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Hair Color

I've been coloring my hair and my friends and family's hair at home for 26 years. In that time, I've experimented with temporary grey-covering color like Loving Care, mixed my own color from Sally, online salon-quality color like eSalon, and even bold, non-traditional colors with Manic Panic. For nearly a year, I've been committed to using only eSalon. After switching to demi-permanent a few months ago, I now color every 6 weeks. My hair is healthy, soft, and the color I get from eSalon has been consistent and pleasant to use.

Below are links to hair color-related blog posts since starting Samantha on the Prairie. I have plenty of experience with other brands and products, so please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about something you see here. If I've tried it, I'm happy to share my experience with you.

eSalon Hair Color Review
eSalon: August 2013 Review
eSalon Color Depositing Shampoo


Natural Instincts Vibrant: A Permanent Alternative to Clairol's Ammonia-Free Color
My Favorite Dark Brown Color Brand: Clairol Natural Instincts
Clairol Nice n' Easy Hair Color Review: 114A Lightest Golden Brown

John Frieda

John Frieda Home Color

Vidal Sassoon

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Hair Color Review: UPDATE
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Hair Color Review

Garnier Olia

Garnier Olia Hair Color Review
You Wanted to Know: Does Garnier Olia Contain Gluten?
You Wanted to Know: Garnier Olia Shades


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Pottery Barn Kids Lunch Bags: Cute, but Annoying

When my daughter transitioned to "big kid school" this fall, I bought her a personalized lunch bag from Pottery Barn Kids. This was our first time having to send lunch to school, so I wanted her to enjoy carrying the bag and also have it be practical. She's just turning 4, so it was important that she be able to open the bag herself and carry it from the car to the lunch cart without assistance.

Pottery Barn Kids offers a slew of fabric patterns and four bag styles. Penny picked the MacKenzie Chocolate Zebra classic lunch bag, which is a fairly standard size and shape lunch box. We paid $7 to have her name embroidered on the bag, which I figured was worth the price to ensure her box isn't mixed up with another kid's lunch. I let Penny pick the font and thread color and ordered online.

Our classic lunch bag has now been used every weekday for nearly three months, but it looks more like a year old. It's still functional in that Penny can carry it in to school, o…

Switching from Olay Regenerist to L'Oreal RevitaLift

I've been using Olay Regenerist DNA Superstructure UV Cream for years now. I love the SPF 25 (it's now 30) the thick moisturizing quality, and how fresh my skin feels once it's absorbed. It's really thick, so it tends to need more time before I put on foundation, and it does leave my skin a touch lighter than it is in real life. The sunscreen ingredients mean this moisturizer smells just like traditional sun protection, and even a bit like my daughter's diaper cream (ick), but I know it's doing it's job and I've been really happy with it.

I intended to buy some more during a trip to Walmart today, but L'Oreal RevitaLift Triple Power Day Lotion had a $2 off coupon attached, and the base price was less than the Olay product, so I took a chance and bought  the RevitaLift instead.

L'Oreal's bottle is prettier with a similar pump mechanism. Like Olay, the product is in an opaque container, which helps keep the contents from being affected by ligh…

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…