Madison Reed Genova Red Review [with Update]

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Before I dive on into this review I guess that I should tell you that I am a hair color chameleon.  From box dyes, beauty supply stores to professional salons... I've been changing my look very regularly since about age twelve when I got an awful hacked-up haircut from a lady who didn't know what to do with curly hair.  My Mom let me dye it to make me feel better... and I've been addicted to changing my look ever since. 

There is something seriously cathartic about changing your color.  You suddenly become a new person!  You can get away with wearing your makeup differently.  It's like a spy movie for my self-esteem. 

I was really stoked to try out Madison Reed (you can check out my 'intro to the brand' blog here). 

I have to say that I am rather in love with the quality, smell and comfort of this brand's product!  It did not dry my hair out at all (which is a serious issue for me because I have naturally curly hair--I've had to chop inches off of my hair in the past from cheap drying dyes).  Most importantly:  It doesn't contain any ingredients that I am allergic to (no shea butter, no soy protein, no isododecane).

I took Madison Reed's Hair Color Advisor quiz to help me choose the perfect color for my hair and needs.
The two reds that it suggested to me were Genova Red and Vesuvius Red. 
I decided to try the Genova Red. I think I will try the Vesuvius some time, too, though. 
The Genova Red is described as: Auburn with hints of copper and gold. 

OMG!  My nails match their brand coloring!  Not intentional, either!

The kit arrived and included:
  • Activator
  • Cream Color
  • Barrier Cream (to apply around the hairline to keep your skin from getting tinted)
  • Two pairs of gloves (they even fit my giant hands)
  • A cap (to put over your hair while it is developing)
  • A Cleansing Wipe (to wipe away dye from your skin around the cap)
  • Conditioner
  • Instructions
Everything was nestled in special compartments to keep it from getting damaged in transit.  To my surprise the package arrived in perfect condition even though it smelled amazing (I was worried that something had leaked, but nothing had).  The only product my kit was missing was the Shampoo (I did receive a letter stating that they had run out and that they would credit my account $5 for my next order). 

The kit was easy to use and I followed the instructions provided.  30 minutes later I had a new Vivi looking back at me in the mirror (Hey girl... Heeeey!). 

Things I noticed that are immediately different about this dye:
  • No intense odors  Hair dyes have an odor.  Some smell worse than others.  This dye had barely any smell at all.  It smelled like a fragrance-free conditioner.  
  • No itching or irritation!  My skin is ultra sensitive.  All hair dye itches a bit.  This dye didn't itch at all.  I didn't feel like I was dying my hair and I worried that I would take the cap off of my head and find that I had gotten a dud (nope.  it totally worked).
  • Soft!  Shiny!  Healthy!  Bouncy!  Happy hair! It really does feel like I used a deep conditioning treatment instead of dying my hair, today. 

As you can see from the before and after photo, my hair ended up much richer and darker than the coppery color I started with. This was not what I had expected... but, I am not unhappy with the results either. 

Madison Reed colors are professional natural looking colors and are very work-appropriate.  They cover gray and dye-resistant hair types.  The color is rich and I feel like each strand of my hair now has highlights and lowlights depending on the light. 

I have to say that the new me feels rather VA-VA-VA-VOOM. 

What do you think of my new hair?

If you check out Madison Reed hair dye, please let me know!  I would love to hear what you think (and see some pictures of your awesome hair). 

It's been about four days since I dyed my hair using Madison Reed, and I've gotten so many compliments on the color!  I've had five different people ask me "is that your natural color?"
When I've confessed it is dyed... I've had ladies ask me which salon I use!
I haven't gotten this many compliments on my hair in years!

Photobooth-style cheesiness time:

Note: I was gifted this product in return for my honest opinion. The opinions herein are my own.


  1. Did the genova red fade quickly? Or last a decent amount of washes?



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