The Elle Wig by Jon Renau in Color 4/33

For some time I’ve been growing out my bio hair and it is finally almost touching my shoulders. I do not have hair loss at all, but I do have pretty baby-fine hair that tends to be flat and limp when it’s longer so I’ve always worn it quite short. However, when I started wearing long wigs I realized I really do  look better with long hair – just not with MY long hair. For a year or so I kept my bio hair really short and wore long wigs out and about a lot, but it always drew a ton of attention because of the drastic change. While I don’t mind it necessarily, I decided I wanted a less explanation-worthy solution, so I decided to grow my bio hair out long and continue to wear long wigs so that I could go with them or without and not get as much questioning from people about it.

It was about three years ago when I started growing it, and I finally have my stringy, fairly limp bio hair almost to my shoulders. So, I’ve been casting about for a long bob wig to supplement it without much success – Haute is perfect but I hate the HD fiber so I wasn’t going to go with that one again, then I tried Mila by Revlon but it did not look good on me at all, and Isabelle by Margu looked too wiggy to me up top as well as being too light color-wise. I’d always suspected Elle would be a really good candidate, but I tend to want to constantly try new styles rather than re-purchase ones I’ve already owned and I’ve had Elle in Shaded Peach in the past. After the failures of Mila and Isabelle though, I changed my tune about trying new styles and decided I’d rather have something tried and true if I was going to spend more money, so Elle it was.

Unfortunately, I was quite unhappy with Elle when I got her in. I found the lacefront to be sparse about an inch or so back from the hairline, and I thought it looked really weird with my dark bio hair all smushed up underneath it. I ranted about it to some online friends, many of whom agreed with me, but some of whom thought it was fine. Here’s a close-up of what I’m talking about:

 

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Several companies that make lace fronts also have this weird white line that indicates where the lace ends and the monofilament top begins; I am sure there’s a reason it’s there that makes sense, but in a lot of wigs it shows through the fiber and can be seen. I pretty much hate that white line, but it isn’t going anywhere, so for the most part I try to deal with it. Sometimes I even use a dark brown magic marker to try and darken it, which I did a little on Elle but not on the section shown above. I was so pissed off about the hairplug-look of the crown area that I threw Elle back in the box and ignored it for several days while decided whether or not to try and return it. However, over the weekend I knew I wanted to take pictures of Easy Edge and get it reviewed, and I decided to pull Elle back out of the package and try her on again – and lo and behold, I liked it better. Much, much better, in fact:

 

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How does this happen? All I could see when I tried it on the first time was the terrible lace front and monofilament top and all  my real hair squashed under what looked like hair plugs; this time I barely noticed anything amiss with the top at all. This is part of what makes wig-shopping frustrating; our expectations and mood as well as different lighting, clothing or makeup colors, etc. can all affect what we think of a wig when we put it on, or change a we wig love into one we find questionable after wearing it for several weeks. That’s why I’m always reluctant to return wigs when I get them in and don’t like them; it’s rare to be able to return a wig without a bunch of fees and a lot of hassle and I’d rather hold onto mine awhile and see how I feel about them later and sell them on my own to someone else if I do decide I don’t like them.  Bottom line here though, is that after a few days, I now think Elle is fine.

Better than fine – I really like it. I went for the 4-33 this time, which is a very dark color, but my bio hair is also dark and I wanted a decent match. The 4-33 is darker than my real hair, but not by much, and since the 6F27 is too highlighted (my real hair has no highlights) and the other browns don’t thrill me, I took the plunge and went with 4-33 even though I was nervous about it being too dark for me. In the end, it is dark, but at the same time, I find it really pretty. I also like the feel of the hair fiber on the 4-33 (I’ve noticed with Renaus that different colors feel different, don’t ask me why) as it’s a bit coarse and looks quite realistic – almost devoid of shine unless you are using a flash camera. The 4-33 does seem a little sheddy though; I find a lot of stray wig hairs in my face that I have to brush away constantly. But overall the color is gorgeous. And as I already mentioned, in looking at the lace front and monotop this time around, I didn’t see it as nearly the problem I considered it before, although it still is a bit sparse when you look at it up close.

 

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Lace front crisis aside; the cut of Elle is just what I like, and in my dreams my bio hair could only be this lovely and thick. It is an easy wig to wear and the hair stays out of my face generally – aside from the wispy strays that wander around and eventually get yanked out by me – and the cap is comfortable and a good fit for an average-petite head with a full head of hair underneath. It has lovely movement and is simple and flattering; I don’t think it’s overly glam like a Renau Giselle or Adriana might be, and even though it’s quite full I do think it’s a nice day-to-day style.

