Kathleen’s Review: Kelsey by Envy…Sonoma’s doppelgänger?

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Kathleen here with my review of Kelsey by Envy. Ok so lets talk about the elephant in the room. Yes!…Kelsey looks a lot like Sonoma by René of Paris. 😉 I will point out the differences and why I prefer Kelsey over Sonoma( which I have and enjoy) I also wanted to get three samples in a range of colors to review. Especially with a curly style I have found wigs can be so different from order to order. I wanted to see how consistant Kelsey’s style was and I thought it would be a nice change of pace to see more than the reds I usually review. Below in image 2) is all three colors right out of the box..no fluffing or styling here.

On the surface Sonoma and Kelsey look identical. They even have the same measurements. Both have no lace-front or any monofilament features…just your standard cap construction. Hmm except Kelsey is more expensive…is she worth it?

In reality Sonoma has a lot more permatease and the hair is denser and the curls more chaotic. My Sonoma was what you would call a “hot mess” when I first took her out of the box…the hair was frizzy and it was hard to see where the permatease ended and the frizzy hair began. There was no way I could have plopped her on my head and taken a photo that looked as good as my right out of the box photo collage of Kelsey (image 2).

Above in image 4) I am comparing the Sparkling Champagne (right out of the box Kelsey) and my (worked on and styled) Sonoma. My Sonoma was very thick. The curls in front fell in my face and were over powering. I ended up thinning and trimming my Sonoma after these photos to make her work for me. I keep saying Kelsey is what I wished my Sonoma was. Now don’t get me wrong Kelsey is still big. Its a big bold look..and depending on your personality might still might overwhelm a petite frame….but the tendrils in front are done so well. The curls are beautiful..pretty & delicate looking. I love how the curls thin out towards the bottom. More refined than Sonoma. The movement is wonderful. The curls are bouncy. The hair fiber is so much softer and silkier than Sonoma. I love Kelsey. Is she worth the extra cost? In my humble opinion..yes. 👍🏻

I knew I was going to keep one…ok so no surprise I fell in love with the Lighter Red…lol 😜 Out of the three she was the most voluminous and the curl pattern was gorgeous. This color has so many more highlights than my other Lighter Red wigs..I was thrilled. The more dynamic a color is the more I love it. Below in image 5) is a photo I took after I decided to keep her and so I styled her. All I did was re-twirl some curls to get them where and how I want them. I will say although Kelsey does have permatease I didn’t find it a problem at all.

Below in image 6) is a close up of both the Sparkling Champagne Kelsey and the Amaretto & Cream Kelsey. Both of these colors were new to me. Sparkling Champagne is a perfect not too warm not too cool not too dark of a root blonde. Quite beautiful. This Kelsey had the most curl. The surprise for me was how much I loved the Amaretto & Cream color. Oh its gorgeous. A nice medium brunette with a darker root and gorgeous caramel mixed highlights. Especially stunning on a wig like this with so much curl and texture. This Kelsey had the least amount of permatease and the most relaxed curl. All in all I would be happy with any one of these wigs. They varied but not to the degree that they looked like a different style wig.

Another view of my Lighter Red Kelsey. Gorgeous. ❤️

Images 8-11 illustrates how these three different Kelseys look right out of the box. Fyi…my wig heads are basically life size with a 21” circumference. This should help you judge where the curls would fall on you. All these photos were taken indoors with indirect natural light. This is how these colors would look in most lighting conditions.

A close up of the Lighter Red colored Kelsey right out of the box.

This is the video of my Light Red Kelsey wig before I styled it( notice the tag is still on) but I decided to keep it while making this video. You can almost see when I decided…it just felt like me on. I took the tag off as soon as I stopped taping..😂

Even in more natural even lighting the Amaretto & Cream’s highlights stand out..sooooo pretty. Look how they highlight and accentuate those curls.

I want you to notice how beautifully Kelseys hair moves in the breeze.

These curls! ❤️

You can see how pretty this color is in the natural light on my covered deck…and how balanced this wig design is. Not too dense not too stringy not too curly not too straight not too much permatease not too long or short in the front….in others words…balanced and beautiful.

Ahh I had to show you these curls and this color Lighter Red again in images 18) & 19) This is what I call my “ magic light” lol ok not really…theses photos were taken in late afternoon on my covered deck facing the sun behind my outdoor curtains..the curtains act as a diffuser so the light isn’t too harsh..this peachy light as the sun starts to go down will make you look 20 years younger..I swear..lol Not really wig review related but might be of interest as a photography tip? 😉

Look at those highlights in image 19! So beautiful..I can’t get enough of this color….hehe. Seriously the take away here is if you liked Sonoma but thought it was a bit too much for you and/ or too big then I would try Kelsey…romantic and edgy….she is beautiful soft and comfy…and she comes in a beautiful selection of colors. ENJOY!

