Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dawning of the Age of the.....scrunchie?

While fashion is undeniably cyclical and many interesting trends have come back into play over the years, the most interesting revival I've been seeing lately is everywhere: the forever famed scrunchie. Yes, the scrunchie is popular again, but just because it's popular again doesn't mean I'm going to be going out and getting myself one any time soon. You might think I'm a bit of a stick in the mud, but I have my reasons.

I remember being a little girl and my mother putting my hair in pigtails with flowered scrunchies, but because my hair is so coarse and curly, my hair didn't fall into cute, relaxed pigtails like other little girls. Much to my horror, my hair stood out straight on each side like some crazy pippy-longstocking-esque hairdo. Cue the childhood trauma tears.

When I discovered the ease of cute hairbands, (mostly the ones with glitter and beads on them), my days of poofy scrunchie awkwardness were over. To me, the days of scrunchies envoke riding around the block on my barbie bike and playing in the barn in a Laura Ashley sundress, not going to my 9-5 as a Visual Merchandiser. Which is why, much to my shock, a few months ago I started seeing them everywhere. And not just on kids, on adults.

Celebrities across the pond and even ones here have been seen trying to rock the scrunchie, and I can appreciate it. Scrunchies don't hurt your hair like traditional elastics do, and the designs can be kind of pretty. Also, there is a sort of nonchalance to wearing the scrunchie as an adult that can be kind of cool. While these girls make the scrunchie look pretty good, I know myself and my Pippy Longstocking-esque fro. I'll leave this trend to the professionals. 

What do you think about this trend? Would you wear a scrunchie?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Exfoliation: Friend or foe?

So this morning as I'm laying in bed, sick and trying to keep myself from going all cabin-fever, I decided to hop around to different news outlets to see what's going on in the world. While stumbling around on Yahoo, I came across an article entitled "How Exfoliating Hurts the Environment" and immediately went "Say what now?! How can me looking fresh and glow-y be bad for the environment?!" (Just imagine that exclamation in a very squeaky, cracking half-voice)

The writer, Joanna Douglas, brought up a lot of excellent points that a lot of us probably don't think about on a day-to-day basis. For instance, scrub beads and what they're actually made of. Maybe I'm a bit naive ("A bit" is an understatement at times), but I had always thought that exfoliating beads were made of biodegradable product. I've always thought that as I saw the scrub goo dissipate, that the beads would too once they made their way down the drain. Most products that use the beads claim to be "organic", or at least many of the ones that I've seen, so I never once thought that there was a chance that those beads were made of plastic, but this morning I found out that's exactly what they're made of.

I'm genuinely surprised, and now saddened, as I've come the realization how many pounds of scrub beads I've washed down the drain and out to sea over the years, all in the name of "beauty". The article makes a harsh reality for us consumers who are in love with those beads - that when they're washed out to sea, sea life will inevitably go "Mmmm, that looks tasty!' and eat it, not realizing it's plastic, and ultimately die or become disfigured from the chemicals breaking down in their bodies. 

The article goes on to give various alternatives, such as scrubs that use sugar or salt. Honestly, those options are cheaper than any exfoliating bead scrubs I've seen on the shelves, and they actually break down safely when you wash them down the sink. I think that's beauty we can all invest in <.3

Inexpensive Exfoliating Alternatives
While the original article listed some wonderful alternatives, I wanted to listed a few from brands that I have experienced and love.

My mother introduced me to this brand a few years ago with this exact scrub. It smelled soooooo amazing, and my skin felt so nice afterwards.

I bought a soap from them last year and am now kind of obsessed with their philosophy and unique products.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Legal Shoplifting?

So, I'm sure by my blog title it's fairly obvious that I'm someone who loves a great deal on clothing. For those that are reading, I'm going to assume you love a great deal too, but just in case you haven't heard, there's a store that lets you take the clothes without paying, so long as you return them by the end of the day.

Yes, you read correctly, a store in Japan called Gu, under the Uniqlo brand, is in the trial phases of allowing customers to try their clothes out in the real world for the day. According to the article from The Wall Street Journal, you don't have to leave any I.D. or credit card information, you just bring the clothes to the register, let them know what you're taking, and then they simply trust that you'll bring them back by the end of the day to either purchase or return.

While I applaud Gu for the amount of trust they're placing in customers, a few worries come to mind. Like, forgetfulness for example. I am someone who would genuinely forget to go back to the store until they were already closed. Then I would be wanted for shoplifting, which wouldn't be fun. Some people might shoplift on purpose, or some people might have the worst day in the world and the clothing gets destroyed in a freak coffee spill from a third-story window while walking to their car. No word yet though on whether the company is going to make this permanent, but if they do, I would recommend taking down credit card information, just in case. Sometimes, you just never know what might happen when you walk out the door. Slobbery dog, slippery coffee cup, or even a torrential downpour.

