Siren Song aka I Need More Make up Like a Hole in My Head

My name is Kirsten.

I am a skincareandmakeupaholic.

Less than 2 months ago, a friend and I were getting caught up in the fervor of Black Friday, and pre Black Friday, and Purple Thursday, and Pink Saturday and Hangover Monday. My email promotion inbox was going crazy with special offers and super sales for more more more!

I was giddy!

Not only did I buy for myself, I bought for my clients and my friends, saying, with my eyes bulging out of my head like a crazy person, “I can save this for their birthday…..next year”.

LOL

And as Christmas grew closer, I said with steely resolve, “Stop the madness!”

And then yet, another unpassable deal came in my inbox.

I was among the group of shoppers who did not set foot in a mall, except to purchase two of the same shirt for someones on my list.

Even then, they both did not fit.

Anyway.

I am trying really hard to think of what the last deal was that I bought that I just couldn’t not have.  I think it must have been some sephora deal because I have 2 tubes of City Defense and 2 bottles of sunscreen and I am not a hoarder.

And what do I have to show for it?

Nothing that I can easily recall.

A pity story.

A sad story.

Perhaps a state of madness.

And yet, I found myself a week ago watching “reveals” on youtube for the Too Faced Cosmetics mystery bag and feeling non-buyers’ remorse for not jumping at it with my credit card memorized in my head, poised for the next deal.

I feel like I am in my withdrawal state.

Actually looking for something.

I’m even stocked up on hair care. I bought a round blow dry brush.

When I wander the store post holiday-I actually take a mental inventory of everything I have searching for something that I might need.

I read recently that Toys R Us had to temper their online sales promos with their in store promos. The year before, they had such monstrous online shopping that they had to take inventory from their brick stores.

Is this perhaps what happened to sephora? The first days after the holiday, my inbox was void of sephora deals.  Only in the last few days have they started up.

But then, brands like Kiehls and Fresh must have been holiday wanna bees cuz right up to and a little while after, they were still letting me know that there were products to be bought and samples to have.

Even gwpaddict.com wrote last week that there were lots of coupons but no big gwps yet.

Wanting for nothing and yet still searching.

That’s gotta be so wrong.

k

 

 

 

 

Dr Glossy-Loma Organics

Readers of my blog know that I have had a love affair with Neuma organic shampoos and conditioners, smoothing creams + Kitoko oil.  Between the organic products and using glosses instead of ammonia-based hair color, I have given credit to using quality products for my hair’s awesome condition.

Many people do not realize that I have been coloring/glossing my hair for about 10 years now because I stuck with my natural color, once in awhile being talked into a small bit of highlights, which don’t suit me, so I abandon after one round (several times).

When I first started coloring I was using ammonia-based products (at the salon) and what I thought were good quality shampoos like S-Factor and Bedhead. Turns out only the Goldweil products, which are pricey, were the only ones that were not contributing to damaging my hair into a frizzy dry mess.

By the time I met Hillary J at Winam Studio, my hair was pretty crispy-which she coaxed back into condition by glossing. Add to that Lincoln Wang’s ever-changing selection at BOSS Beauty Supply on Nimitz.

Lincoln is always searching for the next great product to improve upon the last. On my last visit, I came in with freshly washed and dried hair-and since I’ve never been one to section my hair to dry, it was a bit “puffy”.

I was looking at the new “Loma” organic product line-and Lincoln suggested a squirt of their smoothing creme and tonic–adding from the back and bottom of my hair and working through the strands, ending up with the last bits of product for the front bangs.

Seriously, in seconds, my hair transformed from being puffy to being sleek and almost achieving the same look the stylist at the salon gives me.

I’m all about easy so I was in love at first sight with Loma.

Plus, the fragrance is pretty wonderful. I grew up in Japan when the erasers had a indescribable fruity-like scent, and the Loma products have the same lean.

Lincoln had/has a 3 pack of shampoo, conditioner and smoothing creme. I also purchased the tonic which is like a hair oil-not as thick as Neuma’s argan oil, but not as thin as Kitoko oil. (BOSS members receive a discount).

The Nourishing line is for “dry, thirsty and thrashed hair including chemically treated”, and the fragrance is actually cranberry and pear.

It also has “Creatine –35% more effective than any protein or keratin on the market at rebuilding the internal tensile strength of the hair especially color, foiled and bleached hair types. You can never overproteinize the hair when using Loma”275_loma_pic.

