Monday, September 14, 2009

Smooth Operator

Aveda has been aggressively marketing their Smooth Infusion line, so since I was up for some new shampoo and conditioner, I decided to try it. I purchased the full-sized Shampoo (8.5 ounce) and Conditioner (6.7 ounce), which retailed for $21 apiece, so they are not cheap, even by Aveda standards. The sales person also gave me samples of the Style Prep Smoother ($24 for 3.4 ounces) and the Glossing Straightener ($21 for 4.2 ounces.) You can also purchase a starter kit (pictured above) for $87, which includes the four products plus a comb.

The premise of this line is that it moisturizes the hair and reduces frizz through plant-based ingredients such as aloe, maize and guar. Since I've been highlighting my hair for almost a year, and just decided to go darker for the fall, my hair definitely needed the moisturization. Everything in this line has a light, natural scent, cited as "a fresh spicy citrus-floral featuring certified organic bergamot, certified organic palmarosa, Bulgarian rose and Australian sandalwood." It's not at all cloying or over-powering. The shampoo lathers up quite well, and when I rinsed it out, my hair did feel softer. When I followed with the conditioner, my hair felt softer and silkier than it had in a long time.

The first two times I used this, I used it without the Style Prep Smoother and the Glossing Straightener, and I found it did have a relaxing quality to my naturally wavy hair, but definitely didn't make it look like I'd used a flatiron or anything, so I decided to try the other two items.

The Style Prep Smoother has a lotion-y sort of consistency, and its active ingredients are tapioca and wheat protein, to protect against humidity as well as protect the hair from heat styling. I applied this from root to tip on towel dried hair, and combed through. The Glossing Straightener is more clear-looking, and has more of a gel-like consistency, I think due in part to its main ingredient of cellulose. I used this on the bottom 3/4 of my hair, after the Style Prep Smoother, to my damp hair.

After blow-drying, I did find that my hair was incredibly smooth, glossy, and quite straight, like I had quickly run through the lengths with a flatiron. I've never had any effects like this, even with my beloved Phytodefrisant, so I do have to commend Aveda on this line.

Unfortunately, as per Aveda's promise, this effect is only guaranteed for 12 hours. Because I only wash my hair every other day, I do find that my hair kind of goes back to normal after the first day. I do feel a little bit like Cinderella after the clock strikes midnight, when all of the magic effects disappear.

That's my only call-out so far. I haven't had any other issues, and my hair doesn't feel built-up, heavy, or weird. I think this is definitely worth a try if you are super lazy like I am, but like having straight hair.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The 5 Faces of Dolce & Gabbana

I admit I was intrigued by the raciness of these print ads--orgy, or just 5 naked beautiful people who happened to be sitting in the same room? Ha! The ads feature Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova, Naomi Campbell, Fernando Fernandes, Noah Mills and Tyson Ballou, all in the buff.

The "anthology" consists of five fragrances:

1. Le Bateleur (cedarwood and vetiver)

3. L'Imperatrice (watermelon, kiwi, pink cyclamen with a musky base)

6. L'Amoureux (bergamot, juniper, pink pepper, cardamom, birch leaf and sensual wood and musk base)

10. La Roue de la Fortune (tuberose, gardenia and jasmine, benzoin and patchouli base)

18. La Lune (lily and tuberose heart with a sandalwood base)

Mssrs. Dolce and Gabbana do not bill these as unisex fragrances, but rather say that anyone can wear any of them depending on the mood. However, I think Le Bateleur and L'Amoreux are definitely on the more masculine side. The only one that I think could go either way is La Roue de la Fortune, because it is both flowery and spicy. It actually makes me think of a more patchouli-heavy version of Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb.

Of the two more "feminine" fragrances, I prefer La Lune over L'Imperatrice. Unfortunately, the L'Imperatrice smells very citrusy and grapefruit-y on me, whereas La Lune is more of a light floriental. I really like La Lune a lot, and find it quite suitable for a workday or every day.

These retail for $65 each, which is rather cheap for a 3.3 ounce bottle... granted they are eau de toilettes rather than eau de parfums. The bottle is simple, yet substantial, and while not super-girly, it is attractive to be displayed.

This is a fun concept, and I recommend trying these.