Briogeo Curl Charisma Chia and Flax Seed Coil Custard Review

Briogeo is a brand of hair care products that are 6-free (no artificial dyes, silicones, sulfates, phthalates, parabens, DEA) and color-safe. I have recently been using a few products from Briogeo (the shampoos and conditioners from the Don’t Despair, Repair line and the Be Gentle, Be Kind line) as I’ve been moving toward silicone-free products.

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A newer product from Briogeo and their Curl Charisma line is the Chia and Flax Seed Coil Custard targeted toward those with curly, coiled and tightly coiled hair. This product claims to leave curls soft and supple while defining curls with a flexible hold.

Ingredients: Water, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Rice Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Keratin Amino Acids, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Lactobacillus/Tomato Fruit Ferment Extract, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Acyl Coenzyme A Desaturase, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance

This product contains a number of moisturizing alcohols and oils, along with the following key ingredients; shea butter that softens and hydrates the hair, rice amino acids to prevent frizz, flax seed oil for conditioning and chia seed oil that nourishes and strengthens the hair. This product contains protein as hydrolyzed quinoa and keratin amino acids.

The directions on the Briogeo and Sephora websites differ a bit from those on the container. On the container directions state to apply evenly through damp or dry hair and style as usual, whereas on the websites it states to apply in small sections of damp hair while twisting and stretching the strands to activate the curl pattern (I suppose how to apply might depend on hair type and preference).

This product goes on a bit white and dries invisible. This is a thick, creamy leave-in treatment that smells light and fresh.

My daughter helped me review the Coil Custard. She has curly, coarse hair that is dry and prone to frizz. She has used it a number of times now; the first application she used too much and the curls, while defined, were crunchy and a bit flat on the top of her head. On subsequent applications she used less.

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For the before photos, the hair was shampooed and conditioned using the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair shampoo and conditioning mask and air dried with no other product. Some of the curls are not well defined (especially on the top of the head) and the hair is frizzy.

For the after photos, the hair was washed and conditioned with the same Briogeo products and the Coil Custard was applied throughout the damp hair with no twisting or stretching and air dried. It goes on slightly sticky and white, but as it dries, the stickiness and white color disappear. The curls do not feel stiff or crunchy and still have movement and bounce. Looking at the photos, the curls look defined and there is no frizz. The softness of the hair is improved. Scrunching my fingers through the dried hair I can feel a bit of the product. I wouldn’t say residue, but not like a leave-in conditioner that seems to absorb into the hair; however, not an off-putting feeling. I put a bit of product on my fingers, rubbed it in and let it dry and there is kind of a smooth, protective layer on my fingers that leaves no friction and they feel a bit moisturized.

My daughter’s next-day curls lose definition and become quite frizzy. With this product, the hair in the above 36-hour photo, while messier, is not frizzy and still has the curl.

I tried the Coil Custard a couple times on my hair as well. I have thin, wavy, frizzy, bleached, dry hair. I’m not sure my waves were more defined, but the curl custard took away the frizz (which probably enhanced the waves). One thing I am very happy about is how the product helped my longer bangs. They are not quite long enough to tuck behind my ears and turn into a frizzy, dome-shaped mess when air dried. I usually have to straighten them or clip them back. With this product I let them air dry and they look great; I don’t have to do anything else with my hair. At night I put my hair in a high bun and when I take it down in the morning, my hair has volume, some bigger waves and looks quite good just left down with no other styling.

In the before photo above my hair was air dried with a leave-in conditioner. The after photo is next-day hair after washing and applying Coil Custard in the morning and air drying, then putting in a bun overnight. These bigger, voluminous waves stay all day, and last multiple days if I put my hair in the bun overnight. This is an easy, no fuss hair style that, before Coil Custard, I had achieved using a flat iron, curling iron and hair spray.

I don’t think my hair was softer after using the Coil custard, but I’ve not used this long-term and my hair has a number of issues with being bleached.

I would prefer this product in a tube.

My daughter and I will continue to purchase this product.

Thank you for reading.

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Three Month Results – The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

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I’ve been using The Ordinary Hair Density serum for thicker, fuller, healthier hair (and eyebrows) for 3 months. Over the summer I got my hair colored blonde and while I like to change as few variables as possible while reviewing products (I had been using the hair serum for 3 weeks before going blonde), I also wanted to see how my hair grows and let my roots grow in a bit so it is easier to see the results. You can read about the hair serum ingredients and use in this post. I’ve used about half the bottle so far and will post the 6-month after photos in the coming months.