I tested the product’s moisturizing power too. The next time I had my hair colored, I skipped the moisturizing treatment so I could see just how well the products worked.

The results are impressive. My hair almost achieves its pre-color virginity.

In case you go shopping in Hawaii-Lincoln has moved to the opposite side of Nimitz business center–he has relocated next door to Eagle cafe and Sensually Yours.

K

 

Hair Like A Wet Horse-L’Oreal

I have my Mom’s hair.

Thick strands and dense follicles.

Many people describe this type of Japanese hair as “horse” hair.

That is how I described it too until I actually felt a horse’s mane and tail for the first time.

I’ve always liked horses from afar-you know, little girl grows up dreaming of Black Beauty and reading The Black Stallion-drawing pictures or horses with long flow-y gossamer manes and tails.

The reality is very different on the silkiness of those manes and tails.

Which makes me wonder why would that shampoo company name their product “Manes and Tails”?

Anyway.

In reality, a horse’s mane and tail hair is almost rope-ish-like cords instead of strands.

It’s not stuff you can run your fingers through.

But never the less, when I struggle with drying my hair at h-club…

Yes, my hair is thick, long and shiny, but boy is it a pain in the rear to dry.

So, when I was searching for a dry shampoo, I also remembered reading about a L’Oreal product that protected your hair from heat drying AND also made the blow dry faster.

Sty6_15_pack-shot.jpgI found Advanced BLOW IT DRY Quick Primer Spray among the many many many L’Oreal products hogging up the shelves at Longs Kahala.

I was skeptical, but for $4.99 why not?

The product is easy to use- towel dry hair and spray some in and tousle through your hair.

I take a few more minutes to put on my make up, and by the time I blow dry, this product already has made my hair feel a little drier.  Any other time, my hair would still be sopping wet.

I don’t know yet about its heat protecting qualities, but this product definitely speeds up dry time. My hair is done in a jiffy.

I worry a little about putting another product on top of everything else, but at the end of the day, it’s just hair.

Horse or otherwise.

K

 

Hair Deodorizer-SG Invisible Dry Shampoo

I, like many women, have a very sensitive sense of smell–leave it to me to be the person in the room who makes a comment about smelling something funky-or otherwise shy away from the person or thing being funky.

All my life, men have told me this, and lamented the loss of the use of their cologne around me. Course that’s only if they want to be near me.

So,when it comes to my own fragrance, I am paranoid about how I smell.

In ballet class, most of us wear canvas ballet slippers because we can throw them in the wash and be fresh like a daisy-or at least the option is better than wearing leather slippers that, well, you know- bare feet and leather aren’t a good combo.

Or Sunday mornings at Longs.

Seriously, I don’t expect people to fall out of bed on the weekend and jump into the shower and suds up-and I don’t think other people think everyone else expects them to.

However, with my super smelling nose…

So, I wash my hair everyday because I can’t stand the smell of my scalp.

I always thought I was one of the few people who actually noticed until I walked into BOSS Beauty Supply on Nimitz to pick up my Neuma Smoothing Cream (smells like an orange dreamsicle) when the salesperson volunteered that she also was had the same self-awareness of her scalp.

I’ve tried dry shampoos before-like Paul Mitchell’s-and though it did the job of freshening, I didn’t like the fragrance.

I was thinking of trying Living Proof’s version-but I already anticipated I wouldn’t like the fragrance so I’ve been putting off trying it.

My client mentioned that hair loss can be attributed to bacteria on the scalp, so he highly recommends thoroughly drying the scalp every time I shampooed.

So, it makes it kind of like a catch-22- you have to wash your scalp to get rid of the bacteria, but washing your hair everyday is not recommended for color treated hair.

So…

Kahala Longs (on a non-Sunday) has a pretty good selection of hair products so it was just me and a 60-ish looking guy in the hair care aisle.

The array of product is pretty overwhelming–L’Oreal must have a 5-foot wide berth, and 3 shelves high, all by themselves.

Even so, L’Oreal did not have a dry shampoo.

But because, each store manager has discretion on what they buy for their branch, Kahala carries “Salon Grafix” “Professional” line. Only had shampoo, conditioner and “Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo” in the “line”- I decided the price was right at $2.99.

When i t comes to trying new stuff, don’t you just hate it when you buy something expensive and it’s a product fail-or otherwise?

