Saturday, 26 November 2011

Brightly Brunette: Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Mask in Warm Chestnut

Seasonal colour change: it's not just nature but sometimes our hair cooperates as well.

Basically I am not the most experimental with haircolour, but I do like to vary a bit during the season. During the summer I often opt for that mixed bronde colour (somewhat between brunette and blonde). However, when Autumn arrives I like to make a colour decision and decide to leave the beachy blonde in my hair for what it is and go back to my warm-brunette nature.

I thought it would be handy to try out a caring hairmask with a temporary colouring effect. Reviews pointed me to Christophe Robin's colour hair masks, which was a good excuse to try out more pampering haircare with the benefit of a deeper and glossier colour. .

Christophe Robin, as you  might guess, is not your cheap-as-chips and easily available haircare range. I bought mine in a niche-shop in Rotterdam, and I believe you can find it online.

I found an interesting element in the FAQ of Christophe Robin's website that I found remarkably refreshing to read. I tend to veer towards my mid-30s, and I notice that the common advise for Caucasian, slightly fairskinned women is to go more blonde. Remarkably, Christophe Robin has the next thing to say about that:

click on the picture for larger letters ;D

Let me requote:

"blonde actually tends to emphasise dark circles under the eyes. Caramel, subtle copper and golden shades create a healthy glow and are very sensual"

Wow, it is something I knew intuitively and noticed on other women: blonde can look cute and refreshing in summer when having a tan (that masks dark circles and tiredness) but it can make the face look slightly washed out (talking about the pale blonde) without makeup/tan.

So my choice for a warmer chestnut isn't so weird after all.

Nevertheless, hair colour is as personal as you like it to be, so it is the person who wears it that should be happy about it, after all!

The back of the jar advises to leave on the mask from 5 to 30 minutes, and the longer the mask is left in, the stronger the colour. It claims the colour result stays for approximately 3-5 shampoo washes.

The jar of the mask is made of a sturdy black plastic. It contains a lot of product, relatively. It is also quite concentrated and pastlike, so you don't have to use much to cover your hair.

The colour is between a reddened brown and a standard brown.


I used this mask for the longest time on the jar: 30 minutes and wrapped in cling-film for a better result. I noticed the lighter parts of my hair were slightly darkened, but not something dramatically. The rest of my hair is already a chestnut brown so I couldn't really distinguish a strong colour change beside of a glossier finish and the lighter parts being made a bit darker.

However, I think this mask would work if my hair starts to get grey strands. I think it has enough colour to mask them a bit without dying. That would also mean you have to take regular masks (after every 2 washes) in order to keep the grey out of sight.


A slightly chemical baby powder scent: not really matching with the somewhat natural vibe of the mask (without silicons etc) but effective in having that clean-hair scent.


I wouldn't consider it to be a deep-treatment compared to my spoiled nature of Kerastase Masks and the likes of it, however, it gives a glossy finish that glistens in sunlight. But for severe dryness I would suggest taking another mask first or use some extra leave-in treatment, e.g the Kerastase Elixir Ultime oil.
It is without silicons, which can be a pro when you like your hair to detox from silicones, but a con when you prefer to have that bit of slip in your hair.
Ingredients: (from their website)
The products contain natural ingredients and plant extracts which combine several actions :
  • Nourish and hydrate the hair : oils (lavender, palm, olive, wheat germ, apricot kernel, Volubilis nut, sunflower, peach, Buriti), almond butter and St John’s wort extracts.
  • Protect the hair from sun : sunscreens and oils.
  • Fortify the hair : A-E-F vitamins and wheat proteins, rice proteins, pulp of philodendron tree and barley, honey.
  • Lighten and illuminate : camomile, cornflower lemon zest extracts.
  • Maintain the color : blueberry, vitamin E (very powerful natural antioxidant), omegas 3 and 6 and tocopherols.
  • Revive shades and restore your hair to a radiant, pure color with completely natural effects : Fiorentina iris, carrot oil, cocoa butter and licorice extract.
Formulated with an acidic pH, our products respect the scalp and hair pH and counterbalance the alkaline pH of the oxidizing coloring products.
Their acidic pH formula tightens hair scales and helps avoid coloring pigment loss.
Alcohol dries whereas silicone gives volume and conditions but does not treat the hair.
The ingredients used in the products are as detergent free as possible so as not to irritate the scalp.


I bought the mask for 35 which gives you 250 ml or 8.25 fl oz. That is 50 ml more than you would get from a Kerastase mask, as they just give you 200 ml and retail in the hairdressers salon for 35 as well (you can get better deals online from or, though).

I cannot compare those two anyway, because Christophe Robin Shade variation aims for colour enhancement in the first place, but I just added this difference in content to show you that they are expensive, but not ridiculously different from the product that quite some women (and men) would allow to pay for their hair by buying Kerastase masks.

Repeat buy?

I actually bought the Chic Red one when it came with a lovely deal (a travel size lemon cleansing balm) but I have to see if it really makes me more reddish. But as I said, I wouldn't buy this mask only for the conditioning/repairing although it still has some good ingredients and conditioning properties.

You can buy it from their own website or from and the colours vary from Red, Ash brown, baby blonde, golden blonde. I actually miss a jet black, btw...they should add that colour as well.

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