Micro what?

In May 2017 I decided to get some microblading done to fill in my over plucked eyebrows. I started this post and there it sat until now.

I had been thinking about it for sometime and a friend of mine had it done and it looked amazing. Then on a vacation I found out that my mother in law had hers done too, and they looked amazing also. So I thought what the heck, go for it! What’s the worst that could happen?

Well… the worst thing that can happen is not doing the research first so that you know what to expect. I had NO IDEA what I was in for other than that it’s basically like getting a tattoo. Since I have a couple tattoos I figured that was all that I needed to know. And at the core of it, really it is, but had I done a bit of reading first I would have been better prepared.

So this is for anyone thinking of getting microblading done on your brows: everything you wanted to know about microblading but didn’t even know to ask.

First off, for those who have no idea what microblading even is, it’s basically getting strands of hair tattoo in to fill in your brows. It’s not as deep as a tattoo so it lasts about three years before you need to get them touched up. This is great as you are not stuck with the same style for the rest of your life, but it does mean that you will have to go through the whole process more that once.

So, THE PROCESS:

When I set up my appointment with Megan Klimkowski (Instagram: Brow Design by Megan), who came highly recommended by my friend with the new great brows, she sent me a list of dos and don’ts leading up to our first appointment.

1.  No plucking your brows for at least a week.

2. No facials, chemical peels etc one week before.

3. No Advil, Tylenol etc 24 hours before.

When I finally met Megan I was excited and nervous but she was fantastic about giving me a run through of what was about to happen. She drew out the shape of what my brows would be so that I could see and agree to it.  She recommended the colour to match my existing dark brown brows, but with a blend of a lighter brown so that they didn’t look too heavy against my bottled blonde locks.

After showing me the blade, yes that’s right microblading used a blade, not a tattoo gun, that looks like a scalpel but with tiny forks on the end, she explained that as the blade pierces the skin it sounds like Velcro being ripped apart. Which some people find unnerving. Amateurs, I thought.

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The microblade tattoo tool.

I opted to skip the numbing gel to avoid the accompanying redness she cautioned would be a side effect (and because with most things in life I tend to think that because I play roller derby I’m tough enough for anything) and soon my head was back in the chair and the blade was about to make it’s first slice. Yup, Velcro. The sound of Velcro ripping over and over as she created perfect little strands of hair. That was the sound of my skin being sliced open over and over. Not so bad. Just a little annoying. Then a little uncomfortable, like when getting a tattoo and you’re near the end and just need it to be over.

Soon it felt like it was to be a death from a thousand slices. I could feel myself starting to do some deep breathes, exhaling with every slash. You know the ones, when you’re getting a massage and it feels like you’re gonna barf. The deep breaths that women use while trying to push a baby the size of a football out of something the size of a lemon. Dramatic? No.

Once the gazillon slices are done – it’s dye time. The custom dye that Megan whipped up for me was applied and we waited for it to soak in. I looked VERY glamorous and obviously had to capture the moment:

Once it was all done I gazed upon my new, VERY DARK CATERPILLARS. Wtf?! They sooo very dark and were going to last for three whole years?! Shit! What had I done, I thought to myself. Megan, accustom to seeing that look of panic I’m sure, quickly reassured me that once the cuts healed over and the scabs flaked off, the colour would be lighter. I was skeptical, but it was too late now…

Here’s what they looked like right after. Not too bad if my hair was anywhere near its natural colour, but very stark against the blonde:

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As they healed, they darkened about 20% more thanks to the tiny scabs – but as they healed, they did indeed light up as promised – of course they did, Megan knows her stuff after all – and now they look natural. No more pencil needed!

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So if you are considering getting microblading done, my recommendation is to go for it! And if you live in the Ottawa area, I highly recommend Brow Design by Megan. Just make sure you don’t have any big events in the following weeks to given them time to heal up.

Fashion Fun Friday: Toques

Spring is on its way. Or at least that’s what the latest issues of magazines like LouLou and Glamour are telling us. Their glossy pages show bright colours, fun playful heels and light jackets that are the new must-haves for spring. Meanwhile here in Canada, at a balmy -20C, we’re still choosing what toque to wear with our parka.

Funny thing about the toque; it’s a Canadian thing. Eh? According to this National Post article about Canadian-isms, the word toque is only used by Canadians. Apparently every culture that has cold weather (and access to sheep) has some national variant of the knit cap: Afghans have pakols, Americans have beanies, ski caps and toboggan caps; and we Canadians have our toques.

Did you know that toques were popular from the 13th to 16th century in Europe? Although they didn’t look exactly the like the toques we know today, I can see the resemblance. Can you?

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Did you also know that the toque was worn in France? By chefs? They chose to wear white toques as it was deemed “more sanitary”. The chef hat we know today was called a toque blanche aka white hat. Feeling smarter yet? According to the ‘all knowing’ Wikipedia, the modern toque was credited to French chef Marie-Antoine Carême, who was thought to have created the original toque blanche. Take that and stuff it in your French beret!

Of course today’s toques have come a long way from the puff-pastry looking chef’s hat. Thankfully for those of us living in sub-zero temperatures right now, there is a plethora of styles to choose from. Check out these Canadian sites below for playful, fashionable and patriotic options. Happy shopping!

The Canadian Pook Toque. Bonus: it’s reversible!


