My X-mas Wish List!

There are only 41 days left until Christmas and for once I’m actually excited. I’m normally a Scrooge and/or Grinch when it comes to the holidays but this time not so much. I can’t wait to purchase a tree with my roommate and decorate it. I’m looking forward to holiday parties and being with the ones that I love.

Although I’m more excited by giving gifts than receiving, I’ve made a wish list this year. The only thing I have on my list this year is books. I only want books that are related to fashion, beauty and make up. I really want to hone my skills and education is the best way.

Here are the books that I have so far on my list:

  • All 3 Nina Garcia books
  • Rachel Zoe’s “Style A to Zoe”
  • Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style
  • Sam Fine book and DVD
  • “How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World” (Jordan Christy)
  • Bobbi Brown Make Up Manual

If anyone has any other suggestions for me please let me know!

Beauty Tag

I was tagged by the fabulous Olivia

What’s your favorite make up look?
A smokey eye. Doesn’t matter the colors as long as its smokey lol

Do you have a beauty vice?
Burt’s Bees wax lip balm. 

What part of your body do you love?
My hair (when its behaving) and my eyes (b/c I have a lot of room to play with shadows) and my butt in good jeans!

Who is your beauty icon? 
Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Kim Kardashian, J Lo, Tyra

What beauty product makes you feel instantly sexy?

Eyeliner and lip gloss.

How do you look after your skin? 
Wash with a creamy Olay cleanser, Alba Botanica scrub, Alba Botanica moisturizer

What is your signature scent? 
Have a few: Flowerbomb, J’adore, Classique, 

What are your haircare secrets?
No secrets. I just don’t follow rules. Don’t wash it often. Don’t get regular trims. Don’t relax often. Just keep it conditioned, wrap it every night and don’t use a lot of heat. I don’t get split ends and my hair grows like a weed. 

How do you pamper yourself? 
Going to the spa and shopping and eating at really nice restaurants. (treat yourself don’t cheat yourself!)

What is your beauty pet peeve? 
Lip liner that is darker than the lipstick, shaving off eyebrows just to draw on thin lines, ungroomed eyebrows.

What would your desert island must haves be?
bottled water, books, Old Bay Seasoning (in case i get to eat crabs…I’M FROM MARYLAND… its what we do).

Finally, do you have a beauty philosophy? 
Embrace your femininity and live in it.

Bad Spa Experience

Last Friday I had a pretty horrible experience at the spa. I didn’t want to blog about it at first because I didn’t really want to say anything negative about the establishment. But then again, I feel like I’m doing people a service by telling them certain places to avoid.

I had been very stressed lately (working in the school system will do that to you) and needed some relief. A very good friend of mine gave a gift certificate to another friend and myself to go to a spa and have a girls day together. Manicure, pedicure, massage and facial. Sounds like a good time right? Well, it wasn’t. Not for me anyway.

I arrived 30 minutes earlier than my scheduled appointment time. I knew since I was a new customer to this particular spa that I would have to fill out paperwork and create a file. Although my friend was running late, I didn’t expect the staff to be so rude about it. They were aware that we were coming together and would like to have our services done side by side. The ultimate girls time. I opted to start the process without my friend (with her permission on the phone) and went on to get my pedicure. This is where it all goes down hill….

The initial person to do my pedicure ends up not even being a nail technician. I was wondering why she had such a hard time trying to help me pick out a nail color. She even got an attitude with me and told me I was wasting time by not knowing what color I want. Rule number 1 when in a spa….I don’t care what kind of mood you are in as a staff member; the customer is always right! I am supposed to be relaxed, not stressed and not rushed. If it takes me 45 minutes to pick out a nail color then so be it! She then decides that she’s not going to do my pedicure anymore and tag teams with someone else. I know have a woman that speaks little English and is rather rough with my feet. I opted to skip the manicure and allow my friend who arrived late to get a pedicure as well so we could have some time to chat side by side. They looked good at the end….but customer service wise I wasn’t satisfied.

