Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ulta Hair Care Mini Haul - Show Your Style Kit & StriVectin Hair Color Care Starter Trio

I love value sets; there's something about getting small sizes of a lot of different products for a discounted price that really appeals to me (as I'm sure it appeals to many other people, too). I particularly love sets that include a variety of brands, which is why my favorite value sets come from Sephora. While I have become more flexible with where I purchase my mid/high end makeup from (I used to almost exclusively shop at Sephora, but now I shop at both Sephora and Ulta), I still look to Sephora for value sets, since Ulta rarely, if ever, offers any that are a mixture of brands.
So whenever they do show up, I try to buy at least one! Recently, during a Gorgeous Hair Event, Ulta released three sets of salon-brand hair care minis for $9.99 each. While Sephora has a good selection of products from a lot of high-end brands, Ulta carries more mid/salon-only brands and has a larger amount of products available (especially in-store). These sets range in value from about $40-$50; this specific kit has a listed value of $40.
While the two other kits, called Pump Up The Volume and Revitalize Your Hair, have more products and higher retail values than this one, I will get a lot more use out of the products in this kit, Show Your Style. I was particularly interested in two products: the Color Wow One Minute Transformation Styling Cream and the DevaCurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler since I already know I like both of them, and I've always been curious to try the Crack Original Styling Creme.
One risk you run with these types of kits is that you get really teeny sample sizes that you only get one or two uses out of. The products in this kit are definitely travel-sized, not deluxe sample-sized, and, at $2 a product (five for $10), worth the money.
 There are two products in this kit that I'm a little iffy on, the first of which is the Matric Biolage Waterless Clean & Recharge Dry Shampoo. I don't really need another dry shampoo, especially one that's for oil control since my hair is dry, curly, and prone to frizz.
This is a newish product from Matrix and comes two varieties: this one, and a Clean & Full version for volume. I'm probably going to pass this on without trying it since I don't think it's a product that will work well with my type of hair (not that it's bad or anything, just not for me).
When I first heard about the DevaCurl line, I was pretty biased against it; I was, and still am, a big fan of the Ouidad line. I also thought the lime green packaging was kind After trying their products, however, I've come to appreciate the line almost as much as I do my dear Ouidad, and will use a lot of the products interchangeably (though there are some that can never be replaced, like the Balancing Rinse Essential Daily Conditioner from Ouidad).
I will say, though, that I definitely prefer the styling products from DevaCurl over the cleaning products. I believe this is a newer product, released along with the Decadence cleanser and conditioner, and is intended to be more hydrating than their other styling products. I like that, even though this a much more hydrating product, DevaCurl provides instructions on how to use it on all varieties of curls, from fine to coarse, and loose to kinky.
 The other product I probably won't get much use out of in this kit is the Rusk Elixir Mist. This is a heat protection product that also provides shine and frizz control. Apparently, it also has an eco-friendly 'air delivery system', which is pretty neat.
This product is highly rated on Ulta (it's rated a 5/5 out of four reviews, which is pretty impressive), but since I don't often use heat tools on my hair, I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it. I actually have another sample of this product in the same size, so I might give that one away and keep this one just in case.
 I've known about this brand for a long time, but have never given it a try; this is the Crack Original Styling Creme. The name is pretty amusing, since apparently this is a 'habit forming hair fix'. I always thought Crack Styling Creme was more of a gel-like product, but it's actually a leave-in and styling treatment.
After reading the description both on the box and on, it almost seems like this is a cream version of the It's A 10 leave-in product, which makes me even more excited to give it a try! The only usage instructions are a little goes a long way (you need to use about a pea-sized amount), so I'm curious if this works on both wet and dry hair. It hydrates, protects, de-frizzes; very intriguing and, if it works on both dry and wet hair, this might be one of my new favorite products.
 The last product in this kit is the Color Wow One Minute Transformation Styling Cream, and it's the product that initially drew me to this kit. This is a styling cream you use on dry hair to hydrate it and smooth any frizz or unruliness. I got a full size tube of it in a Mystery Beauty Box and loved it, but I never repurchased it.
I find that a little bit of this product goes a long way and I like that you don't have to use heat to activate it (though you can to held restyle your hair). Since I have so many hair samples laying around, and this product is a little pricey (the full size is $24 for 4oz, though it's on sale for $19 at Ulta right now), I never felt justified buying another full size after my first tube ran out. I'm currently using the John Frieda Secret Weapon Touch-Up Creme which I think is pretty similar and a lot less expensive, so it will be nice to be able to compare them side-by-side and see if one is on par or better than the other.
I picked up another value set during the Gorgeous Hair Event and, while it's not a multi-brand kit, it's a set of products I've been very interested in trying. This is the StriVectin Hair Color Care Starter Trio. It normally retails for $30, which is pretty pricey, but I got it on sale as a Beauty Steal for $15.
This kit includes travel sizes of the Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner and the Vibrancy Booster mask. There is also a Max Volume trio and an Ultimate Restore trio; I wanted to try the Ultimate Restore trio since my hair needs hydration and strength more than color care (my hair is chemically processed, but there's no color in it; it's just platinum blonde) but it has argan oil in it, so I went with the Color Care Trio.
When StriVectin first announced they were going to make a hair care line, I was pretty skeptical. While I like innovation and trying new things, I also think companies should stick with what they do best and StriVectin is a skin care brand, not a hair care brand. After actually thinking about it, I'm a lot more open to a skin care brand making hair care since A. your hair is around your face and constantly touching it, so it makes sense to use the same quality of products on it and B. other skin care brands, like Peter Thomas Roth, also make hair care products.

After using these products, I'm pretty impressed! I'm very picky about hair cleansing/conditioning products; most shampoos tend to make my hair feel worse after using them, but this shampoo made my hair feel clean, but not dry or damaged. A lot of conditioners will either not provide enough hydration or they will be too heavy and make my hair look piecey and greasy, but this conditioner is well-balanced and leaves my hair soft and manageable, but still light and natural. My husband even gave these a try (I brought them along on a trip) and he really liked them, too! These are pretty expensive at $23-$25 per full size bottle, but I think the quality is comparable to similarly priced brands, such as Pureology, so I don't feel like they are overpriced.

Overall, if you're interested in trying two or three of the products in the Show Your Style kit, I'd recommend getting it. A lot of travel sizes from salon brands retail for $5-$10 each, so at $10 for five, you're getting an excellent deal. Be sure to check out the other two kits as well, since they're an equally good value (I didn't purchase them because the products didn't interest me). As for the StriVectin Hair products, I'd definitely suggest purchasing one of the starter trios before investing in the full size products, but I was impressed with the Color Care products I tried and may consider purchasing the full sizes once I run out of my AG liters!

Thanks for reading! <3

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