Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Started From the Bottom, Now I'm HAIR!


Hey, guys!  And so... without much fanfare or ballyhoo... my hair has quietly decided to reward me for my efforts.  After keeping a diligent regimen of cutting, trimming and "soft styling", I have finally reached the personal hair length goal I set for myself a little while back.  Boob-wise, my hair no longer rests on the "peaks", but rather in the "valleys", if you will.  I am officially a couple of inches past bra strap, which I think is pretty neat-o!  Now, to all you waist-length Rapunzels out there, this may sound like no biggie.  But for me, it's quite a feat considering I started off with hair that just touched the tops of my shoulders a few years ago and had to make significant chops many times along the way!  It feels pretty darn good to set a goal and reach it.  And I must say that I am very pleased with the results...   





I wanted to take a pic in a light shirt so that you could see the thickness of my hair.  Thickness, to me, is way more important than length because it denotes your hair's overall health.  Maintaining a consistent thickness throughout instantly makes your hair look longer no matter what its actual length is.  Working from the middle outwards, my hair goes from blunt to lightly layered, forming a flattened out "U" shape.  And below is a pic in a dark shirt so you can better see the shine.

 
 

Well, there you have it!  And to think... my journey to healthier, longer hair pretty much started after I had gotten the shortest haircut I'd ever gotten in my life!  Led by a strong referral, I walked into a salon some moons ago and gave the stylist carte blanche with my hair.  My only request was that it would be long enough to put into a ponytail.  I originally went in there for color, but she - instead - opted to cut it all off, shearing my mid-back locks to shoulder-length.  The haircut she gave me was the bomb, though!  I rocked it proudly for a while and did not bemoan for a single minute my missing inches.  But then she all of a sudden closed up shop and disappeared.  And so I let it grow out, this time with a serious determination to maintain its health AND gain length at the same time... on my own.

So now that I've attained my desired hair length goals, what's next?  Well, believe it or not, I may cut it.  I mean, I guess I can try for waist length since I'm almost there, but I dunno.  I may get too antsy to wait that long; someone may have to hide the scissors from me!  And I still want some color!  A light caramel of some sort.  But we'll see.  In the meantime, I'm happy.  I've come a mighty long way, baby!  I started from the bottom... and now I'm HAIR, y'all!  Growing it out has been a modest labor of love, but it's been soooo worth the effort.  #MISSIONACCOMPLISHED!  (And how!)  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Barbie: My Scene


You know, there's nothing wrong with changing things up once in a while.  Exaggerated eyes with a profusely plumped up pout, she's an obvious break from the traditional Barbie aesthetic.  Upon their novel debut some years ago, Bratz dolls - with their overplayed facial features and funked out fashions - rode an overwhelming wave of popularity as the new "IT" girls.  Armed with youthful bravado and sass, they let their presence be known with a rebel yell.  As a response, the line of My Scene dolls was born, giving direct notice that Barbie (and friends) could be just as hip as the "new girls" on the "doll block".  Out of the many iterations that came from the line, I did grab a few.  But right now, if you're at all interested, I'd like to tell you a little bit about one of the originals.





No stranger to the elements of funk, Barbie decided to take it "old school", getting totally "funkdafied" in a burgundy leather jacket with a faux fur core and split flared sleeves.  Underneath it all is a gauzy, printed tee.



She decided to match the "up top" funk with something just as groovy "down below":  cream leather bell-bottoms with a serious set of split flares as well.  Burgundy wine seams with thick trimming at the waist earns her a few extra notches on the groove-o-meter.


On her feet are a pair of chunky heeled, over-the-ankle platform boots.


And hanging from her shoulder to help keep her unmentionables from being mentioned is a brown leather satchel.  A mean throwback to the 60s, it has a snap closure with whipstitching along the edge of its flap.


Her remaining accessories (in addition to the scarlet red shades perched atop her head) are a pair of silver hoops...


... and a silver belly chain.


Not only does she come sporting a groove-tastic outfit, but she comes with one to spare!  Perfect for a quick change without the fuss, she has a printed bandeau, "barely there" leather mini and flower-printed go-go boots to round out the surplus ensemble.



