Review: Revlon ColorSilk Permanent Hair Color No. 46 Medium Golden Chestnut Brown

Revlon ColorSilk Medium Golden Chestnut Brown
Revlon ColorSilk Medium Golden Chestnut Brown

I started dying my hair my permanent colors about three years ago, using a permanent bubble (foam) hair dye. Previous to that, I used Lush’s hennas – Caca Rouge is my preferred color. Lush’s cacas don’t really give much color; they’re more like highlighters. So I switched to permanent dyes with the advent of the bubble foam colors – they are so EASY to use! I haven’t used non-bubble dies until early this year when I saw the Revlon ColorSilk Permanent Hair Color on sale at 50% off. I bought a couple of boxes, number 46 Medium Golden Chestnut Brown and number 30 Dark Brown (which I haven’t used yet).

This particular Revlon brand advertises itself as ammonia free, contains apple extract, with 3D color that leaves hair in better condition, etc. But you should know better than to believe claims that hair dye is good for hair. ALL permanent colors work the same: they strip the hair of its previous color (the lighter the new color, the more stripping) along with some of the hair’s building block. Basically, it’s like stripping the wall of the previous paint, so that a new color can be slapped on and hang on, true to the advertised color. Sometimes they include some oils in the dye, so that hair will seem more shiny after the process. But this effect is temporary.

So yes, permanent dyes are bad for your hair – they will leave hair dry and brittle compared to its pre-dye condition. The extent of the damage can vary, depending on the concentration of the chemical solutions in the product. Not to worry though, hair are basically dead cells once they sprout outside your scalp. They are dead, and nothing can bring it back to live. What you can do is to regularly use products that make hair shiny and frizz-free (moisturizer, masks, oils etc, including silicone-laden products). It’s a lot of hassle but hair color is so fun that it’s worth the hassle, in my opinion. One thing that you really need to avoid is to have dye on your scalp and make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. Then, you’re good to go.

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, Medium Golden Chestnut Brown is a nice color, albeit a bit too dark for my taste.  I dye my hair myself at home, and the instructions included is easy to follow. The mixture is not too runny and don’t drip. I focus on the outer layer of my hair, and the contrast with the inner layer (very dark brown natural color) is not that extreme. With the way I use it, one box is plenty for my shoulder-length hair that is thick and curly.

A few hours before dying my hair, I soak my hair and scalp with oil (usually coconut oil). Instead of leaving the oil overnight as some people do, I usually coat my hair with oil in the morning, and dye it in the late afternoon. I think soaking hair in oil helps to avoid direct contact with the scalp and avoid hair entering too far into the hair shaft and thus coloring only the surface of the hair. Whether it works, I have not idea but after 3 years of coloring twice or three times a year, my hair is dry but not particularly brittle, so there must be something in that theory.

The resulting hair color from this Revlon hair dye is relatively close to the advertised color in the box – the dye lightened the hair slightly and made it more brown, plus it completely covered the grey hair starting to sprout along my temples. The color lasted about 4 weeks before starting to slowly fade. The conditioner included with the dye is also pretty nice, it moisturized hair and made it smell nice (a strong floral scent).

Overall, it was not an unpleasant experience. This hair color normally retails for around Rp60,000, but is being sold with a relatively few color variation in Indonesia. My preferred color is apricot or beige which I have not seen being sold by Revlon in this series. These colors are available in other brands, in the bubble dye form, and priced about Rp120,000 – Rp150,000 (I usually buy on sale, so that would be Rp80,000 to 100,000). If there is more color selection, I’d buy the Revlon again, perhaps even this Medium Golden Chestnut Brown color, if I want to go a bit darker than the golden apricot that I am partial to.

Bottom line: recommended, especially for those looking to make a hair color change (darker or lighter) that is not too drastic, and to cover grey hair.

Revlon ColorSilk Number 46 Medium Golden Chestnut Brown
Two days after dying – Revlon ColorSilk Number 46 Medium Golden Chestnut Brown. The curls have been flattened out to show the color better.
Packaging and Ingredients List - Revlon ColorSilk Medium Golden Chestnut Brown
Packaging and Ingredients List (click to enlarge) – Revlon ColorSilk Medium Golden Chestnut Brown


[Local] The Importance of Reading the Ingredient List (or, How Mustika Ratu is Fooling You)


I have been using virgin coconut oils on my scalp and hair for a few years. My current favorite oil is made by Blue Stone Botanicals; it is deliciously fresh and rich in aroma, although no additives are added.

