Christmas Wishlist 2016

This year for Christmas, there is really not a lot on my wishlist. Everyone is happy and healthy, and the one material thing I really wished for, a new computer, I invested in last month. However, when I was asked a few days ago for a bit of guidance concerning presents, I thought of a few things that by no means are must-haves, but would definitely be nice to have.

My picks fall firmly into two categories: home and beauty. As a tried and tested beauty lover, I can’t help but have my eye on a few new products and since I moved this past spring, there is always something I wish for to spruce up my home.

Christmas Wishlist 2016

Since I am an avid coffee drinker and it seems like the Nespresso capsules only contribute to a huge amount of waste, I am very interested in the Chemex brewing system after having tried it at a very hip and delicious Vancouver coffee spot.

And since I am just as much in love with cacti as the next person, a cute little Serax vase would help add some green to my home without subjecting a plant to my black thumb.

Finally, as far as homey things go, my love for PF Candle Co. has been well documented and the one scent that is high up on my list is Amber & Moss.

For beauty, I am dying to try a product from the Ouai line-up and the Clean Shampoo could be a good place to start for someone with fine hair like me.

Also, the RMS Beauty Unpowder seems like a lovely natural alternative to a conventional setting powder, which is something it might want to look into once warmer temperatures come around again.

Kérastase Densimorphose

I swear I didn’t plan it this way, but here’s another hair product to talk about this week. A good while before I purchased the Alterna Volume Travel Trio, I picked up a bottle of the Kératase Densimorphose Mousse.

I usually steer away from mousses as they often leave my hair crunchy and sticky, but after I heard Estée Lalonde rave about this, I knew I had to try it for myself.

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The whole Densifique range from Kérastase is geared towards fine and thinning hair, which is exactly what I need. Since struggling with low iron levels last year, I have tried to get my hair back on track, so this seemed to be a good addition to my stash.

The mousse is unlike any other I have tried before. It is super light and not at all sticky, so there are no tangles or crunchy bits when blowdrying the hair. It provides a natural volume and a slight bit of hold that helps with any styling done afterwards.

For my tastes however, the volumizing action could be more intense, as my hair needs any help it can get in that department. Still I do think that it helps, at least a little bit, with the overall health of my hair as it hasn’t been this soft or shiny in a long time, especially when color treated.

So I would say give this a go if you’re looking for a modern mousse that strays far form the sticky messes of the past. I am tempted to try out more from the Densifique range, but I am not sure where to start. Any recommendations?

Alterna Volume Travel Trio

If there’s one thing I can’t pass up, it’s a good beauty deal. And if it comes with cute travel sizes and a free little bag, I am game.

This is exactly why I absolutely needed to get my hands on the Alterna Volume Travel Trio. It comes with the Shampoo and Conditioner from the Caviar Anti-Aging Bodybuilding Volume range and a trial size of the Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist, which is a product I had wanted to try for ages.

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While the shampoo and conditioner went straight into my travel beauty stash, I used the Volume Mist the very next time I washed my hair.

Since my hair is very fine and limp, I do love a good volumizing spray and this Alterna version has definitely come out on top of the list. Lately, my hair has been very soft and slippery, which, while speaking for good hair health, makes it impossible to style as it slips out of hairbands, clips, you name it.

What this spray provided besides a good amount of volume is a certain amount of hold and grip that I so appreciate when styling my hair.While it still feels soft, it keeps its shape and volume for a good while longer now and looks a bit fuller.

The verdict? As soon as this dinky trial size runs out, I am going to pick up a full size of the Volume Mist, especially since my Oribe Maximista is on its last leg as well. This spray might not be cheap, but it is much easier to come by and provides amazing results immediately.

Lush Big Shampoo

My love for Lush is no secret, partly because they are one of the few companies that has a well developed and thought out responsible recycling concept and partly because they are always a bit off-center and innovative with their products.

Case in point – Big Shampoo. This is one of the most unique hair cleansing products I have come across, formulated with a hefty amount of coarse sea salt that thoroughly cleans and volumizes the hair.

