Monday, May 27, 2013

First Impressions: Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

I ran out of my Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent deep treatment, so when I went to Target to grab some groceries, I finally had the perfect excuse to pick up the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque for myself.  I gave it to my mom for Mother's Day one year, and she loves it, but I hadn't tried it myself before.

It is significantly cheaper on Amazon (~$25 on Amazon, compared with $32 at Target), but I decided to grab it while I was there.

I have only used it once, a couple of hours ago, but I thought it would be fun to give you guys my first impressions and then update in a week or two with my final thoughts on it.  Sorry in advance for the cell phone pictures; my big camera battery was dead!

The first thing I do with a new product is read the ingredients.  Here's the ingredient list:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Quaternium 80, Amodimethicone, Ricinus Commmunis Seed Oil (Castor), Parfum/Fragrance, Algae Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methypropional, Hexylcinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol, C11 15 Pareth 7, C12 16 Pareth 9, Trideceth 12, Trimethylsilosyamodimethicone

First of all, it's got Amodimethicone and one more silicone in it.  This silicone doesn't build up even if you aren't using a sulfate-shampoo because it is water-soluble.  Many curlies following the Curly Girl method have found that they can use the "A-cone" without issues.  The other silicone is the very last ingredient, meaning that there is very very little of it.  If I were following Curly Girl strictly (conditioner-only washing), I would still give this a try, given that the a-cone is water soluble and the other silicone is only present in a very small amount.

You'll notice that it's got water as the main ingredient, and it has a lovely fatty alcohol second.  That's a good sign for me, as my dry hair needs moisture, and that's what fatty alcohols are good for.  Glycerin is a humectant, so it's great for the more humid months, and spring and fall in particular.  Probably not going to work as well in the winter with glycerin so high on the ingredient list though, as this will cause your hair to push moisture into the air, rather than holding onto it.  As I scanned the list, I was happy to see lots of oils, but if you don't like castor oil, this a no for you.  I also love aloe hair products, so I was excited to it make an appearance.  Argan oil is also an interesting ingredient, as it's the new fad hair product ingredient.

Once I've scanned the ingredients, I look at the texture.  This is thick stuff but it somehow manages to feel light at the same time, as opposed to heavy and hard to work with.

Next is the scent test.  This product is heavily scented.  Going back tot he ingredients list, you'll see that fragrance is very high up there.  I've thus far found that it does linger on my hair, but I like the scent.  It smells vaguely tropical to me, but in a more earthy way than the typical tropical scent.

Time to apply.  I took a decent sized glob and worked it through my hair after washing.  This product has fantastic slip.  It really glides through my hair.  Loved the application of it.

Time to rinse.  It rinsed clean, and my hair felt well-moisturized afterwards.  I tried to leave a bit on my ends, since they are extra dry (almost time for a hair cut for sure!).

After styling with some curly mousse, I left it to totally air dry, rather than my usual method of drying the top with a dryer to speed things along.  I wanted to see if it would calm the frizz that I get around my scalp when I don't use a hair dryer to help that area out.

And boy did it deliver!  My curls are frizz free and shiny!  My normally frizzy scalp area is smooth and silky.  The scent did linger, like I mentioned earlier, but I don't mind that.  Most importantly, my hair feels very light.  This gives me hope that I can use this frequently on my fine hair.  I do not feel at all weighed down despite having very fine hair.  I will update on this particular aspect of the product though, as with more uses, I might get weighed down by it.

With one use, this product is a real winner.  I will update you guys later and post the link here when I do! Check it out on Amazon or you can find it at Target!

Friday, May 17, 2013

This or That: Mint Green Nail Polish (Essie Mint Candy Apple vs Wet n' Wild I Need a Refreshmint)

Hey guys! I'm back in action after an exhausting but productive exam series.  Since I am feeling in a very summery mood, I've got two nail polish blog posts for you.  This one will compare two mint green shades and the next post will compare two coral shades, since mint and coral are the colors to have this summer!

I'm comparing Essie's Mint Candy Apple with Wet n' Wild's I Need a Refreshmint.  These are two of the most popular colors in the stores right now, and let me tell you, it was a pain to find both!

Even though Mint Candy Apple is part of the regular line and not a seasonal shade, I must have struck out a good 10-15 times before finally spotting one lone bottle at my Walgreen's.  There are slots for this at Walgreen's, CVS, Wegman's (for you north easterners!), Target, and Walmart.  I'm sure there are others stores as well, but these are the ones I've personally checked.

Wet n' Wild's I Need a Refreshmint is a seasonal shade.  This means it's even trickier to find.  I ended up ordering it from during a 30% off all beauty items sale.  I also used Ebates, which I've posted about before, to get 6% cash back on that haul, which was awesome. Combine all that with the lower price tag on Wet n' Wild polishes compared with Essie polishes, and this one is a real winner if you're pinching your pennies.


Mint Candy Apple is the quintessential mint green.  If you're looking for true mint green, stop reading here are start looking for this color.

I Need a Refreshmint is named as a mint green, but in truth, it's a bit off of mint green.  It has a hint of blue to it and it is not quite as bright as the Mint Candy Apple.  However, this color is still right on trend for spring, and for those who are not keen on wearing super bright colors, this color represents a toned-down version of mint green.


The Essie brush is small and flexible.  It is easy to maneuver, but I find that it contributes to some of the streakiness of the shade because you have to go over the nail many times in order to get a consistent coat.

The Wet n' Wild brush is huge! It looks a lot like the Sally Hansen Complete Manicure polish brush.  It is wide and wonderful, in my opinion.  I prefer big brushes like this because it takes less strokes to get the nail completely covered.  I think this brush is easier to work with and contributes to more even coverage.

First coat. Mint Candy Apple is on top, and I Need a Refreshment is below.

Mint Candy Apple applies a bit streaky.  I expect this with lighter colors, but I think the small brush really contributes to this because of how many times you have to go over the nail.  I think that even with my fairly small nails, I had to apply a thicker, gloopier coat in order to get even coverage on the first coat.  The second coat covers up this streakiness, though.

I prefer Wet n' Wild's application.  The first coat was more even, though still somewhat streaky due to the nature of lighter colors.

Second coat. Essie on top, Wet n' Wild below
I'm happy with the finished result of both shades.  I think both formulas have shine on their own, though I'd probably top it with a top coat for staying power anyway.  The color came out even with both polishes.

To be honest, I think there is definitely room for both colors in anyone's collection.  There are similar, but they are just different enough that I can easily justify keeping both.  I can even see how easy it would be to use both in the same manicure.  If you like the ombre look, where the color subtly changes from nail to nail, these would look great right next to each other.  You could use one to do subtle polka dots or another pattern on top of the other.  You could use one as an accent nail.  The possibilities are endless.

But, since the blog post is called This or That, I'll make a selection.  I personally prefer the Essie shade. While I prefer the brush and lower price tag of the Wet n' Wild, the true mint green of Mint Candy Apple is just so perfect for spring and summer and so bright and cheery.  I can already tell that Mint Candy Apple is really going to pop against my mid-late summer tan.  If I had to give one of these colors up right now, I would say bye bye to the Wet n' Wild and hello to true minty goodness.