Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We're all entitled to a little vanity

Unless you actually dye your hair silver, how do you live with those annoying gray hairs while you get it to the point where it looks like your hair is supposed to be silver rather than that you forgot to get a dye job? I don’t know, and I’ve decided I don’t feel like finding out right now.

When, they started creeping up in the front, I ignored it for awhile – it wasn’t so much. Then, it seemed like I woke up one day and had the “halo” effect! So not cute. At first I plucked. Not a lot, just enough that the rest didn’t stand out so much. Then I found myself having to do that way more than I knew was good for me – especially since I’m already thin haired.

So, what to do? I wanted some coverage, but I didn’t want to do my whole head. I didn’t care about the back and there doesn’t seem to be as much there as in the front anyway. Plus, I didn’t want to get a whole bottle, only to waste most of it since I only needed some for the front. Just so you know, this picture shows me at about 1 to 2 weeks away from a permanent color touch-up.

I found a haircoloring system, Bigen, where I can mix only a small amount that’s needed to touch-up the hairline. That seemed to work fine and I only needed a touch-up every two or three months or so. And no, this is not the color I use.

Now, I’m finding that about 3 weeks after touching-up the front, it’s back. I don’t want to go through this every time I wash my hair. So I bought the “hair mascara.” I hated it, but was a fast and immediate touch-up. It covered what I needed it to, but it made my hairline feel “tacky,” like mascara does on lashes, and it seemed to rub off quickly. I had to reapply every other day. So what do I try now?

As usual, I went looking on-line and found “Hairmarker.” This is marketed as being actual haircolor, not a mascara or crayon, but it’s pricey. It’s 19.99 at Sally’s Beauty Supply in 8 colors. It’s temporary so it’ll wash out with shampoo, but won’t flake or rub off.

I gave this a trial run and found that I like the feel of it much better than the mascara. The consistency of the mascara is thick and creamy while the Hairmarker is thin and liquid. After several re-applications it still didn’t feel gummy even though I didn’t wash my hair in between. But I still find I have to reapply every three or four days. However, I can’t tell yet whether it’s because it’s gradually rubbing out or because my hairline sometimes gets wet when I’m washing my face. (Have to get a bigger, better shower cap – which I’m still searching for.)

This has a sponge tip applicator, like lipgloss, rather than the mascara type brush, so application of this requires either a very light touch or use of the enclosed “comb” that slides under the hair to which you’re applying color. An extra step, but not hugely inconvenient. But I also read that you can purchase mascara brushes (without the mascara), so my next step is to get one and try applying it that way.

Since I’m not a water girl, I haven’t given it the swim test, so I don’t know how it holds up to the pool or beach. If anyone has tried it, or does, please let me know. The last thing I’d want is for it to be streaking down my face as I emerge from the water! The only thing left is to see how long a tube of it lasts.

Problem solved!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I shop, therefore I am

I must confess – I’m a shopaholic. I love shopping for clothes and this is truly my recreational activity of choice. Window shopping is good too, even if I don’t buy anything. I love discount stores such as Marshall’s, TJMaxx and Ross and I’ve found several good thrift shops that benefit not only from my purchases, but also my returns! I love it when I come home with lots of bags and relive the thrill of the buy as I find hangers to put them on and figure out where I can stuff it into my closet. It’s also a thrill when I confirm that my mind’s eye was right on target and the blouse perfectly matches the slacks I had at home and is also just the right style. Conversely, it can really be heartbreaking when you find yourself completely off. Then you have to decide, do I return it or go out and shop more to find the perfect piece to match the mistake? Depends on how much I really liked the mistake. Then again, there are the occasional “what the hell?” moments. What was I thinking when I bought THAT? I save all receipts and don’t frequently shop at stores that only have store credit return policies. And shopping for clothes in Philly and Jersey is also fun because there’s no tax! You can shop right up to the penny! Come to think of it, though, maybe I’m not as much of a shopaholic as I thought. I find myself not buying a lot when I’m visiting other cities and have to pay tax. I have to really like it!

But I don’t think I’m a shopaholic in a bad way. Many people who are shopaholics have tons of clothes that sit in their closets and drawers, tags attached, never again touching skin except for the fleeting moment when it was tried on in the store. I wear my stuff! In fact, sometimes I think the only reason I have a job is just so that I have some place to wear what I buy. Plus, since my favorite stores are discount places, I haven’t really paid huge sums for them. I know, I know – some people would rather buy top quality items that will last years and years. But I know me. After about 2 or 3 years of something, I’m usually sick of it. And no, changing an accessory or two is not gonna do it. At a minimum, I need a new piece in order to keep one of the old ones in rotation. And I wouldn’t say it’s because my clothes are ultra faddish and subject to going out of style in one season. They’re relatively mainstream – I do work in a center city office environment, even if it is informal and I don’t have to wear a suit. Think casual Friday 5 days a week. I just like having a lot of variety.

