Get 24-Karat Hair With This Black Market Beauty Product

Sorry/not sorry.
Publish date:
December 30, 2014
shoppables, hair, shine

I thought I'd achieved all my life goals in this, the two-thousand-and-fourteenth year of our Lord. I mean, I got bangs. I wrote a book. I found a deodorant that doesn't burn my armpits. I replaced all my towels! What else could a human possibly hope to accomplish? Pretty much nothing, I recently said to myself (quite smugly, I might add.)

But then I was getting my hair done last week and the stylist casually pulled out a diamond-shaped bottle of what appeared to be pure liquid gold spray and blithely doused my head with it before I walked out the door. My hair instantly smelled amazing and had a multi-dimensional shine to it without being greasy, something that is rather hard to achieve with thin, pale, highlighted blonde hair.

So that's what else I could have accomplished in 2014 -- getting glittering, 24-karat gold hair. Better late than never, and boy, do I ever have have it now. But guess what? You won't be able to find what I used to get it almost anywhere.

My stylist could have charged me any amount of money for this incredible microcosmic glitter product she was spraying on my head, and I would have paid it happily. Alas, it was not to be, as she informed me: "Yes, it's amazing, it's Kevin Murphy's Shimmer.Shine spray, and I'm totally sold out of it."

"No worries," I said brightly. "I'll just buy it online!" (After all, that's what I do for a living: I buy things! And when I'm not actively not buying things for myself or others, I'm here writing about things that you guys should buy.) I know how to buy things. "Um, no, you won't be buying it," she replied. "Unless you're willing to go...underground."

I instantly thought she was talking about the black market (although a quick Google search teaches me that beauty products sold in an unlicensed manner are actually considered part of the grey market), but what she really meant was that Kevin Murphy's products are for sale in salons only -- so if you see them online anywhere, those people are in direct violation of their sales agreement with the company.

I say all this as someone who is currently using a Groupon-obtained 10 pack of off-brand Clarisonic brush heads, so I'm in no position to judge anyone for anything -- I'm just stating the facts. (Those fake Clarisonic brush heads really STINK, by the way. Don't waste your dimes on them.)

Kevin Murphy is a star hairstylist from Australia who used some of the same ingredients currently found in high-end skincare to develop his own line of hair products. His range includes a slew of shampoos, conditioners, treatments, and styling aides -- and nope, you can't buy a single one of them online. If you're pining for a Kevin Murphy product, you're going to have to find a physical salon that carries his line -- or be willing to search the deep, dark web and risk getting ripped off. The search function on the Kevin Murphy website isn't even all that helpful, but pssssst! There are actually a few bottles of Shimmer.Shine lurking on Amazon. (Sometimes you have to be willing to break the law for really good hair.)

The Shimmer.Shine spray smells heavenly -- like old-school Halston Z-14 cologne, worn for years in an ironic fashion by my dreamy high school boyfriend who drove a vintage Camaro and rocked knee-high moccasins. It's a slightly woodsy, mossy smell, tinged with a hint of sugary, burnt cake batter. Kevin Murphy says the Shimmer.Shine works so well because it contains vitamins A, C and E, in addition to baobab, immortelle and bamboo oil extracts. (Baobab oil is cold pressed from the seeds of baobab fruit trees growing in Africa, and is allegedly superior at moisturizing dry hair.) But don't take my word for it, watch this:

Shimmer.Shine does indeed moisturize my hair without weighing it down. I use it on my freshly washed and dried hair as a finishing spray, but I really find it to be most useful for taming my frizzed-out second day hair. It smooths and moisturizes my strands without turning it into an oil slick, something most silicone-based shine spray products tend to do.

I can easily run a brush or comb through my dry, slept-on, rat's nest of a hairdo after giving it a light dousing of the Shimmer.Shine spray. It also adds a glittery glimmer that's basically impossible to capture on camera.

Here's what Kevin Murphy has to say about how Shimmer.Shine gives your hair a 24-karat glitz:

Light reflective technology from high-end skincare adds a brilliant shine to hair with no oily residue.

Yes, Kevin, my dear Aussie, we commonly call that 'light reflective technology' glitter, and it is indeed hella brilliant.

Shimmer.Shine is incredible on blondes, but also works well for brunettes -- or anyone who could use a totally gleaming hair upgrade. So Shimmer.Shine on, you crazy diamonds, but don't go breaking too many laws to get your mitts on some of this 24-karat goodness.

I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison