, after using a traditional curling iron on one layer of hair, both of my arms are too exhausted to continue.  Plus you can use it one-handed on either side, so no more awkward reaching across the face.
  • The curls last for a long time.  I was really surprised at how well they set!  For the past few years, I have been getting digital perms because I just don’t have the time to curl my hair everyday.  I also want to keep my hair from getting damaged, so I don’t use heat stylers more than once or twice a week.  Other methods, like braiding or using rollers, only give you a good curl for a day.  The first time I did a full head using the InstaWave, my curls lasted for 3 days, and while it gradually loosened, they kept looking good.  Granted, my hair is naturally wavy and coarse, and ‘takes’ curls well, so results may vary.
  • Multiple settings means style versatility.  I love every kind of curl, from mermaid waves to princess ringlets, and the Kiss InstaWave is great for a range of styles.  There are two heat settings, low and high (to a maximum temperature of 420), and by combining a particular heat setting with how long you keep your hair on the barrel, you can get different curl intensities.  On my hair, my favourite combination is on high for 8 seconds.
  • Clean – watching video reviews of other automatic curlers such as the Babyliss Miracurl, one annoying thing that stood out was having to clean the tiny compartment inside of the device with a special tool.   Since the InstaWave is ‘open’, you can clean it with an easy wipe down when not in use.
  • Control – with the InstaWave, you can choose where you want your curl to start, where to end, and what direction the curl will be.  On the Conair Infiniti Pro Curl Secret, which is twice the price of the InstaWave, you don’t have control over your curl direction!  You’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive model for that.
  • At $59.99, the Kiss InstaWave is the same price as a mid-range traditional curling iron, half the price of the Instyler, and a quarter of the price of the Babyliss Miracurl.  It’s the most low cost solution if you’re looking for an automatic curler.

CONS

  • when the InstaWave is plugged in, there is a mild high-pitched buzzing which changes frequency from one heat setting to the next.  I contacted Kiss and they assured me that this was part of normal operations (its caused by the circuit to drive the motor), and doesn’t effect the safety of the product.  Still, it’s kind of annoying.
  • storage could be awkward because of the guard – I have mine in a bag, hanging from a hook.

Check out Kiss InstaWave’s website for more info.   At the moment it is available in the US at Target, Ulta, and Amazon, and in Canada at Walmart.

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My First Memebox Order!

Thanks to Beeju‘s great reviews, I finally decided to go for my very first Memebox!  Memebox is a one-time skincare and makeup box focusing on Korean brands.  They have a huge variety of boxes, some targeting a certain concern (e.g. oily skin), some with a theme (coffee), and some that are ‘best of ____’ sets.  To check out all of their available boxes (some sell out really quickly) click here to go to their website (but first, scroll down this page for discount codes!).

I opted for a two box combo, the Scrub Box + Tea Cosmetics.  Of course, exfoliating is an essential step to glowing skin, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE tea, so these look like they’re going to be the perfect boxes for me.

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Together these boxes cost USD $52.00 + $6.99 for shipping.  I can’t wait to share my unboxing with you when they arrive!

To get a discount on your Memebox, click here and use code:

AFFILIATE-8507-16WKW-QBRS for $5 off $100

AFFILIATE-8625-BUHXP-EDWV for $10 off $150

 

Samples Sunday: Nest, Bumble & Bumble, and Origins

I receive a lot of samples, both trial and deluxe sized, and I probably end up using samples as much as I use the full-size products I actually buy.  Here, on this weekly feature, I will share my initial impressions to a variety of products.

NEST DAHLIA & VINES EAU DE PARFUM

nest dahlia & vines sample

With such a pretty packaging (I looooove florals), I was expecting something elegant yet perky.  But ew.  It smells like potpourri.  I’m going use the rest of the sample as as a room freshener only.

THE VERDICT: Buh-bye!

BUMBLE & BUMBLE HAIRDRESSER’S INVISIBLE OIL SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER

bumble & bumble hairdresser's invisible oil sample

Smells faintly of argan oil and – what’s this? – gardenia mmmmmh.  The shampoo and conditioner, like most Bumble & Bumble products, work well.  I don’t feel any of it’s detangling effects, but my normally coarse hair definitely feel more silky.

THE VERDICT: Buy when the price is right!

ORIGINS NEVER A DULL MOMENT FACE POLISHER

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Sorry I don’t have a picture of the sample! It was just a generic container.

I was told by an Origins representative that the papaya extract in this exfoliator “eats” your dead skin – whoa.  This thick scrub does its job, but, as weird as this sounds, it smells too good.  I prefer a skincare routine that doesn’t make me crave papaya.

THE VERDICT: On the fence.

That’s it for today!  See you next week with more teeny tiny sample packets.

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment Plus and the rest of the Damage Reverse team

My hair is thick, coarse, dry at the ends and yet too oily at the scalp – in short, my hair is the worst.  Most of all, it is brittle and damaged from perms and heat styling.  When my split ends started to have their own split ends (a nightmare within a nightmare!) I knew something had to be done.  Something serious.

Yes, that is full size.

In comes Ojon’s Restorative Hair Treatment Plus from their Damage Reverse line.  It claims to resuscitate your hair after just one use.  Says their site:

This clinically proven cult classic is now purified using an exclusive double-filtration method and fortified with nature’s golden elixir plus Rouge Oleifera to create the next generation of our deeply restorative treatment.

Golden exilir? Oh my.  Long time Ojon fans will know that this treatment didn’t used to have the “plus” suffix.  In fact, Ojon still sells the original hair treatment, but skirt around revealing the differences between the two.  In my opinion, it’s mostly a smell thing.  The original treatment has a heavy musky scent that I liked, in a intensive spa kind of way.  Plus’ aroma is lighter but still has that distinctive smell.

A little goes a long way, and mileage will definitely vary depending on the length and thickness of your hair.  The instructions recommend 1 to 1½ teaspoon, but I find I need twice that amount to truly coat my head of hair.  After leaving it to rest for half an episode of Empress Ki (e.g. 20-30 minutes), off to the shower I go.  Since the treatment is oil based, it’s difficult to get off at first.  I like to give it a good rinse in very warm water, and shampoo twice.  The first time, focus on the hair ends and then proceed as normal. Word of warning though, the treatment left an oily residue at the bottom of my tub – yuck.

One of the perks of living in New York city is unsightly heating pipes everywhere.

I also got the travel sizes of other products from the Ojon Damage Reverse suite, including the Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner, Restorative Finishing Spray, Revitalizing Mist, and the Instant Restorative Hair Serum.  I feel like a chump because I knocked over and spilled the serum after only one use – c’est la vie.

I can’t say that the Ojon treatment changed my life.  I suspect that when your hair is truly damaged, there’s nothing you can do to save it short of a visit to the scissorsmaster (aka getting a haircut).  What the Restorative Hair Treatment does do is make my hair feel oh-so-soft and fluffy like a cloud.