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Wednesday F4A: I am your guinea pig: Agadir Argan Oil Line (and a note about Family Graces)

(I apologize if those of you who subscribe by email receive this twice! I accidentally hit “publish” last night instead of “draft” – lawd!)

I am in love with Agadir Argan Oil line of products. On two earlier “product review” posts, I happily talked up Agadir shampoo and conditioner, and the Agadir Argan oil.

While strolling about CVS in Waynesville–okay, I don’t get out much y’allses — huhn, so CVS is close by and it has stuff in it and I can gawk and meander and look and sometimes buy something. Even though GMR has accused me of going all “girly-fied” lately. Huhn. What-EVER.

Annnyyyywaaaaay, I happened upon this lovely wonderful sight: Agadir styling mousse . . . be still my beating hair follicles! I grabbed it and with no shame whatsoever paid the full price for it instead of going through Amazon (where I see it is cheaper – if you receive free shipping) as I did with the shampoo and conditioner. But I wanted it Then. I felt completely spoiled–though may I just say and of course I may, that I have come to adore Agadir products and they are worth every penny (Dear Agadir, please do not raise your prices–do not toy with me!). Not only do they make my hair feel wonderful, but the scent is exotic and clean and soothing to my pea-headed brain.

What they sayMoisturizes, conditions, smoothes, humidity resistant. No build up and gives super shine to dry, damaged, stressed hair. Protects hair against chemicals and hot tools. Great aroma that will waken your senses! Paraben free. 24 hour, lasting shine. Enriched with antioxidants and Vitamin E. With protective sunscreen. Sulfate free. Anti color fade for long, lasting hair color. Great body, volume & shine. Hydrates, smoothes, detangles, controls frizz.

What I love about it: Every.Little.Thang!

What I do not like about it: There’s nothing so far that I can say negative. If I had one teeny thing, even though I said it’s worth every penny and it is; well, folkses, it is a bit more than some of the other “over the counter” brands and more in line with “Beauty salon” items. But again, worth the money in how it makes my hair look, feel, smell. Whoopeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

You will only need a bit of the mousse – so be careful. I splorked a big-arse glob of it onto my hand, accidentally. It’s thick and creamy-rich–feels like a cream instead of a mousse. I put it all in my  hair because I didn’t want to waste it, but it was a bit much, so I’ll be careful next time. The scent is the same as with the other products, and I had a whiff of it all day as I went about my business.

I have baby fine hair, but this product, even though it has the word “oil” in it, does not weigh down my hair.

I can’t say enough good things about this product.

Now, while I am here, might as well tell you that FAMILY GRACES is on Amazon Kindle; it’s there in trade paperback, too, but since the release date isn’t quite “official” yet, there’re still doing their thang and all (the trade paperback is at BelleBooks/Bell Bridge books now and they always enjoy readers contacting them, of course!) It should be out in all the usual places soon. I guess they are trying something different by slipping in the kindle book first–I do not know!

I’m excited and terrified that it’s finally out *pant pant pant!* – My goal (and I have no control over it, so I guess it’s more of a hope than a goal *laugh*) is for it to reach the top 100 of Kindle – or as Tender Graces did, the No 1 spot on the Kindle paid bestseller’s list—yes, TG was No 1 over The Help for a little bit–lawdy! Ohhhhh doggies, wouldn’t that be excitervating? :-D

So, at last–  my Virginia Kate Sagas, the Grace’s Trilogy, is at last complete. What a journey. It feel so bittersweet. I spoke of this hope and love for the characters and writing here when this blog was MSN spaces, so some of you may remember those days *smiling*

I’ve loved this character dearly. I’ve loved writing about her and all the others. She has been such a part of my life — I think I just may cry. And here they are–the three books that I have spent so much time with. The entire trilogy. Lawd. *sniffle* I’ll miss you Virginia Kate . . . Micah, Andy, Bobby, Rebekha, Katie Ivene, Frederick, Mee Maw, Miss Darla, Amy and “Mr. Husband” Campinelle, Jade, Soot and Marco–and all the rest.