With her water-blue eyes and cushioned lips already on the bold and overly expressive side, Barbie decided to keep the makeup slightly more subtle.  However, that doesn't totally rule out the use of frost in her mind as she adds a little pink pizazz to both to help up the ante without going too overboard. 



So there you have it!  The My Scene dolls were a whole new visual take on Barbie (spurred on by a dose of healthy competition) and, for me at least, I think it worked.  I don't think they still make the line here in the states, but may have some editions available overseas.  Whatever the case, I'm just glad I was able to get my hands on the ones that I do have and am overjoyed to have them, including this saucer-eyed beauty, as part of my collection!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Flashback: Packed To Go


You know, usually if I'm not totally in love with something - or at least in strong "like" - I have no problems with promptly returning it.  However, I have to admit that this little palette kept me emotionally hostage in a saga-sized quandary for a very long time.  Oh, all the back and forth!  Should I keep it?  Can I make it work?  Should I make it work?  Ugh!  I just couldn't take it anymore!  So I ended up keeping it... in a drawer... kinda out of sight.  But, as you guys are already aware, I'm not too keen on keeping stuff just for the sake of having it.  I've got to use what I got; I refuse to have a "makeup museum" of sorts.  And so I have unpacked the Packed To Go palette (Warm, Smoky edition) from MAC and decided to make a concerted effort to show the palette some love. 





Packed To Go was a limited edition release from MAC that compiled six eyeshadows into one palette.  Color coordinated to create smoky eye looks, there were two versions: Warm and Cool.  Since the latter had shades of berries/purples (of which I have an abundance), I opted for the former, which includes MAC staples Shroom, Tempting and Naked Lunch.  Housed in a simple black case, it came equipped with a mirror as well as a handy little brush to use on the go.



(Top Row, L to R: Shroom, Naked Lunch, Tempting)

(L to R: Shroom, Naked Lunch, Tempting)

(Top to Bottom: Shroom, Naked Lunch, Tempting)

(Bottom Row, L to R: Greensmoke, Stormy Love, Showstopper)

(L to R: Greensmoke, Stormy Love, Showstopper)

(Top to Bottom: Greensmoke, Stormy Love, Showstopper)


I thought perhaps after many moons of not even giving it a glance that swatching Packed would incite some type of creative fire in me.  Maybe "hope" is a better word.  But, to the contrary, it has only awakened my ambivalence for the sextet of shadows.  Outside of Greensmoke (a gritty, iceberg green) and Stormy Love (a slightly more saturated version of MAC's duplicitous green/brown Club), there are no standouts for me.  And the color payoff left me pretty unimpressed, especially from Shroom and Naked Lunch. 

Technically, MAC does not have a a time statute on returns (at least that's what the customer service rep told me over the phone).  And although I am not totally in love or "like" with this palette, I'm going to tough it through and make it work.  Showstopper's brown is, no doubt, universal and I can definitely see Greensmoke as an overlay atop another, so there are options.  I just wish it had lived up to its hype for me.  If only...

But I'll make it work.  You'll see.  I'll pair it with some superstars... get the right bases underneath.  Oh, yes, you'll see.  I will definitely make it work!  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Living Proof Satin Serum


Hey, guys!  Now, before you start looking at me sideways, I want to preface this particular show 'n' tell with a disclaimer: I am not on the lookout for any new hair products.  As I've happily stated before, I've already secured a roster of HGs (holy grails) - including a small stable of serums - so my search for said items officially ended some moons ago.  I'm not even interested in trying anything new... but I got this sample.  Oh, I was going to throw it away... but it was an innocent little sample.  It was a simple, harmless freebie and, therefore, wouldn't cost a thing for me just to try it out.  And so the story goes... I obliged.  Just a rudimentary testing out, though.  And if you're at all curious, I'd love to give you my initial five cents on the Satin Hair Serum from Living Proof.






Satin Hair Serum is an ultra lightweight styling elixir formulated to smooth strands and eliminate frizz while imparting long-lasting shine and hold.  It is just one of a collection of hair products from Living Proof - a company founded by a team of hairstylists and scientists, and is co-owned by actress Jennifer Aniston.  Satin Hair Serum is free of silicones, oils and parabens.  It has a very thin, almost water-like consistency, which "dries down" to a totally grease-free finish.


