Beauty at Any Cost
Local experts reveal how you can get a little more out of your favorite services and salvage your beauty budget in the process.
Photos by Luigi Ciuffetelli
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Maria McCool is always asked if the pricier products sold at salons are worth the money. Her answer is always “yes.” “What you buy at the supermarket or drugstore is diluted with water,” says McCool, co-owner of Calista Grand Salon & Spa in West Chester, who has her own line, Calista Tools. “The truth is in the ingredients. I compare it to clothing—better fabric equals a more expensive product. It’s the same with styling products: Better ingredients drive up the price.”
Popular at her salon, Calista Tools are also sold on QVC.
Here are some of her top-sellers:
Complete: A working hairspray you control, because it’s not an aerosol spray. It brushes out easily and won’t leave a residue. $19.50
Embellish: A finishing product for dry hair used to lift, separate and define without stickiness or buildup; shapes and texturizes for short, sassy styles and sexy, long looks. Its unique formula creates fibers that adhere to hair, adding fullness by thickening. $26.50
Exfoliation: A gentle cleansing shampoo that thoroughly removes product buildup and coatings left on hair. Use it prior to any treatment or service when you want maximum penetration. $19.50
Form: A styling gel that holds without being stiff or sticky. Perfect for curls, and men love it because it holds without being crisp. $16.50
Intensify: A styling foam that starts as a light liquid and dispenses as a foam to ensure even distribution. It adds movement and volume without adding weight. $19.50
Quench: A gentle shampoo that replenishes, leaving hair hydrated and soft while adding luster and spring. Perfect for damage caused by blow-dryers and other styling tools, and for those who get regular coloring treatments, perms and relaxers. $17.50
Reclaim: This serum contains pure argan oil, which nourishes, protects, hydrates, conditions, shines and softens. $38.50
Refine: An instant conditioner that leaves hair feeling light while adding lift, fullness and volume. $17.50
Replenish: This daily instant conditioner hydrates and softens while adding luster and spring by rebalancing the hair’s moisture levels. Also perfect for damage caused by blow-dryers and other styling tools, and for those who get regular coloring treatments, perms and relaxers. $18.50