Wednesday Free-for-all: I am your guinea pig – Beauty/Food Products

All right, y’all. I’m back with products I have tried, as your guinea pig. Again, I am not “advertising” these products, and of course I do not receive any compensation. Shoot, they don’t even know lil ole pea-headed me exists. Just thought I’d let you all in on products, or food, I’ve tried and give you a “head’s up.”

On my last post about “products,” I told you about Agadir Argan Oil, for which I put in my hair both wet and then dry- with really great results: shine and smoothness for my baby-fine hair. So, I wanted to try the Agadir Shampoo and Conditioner.

At CVS in Waynesville, the Agadir Shampoo and Conditioner was a little pricey, so I went through Amazon and bought it for less, though free shipping was not available, so I didn’t save as much as I could have, still . . . .

As I shampoo, the scent is almost as if I’ve burned some exotic incense – not unpleasant, but different. The conditioner has a softer scent.  It’s great for color-treated, or high-lighted hair, or hair that’s a bit “fly-away.”

What they say:

Shampoo: Agadir Argan Oil Daily Moisturizing Shampoo is sulfate and paraben free and very gentle on color treated hair. This color preserving formula will keep your hair looking great, even after several shampoos. Hair will feel moisturized, smooth and conditioned with a great aroma that will awaken your senses!

Conditioner: Agadir Argan Oil Daily Moisturizing Conditioner is sulfate and paraben free with anti color fade for long, lasting hair color. It detangles, smoothes, shines and corrects dry, frizzy hair. Protects against heat and chemical damage. The featherweight formula with protective sunscreen helps repair and strengthen damaged hair.

What I loved: soft, shiny, smoothed hair. My baby-fine hair was quite shiny and smooth and I really am pleased with it. As well, the “exotic” scent stayed soft the rest of the day.

What I didn’t like: Some may consider it pricey – if you are used to using “cheaper” shampoos, as I always did when my hair was boy-short. I liked Flex and other “cheaper” shampoos like that because I had my hair cut so often, it was always in great shape. However, now I have to spend a little more to keep my longer, high-lighted (at least for now), hair in great shape.

I’ve been using both for about two weeks now (alternating with another shampoo/conditioner), and so far so good. This shampoo and conditioner should last me a while, and when it’s gone, I will purchase again. And, the price wasn’t as much as some salon shampoos that I like (Aveda, for which I do love these products and will talk more later about them).

On the Dr. Oz Show, a dermatologist or some other “skin person” suggested Josie Maran Organic Argan oil for the face. The Agadir Argan oil that I spoke about in that earlier post is a “blend” of other oils, and I use it only on my hair. But Josie Maran Argan oil is supposed to be pure argan oil, and I use it on my face. I bought it from Amazon, but noticed it came from Sephora, where I could have just ordered it directly.

What they sayA lightweight oil that can be used as a daily moisturizer or treatment for skin, hair, and nails.  This 100% Pure Argan Oil is a legendary oil that’s rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin, as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. It’s gentle enough to use on all skin types and is believed to help with skin conditions including acne. Argan Oil easily absorbs into skin to give you a youthful, dewy glow, and has astonishing healing, conditioning, and antiaging properties to keep your skin and hair nourished and revitalized and to keep you looking beautiful from head to toe.

What I like about it: It has no real scent to it, which sometimes I want that for my face. And it soaks right on in. The texture feels as if it will be quite oily, but as you apply it, it quickly disappears. Left my face feeling soft. I can’t get over how much it absorbs into the skin when it is so oily! But, it does.

What I don’t like: I had to buy the smallest bottle, for it is pricey. I paid $14.00 for this tiny bottle; however, now that I see how little it takes (it has a dropper, which helps control the amount), I’m fairly certain this little bottle will last me a while, and that will make the cost less stinging. Which is another reason I only use it on my face - it could be pricey to go slathering it everywhere, lawd!

I’ve been using it only for about a week and a half, so I don’t know long-term effects, but I like how it makes my skin feel.

