I can’t believe it was already almost two months ago that I went on that fabulous Glam beauty blogger trip to NYC… sigh… I’ve been extremely remiss. There are so many things about that trip that I still haven’t written about! I’m going to rectify that right now by telling you all about the visit to the Kiehl’s flagship store. What a glowing, magnificent place.

The flagship store (located at 109 Third Avenue Between 13th & 14th Streets in NYC), is big, bright, and rich with history. The PR rep, Rachael, showed all of us a fascinating DVD that detailed the evolution of the brand, from old-world apothecary where leeches were for sale, to technologically advanced, internationally respected cosmetics and beauty emporium. A century and a half of beauty history has unfolded right there in that gleaming corner store. After the video we got a tour, and after gawking at the awesome historic collectibles (like Clark Gable’s motorcycle, as seen in this Vanity Fair blog post.) I spent most of my time poring over the hair stuff. I had no idea that Kiehl’s made such a variety of hair products for all textures and types.

I was especially entranced by Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom, the description sounded like exactly what my curls needed. “Formulated with Silk Powders and naturally-absorbed oils and moisturizers derived from Wheat Protein, Soy Protein, and Jojoba Oil, this non-greasy grooming aid has become world-renowned for its silky smoothness and superior efficacy.” Oooh, fancy! I had high expectations for Silk Groom, but I gotta admit, I’m not crazy about it. I prefer a heavier, moisturizing product, and Silk Groom was the opposite. This light moisturizer just didn’t go with my particular hair texture. After washing my hair, combing it out in the shower, and slicking on Silk Groom as recommended, I was left thoroughly disappointed. This stuff actually disrupted my curl pattern, leaving me with a head of soft frizzy flyaways without a defined shape, kind of like a big, flat, misshapen clown wig.

Or Rosanna Rosannadanna.

Either way, not the effect I was hoping for. That’s not to say bellas with looser curl patterns won’t love Silk Groom — I think this stuff is probably ideal for hair that’s less tightly curled and coarse than mine is. It’s $29.50 for a big bottle, and $17.50 for the smaller size. And if you order online, you get to select 3 complimentary samples of your choice at checkout, so you can try before you buy. As luck would have it, I’ve loved almost every single other product I’ve tried by this beauty brand.

All is not lost — Kiehl’s DOES make a hair care product that I love, and that I think is ideal for Afrobellas — the Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak.

This stuff is all kinds of amazing. With avocado and olive fruit oil, it’s hard to go wrong with a product like this, especially if you’re not the kind of bella who gets down in the kitchen with the home hair recipes. It comes in great in the clutch. For example, over my last crazy two weeks, I had basically abandoned my usual hair care routine and didn’t take the time to really deep condition and comb through my hair at all. Needless to say, things were getting nearly impenetrable — especially since I also was sans air conditioning in my car at the time! Big knots and tangles were forming at a rapid rate. But a five minute treatment left my tresses tender enough to brush through with my brand new Denman brush (I love it so far, and it’s just $8.99 at Sally’s. FYI, it really helped to completely saturate my hair with conditioner first, let it marinate for as long as necessary, then brush it out under running water). After the brush out my curls were bouncy, shiny, and very happy. And incredibly, touchably soft. I like this stuff very much. It’s $25 for an 8 oz tub. I’d say it’s worth it.

Other Kiehl’s products that are worth it? I adore their Lip Balm SPF 15 in Hue 58B, a shiny dark raspberry that’s subtle and pretty on your mouth while protecting it from the sun. $9.50 a tube is a great deal IMO.

Their Supremely Gentle Eye Makeup Remover is the only cleanser I can use to wipe off mascara as close to my lashline as possible. Any other cleanser and it’s like Stevie Wonder’s Lately — I always start to cry. $16.50 and I find it hard to think of a product that works better. And my bottle of this stuff has lasted forever.

A few years ago I went on an alternative deodorant kick (I didn’t make it through the whole Miami summer before I raced back to my stand-by, Dove). The best of the bunch I tried was the Superbly Efficient Antiperspirant and Deodorant. My $11.50 tube has lasted, and if you’re looking for a different antiperspirant experience, it’s definitely worth a try.

I’m on the fence about the Brightening Botanical Cleansing Cream — it’s a wonderfully thick, lathering face wash, in the vein of Clean and Clear’s Deep Action Cream Cleanser, or Noxema, for example — but fancier and not as tingly. It does make my face feel incredibly clean and fresh, and I do really, really like it… but I’m not fully convinced I NEED it at $22.50 a pop. IMO, that’s a lot to pay for face wash. But I do hear that the Brightening Botanicals Moisture Fluid is where it’s at. $40 a bottle, but from the way one of our special Kiehl’s tour guides gushed about it, I’m guessing it’s great. If it’s anything like that Abyssine Cream (which has helped me through rough skin times), I’d say it’s worth it.

What about you? Do you have a favorite Kiehl’s product that’s worth the buy?

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