Saturday, June 28, 2008

Playing with My Makeup, Part 1

I have to warn you, folks: All but one of these pictures have not been retouched or re-adjusted for lighting. These pictures are being brought to you as is from my webcam.

I decided to play around with the Make Up For Ever Aquarelle in Silver that I purchased a couple of days ago at Blush in Kahala Mall. I'll admit that I'm not the most sophisticated makeup artist ever - I applied the paint on my eyelids with those cotton makeup applicators, for one thing - but I like the "wet look" effect this has on my eyelids. The Aquarelle is one of those products that do stain the skin, since the water base does evaporate pretty quickly - and for once I actually thought that not using a brush was a good call on this one, because otherwise it would have been difficult for me to blend and spread thin layers of the paint on my skin, in a way that won't make me look like a backup dancer for Flight of the Conchords.

Anyway - yeah, once it dries, the Aquarelle stays on the skin for quite some time. It's rub-proof and (surprisingly) sweat-proof as well, and the effect is positively dramatic; I can totally see myself wearing this to a wedding or any semi-formal occasion. For those of you who love the look but are scared of the formula, Make Up For Ever also has a Pearly Waterproof Eyeshadow Pencil that promises similar endurance, but should be a little easier to blend and control.

Makeup colors on eyes:

  • Make Up For Ever Aquarelle in #16 Silver - as a wash from lid to browbone, and layered along with crease colors; also used to highlight the inner corners of the eye around the tear duct

  • NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in #619 Rust - from lash line to crease, then layered with the Silver to tone down the ruddiness (since it's more of a maroon than a rust shade)

  • Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Gunmetal - used as a liner along the upper lash line, then smudged and blended into the crease

I don't want to talk too much about the skin because I'm only wearing pressed powder, but the lips are another story. I paired the eyes with the Bella il Fiore lip stain in #001, which I thought at first would be too light for my skin. Guess what - this is the second time I've taken the stain out for a test drive, and it's definitely a "my lips but better" shade of peachy-pink that I now adore. The fact that the stain is contained in a Sharpie-like applicator works wonders for me, too, since it dispenses the right amount of stain without much bleeding. It's not completely "eat-proof," though - and I'd be cautious to wear this with a super-emollient lip gloss on top - but it definitely won't rub off on your glass.

Part 2 - which should be forthcoming - will focus more on the Make Up For Ever Aquarelle in Deep Blue as an eyeliner and the darker Bella il Fiore lip stain (#003) for a more retro-inspired look.

Friday, June 27, 2008

An Open Letter to Laurell K. Hamilton

We interrupt the ongoing proceedings on Domesticity (since No Book Left Behind is also "getting some work done") to bring you this pressing matter of fashion in trashy pop literature...

Dear Laurell (should I just call you that?):

As a non-fan, I fully understand that the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels are supposed to exist in some sort of otherworldly underground where nobody shops at Emporio Armani. That's perfectly fine with me; I don't ask that all of my books exist on the same mortal plane, and I don't judge my friends for reading your books - even though I can't help but bang my head on the nearest desk whenever The Scribe takes a new copy of your work home from the Coventry library.


A few weeks ago, while I was at the laundromat with The Scribe, she began to read excerpts of The Harlequin out loud to me. Again, I'm not saying there was anything wrong with that - in fact, I did encourage her, and it's not like I actually had her declaiming all the dirty parts over the dryers.

That is, until she got to the descriptions of the outfits.

Look, I'm only showing my blog readers the pictures from the Marvel version of your books because at least these ones are safe for work. Never mind that Dorktastic Undead Dude on the right seems to have employed Prince's costume designer for Purple Rain as a personal couturier, or that Anita herself could use some Kerastase [TM Scribe's beloved hairdresser in Manila] to freshen up her hairdo, for the times when she's not engaging in ass-kickings and threesomes with questionable partners.

