I simply adore my subscription to Birchbox and I recently stumbled upon a site called BzzAgent which is a word-of-mouth service for companies to sample their products to consumers. You start off answering quite a series of questionnaires that gives the company a profile on you. When BzzCampaigns come available that fit your profile. My first BzzCampaign was for Garnier Olia oil powered permanent color.
I received an envelope in the mail with an informational packet and a coupon for a free box of Olia hair color. Here's a before photo of what I was working with. And for the record, I EARNED every single one of those greys.
I picked up the color 4.3 Dark Golden Brown and sat down one quiet evening and colored.
Here are the contents of the box. It included Developer, an empty applicator bottle, after color conditioner, and
these horrible, awful, cheap plastic gloves. One serious pet-peeve of mine is the crappy gloves most hair colors include with their product. Typically, most companies have clear gloves. When I first saw these I though, "Wonderful! Garnier upped it with real rubber gloves! (my normal hair color - John Frieda Precision Foam Colour has the nicer rubber gloves). I was highly disappointed when I found these were just the plastic cheap gloves, only in black. I ended up wripping them half way through the coloring process, as they are not flexible.
One rather confusing part of this kit was the separate developer and applicator bottle. Typically, the developer comes IN the applicator bottle in most hair colors. In this kit, you need to squeeze the Developer into the applicator bottle. I was unable to get every last drop from the developer tube (which was similar to a hair gel bottle). Seems like an extra step for the consumer, as well as extra waste that was not necessary. On the subject of the applicator bottle, I found it bulky in my hand and there was a lot of excess space in the bottle once I filled it with developer and colorant.
I followed the directions for "Option #2" since I color my hair regularly. It required me to put the color on my roots and wait 20 minutes, then apply the remainder of the color and wait 10 minutes, totalling 30 minutes processing time. I did find that there was not a lot of color left to pull through my ends and I was worried I might not have enough product to finish. I'm not sure how longer haired girls handled this, or if it was an issue with them.
I was rather concerned about rinsing the color at the end of 30 minutes. I switched from traditional cream hair colors to foam color due to the time it took to rinse the color out of my hair. I have very thick, but fine hair. I found that no matter how much I rinsed, I would still have color come off on my towel and never truly got it rinsed out. Garnier Olia rinsed very cleanly out of my hair, rather quickly and I was very surprised and pleased. It did leave my hair INITIALLY very rough feeling, almost like straw. I used the after color conditioner and it still felt rough, so I followed it up with my normal conditioner for some extra moisture.
Surprisingly, once dry, my hair was silky soft and I was rather pleased with the result. Will I switch to Garnier Olia instead of my beloved John Frieda Foam? I don't believe so. I found the applicator bottle was difficult to work with and I got a hand cramp from holding the bulky bottle.
Here is a shot of my hair 2 days later (frizzy from the dry cold weather we've been having). You can see it covered my grey pretty much completely, with a few lingering pieces (we'll call those "highlights", m-kay?)
I am a BzzAgent and received these products from BzzAgent.com for review at no cost to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my open and unbiased review. The purpose of BzzAgents is to generate word of mouth sharing of information – both good and bad – about the products offered by both familiar and unfamiliar companies. If you’re interested in what they do, please give them a visit and consider signing up.