Hair coloring obsessions and other thoughts on my birthday…

So recently I’ve been coloring my hair like crazy…check out my post about soap capping. It’s been a goal of mine now to have ashy, cool toned hair colour, because well, as a dark haired asian girl, that is near impossible. Black is my natural color, and that’s as cool toned as my hair wants to be. But as I age and become more pale, black hair is actually too harsh for my skin tone (plus the occassional white that hair creeps in). But when I try to lighten even just a few shades, my hair screams a bright red/orange tone, even harsher than black hair for my complexion. I actually had to go through a lot of chemical processes to get it to be the cool toned light brown I have now and I’m ashamed to say it, since I kind of fried my hair with a chemical soup to get it…But now I think I got it, and really don’t care if it’s not exactly the colour I want…me needs to let go.

So this is just part of the chemical soup I subjected my hair to trying to make it ashy: developer, bleach lightener, permanent colors…additives…etc.

Today is my birthday, I’m another year older, and I’m really thinking today about how unimportant hair color is…all the cosmetic procedures, chemicals and efforts us girls put into altering our natural appearance doesn’t add up to much. When the truth is, nobody cares about the color of my hair…I recently reviewed some lipstick on here and to think I about it, I doubt anyone really cares about my lip color either. It’s fun, but that’s it…The truth is, cosmetics and fashion is a past time I enjoy…but not ultimately what people care about in me. My dad’s obsession for example, is seeing me eat more, eat healthily and sleep.  Ha ha. Really that’s all he cares about. Most people just want others to be healthy and happy. So I know that taking care of oneself’s mind and body is ultimately the most important thing to do…

Time to say sorry to my body and hair for everything I put it through for the sake of my vanities.Whether it is soap capping twice in one night to lighten it, or putting in harsh dyes and toners to perfect my hair color, or not eating bagels since they make me bloat…I have start seeing as to how I am pretty mean to my body…and it’s time to say sorry. How do I say sorry to my body? Some ideas I have are:

  • Don’t wear make-up on my off days, I just moisturize your skin and drink lots of tea
  • Do have that pastry/cookie/candy I’ve been thinking of
  • sleep in that extra two hours…I will never run out of chores/work that I gotta do, but I know I can always do it later
  • give my hair a hot oil conditioning treatment and not worry about what it will do its color
  • Feed your mind: Do something that has NOTHING to do with being gorgeous. (no fashion/make up stuff) Write an article or read a book about something cerebral. Create something that will bring value to your health, or learn something about the world your never knew.
  • Don’t look at trends and covet them on social media. Look at yourself and what you want to accomplish and achieve…

Remember the important things in life…and be happy. That’s what I’ve been thinking about on my birthday today. Nothing is worth doing if it doesn’t make us healthy and happy. It’s really easy to get caught up in getting the latest fashions and make-up trends, and cosmetic procedures…but knowing when to stop is key.

 

 

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I don’t usually write make-up reviews for cosmetic giants, but…

Maybelline doesn’t need my help to sell it’s make-ups. It’s as ubiquitous as all the other make-up giants; that kill the environment, use chemicals and test on animals…Maybelline is no exception. But since this is a make-up journal, I feel inclined to report about how I recently discovered the crazy over performing lipstick that is the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Lipstick line. It’s a semi-new release (within the last year) that has gotten me in a state of fandom over long wear make-ups for my lips…(since that’s really the only place on the face that needs it…since we eat and drink, every hour of the day)

The two best colors from the line, as mentioned by a lot a reviews: Lover (mauve), and Pioneer (classic red)

I come from a philosophy of simple is better, less is more and basically I feel natural always trumps chemicals. That’s why I have a line of gentle handmade cosmetics and perfumes called Dream E available for all. But because I work in the fashion industry as well, I know how important a well painted lip can be and how much it can pull together a fashion look from head to toe. So here I am being hypocritical about my own philosophies by liking super-stay lipsticks; since they probably have more in common with car paint enamel than the traditional wax based lipstick…what to do…

The reason I feel I have this contradiction is because ignorance is bliss. If I think about the chemical gloop that are in super-stay lip color, I would probably cringe…but I am slightly comforted by the fact that once they set, they don’t go anywhere. They become more like clothes that one wears and then takes off at night. The problem I’ve always had with traditional lipsticks were that they were movable, oily and gross, getting on food, coffee cups and clothes. I could feel them on my lips, they felt greasy, slimy. Not to mention they are made with chemical/metal colorants that could make their way into my body eventually. Too gross. But the great thing about a color stay lipstick is that it doesn’t budge, and because of that, I am assuming the chance of it getting into my belly is unlikely? (cross my fingers)

Ok now that I’ve explained my contradiction, what were the general downsides of wearing color stay lipsticks? Flat, unfashionable choice of colors, uneven wear throughout the day, 2 step application of some formulas, drying feel on the lips…the thing with the Super Stay Matte Inks is though that they don’t feel dry on, the wear is even throughout the day with NO retouching at all necessary…and they come in highly pigmented, velvety colors that you virtually paint on once carefully, and forget about it. It is that comfortable and light, that I forget I’m wearing it until I walk past a mirror and see my high fashion lips!  Just like a great eye make-up that you put on once and don’t have to worry about reapplying throughout the day, you can live the busy life you have, while having a high maintenance lip look that nobody knows you didn’t work at!

