July 29, 2014

Coloring My Hair at Home: eSalon Root Touch-Up

Two months after having my hair colored at eSalon headquarters, my hair still looked pretty good. I had some root growth and gray hairs appearing at the temples, but otherwise, the color was lovely, rich, shiny, and not brassy. After a week in the California desert visiting my in-laws, using terrible hotel hair products (my bad for leaving my good stuff at home), I was a bit bleached out on top. It was definitely time for a root touch up!

before coloring
My eSalon kit had arrived while I was traveling, so as soon as I got home, I grabbed the kit and made the grey and the sun-bleached hair disappear.

I was super careful in reading the instructions because I wanted to be sure I'm touching up the color without over darkening the ends.

Once thing that is new since I first posted about eSalon is the gloves all come in one bag now. They supply two pair but rather than packaging them separately and wasting plastic, they're combined in one set. Perfect!

I still have the bowl, brush, and timer from when I colored my sister's hair, so I used those for my root touchup. It's way easier to work on roots with a brush compared with the bottle and hands.

I first applied some Vaseline-like goo to keep the color from dying my skin. I mostly put it along my hairline and the back of my ears though I should have remembered to hit the back of my neck too. If you have long hair, definitely don't forget your neck and shoulders.

Then I mixed the color and applied it to my roots. This took a while since I have a LOT of hair. If I went to the salon, my stylist, Kristan, would probably book twice the time of a typical color appointment.

Once the roots were covered, I pulled it down a bit with my fingers since I did have so much lightened from my desert vacation. Keep in mind, I'm talking an inch or two, not the entire length of hair. I then waited the amount of time in my instructions before doing the color rinse in the shower. That part is messy but really important for even color and shine.

I do use eSalon's styling products for shine and conditioning, so I mixed a little of those together and applied to my wet hair. I then blew it dry with a round brush and flat ironed it smooth. I don't usually blow it out, but it stays straighter longer when I do that compared with ironing air dried hair. Below is a pic on a nice sunny day, about 24 hours after coloring.

So here's the before from earlier and an after photo (in the same room indoors):

I love the color. It's still just what I want, just like how it came out when the eSalon colorist did my hair, and it looks super natural. When my sister first saw it in person, she said it looks great and it's just what I've always said I've wanted my hair to be - reddish brown without being brassy. Warm, but not orange and brown, but not mousey.

I set my reorder schedule to be 10 weeks, figuring that's about the time I'll want to touch up the roots and grey. In the meantime, I'll keep using Tinted Love a couple times a month just on the ends and middle of the hair to enhance the color and keep it from from getting brassy in between coloring. My stylist suggested Aveda's clove conditioner as an option as well, but that's a bit pricey. I'll have to do a price per ounce comparison and see which makes the most sense. 

There's no question in terms of actually coloring my hair, eSalon is definitely more affordable than going to the salon and better quality than going to the drugstore aisle.

July 24, 2014

Busy Summers Pass By Quickly

There's been something happening constantly all summer, so I am being terrible with blog updates. It's not that this blog isn't fun or valuable, but we've been traveling, working, playing, gardening, and spending time with family.

To hold you over until the next product-focused post, here's a cute picture of my dog, Huckleberry. He's a "working" Basset Hound (aka non-confirming to breed standards). Kids at parks love petting him and he loves sniffing and giving them kisses. He goes with us when we take Miss P to the park and he likes to socialize at the dog park, though mostly with people rather than other dogs. He'll be two next week but he's still very much a puppy. He's a sweetie.

July 14, 2014

Adovia Mineral Eye Gel Moisturizes Gently

I haven't been working on many Tomoson promotions lately, being more careful about what I'm agreeing to review. It had been a while when Cleopatra's Choice invited me to try another one of their products, a Mineral Eye Gel. Since I had enjoyed working on a previous Adovia review (Dead Sea Mud Mask), I agreed to try the eye gel.

I'm no stranger to eye creams. Four years ago, I got a free jar of a Lancome eye cream through an American Cancer Society program for cancer patients. I really liked how noticeable the results were, but the cost made continuing to use the cream completely impractical. It would have been $180+ a year just for eye cream and that's just way out of my budget for one small, very targeted product.

Since then, I have tried several eye creams, from major to lesser known brands at various price points, but none wowed me. I know I'm not likely to see fine lines disappear or dark circles magically vanish, but I do expect more moisturized skin around my eyes (which can reduce the appearance of dark circles) and to look and feel more refreshed without irritation. Nothing was honestly doing it for me so I'd given up and mostly used gentle facial moisturizers within a safe distance of my eyes.

Adovia Mineral Eye Gel has a retail price point that seems to be middle of the road compared to other products I've tried. I'm comfortable with that price, knowing I'd probably have to buy a new jar every 4-6 months.

My Adovia Mineral Eye Gel sample arrived mid-June and I used it nearly every day for three weeks before I decided how I felt and waited another week before reviewing it. So many eye creams and gels have big product claims and I wanted to give this one a chance before I formed an opinion. You can't really try a product once or twice and know how well it will work longer term. In summer, when my skin isn't as dry, a month seemed like a reasonable amount of time to test this eye gel.

Overall, I really like the Adovia eye gel as a strong moisturizer. Eyes aside, I found it to be gentle and non-irritating, an excellent moisturizer, super cooling (great for summer or when I'm feeling exhausted), and was pleasantly surprised that the jar traveled well on a recent road trip that included flying, driving, and packing and unpacking 5 times. It didn't break or leak!

I can't say I've yet noticed a major change in puffiness and dark circles, but I liked how it felt enough to consider it worthwhile. It's like putting cucumber slices on your eyes but the feeling lasts longer. I actually like using this eye gel as an allover face moisturizer once a week because it is super rich and seems to fix my very dry skin overnight. However, I noticed if I forget to wash my face in the morning, I break out a little. This isn't the intended use for the product, so I can't knock Adovia for those little zits.

I'm pretty pleased. My only wish is that the jar was a pump, just to be sure bacteria doesn't build up over time with air and finger exposure.

You can find Adovia Mineral Eye Gel on Amazon or visit the Adovia website for more information.

The sample of Adovia Mineral Eye Gel was provided for free through a service called Tomoson Tomoson.com. Though I received a sample to review, I am still sharing my personal experiences and opinions.