 

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It isn’t a cheap wig; Renau was just starting to hike up those prices when this one came out last year, but it’s still a steal compared to the prices on the wigs that came out this Spring. I got mine for $200 which was a good deal off the list price, so not too bad, but still more than I’d like to spend on a synthetic. It seems to be the way of things now, though, that even synthetic long wigs with any kind of added feature like a monofilament top/part or a lacefront are going to start at the $200 line and go up from there. Guess I just have to get used to it – although when still in a snit about the lace front/hair plug issue I bought a good old Brandi for its double-monofilament top and cheaper price (about $130 at Name Brand Wigs – and what happened to double monofilament tops anyway? Seems only Amore still makes them but I could be wrong; guess they’ve been sacrificed at the altar of lace fronts now). In spite of the price, Elle is a pretty perfect choice for me right now and I’m glad I made the purchase and gave the wig a chance; it’s a comfortable cap with nice hair fiber and although it’s thick I think I can still handle wearing it in summer. I never know with Renau what kind of lace front I’m going to get since they can be unreliable, so that’s the only drawback I can see. Raquel Welch’s lace fronts seem more consistent, but then again with wigs, it’s always gonna be something.

 

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To close this out, here’s a shot of Elle taken outside in natural light. I’ll be back later to review the Brandi I bought, as well as the Shilo I picked up for good measure. I had videos of those wigs up before, but I’ve not written anything about them, and they are both reliable older styles I always like, which is why I re-purchased them. The wig binge continues, so let’s all enjoy it for as long as it lasts. 🙂

 

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The Easy Edge Wig by LuxHair WOW in Color 10/130TR

Easy Edge is a style I’ve owned before, but I got it in a color that was awful on me – 747T – and I got rid of it pretty quickly. When I first bought it though, I thought the style was incredibly cute, and I remember sending pictures of it to a bunch of friends who all seemed underwhelmed by it. That probably influenced my decision to pass it along, but I still blame the color more than anything. It’s remained on my radar as a style I wanted to try again someday in a better shade, and when I got a $50 gift certificate from Vogue Wigs, I figured it was time to give it another go. It’s not a wig that’s available everywhere the LuxHair WOW line is sold, and often times I can’t find it available in the color I want; in fact, this time I really wanted a plain and simple dark brown but it was out of stock, so I went with the red that at least had brown mixed in so it would blend better with my bio hair (my hair has reached a length that makes short wigs more tricky, so I always want to be sure if anything ends up slipping out of the cap it at least is a close match).

 

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The bangs on this wig are shorter than just about any other I’ve tried, and in the photos here I used some styling cream to give them texture as they tend to just sit there going straight across the forehead without it. But I like that the stylists really went for it and gave this one a good short fringe – that’s hard to find in a short wig without having to cut them yourself, and personally I am terrible at bang-trimming. I also like the amount of coverage over the ears and in the back; my bio hair is longer now and I don’t have to worry too much with this one about stray hairs slipping out, because over the ears and at the nape things are covered.

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The color here is also fantastic. Even though it wasn’t my first choice, in the end I’m glad I got it because it’s very fun and fits the funky style of the wig perfectly.

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I just love all the texture in this one! The crown area is very all-over-the-place, and unless you want to break out your hairdryer or a flat iron it’s going to do what it wants; the fiber is heat-friendly so you could do that if you’d like, but I find it best just let it do it’s thing and be happy with it. Again,  styling cream or spray will really help this one maintain the textured look, and while the crown area can definitely stand at attention, I think it’s well-balanced by the length on the sides and in  back, which keeps the top from looking too high or poufy.

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The cap here is nothing special. It’s a standard wefted cap and I found it to run a little small. The comfort level is adequate but it’s nothing to write home (or a blog post) about; it has adjustable velcro tabs which I like but other than that it’s just your typical cap, and after a few hours it can get a little itchy over the ears. The heat-friendly fiber doesn’t bother me on a short synthetic wig so that’s not a problem here, and overall I’ve got no complaints as far as cap construction or comfort level other than it being a wee bit snug.

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This one is getting a more positive reaction than my previous one did, so I think a peppier color definitely helped. I think the cut is adorable and edgy and that the price is right for this one to be a fun summer wig – not sure why more people haven’t tried this one out yet since it can be had for less than $100 (although just below that). With those short pixie bangs, it looks especially cute with a head scarf or headband. If you’re looking for something super-short and textured, this one might be worth a try. I am definitely going to get my money’s worth out of mine!

