In the Mirror

amika Clip-Free Tourmaline Curler

By Charlotte on May 28, 2012 6:36 AM

Curls can be a girl's best friend, especially if you have fine, thin hair like mine. Besides being right on trend, they bring limp locks to life, making them look lush and full.

Unfortunately, however, the magic never seems to last long. So I keep a curling iron, clips and all sorts of curlers handy for rolling and re-rolling my hair (once more with feeling!). They're one of my favorite tricks for getting a lift before a big night, between washes or just about any time.


But it would be so much nicer if those curls didn't fall flat. That's why I just had to try amika's new Clip-Free Tourmaline Curler. It promises curls that last for days without hair spray.  


13mmCurler_Black_B 500.jpg 

What the Experts Say

This professional styling tool has a tourmaline barrel, fused with ceramic. Tourmaline is a natural source of negative ions and far-infrared heat, which provides faster and safer styling. Negative ions eliminate frizz and close the cuticle to create smooth, shiny hair.



What I Tested

I tried amika's midnight black, 13mm Tourmaline Curler, which also comes in pink and purple.



What I like

Ready to go when you are, this curler heats up to 410 degrees F in seconds. It features ceramic plates and ceramic heating elements behind the plates that radiate far-infared heat that preserves moisture and protects hair from damage. That's great news for Boomer Babes like me who've been through hair-hell and don't want to go back.


Designed to work on any type of hair (so long as it's dry), this style setter turns my naturally straight hair into a mass of curls that stand the test of time, humidity and even brushing. Use it in the morning for curls that still look fresh later that day, even if you have to venture outside. Though I've yet to wake up with perfect hair, I have enjoyed some surprising second-day waves thanks to this powerful styler. 

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Another winner from amika, the 13mm, tapered-barrel iron makes smaller-size, spiral curls perfect for shoulder-length hair like mine. Want to go bigger? It also comes in 18 - 25mm barrel sizes.


You don't have to worry about metal tugging, breaking or creasing your locks since there's no clip. Working with two-inch sections, wind hair around the curler and hold it in place for 20 - 30 seconds with your hand.


Since that's different, it can take practice to get it right. At first, I worried about touching something so very HOT. Naturally, you have to be careful but a special, heat-resistant glove protects your fingers and gives men like Bob material for bad Michael Jackson jokes.


Charlotte Hair Mug Shot - 447.jpgYou can go curl crazy once you get the hang of wearing the glove.


Start close to the scalp for root to tip action. Or begin further down. Either way, hair sets quickly, has plenty of bounce, and looks smooth and shiny.


After curling, I let my hair cool while putting on my makeup.


Then I start separating curls to amp up the volume, a must when your hair's thin like mine.


That's when a tiny dab of amika Obliphica Curl Defining Cream (Beauty.com; $24) comes in handy. Made for curly hair, it conditions, helps you fluff without frizzing and doesn't weigh hair down.



On the Shelf

Available at Beauty.com







"Thank You" to amika for providing samples for review and testing.



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Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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