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October 20, 2000

I've had several reviews in the works over the last few months, so I am pleased to finally be done with these! I am hoping to tackle more cosmetics, bath/body and hair products in the coming months. Please feel free to send me your suggestions and we will try to incorporate them into the newsletter or the site.

Wella Lifetex Wellness haircare
Now that I am actively coloring my hair (L'Oreal Castings Mocha or Clairol Natural Instincts Suede), I want to keep the color looking fresh and true for as long as possible. This new line from Wella looked promising - gentle cleansing agents, cruelty-free, loaded with plant extracts. I selected Level Headed Color Shine Purity Wash and Well Toned Color Shine Purity Rinse, and for the most part I've been happy with them. The purity wash (a.k.a. shampoo) isn't overly foamy so it doesn't strip the hair, and the purity rinse (a.k.a. conditioner) detangles very nicely. My hair needs a bit more moisture than the rinse could deliver, so I ended up alternating with Back to Basics Raspberry Almond Intensive Conditioner so my hair would be easier to manage.

I enjoyed using these, but I don't see myself buying them again. My hair didn't feel quite as silky and soft as it has with other products...

You can find out more about these new Wella products at http://www.lifetexwellness.com or at a salon near you.

Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Styling Cream ($5.99 for 4oz tube)
I've been growing my hair from a short bob to just past shoulder length for well over a year now, and I straighten the waviness out almost every day with a blowdryer and round brush, so I have learned a few tricks to get my hair the way I want it. I found that no matter what I put on my hair when it was wet, by the time it was dry and styled it was still frizzy and hard to control. My hairdresser recommended I use a small amount of styling cream on my hair after blowdrying, and boy, does it make a difference! I work a little on this into my hair and the benefits last all day.

Frizz-Ease is available at drugstores and supermarkets everywhere, and online at drugstore.com.

SoySoft Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion ($10.99 for 8oz)
Soy is becoming the new skincare buzz ingredient, and for good reason. Soybean oil is wonderfully emollient and has some great skin benefits thanks to its vitamin E and essential fatty acids. While browsing online one day I discovered this brand and decided to take a chance and order. What a great lotion! My hands get very dry and wrinkly-looking, but this lotion has actually made them presentable again! If you want to try a soy lotion but don't want to spend a fortune, I highly recommend trying this one.

You can learn more about SoySoft at http://www.soysoft.com.

Jean-Pierre Creations hairbrushes
Several months ago I was tempted by all the hype over Mason Pearson natural boar bristle (very expensive) hair brushes. I bought one of the smaller models for a whopping $85, used it for a few weeks and wondered what all the fuss was about. I always felt like I was brushing the surface of my hair rather than all the way through to the scalp. When Jean-Pierre Creations contacted me, I was definitely ready for a new brush. They sent me their Prestige Mélange Boar Bristle & Nylon Blend Hairbrush ($46.95) and Privilège Crystalline Nylon Hairbrush ($29.95) to review.

The Prestige Mélange is very similar to Mason Pearson, with natural boar bristles and a pneumatic cushion. The quality is just as nice for a lot less money! Of the two I tried, I like the Privilège Crystalline Nylon the best. The nylon bristles are firm but flexible, making the brush great for general brushing or for styling, and it feels great on the scalp.

Check out these great brushes at http://www.jean-pierre-creations.com.

Z. Bigatti Re-Storation Skin Treatment ($150 for 2oz jar)
What we won't do for beauty... I am amazed at how much a jar of face cream can cost, and what each one claims to do. If it's exfoliation you're looking for, Re-Storation wants to do it all. Here's just a peek at some of the ingredients: avocado oil, lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, vitamins A, E, K and B complex, grape seed extract, linoleic acid, green tea extract, superoxide dimutase (an anti-oxidant protein enzyme), shea butter. I hoped for miracles - who wouldn't at $150 a jar? - but my results have been a bit more down to earth. In the 4-5 weeks that I've been using the cream, my skin does have more of a glow, it's more supple, and some of the red spots lingering from old acne breakouts have faded a bit, but it's not as dramatic as I had hoped. It feels nice on my dry skin (oily skin might find it too emollient) and is surprisingly gentle considering how many exfoliants are in it. I do plan to give it 4 more weeks and evaluate my skin again, but I think I also have to accept that this is a cosmetic, not a prescription. I have enjoyed experimenting with something so expensive, but I have a hard time recommending it. I just don't think you're getting $150 worth of results.

You can find Z. Bigatti products at ibeauty.comicon.



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