Beauty & the Beat
The beauty biochemist on Brazilian Blowouts, sunproof hair & frugal glamour
Are you beauty-obsessed? Me, too: Sooo guilty!
I am Kendall Knaus, a native Houstonian and your new CultureMap consultant keeping you au courant with the best of the beauty world.
What are my beauty-obsessed qualifications? I have a biochemistry degree (so I geek-ily understand what’s really in your lipstick). I’ve been a cosmetics and fragrance buyer for Macy’s New York, a managing director for Hermès of Paris, and principal of my own (sadly departed) Houston boutique, Principessa. Best of all, I’m a mom of three, ages 27, 18 and 13, and by default, I've tried tons of products and procedures to keep everyone presentable.
The beauty industry bombards us daily suggesting the latest and greatest beauty products. Who has the time and the money to sample even a smidgen of these items? We live in a high-tech world that has transformed everything in our daily regimens. Rest assured, I will bring you the real deal with products I find to be revolutionary to our daily beauty routines.
Hair raising beauty fixes
La rentrée is a French noun that describes the return from summer vacation, back into the fall, or the real world. Now that it's finally fall in Houston, the stifling humidity and heat is just about gone, but the damage that summer wreaked with our hair isn't. Here are a few fantastic beauty fixes for fall:
Certainly summer sun, salt, humidity and pool time wreak havoc on tresses. For the ultimate over-processed fix, consider the Brazilian Blowout treatment.
My hair is long, beyond thick, wiry, color-treated and highlighted. Combine this abuse with my daily swim workouts and my hair is a frizz-bomb mess. I’ve tried other so-called “Brazilian keratin treatments” and have been disappointed with the lackluster results. These other processes left my hair completely flat and lifeless.
However, my new stylist urged me to try the Brazilian Blowout brand conditioning treatment and hello, gorgeous!. This particular therapy conditions the hair, smoothing the hair cuticle with keratin protein, resulting in frizz-free strands for up to 3 months, hallelujah!
Even on the most humid Houston days, my hair is truly “wash and wear.” If necessary, I may lightly style my locks with a round brush and dryer for a final polish, or just let it air dry for natural soft waves. My hair is full of body and shine without a hint of frizz. This product is ah-ma-zing and a real game changer for those of us who are follicularly challenged.
To prolong this miracle treatment, Brazilian Blowout recommends using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. You may want to try Brazilian Blowout’s own effective products, including a powerful weekly hair masque and daily conditioning serum.
Price: Around $300 and up: treatment prices vary on individual hair length.
Champagne dreams and caviar pearls
If the Brazilian Blowout is too extreme for your hair and/or budget, consider the hair wizards at Kérastase for their latest & greatest hair treatment Chronologiste.
This decadently deep nourishing process includes sea-enriched caviar pearls mixed with a velvety hydrating base of ceramides and Vitamin E.
Results? Regenerated gorgeous hair, that smells oh so Kérastase elegant, complete with UV anti-oxidant protection. Combat a summer full of sun, chlorine and salt water as this treatment works for all hair types. Apply weekly or monthly according to your hair needs for optimal results.
Price: Salon Treatment around $60. At home version $145 for multiple DIY treatments.
Tips for the Frugal Goddess
OK, so if the above treatments don’t apply to your pocketbook, no worries. I’ve got yet another fabulous product up my sleeve just for you.
Wen Cleansing Conditioner bills itself as a "revolutionary hair care concept." According to its website it's "a 5-in-1 formula, this one product replaces shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner. It cleanses hair thoroughly but without lathering and all the harsh ingredients that may be found in ordinary shampoo. It is designed so it won't strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils. Your hair is left with sheen, moisture, manageability and better color retention."
It's the ultimate multi-task. Interested?
Check out the Wen Haircare System website for an introductory offer: a 30-day supply for $29.95.
In the next column: La rentrée beauty, Part Two: skincare.