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!