Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Sephora Haul 12/30/11

Monday, December 26, 2011

Chemical Burns, Walmart Salons, and Crappy Customer Service

Prior to moving to Kentucky, I decided it would be a good idea to get one more relaxer.  While I probably could of gone a bit longer before I had my hair relaxed, I preceded to go to the hair salon.  Unfortunately, I left with serious regret.

Trying to find someone "good" to do my hair seemed like I was asking for too much out of life.  Not to offend, but my experience with hairdressers, specifically blacks ones, left me afraid to get attached since too often they would be in the wind before I knew it. 

It took me over 4 years to find a hair dresser who wouldn't burn me or do a horrific job when I was in college.  When I returned home, I was happy to find a new girl named Whitney at the Family Style salon in Walmart.  She was young, but she was passionate and not complacent, two things that some of my previous hairdressers had issues with.
The nape of my neck prior to my last relaxer and about 3 years after a bad chemical burn that gave me a keloid (treated with medication)

When I wanted to have Whitney do my hair, this is where my headache began.  To the beliefs of my mother and myself, the hairdressers at Whitney's location gave us the impression they were jealous of their young coworker.  From what I could tell, many people requested Whitney and every time my mom called to see if Whitney was available, she received an attitude and was told she simply wasn't in yet.  Since I was on a time crunch, I decided to go with another hairdresser there who had done my aunt's hair before.  My aunt had no complaints, so I thought I would be okay.  

I arrived at the salon to find Brian, the supervisor from what I understand, bent over a counter talking to another stylist.  He asked what I wanted and I informed him I wanted a relaxer. Brian instructed me to sit in his chair while his lazy behind continued his conversation before finally dragging his feet to get his supplies and coming to the chair.  I was asked a couple of questions as he roughly pulled my hair.

The chemical burn from Brian's relaxer

To sum up the process, Brian did a crappy job.  He did a horrible job basing my scalp as well as washing.  After he dried my hair, I saw him reach for scissors.  I snatched my head away asking if he was going to cut my hair and in a condescending response, he told me I needed it.  With a burned scalp and a complacent hairdresser, the last thing I was going do was trust him with was a pair of scissors.  To add insult to literal injury, he had the nerve to charge me for a style!  I had never been charged for a style on a basic flatiron job and a poor one at that.  My hair looked like something I could of done myself when I was trying to hurry with a quick flatiron through my hair.

A couple days later, I was running my hands through the back of my hair and came to the angry realization that the hair at the nape of my neck had been singed off!  I was pissed to say the least and decided I was going to take some sort of action.  I emailed the customer service for Family Style (the salon in Walmart) which is owned by the Regis Corporation.  My email included all the details of the situation and I requested a refund.  Within 48 hours, I received a call from customer service.  

After going over the details of what happened, the customer service representative questioned the information I provided about the name of my stylist and the location.  I was annoyed to say the least.  She told me that neither one of the salons I listed (two locations on the same road, wasn't sure which one it was) had male hairdressers and questioned if I was sure I had the right location.  Holding in my anger, I told her I would find my receipt and call back.  When I found my receipt, the name of the stylist listed was not Brian, it was Chuck.  A nickname perhaps?
Sorry it is so blurry, but this is the picture of the singed hair.  While it wasn't a huge difference, it took me forever to get my hair to that pathetic state in the first picture.

I called the rep back with all the information on the receipt.  She told me that she thinks that the salon lied to her when she called.  While that did not surprise me, they lied all the time about Whitney, what surprised me is that they could not simply access the employment information of who worked at the salon.  The girl told me that I would be sent a packet to fill out.  That was two weeks ago and I've yet to receive anything.

Tomorrow, I will be giving the Regis' customer service line another call, but right now I am in the state of mind that I will be giving up relaxers for awhile.  I have put my hair in the hands of so many sorry hairdressers, that I can't bring myself to subject my hair and patience to another incompetent hairdresser.  I understand no one is perfect, but chemical burns and crappy service is not what I pay for when I go to get my hair done and that is what I seem to be getting the most of recently.

So I guess I will be giving the natural thing a try again, wish me luck!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Story of an Army Wife: The Military Spouse Tag (Video)

The Questions:

1) How did you and your spouse meet?
2) How old were you when you two met?
3) How long have you been together?
4) Where are you and your spouse originally from?
5) How did you feel about him joining the military?
6) Where did your spouse go to Basic Training?
7) Has your spouse ever been deployed?
8) Ever been to his promotion ceremony?
9) How long have you been a military wife?
10) Did you marry him before or after he joined?
11) How did your husband propose?
12) Where did you get married?
13) How old were you two when you got married?
14) Did he wear his uniform on his wedding day?
15) Where are you and your spouse currently stationed?
16) Do you live on base?
17) How long were you married when you had to go through your first separation?
18) What is your favorite base so far?
19) Do you think your spouse looks good in his uniform?
20) Do you think military life is more advanced than civilian life?
21) Do you like the benefits you receive as a military dependent?
22) Do you have a lot of military wife friends?
23) What is the hardest part of the military life?
24) Do you own military wife stuff?
25) Do you support your spouse as a member of the military?