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Then there is the classic maple leaf toque from BC’s Toque.ca. Also reversible!

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And for a more hipster look, there’s the Ginger Snapped Toque from the WhistlerHatGallery.com. (Also available in grey.)

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Fashion Fun Friday: Crimped Hair

I think crimped hair is finally back!

Recently I read this article on Yahoo that stated crimping was making a comeback at Stella McCartney’s show in Paris. The author lamented that crimped hair was one of those beauty trends that “you cringe and cross your fingers that it won’t catch on.” I feel quite the opposite. For years I’ve been hoping this 80s trend would make its way back. Anyone else with me!?

To this day I regret tossing my pale pink crimper into the garage sale pile in the early 90s when I decided that I’d never crimp again. Note to younger readers: EVERYTHING comes back, so if you really love something that is no longer in fashion. Keep it.

One great thing about crimping is that you can create many different looks, such as this chic look that Beyoncé rocks here:

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And speaking of rocking, it can also make you look like a rock star. Those who know me well know that I’ve always wanted to be a rock star. Save for the lack of talent, I’d be a great one. Check out Guess model Gigi Hadid’s rock star crimping! #LOVE

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If all over crimping is too much for you, you can try doing a few strands to add interest. Or try it on a ponytail like Portia de Rossi:

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Whatever look you choose, have fun with it.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Determine the sections of hair to be crimped for your desired style and section them off.
  2. Crimp one section at a time and no wider than the plates of your iron starting at the highest point first – whether that’s right at your scalp or 3 inches away.
  3. Clamp the hair with the iron and hold for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Repeat all the way down the hair shaft towards the ends
  5. To soften the crimp you may lightly separate with fingers.
  6. To finish, set your style with strong hold hairspray

Fashion Fun Friday: White After Labour Day

No white, no floral patterns, and definitely no sandals after labour day.

We’ve all heard these “fashion rules”, but have you ever stopped to think about where they originate? What’s the deal with no white after labour day anyway?

You can blame high society snobbery for this one. Basically a bunch of women from old-money families were upset that their exclusive richie-club was being run over by new-money. So they came up this fashion rule and a few others to ostracize the new-money wives who were not in-the-know. (High school flashback to the year of the must-have Club Monaco sweatshirt!)

Even though the rule was originally enforced by only a few hundred women, over time it trickled down to everyone else. By the 1950s, fashion magazines made it clear that white clothing came out after the May long weekend in Canada and Memorial Day in the US, and put away after Labor Day.

These days, fashion is more relaxed and there is no longer a hard and fast rule about what colors to wear and when – think winter white! For example, even through we’re well into September I wore a pair of floral pants to the office this week. Why? Because it was sunny and warm out. Weather should play a more important role in our fashion choices rather than a date on the calendar. And while I’m sure most of you would agree, we still hear people make comments about ‘no white after Labor Day’ – all thanks to some snobby millionaires from 100 years ago.

 

Fashion Fun Friday – Guilty Pleasures

Do you ever use online discounters? Sites like Fashionjunkee.com and BeyondTheRack.com (which I’ve talked about in previous blogs) are two off my favourites.

A couple months ago, I saw a commercial for another discount retailer called Gilt.com, so naturally I decided to check it out. This is the spot for serious designer label shoppers as they offer drool-worthy items from Christian Louboutin, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Chanel and Alexander McQueen – at 60% off! And as if it wasn’t easy enough, they have an app so you can shop safely anytime, anywhere.christian-louboutin-shoes

Like most flash sales sites, quantities are limited so you need to be ready to make a quick decision to avoid disappointment. As most of you have already ascertained, I LOVE shoes…. and all this girl wants it a pair of Jimmy Choos and a pair of classic black Christian Louboutins. In size 8. Is that too much to ask for?

They have them…

Even though I just found out about this site thanks to their big marketing push this year and their cool television campaign, Gilt.com has been in existence since 2007. The site is the brainchild of Kevin Ryan who, according to their website, “recognized a market opportunity to start online flash sales in the United States and introduce consumers to a new, exciting e-commerce experience.” You can read more about their story here. And it looks like this company is expanding as there are a ton of job opportunities there right now.

Are you ready to experience a little gilt today?

 

Are you an April Fool?

April Fool’s Day.

Ever wonder about the history of this day of fools?

FoolOne version is that back in the day, France once celebrated its New Year at the start of the spring, around late March/early April. But in the 1500s they changed it so that it would begin in January to match the Roman calendar. However, word of this change traveled slowly, so many people in rural areas continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring. These people became known as “April fools”, or so the story goes…

Another version is that the day grew from age-old European spring festivals, in which pranks and camouflaging your identity was common. This one makes more sense to me personally, as April Fool’s Day is about pranks.

Pranks bring people closer together. It’s a fact. (It’s also a fact that most facts are made up on the spot.)

If you work in an office with a lot of computers and people who foolishly trust you, go ahead and take this opportunity to create some memories. A great idea from a former co-worker of mine: take a screen shot of their desktop and have it displayed on the screen. Then watch and laugh as your co-worker can’t click on anything. Ha! Classic. You can modernize this one by using a broken screen wallpaper. Your welcome.

Or you can go the high-tech route and using this same idea, download the broken screen app to make someone think you cracked their beloved iPad or iPhone! Yes, there is actually an app for that! And that’s no joke.