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I kept forgetting to apply the serum to my eyebrows, so I probably used about every second evening. I don’t think there is much difference in growth or thickness.

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Looking at the front of my hair, I think I can see a bit less of my scalp in the after photo. Toward my forehead in the next photo there is definite hair growth.

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The edges of my hair have shown some growth and thickening as well. Looking at the root grow out, the edges and front of my hair seem to grow slower than more towards the back (or there is just such thin hair the grow out is not seen as well).

I was surprised to see that I got results with hair growth after 3 months, as I definitely did not notice any results in the mirror. I will continue for another 3 months and write an update at that time, so keep an eye out in December for those photos.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

NIOD Modulating Glucosides Review

Modulating Glucosides (MG) from Deciem’s NIOD is a relatively new product that is silicone and oil free and targets signs of skin sensitivity, discomfort and irritation by reducing the look of redness and reduces itchiness and stinging, particularly caused by procedures, acids and retinols.

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Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Squalane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Hexyldecanol, Bisabolol, Butylene Glycol, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Rosmarinyl Glucoside, Caffeyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Tetrasodium Tetracarboxymethyl Naringeninchalcone, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, 4-t-Butylcyclohexanol, Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Palmitoyl tripeptide-8, Superoxide Dismutase, Sodium PCA, PCA, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Mirabilis Jalapa Callus Extract, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Curculigo Orchioides Root Extract, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Stearic Acid, Dextran, Isoceteth-20, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Xanthan gum, Tocopherol, Propyl Gallate, Tromethamine, Dehydroacetic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol. 

This product contains a number of actives – bioactive glucosides to soothe skin and counteract uneven skin tone caused by sensitivity or irritation; a lipid complex to reduce stinging, itching and redness; a lipopeptide to reduce chemical-induced irritation; naringenin chalcone to comfort stressed skin; superoxide dismutase, a potent antioxidant; a pH balancing agent; tasmanian pepperberry to calm stressed skin; a molecule for barrier support that offers hydration.

Directions state to apply a few drops to the face morning and night. If using in a NIOD regimen, apply after CAIS, but before MMHC.

I bought this product before the Deciem website listed anything in the information section (this information really should have been on the website at launch), but read in an Instagram post that MG was for redness on the skin. I have oily, breakout prone skin that is not sensitive, but I have redness of my cheeks almost all the time except for some mornings (not from rosacea or other skin condition). I bought this product in hopes that it would soothe this redness. At the time I used MG I was not using any acids or retinols nor had any procedures, so cannot speak to the efficacy of MG in those scenarios.

This product is like a thin lotion, yellow in color and comes in a brown dropper bottle. It has a bit of a medicinal smell that dissipates quickly. While it does soak into the skin, I find that it leaves a bit of a protective barrier on the skin pretty much all day, so that I can still feel the product with my fingers hours after application (I don’t use too much; 3 to 4 drops for the whole face). I’m surprised it is to be applied after MMHC, as MG is thicker and seems to stay in a layer on the skin (though the MMHC still seems to get absorbed).

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I used NIOD Modulating Glucosides for 2 months, morning and night. On looking at the photos, it looks like I had about a 50% reduction in redness and some of the texture and irritation was reduced on the right side of my face. I don’t find MG to be hydrating on its own. I am surprised that this product comes in a dropper bottle, as this is messy to use. You can buy a NIOD pump separately, but why doesn’t it come with a pump bottle on purchasing? The same was true for the NIOD sun care, but I see it comes in a pump now. While there was reduction in redness (which I was hoping for) and reduction in the texture and irritation that is often present on the right side of my face, the Modulating Glucosides didn’t completely resolve the redness on further use and the redness, in fact, came back. I got similar, if not better results on using NIOD SDSM (albeit the redness came back after 4 months’ use as well). I don’t see sufficient or continuing results on further use of the Modulating Glucosides to consider a repurchase.

Now that I have blonde hair (I was a dark brunette; you can read about the process here), the redness in my cheeks is more noticeable. I just purchased Your Best Face Skincare’s reformulated Balance that similarly claims to calm skin and reduce redness and breakouts while balancing oils . The previous Balance formula was promoted as an oil absorbing mattifying treatment (which my skin loved). Keep an eye on this space to see the new Balance review in the coming months.