The Isabelle Wig by Henry Margu in Color 5H

In my ongoing quest for a long bob wig, I came across pictures of Isabelle on the Australian site Play With Hair; the site has excellent photos of wigs on mannequin heads, and is a great place to go to check out colors as well as styles. PWH  made Isabelle look pretty good, but their prices are crazy, so when I found the wig on Amazon I thought I’d give it a shot.  I’ve always considered Margus to be overpriced for what they are, kind of like Revlon, which I just reviewed. The styles tend to be a bit dated and the cuts aren’t the best, as well as having lacefronts that aren’t the most realistic. And yet every once in awhile I try one out anyway.

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Isabelle isn’t bad; and I do think the color 5H is very pretty even though it’s lighter than the pictures made it appear. I wasn’t aware of any shedding with this wig, but as you can tell there’s clearly something going on there – it could be because I was switching out so many wigs this day that got all that wig hair on my shirt, but it may have been the Margu; either way I didn’t notice it until I was processing the photos, so sorry about that.

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The lacefront on this wig is ear-to-ear, which is fine,  but Margu’s lacefronts tend to be very round and not as realistic as they could be were they to have more variation in the shape of them. And the knots are pretty dark, which doesn’t bother me but does bother a lot of people. There is no monofilament top in this one, so you only get about an inch of  parting space before the permatease kicks in. There’s quite a bit of it in the crown, and while it gives the hair a nice shape, it also gives it a wiggy appearance. I like the cut very much – rather blunt, with just the slightest bit of layering around the bottom to give it a little flip; I’m just not sure how real the hairline looks or how wiggy the crown is with all that PT. A monofilament top would have worked wonders here to eliminate both problems, I think, but then the wig would have been even more expensive.

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The cap is fairly comfortable and even a little big; I’ve got it adjusted in quite a ways to get it to fit right. Aside from it’s roundness, the lacefront is fine – the lace lies flat against my forehead and the ear-to-ear lace is a nice touch. Not very useful for me since I have a full head of bio hair underneath the wig, but if you have hair loss it’s easier to wear, and it isn’t itchy or uncomfortable.

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The hair fiber is thick but feels pretty nice; not as silky as an Amore but it isn’t too dry. There’s some shine in these photos because I was using a flash, but in reality it doesn’t look all that shiny. I took one outside so you could get a glimpse of it in the sunlight:

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It’s not bad, and the idea of it nice, but it really needs a monofilament top to make it work at the crown. It’s not terrible as it is, it just could have been better. I tried to muss it up a bit in the photos, but it always kind of falls back into this exact shape. Perhaps with more work it could be improved; all the PT up top should allow more pouf at the crown, I just wasn’t successful at getting it to stay. Isabelle hasn’t turned me into a Margu convert, but it didn’t tick me off either, so I guess that’s something.

The Gorgeous Wig by Raquel Welch in Color R10

I’ll start off by saying I’m glad I picked up Gorgeous in an R10 on Vogue Wigs’ latest clearance sale, because I was thisclose to buying a new Celebrity in that color, and as it turns out I don’t like it as much on me as I thought I did. I once had a  Relentless in R10 that I really liked, but for some reason the color is coming off way too caramel on me this time and washing me out. Plus, the lacefront in an R10 is really light, which is a problem for me with my dark bio hair.

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Maybe it’s just me,  but I can see my dark hairline showing up underneath the lace and fairly light knots on this one. So, Celebrity in an R10 will be a no-go for me and I’ll have to get a different color.

Color error aside, I actually like the style of Gorgeous. I’d heard mixed reviews from people about it, with many women saying they had to get it cut to make it work. It is different, and I can see where it might be difficult; it would be a hard wig to use for daily wear, at least, because it’s pretty big and not what I’d call natural-looking.

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I mean, that is a lot of hair, with a whole lotta heavy going on up top and many layers around the bottom. There’s actually permatease up there to get even more volume out of it if you want it; this has to be one of the most poufy Raquel Welch wigs I’ve tried in a long time. The heavy long bangs definitely want to swoop away from the forehead too, so it can give an odd look – my first  impression of it when I put it on was that it was very wide. It’s definitely voluminous and heavier in density, and to me, it has a very 70’s vibe to it in that there’s movement and layering yet the overall effect is still pretty thick. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I’m doing the best I can. It looks quite glam to me, and although I really like it I don’t know that I could pull it off without looking like I’m wearing a wig – it’s almost too much hair to be believable. You’d need a lot of chutzpah to make this once convincing, but if you could do it, you’d be the envy of every woman in the room. So it might be worth giving it a try, as the risk just might be worth it in the end.

