But Is It Worth It? — Craving Kiehl’s

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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Comments

  1. Yes, the eye makeup remover is the best! It is the only one I will use and I’ve tried them all. I have never used Kiehl’s hair products for some reason but I love the shower gels, sun screen, lip balm and the gentle face cleanser.

    I used to live close to the flagship store and the people there couldn’t be more friendly. They always hooked me up with a crazy amount of samples.

    I found in a store in Rome that carries some Kiehls products. I am going to see if they have that Olive oil Hair Pak. It’s still cheaper than some of the other masks I have seen. Thanks for these tips. I have looking for a hair mask. This one might do the trick (if they sell it here….if not I might have to ask a friend or my sister to send me one along with my Ms. Jessie’s Buttercream)

  2. afrobello says:

    Yes, the Kiehl’s samples are always a welcome bonus. I used to love their creme de corps, but it certainly isn’t a moisturizer to use if you plan on washing your hands any time soon. It never occurred to me that I should consider their hair products. They don’t do much in the way of marketing, and I’m used to companies that come right out and tell me that they have people of color in mind.

  3. Not really a Kiehl’s fan but the lip balm is amazing!

  4. Michelle says:

    i’ve been a Kiehl’s fan since the 70s. i love their products (natural ingredients, no animal testing, uncomplicated packaging, lots of samples).

    the creme with silk groom is perfect for fine super curly hair – it conditions w/o weighing my hair down and it smells great (sort of medicinal). i need a heavier product in the winter though. north eastern winters are unforgivingly drying. the olive oil repairative pak and accompanying shampoo do conditioning wonders on my color treated curls (goodbye intensive oil treatments! this does the trick in minutes).

    i love the gel face mask. it’s cooling, refreshing and clarifying. i like the panthenol face cream. it’s a light, luxe version of pond’s cold cream infused w/ vitamins and skin softening ingredients. during the summer i love the abyssine cream with SPF 23. it’s like a mini facelift in a jar: firming w/o creating a weird tightness.

    also keep the lip balm in every pocketbook and in the car. lighter than vaseline, scent neutral w/ natural tints.

  5. I adore the Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish, it’s a wonderful gentle exfoliant and it smells wonderful too. The Centella Recovery Skin Salve is great for sensitized skin, and I love the lipbalms too. I tried the Yerba Mate line recently but was not impressed. The moisturizer does not moisturize at all (and I have oily skin!) and I think it aggravated my skin’s tendency to form pigmentation spots…

    Unfortunately Kiehl’s is very expensive in Europe, so I now keep my purchases to products I know I like.

  6. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    I never tried Kiehl’s,but i love the idea of free sample’s so i’ll give the hair cream a try.

  7. Bebroma says:

    I’ve never tried Kiehl’s, either, but that eye makeup remover has definitely gotten my attention…I’m gonna get me some of that, I think. Also that hair mask.

  8. Bebroma says:

    OK, so I went and looked at the website (anything to delay getting started with REAL work, right? The temptations of telecommuting…), and the remover is not for waterproof makeup. For some reason, if I don’t wear waterproof eye makeup, I end up looking like a raccoon in about 2 hours. So, bella darling, is there anything out there that you’ve found that is fabbo for waterproof eye makeup? Right now I use Almay, it seems okay.

  9. Wow that makes the Philly Kiehl’s look like a whole in the wall LOL. Still nice tho and love their products.

  10. I have not tried Kiehl’s before but the Olive Hair Pak sounds wonderful. Thanks for the update on the Denman brush Afrobella! I plan to pick one up this weekend.

  11. I’ve never tried any of their hair products but im in love w/ one of their musk lotions… My coworker had it and I think I used it all up! The scent lingers all day long, and it’s soft.

  12. I love Kiehls! But I agree with you on Silk Groom, it is a no go for my hair.

    But yes it is worth it! I love the Creamy Eye Treatment, Creme de Corps, Lip Balm #1 and one of my favorite lip glosses of all time (and I am a major lip gloss girl) is the Golden Berry – perfect sheer red with a hint of golden glimmer.

    Now I have to try the Olive Oil Fruit Hair Treatment, grazie Bella.

    Peace.

  13. you should try Abba Pure Curl Prep Spray 8.45 oz (formally known as True Curls Activating Tonic). It smells incredibly fresh for summer and leaves hair so soft and shiny that you’ll never need thick greasy product again.

    All their products are pretty amazingly moisturizing and all natural. Definitely underrated.

  14. Ok, you’ve convinced me to return to Kiehl’s. I’ve got to try that Olive Fruit Oil hair pak – and maybe pick up some other goodies too.

    I’ve tried so many products, sometimes it gets to be a pain but Kiehl’s has always been a tried and true favorite.

    Out of all the products you’ve reviewed and used for hair and skin, would you say you had favorites?

    Might be interesting to see a post of your all-time favorites:

    Shampoo, Conditioner, Body scrub, lotion, facial cleanser, facial moisturizer, etc. :-)

  15. Bebroma, I use the neutrogena oilfreeeye makeup remover — its fabulous!

  16. I love Kiehls Creme De Corps Body Lotion and the Foot Creme!!!

  17. SoFrolushes says:

    The products sound interesting
    but
    having located stores around the uk that do sell them I cannot budget them in just yet. The olive fruit oil is £23/$40 approx.

  18. HeavenLeiBlu says:

    Oh, how I used to love my bi-monthly trek to the flagship store! The Ultra Facial moisturizer is my favorite beauty item, period. I also have a favorite retail therapy memory courtesy of Kiehl’s. Once, while I was there, it was a crazy busy day, but the sales associates were just as sweet and kind as ever- they found an earring that I’d lost there the last time I visited, and actually held it for me! I was floating on cloud nine as I drifted to the cash register, but all of them were about 3 customers deep. I didn’t care because I was so happy that I had my beloved earring! So when I got to the register, there suddenly was a glitch in the system. Every sales associate at the till had their system go down. They apologized profusely for a good 5 minutes or so. Then a manager came out, and wrote down every item we had, bagged them up, and told us to have a great day!

