Review: HASK Curl Care Collection

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It should come as no surprise to anyone when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. Naturally thick and curly- unlike anyone else’s in my immediate family (most who have generally pin straight hair)– I have always appreciated and even enjoyed how my curls made me stand out from everyone else. It’s been my trademark of sorts- the way some other women might claim a shade of lipstick or a fashion accessory as their own. My hair has always been my “thing”- something that made me a bit unique- even when I began experimenting with different colored dyes and highlights in my teens through present day.  The curls have always remained in tact to set me apart.

Styling my hair, however? That’s a whole other story. I can remember being a little kid and my scalp being in a perpetual state of agony every morning before school while my poor mother worked tirelessly to get a hairbrush through my curls without ripping them right out of my head (spoiler alert: it never worked out too well) and trying to fight that dreaded “crunchy” look with so many different creams/gels/sprays has always been- and will forever be- one of the most frustrating things for those with curly hair like mine.

Although my styling method has since become less time-consuming and a bit easier with updated, lightweight products and accessories (hello, Wet Brush!)– humid days are still a cause of dread for me and finding hair care formulas that don’t completely dry my curls out can be challenging when so many brands use color-stripping chemicals and otherwise harmful ingredients.

So I was very grateful and excited when HASK recently sent me a package containing full-sized bottles of their coconut milk-infused Curl Care Collection to try out for myself. With shampoo, conditioner and a deep conditioning mask- I couldn’t wait to get started!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo:

From HASK’s website:

“Calling all curls! Add shape and bounce with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo. Enriched with hydrating coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, each wash removes build-up without stressing or stripping curls of their natural oils. Our Memory Curl Complex helps curls bounce back with frizz-proof definition and nonstop shine whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Hello colossal curls!”

I just want to start my review off by saying that each of these products smelled absolutely amazing- like toasted coconut and the tropics. If these aren’t the perfect Summertime shower essentials to whisk you away to an exotic beach somewhere- I don’t know what is.

But I digress! This shampoo lathered up really nicely and a little went a long way- cleansing my hair from root to tip with only a nickel-sized amount in my palm. At first, I was a little concerned that my hair felt a bit slick after I first rinsed the product out, since coconut oil can be on the greasier side depending on how much you use- but after a few more minutes under the running water and the “oily” feeling went away- leaving really soft and tangle-free strands behind, instead. I actually think this shampoo is so moisturizing that it doesn’t even need to be followed up with the conditioner! That’s the only time I’ve ever been able to say that about a shampoo- considering most of them can be on the drying side and a conditioner is almost always needed to replenish basic hydration- but this one did the trick all on it’s own!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“What’s the ultimate style guide for curly hair? HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner! Blended with moisture-rich coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, this formula locks in moisture and luster to help bring dehydrated curls back to life. Our frizz-proof Memory Curl Complex helps every curl bounce back to its unique curl pattern, whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Go ahead, celebrate your curls!”

Even though the shampoo was, in my opinion, moisturizing enough- I still followed it up with this conditioner in an attempt to keep my frizz at bay. Much like the shampoo, a small amount of this product went a long way. I was able to coat my curls from my scalp down to the ends with just a couple of pumps before letting it sink in and work it’s magic for a few minutes. Once I combed it through and rinsed it out- my hair felt even softer and smoother- which I didn’t even think was possible!

When I got out of the shower and started drying my hair, I noticed that my usual amount of frizz was pretty much non-existent. My curls were more defined and looked considerably shinier. Even after I’d styled my hair and headed off to work for the day- there was no poofy-ness or unexpected 80’s hair metal band vibes popping up by the afternoon. Needless to say- I was thrilled!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“Keep your curls looking their best with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner. This deep conditioning treatment quenches thirsty curls on contact for control and definition. Complete with our Memory Curl Complex to help block out frizz, seal split ends and keep unruly curls in line with extra bounce and shine.”

