Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What I bought in Palm Beach

Palm Beach is an amazing shopping destination, if you're in the market for estate jewelry, Stubbs & Wootton embroidered slippers, incredibly expensive place settings, colorful resort wear, Chinoiserie, rock crystal lamps, walkers, huge expensive paintings, and showy exemplars of the good life, American resort style. I like all of that ... within reason. Except for walkers, I guess.

So anyway, I did a little damage.

At C. Orrico, I bought a Lilly Pulitzer Veranda Tunic dress in Breakwater Blue Underwater Escape

$158, marked down 1/3--yay!
I should mention that I am neither a size 2 nor a gazelle

so the fit is slightly different on me. As in, I'm not showing nearly as much leg. But notice how the shape of the dress suggests a waist? It's some sort of knit, so it flows nicely and doesn't give have that upside-down flowerpot cut so typical of Lilly dresses.

The same can be said of this Barbara Gerwit tunic

Barbara Gerwit embroidered tunic

which made of a lovely flowing fabric with soutache embroidery. It doesn't look nearly as nice in this photograph, but it's the only one I could find. This tunic is amazing with white jeans and last year's turquoise J. Crew ballerina slippers.

I also got a Tizzie Rome shirt, a line that is new to me

Tizzie "Rome" shirt
The colors are off in this picture: it's more periwinkle blue/teal//navy. Basically, all the blues.

This is the shirt I really wanted, but they didn't have it in my size. And in the smaller size, the ginger jars ended up doing me No Favors. At all.

Tizzie "Rome" shirt--and hello, pasties!

Notice the grosgrain ribbon backing up the buttons--love it!

You might be wondering--where's the beauty? Well, I also picked up a Dana Gibson "Canton" hand-painted tole pencil cup

for my makeup brushes. Because it Sparked Joy.

Big time.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

More shampoo discoveries, because you can never have too many. Right?

It used to be that every time I went to get my roots touched up, my colorist would lift up odd locks of my hair and say "Your color looks pretty good. We'll touch up your roots and then give you a glaze for shine."

But she would have this faintly nauseated look on her face as she said it. As though she were looking at road kill, rather than my hair.

Well, now she says exactly the same thing, but she looks much more sincere as she delivers her lines. And why is this, Poppy? you ask.

It's because I've stopped using this

Kérastase Bain Chroma Riche, $40.00/250ml

and started using this.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day $25.00/8 oz.

The weird thing is that my salon sells both of these shampoos. And I guess this makes sense, because my salon (hereafter referred to as "Poppy's crack den") has a rapacious appetite for my money that resembles my appetite for carbs after I completed the induction phase of the South Beach Diet. And in case you don't know what I'm talking about, let me just say that after 14 days where I wasn't allowed to take a single bite of any kind of fruit, I was allowed to eat an apple—I'll never forget that Golden Delicious apple—so I did. And almost lost control of the car I was driving. If there had been a bushel of such apples in the car with me, I would have dived in. Naked.

I can't imagine what would have happened fresh-baked cookies had been involved, instead of an apple ... I'm envisioning the Chicago Tribune running a headline like: Mostly Unknown Blogger Drives Self and Children Into Lake Michigan.

My point is, that's how my salon acts around my wallet.

So know what makes me feel really stupid? When I discover that the shampoo I've been using for years, and that I've been buying from the salon that does my color is loaded with sulfates that strip the color right out of my hair shafts.

See, here's the thing. I pretend I'm joking when I call that place a crack den. But it took a different salon, and an operator who insisted upon my using a sulfate-free shampoo (because she had just given me the Keratin treatment I was blathering about yesterday) before I discovered I'd been using the wrong kind of shampoo. For years.

Internet! Learn from my mistakes! If your hair is colored in any way, it's a good idea to avoid sulfates. Read the ingredient list. If the shampoo contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (the worst offender) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (not quite as bad, but still not good) don't buy it.

And luckily, I've discovered at least one drugstore line that is sulfate-free and inexpensive, and, if you missed reading about it, you can rectify that by clicking HERE.

Mind you, I'm pretty new to this inexpensive alternative, so I'll let you know if I get any of that road kill-flavored side eye from my colorist. But say you do buy a bottle of Aveeno and hate it? At least you haven't been popping for Kolor-Killing Kérastase. For about a decade, she muttered darkly to herself.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Best things from 2015: the Keratin Treatment

In October, 2015 I got a Keratin smoothing treatment. I wasn't expecting much. One of my curly-haired children had gotten it done, and it didn't seem to really straighten the hair that much.

It also didn't seem to last longer than six weeks or so, which is ridiculous, considering how much it costs.

However, we're in February, and my October treatment is still going strong. I've reached the point where I'm not happy with the way my hair looks if I let it air dry, so I have to blow it out. But blow-drying takes a quarter of the time it usually takes because it's not a half-hour battle fighting my hair's tendency to frizz.

I will definitely get it done again, even though there are drawbacks.

It's an expensive, time-consuming process. For three days after you have it done, you can't get your hair wet. These means for three days, it's tub baths and no working out.

Also, my hair was flat-ironed to within an inch of its life. It was pin-straight and hung in sad Fred Basset flaps on either side of my face. The three days that was the case were some of my all-time homeliest.

Then when I did wash my hair (using my new Keratin-friendly products) it felt a bit coated and stiff. But. Even with no styling at all--towel dried, with a little styling creme, combed out, air-dried, it looked pretty good:

Me, with air-dried hair (and no makeup) four days after Keratin treatment

It still feels a little bit stiff when I wash it. But it's softer once it's dry. Go figure.

