It should come as no shock that Shu Uemura Art of Hair landed a second product in my coveted Sunday Splurge column (the first product being the liquid gold of the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue). Unlike other luxury beauty products who use the brand name to justify a hefty price tag (I won’t mention any names), the entire Shu Uemura Art of Hair product line uses only the most premium pure ingredients like Camellia Oil, Depsea Water, and Jasmine Oil to create their hard-working, luxurious products.
My colorist Meghan Baldwin turned me onto the Moisture Velvet Nourishing Treatment for Dry Hair when I asked her for a deep conditioning treatment I could use to quench my Winter’s Bone dry hair during these harsh months. I originally balked at the $68.00 price tag but Meghan assured me that with my frequent colorings and blowouts, it would be worth every penny. You can imagine it didn’t take much arm twisting for me to agree to buy it.
I own at least ten deep conditioning treatments I don’t use. (I’m hoping this column isn’t going to prompt my husband to demand another purge. He hasn’t commented on the stacks of bottles and jars cluttering our shower area yet. There’s just so long I can use the excuse, “I’m testing for my blog!” before he starts demanding a culling.)
Top reasons my collection of deep conditioning treatments remain unused:
1) The smell turns me off (I hate anything musky or spicy)
2) They act more like a daily conditioner than a deep treatment (so frustrating!)
3) The directions require lengthy treatment time or applied heat to ensure efficacy (who has that kind of time?)
4) The product works, but leaves my hair so conditioned I can’t style it.
Obviously I was rolling the dice by committing $68 for the Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet Treatment, but given my success with their Essence Absolue, I liked my odds. The treatment smells like a flower garden after a Spring rain. I thought I smelled Jasmine, but it was the Camellia Petal that gave the treatment its fresh floral scent. The treatment’s active ingredient is Camellia Oil, one of the most rapidly absorbing oils, which infuses the hair with essential lipids, nourishing and smoothing the hair’s fibers.
The texture is a thick, whipped, cream. It easily combed through my wet hair, instantly untangling and smoothing. I clipped up my hair for a few minutes while I gave myself a body scrub, rinsing it after 5-8 minutes. I could feel a slip to my hair that I could tell wasn’t the product coating my hair, but rather just healthy hydration. Next, I followed my Curly Girl Styling Regimen, in the off-chance my hair wouldn’t appear limp from the treatment. I can honestly say my curls have never looked better!!
I shook my shiny, bouncy, perfectly-formed curls in the mirror and thought what a shame that my sexy curls would be wasted sitting on the couch watching Downton Abbey (If you re-read #4 above , you can understand I couldn’t afford to take a chance on a night out).
There’s always next weekend…
Posted by janna Tags Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Sunday Splurge
I just discovered your blog and I’m obsessed! You have the most gorgeous curly hair!! Mine is curly, but I feel like I’m always struggling to find the right product, dryer, diffuser etc. I’d love to know your curly hair routine and recommendations?
Oh, Ellie… don’t you fret a hair… I would love to share my curly girl regimen! I warn you though, there are several steps:
1.) I only shampoo twice a week at most. I use Frederic Fekkai Advanced Technician Shampoo to preserve my color (though you can use any hydrating sulfate-free shampoo) or if I’m fearing a frizz-out day I use L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo.
2.) I try and juggle my conditioners to avoid build-up. For everyday, my two favorites are Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color and It’s A 10 Miracle Daily Conditioner. They are both hydrating, yet light enough not to weigh my hair down. Once a week, I use a nourishing mask like Phytocitrus Restructuring Mask for Color-Treated Hair (though I do find my hair looks A LOT better on days I do a light conditioner and no shampoo).
3.) When I get out of the shower I use a paper towel to blot my hair dry (NEVER use a regular towel! It will frizz you to high hell), then I finger comb a dime size of Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Hair Oil (one of my favorite hair products of all time) from root to ends.
4.) I spray (about 5 sprays) of It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product into my hand and finger-comb through my ends.
5.) I take a quarter-size of Living Proof Wave Shaping, Curl Defining No Frizz Styling Creme for Medium to Thick Hair and scrunch through half my head. Then I repeat the step on the other half of my head.
6.) I flip my head and scrunch the ends with another paper towel
7.) I diffuse my hair with my head flipped. You do not need any special brand of diffuser, as long as it has fingers.
8.) Once I flip up, if I have frizzes, I will rub a dime size of Ouidad Clear Control Pomade between my palms and pull my hair back like I’m putting it in a low pony tail.
..and VOILA! No fail curls!!
Good luck lovely Ellie and do keep in touch on how this regimen works for your curls!
Posted by janna Tags Curly Hair, It's a 10, L'Oreal, Living Proof, Oribe, Ouidad, Phyto, Shu Uemura Art of Hair
The final dark chapter in my “Weathering the Cold” series addresses frizzy, static hair and cracked, rough hands. Uplifting, yes?
