Good As Gold

I was recently introduced to the Elixir Ultime 24-Carat Regimen from Kerastase in my salon. When I heard that the brand decided to come out with a cleansing oil as well as a treatment masque to go with their amazing serum that we’ve dubbed “liquid gold” in the salon, it was as if the hair gods had finally answered my (selfish and unnecessary) prayers. All three products contain Maize oil (to deliver emollient and anti-oxidant active ingredients for luster), Pracaxi oil (to nourish and deep condition), Camellia oil (smoothes hair fiber), and Argan oil (to help restore strength to the hair while protecting it from external aggressors). 

The paraben and silicone free shampoo gently cleanses, while nourishing and purifying the hair. Oil (from the shampoo) binds to oil (from your scalp), leaving your hair and scalp refreshed and clean and balanced. The treatment masque revives the natural strength of hair by penetrating the deepest of the hair fiber, and leaves hair feeling weightless and baby soft. 

The shampoo, masque, and oil are great for all hair types. Elixir Ultime debuted two years ago, and after fantastic reviews, the EU family expanded to three more treatment oils for specific hair types. Elixir Ultime The Imperial (smells just like a hybrid between Coco Mademoiselle and Chanel Chance) is a versatile oil for color-treated hair. EU Moringa Immortel was created for bleach junkies like myself, and EU Rose Millenaire is for fine and sensitized hair. EU Rose Millenaire is the first treatment oil that I have used that actually gives hair more body and volume. Oil and volume are not two words a lady generally hears in one sentence regarding her hair, but it’s true. One can finally achieve optimal hair health with this liquid gold. And if you want to get really fancy with your products, you can add one to two pumps of your treatment oil to the masque for an extra boost of nourishment. 

Find Kerastase products online, or at Faust Salon and Spa Scotts Valley.

Faust Salon and Spa Scotts Valley

I recently had the chance to sample several services at Faust, a high-end salon and spa in Scotts Valley, Calif., owned by the lovely Anna Wu, a professional makeup artist (who, by the way, has the most beautiful skin I've ever seen). Wu took over helming the salon in late 2011 and has created a stylish, fashion-forward space that sells top of the line products like Kerastase, Oribe, Bumble and Bumble, and Aveda, and offers an array of holistic spa services as well as hair cuts and more. 

"I wanted to create a salon environment that is the perfect hybrid between all of the fantastic qualities Santa Cruz and a larger city, like San Francisco, would have to offer," says Wu of her environmentally-conscious salon.

While there, I had a chance to get to know the talented Wu, as well as partake in a few hours of pampering. First up was a massage by Yarah. I was immediately impressed by her all-around attention when before we even started, she asked for a run down on what I was going through in life. For Yarah, that signals where you might be carrying stress in your body, as well as how to create a massage for you that meets your current needs in life. Bottom line: Amazing. I haven't felt that relaxed or stress-free in a long time. 

Next up: A Facial with Michelle Kelly. Likewise, she took time to evaluate my skin. I was especially impressed by Kelly's home-made mask containing lavender oil, aloe, raw honey and a secret ingredient from the health food store. I left with remarkably glowing skin and I've since inquired about having Kelly make me a customized at-home mask. Recommendation: Must-see facialist.

Lastly, hairstylist Nina Trbovich gave me a customized Kerastase hair treatment and blow out, which is especially nice as I have naturally curly hair. Results: Beautiful, soft hair that lasted for several weeks.

Review in a flash: Faust Scotts Valley has injected a shot of elegance, sophistication and high-end spa offerings into this city near the Santa Cruz Mountains. It's a treasure trove of products and services. A must if you're a local or you're traveling through the area.

Faust Salon and Spa Scotts Valley is at 219 Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley, (831) 706-8960.