I'm enjoying having manageable hair, and even four months later, a week in Florida has held no fears for me. Humidity? Bah humbug!

So--if you have hair with more curl than you like (or, like me, have naturally straight hair that is so chemically treated that it has a tendency to puff up and/or frizz) and can spare the $200 to $300 it will cost, say yes to the Keratin treatment. You will save so much time for so many months.

But be sure to buy the sulfate-free shampoo.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

In which I clean up my act

Pink and taupe straw wide brimmed hat trimmed with pink silk flowers. Oh, and yours truly.
I need to catch my breath—I've gone to so many events in Palm Beach that my brain is in a whirl. I went out to dinner with friends twice, attended a dinner dance, went out to lunch, and today went to an amazing brunch (featuring a caviar bar!) and polo game at the International Polo Club.

Any excuse to wear a hat, right?

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Review: Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner

After my terrible experience with Maruala shampoo and conditioner, I headed to the drugstore to buy something to use instead. Because I'm a hair-coloring hoor as well as a Keratin treatment hussy, I was looking for something sulfate-free. I found

Aveeno Active Naturals Pure Renewal Shampoo, 10.5 oz./$6.49

Aveeno's website says it

Effectively removes impurities and is sulfate free.

This shampoo will renew your hair to its naturally healthy, most balanced state with each wash. Infused with the power of balancing ACTIVE NATURALS® Seaweed Extract and naturally derived cleansers, this formula with sulfate-free NATRASURF technology works to lift away impurities without overstripping, helping to rebalance hair's optimal moisture levels, leaving it shiny, healthier looking, and full of life. Safe for color-treated hair.

Of course, I followed the shampoo up with

Aveeno Active Naturals Pure Renewal Conditioner, 10.5 oz./$6.49

Even allowing for the Palm Beach mark-up of about $2.00/bottle, this stuff is cheap. But is it effective?

It is. I did two sudsings of the shampoo, and the second sudsing was just that--mounds and billows of suds straight out of a Luster-Creme ad.

Not Poppy. But not that far off.

The conditioner is creamy and rich, but doesn't weigh my hair down.

And if the marketing blather about seaweed alarms you, be of good cheer. This stuff has a cherry-almond fragrance like a fine bottle of Jergen's lotion.

Two big thumbs up, and my hair is ridiculously grateful.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Review: Marula Pure Beauty Oil shampoo and conditioner

Not Poppy.
Here I am in Florida, having packed a week's worth of outfits into a check-in bag that is supposed to weigh under 50 pounds.

I brought a couple of sample packets of shampoo and conditioner. I picked the ones that are sulfate-free, since I have both hair dye and a keratin treatment to protect.

Again, not Poppy.
I brought

Marula Intensive Repair Shampoo 8.5 oz./$28.00
with its matching conditioner

Marula Intensive Repair Conditioner 8.5/$28.00

And all I can say is ... this shampoo is probably OK for people who simply want to freshen their style by getting their hair wet enough to warrant blowing it dry. And this is actually me a lot of the time. Most of the time I have dry hair which I shampoo not because I really need to, but because it's been four or five days. Things seems a little flat. And dim. So why not?

But I'm in Florida, and I started this whole trip with "second day hair." So take second day hair plus tons of extra styling products to keep my hair from puffing and frizzing up in the Florida humidity, plus the extra yuck you get when you go jogging in 82 degree heat along the beach.

So, salt, humidity, oil, styling products + "glow" = a hot mess.

And this shampoo simply didn't get my hair clean.

It's sulfate free, so it doesn't foam up. Like, at all. So it's hard to know whether I've massaged it long enough into my scalp. And even with a second sudsing, it doesn't suds, so your guess is as good as mine as to whether it has worked.

I really hate blow drying my hair. It's incredibly labor intensive. I section it when it's wet into about 10 parts. Then I blow-dry each section and roll it around a velcro roller. Then I blast all the rollers with heat and let everything cool down. This takes a long time. My feet, back, legs, and triceps get tired.

When I go through all that, and my hair isn't actually clean, I get a little annoyed.

So I'd give the conditioner an 8 out of 10. It felt creamy and moisturizing, yet rinsed clean. It smelled good. It was a pleasant experience.

But the shampoo? Was like pouring a watery fluid into my hair. It didn't produce any suds. At all. And I know that sulfate-free shampoos don't create mounds of suds. But I did two "sudsings" and rinsed carefully and my. hair. still. wasn't. clean.

I'd call that the failiest fail that ever failed.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Things I'm Over

Studs. As in bags and/or shoes with
Perfume that smells like a bunch of peonies propped up in a vase full of Skittles

Perfume that smells like water

Manufacturers that market a cheaper way of doing things as fashion

I spent how long learning to sew a hidden zipper, and then you try to sell me this?

Makeup that doesn't allow the natural texture of your skin to show

Eyebrows that don't look like they're made of hair

People walking around in broad daylight wearing false eyelashes. When I first encountered this look on Glee, I was like "it's a TV show!" and "they're cheerleaders!" But women are doing this. And they are making me feel feeble and stumpy.

At least, my lashes feel that way.

Bare legs on everyone, all the time, regardless of age or weather

In case you think I'm an ageist meanie, these are actually Heidi Klum's legs for a costume party.

Snow is God's way of telling you to cover up.

Also, platforms. See above. Can we stop?