Monday, October 20, 2014

eSalon Custom At-Home Hair Color Review | My Visit to their Headquarters in Culver City

Exterior view of eSalon Headquarters in Culver City
Services and products provided courtesy of eSalon (Unaffiliated Links)

If you are among the many people who color your hair at home-- then perhaps it's time to consider a superior custom-made product as an alternative to the familiar drugstore brands. In fact, eSalon products boast such extraordinary quality that it's worth coloring your own hair rather than going to a salon and spending a fortune. I imagine that eSalon is causing a great many salons and colorists sleepless nights because their excellent products provide salon quality results at home, and so affordably.

I tend to color my hair at the end of each summer because my naturally dark brown hair becomes much lighter and far more red from all of the sun exposure here in Los Angeles. I almost always color my hair myself, and eSalon hair color is unquestionably superior to anything that I have ever purchased at the drugstore.
For a mere $20.00 eSalon will create a highly personalized hair color that is custom blended just for you.* To get started, you simply click here and answer a detailed survey. You are first asked to identify your natural hair color (shown above), then what percentage of gray hair you have, and then they ask you to get very specific about the type of color and chemical treatments that you use on your hair.

They continue with a whole series of questions in order to determine your skin tone, eye color and current hair color in order to make your custom blend well suited to your complexion. They leave no details to chance, and even ask questions about how well your hair takes color, and how often you would like to color your hair. They also ask about the length of your hair, and your hair type (i.e. curly, straight or wavy). Then they ask you to select your desired hair color, and then finally they ask whether you want a Permanent or Demi-Permanent hair color. You then are able to review the choices that you made, and either edit or finalize them. eSalon then asks you whether you would like to submit a current photo of yourself in order for their colorists to use it as a tool as they review the order that you placed. For this reason, it is a really good idea to furnish them with a current picture because it gives them a much better idea of how to customize your color. They even ask you to describe your coloring goals in order for them to better assist you.

*Please note that eSalon does not make bold hair colors in unnatural shades.

At the end of your questionnaire you will see a screen similar to this one that reveals the details of your order:
If there are further questions, or if the colorists have any suggestions then they will call you to discuss your order. After I submitted my online order to eSalon I received a call, and had a lengthy and illuminating conversation with one of their expert colorists, and as a result the color that I chose was further modified.

Once your order has been finalized, then the details are carefully checked by the colorist and then it is sent to "The Machine" to create your custom color, and your specific formula is saved so that eSalon can recreate the precise color for you again and again. eSalon actually manufactures the color on site at their elegant modern warehouse location that houses their office, salon and manufacturing space. After your order is complete they pack it and send it out to you with detailed instructions. It's actually a revolutionary way to get exactly what you want in luxury hair color, and at an amazing price.
Since I live in Los Angeles I was invited to eSalon to have their world renown colorist, and eSalon Color Director and Partner, Estelle Baumhauer, apply my color for me!
Estelle is eSalon’s Color Director and is the person responsible for ensuring that eSalon delivers its clients the same quality haircoloring formulations offered at some of the world’s most exclusive salons.

Originally from France and trained in Paris, Estelle has been an expert colorist at renowned salons around the world, including Dessange in Paris, New York and Washington and Warren-Tricomi in New York.

With over 20 years of experience as a colorist, Estelle has done thousands of hair color applications. Her extraordinary coloring skills have taken Estelle beyond applying haircolor to her own clients. Estelle has been an instructor to other colorists, traveling throughout Europe and the USA for this. She has also been selected by exclusive brands such as Chloe and Marc Jacobs to be their colorist for the New York fashion shows. Estelle has been profiled in several publications including the New York Times and Vogue.

