18 April 2010

[review] the INFAMOUS eco styler! (clear)

ingredients: water, carbomer, hydrolyzed wheat protein, pvp, glycerin triethanolamine, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, polysorbate 20, tetrasodium edta, fragrance, love and pride

so... i have had this gel almost as long as i've been natural and i'd only used it once or twice before stuffing it under my bed and forgetting about it. i've only very recently unearthed it, but i've been working with it for about a week or so. i know i'm chronically "late," seeing as how almost every natural with an internet connection has been using this stuff, or has at least heard of it. but, hey, that doesn't make my review any less amazing. ;)

like i said, i ordered this last year. i specifically remembered wanting to find a small jar to test since i didn't have a lot of hair. i found a vendor on ebay who sold the cute little 8 oz jars, so i decided to buy for no more than five dollars. imagine my surprise when i come home one day to this big-ass box to see they accidentally sent me the 32 oz! holy moly! .... of course i kept it. *ahem* so i realize, these aren't the most reliable price points, so according to the website for sally's beauty supply, you can buy yourself the 32 ounce tub for five bucks (three, if you catch it during an online sale). i bought the much cuter 12 oz jar for a friend from cvs, and that joint was a little more than 3-4 dollars, i can't quite remember since it was last year.

point is, this gel is ridiculously affordable. you can snag a 12 oz jar for no more than 4 dollars tops. this is one gel you'll definitely want to skip your beauty supply store because they tend to have ridiculous markups. head to your local sally's or cvs to find this at a steal.

and if accessibility and price points weren't good enough for you... they have different sizes! yes! we all know what a fanatic i am about being able to have a few different options. you can get this in either 8, 12, 16, or 32 oz. fabulous! really - i adore sizing options. i think every company should have them.

and speaking of options... i guarantee you ecoco (the manufacturing company) has a gel for you. need a little extra protein? grab the black one. relaxed and need a little extra tlc? the blue jar is for you. want your gel to come with a bit more moisture? bam - the green gel is your shtick (the new olive oil formula, which i'm quite keen to try next). i think they even have a pink, bright yellow, and orange gel, each with a different function in addition to their standard gel duties. i'd direct you to their website, but they seem to be revamping and i don't know why, because the holding page looks like some crap and the previous site was gorgeous - simple, understated, and streamlined. but it seems like they're rolling out some new products, so i'm excited to see what they have planned. :)

as for the packaging... finally, a jar i adore! the smaller jars are particularly cool because of the top. it's your standard twist-top, but has a notable thickness that others don't. the edges are round and there's a slight bevel with the "E" logo of the ecoco company. the top makes the rest of the jar, in my opinion. there's just such an incredibly clean finish to this and it's so well made. the top of the jar just barely extends outwards to match the width of the large top and the edges of the bottom of the jar are curved as well. couple that with the sporty, mainstream orange and blue and the impact of the square font and you've got a product that's as good to look at and hold as it is to use.

the packaging on this is really something i enjoy and i wish more companies would put more effort in the making slightly more unique bottles and jars - it's part of the experience, after all. i have noticed that more expensive products do tend to have more elaborate bottles, but i'm not interested in spending money on packaging when i can't guarantee the performance of the product inside.

consistency and texture are typical of most gels - thick and smooth. and the scent... gel-y.

performance on this gel really speaks for itself - just take a look at how many naturals swear by this stuff. it's the poor man's kinky curly. i tried this in earnest on a section of my hair last week and it defined the strands beautifully. i only used a bit because this is when it started to bead up over my mozeke moisturizer. i remember that i didn't have much shine, but that's nothing a quick dab of coconut oil wouldn't fix. i haven't done a full shingle with this, but i know i could with no problem.

one thing that continually impresses me is that this gel never dries hard. i know one woman on youtube, who will remain nameless, who uses this to shingle pretty much each and every individual strand and her hair did look crunchy and stiff. but i'm happy to report that i've had no such experience. and even through the day, no flaking or abnormal frizziness. i typically just lazily run this through my hair and that leaves me satisfied.

this gel gives a great, firm hold without the dreaded crunch and you really can't beat the availability or price points. the spreadability doesn't compare to kinky curly, considering they're two completely different formulations/textures, you may need to work with it a little more than the kccc, but it doesn't present any kind of problem. it performs just as well, if not better.

i would recommend this to anyone in a heart beat and it'd be a definite repurchase. i'm not a huge (store-bought) gel junkie, but i do like trying curl defining products although i will admit i'm not as enthusiastic as i once was. while there's a lot of variety on the market, i feel like if you've tried one kind, you've tried them all. but i'll explain that all in another post. :)

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)