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bbcurl_smh.jpgLots of people have lots of opinions when it comes to Bumble and Bumble (feel free to leave yours in the comments). Mine is that their Curl Conscious Defining Creme really works on my hair.

When I get out of the shower, I let my hair air dry for about twenty minutes until my hair isn’t soaking wet, but rather just damp. 

Did I mention my hair is really thick? Like really, really thick? 

Then I put about a quarter size dollop of this stuff throughout my hair, being particularly careful to not get too much on the roots and to get a ton of it on the ends. From that point on, I can either leave my hair down to dry and then just use a large 1 1/2 inch barrel curling iron to curl the ends and a few sections on the sides, or twist it up into a bun, let dry and then take it down and use a little hairspray to lock the loose curls. The downside is both of those do’s really aren’t set enough to carry over for a second day.

Final verdict: still my go-to product for days that I’m running late or putting some body into my hair when I’m at the beach and my hair is getting wet several times a day. Recommend.
renpureorganics2_smh.jpg
A few weeks ago, I ran out of conditioner so I used a trick I came up for when you’re already in the shower and realize the conditioner bottle is empty: fill the bottle 1/3 full with water, close the cap and shake. You end up with a milky rinse with just enough conditioner in it to get the job done. Later in the week, having just started this column and needing to pick up a bottle of grocery store conditioner to last me until my next salon visit, I decided to try something new.

Enter Renpure Organics ‘i love my hair!’ Body and Shine Conditioner with green tea, chamomile and sunflower oil. Yes, I bought just the conditioner. And yes, I kind of liked it for the following reasons:

1. It has 100% organic ingredients
2. It was on sale because it was a “new item!”
3. It didn’t change my hair. Didn’t make it better, didn’t make it worse. I’m okay with this.

Read more about the products at renpure.com
h20spa_smh.jpgYou know you do it, but are the free hotel toiletries really worth sneaking into your bag? Thanks to an old cushy day job, I had the… luxury of staying at some nice hotels with even nicer amenities. In this column, I’ll explore the brands different hotels have chosen to partner up with and where the products place on my ‘stuff it in your carry on?’ meter.

Hotel Mela in New York City offers a pretty sweet selection of H2O+ Spa products, including a sea salt body wash (right) that has changed my life. Too bad I was only there for one night.

Steal-o’-meter rating: 4 out of 5. Check out their full product line at H2oplus.com

loccitanefull_smh.jpgWhen it was announced last fall that J.Crew stores would begin stocking L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream (a.k.a. Creme Mains with Beurre De Karite), beauty insiders labeled it an odd decision on J.Crew’s part due to L’Occitane’s classic image and J.Crew’s recent efforts to be more youthful and eclectic.

Having finally used the product while in line at J.Crew in Tyson’s Corner Galleria recently, I would call it an odd decision on J.Crew’s part due to L’Occitane’s hand cream smelling like diaper ointment. 

“The quality of the moisturizer is well worth smelling like old lady or baby powder for a few minutes,” a reviewer argued on drugstore.com. Nice try, Sweet Merry Mayhem, but we’re not buying. Cool username though.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the smell. When I put on a hand lotion, I value moisturizing and fragrance almost equally… but more on that to come next week.

$26 for 5.2 ounces at loccitane.com
facecream_smh.jpgWhen asked to choose a sample at Sephora recently, I selected Korres’ Quercetin & Oak Antiwrinkle Night Cream.

Who wouldn’t want a night cream that promises you’ll have “firmer, more elastic skin after just one application of this intensively nourishing and hydrating essential.”

And guess what, it worked. For me, at least.

I applied, as directed, at night to my face and neck, specifically underneath and around my eyes. The next morning my skin felt hydrated and, dare I say it, smoother. Looks like I’ll actually have to purchase the stuff as this 0.34 fl oz tube won’t last long. Fair warning: it smells like Play Doh. But if you’re like me and have fond memories of Play Doh as a kid, you won’t really mind it.

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