Monday, May 30, 2011

Hair Adventures in Seattle

I took a quick business trip to Seattle last week and after some contentious meetings, spent Saturday shopping.  I went to Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore; got my hair washed and blown out at Vain, a salon worthy of Lady Gaga; then took the ferry to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island.  Oh, and Nordstrom's flagship store.  Funny thing, whenever I'm in Seattle perfect strangers seem to feel comfortable striking up conversations with me. I don't mind, it's just that it happens more frequently in Seattle than anywhere else.  A woman, originally from Washington, DC, complemented me on my hair as I was trying on shoes at Nordstrom, then sat down next to me to chat about life in Washington, then gave me some fashion advice.  (I took it!)  You'd think we were old friends!  She lives in Florida now, but has a studio in Seattle. 

My stylist at Vain was also originally from the DC Metro area.   Vain is located in downtown Seattle within walking distance of the hotels we stay in.  It first caught my attention a few years ago when they had rollers hanging in their window. 

Oct 16 319

They sell Nouba, an Italian cosmetics line that I like a lot, and cannot find anywhere else.  I always pick up a lipstick or shadow whenever I'm there.  It's great for many complexions, but because it is a highly pigmented line, it's perfect for women of color, i.e. the colors don't go ashy when applied.  Unfortunately, Vain is discontinuing the line because it's hard to get, takes forever for shipments to arrive, so it's hard to stay fully stocked.  I've found a few pieces on eBay and Amazon, but I've never seen it anywhere else.  Some of the online cosmetic sites used to carry it, as evidenced by the cached sites, but no longer do.  If you see it, please let me know.

Vain IMG_1378

This time a young woman was getting her hair and makeup done for homecoming. 

Vain IMG_1379

Her hair is held up with glue.  It's hard to see in this photo, but her eye make up was spectacular - the ultimate in winged eyeliner.  Her nails were painted in black and white stripes.  I wondered what they'd do with my hair, so I booked an appointment.  I didn't get a "do" like this, but a sleek  60's style, with the top back-combed for height, and a part on the side that accentuated unruly, spikey, gray bangs in the front.  I loved it!  The only thing I would have done differently before blow-drying my hair,  after applying the heat-styling protective agent, was to add some oil.  That's a priceless little trick I learned from a stylist in Tucson.  I use Kerastase Nectar Thermique, a heat protective product; and Oleo-Relax, an oil and anti-frizz product.  These products are pricey but just right for my hair - they don't weigh my hair down or look greasy.  My hair feels silky soft.  If you can't find Kerastase in your local, you can order it online.  You can earn 5% on your purchases if you go to Kerastase's site through Mr. Rebates.  (The link is a referral from me if you don't already belong, or you can go directly to the site yourself.)  Once you're at Kerastase, they will e-mail sale notifications to you.  I stock up whenever they have one.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nails of the Week: Chanel Khaki Vert and Mimosa

Inspired by Sabrina, I coordinated my nail polish today for the first time ever.  Apart from the year I wore purple glitter polish all summer, I almost always wear red on my toes no matter what I wear on my fingers.  This time I'm wearing Khaki Vert on my fingers, and Mimosa on my toes.  I have a feeling that it's going to be a Khaki Vert/Mimosa summer.  I love both of these polishes.  (What do I do with Riva???)  Chanel's Khaki collection is one of the best they've ever produced.  The aptly named Khaki Vert is my favorite and everyone else's, I think.  It blends in well with my wardrobe, and, oddly, works well as a neutral nail color.  I reviewed Mimosa here; including  application issues.  The Red Door technician who applied it to my toes today applied it evenly in two coats.  I'm not sure what base coat she used - I think it was Essie.  I love Mimosa on my fingers too, but I'm going in to the office Friday.


Chanel Khaki Vert

My mom and I had a spa day at the Red Door today.   Mom enjoyed her facial and mani/pedi.  I had a wonderful massage and pedicure, but I have yet to get a  mani I couldn't do better myself.  The technician didn't remove all the polish from the edge of my nails, didn't apply the new polish all the way to the edge, and filed my nails both ways.  Ahem.  The spectacular foot massage she gave me (and the fact that I can't see how well she applied Mimosa to my toes) saved her tip.  I'll fill in the edges before bed and apply Seche Vite top coat so that I have no sheet marks tomorrow morning. 

The complimentary makeup refresher was lackluster too.  There was nothing wrong, it just didn't make me look my best.  And while I apprepriated the service, I felt that the good energy created by a good massage, pedi, and re-done nails shouldn't be watered down by a so-so makeup refresher.  Nor does it serve Elizabeth Arden products well, which I think are quite good.   I had my own products in my handbag, but besides the Le Metier Peau Vierge Serum I asked the makeup artist to apply, I allowed her to use the EA products to see what kind of look she would develop.  I told her could be adventuresome but the look was still pretty dull.  She could have used more liner, more mascara, seasonal colors, and she didn't do anything to my brows!  Wish I could manage some of these people...there's a way to communicate with people while you apply product so that you bring them along on their makeup adventure without going too far.    Anyway, that's another post entirely.  What have your makeover experiences been like?  What do you expect from a makeover?


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