Wen Spring Gardenia Cleansing Conditioner: The Rundown

The Gardenia, both domestic and Tahitensis, is my favorite fragrant flower.  Florida is rampant with them and the smell reminds me of springin the South.  The lush, sophisticated and heady scent is what makes it a favorite floral note in most fragrances I’ve ever worn.  So when I got wind that Wen Hair Care had come up with a Gardenia scent, I jumped onto the QVC website and scored myself a bottle.

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Spring has sprung from Wen! Introducing the Spring Gardenia Green Tea Cleansing Conditioner

Wen’s Spring Gardenia Green Tea Cleansing Conditioner is a limited edition fragrance.  It is sold in 16oz bottles and comes with a pump to replace the cap with.  The bottle is a boston round brown plastic and the product inside is white and has no perceived added color.  At first whiff the smell is fresh and inviting but frankly it does not smell like the gardenia flowers I know and love.   It smells more herbal than floral so that let me down a bit.  Still it is a It is a very soothing scent and not jarring to the nose.

I first used this cleansing conditioner in Pennsylvania just to check the results but was more interested in what would happen when it was used in extreme temperatures.  When used in Florida after swimming in a highly-chlorinated pool both to cleanse my hair and as a leave-in conditioner/styler, both my hair weave and natural hair at the temples and scalp were soft, moisturized and didn’t feel hard or brittle.  Granted the humidity in Florida wasn’t nearly as oppresive as in the summer, ar around 50 – 80% humidity I didn’t notice any frizz or swelling even after walking around the Magic Kingdom at Disney World for several hours afterwards.  I also tried this on my daughter’s naturally kinky-curly hair and the Gardenia cleansing conditioner not only left it soft and moisturized, but further defined the curl pattern of her hair when I used it as a leave-in conditioner. Very nice bonus!

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A gorgeous gardenia I shot while on vacay at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort in Florida

As with the Tea Tree formulation (which I will review at a later date) I divided my weave hair into two sections and used approximately 5 – 6 pumps per section.  I used one pump to distribute at my hairline and neckline where my natural hair sticks out.  After working into the weave hair I used another 2 – 3 pumps per section to work into my scalp and inbetween the weave tracks.  I left the product on for about five (5) minutes while I completed my shower and then using a genuine Denman (UK made, not Chinese) wide styling brush, gently detangled my hair from the ends to the roots. This helps to detangle curly hair and to further cleanse/condition the hair with the cleansing conditioner.  I then rinsed the hair completely with warm water, towel dried the hair and then used another 2 – 3 pumps per section (2 sections) another one pump for the hairline and neckline.

There is no denying I am absolutely estatic about the results I’ve gotten with this Wen fragrance and the Tea Tree one (which I prefer due to my cranky scalp).  While I’ve always loved the smell of Philosophy’s 3 in 1 Bodywash/Shampoo/Conditioner, the sulfates just stripped my hair.  Carol’s Daughter’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo & Conditioner give comparable results but they are two separate products.  This product is so wonderful to have on hand and importantly for travel I consider it a staple in my hair regimen.  And if you are an impatient Type-A like I am and/or have squirmy kids this is one less step you need in order to wash their hair.

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Check out all the great stuff in this Wen Cleansing Conditioner

Wen Gardenia cleansing conditioner is a nice spring scent and I’m glad I tried it but it won’t replace my love for the Tea Tree formulation. It doesn’t give my scalp that cool tingly feeling like with the Tea Tree and I’ve also noticed it doesn’t keep my cranky scalp under control very well.  From what I hear this is a limited edition scent for the  spring season so if you’re interested in getting it please keep that in mind. Once the supply is all gone it’s all gone.

Retail price for a 16oz pump bottle is $40.00 USD.  While the price does seem quite steep, remember this is a sulfate-free formula which is great for ethnic hair, and combines shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner & detangler all in one product.  Wen does sell a separate replenishing mist in other scents but if you combine 4 parts distilled water (I prefer Fiji water) to 1 part Wen cleansing condntioner and put it in a pump bottle you’d essentially have the same thing.  Mix 3 parts wate with 1 part Wen cleansing conditioner for a nice detangling spray.

Wen’s Gardenia cleansing conditioner is available at QVC.com, NotShampoo.com but I prefer to order mine from Amazon.com where it is now available and usually for a cheaper price.

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Birchbox of the Month: March 2012

Have you heard of Birchbox? If not, go get yourself acquainted with it here.

If you have (and don’t feel like going to the site just yet) check out my unboxing of this month’s Birchbox filled with beauty booty for a monthly fee of $10.  Last month I got my first box and while it wasn’t all that exciting, it wasn’t dissapointing and for $10 you can’t beat it with a stick.  Then again, you could but why would you?

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Special delivery from Birchbox for March 2012!!

For March I opted to get the Teen Vogue Birchbox which contained items hand-picked by the Teen Vogue staff.  Granted I’m no longer a teenager but I love hip products so I went for it.  Please note this wasn’t my ‘regular’ box but Birchbox sent me a ‘do you want this’ email and I gladly accepted.  So let’s get to the goodies that arrived this month!

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From left: Kate Spade's 'Twirl', Tarte lip tint in 'Lucky', Keratase hair oil serum, Essie Luxeffects nail polish, Twistband snag-proof hair tie.

Twirl‘ fragrance by Kate Spade

Classified as a fruity-floral, I received a standard ‘sample size’ atomizer on a card.  This smelled absolutely delightful when sprayed but my body chemistry immediately turned it into sewage. Very disappointing as I love the complexity and sophistication of this fragrance.  This is definitely not a personal favorite for me but I wouldn’t hesitate to give it as an upscale fragrance gift.

Tarte Cosmetics Lipsurgence Lip Tint in ‘Lucky’

For me this was the star of this month’s Birchbox.  I’ve heard a lot about Tarte Cosmetics and while I’m in total love with their blush, I haven’t tried their lip tint before.  Lucky is a light pink with brown and if overdone can look chalky on dark skin (use a light hand).  Even so, this is a very pretty spring pink universal shade that should flatter cool as well as warm undertones.  I’m personally very happy with how the color looks on my NW43 skin and look forward to trying more of these from Tarte.

Keratase Hair Beautifying Oil

I’ve never personally used Keratase products but I have heard of their excellent reputation for hair care.  A small sample of ‘beautifying oil’ included in the box is going straight into my carry on for my upcoming trip.  As a woman of color with textured hair, hair oil is always a welcome thing.

Essie Luxeffects Nail Polish

Regular readers of my blog know I’ve previously reviewed my pics from the Essie Luxeffects line.  While fate saw fit to send me  something I already own, I was very glad t see the silver glitter Set in Stones in my box.

Twistband Hair Tie

How handy is this little sweet thing?  I’d never heard of this brand until it arrived in this months’ box.  BIlled as a snag-free elastic tie that is gentle to hair, I received a pretty spring blue hair tie that will also go in my trip carry on.  I’m always looking for great hair ties to keep my hair in place during sweaty workouts but won’t damage my hair when taking them out.  I can definitely see myself ordering a few of these in the future.

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Handy 'rundown' card of all Birchbox items and purchase information

Overall I am extremely pleased with this month’s Birchbox delivery. If you haven’t tried the service yet, it is a great way to try a variety of beauty products each month without paying a lot of money. For those of you who have tried the service, how do you like it so far? Have you tried it and decided it wasn’t for you?