The side and back views are actually easier to like than it is from the front, I think:

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I love the back view in particular, and it really shows the effect of that heavy crown offset by all the layering around the bottom. I hate to say this, because it makes it sound like I don’t love the look of this wig, which I do – but there’s almost a mushroom-y shape to this cut that’s going to be a challenge to pull off. It does have a nice soft wave, but the overall effect is still one of being more straight than wavy, because the crown is so straight and thick. It’s a weird one – but at some point I would like to get it in a darker brown that works better on me, because for special occasions I think it’d be fantastic. And, it sounds like some women are getting this one trimmed up to make it work better for them, so that’s an option too.

The wig has a monofilament part only, so you’re not going to move the hair around too much – I thought for a wig that retails at $200 a full mono would have been more appropriate, but every company’s prices seem to be going through the roof lately, so I should just start getting used to that (it’s not like I haven’t owned other mono-part wigs that retailed for over $200, so perhaps the fact that I no longer wear wigs full-time is making me more frugal). The cap was comfortable as I find all Raquel Welch caps to be, but it was on the big side – in fact, I actually checked the tag to make sure I hadn’t bought a large cap by mistake. I definitely had to pull the velcro tabs way in on this one; I have an average-petite head but was wearing it over a full head of shoulder-length hair, so I found this surprising. Also, the color R10 is very pretty, just a bit too light and auburn for me. Raquel Welch has some gorgeous colors, and R10 is no exception.

Overall, I am a fan of Gorgeous, and I think it lives up to the name – as long as we’re thinking Glam-Gorgeous here, and not Naturally-Gorgeous. I like that it is unlike any other long wig I’ve tried in cut and  shape, since finding a truly unique style in the world of wigs is rare.

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The Nori Wig by Noriko in Almond Spice-R

When I read that the new Nori by Noriko was supposed to be a lower-density version of Sky, I decided to try it out even though I figured there wasn’t much chance Noriko would actually make a low-density wig. Noriko’s short wigs, in particular, have always been pretty poufy on me, but I partly bought this one to give to my mom anyway. It is still poufy, and I wouldn’t call it low-density by any means, but it is less voluminous on me that Sky is, and to me it seems an overall shorter version.

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It’s not great on me, but the wig itself is really cute. The side and back views are also pretty great:

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The cap is comfortable and unlike lots of Norikos I’ve tried, it isn’t small. There’s a lot of permatease in the crown as usual, but because of all the layering I don’t feel it’s obvious. Nori can pouf quite high up top if you want it to, and while I was trying to smooth it down so it wouldn’t seem so tall on me, if you want to get a lot of height out of it you certainly can. The bangs were a little annoying and in my face but they are nicely thinned and not too hard to ignore.

I just have one issue with Nori; it’s a complaint I’ve heard about Norikos with lots of layers and a wispy bang before but have never experienced myself. When looking at the wig from the front, there are times when you can see the heavy black rim of the cap at the hairline. Perhaps some steam directing more of the bang downward could conceal it, but it seems the manufacturer could easily remedy this by using a thinner rim, or perhaps less permatease lifting the bangs up. I think you can see it best in this picture here:

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The dark roots camouflage it a  little bit, but at other times it’s pretty obvious. Again, I have heard this complaint about Norikos before (probably in relation to Sky, the sister wig to this one), so it was interesting to finally see it, even though it was disappointing. If you look up to the first photo, now that you’re looking for it, you can probably see it there too.

Overall I think this a very nice update to Noriko’s Sky and I love the layering, especially in the back. The cap is comfy, but you’re going to have to watch out for the thick dark rim that may show. There’s no monofilament top here, so the price isn’t bad either. Maybe getting this in a darker color would avoid it being so noticeable; if you’re interested in this one, keep that in mind!

 

The Mila Wig by Revlon in Color Rum Raisin (637T)

When I saw the new Mila by Revlon video on Wigs.com, I got very excited, thinking it could be the regular-synthetic replacement for the HD-fiber Haute I’ve been looking for all these years. Sadly, it is not. For those of you who don’t want to read the whole review, I’ll summarize: Mila isn’t horrible, but it is not worth the $230 price tag in any way – and Haute it ain’t, capital H or no.