Thank you for reading.

 

Cocoon Apothecary Eyewaken Eye Cream Review

Cocoon Apothecary is a Canadian company that creates plant-based skin care from ethically sourced ingredients in small batches. I purchased the Eyewaken Eye Cream, looking for something to help with my dark circles and puffy under-eyes.

Eyewaken

Ingredients: Cornflower hydrosol*, rose hydrosol*, argan oil*, grapeseed oil*, sweet almond oil*, cetearyl alcohol (wax from coconut), stearic acid, cocoa butter*, vegetable glycerin, sodium cetearyl sulfate (from coconut), tocopherol, sodium anisate (derived from fennel), sodium levulinate (derived from corn), glyceryl caprylate. *certified organic

Cornflower hydrosol is said to reduce eye puffiness and fine wrinkles. Rose hydrosol can calm irritation and hydrate. These hydrosols are said to give a cooling astringent effect. This product contains a few oils and moisturizing ingredients. Sodium anisate can soothe irritated skin and is used as a natural preservative. Sodium levulinate can be used as a preservative and conditioning agent. Glyceryl capraylate is used as an emulsifier and emollient.

This product claims to soothe tired eyes, combat fine lines and wrinkles, firm the skin and reduce puffiness and dark circles.

I used this morning and night, dabbing on the lower eyelid up to the brow bone for 4 months. It is light weight and absorbs fast leaving a silky feeling on the skin. It has a light herbal scent with a hint of rose.

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While I like the ingredients and this feels silky on the skin, I feel like it does a better job moisturizing and protecting than anything else, so might be a better preventative rather for someone with already quite puffy, dark eye circles. In looking at the photos, I see some reduced puffiness (my eyes look the same to me in the mirror though), but no reduced color or fine lines. In fact, the 4-month photo seems to have more fine lines towards the outer eye (because of the reduced puffiness, or some other variable?) On application, I’m not sure I felt a cooling effect.

I will not be repurchasing this, but may take another look at Your Best Face Skincare’s Correct eye cream.

Brunette to Blonde

My journey to blonde began months ago with a dream I had one night – I was at my usual hair salon, about to get my hair colored and cut by a stylist I had never been to before and she had had a few glasses of wine and suggested I get my hair colored blonde. I have dark brown hair with bronzed highlights and warm medium skin. I was reluctant to let her color my hair, as she was drinking, and suggested she ask my regular stylist what she thought about me going blonde. She started crying, saying I didn’t trust her to do her job, and that is when I woke up. I told my husband about the dream and wondered aloud if I should indeed go blonde. His response was a rather enthusiastic, “Um yeah!” What is it with guys and blonde hair?

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I began by reading online about what to expect, maintenance and what shade of blonde would look best with my skin tone and then started to work on getting really healthy hair; you can read my post Let’s Talk Hair Care for details. In summary, I wanted to get my hair as hydrated as possible and used leave-in conditioners, hair masks and hot oil treatments, stopped using my flat iron and bought a UV protectant.

I’ve been going to Style Theory in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the last year, and the owner, Celleste, created my color. If you are in the Calgary area, I highly recommend checking out the salon.

She started with the bleaching process while using Olaplex. Here’s a photo of about midway through:

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My hair got a bit lighter than this, but with being so dark, didn’t lighten to the level she wanted and was pretty yellow, so I was worried how it would look when dried. No worries though, my hair was then toned to a pretty strawberry blonde color.

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After this first stage of color, I continued hydrating with masks and oils and used Olaplex No 3, the at-home version, to repair and strengthen the hair. Olaplex strengthens and protects the hair by relinking broken disulfide bonds from chemical services, heat and mechanical damage. After giving my hair time to heal and hydrate for about 3 weeks, I was ready for the next session, this time using Malibu Color Prepare the day before the service. To use Color Prepare, shampoo and rinse, add water to the crystals, work through the hair, leave on for 5 minutes, then shampoo and rinse. Do not condition. This treatment prepares the hair for color by removing minerals to ensure color coverage and extends vibrancy of color.

