I Got My Hairs Did

As a child, I loathed haircuts. I would scream, cry, bite, refuse blow drying and styling, and generally make our family stylists’ lives miserable (relevant side note: I’d like to offer my sincere apologies to Sheila, who cut my hair between the ages of 2 and 7, and Jenny, who cut my hair immediately thereafter; you are angels with golden hearts and iron patience).

My tastes haven’t changed much since then, though I am now less prone to temper tantrums. I’m uncomfortable receiving the ministrations of relative strangers, I don’t like making small talk–I basically spend the entire appointment neurotically and silently vacillating between hoping the stylist doesn’t ask me personal questions and wondering if it would be rude to take a nap.

This background info stands as testimony to the fact that I generally don’t like hair services and, if I was to give a glowing review, you would be damn sure that it would be sincere and deserved. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Brooke at Antonio Salon for giving me a totally bitching angled bob and Carissa at Vain for turning it a beautiful, bold orange. I love my hair transformation and I’m excited to return to these talented women for future services!




Sample Review, Round Two: Elizabeth and James Nirvana White

I received a small sample of Nirvana White by Elizabeth and James from Sephora a while back. The product page describes it as “a captivating blend of delicate peony, chic muguet, and tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication.”

Nirvana White


My immediate reaction to the scent was something to the effect of holy floral top notes, Batman! 

Peony hit my nasal passages hard. Not in a bad way, mind you–I just want to make it clear that whoever named this a floral musk definitely emphasized the “floral.” It’s a pretty heady scent with a strong, verdant top note. When the initial shock of peony subsided, I could detect a little lily-of-the-valley action that was reminiscent of Elizabeth Arden’s 5th Avenue. The sillage is strong with this one–not recommended for office wear.

The initial scent, though powerful, was not terribly long lasting; I would describe the longevity as moderate, at best. What really disappointed me was the way this particular fragrance dried down. What started as a nice, true-to-life floral devolved into a synthetic, almost cheap-smelling musk. While I truly enjoyed the first hour or two of Nirvana White, I merely tolerated it for the rest of the day.

The Verdict: I know several people who loved Nirvana White, but it just wasn’t for me. You could do a whole lot worse, but at this price point ($75 for 1.7 fl oz) you could do a bit better, too. As an alternative, Stella by Stella McCartney is a comparably priced floral perfume with peony that dries down nicely.

Sample Extravaganza! Testing First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream

I have a lot of samples.

Every month I accrue new skincare, makeup, and fragrance samples that are rarely used–the exception, of course, being occasions when I’m going out of town and need products that adhere to TSA-friendly sizing guidelines. I’ve decided to turn my cluttered drawer of samples into proverbial lemonade by using it as fodder for product reviews. First up is the much-hyped Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty.

At $12.00 per 2 oz, my .06 oz sample holds a street value of $0.36

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A Brief Update and a Fun, Relaxing Recipe

I’ve had some visitors as of late (including my mom–hi Mom!) and fully exploited this opportunity to take in the beautiful sights of Seattle’s surrounding forests. Armed with gallons of sunscreen and my child-sized hiking boots, I took the tourists on a few hikes. While better bloggers consistently updated  feeds with fresh content (and readers thirsted for new bon mots courtesy of moi, no doubt) I climbed  mountains and photographed waterfalls. Even Stella joined in on the raucous good times!

Unfortunately, after all that great hiking, my feet (among other body parts that shall remain unnamed) were desperately sore. A warm, fragrant soak is just the ticket to ease my aching glutes hamstrings calves quads knees bruised pride feet, so I whipped up a batch of my bath salts (no, not that kind of bath salts) and drew myself a bath. Sure enough, I left the bathroom feeling relaxed, refreshed, and slightly less swollen. Some quick reminders before I get to the bath salt recipe:

  • Bathing in water that is too hot for too long dries the skin, causing irritation, redness, and possibly peeling. Turn down the temp, please.
  • To avoid irritation, essential oils should always be diluted before coming into contact with your skin (except in some specific cases which don’t require a carrier oil, but we won’t be getting into that today).

To make bath salts, you will need:

  • 1 cup uniodized sea salt
  • 2/3 cup Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate: a saline laxative, soil additive, and all-around miracle salt)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (when the pushy salespeople at LUSH talk you into buying a bath bomb and the first ingredient is Sodium Bicarbonate, it’s pretty much baking soda)
  • 2 Tbps coarse kosher salt
  • 4-8 drops of the essential oil of your choice (I used a mix of lavender and rose geranium)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, taking care to break up any clumps. Add essential oil(s). Transfer into an air-tight container, e.g. Tupperware I accidentally forgot to return after a potluck my junior year of college and now use only for storing home beauty experiments. While filling the tub, sprinkle a handful or two of salts into the bath. Allow to dissolve completely. Keep remainder of salts in a cool, dry place for later use. Precariously set up your laptop on the lid of the toilet so you can watch Orange is the New Black while soaking in the tub. Unless you’re rich enough to have a TV in your bathroom, in which case, please adopt me.


Pride Parade! Pride Parade!

Last month a data set was released which supports Seattle’s claim to the throne as Most Gay-Friendly City in America. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Pride Parade is (and long has been) a big deal around these parts. The inimitable George Takei will be leading the parade as Grand Marshall this Sunday, and I could not possibly be more stoked.

In the Venn diagram of my three great loves (Star Trek, human rights/community activism, and parties), George Takei at Seattle Pride sits smack dab in the intersection. So obviously, I have been practicing different makeup looks for this most auspicious day. Who else will be attending the Pride Parade? What are you most excited for?