February 22, 2013

Garnier Olia Hair Color Review

BzzAgent sent me a coupon to try Garnier Olia haircolor and I was super excited to try a new color. Anyone who knows me knows that I've been coloring my hair since I was 13 years old. I've tried many shades from bright blue, purple, and fire engine red to pricey complex process salon dye jobs.

I've stuck to mostly brown shades for the past couple of years and wanted a change. Most of my adult life, I've used either reddish tint or bolder rusty reds, so it seemed like a fun idea to go back to that for a while. Honestly, it was a little challenging to pick a shade I wanted to try because my experience with box color "light" and "medium" seems different from the example photos on Olia boxes. The brown and red shades look darker than what I would call "light," for example.

At Walmart, there were 14 of the 24 Olia shades in stock, which narrowed down my choice. Since I was fearful of trying any light colors in case they were too light for me, a medium was what I picked to try, 5.5 Medium Mahogany.

Just for reference, here's my hair a few hours before coloring with Olia:

Hair Color Before Olia
I've never done an allergy test before but since this is a review, I actually did one. You never know when you'll develop an allergy to a coloring product, especially if it contains ingredients you haven't before been exposed to. With Olia's unique 60% oil blend with natural flower oils, I decided an allergy test was worth it.

After a successful allergy test, I read the instructions. The Olia brand is really trendy and unique. I do like the bold black look. Everything looks modern and hip!

Garnier Olia Box Contents
First thing, like all coloring products - remove the little tip off the mixing bottle, the easiest part of the process.

Next I poured the developer into the applicator bottle. As soon as I removed the cap, it began pouring, probably from built up pressure. If you try Olia, be sure to have the bottle really close so it doesn't drip onto the counter.

Next is the color tube. Like a lot of coloring products, it comes out neutral, not the color on the box. If you've ever used a bleach lightener, that mixes up blue at first - creepy! I prefer these nice neutrals. It seems less "chemical."

I put the cap on the applicator bottle, covered the tip with a finger and shook it up. This is one part of the process that irritated me. The bottle is fairly wide and I had a difficult time gripping and holding the tip. The photos below were taken for this blog post, but I really had to use two hands while mixing. The photo on the right is as far as I could get my fingers around the bottle. While I like the organic shape, I do not like it's girth.

Next was the fun part, applying color to my hair. I sectioned it off using clips, which kept it out of my face and made my part lines easier to access with the applicator. You'll notice if you look closely that the product is barely visible on my hair. It just looks a little damp and shiny in the beginning, so it was harder to know if I'd properly covered all the hair than when I use other brands, which leave a more obvious coating.

I dripped some in the sink, but cleanup was a breeze with a damp paper towel. I didn't need to pull out the Soft Scrub after applying Olia. That's a nice surprise!

Below on the right, you see my hair after coloring with Olia (with the "before" again on the left):

It's notably lighter and more red. My hair is also just like the brand promises - softer and shinier. My before pic is only shiny thanks to some of my favorite straightening products, lol. Normally my non-product, non straightened hair is not so smooth. Typical me would have frizzy, wavy, dull hair, so Olia definitely makes a visible difference in hair quality.

Here's a closeup of the after:

The only downside is I feel like I've outgrown red and want to go back to brown. It's not Olia's fault. The product is great. I just like me better with brown hair, so I'll probably wait a few shampoos to see if it fades and then try a brown shade. To be clear, I'm in no way promoting coloring your hair multiple times in a month. That's not good, especially if you have thin or brittle hair. I just have so much hair, I don't worry about that stuff. If you ever have a color you don't like and haven't much experience with home color, call the expert hotline on the box of hair color, or a local stylist, for help.

In case you aren't yet convinced to try Garnier Olia home color, here's a little more info:

1. There's no ammonia, yet you can go a little lighter and bolder, and it's permanent, lasting color. That should be enough to convince you.

But if not...

2. It doesn't smell bad. Garnier calls it a "delicate floral scent." To me, that's a stretch, but it's not nasty or overpowering. My eyes didn't water and my daughter didn't complain while playing nearby. This should also be enough to convince you.

And if it isn't, then how about...

3. 100% gray coverage! Mostly why I dye my hair now is those stupid gray hairs that keep popping up. I'm only 36, not 86, and I don't think gray is my color. Here I am, testing the product for real and I really had some gray hair, and guess what? I don't now.

Garnier also makes some excellent hair care products. I have a collection in my bathroom for washing, conditioning, and shining my hair. When you pick up a box of Olia to try, look for their color preserving stuff too, especially if you go red.

If you try Olia, be sure to let me know. I want to hear about your experiences and see how the different shades look on other people!

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February 13, 2013

Garnier Overnight Peel Update: Day 6

I just applied the Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel (that's a long name) for the sixth time. My BzzAgent kit factsheet says that overnight, I should see smoother, hydrated skin and in a week, brighter skin. After a month, imperfections will be significantly reduced and in 12 weeks, the size of dark spots will diminish.

The truth is, I haven't noticed a difference yet. My husband hasn't either. I'm faithfully applying the peel about an hour before bed, just to be sure it's completely dry before my face hits the pillow. Though there's no pain or discomfort, it does feel like there's something on my face for a little while after applying, like a thin mask. It's mostly noticeable when I'm walking around the house, with a feeling like there's a light breeze across everywhere but my face. Not really annoying, just different.