I’ve never been thrilled with any Revlon wig that I can recall, but that video made it look so Haute-like I snatched it up without thinking it through when Wigs.com had a 30% off sale last week. I also didn’t read carefully before jumping at the chance to purchase it, because if I had, I would have realized Mila didn’t have a lace front, which might have given me pause before forking over so much money. Instead, I was just super-bummed when I took it out of the box and saw the lack of lace at the hairline (I was also bummed that without notifying me, Wigs.com shipped Mila without also shipping the Noriko Nori I ordered because it was out of stock – I really dislike it when companies don’t notify the customer of an item that is backordered, and Wigs.com is notorious for this. But I digress). I think the missing lacefront is a big part of the problem with this wig, as without it the hair just doesn’t move naturally away from the face, but it’s also pretty heavy and blunt whereas Haute is a much lighter density with a better shape around the bottom:

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You can see the problem with the hairline there, as a bit of my own hair is peeking through; the cap on this wig is actually a bit large and it just doesn’t fit securely on my head. The monofilament top does look nice, but I wasn’t able to successfully move the part around – again, this could be due to the lack of a lacefront with makes the hairline more difficult to maneuver. The hair fiber feels fine, but it’s rather shiny and just – I hate to say it – fake-looking to me; I think this is due to a less-than-stellar cut here than has a load of synthetic hair just flopping down from the crown without any layering around the ends to give it decent movement. It  just hangs there and looks heavy.

And speaking of the hairline:

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This isn’t a wig you’re going to be able to wear off the face. Humph. I’m puzzled by the missing lace front as it’s so logical to have one on a style like this with no bangs (I’m also puzzled by wigs with heavy fringe that have lace fronts, except that it does allow the bangs to have better movement even if worn straight down) and again, the cost certainly allowed for it to be there. Nope, I’m not getting over it with this one. It should have had lace and I’m sticking to my story about that!

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The side view is nice enough; better than the front I think. And the back also looks fine:

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But again, it just kind of hangs there without any nice movement or anything. Other side:

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You can see that there are some longer pieces in the front, which honestly generally bugs me anyway, but if it’s going to be cut that way the cut really has to be good for it to work. This cut just isn’t. See Jon Renau’s Victoria for an example of how to do that well (and even on Victoria I find it a bit irritating).

Overall when wearing this the hair was in my face quite a bit, and due to the size of the cap I wasn’t able to easily deal with that as the wig kept shifting off the hairline when I pushed at the hair too much – really annoying. It was too thick to tuck it easily behind my ear and was basically difficult to wear. It is not a horrible wig, but again, I don’t see where this is worth $230, and I’m less than thrilled with it, so my hunt for a Haute-alike continues.

And by the way, that color was a mistake too. It’s much more coppery than I thought it’d be, and I may have liked the wig better overall it had been a darker brown. Here’s a shot I took of it outside:

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As you can see, that’s quite a warm brown! It’s a pretty color, just not good on me.

So overall, Mila was a $230 fail; here’s hoping the Nori that is supposed to ship from Wigs.com this week is better. Also on its way to me sometime soon is an Isabelle by Henry Margu, a Gorgeous by Raquel Welch, and an Elisha by Estetica. What can I say – spring has sprung and I am in a wig mood!

Mackenzie Lace Front Wig by Estetica in Color 6/10

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I have not been much interested in trying out new wigs lately – a few Renaus, like Julianne, have interested me, but man have the prices gone up on JR wigs. I can’t bring myself to pay over $400 for a synthetic wig, even if it is hand-tied, and even though I know she can be gotten for well below the listed retail price, it’s the principle of the thing to me. There’s no reason I can see for a synthetic wig to be priced that high, no matter how awesome it is. So for one reason or another, I’ve been talking myself out of pretty much every wig I see that I might like to try, until I stumbled across the new Mackenzie by Estetica on e-wigs.com’s clearance page. It was only about $75, so I jumped at the opportunity to try it out.

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Mackenzie is similar, I think, to the Orchid wig from the Estetica line, but it has a lot more hair than that wig and I think the layers here are longer. Orchid is also a monofilament part wig, while Mackenzie here has only the lace front.

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I found the wig cap to be a little short in circumference, but then again, I now have enough bio hair that I need a small ponytail in the back to keep it tucked in, so that may be affecting the fit of the wig. The lacefront is pretty dense, which I personally like (but I know a lot of people don’t) and it doesn’t lay completely flat against my head, which may be due to the short circumference problem. Other than these issues, the cap was comfortable and the wig was easy for me to wear for several hours with no complaints. As I mentioned, though, it is not a low-density wig and wouldn’t be a good one to try and wear in summer. It’s a lot of hair.

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The color is 6/10, which was my only choice at the clearance price, and it’s a nice, cool brown with no red tones that I can see. I actually like the color more than I thought I would.

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The cut is beautiful – nice long, full layers.

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It looks lovely from the back – but be warned, this sucker is pretty long!