Recently, however, I wondered whether I should diversify the oils I use, and picked up the Mustika Ratu Cem Ceman Hair Oil. This oil has been in the market for a while, but one time I took a whiff of it and decided the scent is not appealing, so never purchased it. The other day, on a whim, I picked it up, thinking that I might add some orange oil to make the scent more pleasant. I am already using the Mustika Ratu Cem Ceman Hair Mask, and it was ok, so I thought why not have variety and try the Cem Ceman Hair oil.

Here’s a surprise. Even though this product has been around for years, making the same claims (as far as I remember, as this is a very popular product), Mustika Ratu has actually been misleading consumers. The product touts coconut oil as its ingredient, and even put a picture of coconut on the packaging, but looking at the ingredient list, I don’t see any coconut. What is there is palm kernel oil (the first ingredient, Elaeis guineensis). True, in Indonesian that would be called minyak kelapa sawit, but really, I think it is still misleading to say that oil palm is the same as coconut. Frankly, I think it’s a conscious effort to mislead by Mustika Ratu, since obviously they know that Cocos nucifera is coconut, as it is a content in the Cem Ceman Hair Mask.

A closer look at the claims and ingredient list

Bottom line: lesson learned! Always read the ingredients list, as even big companies can get away fooling you. What is the Indonesian food and drug agency (BPOM) doing when they put their stamp of approval on this product? This episode strengthens my suspicions that BPOM is only administratively reviewing products (and not actually testing products for touted ingredients). And they’re not even doing these administrative reviews well, if this is an example. Perhaps they should focus on their job more, instead of whining and refusing import by individuals of well-known foreign products (on the premise that they are not imported by those licensed to import). BPOM seems to be interested only in protecting businesses (e.g. in this case Mustika Ratu), rather than the interests of consumers. Bah!

So, tell me, do you think Mustika Ratu at fault here, or is this a normal marketing ploy that I shouldn’t be making a big deal of?

Habis! Used-up Hair Masks

Hair products review Sept 2015 (2)bI’ve somewhat simultaneously finished a few hair products these last few weeks. Here are four which I’ve been using in the last year or so. Yes, it takes me a while to use up products as I usually have a few in rotation at any given time. The four products are reviewed below in order of preference, from most preferred to less preferred.

As a reference, my hair is fine and curly, currently shoulder length. I typically use these hair products in lieu of a conditioner, leaving them on the lengths of hair for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on what I’m doing at the time. And I think silicones are a very good thing for the hair.

Carol's Daughter
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask Ingredients
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask (~US$32  for 7oz/200gr)

I am enamored by the whole Carol’s Daughter range, and want to try ALL of them. However, they are not cheap, and since they are bulky, transport cost adds a substantial premium. I splurged on this hair mask as it’s received many favorable reviews, and I love the scent of Monoi (a mixture of coconut oil and tiare flowers – kembang kamboja).

The first thing to be noticed about this product is the scent, definitely, which is quite strong. You need to love it, or at least be indifferent to it, as the scent can linger for a few days. I love it, and on days I have this on, I don’t even bother with perfumes or any kind of body scent any more. This mask has a very thick consistency, and will not drip when used on relatively damp (not dripping wet) hair. It is very good at retaining curls, does not weigh hair down, and helps control frizz. I also like this to wash my hair (the so-called a conditioning wash or co-wash, sans shampoo), as it really rinses off the scalp very clean. I am now eying the complete Monoi set, and I am sure I will repurchase this mask in the future.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask ingredients
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask (~US$7.50 for 6oz/170gr)

This product also has very good reviews online, and I ordered it on a whim of an Ulta Sale. It really is deeply moisturizing. I use this after coloring my hair (bubble hair color is a favorite, lately), and it really helps minimize the crunchy, dry feel of hair after  the process. Triple moisture is for the trilogy of olive, which “penetrates to the center,” meadowfoam seed which “helps moisturize the middle,” and sweet almond which “wraps the surface”. Whatever.

You require very little product of this for the whole hair, and I probably have used this tub the longest amongst the four reviewed here; dare I say even two years? I found, however, that it’s not great for co-washing as it does not rinse off the scalp completely, leaving a filmy residue. The scent is a floral clean one that is very strong when used, but rinses off and is quite subtle for about half a day, disappearing after a day or so. I will probably repurchase this one as well one of these days.