GMR brought home these cookies from Ingles Supermarket in Waynesville, called “WhoNu” cookies because he wanted to have a dessert snack that was “healthier.”

What they say: “WhoNu? Cookies are an excellent source of Calcium, Iron, Vitamins A, B12, C, D and E. They also have 3 grams of fiber and a total of 20 essential vitamins and minerals.

They are touting their products as “healthier” choices than regular cookie products, and perhaps they are healthier than some regular processed snack foods. These are small cookies, and three make a serving for 160 calories. GMR likes them and would buy them again. I tried them, but since they still have 14g of sugar, I won’t eat them often, and when I do, I have 2 or 3 only. The taste is in line with Oreos. GMR finds them a good alternative dessert.

What I liked about them:  I am able to eat only 2 or 3, with some fruit on the side, and am satisfied not to eat anymore. I like the idea they may have more “nutrition” that regular cookies, if what they are advertising is correct.  I’d have these once every now and then as a “dessert alternative.”

What I didn’t like: They were really sweet, but once you cut way back on sweets, things do taste so much sweeter. However, I’d rather have something a little more decadent than these cookies. They had a chocolatety taste, and a great satisfying crunch, but when you rarely eat dessert anymore, you want something more substantial. I almost felt they had an “artificial taste,” but then again, they are a processed food.

Still, for those times I really crave a sweet, 2 or 3 of these little cookies with some fruit does the trick. And, GMR likes them and will buy again.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System. This is supposed to be a “system” but after the cleanser that came with it was gone, I just used the brush with whatever cleanser I happen to have.

What they say: Is it time to rethink your daily cleansing routine? Designed by a team of dermatologists along with Olay, the Advanced Cleansing System is as effective as a system sold by skin professionals for nearly $200.* Professionally and clinically designed to cleanse 6 times better**, the Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System also sets your skin up for supersonic anti-aging moisturization.†

What I like: It does feel as if I am doing something, though I am not sure what. I guess it is exfoliating some and going into a deeper cleaner . . . maybe. It can be used in the shower, which is convenient.

What I don’t like:  I believe I can get the same exfoliating from using scrubbing grains or whatever and for less money. The Pro-X brush was $29.99 at Target in Asheville, and for that money, well . . . I am just not convinced. I’ve had it about a year now and find I still use it, but less enthusiastically as time goes by. I’d love to try the Clarisonic, but for $200.00–ouch! I can’t justify that unless someone out there can tell me it is SO worth that price (ungh). Yet, I spent $29.99 for a product I’m less than happy with. I wish it were rechargeable, though the batteries have lasted. I don’t like to worry about changing batteries–that’s not good for the environment, either. (Apparently, the Clarisonic is rechargeable, which appeals to me . . . but again, $200.000 – ungh ungh!)

I really wanted to like this, for I love Olay products. But, well, I’m just not confident about it.

For the first time ever I finally tried a milk that isn’t a milk, and it was: Silk Pure Almond Milk.

What they say: They talk about all the reasons to try it on their website, for example, lower in calories, great source of vitamin E, “calorie-friendly.

I first tried the sweetened vanilla kind (bought at Ingles Supermarket) in a little sample-sized one-serving “bottle.” I poured it over my Cheerios. Cheerios (bless them) have very little sugar and that’s why I love them – plus their nutty taste, but this isn’t about Cheerios, is it?, teeheehee. The sweetened vanilla almond milk was very sweet with 15g of sugar, and tasted good with the Cheerios, though I did have to “not think about” the idea it isn’t milk. But, it was more like a dessert, almost, kinda-sorta. Too much sugar, though, for me.

Next I bought the regular unsweeted Silk Almond from Greenlife in Asheville. I poured it over my cheerios and . . .