Now in Los Angeles, Estelle is here to make salon-quality hair color affordable for everyone.
View of the reception desk

Upon my arrival at eSalon, the lovely Estelle gave me a tour of their breathtakingly beautiful space. She  also looked at my hair and asked me a few more questions about what I desired in my hair color, and then said she would make a few more modifications to my custom color. While she did that she graciously let me run around taking pictures.
Unsurprisingly, eSalon has earned the most prestigious awards in the industry. For instance, Total Beauty voted eSalon “Best Hair Color” for 2013 and 2014, Allure gave eSalon the highly coveted Best of Beauty Award for “Best Home Hair Color” and InStyle Magazine named eSalon the “Best of the Web!” Trust me when I tell you that these awards are all very well deserved!
Allure Best of Beauty Award
View of the lounge area in the salon
They have gorgeous vignettes throughout their space, and many include valuable printed "Tips from our Colorists."
The amazing view into the salon
A colorist at work on a client
Even the washing station is a study in elegant modernist simplicity
When Estelle finished customizing my hair color she sent her "recipe" to The Machine and then emerged from the back with my hair color. Let me just say that it was an extraordinary honor having a colorist of Estelle's stature coloring my hair, and not only did she do an exemplary job, but we also had so much fun together. 

Her expertise led to a refining of the color that I had selected, and the results were amazing. Estelle felt that going back to my natural dark brown hair might be a bit severe, and since my hair naturally lightens so much in the Los Angeles sun she sought to find a color that toned down some of bleaching effects of the sun while retaining the sun-kissed color. I deferred to her expert judgment, and I am so glad that I did!

She also gave me a blow out with straight hair, and for the life of me I wish that I had taken a picture directly following, but alas I got home late that night and neglected to do so. 

It was one of those amazing, and rare, situations where you meet someone and immediately click. Not only is she a rare talent, but Estelle is also one of the most intelligent, cultivated and interesting people that I have met in a very long time. She is amazing and I am grateful to know her.
Estelle showed me all of the products that they make, all of which thoroughly wowed me, and many of which she used on me-- and all I can say is they are A M A Z I N G! 
eSalon's fantastic hair care products and tools that are artfully displayed!
COLOR KISS Temporary Root Touch Up ($15.00 Available in 10 colors): "This unique wand covers regrowth (roots) with matching temporary hair color, for heart-fluttering perfection between hair color applications."

Kiss grays goodbye! Get beautiful, blendable root coverage in seconds with Color Kiss: a revolutionary touch-up wand that puts you in control. This easy-to-use temporary hair color solution conceals regrowth between color applications, so you're never lacking the coverage you need. Choose from our exclusive collection of shades and tones, and discover a touch-up that's just right for you. 8.5 ml/.3 fl oz

Apply COLOR KISS to regrowth along your part and hairline. Blend with hair. Let dry 3 minutes. Wash with eSalon COLORSAFE SHAMPOO to remove.
  • Easy-to-use wand applicator
  • Quick drying formula hides grays in minutes
  • Compact size designed to go with you anywhere
  • Simple to remove, just shampoo as usual
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/EAU, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat., Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Aloe Barbadenis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, PVP, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, CI 77004/Kaolin, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Disodium, EDTA, Propylene Carbonate, Phenozyethanol, Ethylhexyethanol, Exthylhexyglycerin. May Contain: CI 77019/Mica, CI77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77492/ Iron Oxides, CI 77491/ Iron Oxides, CI 77499/Iron Oxides, CI 75470/ Carmine, CI 19140/ Yellow 5 Lake, CI 77288/Chromium Oxide Greens.
Left to Right: Hair Clips, LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY Conditioner Packettes, STAIN GUARD Packettes and HEART LOCK IT Shampoo Packettes.

Hair Clips ($10.00): A set of four large alligator hair clips designed to simplify your color application. Also useful while styling your hair."
  • Assists sectioning of hair during coloring process
  • Reusable
  • Multi-use
  • Washable
  • Helps during hair styling
LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY Conditioner Packettes (.99 for 0.5 fl oz.): "Ultra-moisturizing salon conditioner to prevent color-treated hair from fading."