Syoss Moisutre Intensive Care Treatment ingredients
Syoss Moisture Intensive Care Treatment (less than Rp100,000 or about US$8 for 200ml)

This one is available locally, at a reasonable price, so I tried it. Generally, it’s pretty ok, does moisturize and retain curls well, though I need quite a bit more product compared to the two above (perhaps because silicones are lower on the ingredients list, so the coating effect on hair can be achieved only with more product). I also found the scent somewhat plasticky – it does not bother me but also does not give pleasure.  I would probably not repurchase, and prefer to try other similar products available locally.

Rudy Hadisuwarno
Rudy Hadisuwarno Ginseng Creambath
Rudy Hadisuwarno Ginseng Creambath (less than Rp50,000 or about $4 for 200ml)

This works ok, and is cheap, but the moisturizing effect on hair is minimal, and there’s no silicones to coat and give shine to the hair (which might be a good thing for some people). I think it’s targeted at scalp care with ginseng extract at 3%. I actually quite like the scent, and it’s  acceptable for co-washing though a bit more runny compared to the Carol’s Daughter Monoi or the Neutrogenal Triple Moisture masks. You might be interested to know that this is advertised as having UV filters –  which it does with 2% Octyl Methoxycinnamate.  I will probably not repurchase as it I still need to put on more product to moisturize and control frizz on top of this – not an efficient way of going through my hair wash day.

I’d love to hear your favorite hair masks, especially if you have similar hair as mine.

Ye Olde Dog and Her New Tricks


Tools with which I un-layer (L-R): Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liuid, Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact, Illamasqua Blush Up Brush, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Tools with which I un-layer (L-R): Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liuid, Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact, Illamasqua Blush Up Brush, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

This old dog is no stranger to new tricks, and here is a couple she’s learning to do recently.

Doing away with makeup layers

As Cara said, it’s curious the way we put on makeup: layer on top of layer, on top of another layer. Primer, then foundation, contour/highlight powder, color (blush/eyeshadow), etc. So any patch of your facial skin could well have 6 or more layers of products on (including moisturizer, sunblock, finishing powder, etc).

What is the alternative? I’ve seen Lisa Eldrige do it, and Cara has developed a system for it. It is the precise application of makeup only where it is needed. For example, if that is an area where you contour, go ahead and put the contour color directly (whether it is a foundation in a darker shade, or a contour powder, or others). Where you need to highlight? But directly the highlight color (instead of foundation, then highlight color). This is not really an easy approach when you’re used to the conventional layering of products, and to be effective you really need to know where to put what, when.

I’ve been trying this method for a few weeks now, and the result is…. ok. It takes me more than twice the time needed for the conventional method, but I do see that I need less product.I n the picture below, I used this method by placing a primer around the nose and cheek area (Sue Devitt Microquatic Blue Anti-Aging SPF30 Protection Primer applied with fingers); then a sweep of a darker shade foundation to contour the cheeks, jawline, side of nose and temples (Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liquid shade 24 Dore Moyen applied with Illamasqua’s funky Blush Up Brush and blended with Real Techniques Expert Face Brush). I then followed with a foundation shade similar to my skin to areas not covered by the darker shade (Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact in 02 Beige Clair applied with the Sonia Kashuk Buffng Brush which I forgot to take a picture off). I then buffed the seams with the Real Techniques Expert Face blush. Voila!

With practice, I can see myself perfecting this technique and hopefully cutting down the application time.


Two foundation shades to contour (Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liquid 24 Dore Moyen) and highlight (Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact 02 Beige Clair)
Two foundation shades to contour (left, Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liquid 24 Dore Moyen) and highlight (right, Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact 02 Beige Clair)

Doing away with shampoo

A couple of years ago I had my hair straightened using the smoothing method. The effect  surprisingly lasted until now at the bottom end of my now very long (down to the waist) hair. Add to this, I swim regularly, so the hair is often exposed to chlorine. It’s no wonder my hair is coarse and dry at the moment. No significant split ends are in sight, though, so I’m inclined to keeping its length  for now. But what to do about the dry bits?