What I like about it: I feel as if I’m doing something good for my body, though that isn’t to say regular old milk isn’t good for our bodies! But, I love almonds and their nutritional value, and this is a great way to get that beyond the nuts. Sometimes, too, I just do not like milk, or rather it does not like me. Sometimes milk will feel as if it is sloshing around in my belly and doesn’t want to go away -ungh – I feel heavy. And, well, I have a quirk – yes, me! can you imagine ME with a quirk (shut up! don’t judge me!) . . . I cannot stand to drink milk that has been opened for more than, say, two days. If I open a new carton, I can drink it or pour it over my cereal, but if it has been opened for longer than a day or two, I feel it is “soured” even if it ain’t. Um, that’s just me! But with the almond milk, I don’t have that feeling, and will use it beyond the 1-2 days.

What I don’t like about it: it does have an “odd” flavor that I must get used to–I tell myself “it’s milk” but it isn’t. I find it works well in smoothies to kind of hide the flavor. I know I am not drinking “real milk” so there’s that weirdness I have to get over. Yes, I know, I said I don’t really like drinking milk, but milk is still my buddy in many ways – if it’s fresh – teehee.

I will buy this again, and I’m sure I will become better used to it as I acclimate myself to its taste!

Okay, that’s it, folks, for now, with the Guinea Pignessess. As always, feel free to talk about anything you like or do not like. See you Friday with Linky Love! Have a great day!

Free for All Wed: I’m your beauty product guinea pig, er, consultant, today

Morning Y’all – I’m your beauty consultant today. Oh, do I wear many hats – personal trainer, author, editor . . . wheee!

When I had boy-short hair, I never really worried about uber-conditioning it or paying much attention to what kinds of product I used, and in fact, I didn’t brush my hair for at least ten years—it was just so short, so why bother? I didn’t color it, either. Then when life became crazy, I went months without a hair cut and suddenly I’m growing out my hair. Not only that, suddenly a friend puts some highlights in it. Suddenly, I became a bit “high-maintenance” . .  . lawd!

So, I’m trying out “Product” and thought I’d share some of them with you from time-to-time (I’ll later talk about ‘face and body’ stuff, too–sorry guys if this bores the crap out of you! *Teeheehee*). I am not advertising these, and not receiving anything back from them. This is just me wading my toes into the “I have hair and it is begging for my attention” waters, and the “I am a 54 year old woman so what works for me now versus when I was younger?”

I was in my local Waynesville CVS and picked up a few things there to try, though you may be able to find these products at Amazon or somewhere else:

Christophe Beverly Hills Leave-in Hair Conditioner: Wash your hair, and towel dry, then spritz this conditioner in, and do not rinse out.

What I love about it: it was easy to pull the comb through my wet (or damp) hair, and when I blew it dry it did feel really soft without being greasy or weighted down. As well, my hair had a shine to it. And, what I really liked was the clean fresh scent. That scent lasted all day, and through the night, and this morning it is still there—not over-powering, but light. GMR buried his face in my hair and said, “Mmmmmm . . . that does smell good.” *teehehee* And it has a sun protectant!

What I don’t like: Nothing really! It’s around $10, which isn’t expensive by Salon standards, and, sometimes you do get what you pay for. And really, the product should last a while if you don’t go wild with it. I didn’t think the price out of reach or out of line because I’m worth it. And I’ve spent more on Salon products that have me going “I spent that for this teeny amount?”

This one is a keeper.

I’ll also be curious to try out the other products in this line!

Here’s the gist of the product:

3-in-1 conditions, detangles & heat protects. Cristophe Professional hair care products feature high-performance ingredients: UV protectors that protect against sun damage and color fading. Creatine to provide strength and improve elasticity. Vitamin C for shine and vibrancy. Paraben free, state-of-the-art formulations. Beautiful hair for a more beautiful you. Cristophe Professional Leave-In Conditioning Spray conditions, detangles and provides thermal protection. Special nourishing ingredients help guard against damage from heat styling and UV exposure. This salon formula is like a daily vitamin for your hair, making it soft and strong! Cristophe Salon developed & approved. Not tested on animals. Color safe. Paraben free. Cruelty free. Not animal tested. Product Attributes: softness, moisture, frizz control, sun protectant

 

Agadir Argan Oil: I’ve been hearing all this hype about Argan Oil, so I wanted to try it. I saw Agadir Argan Oil in CVS, so I bought a bottle. Went home, put a tiny, I mean tiny, drop into the palm of my hand, rubbed my hands together, and pulled my hands through the bottom half of my hair, then through the rest of my hair.

