A classic Russian nesting doll (so cute, right?) and a color-enhancing shampoo from Brooklyn-based amika might seem like two polar opposites. But both have roots in Siberia, Russia’s mysterious and frosty tundra. Though it’s best known for its freezing temperatures, this expansive region is home to some of the most diverse plants and herbs on the planet. Thanks to the abundance of greenery, Siberia is (funny enough) the source of the hair industry’s hottest ingredients: sea buckthorn berry oil or obliphica oil which packs a rare mixture of omega 7 acids and the vitamin C levels of 15 oranges. The combination leaves locks shiny, glowing and gorgeous.
Luckily, there’s no need to brave the permafrost in search of the magical elixir since amika’s hair experts have made it the key ingredient in their lush Color pHerfection Shampoo.
Eek, it’s the final hour for gift-finding! Just in case you still haven’t found presents for your loved ones, here’s some last-minute inspiration courtesy of our staffers. Today, our Technical Product Manager Jenn is sharing her top 5 picks for her bestie, Jimelle. (December 19th is the last day to order from our Shop to receive your orders by December 24. Go now!)
My friend Jimelle is an über-traveler. I’ve known her since high school and we’ve done a lot of traveling together. For example, this past summer we went on a cross-country road trip visiting as many states as possible along the way. But Jimelle also travels a lot for work—from Florida to India, so she lives out of a suitcase for a good part of the year. That’s why my picks for her this year are all carry-on friendly:
As you know, lots of heat styling—say, every day after work (see below for more on that)—means lots of hair damage. To help save my totally stressed hair, I’ve been using hair masks (which I’ve already proclaimed my love for before). This month I’m excited because one of my absolute favorites, amika’s Obliphica Nourishing Mask, will be in some of your Birchboxes! You can use it as a weekly hair mask or a daily conditioner but either way the result is soft, shiny hair. Obliphica oil is rich in natural vitamins and omega acids, which help repair heat styling damage. And the scent is so nice you’ll be smelling your hair all day.
But the mask isn’t the only amika item that I’m obsessed with this month—I’m also totally crushing on our brand new amika Birchbox Mini Ceramic Styler (with an adorable peacock pattern chosen by our Facebook fans!) that’s hitting the Birchbox shop.
If you get a brand new hairstyle that usually means a whole new hair care regimen. (Photo: Thinkstock.com)
Just before Labor Day this year, I colored my hair for the first time ever. I usually have your run-of-the-mill sleek Asian black hair, and felt like I needed to make a big change—so I got serious red highlights. (Thank you, Mad Men for the inspiration.) While I love the color and the touch of sass that came with it, learning how to handle dyed strands—no lying on white pillow cases while hair is wet!—has taken me on a whole new hair care journey. Here are five products that I’m using to keep my newly tinted tresses happy and healthy:
Last week, we hosted a #MyHairToday giveaway with amika and we asked that you send us posts that you had written on your go-to hairstyles. We were overwhelmed by all the awesome responses, below are just a few of our faves.
Birchboxers are generally an extroverted bunch. But when we asked them to tweet pictures of their everyday hairstyles, our team suddenly developed a bizarre aversion to social media. That is, until we mentioned that they’d have a chance to win amika’s entire Obliphica haircare line. Needless to say, a chorus of iPhone camera shutters erupted.
Apparently, our love for this brand’s ceramic tools and sweet-smelling haircare products is powerful enough to conquer Monday morning bedhead.
Now it’s your turn to enter! All you need to do is tweet a picture of your hair with the hashtag #MyHairToday and be sure to include @Love_Amika in your tweets (click here for full details). Need a little hair inspiration? Check out our staffer pics:
Learn more about amika and browse their entire collection of hair products.
We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.
Remember that amazing old school rose-scented shampoo by Herbal Essences that we were reminiscing about in this post? It still exists! Those who left a comment noting that the scent is now in the color protection formula were absolutely right. It’s the Color Me Happy product and you can buy it here. Thanks again, guys! Our next step is to persuade the brand to turn it into a body spray.
And speaking of heavenly scents, I’m curious to know how many of you purchase shampoos and conditioners simply because they smell good versus how good they are for your hair. For instance, I love, love, love Herbal’s scents, but I rarely use their products since they contain some not-so-good-for-your-hair ingredients like methylchloroisothiazolinone (try saying that word ten times fast). However, it doesn’t stop me from purchasing it simply for smelling purposes.
We had such an overwhelming response to our amika Obliphica Mini Dryer gift with purchase promotion that we decided to bring it back! We’re not all that surprised at the response: the mini dryer packs a lot of power—especially considering its small size—and is covered in an adorable mod floral pattern. Here’s what you need to do to get this baby in your home: Visit Birchbox.com/shop and add $125 worth of amazing beauty products to your cart. You’ve probably been waiting to pick up some treats anyway, right?
When you check out, enter the code “amikamini.” The dryer won’t appear in your cart, but like magic you’ll receive it with your order. Do a happy dance because you’re getting free shipping and are well on the way to seriously cute hairstyling. This is limited time only so don’t wait long!
Some small print: Limit one amika Mini Ionic Hair Dryer per customer. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions.
What are you waiting for? Shop all our favorite products in the Birchbox Shop to qualify for the Amika Mini Dryer Gift!
The Show: Zero+Maria Cornejo
Hair: Martin Cullen for amika, Phyto and Beauty.com
Makeup: Dick Page for Shiseido for Beauty.com
Nails: Honey Kat for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics for Beauty.com, using a custom gunmetal charcoal shade
The Vibe: Clean, natural and wintertime windblown. To match this season’s Icelandic-inspired collection, with its soft flowing lines, lead stylist Martin Cullen created a subdued and youthful look. He washed each model’s hair with Phyto shampoo and conditioner before drying with an amika NRG professional hair dryer and straightening locks with an amika ceramic styler. “We wanted to give an almost undercut and shaved away look to the hair,” said Cullen. To achieve the ultra-sleek style on the left-side of models’ heads, Cullen made a deep part and pulled hair tight, stitching it in near the right ear. The rest of hair was dropped behind the back into the clothes, and slightly puffed out above collars to create the illusion of a faux bob.
The Show: VPL
Makeup: Romy Soleimani with Ellis Faas and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics for Beauty.com
Hair: Bob Recine for Phyto, Amika, and Beauty.com
Nails: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics for Beauty.com
The Vibe: Geometric shapes and hard lines with a pop of the unexpected. To match fall’s VPL line, which is filled with strong graphic shapes and sexy silhouettes, lead stylist Bob Recine created a slicked down look, but added a free-falling crown piece for flow. To achieve the style, Recine dried hair with an amika dryer, the parted hair at the center or on the side. He then pulled away a triangular section of hair at the crown (to be released later), and combed down the sides. Products that were essential were Phyto's Volume Mousse to get the right texture and Phytolaque Soie Hair Spray, which were spritzed on brushes to add shine. “You want that diamond finish, which is not wet or glossy, but more glassy” said Recine. Side sections were then tied into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck, and covered with the top portion of free hair that was then combed out and flat-ironed with an amika straightener.