Tried It Tuesday: Brazilian Blowout and Gel Polish at The List1:50 AM
Last week I availed of a voucher from CashCashPinoy for a Brazilian Blowout at The List Salon and Spa in Fort Bonifacio. Thanks to CCP, it cost only one-third of the original price. While I was there, their manicurist talked me into getting a manicure with gel polish.
Brazilian BlowoutI've tried hair spas and hot oil treatments before but they disappear after one shampoo. I've never had my hair straightened because I don't like the way rebonding and relaxing result in limp stick-straight hair. I like my hair with volume. Unfortunately, I have too much of it. :p
The Brazilian Blowout got my attention because it calls itself a "smoothing treatment," in that it doesn't result in flat-iron hair like relaxing or rebonding, but instead improves the quality of the strands and maintains the "body" of the hair. It is a cumulative treatment, in that the more you receive it, the healthier the hair will be and the longer the result will last. A hair procedure that would control my frizzy and wavy hair while retaining its natural volume? Sounds too good to be true.
I was initially choosing between the Brazilian Blowout and the Keratin Treatment. I read numerous reviews and comparisons of the two. I went for the Brazilian blowout despite its higher price because it's been noted to last longer, and you can wash your hair immediately after the treatment. In this weather, I can't stand not washing my hair for 3 days.
The ProcedureGilbert was my stylist for the day. He explained benefits of the blowout, nothing I hadn't read before. When asked, he claimed that the blowout product they used was formaldehyde-free. I can't vouch for it, but on my part I didn't smell a hint of formaldehyde, and the staff wore only gloves (no masks) as they applied the product. The procedure was basically:
- Shampoo and rinse
- Apply product
- Blow dry
- Rinse again (yes, they rinsed it again right in the salon!)
- Blow dry and style
Ninety minutes later I had soft, silky hair, the kind you usually see on babies. The effect is subtle but quite an improvement. I notice less frizz, and my hair falls more gracefully. It was worth the price.
Both of the photos above were taken after a spending half a day in the humid outdoors. Notice the frizziness, waviness, and general buhaghag-ness of my hair before the blowout, versus the sleek and shiny -- still a bit frizzy, but only minimally -- hair after. (Not to mention, my groomed eyebrows. Don't they open up the face?)
The List offers the Brazilian Blowout at Php 12,000 (all together now: whaaaat mas mahal pa sa matrikula) -- which is why I availed of the voucher.
To make the blowout last, I purchased sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner from the salon. These are the "original" Brazilian Blowout hair care products so they're quite expensive at Php 2,200. (Silly me, I didn't think to look for cheaper alternatives before buying.) According to the stylist and the website, the blowout will last for about 3 months if the Acai After-Care Maintenance product line is used.
The conditioner has a similar smell, and leaves my hair feeling smooth but not greasy. I love how my hair is practically tangle-proof now.
I plan on trying the Keratin Treatment next time, just to compare the two procedures.
Gel ManicureI let myself get talked into getting a gel manicure because I'd read so much about it online. The List's selection of gel polishes didn't impress me. But I wanted to try it just once, and why not do it while having a blowout, to save time.
The procedure involves painting nails with a clear base, then one coat of polish, another clear coat, a second coat of polish, and a top coat. After each coat I had to dry my nails under UV light for about a minute.
I've read that some salons in the US offer hand lotions with UV protection for gel polish manicures. The List didn't have that, and I forgot to ask, but I surely will next time.
The last step was wiping my nails with alcohol to remove the sticky gel residue. Yes, one minute after the top coat was applied, my nails were dry and withstood the effects of alcohol! I was amazed. It usually takes 12-24 hours for polishes (Orly, OPI, Essie) to completely dry on my nails.
The polish color turned out really nice, an old rose sort of color that leans more towards pink. I like that it's a neutral shade that still suits the fall color trends. The finish is very glossy, and dare I say scratch-proof? I've been treating my nails more roughly than I usually do after a manicure -- washing dishes, scratching tape off surfaces, rummaging blindly in my bag for keys -- and yet still no scratches or chipping after 3 days! And, still glossy! If only we could have this type of finish without exposing the delicate skin of our hands to UV rays, I'd go for this all the time. My only complaint is the uneven application of the polish. Not streaky, uneven. I don't know if it's the formula or the skill of the manicurist, but it's patchy when you hold it up to the light, and just plain messy at the cuticles (see photo above).
A gel manicure at The List goes for Php 600, quite a bit higher than your regular mani. But it's supposed to last 3 weeks so I think the cost evens out, especially for working girls and mothers of small children who don't have time for a weekly salon visit. I recommend going to a proper nail spa for this.
The List Salon and Spa
Quadrant B3, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
(+63 2) 818-1968