 

Turns out, my “professional” invisible dry spray shampoo works like a dream.

Oh yeah, the reason I mention the guy in the aisle…

Any other time I would take the cap off and spritz some product into the air to check if it would pass the fragrance test, but somehow this old guy made me stop myself.

So, when I tried the product at home, I sprayed it into the air and took a whiff. Didn’t smell bad. Not sweet, not chemically-just smelled like not much.

But it works great.

I few sprays along the hair line and a swish into the hair and I’m done and smell free.

And the plus is, the product gives a good amount of oomph into my hair giving it a just out of bed look.

Well, at least it looks like I was just in bed.

Is that good or bad?

K

 

 

 

I Had A Good Title Yesterday-Japanese Hair Salon

I was wandering around the Ilikai Hotel last week and saw a Grand Opening sign for a new hair salon. The salon, like the rest of the vendor spaces had glass walls so I could see that the staff were definitely from Japan also known as JN’s for Japanese nationals.

I went in anyway because I was curious to know if they could buy advertising from my other job at KIKU tv, or  I could try them out as stylists.

The staff were extraordinarily friendly, and in the very Japanese way, very gracious and welcoming. I took to one nice looking young man stylist and walked out without making an appointment but with their brochure.

The rates are very reasonable especially when I compare them to what I have been paying for $100 for retouch to color grey.

I must be tired because I have been feeling pretty put out about the entire experience of paying $120 for a retouch where only the assistant touched my head for 90% of the time I was at the salon.

Seriously.

Ok I feel the snark coming on.

It just riles me up to pay that much of my hard earned cash to not have the stylist do my hair, walk out with a black band of color on my forehead, drops of color on my face, plastered bangs sprayed into place and a burn mark from a too hot blowdryer.

I am one of those easy going customers when I am at the mercy of the hairstylist, but once I have to start scrubbing the black dye off, my patience wears as well.

Anyway.

Everything about my experience made me feel very happy about my choice.

My hair was dry as toast (after nurturing it for years with organic high grade hair products and non amonia color) after the  assistant from the other salon spaced out and left the color on  for 1.5 hours!

So, I opted in for the moisture treatment, haircut, retouch roots and got a complimentary ozone treatment for half the price of the last salon without any treatments. So half the price and twice the treatment.

The stylist was upfront with what they were going to charge me–something that seems to never happen. My experience with so many stylists is they add on and add on and never say how much more something is going to be until they present you with a $200+ bill! Or, they raise rates and never say anything!

They started with a shampoo and moisture treatment which had a warm steam directed at my head while I sipped herbal tea.

Then after the moisture was rinsed out, the stylist applied an ozone treatment-which felt reminiscent of a bubble rinse from Ryan Jacoby.

Off to the chair, and the stylist put on little shower caps to cover my ears. He also applied a thin type of tape around my forehead-none of that disgusting vaseline goo.

Then he applied the color very thouroughly. Yes he used a paintbrush, but he went through and did one coat, then using the comb side, went through the entire head again until he was satisfied.

Rinsing the color out was followed by the stylist blow drying my hair by hand and with a brush.

Then a precision cut style I had never seen before–I got long layers and some bangs.  (I really look like my avatar).

Man-I think it was way back in the 60s when that much graciousness was part of the trip to the hair salon! Complete with Japanese style “doomo arigator gozaimashita, please come again!”

My last snark-why are stylists so possesive about their clients and treat them like sh$t? If they gave a hoot about clients then they’d treat clients alot better, not be so sloppy, and be upfront about costs for services.

What’s up with that bad behavior?

It’s alot easier to keep a client than to try to get new ones-

k

Hair Where I Want It – Kitoko Age Prevent Scalp Tonic

As if there is no uncovered frontier.

Going on a year or more, the bf has been using Revivogen to coax his balding pate back.  Prior to that he was the man with an entire handful of hair goo to coax his “Jewfro” into submission.  When you pulled a curl out to its full glory – it reached well past his shoulders.  Everyday he would take almost 20 minutes to put a conditioner on to tame the frizzies, then a CUPPED handful of gel to wrap the curls into what I used to call a “bun” or maybe a nest of hair which was aka a curly mullet.

Anyway.

Fast forward, after using Revivogen’s natural herbal based alternative to Minoxidal and Rogaine, a regimen of treatment shampoo, conditioner and leave on serum, the fur is back on his crown, and narrowing the gap between the sides on the op of his heads.  I believe his pattern of baldness, without aid would eventually become the “Friar Tuck” style.

