Ouai

The Ace Edit - August 2018

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We are officially halfway through Summer and the real heat has yet to hIt New York City. I’ve recently had to make some beauty/lifestyle changes to adjust to these dog days of summer. 

MAKE PLAY

We all know I’ve been barefaced most of the summer, slathering nothing but SPF on my face. Just because I’ve been minimal doesn’t mean I’m boring. I do like to play. What I live for is a good base. Lately Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation has been supreme. just a few dots here and there and blended well. I even use foundations as a tinted moisturizer. The shade 240 just matches my skin perfectly and that is rare. I just want to enhance my natural glow honey. Once you find the perfect base everything else falls into place. For eyes , the Natasha Denona “Camel” palette is an everyday dream, no one’s shadow formula can compete with hers. For fun colors and shimmers I do live for Colourpop, I’m like an OG fan since the days of “Bae” and “Rex”. I’m not really wild with bold color yet I still like to play around with it. With Colourpop I’m not spending major coin but the quality of product is superb! 

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Curls Curls Curls Curls… Curls I Do Adore

I unexpectedly went natural. I didn’t plan on it, it just happened during a dark time last year. Stress and Depression made my hair falling out in little clumps. I went into hiding for 7 months, just coming out here and there. Since I wasn’t going anywhere except work, I didn’t feel the need to do my hair anymore. I had stopped putting high heat and/or chemicals on my hair and just washing, rinsing and using hair oils and a hair gel that is free of shitty chemicals to slick my hair back and lay down my baby hurrs.  I also started cutting it more often which has been aiding in my hair growth. You know how they say you have to fall in order to rise up. Taking those months and having time to myself allowed my hair to be repaired and for the texture to improve and for my strands to become thicker and my curls... well,  actually becoming curls again. For The first time ever, I can say that I unapologetically love my hair. 

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SILKY AF

The struggling battle with my Keratosis Pilaris is ongoing and I’m looking for new products everyday to get it under control. Currently it has been super uncomfortable in this heat. Frank Body came all the way through with their Coconut Body Balm. My Skin Soaks it all up while leaving me with a silky gleam. 

The skin on my face has been silky smooth thanks to Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. Smoothing out my texture and renewing my skin leaving me with a pretty perfect radiance. I use Glossier’s Solution for daily exfoliation, while using this treatment once a week or bi weekly. IT IS CRUCIAL THAT YOU ALWAYS FOLLOW UP ANY PRODUCT CONTAINING AHA/BHA WITH SUNSCREEN!

 

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Vital Beauty 

A good night’s sleep can actually set you up for a much more positive day. It all begins with preparations like investing in the right sheets (Find out if you’re a hot or cold sleeper… it has helped me out in finding the perfect material for me to snooze in). I’m a hot sleeper so cotton percale sheets from Parachute and Brooklinen have been amazing. Plus, the less that I sweat at night, the less breakouts I wake up with. I prefer my sheets in a calming shade and/or clean, uncomplicated prints. 

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Setting up the perfect nighttime routine, from using a soothing lavender body wash, a dreamy bath bomb, a drop of Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil to a relaxing cup of té de manzanilla. 

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Clean, sleek PJs make me so excited for bed. I love bralettes  and sleep shorts from Aerie, They are affordable and make me so excited to get ready for bed. Preparing for bed makes me look forward to getting some rest and waking up more positive, motivated and ready to take on the day. 

 

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GOALS

I Love Starting fresh. It makes me feel like I can achieve anything. I’m entering a new chapter with a new job and with it I want to just start fresh from the inside out. TRACKING MY WATER INTAKE BECAUSE DEHYDRATION IS REAL EATING CLEAN AND HEALTHY. COMPLETELY CLEANSING MY BODY AND FILLING IT WITH NUTRIENTS. Taking my daily vitamins, being active, even if its the bare minimum. Let me clarify, This isn’t about size. Slender, Pudgy, Plus… You can actually be healthy at any size. You don’t have to be skinny to be considered healthy (Have you seen Ashley Graham, Iskra Lawrence, Jessamyn Stanley?) Just being pro active in your life regardless of the number on the scale or on your jeans. Taking action and making healthier choices that are perfect for YOU, so that YOU can be the best and healthiest that you can be and most importantly… HAPPY.

