What Am I Waiting For?

The self-tans are rolling in, the bronzers are ready to be cracked open, and yet…

And yet, I hesitate. Mainly because I look out my window and see this:

I wish I had video on this blog {soon…} because the rate at which those trees are swaying, and the horizontality of the rain — it is inexpressible, really.

So I look at that and think, I’m supposed to be tanning?

And then one of the other parts of my brain/mind goes: Yeah, but, why not? A little bronze-goddessy-ness would be a great pick-you-up.

Maybe. See, for me, the whole tanning thing is located firmly in an immutable part of the year, and it is attached to specific actions: laying out, the ritualistic application of suntan lotion, being at the beach or the pool, being on holiday — it is the mark of actually having experienced actual sunshine.

Here in Ireland, tanning is an activity that we use to fool ourselves into thinking that the months from June to August signify a period of time in which the weather changes for the warmer and brighter, i.e. ‘summer’. Or, we just do it because we feel like it, or we’ve got a wedding or a christening to go to <— this is generally more for the people who are personally involved in those events, but not always; I’ve got a wedding to go to,  and I’m thinking I may go get a spray…

I cling to this notion that tanning is only for ‘summer’, but on a day like today, I’m thinking it might be time to throw off the conditioning of a lifetime.

Maybe I’ll start, and just do my legs… but it is really only April… halp.

The Patron Saint of Bright & Beautyfull! is Saint Anthony

This is a Catholic thing, you mightn’t understand.

After I posted The Lament of My Thomas Sabo Charm Bracelet yesterday, I got up and went through the cupboards again. Since I had purged so much before I moved — and even during — I knew this was a pointless endeavour. Equally, though, I knew that I hadn’t thrown out a bag of stuff by mistake, or left anything behind in the old flat, or made the bracelet disappear with the power of my mind.

So I did what any right thinking person would do, and asked Saint Anthony:

Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony,
Please come around.
Something is lost and can’t be found.
Saint Anthony, where is my _____________???

He doesn’t seem to mind if you insert ‘effing, shagging, arse-ing’ before the name of the lost object, but I do try to watch my language.

Then, seriously, the thing that happens is, you get a thought in your mind that won’t go away. Like, you head right for that shoulder bag you haven’t used in ages, or you go to a drawer that you are positive you looked through thoroughly.

So when I found myself standing in front of one particular cupboard in my bedroom, I felt a surge of hope. I had been through the two file boxes that were behind that door, even though I was sure I wouldn’t have tried to wedge the little stripey jewellery box thing into one of them. But who knew, really? I was fairly insane from last Tuesday to this past Sunday.

Whatever, Saint Anthony, I thought, as I opened the door — and then I remembered! That Sketchers bag, the one I use when I go swimming! Maybe I put the stuff in there! Continue reading

An Ojon Hair Care Extravaganza

Oh, man, I hate moving house.

I’m signing a new lease tomorrow, and I’ve been purging and packing for days. Every time I get up to do something, I end up doing something else, either throwing something random into the rubbish, or re-opening a box I’ve already packed to see if I really need to take that — what ever it is — with me to the next place…

In the spirit of this disordered thinking, I decided to do a hair treatment, because, why not have beautiful hair in the midst of the madness? Continue reading

My World of Shampoo: Let’s Just Wrap This Up

Remember this?

I had such good intentions! I was going to review every single one of these thirteen brands! And then I was all like: naaaah.

The road to hell is paved with shampoo and conditioner.

I did manage … three. I did the Head & Shoulders, the Redken Extreme, and the Matrix one. And the Redken Blonde? hang on… No, the John Freida Sheer Blonde. Oy. But, okay: four!

I even did the Head & Shoulders in haiku! What was I thinking?

I do hate to leave them hanging, though… so here’s a quick round up on what is left:

>Pantene Repair & Protect S&C
Over-the-counter purchase that yields a salon finish. Amazing softness

>L’Oréal Elvive Triple Resist S&C
This gives salon finish too, and can also be bought in the local chemist. Massive shine, but my hair got a bit too… slinky at the end of the day. You know what I mean? I knew I’d never get a second day out this one, and I was right.

>Redken Blond Glam
It is totally glam, and my hair does look blonder when I use this. What more can I say?

>Redken Nature’s Rescue Refining Sea Polish
This is a treatment, I don’t know what this is doing here.

>Orofluido S&C
Love this. Love this beyond words. This I will write about this brand in greater detail in future, because there is also a hair mask and hair oil. Love, love, love.

>L’Oréal Professionnel Absolute repair Cleansing Balm
This is rich and thick and a little weird, because it has the consistency of face cream, or body cream, even. Good stuff, though, for a deep conditioning.

>Ojon S&C
I love their hair mask, and this S&C works best post-mask. My affection for this is ‘medium crush’. Like, this is the dude you occasionally see on the bus, or in the local shop, and you go, ‘Oooh, that dude!’ and then when you get off the bus or leave the shop, you think about him for the rest of the day, and then forget him all over again.

>L’Oréal Professionnel Shine Blonde
This stuff is purple! Otherwise, I didn’t get a lot of joy out this one. It didn’t lather up well, which ‘They’ say is not the point, but it is to me. My hair doesn’t feel clean unless there have been bubbles.