I have read for years about people forgoing shampooing. Clearly SLS in my favorite shampoo is drying, so I tried to do without at one time, using only a conditioner to clean my scalp (with vigorous rubbing). The result? The scalp actually feels clean, and the hair is not as dry. So I experimented with forgoing shampoo for at least 3 washing cycles, and it was surprisingly easy to do — I did not unbearably miss my shampoo. My hair is less dry, and I have a little bit more workout in the shower, doing the vigorous rubbing. The scalp gets slightly oilier faster compared to using shampoos, but that was the main difference, which I can live with. So I have since done away with shampoo except on days when I go swimming.

I’ve used various stuffs in lieu of shampoo: hair masks/creams, conditioners, facial cleansing oils. The verdict: they are all as good at cleansing the scalps. The key is actually your mechanical rubbing to loosen dirt and oils. However, runny conditioners that slightly lather are better at cleansing the hair itself. Creams (e.g. hair masks) are better if you dislike having something runny going down your back while cleaning your head. After I clean my hair, I usually make a bun of it, place it atop my head, and continue lathering and cleansing my body. Once that’s done, I flip my hair down and rinse the hair away from my already clean body.

So, what radical beauty change have you made recently?

My favorite for a non-shampoo cleansing: Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask
My favorite for a non-shampoo cleansing: Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask (Source)

A Zambian Honey Bath

Lush Fair Trade Honey shampoo
Lush Fair Trade Honey shampoo (Source)

Lush fresh handmade cosmetics is a beloved company of mine. I first discovered their products in 2001, buying online from their Canadian website to be delivered to my humble abode in the US. They later set up shop in Indonesia, but closed them a few years ago, unfortunately. I now get mine directly from their UK online shop.

There are products I’ve been using for more than 10 years, and I will review them separately one of these days. Right now I want to alert you to my latest Lush crush: Fair Trade Honey shampoo. I love honey. I drink it daily in my drinks (tea, lemonade, lime juice, etc), use it for masks a few times a month, and pour it over my various breakfast dishes. When I travel, I search the traditional market and bring back jugs and jugs of honey. IF I live a long, healthy live, honey would probably be the culprit. *hear, hear!* So yes, I love honey: the taste, the smell, the golden color, even the dead bees floating in a raw jar of honey.

As a shampoo, this product do not agree with my head, it leaves my scalp and hair too dry for my liking (as most Lush shampoo products). However, as a body wash? This is DA BOMB!!  I got a small bottle to try, and now I am ready for the 600gr of commitment. The scent is an amazing mix of the smokey, sweet and lush. An absolute pleasure in the bath.

A key ingredient in Fair Trade Honey? Zambian honey. It pleases me no end to know that only a few months ago, my honey wast just dangling over some Zambian forest. Lush did a great video on honey harvesting in Zambia here, check it out.

Salah kaprah tentang rambut dan kuku

Seperti kuku, rambut yang sudah ada di atas kulit, adalah sel mati. Mati. Killed. Dead. Apakah benda mati bernapas? Makan? Minum? Ikut lomba lempar lembing??

Bila demikian, apakah berarti tidak ada gunanya dan tidak perlu perawatan? Tentu tidak. Tapi salah kaprah kalau perawatannya untuk memberi nutrisi, membiarkan bernapas, etc. Memangnya dukun, mau membangkitkan benda mati? Plus kalau memang mau dibangkitkan ya mbok yang lain gitu, yg lebih berharga dan menarik misal err…..

Jadi bagaimana perawatannya? Ya tentu apa tujuan yang dikehendaki? I’m a nail polish addict, so my nails are the canvas I need to show off the polish. Jadi harus kuat, keras, dan permukaannya smooth. Kuat dan keras berarti pori2nya harus diisi. Pakai apa, ya macam-macam, perlu eksperimen. Karena contohnya nih, sponge mandi kan berpori-pori sehingga bisa menyerap …sesuatu. Untuk melakukan … sesuatu. Bisa menyerap air, minuman anggur, darah, dll. Kalo tujuan untuk lap jendela, yang mboros banget kalo diisi Sangria kan. Kecuali memang Sangria anti kotor dan kaca bisa bersih berminggu-minggu, boleh deh dilakukan. Or unless you have so much money you don’t know what to do with it.

So it’s a waste to shower nails and hair with nutrients, etc, because they’re dead. Killed.

Nutrisi itu diperlukan sebelum rambut atau kuku keluar dari permukaan kulit (killed!). But that’s for another blog post.