Wella Oil Reflections Smoothening Treatment

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After a long time, I made an impulse purchase and that also a non-natural one- Wella Oil Reflections Smoothening Treatment. (By the way, is there even a word “non-natural”? )As I walked past a Wella Salon (Strands– a chain of salons in the Chandigarh-Panchkula region), I saw huge hoardings of this new launch in India from Wella. Intrigued, or perhaps fatigued by the heat, I walked in and for some unfathomable reason, picked it up. My earlier hair serum, Kerastase Nutritive Serum Oleo Relax had finished a while ago and the other one, Kerastase Elixir Ultime I use only before any heat based styling. And so I reasoned to myself as I spent Rs 850/- on a 100ml bottle. Besides, I’m a sucker for fragrances and this one has a lovely, delicate, sweet fragrance to it.

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While most impulse purchases leave you to repent at them later at leisure, thankfully this one did not. The Wella site (http://www.wella.com/professional/en-EN/product/care/oil-reflections) describes it as-

This multi-sensorial oil, with macadamia seed oil, avocado oil and vitamin E, known as a natural anti-oxidant, instantly reveals the beautiful, natural reflections of hair color with a very lightweight technology that makes hair feel incredibly light and supple. High, glossy reflections: specifically designed to enhance the shine of Wella Professionals Colour, making it up to 86% more reflective. Wella Professionals Oil Reflections can be used in a number of different ways:

 

Conditioning — apply a few drops of oil onto damp hair for an instant, lightweight smoothening effect.

Styling — apply a few drops of oil to wet hair before you dry* for additional protection.

Finishing — apply after styling to give hair extra shine, and to intensify colour reflection

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First things first, this is not an “oil” at least the way I understand the term or the way we do in India. Most hair oils today are non greasy and light but this should not be confused with any traditional hair oil (Read here for my favourite hair oils). At best, this can be thought of an oil like Kerastase Elixir Ultime. But please don’t seek to replace your good old coconut/mustard/bhringraj or any such hair oil with this. I see it as a hair serum and so should you. If you are looking for benefits like hair growth, arresting hair fall, this is not meant for that.

Secondly, I do not have coloured hair. Instead, I use my favourite LUSH Caca Noir and TVAM Indigo. It says that it is designed enhance the shine of coloured hair, but it has been performing wonderfully on my hennaed hair as well.

DSC09034I have used it both as an after wash treatment on damp hair and on dry hair to control the dryness and frizz and have been very pleased on both occasions. For my almost waist length hair, I need 2-3 pumps. It is not heavy at all, the texture being more like Kerastase Elixir Ultime and a bit heavier than Kerastase Oleo Relax Serum. Yet it does not weigh the hair down at all. In fact, it is very light and I have used it not only along the length of the hair but also near the crown to control frizz. It imparts a nice shine to the hair– obviously not like a 1000 watt bulb or something but a distinct, healthy shine. This weather made my already dry hair more so and this has effectively controlled it. The smell is lovely and although it doesn’t stay on for long, this is the only hair serum I have come across that has any fragrance to it.  DSC09062

On the flip side, as far as ingredients go, it has Macademia seed oil, avocado oil and Vitamin E but also, like all hair serums, a host of chemicals. Those of you who completely stay away from all chemicals will not be very happy with it. Secondly, while the website says that it can be used prior to drying for additional protection, I’m not sure if it is indeed a heat protecting serum or not. Also the heavy glass bottle however is not very travel friendly and I am quite worried about dropping and breaking it.

Over all I am very pleased with my impulse purchase. Although I don’t use chemical products, after this I’m more inclined to try Wella products whenever I plan to pick up something. At Rs 850/- for a 100 ml bottle it is way cheaper than Kerastase.

LUSH FUN

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Used to LUSH’s quirky ways and products, this soap-shampoo-bubble bath-play dough all rolled-into-one-product had my interest piqued for a long time. Before LUSH vanished from India, my friend got me these on her trip up North from Bangalore. Of course while I had just asked for one, she picked up all 3 that LUSH had – Red ( Orange scent), Green ( Lime n Lemony Limca kind of scent) and my favourite yellow ( Vanilla scent- love it!), giving mea chance to try out the entire range available in India. Actually, they are alike except for the fragrance and colour. For those of you who are not familiar with LUSH FUN, these are basically logs of soap cum shampoo that also double up as a bubble bath and for the children, as play dough during bath time. LUSH UK says this about them –

“Versatile and mouldable, Fun can be soap, shampoo, bubble bath or whatever you want it to be – the only limit is your imagination”

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LUSH USA has these “How to Use” instructions- “Begin by unwrapping FUN from the biodegradable cellophane just as you would an enormous piece of candy. Save the wrapper for when playtime’s over. To use as soap or shampoo, pinch off a small bit in your hand (or on a bath pouf) and hop in the tub, lathering from head, shoulders, knees to toes. If you fancy a bubble bath, crumble a small chunk under a warm running tap for mountains of suds”

They sound all fun and fancy but here’s the downside- they just melt away in the horrid sultry weather we have for a good few months. And even if it’s not humid, the scorching heat is enough to melt them which is a real pity- you really can’t have any FUN with them. Instead, you have to quickly take them out from the refrigerator, grab pieces from the melting dough and hope that the remainder somewhat remains intact while you shower. Except for the few winter months, this is pretty much how they behave. Instead of the cellophane, a classic LUSH black tub would have done a better job at keeping them safe- mine just melted out of their packaging. Luckily I discovered it soon enough and transferred them to my own containers and into the fridge.