This packet of creamy conditioner is meant to be used as more of a deep repair mask instead of a daily treatment- so I used the product sparingly- applying it twice a week and leaving it in my dampened hair for about ten minutes before combing it through my curls and rinsing it out. While the shampoo and the regular conditioner I’d received from HASK had been working wonders for my hair all on their own- I did notice a significant difference in my ends each time I used this mask- and I strongly recommend it to anyone who may have ongoing issues with split ends. This product fixed them right up for me- and I have color-treated hair that requires a pretty good amount of TLC to maintain- so I was really impressed with this one!

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Overall, I was absolutely blown away by the results I achieved with HASK’s Curl Care Collection in such a short amount of time. My hair is soft, smooth, shiny- and most importantly-manageable! Not only does the entire collection work really, really well- but HASK’s products are also fair and affordable- and there’s a little something for everyone and their individual hair care concerns: color-treated care, thickening solutions, strength-building, damage detox, etc.

I cannot say enough good things about this brand and I urge everyone to give them a try if you’re feeling unsatisfied or underwhelmed with any of the pricier products you might be using right now. I know I’ll be making the switch!

Thank you again to HASK for such a lovely package and for giving me the opportunity to talk about their brand and my results. It was a pleasure!

**I was not paid for this post and all opinions and content contained within are strictly my own. I am not nor have I ever been employed by HASK Beauty. This partnership was made possible by BrandBacker.**

xx

August Hits List!

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Narrowing down my favorites for the month of August proved to be a somewhat daunting task. With Autumn right around the corner, these last few weeks have been spent frantically trying to hold onto the final days of Summer and savoring the last bit of everything that came with these hot, hazy afternoons and evenings before they transition into some much needed cooler, crisper weather.

August saw me clearing out and using up the last of my Summertime skincare, hair care and makeup in order to make room for my more Fall-appropriate beauty finds- and my wardrobe and accessories have slowly but surely begun evolving from bright florals and tropical tones to more subtle neutrals and rich jewel hues. I’m packing up my maxi dresses, poolside sarongs and beach-friendly sandals and unloading my cozy cardigans, lightweight tights and ankle boots.

Autumn is by far my favorite season- without a doubt- but I’m not quite ready to let go of Summer just yet (Reason #5,342 why I belong on the West Coast!)

I digress. Apart from lots of products loaded with SPF and/or Aloe Vera- here are a few of my miscellaneous favorites from August 2016!

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When I initially dipped back into being a brunette last month, I knew my hair care routine would have to change. I’d have to stop using my shampoos and conditioners designed specifically for red hair (including a couple that actually deposit some color with each wash) in order to keep my chocolate shade from changing or fading out right away. I also didn’t want to break the bank by continuing to purchase pricier products, either- which was part of the reason I went back to my natural color to begin with. I wanted to save some of my money that was otherwise going towards expensive dye/highlight appointments every few weeks (red is the hardest color to maintain, after all!)

I stumbled on the new “Whole Blends” line from GARNIER purely by accident while I was looking for a shampoo that didn’t have red or orange tint to it. My curiosity was piqued by the natural ingredients for each formula (there’s six “Whole Blends” collections to choose from depending on your needs/concerns) and the price had me sold then and there. Lately I’ve been loving the hydrating Coconut Water & Vanilla Milk shampoo, which I only use a couple times a week- and which makes my hair feel clean and soft- not dried out or brittle.

All of the “Whole Blends” masks are great, too- although I think my favorite right now is the “Honey Treasures” one. It deeply conditions and de-tangles my curls and leaves my hair looking and feeling healthy and strong- and it smells awesome.

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During the recent heat wave we had here in Massachusetts- it felt like no amount of fans or air conditioning helped- and I found myself resorting to laying in my bathtub in semi-chilly water as a last ditch effort to cool off and try to relax. I could have used bath bombs to make the experience a bit more pampering- but they tend to work better in hotter water and the idea of even a lukewarm bath nearly had me in tears.

Instead, I turned to bath salts- and specifically the ones from the San Francisco Salt Company– to help me unwind and keep heat stroke away. While I am able to order different types of salts at SFSC’s website, there’s actually a location not far from me where I can choose and package my own depending on the type of fragrance I want. The blue and gold mix pictured above is a blend of ocean-inspired scents and a hint of mimosa- the perfect combination for a Summer send-off, if you ask me. The salts soften my skin and make my entire bathroom smell heavenly.