Product Listing:
Kelsey by Envy (Alan Eaton)

You can see all of Kathleen’s posts here as well seeing her talent as an amazing artist at KathleenRyanArt.com.



  1. Sherry
    March 29, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    I haven’t seen the Amaretto and Cream color in a wig video yet, so thanks for including it. Really gorgeous, but not sure I can pull off the dark color. As always, this is an extremely helpful review, Kathleen. Thank you so much. Honestly, all three colors look marvelous on you, not just the gorgeous red. I have a Sparkling Champagne Envy wig somewhere around here. I’ll have to search for it and plunk it on my head to assess the color against my skin. I’ve been considering this Kelsey, or perhaps Harper instead, so this review is perfect timing. Thanks!

    • March 29, 2018 / 4:45 pm

      You’re welcome Sherry glad you liked it. I’ve been looking at Harper too. Hmm 😉 Thanks for your wonderful feedback. Best -Kathleen

  2. Kathleen Ryan
    March 29, 2018 / 4:53 pm

    Thank you Sherry glad you liked it. I really apprecuate you feedback. 🙂 best -Kathleen

    • Kendra
      April 12, 2018 / 12:47 am

      Hi Kathleen, I really enjoy reading your Cysterwigs blogs and reviews. I’m glad to view all the different styles and colors of the Envy and Ellen Wille. They all look so good on you that I’m having a tough time trying to decide which of these two brands to try next. I currently have two Jon Reanus and I love them. The Envy and Ellen Wille are the two I want to try next. So, from your personal opinion (based on subtle, blended colors, comfort and realism) do you prefer on brand over the other?

      • Kathleen Ryan
        April 12, 2018 / 3:47 pm

        Hi Kendra…thank you and I love your question..actually your question answered itself..lol 😉 Let me explain. Envy is known for their bold colors..both in the actual colors themselves and how they are mixed….meaning bold lighlights…lots of color separation…not in all their colors but most. On the other hand Ellen Wille is know for their reaistic colors..dynamic but subtle mixes. So entirely on that I would say Ellen Wille. I have a petite/average head so Ellen Wille caps fit me better than Envy…Envy caps run bigger than EW. Comfort is about equal in my experience. The monofilament festures on EW wigs are a bit softer than Envys..so it depends on what style you choose. I hope that answer your question…all the best Kathleen

  3. March 29, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    So lovely on you! Hope you review Harper! Looking for a similar style to Kelsey but with mono features and lace front which Harper seems to have 🙂

    • Kathleen Ryan
      March 30, 2018 / 2:53 pm

      Thank you Dee. Hmm yes Harper is interesting. Glad you enjoyed this review. Best-Kathleen

  4. Susan
    March 29, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I love this style Kathleen and I love all the colours on you, you suit them all! Yes, she is a bit like Sonoma but I still love it especially the red, and I’m in awe of you having this beauty ☺️❤️❤️ ~~~ Suz

    • Kathleen Ryan
      March 30, 2018 / 2:55 pm

      Awe thanks Suz. Thats how I felt about her too. Thanks for your wonderful feedback. Its always appreciated. best-Kathleen

  5. Patti S.
    April 5, 2018 / 2:13 am

    I’ve had my eye on the Kelsey wig. I have Sonoma in Crimson LR and like it but it’s ALOT of hair for my petite-average head. I think I will have to take a look at the colors and see what I want to try. I love the reds which is usually what I tend to buy. Thanks for the comparison Kathleen!! P.S. They all look GREAT on you~~

    • Kathleen Ryan
      April 6, 2018 / 10:31 am

      Hi Patti…glad you enjoyed this review…I love this style..it is a big look still but so different and fun..I’ve yet to try Crimson LR..;-) enjoy finding a new red to try..best-Kathleen

  6. Martina
    April 17, 2018 / 6:47 am

    Would you consider this for an everyday wig? I am struggling to find something trendy and not too long to wear for work etc. I am wearing shoulder length bobs all the time and am getting bored with them. I

    • Kathleen Ryan
      April 17, 2018 / 5:21 pm

      Hi Martina..as far as wearabilty and comfort sure…its very fashion forward. If the front curls get in your way you could clip them back or put them behind your ears…or even trim them shorter. Still a trendy cute wig…have fun and thanks for the great question..best-Kathleen

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