You know I ordinarily don’t write product reviews on this blog, but I felt this was worth a little time and space to help people out. Gloss Moderne is an expensive brand of haircare available at Sephora. There are only 4 products in their line (shampoo, conditioner, serum [a leave-in conditioner] and “masque” [deep conditioner]), so I bought the kit that contained full sizes of all of them, so I could try all the combinations and see what worked, if anything. Sephora does offer returns on opened product, so if it was just bad, I would have returned it. Gloss Moderne does not make a kit that contains smaller sizes of each.
My kit came in a white “vegan leather” case like a jewelry box, which is very nice, and now that it’s empty, my current knitting project lives in it! Dressier than the old Dansko shoe box I’d been using. The kit was the same price with or without the case. Might as well take the free case, right?
The first thing I noticed is that the bottles are not filled to the very top. There was about 1″ of space in the shampoo bottle (visible through the bottle) and in the serum. The conditioner, I can’t tell because the bottle is more opaque, and the jar of masque was completely full. For this kind of price (the shampoo and conditioner are each $45 for an 8-ounce bottle, if not bought in the kit), I had expected completely full bottles. It’s possible these bottles are bigger than 8 ounces but contained 8 ounces of product: after they’re empty, I’ll measure their capacity with a Pyrex measuring jar to find out.
The bottles are of a very hard yet flimsy plastic that feels like it would crack if you squeeze them too hard. But they do have pump tops, so it’s just a matter of being careful while pumping. It seems easier to pump if you tip the bottle horizontally. (I’d started out by resting the bottle on the shelf and trying to pump it, but that didn’t work!) You could also decant them into a softer, squeezier plastic bottle if you preferred. We have no more empty bottles after the Great Purge of 2016, so I’m sticking with the original bottles.
All the containers are white plastic with lettering in a plain black fine font. The shampoo, conditioner and serum bottles are visually identical, and even the labeling is so close as to be indistinguishable to the “naked eye that needs reading glasses.” (I don’t wear my glasses in the shower. Hah.) Instead, I put the shampoo in the shower area and rested the conditioner bottle outside the shower so I wouldn’t accidentally use the conditioner first! (The serum is on the bathroom countertop.) Now that my testing is done, I’m going to mark the bottles with Sharpie just to make this easier to figure out without glasses.
I have now completed several tests with different combinations of the products.
Day 1: Wash with the shampoo, follow with the regular conditioner. Quite nice! My hair has always been coarse, but either due to aging or the bad shampoos I’ve been choosing, it’s felt coarser every year. I always air-dry my hair, and this combo of products left it with my usual volume/style, and feeling softer and looking shiny! A win.
Day 2: My routine is also to only wash my hair every other day, not every single day. This is not a bad thing because most days I don’t even go out in public! The day after this wash, my hair still looked “normal” (style-wise) and still felt softer than usual.
Day 3: Wash with the shampoo, follow with the regular conditioner, then use the serum on towel-dried hair. No go. Style was okay until the end of the day, but hair felt greasy to me. Next morning my hair was squashed entirely flat, and greasy-looking/limp, so I washed even though it wasn’t a wash day.
Day 4: Wash with the shampoo, follow with the serum. This was stylistically okay – didn’t weigh down the hair at all – and shiny, too, but didn’t feel very soft. That’s kind of where I’d been with my previous haircare, which was Klorane Shampoo with Citrus Pulp ($20) and no conditioner or serum!
Day 5 was a non-wash day; everything looked and felt as usual.
Day 6 (today): Wash with the shampoo, follow with the masque. By the time this had air-dried it still felt vaguely straw-like (or, at least, not as soft as the plain shampoo + conditioner combo). I put a pump of serum into my dry hair (product does say it can be used on damp or dry hair). When it dried, it had simply clumped my hair up, not softening, and making it look unwashed.
So, it seems to me after all this that the shampoo + conditioner combo “might” be worth it, but none of the other combos or products are worth it. Overall my inclination is not to repeat-buy but to go back to something like Sebastian or Redken, which were my old go-to products. For real luxury I’d go back to Rene Furterer’s Karite line.
I hope this evaluation was useful to someone!