One item I just couldn’t resist was the shorter jacket. In the summer, I found one in red stretch canvas. It fit great since it wasn’t boxy. Then I saw a very similar one in corduroy in an olive green color. At the time I wasn’t seeing a lot of green of any hue and the price was unbelievable. On my next stop at the store, I found more. This time in burnt orange and cream corduroy. Then I found it in demin. Then I found another in a blue/gray corduroy. I bought them all. I just recently saw the same jacket in a gold colored corduroy. But lest you think I’m obsessive/compulsive, I didn’t get it. I figured that even if I didn’t have enough of that style, I did have enough of that style - in corduroy. I must admit, that it they were a good buy. I wear at least two of them almost every week. So what do I wear them with?

I wear them with my true obsessive/compulsive find. The Express Design Studio Editor Pants. I discovered these slacks by accident since I don’t actually shop at that store. I found my first pair in black at Marshall’s. I tried them on and was absolutely shocked! Generally, no pants fit me without alterations to take in the waist – never. This time, no alterations needed. When I went to the actual store, I found that the pants normally retail for about $78. I didn’t love them that much, but I figured that I’d keep a look-out for them should any land in the discount store. Later that year, I found some in three different colors at Marshall’s and TJMaxx. I thought the first fit was a fluke, but when I tried them on, they also fit perfectly. These are billed as the best fitting pants on earth.

Then the compulsion began. While looking to see if the store was on-line, I found that sellers list them as a whole category on Ebay. There were 100’s of pants listed in a rainbow of colors, materials and some very unique patterns! And since I knew exactly what size fit me, I didn’t have any concerns that I wasn’t going to be able to return them. And I didn’t have to pay $78 for them either. In some cases I had the winning bid (usually between $20 and $30), other times I got it for much less especially when nobody else bid. And most times, they were still new with tags.

The extent of my obsession/compulsion? I estimate that I have at least 50 pairs between summer and winter variations and I’m currently awaiting delivery of another pair. I don’t think that’s too much since, other than jeans, I don’t own many other styles and I do wear them just about every day.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Can you guess what's in my hand?

I'm sure you have no idea what this could be!

It could be a handful of change, or a piece of jewelry. Maybe it's a tube of lipstick or a memory card for a camera or some new hair toy. Give up? Scroll down.

This is a MobiBLU. And what, you may ask is a MobiBLU? Scroll down more.

It's an mp3 player! Isn't it cute! Last year I got an Ipod Shuffle for Goldie who was just recently starting to really listen to music. Unfortunately, she put it into her back pack while on a school trip and it was stolen. While the Shuffle was nice, being only the size of a stick of gum, and which she could have and should have slipped into her pocket, it was only 128mb and had no menu to be able to make song selections. While browsing on line, I stumbled across this. It's only about twice the size of a sugar cube and comes in about 5 colors. This model is 512mb (more than enough for someone just starting to listen to music), but it also comes in 1 and 2gb. Now I'm no technology or music whiz (so shoot me Michelle!) but this was so cute (and 49.95) I couldn't resist! Sounds good to me.

I don't know if they're selling in stores now, but when I got it, I had to order it through However, I checked again, and they no longer have it. But you can get it at

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year - New Hair

When I was a young girl my mom was a single parent until I was 11 and had three girls. All of us had varying amounts of hair, but at just below shoulder length, I had the least. Somewhere around the 4th grade, my mom convinced me, and then my older sister, that we'd love to have afros (I think she just needed a break). What did I know? Of course I said yes since I hoped that it would mean the end of our once-per-month beauty salon torture sessions or, worse, the kitchen salon.

Unfortunately, my 'fro didn't turn out like the ones I envied - The Sylvers! Don't pretend like you don't know who I'm talking about! So I think all through those later years, I was trying desperately to get my hair to grow back. Obviously, when perms became popular, they did more harm than good - But they did allow my hair to get back some of the length.

So when I discovered Sisterlocks, the pictures that I fell in love with were the ones of women with long hair. This was the one way that I could have the length I desired, but without all the negatives. Interestingly though, the longer my hair has gotten, the more I can see both the pros and cons of having long hair. Ultimately, I decided that I needed some short hair. Being honest with myself, I think my face is rather long and having my hair all one length, especially if I don't have curl, isn't the most flattering look for me. I also don't like how it constantly falls in my face everytime I bend over.
So I cut some. I'd been contemplating this for at least the last year, but just wasn't sure. But I finally decided to just do it. The top two pictures is what it looked like right after I took it out of my trusty SoftSpike curlers. The bottom two are after I slept on it and fluffed out the curl. It may not be as noticeable to you all, but it feels different to me. I parted off the front quarter of my hair and cut between 5 to 8 inches from ear to ear so it's gradually shorter on the top. Because it's shorter, it holds a curl better and it looks fuller around my face.

So far so good. I didn't cut any from the back, but who knows. I think after I wear this for a little while, I'm probably going to take a little more off the sides and top. Happy New Year!