A hairbrush is one of those things you probably don’t think about very much. After all, it’s just something to keep your hair from being tangles..is that right? Well, after you’ve tried one of the new Static Free FastFlo Brushes from Cricket, you might change your mind aboput that! These brushes look like any other vented styling tool, but the bristles have larger than average ball tips, and they’re infused with a special carbon fiber that Cricket claims reduces static-causing friction. It is also is supposed to infuse ceramic and ion properties into the hair to moisturize it. The result is hair that is less flyaway and that dries faster.
The Static Free Comfort Collection is comprised of four vented brushes for faster blow-outs: Fast Flo, Mini Fast Flo, Volumizer and Tunnel. The rubberized handles are a chic, soft jade. I tried just one, the Fast Flo that is normally used to help dry hair. A brush that could make my hair dry faster sounded like a great idea. I was attracted to the vented brush, especially because the larger ball tips are less damaging to your hair, as it glides through tangles more efficiently. The brush also seems to hold the strands of hair straighter and farther apart, so that your hair dryer can do its work more efficiently, too.
To test the brush, I dried one side of my hair with the Cricket Static Free FastFlo vented brush, and the other with my usual vented brush. They were nearly identical, right down to easy grip rubberized handles. But the side I dried with the Cricket brush dried quickly, while my brush needed at least half a dozen more passes down my hair with the dryer to get the same result. Furthermore, the side I dried with the Cricket brush was smoother and less frizzy, since I didn’t have to nuke it with a dyer for as long a period of time.
Although I was informed that these brushes are not necessarily meant to dry hair faster, the FastFlo vented brush really did seem to speed it up. So I tried the Tunnel Brush to create soft waves while reducing static, and also the Volmizer, with a unique crisscross pattern of bristles that gentle lift hair while you dry and style. Both brushes also seemed to speed drying and smooth during styling. The volumizer in particular, worked exceedingly well at its task, lifting the usually limp hair at the top, without making it wild and crazy. Perhaps it’s the fact that the larger ball tips on the bristles hold the hair out and away from the other bristles more effectively, thereby allowing the heat and air from the dryer to work more efficiently. This is perhaps, just my personal experience with the brushes, but whatever the “magic,” these affordable stylers have won my thanks!
One suggestion: clean the brush thoroughly every time you use it, as the larger balls on the ends do trap hair and might be more challenging to remove a lot of hair stuck in the base. You can get the FastFlo Vented Styler for $6.95 or a mini sized version for $4.48. The Cricket Static Free Comfort Collection Fast Flo Brush ($8.95), Mini Fast Flo ($5.48),Volumizer Brush ($8.95),and Tunnel Brush ($8.95) are available for purchase at www.lockandmane.com. For more information, visit www.cricketco.com.
Beecology (now Beesesential) is a line of products that as the name suggests, that offers natural skincare and hair products using honey, beeswax, and other ingredients from the bees. They have three new “Beesential” Buzz Balm lip balms: lemon lavender, orange ginger and honey nudem,perfect for pampering your lips any time of year, but especially now, as the wind, cold and dry heat of Winter, surrounds our skin. Beecology’s natural lip balms arrive in swivel up tubes ($2.99) that every member of the family will feel comfortable using. The soft, fragrant balms infuse your lips with moisture, using pure and simple ingredients instead of chemicals.
The multi-packs of five ($10.99), arrive in nice, re-useable tins. this one was a mixture of scents, made for the holidays, but you can get a tin with a single fragrance, too. You’ll get a bit of an aromatherapy boost from the soothing, softening and healing balms with Vitamin E and propolis, but no color or shine, so they’re user friendly for men and boys as well as the ladies.
I love the new, all natural, Lemon & lavender balm that sends a sliver of lemon to your
nostrils, along with the relaxing smell of lavender. Although I personally don’t always mind if a
product is not completely natural, when it comes to what you put on your lips, good ingredients
matter. You ingest what is on your lips, so it is much better to be sure that there is nothing
harmful in the lip products you constantly use. The ingredients listed on the Beecology Balms are
recognizeable: Beeswax, Coconut Butter, Shea Butter, Cupuacu Butter, Lavender and Lemon Oil, Vitamin
E, Propolis Extract, Honey, Natural Honey Flavor, Ginger Oil and Monk Fruit Extract. The new Orange
Ginger has a light orange scent (you can barely smell the ginger but it has a bit of an invigorating
effect when you smell it) has the same basic ingredients except for the essential fragrance oils:
Beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, cupuacu butter, olive oil, orange oil, tocopherol (vitamin E),
propolis extract, honey, natural honey flavor, ginger oil, monk fruit extract. The Completely Nude
Lip Balm has a soft honey fragrance that’s seriously yummy.