The Ace Edit - Summer 2018

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Welcome to the first ever ACE EDIT! Filled with my current obsessions, my top shelf, health and mental guide and goals. A digital seasonal/monthly journey to achieve an outer and inner glow.

Summer is the season when I embrace my most natural state. I put down the blow dryer and opt for a fro or ballerina bun. I’m usually bare faced unless I’m going out on some random evening. I like to go for walks along the river and stop at bench to gather my thoughts and write out my feelings, iced matcha in hand, just taking in the season... and uncomfortable heat. 

TAN TIP: Put some Colourpop Loose Highlighter into your bottle of Suntan Oil, You will glow like a mermaid while getting bronzed.

TAN TIP: Put some Colourpop Loose Highlighter into your bottle of Suntan Oil, You will glow like a mermaid while getting bronzed.

SUMMER SKIN

Lately I just really care about protecting my skin and having it naturally glow. Have you seen Ashley Graham’s skin lately? She has been my inspiration. Clean, gleaming, healthy skin. I like to use a simple daily routine using all Glossier. Starting with Milky Jelly Cleanser, then I exfoliate  with Solution  to balance and even out my skin’s texture as well as preventing and clearing any blemishes. I step in with Priming Moisturizer RICH because I’m a dry ass bish. I finish it off with Invisible Shield. I know, it’s not waterproof but this shit doesn’t break me out which 99.9% of sunscreens do! Plus If you are using any products like Solution that contain AHA, BHA and PHA IT IS CRUCIAL THAT YOU USE SUNSCREEN.

SCRUBBA DUB DUB

I’m really obsessed with exfoliating my body and scrubbing off the layers of sunscreen and sweat from a long hot day. I love Lush’s Ocean Salt, I also scrub my face with it a couple of times a week to give that clean brightening effect. Lush’s RUB RUB RUB works great too and smells so damn divine. I tend to concentrate on the areas where my keratosis pilaris is apparent af. I do love coffee scrubs from FRANK BODY for those areas affected with KP as well, I just don’t love the way it dirties my tub. but they do WONDERS at exfoliating and healing. 

 

SCENTSATIONAL

Lately my scent has actually been Glossier’s Body Hero Oil Wash . I live for the neroli scent in that product, therefore making me indulge in Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. The scent transports me from sticky, steamy NYC, to Somewhere in Northern Italy. 

 

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MAKEUP MANUAL

Makeup has been kept very light this season. For work I’m barefaced. For the evening, if I get pulled out of my cozy bed for a glass of rosé at Sel Rose, I’d opt for NARS Tinted Moisturizer, and Concealer, FENTY Matte Match Stix to try and lightly contour to slenderize my face a bit, Marc Jacobs Bronzer, NYX Brow Pencil, Glossier Boy Brow, Glossier Dusk Cloud Paint. MAC Stripdown lip pencil paired with any of my many shimmery, clear glosses. I usually end with a wing and/or mascara but if I’m feeling it, I’d throw on some shadow and demi wispies. Of course I add some glow, Colourpop Loose Highlighters are a fave at the moment for a pretty subtle iridescence, I love the way the sun reflects off of it. 

Did you know that choosing a calming color on your nails can help with anxiety when you glance down at your nail? I find this to be accurate. My favorite color is Periwinkle, which as you know is a super calming shade of blue therefore Floss Gloss’s “95% Angel” is my go-to, signature polish. 

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MANE TAME

I don’t straighten my hair unless I’m going to the salon for a trim and  undercut upkeep. It’s WAY too hot and my edges will curl up in .3 seconds. I simply wash the stress flakes away, bless you ORIBE SERENE SCALP Shampoo and Conditioner for keeping my scalp free of Frosted Flakes. I like to go in with a OUAI Trifecta of Rose Hair & Body Oil, Leave-in Conditioner and a few sprays of "Sun of a Beach" to naturally lighten up my strands to look Sunkissed, I also love to use Kristin Ess Weightless Air Dry Creme. I honestly have no patience for my hair in the summertime, so I keep it as minimal as possible. 

