Friday, July 15, 2011

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - Sultra Pink Bombshell 1" Curling Iron

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts today! Every year they have great exclusive beauty deals, like special sets from Deborah Lippmann, Dior nail polish, an entire MAC collection... This year they're doing a special pink version of the Sultra Bombshell iron, and I have one to review!

You may be familiar with the Sultra Bombshell curling iron. It normally comes in black and costs $130. The Nordstrom Anniversary version is all pink and on sale for $99.

I've been testing out the Bombshell for the past few months, so here's my experience with it.

I've never been much of a curling iron user. My hair has an annoying texture- too wavy to be straight on its own, but not wavy enough to be curly or evenly wavy all over. If I let my hair do its natural thing, it ends up half wavy and half straight. So... I straighten it with a flat iron. Every day. My hair is also very thin and fine, so it often looks flat and lacking in volume, which annoys me just as much as the half-wavy texture. I had kinda given up on having anything other than flat, boring hair... Until the Bombshell came along.

What the Sultra Bombshell iron claims:

  • Curls in half the time of traditional irons
  • No clip lines
  • Easy to use
  • Mends and defends hair while you style
  • Exclusive Japanese Kyocera infrared technology ensures even 360ºF heat
  • Kyocera heater is the most durable, long lasting and hair protecting technology
  • Curls in a single wrap reducing damage and styling time
What the Bombshell includes:
  • Sultra Bombshell 1" clipless iron
  • Styling glove
  • Protective heat pad
  • Two year warranty

And some additional features:
  • Durable construction
  • Rapid heat-up
  • Auto Shutoff safety switch
  • Lightweight, heat-resistant body
  • 9' no-tangle swivel cord

The iron itself is pretty lightweight, weighing in at about six ounces, not including the cord. The barrel is one inch in diameter and about one foot long.
As you can see, it's a medium warm pink color. Not a bright pink, more of a retro looking pink. It also has only one button- a sliding on/off switch. No temperature setting. It heats to 360º Fahrenheit and the light blinks when it has reached temperature. The cord is extremely long and swivels for ease of use.

The iron does heat fairly quickly (in about one minute), but I find that I have better results with it if I let it heat a little longer (3-5 minutes). It retains heat well but does need to warm back up for a few seconds in between sections.

I had the best results with this iron by blow drying my hair completely dry (with a heat protection product or shine serum), wrapping hair sections counter-clockwise around the barrel and holding for thirty seconds. I really don't have much hair, so 6-8 sections covers my entire head and only takes me about five minutes to complete.

For big, wavy curls I wrap larger (1"+) sections around the barrel and for smaller, tighter, more curly/less wavy curls I do smaller sections. If I want to keep the curls tight, I apply hairspray lightly all over the curled areas.

What I like about this iron:
  • The bouncy, wavy curls give my hair so much volume, look amazing and require minimal effort
  • No lines from a clip like on a traditional curling iron
  • The iron creates gentle curls and waves that last all day
  • The curls and waves it makes are sexy bombshell curls, not foofy princess poodle curls which make me feel too girly-girly.
  • The iron is light, fairly fast and pretty straightforward
  • No extra buttons or settings- only an on/off switch- very easy to use
  • Automatic safety shutoff feature- this is important to me in a heat tool!
  • It didn't break, decrease effectiveness or otherwise degrade in quality during my testing period, I'd say it's pretty durable
  • Easy to clean, but also stays clean unlike my flat irons which collect dust quickly.

What I didn't like about this iron:
  • It looks like an... uh... adult accessory. Everyone who saw this iron was a bit flustered until I explained that it was a curling iron. The reaction was really quite amusing.
  • I kept burning myself with it. I didn't burn my fingers like I thought I would, but I instead would accidentally burn my arm while wrapping my hair around it. It does include safety gloves to protect your fingers, but be careful of touching it to your arm!
  • After using it almost daily for three weeks, I noticed that my hair felt rough and dry and the texture changed. The iron claims to protect your hair from damage, but I think using it so often did damage my hair. Keeping in mind that I flat iron every single day with no excessive damage, I'm a little surprised by that result.
  • It doesn't seem to work as easily on shorter hair (I had nine inches taken off my hair during the testing period)
  • The handle toward the barrel gets quite hot during use.
  • The barrel wobbles a little in the handle, but it doesn't feel loose like it will fall out or break, but it's not entirely solid.
  • Seems to take longer to set a curl than the traditional metal and clip irons I've used, but the curls do last a lot longer.

