hair care

Guest Review

We have a guest blogger in the galaxy today. Jennifer is a decades-long friend that also has a healthy obsession with all things beauty. Read on to see what she thinks about L’Oreal’s new shampoo and conditioner duo! 

Greetings Dark Side devotees.  The DS Diva and I met many moons ago when we were working together on the Death Star.  Since then we have been the most excellent of friends and fierce allies in the pursuit of the best products in the universe.  My evaluation of L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Clay shampoo and conditioner is as follows. L'Oreal

The Claim:  Instantly purifies oily roots while hydrating dry lengths for up to 48 hours.  “Beautifully fresh, flowing hair from root to tip.”

My hair is normal to oily, thick and mostly straight.  It has just enough waviness to make it interesting, or irritating, depending on the weather conditions.  It is currently shoulder-length, layered, and in desperate need of a trim.  Products that are too rich, creamy, or oily tend to weigh my hair down and make it fall flat.  Some products can be too drying and I end up with static-cling.  So I like rotating my products and am always on the lookout for those that meet my unique mix of hair needs.  I’ve tried a few clarifying/degreasing shampoos before but they’ve always been too harsh or too drying.

day 1

Day 1: off to work!

The Mane Event:  On day 1 I started with the L’Oreal Extraordinary Clay shampoo and followed with the conditioner.  Both have a pleasant, clean smell that is fresh without being overpowering.  Because I wanted a true feel for the products, I did not use any of my normal leave-in or styling products afterward.  I dried and styled as usual.  My hair felt soft, manageable, and looked shiny.  A few hours later I noticed a warming sensation on the back of my scalp.  It wasn’t itchy or irritating, it just felt very warm but it resolved later in the day.  My messy, layered style held throughout the day.

When I got up the next morning I noticed something very strange.  My hair looked even better than it had the day before.  The messy layers were gently smoothed down into a more sleek style.  I could have skipped washing my hair, it looked that good.  But my OCD kicked in and I shampooed and conditioned as usual before my 12-hour shift at work.  I didn’t use any other products and my hair styled ok but the ends were a bit staticky.  My scalp was hot again this day but it resolved within a few hours.

day 3

Day 3: Snapchat filtered

By day 3 my wet hair was difficult to comb through.  So I went to my arsenal and grabbed Living Proof Restore Perfecting spray.  I sprayed a few pumps on my hair, combed through, then dried and styled.  After a couple hours my bangs looked limp but it was also 80 degrees and humid in the galaxy that day.  If there is a product that defends your style against the schizophrenic Western PA weather, I haven’t found it yet.

I’ve been using L’Oreal Extraordinary Clay shampoo and conditioner for two full weeks now.  The more I use it the better it works, especially when I layer a leave-in or styling product.  This product makes good on its claim – it purifies my roots without drying out the rest of my mop.  My locks feel soft and stay manageable throughout the day.  Today it passed the ultimate test – I walked for 1 ½ hours this morning, in the rain, with a hat on.  Normally such conditions would obliterate my hair, transforming it into a flat, fuzzy blonde nightmare.  But other than my bangs getting slightly squashed by a hat, the rest of my hair looks pretty good.  I definitely plan on purchasing this dynamic duo again and again!

day 14

Day 14: Humid but holding steady


Beauty Q & A

Several of my sweetest friends asked me their most pressing beauty questions.  Boy, did they try to stump me! I’m honored that they would want my advice on skin, hair and beauty issues.  So let’s get going!

LaneyLaney asked:  How do I keep my beautiful blonde hair frizz free in the Kansas humidity?




Dealt with this same issue I have.  My wavy, frizzy, coarse and color treated hair has been through it all!  My tried and true fixes are a good smoothing shampoo and conditioner, a frizz-fighting serum and a ceramic straightening iron.  Right now I am truly loving the Schwarzkopf Ultime Satin Frizz Control shampoo and conditioner that I get at WalMart.  It leaves my uncontrollable mane sleek and smooth and smelling wonderful.  Then I go totally old school with John Frieda’s Frizz Ease, which I apply to my soaking wet hair.  If I air dry, my waves are smooth and defined.  If I chose to blow it dry, I always use a ceramic iron.  They are safer and my hair stays straight until wash it again. That’s my easy recipe for frizz-free hair!  FB_IMG_1489688286189

Thank you Laney for trusting me with your beauty concerns, you have now crossed over to the Dark Side.  Until next we meet again…


Spring 2017 WalMart Beauty Box


There are so many subscription boxes on the market these days. You can get monthly or seasonal boxes containing everything from health and beauty items, fitness and pet supplies to ready-to-prepare meals.  While the prices vary considerably, one of the most inexpensive boxes to try is the seasonal WalMart Beauty Box.  It comes out four times a year and you pay only a $5 shipping charge.

Now remember, this is from WalMart, so you will not be getting any high-end health and beauty supplies.  Each box has a retail value of at least $15 and has a variety of drug store products.  The Spring 2017 box included the following:

  • 1.7 oz Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Repair Shampoo and Conditioner Extreme Damage Repair
  • SOO AE Nature Collagen Essence Sheet Mask in Vitamin Pure Brightening
  • Pure Ice Nail Polish in Tickle Me Pink
  • 2 oz   Jergen’s  Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer in Fair to Medium Skin Tones
  • .75 oz Colgate Optic White Beauty Toothpaste
  • 1.5 oz Ban Powder Fresh Roll On Antiperspirant/Deodorant
  • 2 oz   Soap Box Sea Minerals Body Wash with Shea Butter

I have wanted to try the Gliss shampoo and conditioner for months, as Claudia Schiffer is the spokesmodel for the brand.  Who doesn’t want Claudia Schiffer’s bouncy, shiny hair?  If it’s good enough for her, then I’m all in!  The size of the bottle will get my ear length curly bob at least 3 if not 4 uses. It’s highly concentrated, so I needed very little and it made my hair soft, shiny, and extremely manageable. I loved it and will definitely be purchasing the larger sized bottles in the future.

I have used SOO AE Nature Sheet Masks before, so I knew I would enjoy this brightening version.  They are easy to apply, stay in place on your face, work well and are an excellent way to relax and chill out for at least 20 minutes.

The Pure Ice Nail Polish is a pretty, soft pink shade, perfect for spring and summer. You can even manage to do a French manicure with this color.

The Jergen’s Moisturizer was the only bust for me.  Even after multiple uses, it didn’t add any color at all to my skin.  I have always had trouble with fake tanning and any product that promises to add color, however light, to my skin.  So I shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed, yet I was. The only thing it managed to do was make my shower floor slippery and dangerous.  So I’ll pass on this.

The remaining products, toothpaste, deodorant, and body wash will be going into my travel bag. They are the perfect products and sizes to save for out of town trips.

For the price of your morning latte, you can get an impressive selection of sample-sized, drug store beauty products.  Each seasonal beauty box retails for around $15, so this is a steal.  Plus, you can go back to the Walmart site, and order additional boxes (as long as they are available), and you should receive different products.   This Dark Side Diva is very impressed with WalMart’s Spring Beauty Box!