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VITAL BEAUTY

I am someone who deals with anxiety and depression. I have my moments and with all that is happening in this country, it's not helping. I try my best to aid myself when the lows hit. I find that I must separate myself in order to RECHARGE and FOCUS on MYSELF. Sometimes we care about people so much and want to be there for them that to the point that we exhaust ourselves, sacrificing our inner peace and happiness in the process. It is absolutely vital for me to be pull myself away and take a break. I must do this because if I don’t it makes me resent people and I don’t have it in me to carry around that type of baggage. It does get lonely, especially if you’re like me and don’t have anyone to confide in and/or fear of being a burden to others. You’re on your own and you figure out ways to aid yourself during this time alone. I like to write my thoughts down and sometimes tear up the paper so I can just release all of that bullshit in my head, Keeping shit internalized is a NO for me. Small things help me out so much. Moments like  the way the sun creeps through my window and hits my sheets in the morning, make me feel good about taking on the day.

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MY SELF CARE TIPS

JOURNALING - Write those thoughts down! Release that negativity lingering in your mind, causing you to overthink.

BULLET JOURNALING - I find that organization and planning calms my anxiety. 

SUMMER READING LIST - Getting lost in a fictional story distracts you from your own, like a tiny escape from reality. 

BINGE ON A SHOW - There's nothing wrong with binging on entertainment once in a while. May I recommend GLOW

MAKE A SOOTHING SUMMER PLAYLIST - Believe it or not, Music has healing powers!

GO FOR A POWER WALK - A physical way to release those lingering thoughts on overdrive. 

AT HOME SPA - Pair a face mask with that journaling, reading or bingeworthy show. 

CALM APP - I recommend this to everyone. I have used mine everyday for the past few years. The sound of rain brings me peace.

LIGHT A CANDLE - I find this to be such a soothing luxury. My favorite candle is ASH from BOY SMELLS

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*Professional Help - Sometimes you reach a point where being there for yourself just isn’t enough and THAT IS OKAY. There is nothing wrong with seeking help from a professional. I’ve done it a few times and I feel so much better afterwards. 

 

 

 

Take care of yourself. Until Next time...

Glossy Skin, Glossy Lips, Glossy Life

Shampoo + Conditioner Combo Perfect For That Effortless, Low Maintenance Bob: Ouai Haircare

“OUAI MEANS YES, IN THAT CASUAL, PARISIAN WAY. IT’S ABOUT SAYING YES TO REAL HAIR FOR REAL LIFE. AND TO LOOKING CHIC, NO MATTER HOW MANY FOLLOWERS YOU HAVE.”

 

 

For a girl who has had extra long hair nearly her whole life, transitioning to a bob was a big change. But I needed to make it. I had been sitting on dozens of saved photos in my phone of the perfect bob. I even went to wig shops to find my perfect length. Being plus size, we are always advised to not bring attention here and there as if a hair length or a strategically placed belt could disguise any of that. I love my new look! I was never scared that I would look fatter with shorter hair because looking fat is not the crime against humanity much of the fashion + beauty industry would have you believe. My concern was the frizz. I've told you that I came out the womb with a frizzy mane. My hair natural hair texture is frizzy with some waves and bends here and there. But underneath that vibrant purple rain hair is a year's worth of bleaching. I was strawberry blonde for a year before made the switch to purple. I had even gone to wig shops to find my perfect blonde, too. That's just how I am when it comes to my hair. Boujee Brat. So I didn't know if Ouai would live up to my hair standards. 

I've been testing the Ouai Volumizing Shampoo + Smoothing Conditioner. 