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I’d like to think I’m pretty open-minded about nearly anything and everything- even things I don’t fully or completely understand or practice- like witchcraft, spells and/or stones. I find those things fascinating nonetheless, and during my recent trip to Mystic, Connecticut- I ended up strolling into the Mystical Elements store in Mystic Village to take a look around. These spell jar candles from Artemisia Botanicals caught my attention almost immediately- not only because of how potent (but nice!) they smelled- but because I thought they’d make cute gifts, too. There’s different candles for a variety of purposes: good health, love, protection, and strength- but I thought this money one was a nice fit considering my desire to move out West.

While I haven’t gotten around to following the instructions on this candle to see if it works and if a fortune comes my way in the near future just yet- it smells nice enough where even if it doesn’t work- at least my home will have a pretty fragrance lingering throughout it for a while.

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I’ve owned the same grey, faux-leather wallet for approximately 6/7 years now- and even when it only recently began falling apart at the seams (literally)– I refused to replace it. It wasn’t until it broke completely, beyond repair and quite embarrassing and disgusting looking- when I traded it in for this new smaller, brighter and more compact wallet from Spartina 449.

The size of this wallet caused me to do a long overdue clean-out of old cards and passes I no longer had use for as I moved all of my stuff over to it- but it still comfortably fits my necessities. Best of all? I love the pattern on this wallet and the pineapple emblem on it’s magnetic clasp. Even though Fall is on it’s way, this will still give me a little bit of Summer every time I reach into my purse.

And with all the photograph-able favorites well, photographed- let’s move onto the other things I loved in August!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “Fear The Walking Dead” – As much of a fan of the original ‘The Walking Dead’ as I am, it took me a little while to get into this slow-paced spin-off when it first premiered last year. Since then, it’s definitely picked up speed on the action and suspense- and the characters have become more developed and interesting to watch. The second half of season two recently premiered (after a pretty disappointing mid-season finale)– and it’s already showing a bit more promise. I hope it keeps up!
  • ‘Catfish’ – This show might be my guiltiest of guilty pleasures. I’ve been low-key obsessing over this series for five seasons now- each one getting more and more insane and over-the-top- but I can’t stop. I love me some trashy (probably scripted) reality TV. Nev and Max and their bromance for the ages are so entertaining to watch- and the twists always leave me laughing and furiously taking to social media to discuss. The second half of the season premiered this past month and it’s been AWESOME.

– TECH/APPS/GAMES –

  • Snapchat – The last thing I need is an app that gives random guys the capability to send me unsolicited dick pics (even if it’s just for a few seconds at a time) but Sean got me to finally cave and now I’m addicted to Snapchat just like the rest of the world. I have way too much fun fooling around with the filters and messenger.

Have it? Add me! My username is LegallyAshley!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • Starbucks’ Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato – While I am absolutely ready to dive right into some salted caramel mocha (and maybe even some pumpkin spice even though I don’t particularly like the taste)– I’m going to miss this Summertime drink I’ve been chugging nearly every day since it made it’s debut at Starbucks. It’s sweet, creamy and refreshing- and it gives me just enough of a caffeine kick to keep me going without giving me the jitters. I have a feeling I’m going to need to find a recipe to make these at home when Starbucks inevitably removes them from the menu.

And I think that’s it for my August favorites! I’m ready to recap the month of August overall with my upcoming ‘In A Nutshell’ post and prepare to welcome September, Autumn- and a cross-country vacation!

Feel free to share your August favorites!

xx

Unmasking My Winter Hair Care!

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Last July, I had shared four affordable hair care products that I relied on to get me through New England’s hotter, more humid months. Since I have the two “C’s” of hair types- curly and color-treated- the products had to be both safe to use with my red highlights and hydrating enough to penetrate my curls to tame frizz and keep them moisturized- even in the most stifling of heat waves.

Now that we’re in the middle of one of the snowiest, coldest winters in recent memory- I have to do a little bit more than rely solely on Moroccan and Argan oil-infused conditioners and leave-in sprays. This time of year, I turn to masks to keep my hair healthy, shiny, and manageable through snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures- which can do a number on my curls between hiding my scalp under hats and going in and out of the cold and the heat in my place/office/car/etc.