What do you think about this? Would you participate in this trial period, or do you think it's too risky for the store/consumers?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

When bringing a 6-layer chocolate doberge cake to a Father's Day family gathering, it's important to remember the golden rule: first come, first serve. Happy Father's Day everyone. May your day be sweet and safe <.3

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Make Me Up

In the last year my slight like of makeup has grown into a full-fledged obsession. I enjoy watching tutorials, looking at the latest products, even just walking into Sephora gives me a strange sort of high. I don't, however, like retail makeup prices. Lets be honest, most makeup isn't cheap. On the contrary, most makeup will steal your paycheck before you realize you had one in the first place. 

So when I walked into a makeup boutique/parlor on Magazine St., I wasn't looking to buy makeup. I was looking for a Q-tip, since I had accidentally smudged mascara on my forehead and had no way of properly removing it. It was only after getting the free Q-tip from the salon owner that I saw a section brightly labeled "Sale". Bins were overflowing with completely full, never been opened/used items from the likes of Too Faced, Smashbox, LVX and many others that were on sale for $5 each.

The reason? The products had been discontinued by the companies, and the salon owner just didn't have the room for them anymore. She wanted them gone, and I wanted them in my collection. I enjoy $5. I especially enjoy $5 well spent. I think lipglosses and lipsticks are always worth investing in, and a pretty eyeshadow too of course <.3

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I dream of Jeanie, and home.

I grew up all over New England, but spent most of my adolescent years between upstate New York and New Hampshire. When I was 15 my mother and her fiance brought me to San Diego for a trip. I fell in love with downtown San Diego and La Jolla, the ease of life and lazy pace in the sun. I saw the surfers and palm trees in March when it was snowing and cold back in NH and instantly decided I could be happy there. After returning to NH the San Diego warmth never really left my bones.

When I was 17 I was getting ready to apply for colleges when I started seeing posters, commercials, and articles about living in Southern California. I took it all as a sign that I needed to move out there for college. I got accepted into the Art Institute in San Diego, and when my mother and I moved cross-country, I was ecstatic. Fast-foward to a few weeks later when my mother was driving me down from Oxnard to San Diego, and I began to realize San Diego is so much more than the popular tourist destinations we had visited. I broke down a week later in my apartment and cried to a stranger who came by selling newspapers door to door that I had made a terrible mistake and Southern California wasn't for me.

Talking to my mother about my breakdown the next day, she told me about a woman she ran into who was from upstate New York where we were from. The woman had relocated to SoCal 7 years ago, and the woman told my mother firmly "It takes about 5 years for you to get used to it, but after 5 years it'll be home."

I didn't believe that woman, as the first 2 years grated on me like sandpaper on a wound. I tried hard to coexist, but something felt like trying to shove a square peg in a triangle hole. I quickly fell in love with the terrain though, and the beauty of the palm trees, the dessert, the mountains, and everything nature offered within an hour's driving distance. Fast-forward to a Bachelor's degree, many friends, jobs, experiences, boyfriends, and a move to north of LA 4 years later, and I was living in Ventura. It made sense, it clicked, and I realized as it approached my 5-year anniversary, that north of the concrete and smog of LA and the Valley fit like a glove. 5 years after moving there, it had become home. But home didn't have job openings for me, and I made that bold move to move back to the East Coast after finding my cozy corner in a sleepy beachside city.

Virginia was lush, green and mountainous, just like my childhood. It had no palm trees, no dessert, and no smog, but it had work and a lot of it. I fell into step quickly with the East Coast pace of life, but something began to felt amiss. I began to push as it pulled. 3 months later I wound up in Southern Louisiana, a way of life so different from East and West it seems like a different country at times. 

But this different country has given me liberty to examine the coasts, like an outsider in the middle of a family quarrel. The question on my mind is:

Where do I belong?

My permanent home isn't in the south, this I have learned very quickly. Even though the South isn't my home, it's a wonderful place to explore.

 After all these years though, after the days of feeling like I'm being torn in two trying to decide between East and West coast, I've come to the conclusion my heart will always be split in two. I am from New England. Born and raised, I am a Yankee and will be until the day I die. I dream of the 4th of July in Boston at the harbor. I dream of Strawberry Banke in NH and The Old Man in the Mountain. I am also a hippie chick, one who loves everything the West coast has to offer, the festivals and granola and the liberals far and wide.

I have spent so long comparing one to the other, the Mexican food in the deep South to the places by the TJ border, the black and white cookies in L.A. to the ones from NYC, the fairs in NH to the ones in San Francisco, that I've grown exhausted from my quest to find home. Home, that place that fits like a glove. Home, that gritty, warm, fuzzy feeling where your dreams go at the end of the day. I dream of California. I dream of New England. 

I am meant to be bi-coastal, but if I had to chose one place and one place alone to spend the rest of my days, it would be New England. A piece of me will always be under the palm trees in Newport Beach, hidden in the cove at Refugio park, lost in the alleys of San Francisco, but where I felt the most gritty, warm, fuzzy feelings was the place it all started....

New England <.3