Friday, 11 May 2012

Andrew Barton Designer Curling Multi Styler Set Review Pt. 1

Yesterday I finally gave into Andrew Barton's Designer Curling Multi Styler Set after spending weeks eyeing on it on the Argos website. 
Initially I was immensely put off by the hot pink and diamante on the tongs, but seeing that most of the reviews on the Argos website was positive and that it was on 'sale' for £23.99 I decided to give them a try. Besides, it's not like I'll be lugging them around in public or anything, it doesn't represent me in any way, it's just a hair tool.

I recall that in the reviews many expressed their discontent with the tongs attachment and very much preferred the wand attachment instead. 
Personally, I dislike tight tendril-like curls, curls that the wand could offer. What I wanted was soft gentle wave-like curls, the curls that many Japanese magazine models wear.
It was very likely that the reviewers were aiming for something along the lines of tendril curls, after all, it seems to be the trend in Western countries. Since I wasn't aiming for tendril curls, surely the tongs would be fantastic for me, since many claimed that the tongs did little to their hair. 
Besides, my hair's thin anyway, it can easily be styled. Also, if the tongs were really that bad, I guess I could always improvise with the wand...

Anyway, when I tore open the box to reveal the tongs I was surprised to see that the tongs weren't actually hot pink, but the colour had neared the boundaries of purple. Sweet. Purple had always been one of my favourite colours. But alas, the diamante was still there, shining away uselessly.

Inside the box was the two attachments, conical wand (2.5 - 1.3cm) and tongs (3.2cm barrel), the handle itself connected to the cord, a heat protectant glove, manual, and some access code to AB's styling tips online.
Everything was packaged cleanly into seperate bags, sans manual and code leaflet. 

The gloves were easy to slip on, comfy as well. 

However, when it came to attaching the attachment to the handle, it was a different story. 
I didn't really bother reading the manual beforehand, so I attached the attachment using logic: match up the plugs. Attaching the tongs to the handle was an incredibly time consuming and fiddly process. After successfully attaching I then realised it was loose. That was when the manual came in handy and informed me that there was a twist-to-lock function (the black rim on the handle).

There were 5 heat settings to choose from:
  1. 140 degrees
  2. 155 defgrees
  3. 170 degrees
  4. 185 degrees
  5. 200 degrees
I went for 170 - usually I my straightners are set to 160 or 170 anyway, 200 just murders my thin hair.

Didn't time how long it took for it to heat up, but during that time I was spritzing my hair with heat protectant, and by the time I was done the tongs were ready too. Let's just say it definitely took under 1 minute to heat up.

Unfortunately I am unable to give you guys a proper and accurate review on how easy it was to use, purely because of my non-existent experience with the use of tongs. But all I can say, at noob level, is that it was difficult. I mainly had issues with the clamp. But that's just the case with experience.
Once again referring to the reviews, some expressed that the tool felt heavy in their hands. Personally I didn't find it heavy at all. It wasn't lightweight, but neither was it heavy.
 In sum, there was nothing wrong with the weight of the tongs.

It actually gave me decent curls. The results weren't perfect, but I'm sure that with a little bit more practice I'll get those awesomely soft curls that I've always desired!
Though, I was a bit iffy with how the ends of my hair turned out - feeling dry and frizzy.

You can tell how crap I am at this by looking at the result pic on the left...

Anyway, take note that I haven't applied any styling product at all on my hair after this - not even hair spray or styling clay.
I used the tongs at around 5pm, left my student accommodation at 7pm, caught the train from Leeds to Peterborough. Stood in the wind for about 40mins waiting for my connecting train, and when the train came at 9.40pm-ish I checked my hair again and the curls were pretty much...gone. Perhaps they would've lasted longer if I upped the heat setting and applied hair spray after *shrugs* - personally I dislike applying hair styling product to my hair apart from heat protectant spray and conditioning serums.

Hence why this review was labelled part 1. Simply because it was my first time using tongs and also because I didn't bother to apply styling product to my hair after - I didn't have them in my possession anyway. A part 2 will be posted in June perhaps when I have had practice, upped the heat setting and used misted my hair with hair spray after.

Overall, I am content with these tongs. I have yet to use the wand.
But in a nutshell:
  • Use tong if you have thin hair or aiming for the soft curls/wave look
  • Use wand if you have thick hair or aiming for tendril tight curls (apparently)
  • The ability to switch attachments (wand and tong) is convenient if you want something that can offer you more results
  • The heat protectant glove is your best friend
  •  Affordable (on sale at Argos for £23.99 from £59.99 - though I doubt that it was actually on sale at £59.99 before)
  • Definitely produces curls - just make sure that you use a high heat setting and apply hair spray after

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