Review: Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Cleanser - 2 Piece Set

When I first started using foundation, I stuck with make up brushes.  I don't know if it was a technique issue or I had some weird thoughts about applying with sponges.  Either way, I avoided sponge applicators until recently.
One day, I was watching a Youtube video about applying foundation with cosmetic wedges.  Impressed by the results, I found a bag of wedges in my mother's bathroom and immediately started applying my foundation with them on a regular basis.

The important thing with using the wedges is that you should find the non-latex brand because they absorb the water better to give you a better result when applying  your foundation.

While my blending technique still needed a bit of work, I was happy with the result and gave up foundation brushes for awhile.  I liked the results so much that I wanted to venture into the blender world, but I could not bring myself to spend the money for the Beauty Blender.  So I decided to search for its cheaper counterpart.
I had seen several postive reviews about it, but I finally decided to pick up the Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge and try it myself.  There were two sponges to choose from but for the same price of $9.99, I decided to pick up the pink sponge that came with the cleanser.  Now, I don't know if there is a difference between the two sponges offered by Sonia Kashuk, but from what I've seen them look the same outside of color.
The sponge is relatively dense.  While I have never used the Beauty Blender, the Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge seems denser by comparison because it doesn't expand very much when it is wet.  I like the shape of the sponge because it gives you a nice grip when applying your foundation and the tip is great for applying under eye concealer.   Since there are no edges like with a cosmetic wedge, the blending is more effortless because you don't have to blend out the lines the wedges can leave behind.

As far as the cleanser, well it isn't anything impressive.  Its has the consistency of soapy water, heavier on the soap side.  From the videos I have seen, it doesn't have the gel quality like the cleanser made by Beauty Blender.  Honestly, it doesn't do much of anything to clean the sponge.

When I do clean the sponge, I use baby shampoo and warm water, just like I do with my make up brushes.  My sponge seems to be permanently stained now, but I can tell if it is clean when there is no more color rinsing out in the sink.

This product is a great buy.  You can reuse them (something I never really did with the wedges), they are great at blending, and it is affordable.  While I would recommend throwing it away at some point, I plan to put quite a bit of use into my sponge before that happens.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Story of an Army Wife: Moving to Fort Knox

After a year of being apart, I finally made the move to Kentucky to be with Akeem.  It wasn't the easiest transition and most of the headache occurred before I even made the six hour drive to my new home.  While it's been two weeks since the move, I thought I would share a little bit of my experience with you all.

Finding Somewhere to Live
When Akeem and I got married, we didn't really have time to go apartment hunting; therefore, it was up to him to find us a home.  I must admit, when he initially sent me the pictures of the place I would soon call home, I was not impressed.  I mean who thought having one bathroom on the top floor of a three story townhouse sounded smart?  I guess whoever created post housing thought it sounded brilliant, along with the orange tile in the bathroom.

My husband, who believes he is such the salesman, thinks he convinced me that the place was amazing.  However, it was the fact that if we didn't take it, we would have had to go on a waiting list and we would have to also push back the movers coming to pick up my stuff.  With the holidays rapidly approaching, it was looking like after January before I would be able to move.

With places on post being limited and the "nicer" places close to post being so overly priced, the decision was pretty obvious.  Plus after a year apart, I wasn't going to wait another two months to be with Akeem.  So preparation for the move went into full effect.

The semi that came and picked up my stuff

Prepping and Packing
The packing process was long and made me want to pull my hair out.  Between realizing how much stuff I was having to ship to Kentucky, my mother and her OCD was turning our house into a war zone with me on the losing end.  Akeem had originally scheduled the movers to come pick up my stuff on the 4th of November, after realizing my mother gave me the wrong dates as to her trip we had to quickly change the date.  The movers were scheduled for the following week.  Unfortunately, that was a little too soon for my procrastinating personality.

While my husband spoke with the people who were handling our move, they didn't give him much info other than the number of the dispatcher and the hours for which they would arrive: between 8am-5pm.  When the dispatcher called my mother, she didn't give much information then either.  The only thing she told us was that they preferred that we didn't pack anything due to the fact that they would be responsible for any damaged property.
Just some of the stuff that got loaded up
My mom informed the dispatcher that we already packed a lot of the things.  So the dispatcher informed her to leave the boxes open so the movers could inspect them.  The movers came and picked up my stuff on November 11th.  