Regardless of your hair texture, the harsh, cold conditions outside mixed with the bone-dry indoor heat are a molotov cocktail of damage. You have to apply the same logic as treating your face and body to your hair – prevent and protect!
Sleep with a Humidifier. Go for short warm (not hot) showers. Wear a cashmere hat (I know it sounds pretentious, but wool absorbs the moisture your hair needs.There’s simply not enough to go round.). Go easy on the straightening, curling, blowing out, etc. Your hair is going through a vulnerable stage! Also, take Omega-3 fish oil pills. They will help prevent hair damage as well as skin damage (and it has tons of other health benefits!).
Start at the beginning… Before you even shampoo, try a pre-shampoo oil treatment once a week like Phyto Huile d’Ales Pre-Shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil Treatment, especially if you color-treat. Arm yourself with multiple hydrating shampoos and conditioners (it’s true what you’ve heard… if you use the same products every day they build-up and lose their effectiveness). In my shower you will find everything from L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Repairative Smoothing Shampoo and Pantene Pro-V Medium-thick Hair Solutions Frizzy to Smooth Conditioner to Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Conditioner for Damaged Hair and It’s a 10 Miracle Moisture Conditioner.
Moving onto hands… What can I say? Let’s face it, when that winter chill hits you’ll be like Sisyphus trying to keep your hands soft and hydrated. Because it’s cold and flu season you’re going to be washing your hands even more than usual and you SHOULD be applying hand cream after every time you wash. So by the end of day, even though you’ve moisturized your hands more than a dozen times, your hands will feel like you haven’t applied cream since last Christmas. The constant washing is exacerbated by the dry air outside and inside, leaving your hands feeling like you’ve been working in the fields. So what can you do?
The obvious! Be armed with hand creams by your desk, in your handbag, in your car, by your nightstand. Make it your religion that every time you wash you moisturize. I personally use the Bliss Blood Orange + White Pepper Hand Cream because it’s nice and thick and smells divine. At night though I use good ole’ Vaseline to coat my hands and then I put on Bliss Glamour Gloves. These really work miracles. They are lined with this magic gel that seems to penetrate the Vaseline into my skin. The difference the next morning is palpable. But then of course I start washing my hands and I become Sisyphus pushing the boulder once again…
Okay, enough about the coming winter months. I just can’t put myself through this. The cold is misery and I just want to talk about fun stuff now, okay? So let’s flip the switch and talk about the holidays. The holidays! Make sure you make this site a favorite for your loved ones because I assure you I will be churning out my gluttonous wish list from now until Christmas, and my list is long and distinguished. (See, we forgot all about the cold, didn’t we?)Posted by janna Tags Bliss, L'Oreal, Pantene, Phyto, Shu Uemura Art of Hair
I need to write this quickly since my husband is currently waiting for the Chelsea vs. Queenspark Rangers soccer game to begin and I want to be ready to publish as soon as it does. I didn’t want to have to wait until American football starts to get you your Sunday Splurge, and since the Niners aren’t playing today, my husband could be a wild card. Though I know he would balk (possibly hide my credit cards) at me spending $68.00 on hair oil, he loves touching my super soft hair and he would be pleased to know it takes me several months to finish a bottle of the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Hair Oil .
I have tried every hair oil out there. I can’t stand the smell of crowd-pleaser MoroccanOil and it’s way too thick. Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Serum smells amazing, but again, it’s too thick and I can’t use it on dry hair without looking like a grease ball. When my superstar colorist Meghan Baldwin (who is so not a product pusher) from Eva Scrivo Salon who has colored the likes of Naomi Watts and transformed me from boring brown to multi-dimensional black cherry brunette told me I would love this oil I had to buy it.
At the salon, Meghan puts a couple drops in my damp hair pre-blowout, then she warms a couple drops in her hands and finger combs my ends post-blowout. At home, whether I’m letting my curly hair air-dry, diffusing my curly hair, or blowing it out straight, I use one full pump to finger comb through my damp hair. It is the best “leave in” treatment I’ve ever encountered. It’s the perfect consistency, it absorbs quickly, and my hair feels conditioned rather than slicked over. Once my hair is dry I will take a couple drops and smooth over the hair to tame any frizzies. Even if you accidentally apply a full pump to dry hair instead of two drops (which of course I’ve done) the extra oil seems to just absorb into your hair without giving you the wet look.
I read that you can also use it as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment and as an overnight conditioning treatment. Thanks to my regular use, I haven’t had to use it for these purposes yet.
Unlike other oils, the Shu Uemura oil doesn’t build up in my hair nor does it leave a gross residue on my hands and it smells like Spring flowers. Yum.
Oh and by the way, I just saw that if you purchase it through their official site you get a free travel size (worth $25)!
Posted by janna Tags Shu Uemura, Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Sunday Splurge