On to the massage. The room was not very inviting, calming or relaxing. There was no changing area with lockers to place your things in. I had to fold my clothes up and just put them in a corner on the floor! Not acceptable. The massage itself was pretty good, but I don’t appreciate her rubbing her ultra oily hands in my hair. That made me angry. After the 50 minutes was up, there was not a calming voice to say “OK Ms. Coleman our time is up….”. Instead I awoke to a blaring voice saying “OK I’M DONE. YOU CAN PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON NOW” and she left the room. Now I know (because I’m not new to the spa experience) that there was to be instruction and a care guide given after the massage. She was supposed to tell me to keep hydrated; that I might feel dizzy, and that she has moved toxins all around my body etc. But that didn’t happen.

The facial wasn’t that bad. I had never had a facial before (other than some over the counter masks and some home remedies) so it was a new experience. There was some sort of steam treatment that she administered and that I wasn’t too fond of. I could just feel every bit of my hair frizzing up as a result of the steam that was being directly blown in my face over the course of 20 minutes or so. What I did not like is how the technician kept leaving the room and not even parting her lips to say “I’ll be back momentarily”. What if I was having a reaction while she was gone?!? Who was I supposed to call out to? And she had my eyes covered as well. I also did not like how every step she made she didn’t tell me what she was putting on my face. I don’t care if I put on my sheet that I’m not allergic to anything. When you put something on my skin or do something to my body, as the professional I’m expecting you to tell me what you’re doing. I need to be confident and know that you know what you’re doing and I want to know all the steps as well in case something happens or I have an adverse reaction I know exactly at what stage of the process it occurred. Call me crazy….

The facial lasted for an hour and the entire time that I was laid on my back and stiff, I started experiencing sharp pains in my back, neck and shoulders as a result of my massage. I think there was even a point where I wanted to let out a single tear. When the facial was over she just left…and that was the last I saw of her.

Eyebrow Threading

A lot of people ask me where I get my eyebrows done and look at me funny when I say I get them threaded. So I thought I would share a little bit about the art of threading. Its way more common than many people think. Although I’m still skeptical about getting them done at the kiosks in the middle of malls that are popping up everywhere. Not that I don’t trust them…I just rather partake in my beauty regimens in a closed room.

Eyebrow threading is a hair removal technique which originated in India, although it is also widely practiced in the Middle East. Salons in Western nations offered the service to Middle Eastern clients for decades before European and American women became interested and the popularity of eyebrow threading skyrocketed.

The hair removal technique is not just for the eyebrows: threading can be used to remove other facial and body hair as well.The technique is sometimes listed on salon menus as khite or fatlah, which are both Arabic words for threading. Eyebrow threading involves twisting a piece of thread, usually cotton, into a double strand. This double stranded thread is used to pick up a line of hair and then remove it, creating a very clean, precise hairline. Eyebrow threading is the technique preferred by Indian movie stars, who are often distinguished by their crisp brow lines. Eyebrow threading can be used to eliminate a uni brow, raise the arch of the eyebrow, or add shape and definition to the brow.

Because it removes hair by the follicle, it is a reasonably long lasting hair removal technique as well. Repeat visits after three to four weeks are standard. The technique is also not terribly expensive because it is easy to do quickly and does not require costly chemical ingredients. For women who would like to pursue a more natural beauty regimen, eyebrow threading is a good choice, since it does not use harmful products. Eyebrow threading is a preferred hair removal technique for a number of reasons. Unlike tweezing or plucking, eyebrow threading removes one clean line of hair all at once, making it much quicker and easier to shape the brows. Eyebrow threading also will not harm the skin like wax and some depilatory creams can. If done correctly, the skin should not be red or irritated for more than a few minutes after the eyebrow threading session. Some aestheticians also find it easier to shape eyebrows using this technique than other methods available.

It is important to find an aesthetician who is experienced at eyebrow threading. Inexperience can result in uneven brows, hair breakage, ingrown hairs, or unnecessary pain. Most urban areas have a wide variety of spas offering eyebrow threading. If you are unsure about a spa, look for one which is frequented by Middle Eastern and Indian clients with perfect eyebrows.