On the other hand... well, I also understand that you've done extensive research into the world of BDSM, which probably explains all that leather. And the lace. And the skimpy underthings.

And while I have nothing against leather, lace, or skimpy underthings, I do have a problem with characters who insist on wearing all three in the same outfit. Especially if said characters happen to be male.

Let's just say that, by the time Scribe uttered the words "knee-high boots" and "chartreuse G-string" in the same sentence, I basically ran out of that Laundromat screaming.

Again, maybe I shouldn't talk because I'm not one of your "positive readers," but... seriously, Laurell - from one writer to another, woman to woman - would it kill you to pick up a copy of Details every so often?

Just thought I'd put it out here once and for all,


Closeout Purchases (Or: An Unforeseen Upside to a Crappy Economy)

Bad news: I just found out this week that Kahala Mall's iconic beauty store Blush is closing its doors for the last time this coming Sunday. They've been open for as long as I have lived in Honolulu, but apparently they may have not been able to compete with the makeup selection at Sephora, Neiman's and Nordies. Now, I haven't bought anything from them since my budget shrank to nothing, so I felt like a predator browsing through their sales bins in search of a bargain.

I have to echo the sentiment of the shoyu bunnies foraging through the bins with me, however: Kahala Mall will never be the same without this store... not even after it goes through the rich-hippie makeover when Food Hole (or as the Scribes like to call it, "Whole Paycheck") and The Counter (um, yay?) finally get their respective acts together and opens their doors soon.

Anyway, enough ranting about Kahala Mall - let's get to the makeup!

The 3 for $10 Deal: Make Up For Ever's Aquarelles

From left to right: Dark Blue #4, Silver #16, Brown #13

You might not see it in this picture, but the blue one looks a lot more blueberry than navy in the bottle, and not exactly very shimmery. The silver one, however, is genius - it actually goes on very sheer, so it's more of a watercolor effect. Judging from the reviews I've seen for the Aquarelle - and I believe a lot of non-professional folks use these more for eyeshadow/eyeliner than anything - I'm planning on keeping both the blue and the silver, which are perfect for the summery looks I've been seeing lately.

The brown, on the other hand... well, I have thought about it, but eventually common sense won out -- and I decided instead to put it up for swap on MakeupAlley. Yep, that's me all right - still using the old login information from 1999, even though I haven't put anything up for swap or participated in any of the communities for ages. Maybe it's fate (or a Higher Power) trying to remind me to pay more attention to my beauty blogging?

(In any case - for those of you MUA members reading this blog, holla at me in the comments - I could really use some advice!)

The 3 for $5 Steal: Lippies Galore

From top to bottom: Bella il Fiore's Double Agent Lip Tint in #001 Soft-Spoken Pink and #003 Rich Rose; and Jaqua Beauty Lip Gloss in Tuscan Orange

Here's the reason why I'm going to miss Blush more than I should: When the girls realized that I had emerged from the $3 for 5 basket with just those two lip stains, one of them popped over to the next basket and handed me the Jaqua gloss, saying that "this color's more you." She was not that far off in her assessment: The gloss is more of a blood-orange color - a plummy red with strong shots of gold - and even though the formula itself was a tad runny, the effect was gorgeous and the scent was scrumptious. Thankfully, none of these items are going up for swap, either!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Summer of Black and Gold

I looked up into the night sky
And see a thousand eyes staring back
And all around these golden beacons
I see nothing but black

I feel a way of something beyond them
I don't see what i can feel
If vision is the only validation
Then most of my life isn't real

Here's the deal with Sam Sparro - and I'm sure I've shared this sentiment so many times before: When I first saw the official video for "Black and Gold," I actually did wonder how a guy like that could get away with sounding like Akon and looking like a long-lost member of Panic at the Disco at the same time. And now that the song is this week's free download on iTunes - while Sam is now borrowing glasses from Kanye West - I think I won't be alone in the madness much longer.

