American Salon Staff
1. LOVELY LIGHTING
The delightful Claire candles from Fringe Studio come in a variety of scents and designs with a hanging crystal bead. Shown here: the lavender-and-amber scented Claire Brocade candle. 310/915-6430
2. GOOD STUFF
With shea and cocoa butters, as well as almond, apricot and wheatgerm oils, Pyor lotions from Klabin Design have everything you need but nothing you don't, like parabens and petroleum-derived moisturizers. klabindesign.com
3. EXOTIC CLEANSER
The little-known fruit Mangosteen, loaded with antioxidants, is the star ingredient of a new collection from Aromafloria, which includes Mangosteen Foaming Body Wash with shea butter. The paraben-free, coconut-derived cleanser leaves skin soft and healthy. aromafloria.com
4. SCENT OF SUMMER
Malibu Lemon Blossom, the new fragrance from Pacifica, is an olfactory ode to the sun, surf and flora of Southern California's beaches, where the company's co-founder and perfumer lives and surfs daily. pacificacandles.com
5. LAVENDER LATHER
Daybreak Lavender Farm Lavender Petals shea butter soap contains "petals" of pure castile, 100-percent extra-virgin olive oil. The fresh scent comes from a blend of high-altitude and Hungarian lavender essential oils. daybreaklavenderfarm.com
The luxurious triple-milled Pur-Essence Bar Soaps from Earthworks come wrapped in eco-friendly paper made of mulberry and bamboo pulp. Scents include Pistachio, Grapefruit and Limone. earthworksproducts.com
7. RELAXING SOAK
ACCA KAPPA has captured the intoxicating scent of calycanthus blossoms in these bath salts, which invigorate the body, creating a sense of well-being after a busy day. accakappa.com
8. MANGO MADNESS
Shea Terra Organics Miomba Mango Shea Butter Dead Sea Salt Scrub is fortified with soapwort, yucca and mango extract to soften the skin. sheaterraorganics.com
BIGGER IS BETTER
From the experts at New York City's trendy Blow Dry Bar, Blow Up is a sulfate-free, extra-gentle shampoo that adds volume without buildup or added weight, and without stripping hair of moisture. Tested by the styling experts at Blow Dry Bar, the product comes in packaging that reflects Blow's feminine, flirty brand. blowstylingsalon.com
For all women who constantly battle misbehavin' hair, Redken Real Control Intense Renewal instantly detangles and drastically improves combability to help prevent breakage. It also delivers ultimate discipline and total texture transformation to even the most out-of-control, unmanageable manes. redken.com
An esthetician favorite, the Green Papaya Nutrient Mask from Astara Bio Genic Skincare is a nourishing, aromatherapeutic treatment for all skin types. Its heady, antioxidant-rich blend of exotic fruit and tree and herb extracts resurfaces, soothes and hydrates the skin, leaving it glowing. astaraskincare.com
Dry and delicate hair is no match for J.F. Lazartigue Soya Milk Strengthening Shampoo. The extremely gentle, nourishing shampoo contains concentrated ingredients, such as soy milk and soybean oil, which prevent brittleness without weighing hair down. Hair will have more radiance, shine and life. jflazartigue.com
The Bumble and bumble Creme de Coco Masque uses a new coconut- and vegetable-derived base with shea, mango and murumuru butters; coconut and avocado oils; and botanical extracts of olive leaf, nettle, horsetail and mallow to create a luxurious, softening moisturizer. bumbleandbumble.com
Cellophanes, Sebastian Professional's salon-exclusive, semipermanent haircolor and conditioning service, now boasts a thicker, protein-enriched formula. It deposits nonoxidative pure dye pigments on the hair shaft for color enhancement without a chemical reaction. sebastian-intl.com
These innovative flat irons and curling irons feature new technology that makes your job easier.
Not since the crimping iron became a full-blown fad in the '70s have we seen consumers show as much interest in styling tools. Still, the proliferation of flat irons and curling irons on the market today features vastly improved technology. Topping the list is ceramic plate technology, which heats and quickly penetrates the center of the hair shaft. Hot Tools Professional's new ceramic and titanium curling iron uses this technology and far infrared heat to create full-bodied curls. The Fat Curl Stick from TIGI Hardcore Professional has unique tapered ceramic-coated barrels, along with 25 adjustable heat settings up to 425 degrees. The FHI Heat Ceramic Tourmaline curling iron also features patented Nano-Fuzeion technology, which removes bacteria, toxins and static and produces superior conditioning and shine.
Flat irons also use ceramic technology for improved results. InfraShine's innovative AeroPlus Styling Iron seals in natural moisture by shooting a stream of air directly onto hair as it passes through its ceramic plates. The Elevate Digital Nano-Ceramic Clamp flat iron from Andis also has a digital readout for easy temperature control for any of the eight heat settings.
Several companies, including J Beverly Hills, have infused their irons with tourmaline, a crystal silicate mineral, which utilizes negative ions and far infrared heat for sleek and healthy results. Belson uses this technology in the Gold N Hot tourmaline-infused curling iron, which also has a temperature regulator with five settings ranging from 200 to 450 degrees.
The GemStone Tourmaline flat iron from Fusion Tools employs a Korean-designed ceramic heating system that allows for one-pass straightening. The proprietary-blend surfaces preserve hydration, while the flexible plates ensure full contact with hair. The Cricket Company's new Friction Free flat iron uses tourmaline plate technology to curtail thermal friction caused by everyday styling. Additionally, the new AbstraX designer series of flat irons by Wigo features tourmaline and nano-ceramic technology and comes in three different designs: Red Leopard, Kanji/Beauty and GeometriX.
To really save time, invest in a flat iron that can straighten wet hair. The Farouk Systems Wet to Dry Ceramic Hairstyling Iron uses CHI 44 ceramic technology to allow wet hair to be straightened without adverse effects, while the iTech Wet & Dry Tourmaline Iron can also straighten wet hair without thermal damage. TurboPower's innovative Forma Wet or Dry Ceramic and Tourmaline Flat Iron is made with Biostone, a unique surfacing technology with antibacterial, antifungus and deodorizing qualities.
Some of the latest tools completely defy categorization. From Ergo comes the Velecta Ondul'Hair styling iron, which has two parallel ceramic-heated aluminum barrels to wrap hair around for a variety of results, including ribbon curls or even modern finger waves. Paul Mitchell's new Express Ion Style 1.0 can make hair straight, wavy or curly in a fraction of the time. And for people really in a hurry, the HAIelite Nano XT 8-ounce styling iron has the ability to heat up to 390 degrees in less than a second.
With so many innovative curling and flat irons to choose from, isn't it time you thought about an upgrade? —RACHEL AGUIAR