This is not a drill. This is not an exaggeration! When I first tested my Ouai products, I immediately texted Pepper B. to say that I was hooked. I told her that after the FIRST use I noticed a difference in my hair. At the end of 2016 when I went blonde, my natural hair texture, which I actually love, nearly vanished. I loved my new blonde locks, but it needed tons of TLC. With my natural dark hair, I was use to just letting my hair do her thing because of the frizz factor. The frizz factor meant that if I tried too hard with my hair, I'd end up Rubeus Hagrid. But if you've bleached your hair, you know it takes a village of products to maintain any hair health. While I don't regret going blonde, I missed the easy effortlessness of my natural hair texture. This Ouai combination brought it back! It came back! I can let my hair air dry and just be. From the first use!

My absolute favorite way to use this shampoo and conditioner combo is not shampoo then conditioner. On days when I don't want to fuss with my hair, I make a mixture of the Volume Shampoo and Smoothing Conditioner. and wash my hair in one step. It gives my hair lift and smoothness. I can let my hair air dry and don't have to put anything in it to make it look decent. I can just go. I love it!!!!

If you're a regular reader of meetpepperb.com, (bro, you should be!) you know our contributors LOVE Ouai Haircare. 5 stars every time! We are all so beauty obsessed, our 5 star rating does not come easy. Find out what other products we think deserve 5 stars here.  When I got my turn to try Ouai products, I was expecting great quality because I trust my fellow contributors. I was not expecting to my have my hair restored to it's OG glory!

The Ouai Volume Shampoo is more viscous than I am use to in a shampoo. I love that a little bit of product goes a long way. I like to apply the product to my scalp and build the lather. It doesn't suds up right away so you can give your scalp a nice little massage. This shampoo turns into a thick lather that really covered all of my hair. When I rinse the product, my hair feels healthy and clean. My hair does not feel stripped of moisture. 

The Ouai Smoothing Conditioner helps to calm my frizz without making my hair flat to my head. If your hair is thin or has a medium thickness, this is a great conditioner because it's not heavy. I like volume in my hair. How often I use a product comes down to how much lift my hair has at the roots. I don't like flat hair. This conditioner has pretty good slip. Slip refers to how easy the product spreads in your hair. You ever use a conditioner that just doesn't move through your strands so you end up using and wasting too much product. The Ouai Conditioner moves pretty easily my hair.

The only thing about the Ouai shampoo and conditioner that I could do without is the scent. It doesn't smell bad, it is floral and feminine. But there is a lot of it. When I'm in the shower, it can be a little overwhelming. However, it still gets 5 stars because the scent doesn't linger on my hair. 

Ouai is a brand started by celebrity hairstylist, Jen Atkin. She says, "I know the OUAI girl. She works hard and wants to have fun. She is grounded, effortless, smart, and cool." She wanted to create a line so that everyday women can have modern, effortless hair. That is exactly how I feel and look when I use her products! Give them a try and find you Ouai!

 

Available at sephora.com; Volume Shampoo, $26; Smoothing Conditioner, $26

Photos from Ouai's IG are indicated as such. Follow them here

All other photos are property of meetpepperb.com

What Is Your Effortless Hair Routine?

OUAI Medium Hair Spray

By Amanda V.

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Gone are the days when hairspray wouldleave your hair hard to the touch, crunchy and with flaky white residue. I cringe at the thought of it. I always avoided hairspray because i felt that it was so hard and crunchy that the strand would break off. This Ouai Medium hairspray is the complete opposite of what I feared. Not only does this smell like a a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, but it has such a great hold, as well as leavingyour strands soft and touchable with body and movement. This spray worked perfect for taming my annoying flyaways and massive amount of baby hairs by spritzing a bit on a toothbrush as well as over my entire blowout for a frizz free barrier. Even through the most humid day this year as well as getting caught up in the rain, my hair never frizzed, it stood exactly the same as when I left my house. What made me love this product even more is that it works well with my damaged, thin strands. While many products tend to weight my hair down down, this Hairspray is featherweight with the lightest mist. I haven't experienced any white flakes or sticky residue whatsoever which is what I look for most in a product such as hairspray (which i thought was absolutely impossible until now). Ouai has yet to fail me and has become a major staple in my hair routine and trying to get my hair back to it's healthiest state.