Still love the song, though - and I still think it's a better example of electro than "I Kissed a Girl," which doesn't have the same edge. (Also, note to Katy Perry: You are so not Jill Sobule.)

Credit, though, also goes to Lauren Luke, who was already playing "Black and Gold" in the background of her videos when the single blew up in the UK. Here's her Sparro-inspired eye makeup look, which she recreated recently for the Beeb:

Cleveland-related aside: Ordering a "Black and Gold" at the Winking Lizard means getting a Guinness layered with Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager. If my liver hadn't cried uncle the last time I was there, I would've tried it myself!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Short Photo Post

No, I'm not usually that grumpy (and, yes, that's just ice water inside my beloved X-Files mug from college), but I wanted to take this picture to show you what my current manicure looks like. The color, once again, is Sinful Colors in Lying Nails (#335) - you won't see it there, but it's a glossy dark red/plum with microglitter. I have to admit that I'm beginning to like the formula that Sinful Colors uses for their nail polish; so far I've scrubbed dishes and done all sorts of hard manual labor since Saturday, and still my manicure looks fresh. Not a bad deal for $1.99 at Walgreens.

Also, the bathrobe is from Gilligan & O'Malley at Target. Microfiber terry may not be one of the sexiest fabrics on earth, but I'm just happy to have a robe that I can just throw on and lounge in on those days when it's too hot to bother with clothes.

This was part of my job interview outfit yesterday: the gray long-sleeve is from Old Navy, and the red corset belt is from Sears. I wore the whole deal with skinny black pants from Old Navy and the brown flats from Charlotte Russe. I have to admit that I'm loving the whole corset-belt moment right now, ever since Scribe and I saw Jennifer Hudson doing the look justice in the Sex and the City movie. Let me tell you - after years of running around with an undefined waist, it's good to finally put things back into perspective. Needless to say, however, I didn't get the job (for a good reason - it wasn't in my field) but I'm still keeping the belt.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Cleveland Chronicles, Part 5: Severance, Severance

Forgive me, residents of Cleveland, if the name of Severance Town Center makes me think of "Venus in Furs" by Velvet Underground.

During my trip to Cleveland, The Scribe and I managed to steal one whole day to ourselves by going to Severance Town Center (not to be confused with Severance Music Hall at University Circle). Our initial plan had been to go to Marshall's, catch a movie, and get some dinner for both Mr. Scribe and Kittensley.

While we did get to Marshall's - and, to our relief, both man and cat got their fair share of kibble at the end of our day - the rest of our plans took us everywhere else.

Here's the thing about Severance Town Center: It's a huge place, anchored by the big-box retail of Home Depot and Wal-Mart. It's also not terribly pedestrian-friendly, especially on a day so hot and humid that would make even a Hawaii girl like me start cursing the summer heat for being so brutal. Really, now: I don't know who did the planning for this place, and I probably shouldn't care, but it reminds me way too much of those malls I saw a lot of in Southern California, where people actually have to drive to get from one end to another. (And if you ask Scribe now, she will tell you how many times I've used the word "California" like a curse word while trying to find our way through the place. Love you, California, but: seriously.)

That said, it's not like we didn't appreciate those fine (and thankfully air-conditioned) retail establishments that provided us with much-needed eye candy during our Severance run.

- Marshall's. This was our first stop - and I have to note this because this is the place where I got the gossamer hippy-dippy blouse that you see on the left. It looks very Stevie Nicks next to the chiffon Old Navy skirt I'm wearing in this picture (and yes, it's really sheer) but I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a fair amount of beauty products over there - especially in terms of fragrance and hair products, with some fine salon brands in the mix for less than $10 - but TJ Maxx still has them beat in the makeup department. I also found some cute gifts there (hey, I had no idea Roca Wear made baby booties!), and the shoes and bags were definitely drool-worthy.