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The hair fiber is not as shiny as it looks in these photos; I was using a fill flash that hit the synthetic fiber with a bit too much light. It doesn’t read as shiny in person – at least not in this color.

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Here’s Mackenzie outside in natural light. There’s a fair amount of permatease/pouf in the crown area for volume, and you could really tease it up and out if you wanted to do so, but it also lies down nicely and looks pretty darn natural. Also, the long swoopy bangs are well-done and I didn’t have issues with it getting in my face. The wig came parted down the middle right out of the box, but it was easy to move the part around to where I wanted it. It looks nice parted from the center, too, by the way.

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Here’s a close-up of the color. Very nice, and a great-looking hairline too!

Overall I am thrilled with Mackenzie. I think it looks much better than the stock photos I’ve seen – but the stock photos aren’t bad either, actually. Mackenzie was definitely one I had my eye on already, and if I hadn’t found her on sale so quickly, I would have eventually paid full price to try her out. It’s a thick long style from Estetica, with a beautiful cut and wave pattern, a nice lace front, and a comfortable fit – if a little short in circumference. I found it easy to wear for several hours at a time, and the tangling was no more than would be expected from a long synthetic wig. The hair fiber wasn’t overly shiny or dry. If you’ve been curious about this one since it came out (which was recently, I believe) it just might be worth a try. And the 6/10 color is a nice cool brown if that’s something you’ve been hankering for, too.

I’m in a wiggy mood lately, so I just bought a Mila by Revlon and a Nori by Noriko, so eventually I’ll review those here too. Happy Easter everyone!

Frost is in the hair

Peering out at a gray January winter day, my thoughts wandered to the new Spring 2014 wigs from Jon Renau and Raquel Welch, which should be right around the corner. It must have been telepathy, because I got an e-mail  from Vogue Wigs for a deep discount on a wig I had looked at back when I bought Holli (Amore).

As you know if you have followed my progress over the past twelve months, I typically don’t favor curly or wavy wigs.  That may be a thing of the past, as I truly love Glam Slam and Heidi. And, I have pretty much narrowed my wig manufacturers to Renau and RW, for their quality and styles, as well as colors.  They both tend to be pricey, but worth it, in my estimation.

One of the other things I have said repeatedly, is that I love Renau’s 1BRH30 because it enables someone with off-black hair to continue wearing a color that looks normal and natural, while having fun with a bit of highlighting.  This is especially important as we age, so we are not facing our senior years with a color that is too severe for fading skin.  I really have no desire to be a blonde, but I don’t want to look like Morticia!

However, I had never bought a really inexpensive wig.  Until now.  I had seen Miranda by Motown Tress and liked the style.  But it was so like all my other medium length curly wigs, and does not have a true monofilament top (or part), or a lace front, and was so inexpensive that I just assumed it would not be right for me.

The discount enabled me to get a Miranda on clearance.  And, I was especially intrigued by the colorway MT was offering: F1B-30.  What?! Awesome.  Gotta get it.  So I did.  And it literally arrived overnight, so I thought I would just put it through the paces and tell you what I think of it.

First of all, the wig came in a plastic case instead of a box. OK, given the price, fair enough.  I opened it up, pulled it out and it was nicely wrapped in a hair net, cradled in a cardboard frame, attached to the casing, which signaled that it was new, and had two informative tags attached.  It smelled and looked clean and pleasant.

I took it outside, as I always do, to inspect it in the light.  Then opened it up, shook it out and took the foam-head pictures you see here.

        

The first thing that struck me is that the hair fiber is rather dry and coarse – not silky and nowhere near as shiny as it appears in these pictures, which is caused by the flash.  I like a fiber somewhere between Noriko silky and Jon Renau dry, so this was a bit undesirable, but not a deal breaker.

Looking at the interior construction of the wig, I think it is one of the most open-frame wigs I have ever seen (am I imagining this?  maybe).  It has very small and high ear tabs, hooks for adjusting the size and a small patch on the top toward the forehead that creates a monofilament simulation of sorts.  In fact, it does give the appearance of scalp when on, but nowhere near as convincingly as the other monofilament wigs I own.  Given its price, though, that was a positive surprise.  That said, the material used for the patch is stiff and crinkly.  I have a full head of natural hair underneath, so that wasn’t uncomfortable, but it might be for someone with less or no hair.

      

Something else I noticed was how chaotic the curls looked, out of the box.  They were just a hot mess and I knew I wouldn’t wear them without combing the heck out of the whole wig, just to tame it a bit.  Unlike Glam Slam, they weren’t corkscrews but zigzags and looked a bit clumped.  The stiffness of the hair fiber means it doesn’t have great movement, but I think there are two reasons, the first of which is, the need to keep those complex accordioned curls in shape, after combing and washings.

