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Review: Kerastase Elixer Ultime Range

I love good hair care! Having fine hair that is damaged so easily, means I need nourishing ingredients that keep hair strong (protected) and soft. I was automatically drawn to the Kerastase Elixer Ultime line of products, because the gold packaging makes the products and formulas look super luxe and beautiful (and I am a magpie!). Clearly this ‘subliminal’ messaging means that after using the products, I will have the shiniest, strong, healthy hair, so I needed get my hands on the products to see if the line would be suitable for my fine and chemically treated hair! Centred around the use of oils, I wasn’t sure that I was a good candidate, with my first thought being that oils are heavy (the arch nemesis of fine and flat hair), however, products have come a long way – MoroccanOil’s Treatment Oil is a great example of this – I much prefer the Original Treatment Oil compared with the ‘Light’ version of the Treatment Oil, because it isn’t overly heavy at all and provides more hydration. Because oils can be encapsulated in silicone and in other ways, the oils can be delivered in surprisingly light formulations. At the same time, they need to be deeply hydrating, otherwise what’s the point. Another point of difference with this line is that it is meant to also be volumising. That point of different is super intriguing and exciting for me! The line was first released in 2010, but was reformulated in 2015, with this new ‘promise’ and concept in mind. So let’s see how this haircare line stacks up!

In 2010, Kérastase unveiled a must-have for hair, with the secret of precious oils at the heart of its formula and combining high performance with an incredible sensorial experience. Oléo-Complexe, a miracle of technology infused with four legendary oils, is at the heart of Elixir Ultime. A nourishing, protecting and beautifying power of oils for a magical and tailor made ritual. In 2015, a new wind is driving Elixir Ultime to the height of hair luxury with a new crystal glass bottle and technological revolutions.


L’Oréal Advanced Research created a beautiful encounter between Intra-Cylane™, L’Oréal’s star molecule, and a biphase ultra-light formula. The Intra-Cylane™ seeps into the core of the fiber to create a strong, supple molecular network which will expand thickness and volume of the hair. The spray releases infused micro-droplets for optimal volume, glowy finish and bouncy hair without heavy feeling or oiliness sensation.

Above: You can see the two layers of the Elixir Ultime Beautifying Hair Oil if you look closely!

First up, is the shampoo, Elixir Ultime (Sublime Cleansing Oil Bath).

Sublime Cleansing Oil Shampoo with the oleo-complex for all hair types. Our unique combination of corn germ, camellia, argan and pracaxi oils. Apply to wet hair, massage and rinse.

The shampoo doesn’t have an oily texture at all. It has your standard shampoo texture (thin but gel like) and is transparent, so light passes through the clear bottle, which looks kind cool (and you can see exactly how much product you have left, which is nice). It cleanses the hair really well, so I only shampoo my hair once when in the shower using this product. It also foams up nicely. The shampoo contains salicylic acid (removes oil build up and dead skin cells on the scalp) and a whole bunch of oils that are supposed to rehydrate your hair. I had no idea what pracaxi oil was – turns out it is from an ‘oil bean’ tree in the Amazon, native to Brazil. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal and very hydrating thanks to it containing behenic acid, which is a fatty acid. The shampoo actually contains one more oil that isn’t listed in the description on the bottle (beyond the oleo-complex) which is avocado oil and the formula also contains glycerin. Is the shampoo very hydrating? Not really… It doesn’t feel exceptionally soft after use but it does feel clean. I am a little surprised by this, but maybe that’s because the oleo-complex is so light. It at least doesn’t make my fair flat or feel oily, but I do wish it was a bit more hydrating. There is a version of this shampoo for thick hair, Bain Riche Elixir Ultime, but I worry that would be to heavy and hydrating for my hair (you can’t win some days).

Above: Ingredient list of the Elixir Ultime shampoo

 Second up, we have the Huile Sublime (Beautifying Oil Conditioner).

Beautifying oil conditioner with the oleo-complex for all hair types. An exceptional blend of corn-germ, camellia, argan and amla extracts. Apply to shampooed an towel dried hair. Leave on for 1 to 2 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. A sensorial, lightweight creamy texture coats the hair fibre to deeply nourish without weighing hair down. • Instant fluidity

• Lasting softness

• Hair feels nourished and silky

• Hair endowed with amazing shine

I was surprised at how thin and runny the texture of this conditioner was. That worried me at first, because I thought it would be vey hydrating. Wrong! Surprisingly, this conditioner is super hydrating and softening. I love that it doesn’t leave my hair flat and despite my roots being prone to becoming oily, this conditioner doesn’t exacerbate this tendency. I use the conditioner on the lengths of hair only (taking it quite high up near the roots, but not on the roots or scalp themselves) and leave it on for as long as possible before rinsing. My hair is easy to detangle afterwards and feels nourished as promised. The only down side is that because of the runny thin texture, product easily spills out of the tube. I am always generous with my conditioners (when applying) but I think I’m using this one up especially quickly. If the product was slightly thicker, I think it would ‘grab’ the hair better, and you would use less product. I’ve come to learn that I love Kerastase hair conditioners (including the Aura Botanica Conditioner) and love that they don’t ‘scrimp’ on the hydrating conditioners, even when the products are designed for fine hair.