Back to moi.

So, Mom has been thinning on her crown for a number of years. But having come from the Japanese gene pool, thinning is like going from a thicket to a forest.  Nevertheless this is an ongoing concern which tho thinner it is not readily apparent, and if it was my own pattern on the back of my head, I wouldn’t even notice and would not do anything about it.

This is because, I never use a mirror to look at the back of my hair stylings.

Ever.

Unless the hair stylist wants me to look.

Because I started to thin in the front of my scalp. it was hard to deny what was going on.  When I would stand under a bright light in front of a mirror, I could not deny that my hair was thinning.

I, of the long thick, horse hair locks.

The problem for me about using Revivogen, which is totally proven to me before my very eyes, is, the serum smells like sesame oil (to me).

It’s not a bad smell – it’s just a smell I don’t like.

Hunting for a b day present and needing a refill of Kitoko Hydro-Revive shampoo and conditioner from Lincoln Whang’s BOSS Beauty Supply, part of me was thinking of buying a set of Revivogen for myself.

Lincoln had mentioned Kitoko’s Age Prevent Scalp Tonic before, but knowing how rigid the bf is……

Well here’s the results of my using the product-basically using the applicator which has a thin tip to apply the product to the areas that is thinning (on clean, damp hair).

March 28 – Before

IMG_1759

After, May 9

IMG_1850

I’m really careful to avoid letting the product drip onto my forehead and I apply my foundation and skincare prior to doing the hair thing.  The last thing I need is more hair where I don’t want it!

Kitoko products are not easily found- I think when I started using them and searching for info on the internet, they didn’t have much of a web presence.

Even now, on their site, this product is not even on it.

Find it at Lincoln’s BOSS Beauty Supply in the Nimitiz Business Center – 2.5 fl oz is $24 for BOSS members.

Check out the rest of the selection of Kitoko, Neuma and Saphira products.

Your hair on your head will thank you.

k

The Time Factor-Me Vs The Pro-DIY Gloss Color

Seriously, the last time I colored my hair at home was at the old house which had a giant bathroom and carpet. I completely ruined my t shirt, stained my hands and had smudges all over my face.

My gfs have no problem with the process-they just apply, wait and shampoo out!

Me-not so much.

However lately I was inspired by a youtube vid of a young girl citing pretty much the same reasons why I would do my own hair. It just costs too much to go to the salon now that I am on the 3 week cycle.

At $80 a pop-it’s just too expensive.  Add in my time and the expense and it totals $4500 a year!

So, I watched all I could watch on youtube about using the same gloss product my hair stylist(s) uses, and went in to Hillary J for a tuneup. I had started to do a lighter color treatment, then turned back as my hair started to fall out. (Went to the doc and he tested me, and pretty much came up with no explanation, but knowing that is the only thing different…)

So I got my hair color back into shape and let it grow out a few weeks.

I admit I was nervous because I tend to be a slob when something takes a certain level of meticulousness, and the bf already thinks I’m messy (though I’m not really-he’s just insanely anal about some things).

Nowhere did it say to mix the gloss and processor until it thickened. So I was painting it on in my middle part area while it was still thin.

Feeling like hours later, I watch the clock cuz part of the exercise was would it be worth the time I lose billing hours vs the $80 expense and the 1.5 hours of time for time in the chair and travel?

I finally get the product all into my hair though very messy and difficult to reach in the back.

Processing time I figure is a little shorter since it took 40 minutes to get it in my hair.

I jump in the shower to rinse and it is an explosion of black color all over.

Immediately I think in my paranoid way that it is going to stain and our  housekeeper chooses the most inopportune times to not show up at the very last minute.

Anyway.

The color rinses off and down the drain. I just apply my Kitoko conditioner, and PH Rebalancer and let it air dry.

Turns out I did a pretty good job. Only a few white strands were missed, and my hair felt fine in terms of softness and was shiny.

I think the net-net is I will go in for tune ups, but I think I’ll save my hard earned cash for other things like eye cream.

k

Homemade Haircut? SuperCuts

Seriously, I used to cut my own hair when I was in 10th grade. I basically just did a side graduated cut so the front of my hair framed my face.

It was one of those days that my hair was bugging me because it is so long so I went off in seek of a place to cut it, but not feeling like going into town, I yelped Kailua and Kaneohe.