- Dots. It's such a welcome relief to find a store that not only sells inexpensive clothing, but also sells it in such a wide range of sizes and styles so no one gets left behind on any particular trend. (In the battle of inexpensive retail, Dots practically beats out HNL's Jeans Warehouse on the quality -and relative un-skankiness - of their on-trend selection.) Not only did I get the sexy red-and-brown Latino-inspired maxidress over there (for $20), but I also got this-here red top on sale for less than $10. It's actually kind of cute - the sleeves are puffy, the neckline is smocked, and the back has a keyhole cutout that's revealing but still bra-friendly. So you can see why I'm rocking this top here with the black skirt from Mold Gravy (again - it was for another project for which Mr. Scribe used me as a model), but I also got to wear it with jeans later that weekend for an errand run around Coventry. Lurve.

- Sally Beauty Supply. "What do you mean, you haven't been to a Sally?" I asked Scribe when we walked in. "This is where the hairdressers and nail techs get their stuff!" True enough, as soon as we walked in, we both got geeked out to the max over the assortment of professional (and still not that expensive!) nail tools and hair stylers for every texture. "Why did I ever waste my time on CVS?" Scribe asked me back, as she eyeballed the assortments of nippers, files, and foam curlers in every single size ($1.99 for a pack of 8? I'm there), filing away potential purchases for a future trip.

- Ashley Stewart. It's too bad I already did a good bulk of my shopping at all the other stores mentioned by the time Scribe dragged me in here, out of curiosity. How curious were we? So curious that even Scribe was drooling over the trapeze dresses, living vicariously through me as I tried them on. (Verdict: Not for me... but if there had been one in Scribe's size - and AS didn't carry any in hers, unfortunately - I'd totally love to see her rock it!) And can we talk about all those floaty blouses we saw on the rack? Be still, my retro-loving, 40D-rocking heart! I felt like I'd stumbled into a version of my Mom's '70s-era wardrobe, where everything was bound to fit me. It was awesome, people - and if my wallet hadn't already been screaming in agony, I would've bought something. That's why it's also a great thing for me that Ashley Stewart is also online -- and currently offering a flat rate of $8.95 for standard shipping, no matter how much you buy. (Caveat: Have any Domesticity readers out there ordered online from AS yet? Let me know in the comments!)

- Payless. And finally, because we couldn't help but duck in here anyway: Scribe got this gladiator sandal in gold (which also made Mr. Scribe happy, if not scratching his head over our all-too-frequent shoe-shopping), while I got the $6 flipflops. Our feet finally breathed in a collective sigh of relief.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What I'll Be Wearing Today

(It was a choice between this and Amy Winehouse's ode to slutty footwear... which I will explain later.)

Okay - so today happens to be the baptism for Bunny's baby #3, and normally I'd show up for something like this wearing something prim and pink and flat-heeled and whatnot while I smile my way through the canapes.

Except for the fact that this is the first social gathering I will be attending since my trip to Cleveland... and if the winds of fate blow a certain way, it may be one of the last social gatherings I will be attending in Honolulu before my post-grad career takes me to certain greener pastures.*

(So, THAT explains the endless stream of Kate Nash/ Amy Winehouse/ Lily Allen/ Adele coming out of my laptop today...)

Since I'm a guest to this party, I think a little adventure may be in order - starting with these shoes:

I bought these shoes for only $8 at Payless in Tower City, and already they've started a commotion. Scribe couldn't stop taking pictures, and her usually diplomatic husband started squeeing in delight when she showed them to him. Back in Honolulu, I showed the picture to my sister (herself the owner of red patent-leather platform shoes and pointy boots) and she just raised her eyebrow at me as if I've spent my life savings on them.

Of course I won't be wearing them *all* the time - I'm stashing some flip-flops, just in case - but I will be wearing this dress that I got at Dots in Severance Center:

Scribe was right: The red and white in the shoes goes with the red and white in the dress. It's all very Carmen Miranda, in a way - especially with the corset-like smocking around the bodice - and I don't think I'll be able to help it if I start sambaing around the reception area in this get-up.