You can grab a 7.2oz can at your local Sephora and Sephora.com as well as TheOuai.com for $26. I recommend this product to those who want a frizz free blowout and also those whose strands are on the finer side and cant use heavy product. 

Ouai Haircare Soft Mousse Review

Written by Deanna P

I recently read an article that spoke very highly of Ouai haircare.  I was super excited when I received the soft mousse to try.  I first noticed the sleekpackaging.  It put off a simple elegant vibe that I really liked.  

The Mousse size is net wt 6.7 oz /190 g & retails for $28.00.  

 

Ouai was created in 2016by renowned celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin.  Jen’s career started in Hollywood where she has worked with the Kardashians, Jessica Alba, & Christy Teigen to name a few.   Her career has done phenomenally & she charges $1100 for a haircut & blow dry. After traveling the globe she wanted to start a hair care brand that spoke to the the real woman.  Something that everyone could relate to.  We as consumers have so much to choose from that it is hard to navigate all that there is out there.  Jen Atkin’s goal was to make something modern, that provided effortless style everyday.   Jen says,  “Life is hard, looking good should be easy” Oauimeans yes in a casual Parisian way.  The company’s tag line:Say YES to Real Hair for Real Life.   #sayOuai

 

Ouai has made mousse cool again!  The mousse makes hair fuller & bouncier.  It is a non sticky mousse, that smell terrific & volumes your hair beautifully.  There is no animal testing & it is paraben free.  It also won Redbook’s best new product as the best volumizer.  The mousse can be used in damp or dry hair.  Work it in into hair to calm frizz or boost the volume. I used it for a few days.  Two of the days I put it in my damp hair & let it dry naturally.  When I had used mousse in the past, my hair was sticky & crunchy.  This mousse made my hair look soft & beautiful.  I loved the texture.  The third day, I blew it out & it also looked great.  Soft, beautiful smooth locks. I definitely would use this mousse on an everyday basis.  I feel it is definitely a good value for the price.  A lot of mousse is inexpensive, but it absolutely does not work as well.  

 

I can’t wait to try other products by this brand.  

You can purchase products at: 

 theouai.com or sephora.com

 

OUAI REPAIR SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER

By: Amanda V.

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This particular review took some time to write up because I wanted it to be honest and things like Shampoo and Conditioner take time to see if it actually works. It’s been 2 and a half months and I’ve emptied my bottles and I think it’s time to post my thoughts on The Ouai Haircare Repair Shampoo and Conditioner Duo. 

First off, let me just say that Hair is something that is so troublesome for me. From having dry, tight curls to dry scalp (TMI?) to hair loss from stress, the list never ends. My natural hair is something I desperately needed to care for as if it was a newborn baby. I’ve chopped off all damage from dyes, chemicals etc. I needed to start brand new. Growing up an Afro Latina, I naturally have really tight, fluffy curly hair but was always told It was ugly or “bad” “nappy” you name it. I’ve had multiple straightening treatments that damaged my scalp and texture that took YEARS and so many chops to fully grow out of that all of my life I was insecure about it. Although I’ve been treating my hair well recently and getting frequent trims and not putting heat to it everyday, it is still prone to breakage and very delicate. I refuse to use anymore drugstore shampoos that contain harsh chemicals that make my hair worse rather than improve. Some of those products are equivalent to laundry detergent. I also refuse to EVER chemically damage my natural hair with straighteners. Ive been natural for MANY YEARS and i still have some effects from past damage. My hair deserves so much better than that. 

I was so excited when Celebrity Hair Queen Jen Atkin came out with her haircare line. I am already obsessed with her Hair Oil (My number 1 product from last year) as well as her Hair Masque and Matte Pomade, so I decided to dive in and grab the Ouai Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. The Shampoo and Conditioner is free of harsh chemicals like Sulfates which are terrible for your strands and scalp and strip away the moisture from your hair and make your scalp flaky and parabens which can lead to serious health issues. First of all, I love that her shampoos smell like a luxurious perfume without being overwhelming to the point that you’ll end up with a headache. It makes me feel like washing my hair is more like a pamper session and not a chore. The Shampoo lathers really well and after a double shampoo wash I apply the conditioner which makes my hair instantly SOFT. I leave it on for 5 minutes and then rinse. It makes using a Wet Brush to comb out the tangles so much easier. This conditioner is a godsend that tames my unruly frizzy hair leaving it silky and manageable. I can’t stress to you enough about how long it’s been since my hair felt this good. I haven’t loved a hair duo this much since my 2012 Obsession with Arrojo Shine Luxe Shampoo and Conditioner, which still has the sexiest scent of a cleansing product ever. 