Here is the mauve color (“Lover”) on my lips. In this photo, it looks a bit muted, but in real life it’s actually deeply pigmented… almost plumy…
And here is the classic red color (“Pioneer”) on my lips. I really like the intense color and matte velvet finish…

The two colors I own from this line is a gorgeous mauve pink called “Lover”, (that started me on this epiphany of how to wear lip color from now on!) and a rich, classic red called “Pioneer” that screams fashion! I was doing a make-up look that was sans lipstick for a few years now, since I couldn’t deal with the gross feel and maintenance required of tradition lipsticks, but with this new long wear formula from Maybelline, I am a fan of colored lips once again! From reading other reviews online, the two colors I have demo-ed in this post are the two best and most popular colors from the Matte Inks line. Which one is your fave?

Habits from Paris…French Bohemian Mindset…

I lived in Paris France for two years a while ago, when I was just an art student, aspiring to be an artist, that was when I moved to Paris as a young woman to move in another artist and settle down–whatever that meant.  But I learned a lot about lifestyles back then, and I admit till this day, although I am a Canadian born and raised, (Torontonian for that matter) I still hold dear a lot of the French mentality and outlooks on life and still adore Parisian Bohemia.  So let me share with you all a few of my experiences…I want to talk about the mindset of French bohemia, because the fashion will always follow suite…

Forget the beret! These mindless stereotypes of what the French are about are ridiculous. (wearing hats in general is cool though!)

We live in North America, the land of donuts and coffee, cold winters, fast food, and malls, cars and outlets.  Suburbs, churches and barbecues…flannel shirts and jogging pants. But my experience living in Paris tells me there is a more elegant, thoughtful way of living… And by looking at most fashion trends, it is actually super in style at the moment. French Bohemia is about being a free spirit, not following rules, or worrying about the 9-5 agenda.  It’s more about having the ability to have free time, rather than about what to do with it.  Hanging out with friends because they are cool, and not because it’s cool to hang out and an obligation to be social.  It’s really about simply enjoying life, but more specifically enjoying the visual and meaningful beauty of life. And how the two connect. Here are some things I’ve learned:

  1. Try to dodge trends by finding old things you forgot about. Dig into your closet and look for items of yours that are simple, classic, and chique.  French styles are often simple, and not looking like a slave to the trends is key (even if you are!).
  2. Eat less, but eat well.  The French are all about liking food, but good food.  I often have a day of very little indulgences, but for dinner, I will have treats like fish and chips, burgers, pizza, ice cream. Flavourful things in moderation…Pleasurable things…but just a little.
  3. Be interested in visual culture.  I mean this in a general way.  You don’t have to be into art and know everything about it academically (like I do as a former art student), but notice movie posters, graphics on your daily products, architecture and design. Work up to visiting an art show, weather it is at a small local gallery, to a big city art museum.  Just enjoy looking at things and thinking about how things look. People watching (not leering, or gawking or staring) is a fun pass time when on patios.
  4. Care about how you look.  BUT–don’t fuss over your appearance, and don’t be vain by thinking you’re all that, but put a bit of effort into your appearance.  Wear clean, fitted clothes, have manicured nails…give yourself the right to “judge a book by it’s cover” because well, the cover says a lot about something! Don’t be afraid to be a little superficial and care about the face value of things.
  5. Enjoy life, don’t stress. Avoid stressful things/activities as much as possible …ie event/parties you don’t want to go to.  If you don’t think you want to do it, unless you risk social shame for opting out, do opt out! There is nothing worse that regretting going out to an event.  Better to stay home and relax any day.
  6. There is always a more elegant option to whatever you are eating. Instead of toast, have a croissant in the morning!!! my favourite breakfast ever! (beats bacon and eggs too!) Instead of having a muffin, have a cupcake…Instead of ham and cheese sandwich, do ham and brie (a french cheese), instead of watered down coffee, try espresso. Little variations in daily mundane life such as standard food is a great way to add a bit of french to your life.
Me enjoying my favourite breakfast of all time due to its simplicity and deliciousness. A flakey, moist, buttery croissant, with a cup of hot coffee. yum!

What is your favourite way to be embody a bohemian babe? Do you like the fashions it’s famous for?  Do you like stalking the sale rack at the closest Free People store to you, or finding a way to make braids and plaited hair and staple? Wearing that vintage dress you found with sneakers?  How do you show you are a free sprit?