Sunday, 29 December 2013

L'Oréal Féria Ultra Intense Permanent Colour – P37 Booster Plum Power (review)

L'Oréal Féria Ultra Intense Permanent Colour

L'Oréal develop and manufacture a pretty large number of different hair dyes, which might not be a total surprise, seeing as they're the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company. Under the Redken sub-brand they sell Color Fusion, Matrix has SoColor while under their own branding they sell Preférénce, Excellence and Casting Créme Gloss. We've already tested others from the L'Oréal stable, including Mousse Absolue, Sublime Mousse and Garnier Olia (yes, that's owned by L'Oréál, too) and while none are my personal favourite (that honour goes to John Frieda Precision Foam) they perform to a good standard.

On test here is the bolder choice: Féria. It's got a new formula and updated packaging with a far more colour-realistic picture for this shade: P37 Booster Plum Power. The booster bit identifies this version as an extra strong shade. Included in the box is a fairly decent pair of gloves, developer, colourant, oil concentrate and intensive conditioner. The instructions are, thankfully, clearer than most and easy to follow. I suppose, being a cream rather than a mouse, you could consider this 'old tech' but in all honesty, it doesn't bother me too much. The cream is thick so it doesn't drip making it easy to use, especially if you've dyed your hair multiple times as I have.

As with all L'Oréal dyes the smell of ammonia seems stronger here than, say, John Frieda, and it makes my eyes water. You'll definitely need a ventilated room. Once mixed – an easy enough job, although don't forget the little sachet of oil! – the cream is ultra soft and smooth making it a doddle to massage through your hair, but it's a non-drip consistency, so you shouldn't get too much mess. The developer colour for this shade was a rather worrying shade of pumpkin orange and with the development time being a rather lengthy 35 minutes I did fear for the final result.

It took an absolute age to rinse out, but I can gloss over this bearing in mind the intensity of the colour. While I love the colour I've chosen, a striking shade of dark, coppery auburn – and it is very true to the guide on the box – it lacks tonal qualities, leaving your hair looking very monotone after drying. I suppose that's what one should expect when you choose a dye described as offering “long-lasting intense vibrant colour” instead of a dye claiming to look natural. After one wash the colour has faded a bit, so I'm expecting more natural looking highlights to shine through after a few more shampoos.

Féria also promise this dye will give you “multi-faceted shine” thanks to the High Shine Concentrate. This little tube looks and feels like oil (it contains real sunflower seed oil, amongst other, artificial, ingredients) which you have to mix into the colourant and developer yourself. This combined with the High Shine Conditioner (which as far as I can see is surprisingly free of mineral oils) meant my hair had a real depth of shine after use; even 24 hours later it's glossy and smooth and reflecting light almost like glass. Unfortunately, it leaves my hair as flat as a pancake with no volume whatsoever.

You get plenty for one application on even long, thick hair so you're unlikely to need a couple of boxes if your hair is shoulder length. This combined with the good price makes it quite the bargain. OK, there are cheaper dyes out there, but I tend to shy away from brands I've not heard of when it comes to something that is potentially as dangerous as colouring your hair. There are lots of ingredients you could react to here, as with the vast majority of hair dyes. But it doesn't put me off, and if you want bright, stand-out colour then I hope it doesn't put you off either as the intensity of colour you get from Féria's booster shades has to be seen to be believed.

A very bold, intense colour that lasts
Doesn't look especially natural
Good value for money
Ammonia is chokingly strong
Very, very shiny! Looks healthy, not dry
Others say it doesn't work on very dark hair

Conditioner leaves hair flat and lifeless

Doesn't rinse out easily


Brand: L'Oréal

Developer Size: 72 ml
Colourant Size: 48 ml
Concentrate Size: 4 ml
Conditioner Size: 54 ml

Price: £5.99 (£5.99/treatment)

Manufactured: Belgium

Developer Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Hydrogen Peroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stannate, Trideceth-2 Carboxamide MEA, Pentasodium Penetate, Phosphoric Acid, Ceteareth-25, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Glycerin

Colourant Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Ceteryl Alcohol, Deceth-3, Propylene Glycol, Laureth-12, Ammonium Hydroxide, Oleth-30 Hexadimethrine Chloride, Lauric Acid, Ethanolamine, Glycol Distearate, 1-Hydroxyethyl 4,5-Diamino Pyrazole Sulphate, Polyquaternium-22 4-Amino-2-Hydroxytoluene, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, CI 77891, Titanium Dioxide, 5-Amino-6-Chloro-0-C...ol, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Metabisulphate, Hydroxypropyl Bis HCL Thioglycerin, Toluene-2,5-Diamine, Dimethicone, Pentasodium Pentetate, Linalool, Carbomer, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Fragrance (Parfum)

Concentrate Ingredients: PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Helianthus Annuus Seed (Sunflower) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Conditioner Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Candelilla Cera Wax, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Oleth-10, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylparaben, Trideceth-12, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulphate, Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Geraniol, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Methylparaben, Cetrimonium Chloride, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Amyl Cinnamal, Fragrance (Parfum)

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