Guide to the best fall

Have you noticed that when you read about the new fall 2012 fragrances like, say, Marc Jacobs’ “Dot,” that words like “playful,” “lovely,” and “fresh” always pop up in the description? And aren’t vague, fluffy, marketing phrases like that completely annoying? What do they tell you about how the fragrance really smells? Nothing. And that’swhat we want to know.

Look, we get it: writing a fragrance review is hard. Really hard. One woman can smell roses while the next gal gets candy. But honestly, raise your hand if you can summon to mind what “top notes of bergamot” or “a blend of melons” mean or what they smell like?

Luckily, we’re always up for a challenge. Last week we conducted an office-wide sniff-test of all the new fall 2012 fragrances. The goal: To choose the top 10 and include real reviews. The kind that go beyond boring catch phrases like “sexy” or “warm” and truly capture the emotion or memory evoked by each scent for each tester.

“It smells hot and sweet, like candy melting on the dashboard of your car.” — Emily Popp, Assistant Editor

“It reminds me of a Blow Pop, especially that moment when you reach the bubblegum center.” — Paola Gonzalez Marra, Senior Designer

“This smells like a sunny day at Disneyland, when the air is filled with caramel apples and cotton candy.” — Sophie Salazar, Editorial Intern

“It smells like when you walk into the bottom level of a Bloomindales and you pass all the high-end fragrance counters.” — Cinya Burton, Senior Associate Editor

“It reminds me of a very fancy grandmother breezing past me on her way to the Met.” — Popp

“The after-scent is as if you are sprinkling on some baby powder.” — Christine Lee, Editorial Intern

Conditioning treatments will keep your strands healthy

A quality deep conditioner can make all the difference for ladies with natural hair. Hitting your strands with a rich dose of moisture once a week or so can help nourish, strengthen and moisturize, repairing any damage from heat styling or the elements. The best deep conditioners for natural hair can also help enhance curls, increase shine and protect hair from future damage, keeping it healthier (and prettier) for longer.

There are a few things to look for in a deep conditioner for natural hair. Since natural hair tends to be coarser and more prone to frizz, you want to keep an eye out for hydrating ingredients that will penetrate your strands without weighing them down. These might include shea butter, coconut oil, raw honey and aloe vera. Some formulas become even more effective when heat is applied, which is perfect for safe heat styling.

In the end, the best deep conditioners for natural hair make your hair the best version of itself it can possibly be — that being soft, healthy and defined.

So where does one look to find the best deep conditioner for natural hair? Right here. We consulted our TotalBeauty.com readers’ unbiased reviews to compile this list of the top-rated natural hair masks and deep conditioners on the market. From drugstore brands like Neutrogena and Aussie to high-end K√©rastase and Moroccanoil products, these are the best available deep conditioners for natural hair. Count down with us to No. 1.