In case you were wondering, amla extracts are from the ‘Indian Gooseberry’ plant. The oils and juice from fruit contain essential fatty acids and loads of vitamin C, iron and carotene, which strengthen fair follicles and give shine to hair. It is also said to be anti-fungal and great for treating dandruff.

Above: Ingredient list of Huile Sublime conditioner

Above: The texture of the Huile Sublime Conditioner (it very thin and runny).

I was probably most excited about trying the Elixir Ultime Voluptuous Beautifying Bi-Phase Oil Mist if I am honest, because the promo pics just look so luxe and beautiful!

A biphase oil mist with rare oils to give lightweight shine, for all hair types. Pure shine, opulent volume. The first volumizing biphase oil for fine hair by Kérastase.A beautiful fusion of Intra-Cylane™ e and precious oils to create a biphase ultra-light formula, is at the heart of this revolution. Hair appears volumised with enhanced body and opulent shine, feeling lightweight with sensual softness
  1. Regenerative and antioxidant properties

  2. Hair appears volumised and strenghthened

  3. Enhances shine

  4. Nourishes and protects the hair

  5. Lightweight finish

  6. Soft touch

  7. Anti-frizzHow to use:Shake well to insure an effective mix of the bi-phase. Spray onto damp or dry hair. Leave-in. No rinsing. Style.Oléo-Complexe:

  8. A unique combination of 4 precious oils:

  9. Maize Oil: Delivers emollient and anti-oxident active ingredients for ultimate shine.

  10. Pracaxi Oil: Brings shine, nourishment and deep conditioning to the hair.

  11. Camellia Oil: Helps smooth the hair fiber, resulting in incredible shine.

  12. Argan Oil: Helps restore strength to the hair and protects it from external aggressors.

  13. Intracylane

  14. Creates a durable intra-cellular network to amplify the diameter of each fiber.Ingredients: Aqua / Water – Alcohol Denat. – Trisiloxane – Propylene Glycol – Cyclopentasiloxane – C12-1s Alkyl Benzoate – Aminopczopyl 11riethoxysilane – Lactic Acid – Sodium Chloride – Benzyl Salicylate – Hexyl Cinnamal – Benzyl Alcohol – Linalool – Limonene – Xylose – Caramel – Citronellol – Geraniol – Hydroxycitronellal – Zea Mays /Corn Germ Oil – Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil – Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil – Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil – Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – Coumarin – Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract – Commiphora Myrrha Resin Extract – Tocopherol – Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate – Sodium Hydroxide – Citric Acid – Parfum /Fragrance

You need to give the hair oil a good shake to mix the two layers of product together (the oil part of the formulation settles to the bottom). The spray applicator distributes a fine mist, so you don’t apply to much product with one pump/spray. It’s very fine and the product is very light. It’s different to the MoroccanOil Treatment Oil, which is primarily smoothing and hydrating. The Elixir Ultime is so fine and light, it isn’t quite as smoothing (like other silicone based styling treatments tend to be) but that is fine with me, because the conditioner is so smoothing. It gives hair great shine and when I apply it to damp hair, my hair forms and holds waves really nicely. It’s never heavy or ‘to oily’. When I use it, I use it quite liberally too – so I break the rules there 😉 It actually has teeny tiny sparkles in it (you can only see these if you shake the bottle in sunlight and look at it really, really closely).

I like it as a styling product and I probably should use it as a ‘strengthening product’ the day after washing my hair, to nourish the lengths of my hair and prevent breakage (there’s an idea!). Do I find the oil ‘volumising’? I’m not sure. It definitely doesn’t ‘flatten’ my hair and it helps keep some of the volume you get from heat styling (it doesn’t work against this, which can happen with pure oils for example). The oil is housed in a glass bottle, which is heavy and feels luxurious, as expected 😉

All the products work wonderfully together of course, and I wonder if the shampoo on it’s own doesn’t feel hydrating, but really, added to all the other products in the line, it helps ‘build’ that hydration and strength. All the products also have the same scent – it’s not a ‘perfumed’ synthetic scent, but it smells like a mixture of oils (like 100% argan oil, amplified a bit). I don’t mind it at all and actually prefer it to other synthetic scents.The shampoo is 250ml and costs $40, the conditioner 200ml (I wish it were 250ml!) and costs $50, and finally the oil comes in at $59 for 100ml at Adore Beauty. The oil will definitely last you along time, so it’s  ‘economical’ in that sense.

I can give the line a big thumbs up for fine, thin and damaged hair. I would love to try the hair mask from this line and it looks like they also recently released another version of the conditioner – ‘Beautifying Oil Cream‘ 🙂

Do you spend big on hair care beauties? I mix it up these days. I think you can get good, gentle shampoos for less (that cleanse hair well) but spend more on conditioners and treatments. I’m more open minded these days, which is a good thing for sure! Let me know if this line ‘speaks to you’! 🙂

Catch ya next time Beauties,

Beauty Bee~ 

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