Travel friendly Love Unconditionally Color Safe Conditioner adds moisture and shine to color-treated hair. Packed with beneficial amino acids and proteins, this advanced formula is designed to strengthen and soften all hair types, but is gentle enough to protect color from fading. Use it daily to condition and detangle color-treated hair.15 ML/ 0.5 fl oz.
  • Travel friendly
  • Nourishes hair cuticle to seal in color
  • Sulfate-free to extend the life of your hair color
  • Helps prevent damage and breakage from chemical treatments
  • Guards against enviromental damage
  • Natural proteins hydrate color treated hair
  • Gentle enough for daily use. For all hair types.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/EAU, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Silk Amino Acids, Wheat Amino Acids, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Sodium PCA, Glycerin, Panthenol, Polysilicone-15, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum).

STAIN GUARD Packettes (.99 for 0.2 oz.): "Apply to skin around hairline and on ears before haircolor application. Guard your skin from hair color stains with the Stain Guard Packette."
  • Protects hairline and ears from color
  • Coconut Oil hydrates skin
  • Rinses off easily with soap
Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Petrolatum. Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Beeswax/Cera Alba/Cire d'abeille, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.

HEART LOCK IT Shampoo Packettes (.99 for 0.5 fl oz.): "Sulfate-free shampoo suitable for daily use on color-treated hair ."

Travel friendly Heart Lock It Color Safe Shampoo gently cleanses color-treated hair without using harsh ingredients that cause color to fade. The nourishing blend of proteins and amino acids deeply moisturizes and strengthens all hair types, leaving you with beautiful results.
  • Travel friendly
  • Sulfate-free to extend the life of your hair color
  • Protects color treated hair
  • Helps prevent damage due to environmental stress
  • Gentle enough for daily use. For all hair types.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/EAU, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamide MEA, Silk Amino Acids, Wheat Amino Acids, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-10, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Polysilicone-15, C11-15 Pareth-7, Glycerin, Trideceth-12, Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl, Tetrastearate, Laureth-9, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum).
PERFECT ENDING Leave In Conditioner ($15.00 for 5 oz.): "Breeze through tangles, fight frizz, and prevent breakage during styling with Perfect Ending Leave in Conditioner. This colorist-approved formula infuses your strands with serious shine and weightless moisture for a perfectly polished salon look."
  • Combats frizz and flyaways all day
  • Hydrates hair without weighing it down
  • Protects hair color from environmental damage
  • Great for all hair types
Ingredients: Water (Aqua/Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Dimethiconol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Quaternium-33, Quaternium-87, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-4, Cetrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-12, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Carbomer, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Sodium Benzoate, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Gluconolactone, Calcium Gluconate, Dipropylene Glycol, Isopropanol.
PERFECT ENDING and a Custom Kit
Left to Right: HEART LOCK IT Color Safe Shampoo, LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY
Color Safe Conditioner and SHINING ARMOR Renewing Treatment Oil.

HEART LOCK IT Color Safe Shampoo ($15.00 for 8.5 oz.): "Sulfate-free shampoo suitable for daily use on color-treated hair."

Heart Lock It Color Safe Shampoo gently cleanses color-treated hair without using harsh ingredients that cause color to fade. This nourishing blend of proteins and amino acids deeply moisturizes and strengthens all hair types, leaving you with beautiful results.
  • Sulfate-free to extend the life of your hair color
  • Protects color treated hair
  • Helps prevent damage due to environmental stress
  • Gentle enough for daily use. For all hair types.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/EAU, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamide MEA, Silk Amino Acids, Wheat Amino Acids, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-10, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Polysilicone-15, C11-15 Pareth-7, Glycerin, Trideceth-12, Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl, Tetrastearate, Laureth-9, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum).

LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY Color Safe Conditioner ($25.00 for 8.5 oz.): "Ultra-moisturizing salon conditioner to prevent color-treated hair from fading."

Love Unconditionally Color Safe Conditioner adds moisture and shine to color-treated hair. Packed with beneficial amino acids and proteins, this advanced formula is designed to strengthen and soften all hair types, but is gentle enough to protect color from fading. Use it daily to condition and detangle color-treated hair. 
  • Nourishes hair cuticle to seal in color
  • Sulfate-free to extend the life of your hair color
  • Helps prevent damage and breakage from chemical treatments
  • Guards against environmental damage
  • Natural proteins hydrate color treated hair
  • Gentle enough for daily use. For all hair types.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/EAU, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Silk Amino Acids, Wheat Amino Acids, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Sodium PCA, Glycerin, Panthenol, Polysilicone-15, Disodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum).

