Category Archives: Beauty

Vain Hopes: DIY Eyelash Tinting

After my recent beauty misadventure, I currently find myself in Beauty Purgatory, aka the Oregon Coast, where the only day spa that did eyelash tinting has suddenly gone out of business.

I mean, is it me? WTF?!

Determined to find a solution, I order a lash tinting kit online after perusing some reviews.

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The Godefroy “28 Day Mascara” comes with a tube of color and a tube of developer, plus an applicator and under-eye pads, which I quickly discover are a bit too thick and awkward.

The process is simple:

  1. First, wash and dry your lashes to remove any oils, creams and moisturizers.
  2. Apply petroleum jelly around the eye area, making sure not to get it on your lashes.
  3. Apply color, doing one eye at a time. I suggest using a disposable mascara wand.
  4. Apply developer and leave it on for one minute. Disposable wand for this, too.
  5. Wipe down eye with damp tissue and do the other eye.

Results: Meh, even though I do them twice.  I suspect I’d get better results if a) my lashes were longer, 2) my eyelids weren’t as droopy, 3) I didn’t blink 80,000 times while attempting this.

The search continues…. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I still haven’t heard anything from my erstwhile eyebrow guru.  I really hope she is ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Misadventure: The No-Show

Ladies (I presume you gentlemen will not have an opinion), I could use your advice.

I’ve been seeing the same esthetician for several years — A tints and shapes my brows and tints my eyelashes — and she usually does a terrific job so I’ve stayed loyal, even after she left the salon where I get my hair done to go out on her own. It’s less convenient but I like her.

Today I was scheduled for an appointment that had been rescheduled when A got sick a few weeks ago.  I’d received an email reminder as well as an auto-generated text confirmation, so I had every reason to expect business as usual.

I show up at A’s studio, which she shares with a Pilates instructor in a funky older house.  Something is off.  There’s still a painted sign on the curbside stucco ledge advertising Pilates, so I haven’t gone to the wrong address.  But I do seem to have wandered into the Twilight Zone. The doorbell is taped over and dangles from a dingy cord. And not only is A not there, there’s no sign of life inside.

Peering through the frosted glass door I see that the studio on the left has been dismantled. In place of benches, free weights and exercise bands there are several  washers and dryers — is it turning into a laundromat? A’s room is in the back of the house so I can’t tell if it’s operational. Surely she would have said something…. like maybe yesterday?

I text, and then call, thinking maybe A is working out of her apartment, as she’s sometimes done in the past. But I don’t have that address and she never responds.  After waiting a half hour I leave one more message, give up, and head back home with unkempt brows, faded lashes, and no time to get them fixed before we go out of town this weekend.

As of tonight, I still haven’t heard from her so I’m concerned. Has something happened to her? To her beloved dog? Someone in her family? This is most unusual, even though hers is not a completely untroubled life.

But here’s my more selfish question:  This is now the second time in recent weeks that our appointment has fallen through. To be honest, it’s becoming a pain in the ass. Should I give her one more try? Or maybe start getting these services done at a salon where there will be back up if someone runs into a personal issue?

What would you do??

close up photography of person s eye

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Beauty Adventures: I Was a Late-Middle-Aged Hair Model

Time: a couple of weeks ago.

I’m recruited by my salon to test a new smoothing treatment.  I have high hopes, since I’ve been waiting for them to find a replacement for the straightening treatment I’d loved and which, sadly, has been discontinued.

This will be fun and instructive — I’m a geek about beauty info — and hey, it’s free.

I arrive for the class at 9 a.m. sharp  (a model must always be professional!) and have coffee while the stylists arrive.  There are six in all, including S, my go-to stylist, and they’re eager to learn about the new product.

Before she starts the presentation, the representative for Keratin Complex asks me about my hairstyle goals and lifestyle, e.g., do I do a lot of vigorous aerobic workouts? (Um, no.)

I do explain that I’d like my unruly waves to become as smooth and “ruly” as possible so that my hair can air-dry without a lot of fuss.  She explains that this process will smooth my hair and loosen the curl but it won’t straighten it the way a chemical process would. This is disappointing, but did I mention it’s free?

(IF I just let my hair dry naturally…) IMG-1110

All the stylists sit in a circle and K passes around information on the products and levels of curl. (Mine is considered moderate; I was hoping for something more dramatic, such as, “Wow, your hair will be such a challenge!”) I love all the technical stuff.

The company offers two types of treatments: an “express”, which is what we’ll be testing today and lasts up to 5 weeks, and a more in-depth option that should last about 5 months.

S washes my hair and K shows the team how to apply the product, comb it through, blow dry, and then do several passes with a special flat iron.  Each stylist takes turns doing sections of my hair, which is a bit weird, but they are here to practice. The whole thing takes about an hour, but a lot of that is Q&A from the class.

When they finish, my hair is shiny and silky, and the treatment has brightened up my highlights. I’m instructed to wait at least 24 hours before washing it, and I’m given small bottles of the brand’s sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to use at home.

K says that she charges $75-$150 at her salon for the express treatment. This sounds a little steep to me, given that it’s only going to last a few weeks.  I’m thinking it should be priced more like a glaze since it’s not a straightening procedure that would alter the hair’s chemical structure for long-term results.

