Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recent manis + haircare for middle-aged people

I am on a string of not being able to get decent pictures of anything. I've been trying out my new purchases in succession but so far I have no usable pictures whatsoever.

First I did Blue Whale, and I put it over Essie Mesmerize - which may have been part of the problem, considering that Essie's formula and my body chemistry just seem not to mesh. This combination looked great, it just wouldn't stay on my nails. By the night after I put it on, it was flaking off in big chunks. But wow, so pretty. It's a mixed glitter in a blue jelly base and it's supposed to be buildable on its own, so maybe next time that's what I'll try.

Then next I did Fires of Gallifrey (both of these glitters are LynB) over what I think was OPI Big Apple Red (it was a mini, and the minis aren't labeled. But I'm pretty sure that's what it was). This glitter is pretty similar in texture to Blue Whale, but it's a mix of orangy-pinky glitters that's really beautiful. The red base worked well color-wise, making it into a red-orange; overall, it didn't last quite as long as I would've liked, but it did far better than the Blue Whale/Mesmerize combo did, anyway.

Now I'm wearing Zoya Carter, the purple Pixie Dust, and I am madly in love, so far. It's barely even dry, and it may look different in different light - my living room lights are notoriously weird - but it's darker than I thought it was going to be, and it's gorgeous. It's really a fall color - heck, it was released as a fall color last year, so that shouldn't be surprising, should it? It's got a royal purple base, with magenta/orchid sort of highlights. But almost all the pictures I have seen of it look much lighter & brighter than what I'm actually seeing. I'm wearing it with 2 coats of NYC matte topcoat, so no texture. Just the pretty colors.

(So on the whole, apart from the wear issues, these last purchases were a big win, because I love everything I've tried.)

I don't know if I've ever talked about my hair here, but you're going to hear about it today. All my life I have had super-oily hair - it had a little bit of wave to it, but it was very thick and very fine and wouldn't hold a curl at all unless I permed it. (This was a big trial to me in the hot-roller/curling-iron era in the late '70s.) It was dark brown and still is, it's just getting more and more gray - but it's still only, I don't know, maybe 5-10% gray even now. I threaten to let the gray grow out and I get about 6 months worth of roots and then I give up and dye it again. If you have lighter hair, you can probably ignore gray better than I can - against the 90-95% of my hair that's still dark it tends to look like I have spiderwebs on my head. Not good.

When I first started coloring it - I'm not sure exactly when I started coloring it but definitely more than a decade ago now - I used L'Oreal Feria for a long time, then I got it colored in a salon for a number of years, and now I'm back to home coloring again, but I've been trying out various brands and colors, almost all of which I like just fine. I've tried lighter browns and darker browns and redder browns, I've tried eSalon and Nice & Easy and various other drugstore brands. I don't really like it when it's too too dark or too too red, I've found, but I haven't had any major disasters at all. (My natural color is a very neutral brown that seems to be almost impossible to replicate with dyes. The eSalon formula I've been using has a good bit of violet in it, and I do like that on me.)

The main problem with going gray, as I've experienced it - and I have talked to a number of people my age & older about this and they seem to agree - is that gray (silver/white/whatever) hair has a completely different texture than the rest of my hair had, and still does have. It's thicker, it's wiry, and it tends to be dry, apparently. My scalp is still pretty oily, so I'm really having to adjust to this. I use tar shampoo pretty regularly to keep my scalp in line, even though I doubt it's good for the life of my haircolor - the rest of the time my shampoos are exclusively ones that are made for colored hair. And to help keep the dryness in line, I've started testing out weekly conditioners, and especially hunting around for good weekly conditioners that aren't too expensive, because there are a lot of expensive ones out there. So far I've had good results with a protein pack that I've forgotten the name of, and also with good old Aussie 3-Minute Miracle. (The protein pack was $1.99, and I got 3 uses out of it. The Aussie stuff was around $3.99 for 8 ounces.) I'm also trying out a new John Frieda color-refreshing rinse that I saw a good review of somewhere. We'll see how this goes.

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