SHINING ARMOR Renewing Treatment Oil ($18.00 for 1.69 oz.): "Nourishing blend of argan oil, antioxidants, and vitamins E and F for smooth, healthy hair. Increases shine, strengthens hair, and helps protect color from fading."

This is your secret weapon for maintaining luscious locks. This nutrient-rich formula glides over hair to help hydrate, smooth, and strengthen. Wear this Shining Armor to transform unmanageable hair into a shiny vivid mane that obeys your every wish.
  • Nutrient packed with Argan Oil & Vitamin E
  • Helps tame frizzy hair for sleekness
  • Hydrating shield prevents color from fading
  • Light weight formula that won't weigh down hair
  • Protects hair from heat styling
  • Good for all hair types
Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Dimethiconol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Mineral Oil/Paraffinum Liquidum/Huile Minerale, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Beta-Carotene (CI 40800).
Left to Right: COLOR TINT BRUSHES and COLORING TOOLS SET

COLOR TINT BRUSH ($1.25 each): "This professional, reusable coloring brush provides accurate control and precise application of hair color."
  • Accurate control
  • Professional quality
  • More precise root application to prevent overlapping
  • Brush handle allows for easy parting
  • Durable
  • Washable
COLORING TOOLS SET ($20.00): "Professional hairstylist tools for an easy color application. Includes bowl, clips, and timer."

This reusable Coloring Tool kit includes everything you need to color your hair like a professional. This kit provides you with the tools to: section, mix, apply, and time your hair color application.
  • Professional Coloring Bowl
  • Professional Hair Coloring Brush
  • Four large Hair Clips
  • Digital Timer with battery
This set is well worth having to accompany your custom hair color!
The eSalon custom color kits come in lovely whimsical boxes that mirror the decor found around their beautiful headquarters in Culver City.
SHINING ARMOR

Every detail at eSalon is stylish and beautiful
Truer words were never spoken!
Behind the screen is where "The Machine" makes your custom color!
A Sneak Peek behind the screen!
Behind the screen you first see piles of boxes to be filled, checked and double checked with your orders.
Because of their proprietary cutting-edge technology I haven't shown the computers and the assembly line where the bottles are filled, but I will say that it was both exciting and fascinating seeing it in action.
The beautifully ornamented glass wall peek-through to a conference room also serves as a motif used on the interior of the boxes that they use to ship your products to you.
A worthy motto, indeed!
A view of eSalon employees hard at work, and many of them are processing online orders.
It is so rare to enter a workspace filled with so many happy people who actually love their jobs, but that was most assuredly the case here!
Who wouldn't be happy working in an environment so artfully conceived that it includes sculpture adjacent to the kitchen and work spaces.
Around every corner there are beautiful things upon which to look.
A gorgeous vignette that greets you near the bathrooms.
Estelle told me that she was going to go in the back to get me a a bottle of the hair color that she created for me to take home, but then she emerged from the back with this!
Note the motifs used on the box interior that echoes the glass wall of the conference room wall shown above. 
My likely hair color had I been born a quattrocento Florentine noblewoman:
My hair color before my visit to eSalon:
My customized hair color from Estelle, and as you can clearly see she achieved precisely what she sought to do by softening some of the red hues! I am utterly thrilled by the results.
Overall Assessment: Never again will I buy drugstore hair color, or pay go to a salon for an exorbitantly priced cut and color when eSalon gives such amazing results for a mere $20.00. eSalon's hair color is long-lasting, easy to care for and maintain, and utterly gorgeous. I'm touched by Estelle and eSalon's generosity, and humbly thank them for such an amazing experience, and for so many beautiful products to use at home! You have a customer for life!

If you color your hair, then I urge you to try out eSalon's amazing at home color and haircare products. I will be reviewing each of them individually, but I will say that I am thoroughly impressed and plan to continue using eSalon products!