    La la la la la! I love Kiehl’s!

  19. LBellatrix says:

    Dating myself here…I bought a bottle of Creme with Silk Groom after reading that Linda Evangelista used it on her short crop. I was wearing short relaxed hair at the time (Halle Berry) and unfortunately the stuff was too heavy and greasy for me so I put it away.

    Fast forward a few years…I’m natural, wearing a not-quite-TWA, and digging through my linen closet I find this bottle. WOW! It was GREAT for my thick, fine-textured, supercoily/kinky CNapp hair. Sadly, as is the case with almost all products I use, the longer my hair got, the less effective it was. I eventually graduated to the heaviest leave-in, the Creme de la Creme Repairateur (which doesn’t seem to be offered on the Kiehl’s site) but by that time I’d found cheaper ways to get the same result.

  20. Bebroma says:

    Thank you, naturalmel. I’m heading to Wally World today.

  21. Love the line, especially partial to the Creme de Corps and my holy grail sunscreen Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. They just introduced a Restorative Moisturizing Line featuring Moroccan Argan oil that I’m DYING to try.

    Make a point to get to the flagship store every time I’m in NYC, I’ve been to stores all over but this one is the most generous with samples, especially the deluxe ones–good for the purse.

  22. Bella, I have been reading naturallycurly.com to research the Denman brush after I heard Tracee Ellis Ross sing it’s praises (my hair is 3b/c-ish?). Is it really awesome? I’ve been using Knot Today and Curling Custard after I wash/comb out my hair. Do you use product after you brush in the shower? Or are you able to get nice curl-age using just the brush? Do you prefer the Denman brush over a wide tooth comb for detangling? HELP!

  23. flygyrl72 says:

    Yeah, I had a feeling that the Silk Groom wouldn’t do much for my fro, thanks for confirming, Bella. But I have been wanting to try the Creme de Corps body lotion. Everyone always raves about it. I’m always in search of something that will keep the ash away. Has/does anyone else around here use it? Cause I just don’t want to spend the cash if it evaporates in an hour, I have dry skin…

  24. I love Kiehl’s Climate Proof Shine Enhancing Spray, when the humidity kicks in, it’s a curl saver.

  25. I like Kiehls products. The Silk Groom was pretty good. But, I LOVE the Cucumber Toner. It definitely clears my complexion. I’ve been dying to try to the Restorative Pak and, the Amino Acid Shampoo and Condition, the Leave-In and Detangler.

  26. I love the creme de corps and the intensive moisturizer in the white jar. I was in Rhode Island a while ago and it was so cold and dry. That was the only thing that saved my skin! I added you to my blogroll.

  27. Rita Wauls says:

    I just purchased 2 Miss Jessie’s products here in Atlanta. I’m interested in the Silkener. I’m presently using a Phyto 1 relaxer as a texturizer. Where can I get the Silkener done in Atlanta.

    Thank You as my hair has been a 50 year journey…from perms, Jeri Curl, Wave Nouveau, Ocean Wave, Body & Bounce, braids, Sister Locks and now a texturizer.

    Rita

  28. Rita Wauls says:

    Where can i get a Miss Jessie’s Silkener here in Atlanta.

    Thank You – Rita

  29. wordgirl says:

    my favorite natural hair product is kiehl’s formula 133. it’s thin enough to use as a daily hairdressing, or for an emergency deep-conditioner when my hair gets super dry. i coat my hair with it, pull my hair back in a bun, and let it absorb for about 10-15 minutes. instantly my hair is good to go! i’ve recommended this for everyone i know who’s afraid of the chem-to-natural transition. it’s been saving my hair since 1998!

  30. Honey you KNOW how I feel about Kiehl’s. I have been using silk groom for YEARS – it is especially helpful to me in the summertime when it’s humid. Did you get the olive oil shampoo & conditioner?? I am looking forward to trying that this weekend…

  31. Just wanted to let you all know Kiehl’s is having a friends and family saile. I’ve got a coupon for 20% off all my purchases. I got it from temptalia.com.

  32. I really DO love the Brightening Botanical Moisture Fluid…a makeup woman at Bloomingdale’s gave me a teensy sample of the stuff, and it’s lasted me a whole week! I have very irritated skin, that gets easily dry. I was using Cetephil, but that left my skin with red, dry patches that were kind of embarassing. When the makeup woman put Kiehl’s on my face, my skin soaked it up and was soft and happy the rest of the day! Plus, it has really helped tone out my patchy skin, and help get rid of my teenager acne. I plan to buy some, and hoping that the huge expense ($40) will be worth it!

  33. Hello, Kiehls DO test on animals.
    I wrote them asking if they did this practice and this is their response:

    May 13, 2010

    Thank you for your reply to our email.

    Within the context of the European Union’s 7th Amendment, safety tests on animals are absolutely necessary and compulsory for some ingredients, bearing in mind the lack of approved alternative methods, to ensure that the products which are marketed are safe, effective and innovative.

    Again, we invite you to view our Sustainable Development Report, which is posted on our company’s global website http://www.loreal.com.

    We appreciate your interest in Kiehl’s.

    Sincerely,
    Georgia
    Customer Relations
    Ref # 5576228

  34. Mixed Chicks! Has anyone sampled that? I have. I love it. Again, not everyone’s hair will respond the same to any one product.
    That’s my Two Cents.

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