The serum can be used on wet hair as a styling/blow-drying aid (its recommended use) or on dry hair to help tame and add shine.  I cautiously opted for the latter, pumping just a wee tad on my fingers and working it through to the ends.  Outside of the pleasant, essential oil-like fragrance - which dissipated quite quickly - I didn't see a noticeable bump up in shine on my tresses.  In fact, the serum is so incredibly light that I didn't notice its presence on my hair at all.  My thick head of hair seemed impervious to its fragrant charms, which makes me think that it may be better suited for those with finer strands. 

But, alas, all is not lost.  I am curious to see how it will fare on me during blow-drying.  Since it hardly has any heft to it, I know it won't weigh my hair down (or at least it shouldn't), but will it make it any smoother or any shinier?  I guess we shall see.  I think I'm going to give it a go next wash and will be sure to come back and give you guys an update if I see any significant difference.

Yep, we shall see...  

Living Proof Satin Hair Serum is available at Sephora and drugstore.com, and retails for $29/1.5 oz.

**UPDATE 8/26/15: I tried the serum on my wet hair as recommended in conjunction with my Infusium Leave-In and it was indeed very light and did not leave my hair feeling heavy or greasy.  But, again, I did not notice any significant gain in shine, manageability or lustre; my hair felt and looked the same as always.  Now that is NOT to say that the serum does not hold any merit.  However, I feel that for me and my head of hair, Living Proof Satin is not really bringing anything new to the table.  I didn't see or feel any benefit after using it wet or dry.  It just didn't work for me. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekend Report: His AND Hers


We women just know how to take over, don't we?  From boyfriend jeans to tuxedo jackets to wingtip oxfords - we seem to have a natural knack for taking what's traditionally not "suited" for us and making it all our own.  Well, being that I'm no stranger to this style-driven modus operandi, this weekend I plan on donning my share of testosterone influenced wares, along with a vintage piece that holds a special place in my heart.  So, if you have a few moments to spare, I'd love to give you a preview of what I will be rockin' this weekend.



This weekend, it's all about the shirtdress.  Borne out of the genuine love and comfort of wearing a man's oversized dress shirt, I believe the shirtdress to be a must-have staple for any woman who truly desires a well-rounded wardrobe.  Incredibly versatile in its styling, it can be played up or down without missing a beat.  Modified with a feminine flair, this light-blue linen frock displays a mandarin collar, rolled up adjustable sleeves and a tasseled, braided belt.



On my feet will be an offering from unisex sneaker giant Converse.  Serving up an eyeful of white from toe to heel, these monochrome, all leather All Stars will act as the perfect accent to give the outfit a laid back feel.


Weathered from years of wear, this tobacco-hued beauty has a lot of miles under its flap.  I've had it for, like, FOREVER!  It's my beloved Etienne Aigner and it's the very first purse I ever bought in my entire life!  Man, I'm so glad I was able to hold on to it for this long.  And this weekend I am going to dust it off and rock it cross-bodied, leather stretchmarks and all!



I'll be taking the minimalist approach when it comes to accessories, opting for a simple pair of frost framed sunglasses and a sugar white watch to complete my ensemble.  This arm candy from Marc Jacobs is not only laced with a little bling-bling, but is fitted with an oversized face that's traditionally reserved for men's watches.  And it's exactly this ├╝ber masculine feature that makes me love it even more - it's a timepiece that's built like a man's, but "made" for a woman.



Now, I was thinking of adding a hat to the mix, but I don't know.  What do y'all think?  Yes?  No?  Eh... I prolly won't even bother.  I think I like the arrangement all on its own... but I was tossing around the idea a bit.


Well, there you have it!  That is the total rundown of my outfit for this weekend - something old, something new... nothing borrowed, but there is something blue.  I love that fashion is so malleable, especially for women.  From clothing to undergarments to hats and even cologne - what's his can easily be hers with very little editing (if any!).  Basically, WE CAN WEAR IT ALL!

So if you're ready to put your style acumen to the test and have never explored the woman-friendly world of male-oriented clothing, try it!  Better yet, venture over to an actual Men's Department and see what you find.  At the very least, you'll find inspiration.  At the most, a brand new outfit!  I don't know about you, but that sounds like a sure fire win-win to me.  #BEINGAGIRLROCKS!