Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pick it? Or Plunk it?

This time of year it is hard to keep Penny from getting excited over all the new beauty products, and tools being advertised. Although Penny is no push over, curiousity sometimes gets the best of her and she will give in to the hype. So in the pouring rain, on her lunch break, Penny set out to purchase the new, and highly hyped...InStyler!  Yes, that curling iron/flat iron/hot brush contraption you see advertised every where.  A couple of Penny's Posse members had a good experience with it, so what the heck...

After reading many mixed reviews, and looking at the price of the InStyler slowly increasing on from $69 to $79 in one night ($99.99 manufacturer's price), Penny was on the fence. But with the 20% off Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon burning a hole in her pocket, Penny decided to give it a try. What's the worst that can happen?...I have to return it for a refund. (Read full story...)

After reading ALL of the instructions last night, washing & conditioning my naturally curly-frizzy hair to free it of product residue as instructed; detangling it, towel drying, and letting it air dry fully, Penny decided to test the product this morning. The product heated up fine and I decided to use it at the highest setting (approx. 385 degrees). After lightly spraying each section of hair with CHI 44 Guard Thermal Protection, (the instructions said you could use a little product if your hair is thick), Penny proceeded to straighten out her untamed mane. Here are the results:

The Good:
  • It's not hard to use but you have to take your time.
  • It straightens your hair about as well as any flat iron.
  • It's not heavy.
  • It heats up quickly and easy to turn on and off.
  • It has an automatic shut off and comes with a heat protection shield (snaps onto the barrel) if you need to put one on; prevents you from getting too close to your scalp.
The Bad:
  • It is difficult to get to the roots. They actually have a technique to help you get to  the roots on their website, but you're not using the brush side; you're just pulling the hair away from the scalp and using the hot barrel to tap at the roots and smooth them out. Same as you would with a curling iron or flat iron. Can still burn your scalp if you're a novice.
  • Does not save time; have to part the hair in 2" sections so it takes just as long as a flat iron or curling iron to completely style the whole head
  • The barrel is a little over an inch thick, so depending on the length of your hair, it will only give you a wide curl or bump at the end.
The Ugly:
  • Too damn loud! The motor on this thing is almost as loud as my kitchen blender!
  • The unit shut off automatically several times after just 20 mins of use. I went back to the instructions to see if maybe I was doing something wrong, but there is no "trouble shooting" page in the brochure.  Less than half way through, I had to plug in my flat iron and finish styling my hair.
Once I started experiencing problems (unit kept shutting off)...and I watched the clock ticking away, I looked at the instructions again for no avail. All they said was that if you had problems with the unit: "Do not Return to the Store. Email or Call InStyler Customer Service." Really? I think not! Penny is definitely going to PLUNK IT! There is a refund to be had here for Penny. And I hope I don't have any problems returning it this weekend. Humph!

Be blessed. Be beautiful.


  1. Hmmm....everytime Cassie sees the commercial she says "mommy, we should try this." Well, Penny has tried it for us and I think we'll pass.

    Thanks for doing all the hard work for us Penny (buying and having the lovely "hassle" of returning it)!

    Dee Dee

  2. Wow, I am bummed because I had hopes for this product. Any reviews on that flat iron they sell in the mall kiosks?

  3. Whew Penny, you have saved me a return run! I have wondered about the merits of the InStyler for quite a while. Thanks so much for this review...I will move on to the next potential tool obsession.

  4. Sorry folks...Penny had hopes for this one too. Was looking for an 'all in one" timesaver. Didn't quite work out. Maybe I just got a dud. Who knows?

    (@ Mel) Which flat iron in the mall?

  5. My hair is too short anyway, but I sure enjoyed reading the review! Sorry for your trouble, Penny! But thanks for the info!


  6. I had been looking at this for awhile too. Thanks for the review.