They don’t lather well and rubbing the melting pieces can be quiet an ordeal. Using them with a loofah is not easy either. Seeing how they were melting, I didn’t have the courage to use them as a shampoo fearing that they would get stuck in my hair. My son however loves the fact that the same gorgeous smelling product can be used as a shampoo and soap. Since they melt like crazy, obviously he couldn’t play with them.

The best part about them is the fragrance, my favourite being the yellow vanilla one. Not only do they make the bathroom fragrant, the smell lingers on for a while.

The ingredient list states SLS as one of the ingredients. If you want to avoid SLS, clearly this is not a product for you.

Over all, FUN didn’t turn out to be as much fun. If they were slightly more lasting in the heat, and gave the kids a chance to play and mould them while having a bath at the same time, they would be just great. LUSH had priced them at approx Rs 600/- for a 200g log, which is quite expensive, but so are all LUSH products.

Bouquet of Roses Soap- Camelia’s Natural and Handmade Bath and Body Treats

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So this is a soap that generated more heat than the scorching Indian summers and truth be told, I was half expecting mine or my son’s skin to flake off when we started using it. Fortunately or unfortunately, nothing as dramatic happened and here we are with our skins intact, and the much-maligned soap having finished and  gone down the drain long since!

Never mind the story about this hapless soap ruffling many feathers, let’s get down to the soap itself. Of late, I have developed a passion for handmade soaps and have been trying out quite few of these- Burst of Happyness being one such brand. (You can read about their Twilight and Aloe vera soap ) I came across Camelia’s Fb page by chance and loved how pretty the soaps looked. My initial order consisted of one each of Bouquet of Roses and Jasmine Breeze to which I later another Jasmine Breeze, a foot soak & scrub and hair mask ( on account of Mother’s Day).

About the Bouquet of Roses soap, Camelia says – “Smells like freshly plucked roses from garden”. Ingredients consist of milk, rosewater, bentonite clay,vit E,honey, coconut oil, sandalwood powder, fragrance oil blend.

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The parcel arrived when I was in the midst of a personal crisis. Not only did it lie neglected for a while but I could not take any good pictures either. The soaps were wrapped prettily with a ribbon bow and a personal handwritten note- just what one needs to cheer up an eight year old (and his mother!). I really like these personalised touches that ladies like Shreya ( Burst of Happyness) and Camelia  ( Camelia’s Natural & Handmade Bath & Body Treats )put into their products. I kept the soap in the room and we were waiting for the time my son would be allowed to take a bath after surgery. While the soap was not as fragrant as “freshly plucked roses” but it was fragrant enough. The smell however kept getting fainter with passing time and by the time my son was allowed to take a shower after 20 days and used it, there was just a hint of the original fragrance left.

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8 years old and still a baby, my son loved the “fancy, pretty looking soap”. His skin was rather dry and rough with all the medication but neither did the soap aggravate the dryness nor strip it of skin’s natural moisture as commercial soaps often do. He occasionally allowed me to massage him with the Forest Essentials Mashobra, Honey and Vanilla Body Lotion post a bath but even without it, his skin remained supple enough. Personally, for me as well it was adequately moisturising. It is just by force of habit that I have to use a moisturiser. Those who are not nutty on that aspect can easily skip the moisturiser. Unlike many LUSH soaps ( Sea Vegetable for one) it lathers well and is thus easy to use. Sadly, with both of us using it, it finished rather quickly.

PROS

  1. Natural, handmade soap devoid of all harsh chemicals.
  2. Comes in the design of a beautiful rose- a visual treat though obviously it doesn’t stay that way for long.
  3. Keeps the skin moisturised. In this weather, one can skip the post bath body lotion.
  4. Lathers well.
  5. Cruelty free.
  6. Camelia is very prompt with all queries and on ordering few products together, works out a good price too

CONS

  1. Not very fragrant but neither is it totally devoid of fragrance. I love fragrances like that of LUSH but fragrance is entirely a matter of personal choice.
  2. Finishes rather quickly. With the two of us using it, it lasted us about a week.
  3. There is no mention of the weight of the product. For Rs 149/- per bar ( plus shipping) one doesn’t know how much of the product one is getting.
  4. Payment can be made by on line transfer or direct cash/cheque deposit- to some that may seem like a hassle.

Over all I think it’s a very pretty soap that makes bath times more enjoyable while not harming the skin in any way.