Haven't decided on a face, yet, but my toes are currently painted a brighter tomato red than the shoes, and my nails are going to be more of a vampy berry red (Sinful Colors in #335 Lying Nails, only $1.99 at Walgreens). I'm definitely going with the mineral foundation, with red lips and a bolder blush next to some neutral eyes and serious lashes. And the hair will definitely be side-parted.

There will be pictures. Oh yes, there will be pictures. :)

*EDITED: I just returned from the party, and found that the guest list was shorter than I thought - which means that it was totally a small family-and-friends affair with all of her - and our -favorite people. No need to worry about who was there for what! So happy.

Also, the Sinful nail polish that I just mentioned? Beee-yooooo-teee-ful. It's red like Christmas tinsel, and just as sparkly. Looooove it on my hands - kind of reminds me of Uma Thurman and her Chanel Vamp nailpolish in Pulp Fiction.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Floating World

A shot of my Charlotte Russe leather flats - and muscular calves - at Yours Truly in Shaker Square.

Back again in Hawaii - still recovering from jet lag, and the sadness of having to leave Cleveland. To paraphrase what Walter Cronkite once said about San Francisco (and, as much as I love San Fran, the domestic terminal at SFO Airport is another story) leaving Cleveland - for me - was like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. If Honolulu was the reliable boyfriend who looked good on paper and had everything going for him, Cleveland was the guy I knew I've always wanted but didn't have the strength in me to elope with... until now.

So even though it will take a long, long time before I return to Cleveland - again, I don't think this particular story is over yet, not by a long shot - I will be here in Hawaii to continue the Cleveland Chronicles while I figure out everything else. Watch this space for more postings about food, fashion, traveling lessons, and a few more meditations on beauty.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Cleveland Chronicles, Part 4: A Makeup Post, for A Change

Besides the fact that I'm a naturally vain person who has finally gotten over posting JPEGs of myself on Blogger: Why do I love this picture?

1) I'm actually at one of my favorite places in Cleveland, if not the entire planet - the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum at Western Reserve Historical Society - and the smile on my face shows how geeked out I totally am at museums like these;

2) I think it's cute that the jalopy I'm posing with, Lowrider Magazine-style, is called a "Cleveland"; and

3) It also helps that I'm wearing fantastic makeup in this photo.

Okay, so it's not much in the way of makeup, but I can tell you that the foundation I have on my face is L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Makeup in Sun Beige - the closest I will ever get to a drugstore product matching my complexion. I honestly believe that the hype on this product is justified - it doesn't make my face itchy the way other mineral powders do (hello, BareMinerals), and neither does it look caked-on. In fact, if there's any discernible "glow" to be had on my face, the effect is more akin to a slight air-brushing or (at worst) a subtle glaze - rather than a full-on disco ball effect - and also to the point where putting on blush is practically redundant.

(Forgive me, Cleveland and Frank Gehry, for I have geeked out so much.)

Going back to the makeup: Really, this L'Oreal stuff isn't too bad. It has actually seen me through all the crazy Ohio weather of late, from last week's downpours to yesterday's insane heat wave. It doesn't fall apart when I sweat, doesn't get temperamental if I put it on while my skin isn't at its best... and is surprisingly cooperative with my face wash, in fact. It also helps that normal amateur photography actually enhances the effect, to the point where it does shave a good 7 to 10 years off my face. (Not that I won't wear it when, say, Mr. Scribe takes my picture with his professional camera.)
Also: It's one of the rare products on Earth where the accompanying brush actually works with the product. Too bad about the jar, though (I weep for all that excess powder that goes to waste when I do the swirl/tap/buff routine - it always helps to have a paper towel underneath) but here's hoping that the folks at L'Oreal will consider a redesign.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Cleveland Chronicles, Part 3: Domesticity's Retail Roundup

At least THIS didn't put a giant dent in my pocket. :)

Another week, another $100 or so lost from my bank account. Am I upset? No. For one thing, a good chunk of that money went to some highly respectable retailers here in Cuyahoga County - the better for me to bring out a proper Retail Roundup!