Of course, great hair masks don’t need to cost a small fortune, and while many D.I.Y. beauty buffs swear on making their own from common household ingredients (the classic mayonnaise and egg mask, for example,) I opt for mess-free- and nicer smelling- products that give me just as good results.

Here are four masks I’ve been loving so far this winter, ranked by how much time it takes to use them!

The Quick Fix/In A Rush Masks:

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Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion “Deep Conditioning Shine Mask”

This is actually the mask I use most often, typically every 2-3 days in the early mornings while I’m getting ready for work during the week. When I first initially purchased a tube of this sweet-smelling and lightweight mask, it was because my local pharmacy was out of stock of my daily conditioner (also from Suave) and I just wanted something to help keep my hair soft and strong until they replenished. I ended up really loving the results I achieved- my hair was noticeably shinier and easy to comb through and style after I’d rinsed it out- and you can’t beat how easy it is to use. You simply wash your hair, apply the mask, and leave it in for 5 minutes before rinsing (I usually opt to leave it in for 10 minutes if I’m not in a hurry, and go about my normal showering routine while I wait for it to set.)

Best of all is the price. I’m all for the occasional shopping spree or splurge (you have to treat yourself once in a while, after all,) but maintaining healthy hair and skin shouldn’t have to deplete your bank account- and when you have as much hair on your head as I do, and tend to go through products more often because of it- that can happen on an alarmingly regular basis. This Suave mask is mess-free, gives me great results, and is fairly and more than reasonably priced.

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OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco “Intense Moisturizing Treatment”

For a few dollars more, I also occasionally pick up tubs of this Argan oil- packed mask from OGX that can be applied and combed through wet or damp hair, left on for 5-10 minutes (and covered with a shower cap for enhanced results,) and then rinsed out in the shower. I use this particular mask once or twice a week- depending on how my hair looks and feels- and usually concentrate on applying it to the ends of my hair to prevent split-ends and breakage.

Like the Suave mask, this product smells lovely and leaves my hair soft and manageable in no time at all. It’s also fairly priced and can be conveniently found in most markets and drug stores/pharmacies.

The Color-Reviving Mask:

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Biolage by Matrix “Color Bloom Mask”

I’ve recently started using Biolage’s ColorLast Shampoo a couple times a week, and I’m loving it so far. The formula is really gentle, so it doesn’t fade or strip my reds or dry out my hair- but it still leaves my curls feeling squeaky clean (not greasy.) I decided to pair that product with this mask, usually saving it for when I’m about due for a salon visit or when I feel like my color is starting to look a little dull. I apply this product all over my hair while it’s damp, and tuck it under a shower cap for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing it out. Once dry, my hair is soft and my reds look brighter and more revitalized.

Price wise, this mask sells for about $22+, which isn’t horrible at all- but does distinguish it as the most expensive one out of the four I’m using on a regular basis. For that reason, I only break this product out once or twice a month as needed.

The Multi-Task Mask:

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Kelapo Individually Wrapped Coconut Oil Packets

Coconut oil makes another appearance on my hair care list, this time in the form of individual packets for easier application. I save this type of mask for 1-2 times per month, and usually for those days where my hair is in desperate need of some TLC (after coloring, or post-flat-ironing, for example,) and when I have plenty of time to just leave it on to sink into my hair for a couple of hours before I rinse it out.

I like to warm up one of these packets, tear it open, and apply it to my hair from roots to ends while it’s damp before I wrap my hair in plastic wrap and hold it in place with a warm, fuzzy shower cap. From there, I can do various tasks/chores around my home: laundry, cleaning, catching up on e-mails (or Netflix,) etc. for a few hours- and then hop in the shower and rinse away. My hair is left revived, soft, shiny, and most importantly- healthy.

And there you have it- my four essential hair masks for winter. It’s actually snowing again right now, so I think I’m going to go get the shovel ready and figure out which one of these products I’ll be reaching for when I get back inside.

If you have any must-have winter hair care/beauty products you love and want to share- leave a comment! I’d love to read about them!

xx