I’ve done a couple of blowouts in the past month and with just OUAI products to see what the brand does for my hair. The Shampoo, Conditioner, occasionally the Hair Masque, Hair Oil and Wave Spray leavesMy strands, silky with shine (I repeat SHINE, not to be confused with greasy) and it smells wonderful for days. I honestly think in large part to the REPAIR CONDITIONER. My self blowouts come out salon perfect. My hair looks healthier and I can see and feel the change in how much softer my hair is and the less stress fallout I’ve had. These products do not aggravate my scalp whatsoever which deserves a praise and my hair is growing quickly and healthily and I assume that it’s these products that are helping, along with my stylist who travels to cut/trim my hair (Adore her!!). I’ve started to be in a more loving relationship with my hair, accepting it for its natural texture and treating it very well. I am one step closer to reaching my goal of gaining confidence with my hair.

These product are priced at$26 to $28 (The shampoo is $28 for 10 oz and the conditioner is $26 for 8.45 oz) and are sold at Sephora.com as well as TheOuai.com, where you can get a hair consult to see what regimen would be best for you hair. I totally recommend this set to those with damaged, unruly, dry, unmanageable strands, pick up this set and give it a few weeks to see and feel the difference. If these products can transform my hair, then that means it can work it’s magic on yours can as well.

Ouai Haircare Hair Oil Review

By: Amanda V.

My natural hair is very frizzy, curly, and slightly unruly. Although my natural hair is a big fro, it is fine and because of this I don’t like to weigh it down with multiple products. I like to keep my haircare routine as simple as possible. Shampoo, conditioner or sometimes a co wash, a hair mask or deep conditioner and then heat protectant (if using heat) and hair oil because my hair is pretty dehydrated. Most hair oils are way too thick for my hair and the build up becomes too much that I have to wash my hair way more than I'd like to, which is stripping my hair of it’s natural oils. Early this summer I came across Ouai Hair Oil from Sephora.
The creator of the brand, Jen Atkin is known as the Queen of the celebrity hair world with clients like Jessica Alba, The Kardashian Clan Chrissy Teigen. Who doesn't envy their gorgeous, healthy mane? Each person from her clientele has stunning hair so I took a chance and grabbed it knowing that if I was unhappy with it I can always take it back. Since it was so hot and humid this summer, I abandoned my blowouts and mostly wore my hair natural and curly with very minimal product. This hair oil became a staple in my routine. It is so lightweight and nourishing that my hair never looked frizzy and parched and my curls never weighed down. They still had a bounce. After realizing how much I loved the way this product worked with my natural texture, I decided to try this oil with a blowout. WOW. My hair looks healthy and silky without looking stiff and extremely oily. It doubles as a heat protectant so I don't have to really use all the heat protecting balms and sprays. It is that perfect all in one product. It's great for taming frizz and flyaway as well as that finishing drop for a post blowout shine. This oil also protects my freshly darkened locks from fading and becoming dull. The scent of this product is what makes it feel so luxurious. It has a chic, fresh floral scent that isn’t too overpowering.

For 26 US dollars you get 1.7oz of product which is pretty decent considering it will last you 3 months if used frequently. That's how long it lasted me and I just finished a bottle. This oil works for everyone but especially Those of us with more fine stands. Check this oil out ASAP! It really is incredibly lightweight and the perfect multitasking hair product. I personally cannot wait to try out a few more hair products from the OUAI line. You can say I'm OUAI too addicted now.


Fun Tip: I mix this oil with my leave in/deep conditioners and masks. I feel like it makes a difference.