The only potential negative so far is that 48 hours after my first application, I got a big zit on my forehead. I don't often break out, so this concerned me. A couple of smaller red spots showed up on my chin but those went away after a day. The one on my forehead is starting to disappear as well. This left me wondering if a layer of peel on my face all night is potentially causing me to break out. I'll watch out for future hints of acne forming and if it's a pattern, I may stop using the peel. If no more zits, I'll keep this up for a while.

For anyone considering trying this as well, keep in mind that it works best with an additional product, the Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and if using during the day, be sure to wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 because the Glycolic Vitamin C Complex can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.

The good news is this is easier than a dermatologist peel. You do it at home and since there's a lower level of acid, there's no medical supervision.

If you are curious to know more, visit Garnier's Facebook page or their website product page.

I'll post again next week with an update on the experience. Maybe by then I'll have noticeably brighter skin!

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February 8, 2013

Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel

Thanks to BzzAgent, I'm trying the Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel. Just this afternoon, I received a full-size bottle for free in exchange for an honest opinion of how it works. I do love free products and even more, love talking about what's good or not so good, so this should be fun!

Tonight's the first night I'll be trying the peel. Instructions are to apply it at night and leave it on. No washing it off. Just put it on, let it be and go about my normal routine the next morning. Sounds easy enough.

My "Before" Pic (OMG, no makeup)

Garnier Kit from BzzAgent
If you're curious to know more, my kit included an informational guide about the product. What I noted right away was that visible results occurred quickly in clinical studies when this product was used with the dark spot corrector. Used alone, it could take four weeks before I see a noticeable improvement. I'm curious to see how long it takes, so I'll take pictures regularly and post them as a series in one month.

In the meantime, here's some more information:
  • Though it's called a peel, it's gentle and won't clog pores.
  • Hydrates, which is awesome because my skin is incredibly dry this winter.
  • Improves spots and discoloration.
My skin should feel smoother and more hydrated by morning and within a week, overall it should be brighter. After a month, I should see discoloration significantly reduced. Garnier also says that acne scars could be improved. Though I don't have that problem, I know many women who do, so this may be a product you want to try.

The peel retails for $16.99, which if you're new to anti-aging products may sound like a lot, but trust me, it's not much at all. I use a lot of Olay Pro-X and Regenerist, and would say this is comparable to the Regenerist line and much less expensive than Pro-X. Before you try it, head to Garnier's Facebook page and grab a $1 off coupon.

Before I wrap up and go to bed, I want to share that I was a bit nervous about trying the peel. In my mind, a peel probably hurts. I've seen ladies on TV after a salon peel and feared some stinging at a minimum. However, it's been on for about 30 minutes and aside from a lightly tight feeling and general feeling like I have a mask or lotion on, there's no discomfort. It's not really sticky either so I'm not worried about messing up my pillowcases.

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February 2, 2013

Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser and Fragrance Mist

In the past, I've reviewed products for fun. I've also worked as a mystery shopper on and off for years, so when I signed up for BzzAgent's program, I was super excited to try real products in exchange for some good, old-fashioned, honest reviewing. Unlike a lot of review programs, with BzzAgent, honesty really is important, so you won't hear good feedback from me unless it's truly how I feel.

BzzAgent sent me a packet with coupons for a free Glade Expressions Collection oil diffuser starter kit and a fragrance mist starter kit.

My husband suggested we stop by Walmart while we were out and pick up the kits so I can get started reviewing right away. It was easy to find the Expressions Collection. Walmart only had one fragrance choice for the diffuser starter kit, Pineapple and Mangosteen, but there were a few choices for the room spray. I let Penny pick and of course, she went with the purple one, lavender and juniper berry.

At home, the first one I went for was the oil diffuser kit. It looks pretty with the wood panels with leave-shape cutouts. There's not much work to this. You just pull it out of the box, insert the diffuser panel and put it wherever you want a touch of fragrance. Ours went on the mantle in the living room between some votive candles.

Fragrance Panel
One thing I noticed was the wood around the cutouts was not smooth. It had splintered a bit, so watch your fingers when you insert the fragrance panel.

Wood Splinters
In terms of style, I definitely like that most people wouldn't notice it's a scent-product. It really looks like a home decor item, a major plus for me. I'm not a huge fan of the fragrance. I don't really like mango and pineapple scents, but this was all that was in stock at the time. It's not bad really. It doesn't overpower the room and it's better than a plain, empty smell, but I prefer floral, berry, or dessert scents. This scent is supposed to last 30 days, so I'll try another scent next month.

The other product is a room spray, which is good for bathrooms and kitchens. We have a guest bathroom that's close to the room we keep our litter box, so I'm expecting to keep the spray there for the most part. But first, I used it to spray the kitchen because a few hours after dinner, we still had an overpowering garlic odor from my 40-clove chicken dinner. Amazingly, the garlic smell quickly dissipated and in return, there was a light berry scent. Much better! I asked my husband if he could smell garlic when he went into the kitchen and he said no. Score!

Fragrance Mist
I also used the spray to help with some lingering odor from a post-nap diaper situation and it worked beautifully.

Overall, so far, so good!

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