Target: Scribe may have given me a certain Target-related grad gift (ie. a gift card for an undisclosed amount of money) but that didn't stop me from going crazy all over Le SuperTarjay at University Circle. How else would I have been able to score two Mossimo tops, a Merona blouse, a pair of shorts, and a brown linen empire dress for roughly $80 en toto? I also got a great deal on the watch (ProSpirit, $6.98) and got both a foundation brush and a new foundation (L'Oreal Bare Naturale), AND a nice bathrobe. That's a lot to be happy about.

That said, I do have a complaint about my Favorite Big-Box Retailer of All Time: What the heck is going on with the whole Isaac Mizrahi line? I swear, I've tried on two dresses, and no matter how far I go up or down the sizing chart, NOTHING fit right. At all. I'm beginning to suspect that Isaac should consider firing whoever does his fitting, because I don't think I'm the only one with this problem.

TJ Maxx: I admit that I should've saved my energy for this, after maxing out my debit card at the SuperTarjay. That said, Blogdorf Goodman was right - you can get some insane deals on makeup and fragrance over here. Scribe and I may have snickered at the inevitable appearance of the Kimora Lee Simmons line in the Clearance bin, but even we'll admit that $7.99 for a Lancome lipstick was a killer deal. There were some Gap fragrances in the bins, too; I managed to snag a hand lotion in Nightfall for $1.99, which was a saving grace for the hands that got caught up in last week's Ohio chill.

My best TJ steal, however, goes to the Clarins Lip Sparkle palette (Sparkling Neutrals, I believe) that I snagged for the low, low price of $2.99. Six lovely see-through neutrals with a non-sticky formula. Gotta love that.

Tower City Center: On one hand, I can't help but be disappointed that there are a lot of major retailers that have since vacated their spaces here -although Mr. Scribe was right to point out that some of those retailers did price themselves out of the market in this economy. (Yes, Gap, I'm looking at you - and for shame!) On the other hand, I can't say I didn't get any great finds here, either.

Take, for example, this dress from Lane Bryant. $60 may have seemed kind of steep for me - and I did have some problems manipulating this at first - but I love the detailing on this, with the blue breaking up the monochrome and the built-in slip underneath. The fit on this one was also perfect - no boob issues (take note, Isaac), no belly pooch, no problem at all. Every single person in the store was unanimous about this dress: it was definitely a keeper.

And then there was Charlotte Russe, which I had written off for years as another Wet Seal/Arden B/Forever 21 wannabe... until Scribe steered me towards the flats, which were supremely comfortable and wearable. I was as good as addicted, and in fact I ended up buying two pairs to take advantage of their sale. I was also tempted to snag their jewelry and sunglasses, as well... but that'll have to wait. :)

Lest you think that I was the only one who got the epic deals (cue my parents gasping in shock) it wasn't like Scribe came up empty, either... not when Tower City has a MAC store, where she finally found the dream foundation/ powder combo that did not turn pink on her at all. I was so proud of her - and was floored even more when 1) the makeup artist that she worked with was super cool and friendly without pushing too many products on her, and 2) her entire MAC bill for the makeup she just purchased came down to $65, as opposed to the $120 she had spent at the [name withheld] counter for the incompatible base. She also snagged a killer black leather bag at Charlotte Russe, too - the better to carry around whenever she goes out at night with Mr. Scribe.

Also: If you must burn your hard-earned dollars at the Bath & Body Works clearance sale, I definitely recommend going to the Tower City B&BW - where I got stuff for myself and my Dad, at the low price of $10.48 and no tax. Best. Sale. EVER.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Cleveland Chronicles, Part 2: One Round of Glamour Shots

You know, I might as well just let the pictures speak for themselves, because I think they're all breathtakingly beautiful. (All photos taken by Scribe's husband.)