Get 50% OFF & try eSalon custom color for $10.00. Click here to get started! A portion of your October purchase will be donated to CancerCare® to help support Breast Cancer Awareness.
Services and products provided courtesy of eSalon (Unaffiliated Links).
All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2014 www.lolassecretbeautyblog.com All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Sun Day Volume XXII: Sundriven Age Defying UV Gloves | Review

Press Sample (Unaffiliated Links)

While the weather may be cooling, the need for sunscreen and protective clothing certainly has not waned. This fact may be more obvious in temperate climates, but it remains true for all of us. Much of the sun damage we sustain is a result of unprotected skin that is inundated by the rays of the sun while we drive, and I have learned this lesson firsthand. I have long wanted to try clothing with SPF protection, and now thanks to Sundriven I am doing just that. Their Age-Defying Gloves offer premium protection while I drive, and I am truly grateful given the amount of driving that I drive in Southern California.
 According to Sundriven,

Go anywhere, do anything with these all weather gloves. Sundriven® gloves not only protect your hands from sun damage, photo-aging and skin cancer but they also keep your hands happy and youthful looking.Prevent premature aging, collagen breakdown and dark spots.

Sundriven® gloves are made to stretch and conform to your unique hand shape and size, we guarantee they will fit and feel amazing. Have the hands you always wanted, Sundriven gloves are so lightweight and ultra comfortable it’s almost like a second skin.

Product Claims:
  • Preserves Skin’s Youthfulness, Luminosity, Smoothness and Elasticity 
  • Prevents Dark spots, Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Collagen Breakdown, Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation, Dullness and Sallowness
  • Restores Elasticity, Firmness, Radiance, Clarity and evens Texture and Tone
  • Regulate: Hand temperature, keeping you cool in hot weather while absorbing 50% more moisture than cotton or synthetic fibers while releasing excess moisture into the air. 
  • UPF/SPF 50+  98% Effective Blocking UVA/UVB rays.
Year-around exposer to the sun’s UV rays causes 90% of the visible signs of aging. Sundriven® UV Wear protects against skin cancer, free-radical damage & premature aging while reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Using Sundriven® regularly will restore your skins radiance & beauty. Scientifically advanced botanical fibers absorb excess moisture and release it into the air to regulate body temperature while keeping your skin nice and happy in any weather. Our botanical, eco-friendly & anti-bacterial fabric is ideal for sensitive skin and has an ultra-smooth luxurious feel.
Original Gloves

The fabric is silky smooth and soft, and it feels luxurious against the skin. During the warm weather skin feels comfortable and cool, but during the colder weather the gloves keep hands warm. On long drives skin remains protected from the damaging rays of excessive sun exposure, and hands remain very comfortable both in terms of temperature and the feeling of the material against the skin. 

Sundriven products are ingeniously conceived as they take into account so many aspects of modern life that require consideration. For instance, Sundriven Gloves are touchscreen optimized-- meaning that they work "on all touch screens, including your iPad and iPhone." Furthermore, they are moisture absorbing, have anti-bacterial properties, they offer temperature control, they are eco-friendly since they are made from sustainable materials, and the botanical fibers used are gentle on sensitive skin. They are soft and luxurious in feel, and are very comfortable to wear. They are, in a word, fantastic!
Color: Stone Taupe
The fit is snug and very comfortable.
Long Gloves

While the Original Gloves are well suited to shorter trips, the Long Gloves are a better choice for longer drives, and whenever more coverage is desired.
Color: Plum
Overall Assessment: These are amazing gloves, and they now permanently live in my car. I am so impressed by Sundriven that I want to try their stylish Millie Wrap and Ella Endless Scarf! This is a company well worth your attention, and if you seek UV clothing you will be delighted by Sundriven's luxurious and stylish products.

Small Gloves $34.00 and Large Gloves $38.00 available from Sundriven (Unaffiliated Links).
Press Samples. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Stock photographs courtesy of Sundriven.
Copyright © 2014 www.lolassecretbeautyblog.com All Rights Reserved.
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