23 February 2013

Terra Incognita

As a kid, I had blonde hair.  As a matter of fact, it was naturally light blonde until I was in my mid-20s, when it started to turn a shade of muddy blonde.  I used to get highlights a couple of times a year, and loved the way my hair looked.  However, once I decided that I wanted my hair to be short, it seemed like kind of a waste.  A lot of the highlights would be chopped off the same day they were applied, and after about two more haircuts, they were just plain gone.

So for a while, I lived with my muddy blonde shade.  Then I started to get gray hairs.  Which would be fine, except that I'd only get a few, not enough to make my hair look gray.  So it all looked even sadder.

A couple of years ago, a stylist talked me into coloring my hair.  Since she had given me the most kick-ass haircut ever, I trusted her.  She got my hair to the loveliest light auburn shade, I LOVED it!  And it really didn't need to be redone that often, because the roots growing in were not really that different in color.  Sadly, after about a year and a half, that stylist "retired" after giving birth to her second kid.  I'd tried some of the other stylists at that salon, but was not really impressed.  Since then, I've gone from place to place, not really finding anyone who clicked.  The latest place I've gone is OK, but the colorist there insists that my hair should be light red, and though everyone tells me that they think it looks great (a co-worker even said to me, "So you decided to go back to your natural color" !!), it needs more constant maintenance and touching up.  What it boils down to is that I don't have enough gray hair still to just let it do its thing, and salon color is really expensive, and I'm trying to curtail my spending.

Which leads me to my current idea, which is that I should try to use one of the at-home color kits to do my own hair.  A lot of friends and family do it, and most of them have hair that looks just fine.  But what kind to use?  Are some brands better than others?  Can anyone truly do their own hair color with success?  I want to talk to some people before I just dive right in.  And in theory, I'd like to do it sooner rather than later, since I have a haircut appt coming up in a couple of weeks.

I do realize that all of this falls into the category of things that one of my sister calls White People's Problems.  However, since I will be looking at my hair every single day, I want to get it right - or at least as close to right as possible ...

I'll keep you posted.

08 February 2013

Keeping Up with Myself

We are now a whole week into February, and a lot of the country is either covered by a snowstorm, or about to be.  Not Philadelphia, though.  We are getting rain, will maybe get 2 inches of snow according to the local weather people.  Unlike most people, I love snow, and am totally sick of these wimpy winters.

But I digress.

Remember back in January, I mentioned that I was hoping to lose 2 pounds a month to get back to a healthier weight?  Well, I accomplished that and then some, but not due to any conscientious efforts on my part.  Nope, it was from being sick.  When you don't feel like eating for a week, you tend to lose weight.  Anyway, my appetite is still not great, but that's OK, it's not like I'm in a contest or anything.

So for February, I am hoping to lose another 2 pounds, and that I will get enough of my energy back to return to the gym.  I'm also hoping that I can get some more things organized as well.  Granted, I could spend the rest of my life cleaning closets, the basement, etc., but as with my weight loss, I'm hoping to accomplish things via baby steps.  First up will be my closet.  Since before Christmas, I've just been stuffing things in there for a lack of anyplace else to put them.  It's gotten pretty bad, so that will be my first organizing project.

Also, I owe people thank-you notes for Christmas gifts, and I don't want to get any later sending them than I already am.  So that's another February goal.

And hopefully, getting sick won't be part of the February experience.


02 February 2013

Laura Mercier 'Faux Lash' Mascara Review

Well, January really sucked for me, since I was sick for more than half of it.  And really sick, like the kind where you can't even drag yourself out of bed.  I'm on the road to recovery, and hopefully my energy levels will kick in soon.

In the meantime, I had a review I wanted to write about a mascara I tried, but I didn't even feel good enough to do that until now.  But better late than never, right?

Last fall, I read reviews on some other blogs about a new product, Laura Mercier "Faux Lash" Mascara.  They were pretty favorable, and I love mascara, so I thought it might be worth a try.  I don't use a lot of Laura Mercier products, but have generally been happy with any I have tried.  So I plunked down the $24.00 at a local Nordstrom to give it a try.

I will admit to being a little bit picky when it comes to mascara.  In general, I don't like the waterproof type.  I like it to go on easily, so that I don't have to keep reapplying to get decent coverage.  I like the ones that do not smear.  Not really drastic expectations, in my opinion, but I've tried quite a few that have disappointed me.

I would say for the first month, this mascara was lovely.  It not only was easy to use, but a little bit went a long way, and it did make my lashes look nice and full, without looking like I had put fuzzy spiders over my eyes.  I was pretty pleased.  But as time went on, it kept getting thicker in the tube, and when I'd pull the applicator out of the tube, the brush would have clumps  on it.  Big ones.  And they were hard to get rid of, before or after I'd put on the mascara.  I am a conscientious consumer with my makeup, always being sure to close caps securely, etc., so it wasn't a case of it changing texture and formula due to my carelessness.

I had such high hopes and after about six weeks, just gave up.  I am willing to accept that at the end of a life span (~3 months for mascara), a product might be different, since it's been used so frequently, and you may be near the end of the tube.  But for the price, I thought this product was not worth it.

I may consider trying it again sometime, in case they fool with the formula, but I can guarantee it won't be anytime soon.  As much as I wanted to like this, I have to give it a big thumbs down.