What I love about it: I noticed immediately that the fly-aways were tamed. And, there came a shine to my hair that I miss from when my hair was dark and would shine “mirror-like” when it was at its best condition. Finding a shine on high-lighted hair isn’t as easy, but this did bring forth a nice healthy shine. The scent is unusual—I haven’t decided if I really like it or if I will tire of it. I also have yet to try putting it on my wet hair and blow-drying it as is also suggested. It gave my hair a sort of “piecey” look that I liked. I’ve always had oily hair, but as I grow older, and color treat it, it is more dry–still, I best be careful with not to use too much.

What I don’t love: the jury is out on the scent, but I believe if I don’t over-do it, it’ll be fine. I loved the scent, then later I wasn’t sure—hmm, so I don’t know yet. Also, if I am not careful, it can make my hair look greasy. It’s expensive at $17-19 for a tiny bottle, however, since I am using less than a dime-sized, more like a pea-sized or smaller amount, this bottled will last me forever.

I am curious enough to try the Agadir Argan shampoo and conditioner, and the other Christophe line. We’ll see.

Here’s the gist of the product:

Agadir Argan Oil Hair Treatment, previously known as Moroccan Gold is the hottest new product in professional haircare. Agadir Argan Oil has a 100% pure and natural formula made out of one of the rarest oils in the world, coming from Morocco. The products within the Agadir Argan Oil Line are great for your hair and will leave it feeling soft and silky with a brilliant shine. Agadir Argan Oil has a dry, non-greasy formula that absorbs instantly into your hair leaving your hair nourished, moisturized and strengthened. The Agadir Argan Oil products are great for split ends, preventing breakage, providing you with long lasting color and is extremely beneficial for dry itchy scalp. This highly nutritious oil contains Vitamin E, Omega-9, Omega-6, Linoleic Acid and unsaturated

Got2b dry shampoo: I was watching Dr. Oz  and the beauty specialist said we shouldn’t wash our hair every day, especially if color-treated. I’ve always washed my hair every day. But, I was willing to give dry shampoo a try. Since I was in CVS and picking up this and that to test out, I picked up Got2b dry shampoo—it had a Rock N Roll look to it, a sort of “young hip” thang going, but dang, I was once cool, you know? (Hey, I am still cool–once cool always cool, right? *haw*) Besides, it was the only dry shampoo I found.

What I liked about it: It made my hair fluffy and thicker. It was only around $5 of $6.

What I didn’t like: I didn’t like the scent at all—my hair smelled cheap, like those old hairsprays I used to use long ago when I used to use hairspray and that would just smell “not right.” Also, my hair/scalp didn’t feel clean and it bugged me all day to where I couldn’t wait to wash my hair. It also dried out my hair/scalp too much. And, to boot, it’s an aerosol and I don’t like aerosols—I had to hold my breath while spraying it.

Not for me and I’ll be returning this product. Will I try another dry shampoo? Maybe, I don’t know. I’ve washed my hair every day for as long as I remember, so . . . works for me to keep doing what I’m doing. But, if I found a dry shampoo product I liked, I may keep it for emergencies.

Here’s the gist of the product: got2b rockin’ it 4: long lasting style: skip a day, refresh, invisible  4EverStyleStay Encore Fresh Dry Shampoo.

I’ll be back another day with the verdict on the Agadir Shampoo/Conditioner. And I have some other things to share, later.

What about you? Any “Product” you’ve tried and loved, or not?

 

UPDATE & PS! – I forgot to mention I have baby fine hair that the highlighting has somewhat roughed up but not much, so the idea of an oil was daunting – however! – after my workout today, I washed and lightly conditioned my hair and while it was damp I ran a little bit of the Agadir Argan oil through my hair. Omg! It’s shiny and smooth and pretty. And I barely notice the scent, which is softer today. I’m sold . . . can’t wait to try the shampoo and conditioner!

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