Location: Balcony at Chez Scribe (aka "Hampshire Bistro and Tavern") - right before we went out for the night

Credits: Passport to Peru blouse; necklace, Scribe's own; bracelet and earrings, my own (both gifts from friends of mine - the earrings, I believe, are abalone shell, and the bracelet is made from seed pearls); hair and makeup, my own

Location: Rockefeller Cultural Gardens
Credits: Ginger Snap dress (from Ross Dress for Less in HNL); City Buddha silk scarf; earrings, my own (gift from Mom); shoes purchased at Festival Supermall in Alabang; my own hair and makeup. The book is French Lessons by Peter Mayle.

Location: War Memorial/ The Fountain of Eternal Life, by Marshall Fredericks

Credits: Mossimo for Target top; City Buddha scarf; Gap jeans, ProSpirit watch; Reebok running shoes.

Makeup used for all photos: Sephora Professionel foundation and primer; Revlon concealer; Rimmel stick eyeshadow (base/liner); Maybelline Expert Eyes shadow quad (powder/contrast); Maybelline Lash Expansion mascara; BareMinerals Face Color Powder in Warmth. The only variation is the lip color, which varied between Revlon's Super Lustrous gloss in Raisin Glaze and a lip gloss palette from Clarins, which I will go into in more detail in the next entry - along with the now-famous "jump" shot next to the Free Stamp.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Cleveland Chronicles, Part 1: The Epic Saga of My Hair

Tonight marks the end of my fourth day in Cleveland, and the end of a very long week. I believe that my honeymoon phase is almost over - the gawking-tourist routine is gone, replaced by a cautious pensiveness that comes from somebody who has just realized that I have only three weeks to spend in such an amazing place.

(Yes, I know what you're thinking, dear Mainland readers, and I wouldn't blame you for thinking that I'd be crazy to sacrifice three weeks of a gorgeous Hawaiian summer for a place of inconsistent "springtime" weather. You have to understand, though: all this Midwestern lakeside splendor is as exotic to me as our tropical beaches are to you, so bear with me.)

Anyway, since this is Domesticity, I figured I should share a few words (and JPEGs) about one thing that has changed about me thanks to this trip... and it all began with me arriving in Cleveland with THIS hair:

To be fair: It's not ugly. (The return of my fuzzy upper lip, maybe, but not my overall look.) It's just that my hair is flat as heck - look at how the layers are plastered over my head, and the ends have that weird tendency to make me look like Steve Perry. I won't even get started on the fact that it's dull and the last time I got it cut was at the Neighborhood Chain. That's why Scribe and I planned on going to her neighborhood salon so we can have our girly spa day.

But then... this happened. I'm not even going to repeat the story here, but suffice it to say that I've already reviewed a fellow brand-mate affiliate of this salon on this blog - I don't want to paint everyone with a broad brush just because of one incompetent employee who made sure her workplace got none of my business. I do hope, however, that if the people in charge of the the salon's mothership (read: global HQ) gets to read this, they should just take this complaint for what it is and deal with it in the best possible manner, as befitting of the company's fine reputation.

[/rant over]

Anyway. Long story short, Scribe found out that the barbershop where her husband got his regular grooming also did women's haircuts for less of the price of the other place. (Her quote: "Of all the salons here in Cleveland, why didn't I think of the place where all the cool musicians get their hair done?") Thanks to the fabulous staff and stylists at Fast Eddy's, who are always up for working with just about anyone - from goth kids to proper grandmas - I finally got my flat Asian hair to cooperate in a swingy, sexy layered cut that brought the best out of my natural color and texture.


No need for false modesty here. I really did look smokin' hot that night. Thanks, Fast Eddy's!