For the second session, she bleached while using Olaplex, and then used a number of treatments and toners. incollage_20180728_1638535747611563284160049624.jpg

A few days after this session I went back to the salon to get the Ultra Bond and Seal treatment. The Bond treatment replenishes keratin, protein and amino acids after multiple color services such as I had. It also helps relink and strengthen broken disulfide bonds in the hair. The second treatment, Seal, fuses the repaired bonds into the cortex (middle layer) of the hair. The first and second treatments were left on wet hair for about 15 minutes each. After this treatment, my hair was bouncy, soft and shiny.

Maintenance and care of blonde hair is something I’m still working on, finding the right products that work for me. Let’s Talk Hair Care goes through some of this process and  maintenance of blonde hair. The first time I washed my hair after the first blonding session, I was shocked at my hair texture (while actual texture doesn’t change, porosity and elasticity does, and the hair feels very different). I read articles about dry, straw-like hair after a bleaching process, but that didn’t prepare me for the actual thing. I thought it was the new Schwarzkopf BlondMe shampoo I was using. After trying two other shampoos (Malibu Color Wellness and Balance from Josh Rosebrook), the BlondMe shampoo is more drying than those, but still as I was rinsing these shampoos off my hair, it seemed to become swollen with water (because the hair is now very porous), tangled, stiff and straw-like. After conditioning, my hair smoothed out and felt relatively normal after drying.

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Blonde hair needs purple toned shampoo to prevent unwanted warmth; the yellow, brassy color on light blonde hair. As mentioned, I’m using the Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Tone Enhancing Bonding Shampoo for cool blondes. While neutralizing warm tones, this shampoo also creates new bonds in the hair fibers.

Blonde hair is dry and fragile; I need to prevent breakage and only use a wooden comb and have stopped using a flat iron. My hair stylist told me, when washing my hair, before shampooing, put conditioner on from about the mid-shaft area down to the ends, shampoo the roots, rinse and condition all the hair. This prevents dryness and breakage at the ends. Deep conditioners, hair masks, oils and Olaplex No 3 helps with damage, dryness and help protect the hair.

20180730_1056517116965689576830201.jpgIf I need some shine, curling, volume or straightening, I just bought the Bex Hot Volume Brush with short, anti-tangle bristles that is ceramic with an ion generator for health and shine. I’ve only used it once to create volume on second-day blown out hair; I have yet to see how it performs on my natural waves.

My makeup and jewelry had to change a bit as a result of the blonde hair. Instead of using the warm corals and bright pinks for blush, I now look better in a pale pink, and rather than my usual rose gold earrings and nose ring, I have switched to white gold.

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The blonde hair seems to bring out the redness in my complexion, so I need a bit of concealer. My black eyebrows are more noticeable and they will have to be well maintained. I recently purchased the Fab Brows kit in slate/black and the slate color has a mattifying effect and helps the eyebrows blend a bit better with the ash blonde hair.

Of course, cost, number of sessions and time will depend on your hair; do you have old color, virgin hair, boxed color and/or damaged hair? The process can also be affected by the hair stylist’s experience. I am lucky that my hair stylist is a blonding specialist and a specialist in treating damaged hair. I’ve been to salons previously wanting to get my dark brown hair to a light brown, only to be left with burgundy hair.

This process can be listed as a color correction with charge by the hour. These two blonding sessions, for me, were about 9 hours total.  Consultation is key. Roots need to be touched up every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on growth. While waiting a few months for touch ups may seem cost effective, the color service can take longer and cost more in the end.

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Maintaining blonde hair:

  1. Wash your hair in room temperature or cool water.
  2.  Wash your hair less often. The washing process is drying, as it washes away natural oils. While I have an oily scalp and would like to wash my every second day, I can get away with every 3 to 4 days.
  3. Use a purple shampoo to neutralize warm, brassy tones from mineral buildup and oxidation. Get an in-salon toning service.
  4. Protect your hair from the sun. Use a UV protectant and wear a hat.
  5. Protect your hair from chlorine. Saturate with conditioner then wear a swim cap.
  6. Hydrate your hair. Use oil treatments, deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, hair masks, in-salon moisturizing treatments.
  7. Use sulfate-free, salt-free, color safe, moisturizing shampoo.
  8. Avoid styling products with sodium and drying alcohols.
  9. Protect your hair from heat. If you need to use heat, protect your hair with a heat protectant and low temperature setting.
  10. Protect your hair from mechanical damage. Avoid backcombing, use a wide tooth, wooden comb or brush, detangling from the ends of the hair up.