Beecology has plenty of other bee-centric for lips, hair and body. All are nicely packaged and affordably priced. Even better, 10% of Beecology’s profits go to charity, through their charity web site partner, SweetYear.org, they give back to environmental and social causes. Beecology invites customers to participate in charitable giving by asking them to go to SweetYear.org and designate which charity will receive a portion of the profit from their Beecology purchases. How cool is that?! Visit www.beessential.com
These are just a few of the reasons I love Beecology’s products. A five-pack in a tin makes a nice little thank-you or pick-me-up gift. You can buy just one at a time but once you try Buzz Balm you are going to want more than one. Trust me on this one!
Back in December, The Advice Sisters suggested the brand new, Sally Hansen Salon GelPolish Starter Kit for $69.99 as a great, last-minute gift idea. The set was showcased at an editor’s event, and we were all amazed that this affordable set has with everything you need for 10 complete gel manicures, including a salon-style 6-watt LED lamp that can “cure” a hands’ worth of nails at one time, plus a gel base coat, gel nail color, gel top coat, 10 nail cleanser pads, acetone remover, cuticle stick, nail file, buffer and instructions.
But there’s another Gel kit from Sally Hansen that costs less, and in some ways, is even easier to use because you use gel strips instead of painting on the color. The Sally Hansen InstaGel Strips Starter Kitcosts just under $30.00. This kit gives you the look and durability of a gel manicure in just two easy steps. Cleanse nails and apply the gel polish strips, then apply the gel top coat. “Cure” each nail for 30 seconds under the Mini LED Lamp, and finish with the nail cleansing pad to remove any residue, The result is a set of super-shiny, perfectly colored nails. You can’t beat it!
The set includes everything you will need: The LED lamp with auto timer. 16 gel polish strips (there are deep and natural colors, and even a leopard print), a 0.14 fl. oz. gel to coat, 2 nail cleanser pads, and a cuticle stick and file./buffer. The nail strips are a no brainer, easy to apply and in a range of sizes to fit even small or extra large nails. Sally Hansen says the manicure will last up to 2 weeks, with a mirror shine and chip resistant wear. Even better, while the process is easy, actually nearly effortless, the product is not bad for your nails, without any DBP, Toluene or Formaldehyde.
The mini LED lamp with auto timer is an amazing value when you consider what the cost of a salon gel manicure is. You can get replacement strips for $14.99, so you can use the lamp, a lot. If I have any issues with the kit, it is simply that gel manicures are more difficult to remove. I have learned that the amount of gel in the topcoat is what makes the products easier or more difficult to dissolve, but sitting with pure acetone nail polish remover on your hands for 5-15 minutes is awkward and not particularly kind to your natural nails. Ont he other hand, a manicure that lasts for two weeks saves you time and money. It’s a trade-off. When gel manicures really make a lot of sense is during “crunch times” at work, or when you travel, or any time when you just know you’re not going to have time to re-do a manicure.
Technology is amazing, and the Sally Hansen Gel Manicure Starter kit is a time saving beautifier that anyone can do…major major love!!! Get yours in a favorite drug store or mass market retailer, or visit www.SallyHansen.com
No matter how much sunblock you put on your body, your lips are always out there in the sun’s damaging rays. Lipstick and lip gloss may block some of the saboteurs, but to really defend against aging, skin cancer, and dry, chapped lips, you need a good lip balm with enough sun block to protect. Sebamed Lip Defense with SPF 30 ($4.95) is a little something that you can do for your lips, every day. The white, swivel-up tube won’t add color or shine, it’s 100% soap, paraben, and alkali-free.
What it has that you do want on your skin is Vitamin E, Chamomile Extract, Rice Bran and Jojoba. Together, the soft, waxy balm helps to heal dry, chapped lips, prevent dehydration, protect against blistering, improve the look and feel of your lips and most importantly, shield them with a decent amount of UVA/UVB protection with SPF 30. You can use it under your lip colors. and ev,n those with sensitive skin can use it. Use it regularly, and you will not only see nicer looking lips, but you can rest assured that they’re being protected from the daily assault on them by the sun and other environmental saboteurs.
This is not a particularly sexy item, but it might just make you sexier to a special someone! Whether now in the Winter, or later, when you’re at the beach or pool, a swipe of Sebamed Lip Defense can make all the difference. Such a small thing, and at such a tiny price…but the end result is a big deal. Get yours online at SebamedUSA.com