You can move this part around and it looks sort of like natural scalp

The other reason is that this is some sort of heat-stylable fiber. I have never purchased one before, based on Cynthia’s reviews and the fact that I am uninterested in extensive styling. I figured that when I want straight, I will wear a straight wig and when I want anything else, I will find that style in a synthetic and wear that.  If I wanted to do any styling, I would buy human hair wigs.  But, it is good to know that Miranda can take up to 400F heat, so a low curling or flat iron would be safe and that does give me the option to fix any overly straightened or zigzaggy portions of this wig. Cautiously!

Before I tried it on, I shampooed it in Woolite and rinsed it in fabric softener, hung it upside down and let it drip dry.  Then I took a wide-tooth comb and combed out the back, then put it on.  Once on, I realized it was a bit big on my smallish head, so I adjusted it with one of the two side hooks, and it felt just right.  Very light (I have no idea how many ounces Miranda is, as it isn’t marked), given that this is a riot of hair — lots of it.  Once I started combing and moving the part around to get it where I liked it, it seemed a lot less crazy and much more attractive.  It did shed just a bit, but so have some more expensive wigs.  There is a lot of hair, here, so it can afford some lost strands. Also, the washing/softening did take out some of those zig zags, loosening them into softer cascading waves. It has no permatease whatsoever and doesn’t need it, to hold its shaping.  I am not a fan of permatease, typically, so that is a plus for Miranda. Nice.

OK, so far, so good.  Now, let’s talk about this color.  The F in F1B-30 stands for ‘frosting’. If this isn’t my first frosted wig, it is definitely the most obvious of them.  The reddish strands verge on stripes.  Now, I never frosted or striped my own biohair, so I am not likely to feel natural with obvious lines of copper on my head now.  But, I was able to move the hair around to minimize and break them up.  If I had paid more for this wig than I did, I would definitely dye a lot of the copper areas to lessen the contrast they make.  I am happy to say I was able to distribute them more subtly all over the top and front, where it mattered to me most. I also think, if I were to wear and brush this a few times, the stripes would be broken up a bit more, spread out and de-emphasized.

By the way, Miranda comes in other frosted colors.  I might have tried F4-27 or F4-30.  I give MT credit for a variety of shaded colors for people with dark and light hair!

Another thing I was easily able to do is brush my own hair from ear to ear up into Miranda and disguise the lack of a believable lace front.  It looked quite realist, even close up. I like the length, the 1B is a perfect color, the curls are fun, and the lightness and openness of the cap makes it comfortable. It didn’t slip around.  I don’t wear a cap, I just clip my own hair (which is below the shoulders now) up with one wide and dark, flattish, metal barrette at the nape and one black contour clip at the crown — nothing else.

For the money, I think Miranda in this colorway is a success.  I am sure I won’t be wearing her more than any of my favorites, but I wouldn’t hesitate to put her on when I want this look in my own hair color.  She is longer than my other curly wigs, aside from Heidi.  I really wish Jon Renau would make this style and that Raquel Welch would make this or a similar colorway. We shall see what they offer in April, but meanwhile, Miranda is a great little buy.

Wigged Smart!

I have two small ideas this time, that occurred to me since I last posted.

First, many of us have the same problem with eyebrows as we age, that we do with our hair: they start to thin out and, of course, eventually fade or turn gray.  Last year I saw a product called Smart Brow advertised and even though it was about $40 with tax and shipping, decided to give it a try.  The idea is that it gives a semi-permanent color and also puts down fibers that mimic hair, for eyebrows.  The stuff was more like eyeliner and mascara, for a lot more money than I thought it was worth. It worked, but the eyeliner part of it was too dark for my eyebrows. Then it occurred to me.  Why not just try mascara on my eyebrows to give them a bit more texture?  And, if I don’t want it to smudge, just make it permanent, non-water soluble mascara.  Voila!  It works.  And, I don’t have to pay a fortune for it. Also, since I rarely use that Smart Brow (my eyebrows are still there and haven’t turned gray yet), it froze and I couldn’t open it after only six months.  I tossed it.  Now I can use any kind of mascara and get the same effect, for a lot less.

Second, if Miranda can take up to 400F, I wonder if all synthetics can?  I am going to cautiously experiment on Petite Persuasion, on the inside of the wig near the label, using my ion curling brush. If it works, I can restore some of the curls I have brushed out of my favorite wigs, when and if that happens.  It is worth a try, no?

