IGK Smoke and Mirrors

I won’t lie. I am a sucker for packaging just as long as the product is legit. IGK Smoke and Mirrors has both; excellent packaging and a wonderful product for curly, damaged or just generally unruly hair.

I am ALWAYS, I repeat ALWAYS skeptical of a cleansing oil or a 2-in-1. I’ve heard the Wen horror stories, nothankyou. But Smoke and Mirrors is different. It’s an extremely gentle, effective cleanser that sweeps away dirt while nourishing your scalp with a cocktail of coconut oil and powerful hydrators.

I’ve been going lighter and lighter with my locks and I am constantly looking for anything that won’t damage them. I was wearing my hair curly for a while and let me tell you, Smoke and Mirrors was an absolute dream come true for my curls. Bouncy, no frizz, shiny and just overall very healthy looking. For wearing my hair straight after my Keratin treatment, it’s great for every-other-day washes as it doesn’t strip my hair or damage it further. It untangles unruly knots and leaves my hair feeling soft and shiny.

I use about a quarter size amount and massage it into my scalp, like a shampoo. It doesn’t bubble or create any suds, it feel just like conditioner. It will feel like there isn’t enough product but it will all work out in the end. You can apply a little extra to the ends of your hair, if you feel like it needs a little more love. I like to leave the product on for a minute or two, then I rinse. As you rinse it, you will feel how smooth and silky your hair is! Your hair will look shinier and it feels clean! Even after towel drying, I don’t feel the need to apply a leave-in conditioner or any other conditioning product. This folks, is a miracle product.

You can purchase IGK products at Sephora.

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Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

I’ve been taking my highlights lighter and lighter, and as a side-effect my scalp has become super dry from the bleach. Robin’s salt scrub has been on my to-do list for some time but with the $50+ price tag I wanted to try it before I splurged on it.

Into Sephora I went to get myself a few samples of the salty/oily goop. I was hesitant to say the least. How was this salt scrub going to cure my itchy scalp? Interestingly, the scrub is aimed at sensitive and oily hair types – and it’s recommended for use after coloring, when the scalp may feel a little itchy and irritated. One use of this and the head will be at optimum hydration within 24 hours. It also works to rebalance oily scalps, remove chemical residues left behind, and offer 100% natural hydration that lasts long after the hair has been rinsed. It’s pretty awesome stuff.

I tend to think these products are quite harsh on colored hair and should be avoided, but this doesn’t mention anything about avoiding dyed locks. As it’s a treatment, it is only used once every week or two weeks, so I think it’s used infrequently enough for any negative effects.

One use and my hair and scalp were… incredible! It was full of life, bursting with body at the roots and my itchy scalp? Gone!

I use it to substitute shampoo once a week. It gives a very mild exfoliation to the scalp and relieves mild irritation as well. It washes off all the build up and the impurities left on the scalp. During washing, the sensation is quite bizarre and is very different to any other shampoo I have used. The texture is like a thick paste and is not easy to massage over. It makes the hair tangle a little due to the sea salt, but it can be fixed with lots of conditioner. What I love about this product is that it makes the hair feel so clean without drying the scalp, and my hair feels weightless, healthy with lots of volume. It is also great for post hair coloring, as it thoroughly removes the color residuals, and eliminates all the irritants left on the scalp which may cause sensitivity.

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Brown Sugar Cookies

brown sugar cookiesIf you’re the type of person who likes chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chocolate, then you’ll LOVE these cookies. Soft, chewy, buttery and sweet, it is everything you’ll want in a cookie.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Place the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and mix well. Add to the butter mixture and beat until everything is well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.

Drop large teaspoonfuls of dough onto an unbuttered cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake until the edges are just brown, 10 to 12 minutes. For crispy cookies, let cool on the sheet. Let the cookie sheet cool completely between batches and repeat with the remaining dough.

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Yes Ouai!

ouaiOuai, pronounced “way” is the line of hair care products by celebrity stylist, Jen Atkin. Now, she’s no ordinary celeb stylist. She’s been around for over a decade cutting and styling some of the most famous heads of hair in Hollywood. She was the go-to stylist for the Kardashian clan (but don’t hold that against her). She’s also styled the coifs of celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, and Chrissy Teigen. She also founded Mane Addicts, a website and community showcasing stylist talent and education.

It isn’t surprising that when Atkin created Ouai, she had social media in mind. “I wanted it to look really pretty in the bathroom . . . have it be selfie-worthy.” She took inspiration from minimalist, elegant brands like Diptyque and Byredo for her aesthetic — she also drew from fragrance lines and her Hawaiian upbringing for the scent of her products.

“I love soft, expensive-smelling things,” she shared. Many of the products feature notes of gardenia, jasmine, and plumeria. Trust us me when I say that it smells incredible — like a freshly dry-cleaned cashmere throw and a pricey bouquet had a baby.

Why am I talking about Ouai? Because I stepped into my go-to salon this past week and my stylist said my hair was probably the healthiest it has been in YEARS! I felt like I had won an award. Hand me a trophy and let me do a victory lap! My stylist asked me what I had been doing and after rattling off the various vitamins, I mentioned Ouai. Specifically the ‘repair’ shampoo and conditioner and hair oil. The products are safe for chemically treated and keratin treated hair like mine.

When I was wearing my hair curly I used the soft mousse. No crunchy curls folks. Don’t get me started on finding a good mousse. I went through MANY bottles of mousse and all of them ended up in the trash except for Ouai’s! Hell apparently froze over.

Now, I am not going to tell you to run out and go buy it if scents bother you. Personally, I love the lingering heady scent but it’s not for everyone. One of the best parts about this line is that it isn’t tested on animals.

You can visit her site and purchase travel sized bottles of the products to give them a test drive but I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

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