>Aussie Miracle Moist S&C
Can’t beat the Aussie scent, which is utterly all their own. This is my go-to for a practical hair day. Like, a day when I wanted clean but wasn’t too fussed about sleek. This is a great volumiser.

Having said all that, I am really keen to try something new. I am a hussy.

My World of Shampoo, Part IV: Matrix Total Results Color Care

To review: all the shampoos and conditioners.

I tend to forget that I have this combo from Matrix, because I am not familiar with the brand, and it’s tucked away on my tub. If you click the link, you can see them, hanging out kind of gormlessly on the edge, on your right. Since I’m right-handed, I tend to reach in that direction for stuff, even in the bath. It could be argued that I am saving certain concoctions for very specific use… well, whatevs. I do think that these got tucked up because my highlights had gotten so low, so what would have been the point of caring for the color?

I didn’t know what kind of hair the day wanted, and when I reached for these, I was pleasantly surprised by their fullness. Fullness due to their being tucked, etc. Sure, let’s give these a go, I thought, and as my highlights are light again, I’d be in a good position to judge whether or not this did the job.

I got seriously sleek salon stylin’, but I wasn’t as impressed by the punch of of colour, as I was by the John Freida Sheer Blonde that I wrote about recently. I think I thought this brand was fancier than it is; I’m not having much luck finding €/£ prices, but I found a site that sells the 10.0 fl oz bottle of shampers, as pictured, for $10. Now, it may something about my maintenance budget, but that doesn’t seem like a lot. When I was addicted to Aveda’s Shampure {ah! the scent!} I’m pretty sure it cost a bomb.

This begs the question: why are fancy shamps+conds so ‘spensive? It’s all down to ingredients, as you may have suspected. Mass produced cheap-o stuff is less likely to be infused with essential oils that have been harvested and extracted by hand from the only night-blooming ooga booga bush that grows along the Nile. Seriously, though, I’ll say it again: when it costs more, you use less. And you need to use less, because the quality of the surfectant — the thing that makes it lather up and clean you hair — in pricier brands is better.

So, this is really, really good for shiny and fancy, a bit ‘eh’ on the colour boosting, and while not as fancy as I thought, Matrix still a good thing to keep in the back pocket for a guaranteed shiny hair day.

Haiku Review: Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask

This tube of goodness
Is better travelled than most,
But should be retired.

I was getting a Dermalogica facial once, and a  lovely lady at Papillon in Ranelagh said that whenever she travelled transatlantically, she used the Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask as a skin hydrator. Just apply upon take off, and then take it off upon arrival. The lightness and transparency of the mask meant that you would maybe look a little shiny, but you wouldn’t like you would be capable of scaring small nephews.

That sounded like a good idea to me: I didn’t really find it very effective as a mask, but thought that using in this fashion might be beneficial. The main thing I didn’t like about it was its quick absorption; I like that in a serum, but not in a mask. I figured that slathering this on, especially on the journey back to Ireland from NYC, would shield my skin from the worst effects of floating around in recycled air for hours.

This plan mostly worked when we didn’t have to display our cosmetics for the delectation of airport employees. Even when we began to take part in the product parade, the 75mls made it as regards the restrictions, but it took up too much space in my plastic baggy. Especially when they got strict about the size of the baggy, and I couldn’t use my go-to quart-sized Ziploc freezer bag.

Despite not having it to hand, I still packed it on every single trip I have taken over the last many years, even though it languished in the hold. This doesn’t make a ton of sense, but once I had decided it had a use as a travel companion, it was going to go with me everywhere.

I wish I could sign it up for frequent flier miles, we could probably go round the world for free by now.

It’s been to Paris countless times. It came on honeymoon; it came with me to residential school at Bath University when I was studying psychology with the OU, mid-divorce; it is here with me now, and I’ve actually been using it as it is intended to be used since I did such a poor job packing adequate skin care.

I am still not entirely sold on it as a mask. As I have said, I prefer my masks to actually be mask-y, but if your skin is super sensitive, then this might be worth a go. Oh, and here’s the fancy-pants new packaging. Gosh, it is awfully modern-looking and sleek, isn’t it? I can’t see tossing my auld soldier, even if he is past his sell-by date. He’s still got some go in him yet.


Sisterhood of the Travelling Products

So: three weeks worth of stuff. It doesn’t seem like loads when laid out like that. {It seems like tonnes when you have to pack it up. In three make up bags of various sizes so you can distribute the weight.}

Or does it? I no longer have perspective. I’ve got thirteen shampoos and conditioners on the the go! What can you expect from me, honestly.

This photo is as much as about what is not here, as what did make the transatlantic journey… Continue reading

OMGifting: It is Almost Christmas

… or whatever holiday you celebrate, it doesn’t matter — where did the time go?!? Sheesh! I’ve got some suggestions if you’ve got a bunch of Secret Santa/Kris Kindle/or this other thing I came across on the intertubes the other day: a Yankee Swap. As Wiki says in the link, it’s a North American thing, but not in my region, thanks very much. It may or may not involve stealing! Wha’?!

Well, that took my mind off the fact that not only is it no time at’all ’til gift-exchanging time, I am also probably way late with a feature like this. On the other hand, that is so exquisitely apt that I am impressed with its conceptual correctness.

Okay! Never mind! Last minute gifts that are amazing and don’t look last minute! Continue reading