 

Lush Big

 

Now sea salt in hair products isn’t a new concept. It is supposed to texturize and add volume and bounce to the hair, but it usually comes in spray form that can leave the hair crunchy and matte. The delivery system with Big is as easy as it is effective as you simply scoop out the product and massage it into the hair in the shower. It is a strange sensation and you need to make sure you wash the salt out completely, but the result is very clean but nourished hair.

An additional bonus is the scent. It smells like a gorgeous fresh margarita that makes you crave a summery drink right away.

Since it is somewhat abrasive, I tend to reserve Big‘s use to once a week in lieu of a clarifying shampoo. It works great for that purpose and that way I don’t feel like I am overworking or stripping my scalp in the process.

PS: Please excuse the stock photo, but one downfall of the black tub Big Shampoo comes in is that it looks grubby almost right away. However, the lid of the tub closely very securely, so I have never had any issues with water getting into the product itself.

L’Oréal Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo

Since washing my hair is one of the most tedious chores ever, I rely heavily on dry shampoo to keep my hair looking nice throughout the week.

I tried a lot of different dry shampoos and I have found that I usually prefer the sprinkle types over the spray kind – with one exception. The L’Oréal Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo has worked wonders on my fine, limp hair recently.

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It injects a fair amount of volume into my roots, but most of all, it works amazingly well at soaking up residual oil on my scalp and making my hair actually look almost freshly washed. I think it might be the clay that makes it so effective, but whatever it is, it does its job.

The gripe I have with most spray dry shampoos is the smell. I loved the Aussie version but hated the scent, same with most Batiste dry shampoos. But this one just smells like shampoo, fresh and unobstrusive, just like clean hair. So if you have similar issues, make sure to give this one a go.

PS: Confusingly enough, the L’Oréal lines are named differently throughout the world. As you can see, this line is called Elvital here in mainland Europe, whereas in most English speaking countries, it seems to go by Elvive. Luckily, the range is pretty discernible by its lovely mint green packaging, so be sure to look out for that if you’re not sure about the name.

 

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Whenever there’s intense hype around a beauty product, it can go two ways for me – either, it makes me not want to try it at all because I’m overwhelmed by all the reviews, or I desperately want to get my hands on it.

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In the case of the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, I definitely wanted to try it asap, since I have had such a great experience with their Maximista Volumizing Spray.

After searching high and low for a can of this, I managed to track down a travel sized version (which still is rather steep in price).

The product itself is beautiful. It disperses evenly and smells just as amazing as the rest of the Oribe line. It gives a good amount of volume and texture to the hair, leaving it tousled and somewhat messy.

However, I think I have realized that texturizing sprays are not the one for me. My hair is so fine that I actually favor the freshly washed hair look in order to make it look more sleek and voluminous. Texture is something I battle with since it can make my hair look stringy and limp.

So while the product is wonderful and I totally get the hype around it, I don’t think I will repurchase. If Oribe ever decides to make a fragrance, however, I would be all over that…

Bumble and Bumble All-Style

Since my hair is very fine, I tend to keep the styling products to a minimum in order to not weigh my hair down any further.

Having been color treated though, my hair does benefit from a bit of moisture, so I have taken to lightweight pre-blow dry styling creams in order to provide hydration and tame frizz.

My latest product of choice for this category is the Bumble and Bumble All-Style Blow Dry, which is targeted towards most hair types, but especially fine and oily hair.

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While it sounds counterintuitive to put a cream on fine, oily hair, this one actually helps to prolong my blow dry and give me a bit more control over my hair.

After towel drying, is disperse a chickpea-sized amount throughout my hair, even closer to the scalp. The only other thing I use before blow drying it is a volumizing spray, and this is essential for me as the cream does not provide any volume on its own. Together, though, they make for a wonderful cocktail that leaves my hair looking fuller and healthier. Since I have been using the All-Style, I truly think that my hair does not get greasy as quickly, giving me about a day longer than usual until I really have to wash it again.

For me, this is what makes this product that slight bit better than the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment and most definitely something that I will repurchase in the full size.