Have fun you guys, and thanks for reading.

 

 

The Seville Wig by Noriko in Ginger Brown

I’ve been curious about this style since it came out in November and finally decided to take the plunge. Since I no longer wear wigs full-time, I try to keep the wigs that I do buy at a reasonable amount; this means I usually have to forgo the monofilament top to keep the cost down. Fortunately a mono top was never a mandatory feature for me, and I can be comfortable in wigs that don’t have one.

That said, Seville has a lot of permatease even for a non-mono wig (my other recent purchase, Kristen by Jon Renau, doesn’t have a monofilament top or part but it has way less PT than this one – perhaps the lacefront has something to do with that?) so if permatease  isn’t your thing, then Seville probably isn’t your thing either. That said. a lot of people like the shape and lift permatease provides, and this wig has plenty of both. A friend of mine said it reminded them of an updated Laine from the Rene of Paris line, and I can see that. Seville has more of a long bang than Laine had, and not as much PT, but it’s similar is shape and lift to that wig (which I always liked and have owned several of).

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The permatease isn’t quite this bad; I’m using a flash here which accentuates it

If you’re interested in this one, I’d recommend going with a rooted color to hide some of that PT in the parting area. Personally I don’t mind permatease and I love Ginger Brown, so I went with the non-rooted shade  – rooted dark brown wigs never appear to have darker roots than I can see anyway.

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Seville in Ginger Brown, taken with flash again so it’s more shiny here than in reality

The bangs are a bit of an issue on this one; I’ve found this to be an annoyance on a lot of Rene of Paris’s wigs. I suspect it’s due to the thickness of them because even the monofilament tops often have lots of stray wonky hairs hanging down into my face. On a non-mono wig with bangs, it can often be difficult initially to get them to lay in any one direction, and the fiber goes all over the place. But in time I can get them to bend to my will (or with the use of a blowdryer on a low heat setting).  With some playing around I was able to get a nice part into the long bangs, but throughout wearing it stray hairs kept falling into my face. I usually just plucked them out, and with time I think this will settle down.

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As you can see, the cut is pretty and simple, the color is nice, and the hair fiber is true to my past experience with Noriko in that it is exceptionally soft and silky (well, you can’t see that last part, but trust me, it is nice). I like the length, and although the amount of lift in the crown always throws me a little when I put the wig on (my own hair has ZERO lift, so it takes some getting used to) the overall effect is very pretty.

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The cap is very comfortable although Norikos run a touch small – as my bio hair has grown I’ve noticed I need slightly bigger caps now than I used to require, but a Noriko cap still fits my petite/average head nicely. This is a lot of hair, so I wouldn’t call it a good summer wig, but it works just great for January, and when I wore it out I got compliments on  it – mostly the color, which always happens when I wear Ginger Brown. Even while wearing it out running errands the tangling kept to a minimum and it was an easy wig to wear. The only issue is the little stray hairs hanging down into my face, but like I said, I think that will calm down with time.

To get a better idea of what Seville looks like in natural light without that bright flash hitting it, here are a few more shots taken outdoors and without a flash on my camera:

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Overall, I think Seville is a simple and classy style that’s a nice addition to the Noriko line; but that permatease is going to knock it down a notch in my book, because I know a lot of women aren’t going to be able to deal with it. And I sort of feel paying $120 for this wig (which is what I paid at Name Brand Wigs) is a little much for what it is, especially once someone pointed out to me how similar it is to some of the other ROP Hi-Fashion long wigs you can get for around $80. I’m not sure it’s worth $40 more when you could score a Laine or a Misha and give it a trim to perhaps get the same effect. I think the hair fiber is nicer on Norikos than ROPs, but not by much, so perhaps this one is a bit overpriced. For someone who’s lazy like me, though, and would never take in a wig to get it trimmed even if I had the best of intentions to do so, and who likes to try out a new wig here and there when they come in, this one’s a keeper. I’m certainly not disappointed with it at all. So there you go.

And by the way – when is the entire Rene of Paris company going to get with the program regarding lace fronts and hand-tied caps? Every other major manufacturer has incorporated lots of both options into their lines, but ROP still isn’t offering these options with any regularity. It’s really starting to make the company look stodgy and behind the times, in my opinion. Then again, they were wise enough to steer clear of the whole heat-stylable-synthetic-fiber fiasco so many other companies experienced and seem to have finally learned from (not many major lines still putting that stuff on all their new wigs, I’ve noticed) so maybe there’s something to be said for resisting trends. But lacefronts and hand-tied caps are safely beyond the trend stage now, so they really could stand to get on that train with the rest of us.