Overall, my impression of this iron is mainly positive and I feel that the benefits outweigh the downsides. I was really happy with how easy it was to use, didn't leave clip marks like I always used to get with the old metal irons, and it made my hair look AMAZING. I got so many compliments on my hair when I first used this. I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to hair styling- I can do straight, I can do a ponytail, but that's pretty much it. With this iron, I actually felt like my hair looked pretty instead of plain and it made me feel like I really could make my hair look nice. I didn't like it as much after I cut my hair short, but on my longer hair I loved it. Here's a terrible cell phone picture I took immediately after using it for the very first time:

I don't know if you can tell because it's grainy and my hair is so dark, but the curls are bouncy and shiny and BIG. For one time in my life, my hair wasn't flat and blah looking. It was hot.

I do prefer the black version over the pink (the two are identical in features and function), but the pink iron is a better deal at $99. After having tested this iron for a few months, if I had the choice, I would buy this iron again. It was much easier to use and gave me nicer, longer-lasting curls than any other iron I have used before. Plus, it has a two year warranty. Though, now that I'm thinking about it... I would pay the extra $31 just to not have it be pink, but that's just me. Black is my favorite color, after all.

The Sultra Bombshell Special Edition Pink iron is a Nordstrom exclusive and is on sale for $99 until August 1st, 2011. The standard black Bombshell is available at Sephora and costs $130.

And because I can't resist, I have to post a picture of the warning label attached to the cord:
I know, I have the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old, but the face he's making is cracking me up. He doesn't look like he just burned himself or like he's in pain... He sorta looks like he's saying "WTF is that smell??" or something to that effect... And I don't speak French, but I'm pretty sure "mise en garde" is spelled wrong. Okay, okay, I'm done. Heh.

(This was sent to me for review.)


  1. LMAO I was thinking the same thing about the boy... that is the face my son makes when he farts =D

  2. Thank God for a juvenile sense of humour, because yeah...that does NOT look like a curling iron.

  3. I think I would actually kind of like this iron and I have been looking for a replacement for my metal clippy one (it's getting old and has some wear/rust? spots) I'll have to see if I can spare the money before the end of the month. Stupid car taxes making me kind of broke.

  4. hahahaha @ warning sign! I have similar humor like u do, so dont worry!

  5. I think I must be a horrible person, because my first thought upon seeing that last image was 'enfant brûlé.'

  6. Haha, it totally does look like an adult toy! :P The warning label cracked me up, too.
    - Mary

  7. That kid looks like someone punched him in the eye. Crazy warning label.

  8. It sure doesn't look like a regular curling iron, but it sounds good enough to get me interested in buying one. Too bad I can't buy it due to shipping restrictions and crap like that.

  9. i'm glad i'm not the only one who had the same initial reaction to the appearance of the curling iron. i'm not a fan of pink to start with, so i'd opt for a non-pink one anyway

  10. What an extensive review! Thank you. I can't help but laugh at your 12 year old sense of humor. I have it too. lol.

  11. ahahaha
    you're absolutely right, mise en garde is spelled wrong. ''Mise en grade'' doesn't mean anything in french.

  12. I agree, it does look like an adult toy, and that warning label is hilarious. Btw, from what I can see, your hair is amazing! :) Thanks for this review :)

  13. thanks for the post, i like that the barrel is the same length all the way through, i hate the ones that get smaller towards the end. and that kid does look like he got punched in the eye lol.


  14. Interesting review!

    Have you tried other similar irons? How does this one compare?

    You seem to have the same hair as I do, what heat protectant spray/serum do you use?

  15. Thanks everyone! Glad I'm not the only one who thought that...

    Lacednotes, I've never tried another ceramic clipless iron, only the old metal ones with the clips. This one was easier for me to use than the old style ones, though!

    And I use a lot of different ones now because I'm trying to find the perfect one- lately it's either Organix coconut strength serum, this Alterna bamboo protective spray or Biosilk Silk Therapy. The Alterna weighs down my hair the least but it's too expensive!


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