Anyway, off I go, armed with my products, to see how it works in real life.

The next day, my stylist texts to ask if I like the results (yes) and would I be willing to pay that amount for the treatment. (Honestly? Probably not.)

Two weeks and a few shampoos later, here’s my assessment: While my hair is a bit smoother and less likely to frizz, it’s not as silky as it was when I had the treatment. It’s still wavier than I would like, and takes a lot of time to blow-dry. To get a similar look I’d have to use a flat iron, which I try to avoid because it’s so damaging.

However, I’d recommend Keratin Complex to someone who isn’t looking to change their natural texture but does want their hair to be softer, smoother, shinier and resistant to humidity. 

Would this treatment appeal to you? How much would you be willing to pay?

(Left) After salon treatment.  (Right) Minimal styling, 2 weeks later.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Black Hole?

I’ve been seeing a lot of blogs recently about decluttering, a topic that’s near and dear to my post-move heart.

Now that most things are neatly stored away, I sometimes forget what I already own. This leads to embarrassing discoveries when I buy something and realize later that I already have more of the same or similar — often in multiples.

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My particular nemesis is skin care, especially bath products.  For some reason I can’t resist new ones.  Is it because these luxuries are relatively inexpensive? Because of the implied promise of silkier skin, relaxation, leisure, stress relief, or dare I say even a more youthful appearance?

From now on, I’m going to try to remember to check all those carefully labeled storage bins before I succumb to the siren call of another new lotion, potion or emotion.

Does anyone else have this, er, problem?

yellow steel bathtub

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Drama at the Hairdresser

Generally speaking, a visit to the hair salon is relaxing.  Sure, people might get a bit tense if someone cuts their bangs too short, but I don’t think of it as a high-stress environment.

Well, earlier today I got my hair colored and cut and when I got there, the salon was abuzz.  Apparently, a client had gone more or less berserk only a few minutes before I arrived.

It all started when this woman started ranting at the person doing her hair, stating that she “hates lesbians and Americans.” Umm, ok…. not sure what provoked the outburst, but she continued in that vein.  The stylist said that she didn’t appreciate being yelled at, whereupon this woman started swearing, jumped out of the chair, knocked over a sign in the entryway, and then proceeded to swipe all the products off the shelves onto the floor, before storming out of the salon… with hair dye STILL in her hair.  Hoo boy.

Clearly, this poor woman has issues and is perhaps someone who should be under a physician’s care.  I doubt she’s homeless because this isn’t exactly El Cheapo Haircuts and she’d been there before.  So where are her family? Friends? Neighbors? Co-workers? Can’t anyone in her world see that things are just not right and help her? I mean, the woman is running around in public with dye on her head.

Hair-raising.

 

Hump Day Hacks: Looking Younger

I know, I know.  These days, it’s politically correct to look “rested”, “relaxed” or “fresher”. But if someone said you looked much younger than your chronological age, would you really be insulted?

Herewith, some easy hacks from a recent beauty round-up:

  1. Keep skin care products in the fridge. They’ll work faster and keep fresh longer.
  2. Boost your brows.  Thicker eyebrows signal youthfulness. Fill in with pencil while they’re growing in.
  3. Wear a double-duty sunscreen. An antioxidant formula will reduce the effects of skin-damaging free radicals. I love the La Roche-Posay Anthelios line.
  4. Check your eyesight.  Squinting deepens frown lines, so you might need a stronger prescription, not Botox.
  5. Pick lighter lipstick.  Our lips get thinner with age, and dark colors make your lips look smaller, as well as emphasizing any vertical lines. Stick with rosier shades and avoid orange or peach tones, which make teeth look yellower.
  6. Blush higher.  Swirl your blush at the highest point of your cheekbones, and choose a warm pink, apricot or bronze shade that’s close to your skin tone.
  7. Choose camouflage vs. concealer. Regular concealer is oilier, so it tends to “pool” in fine lines. Concealers labeled “camouflage” cover dark spots better, too.
  8. Speaking of dark spots: Sunblock, retinoid, and gloves will keep your hands looking younger.  Applying a dot of diluted lemon juice before bedtime may help too. Note that acids can irritate skin so gradually build up to twice a day.
  9. Best foot forward. Dry, scaly feet wreck the effect of even the most gorgeous shoes. Before bedtime or working out, apply a layer of over-the-counter salicylic acid to rough areas, cover with a small amount of Vaseline or thick moisturizer, and put on socks. The combo will soften your feet and help protect against blisters and calluses.
  10. Accessorize wisely. A small investment in a broad-brimmed hat, larger sunglasses and a scarf can protect against wrinkles, sun spots and pricey treatments.

And if someone asks to see ID the next time you buy alcohol, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

oval brown wooden framed hanging mirror

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Good News Monday: Monotony Helps People Lose Weight.

Well, maybe.  The general idea is that eating the same thing every day emphasizes food as nutrition, not entertainment.  When meals are less exciting, we’re less likely to overeat.

The caveat: mix it up to avoid both nutritional deficiencies and bingeing when the boredom gets to be too much.

Here’s an interesting POV on the subject: https://www.healthline.com/health/eating-the-same-thing-pros-and-cons