Well, I guess I didn’t click on enough postings. But don’t get me wrong, the cut was not that bad.

But,I wouldn’t tell someone I got my hair cut there.

Anyway.

It was more about the experience at the Super cuts location, rather than the quality of the cut. The cut is passable-like I said probably as good as I could cut it myself.

But there was training going on with some bored, slightly interested new stylists. The trainer was speaking fairly knowledgeably, and telling them about new concepts in approaching customers and how to speak to us.

I forget exactly what they call a customer, maybe client?

The point I want to make, is why bother with a bunch of labels if you don’t have the basics down?

Like make sure your area is clean.

Make sure your brushes and other items used on clients are clean.

It’s pretty easy really.

And I am not overally anal-just ask the bf. He grumbles about how much water I splash around all the time.

k

Shine Bright Like A Saphire-Saphira Shampoo and Conditioner

Or maybe shine bright like a diamond-sorry I’ve been on this streak of getting blog title inspiration from music.

But Saphira Nutritious Shampoo and Mineral Mud mask made my hair seriously silky, felt very clean and smelled exotic in a good way.

Saphira hair products are distributed and sold locally at BOSS Beauty Supply on Nimitz Highway here in Hawaii. Chief Hair Guru Lincoln Whang started bringing these dead-sea mineral based products in to satisfy the demand for natural hair products that avoid paraben and paraffin waxes and other chemicals that aren’t great for your hair.

Huh?

That just means extra stuff.

I don’t know about you, but some conditioners, when I am rinsing them out in the shower, definitely feel like they are leaving a coating on my hair. To note, the Nexxus conditioner and Alba organics Coconut conditioner are guilty of this feeling. I continue to use the Alba product because it smells good and my hair is very silky but my hair doesn’t feel clean very long.

Anyway.

Made in Israel, Saphira products have Moroccan Dead Sea formula plus argan oil and 26 minerals from the Dead Sea.

I’ve never tried Ahava’s hair products, but having used their dead sea mask on sore areas of my body, there is something to those dead sea minerals that tingle when applied.

The Mud Mask can be used on your face too. I’ve used it as a conditioner but have not left it on for the 4-5 minutes as suggested.

Nevertheless my hair is shiny and silky.  The fragrance is a little strong-but not crazy strong.  It reminds me Morocco-little bit like incense, but like flowers.

You have to smell it yourself I guess.

k

A Hairy Contract-Customer’s Are Free Agents

I’ve been thinking about this in my head for a few months and am ready to write about the topic.

To be direct-why are hair stylists territorial about their customers?

I know gfs who have gone to the same person for pretty much their whole lifetimes. I envy that.

Me, I probably change every couple of years. I’m gun shy in many ways-I’ve been the recipient of a non-requested mullet from 3 stylists who were having a bad day, a fight with their person, or otherwise.

I’ve read in many women’s magazines about how hairstylists feel when they see a customer go to someone else-saying that the customer never gave them a reason why. The customers just slip away and never make another appointment.

Read the tea leaves.

But I’m speaking for myself and this is a build up of years

1) If you are going to add a service, let me know how much it will cost so I can make an informed decision. (Ok this is actually related to a facialist who tells me she is doing something,without asking, and then adds $30 on to my bill).

2) If you are raising rates. Tell me. Don’t surprise me with a bill that is $20 more than what I am used to paying with no explanation.

3) If you want the assistant to do anything more than shampoo my hair. Ask me. I’m not paying your rate for them to do everything and you don’t touch my head. Offer me a lower rate if the apprentice is going to do everything.

4) I’m a customer. I like a personal touch. This is about my personal look-e-everything doesn’t work for me; from reminder texts to scheduling.

5) If you are having a bad day-and not going to snap out of it, let me make a decision to reschedule.

6) If I want to go to someone else for a hair cut or a color, and I still come to you for the other, goodie for me that I get what I want. Goodie for you that you still have business from me.

7) Sometimes I’m just bored and looking for a new flavor.

8) Referrals are gifts and my vote of confidence. More than a couple of times I’ve referred people and they come back to me with a story I don’t want to hear and I feel responsible.

9) Provide a clean restroom.

10) Clean your brushes, scissors and other things that you use on me. It’s gross. Yuck.

Customer loyalty is not rocket science. Treat me well-with the exception of #7, I’ll probably stay.

k