Moving Day
The night before the movers were scheduled to come, my mom received a call from the driver.  Now keep in mind, when my mom received the initial call from the dispatcher a few days prior, she told her what was being picked up.  When the driver called he asked my mom for a rundown for what he was supposed to be picking up the following day.  Besides the boxes of clothes, shoes, kitchen supplies, and other random things, I had furniture as well.  Furniture ranging from a bedroom set to living room pieces.  This guy asked my mom if one guy could do it. My mother told him no before he explained that his helper was not going to be available the following day.

Needless to say, that phone call did not help me establish any confidence in the driver. I told my husband and he simply told me not to help the guy, that it was his job to get my stuff moved.  So we waited for the next day.
The Driver
 The driver told us he would be arriving later in the day if he couldn't find someone to help in the morning.  He came around 11:30 along with the guy who packed up everything.  When he initially arrived, I was surprised to see a semi truck, because due to the relatively small amount of stuff I had (I wasn't moving a whole house), I was expecting a box truck.  Silly me.
As the guy was packing, I asked him if he was the one helping with the actually moving.  He told me no, so of course I was baffled by how the driver was expecting to move my furniture.  After I left for work, my mother called me and told me that the packer ended up helping the driver.  He was a nice guy, so I wasn't surprised that he helped despite that he worked for another company and it wasn't his job.
 The Packer
 To cap off the whole situation, the driver wasn't going to arrive to Kentucky for another week because he had another pick up and drop off.  Something else the moving company failed to mention to us.  He originally told me Wednesday or Thursday, but he didn't arrive to Kentucky until Friday.  He told me that if we werren't there within the two hour window he gave us (which the one he gave, he wasn't even close to being there), he would have to place our items in storage.

 Me on moving day

After the Move
When I finally arrived to my new home two weeks later, I was disappointed to find that my husband had not unpacked anything.  To add to my annoyance, two days before, Akeem called me to let me know my kitchen table was missing.  With so much going on, I lost my cool by the time I arrived to my new home on November 21st.

After days of calling the moving company, they finally believed me that I did not receive my table when they found my boxes on the driver's truck.  It has been a little over two weeks since my move and I am still unpacking, mainly due to the fact that I don't know where to put most of it.  But in retropsect there are a few things that could of been done differently.

My Advice 
  1. Pack things as far in advance as possible.
  2. Take inventory with great detail as to what you pack
  3. If you are moving after your husband, make sure he is fully aware of your expectations and what he is supposed to be receiving
  4. Get the full details as to what you can pack and how to pack it: I found out on the day of, that you can't pack aerosol cans.
  5. Make sure your schedule is flexible on moving day and the day you receive your stuff.
  6. Label your own boxes, the packer will label them the rooms you want them placed.
  7. Make sure you have the number of the driver and the dispatcher: before, during, and after the delivery
  8. Take a deep breath and hope for the best.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Small Sephora and Bath & Body Works Haul

I don't know what it is, but recently I have become candle obsessed.  I think it is a combination of the fact that I am moving into my first real home (excluding college apartments and my parent's house) and I have been loving the smell of BBW's S'mores candle.

All that aside, I am over the top excited to finally be able to LIVE with my husband and to build a home and these candles just feel like they add a cozy factor.  I'm probably just trying to justify buying overpriced candles. *shrugs*

Each scent I bought in pairs, except for the Kitchen Spice one. I also purchased a second pair of sleeves for the candles (the first 2 I got free with an online purchase).  Pretty much everything I got on sale (except for 2 of the sleeves and the Sephora items) :-)
Modern Snowflake (left) and Scattered Snowflakes -$5 Each
Ultimate Dual Exfoliating Face Brush- $18 
Winter (left) and S'mores (fall candle, no longer available)-$19.50 regular price for 14.5oz
Kitchen Spice (left) Merry Mistletoe-$9.50 regular price for 4 oz
Gentle Foaming Hand Soap ($5.50)
Holiday Traditions Lip Gloss ($8)
Both in the scent Vanilla Bean Noel
Indian Coconut Nectar™ Body Butter To Go- $5 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NYX Annual Private Sale @ Cherry Culture

So yesterday kicked off the NYX Annual Private Sale at  40% off of all NYX products until November 13th.

I love Cherry Culture because they already feature products at a lower price plus they have a rewards program if you are a member of their site (which you can join for free).

If you aren't too familiar with NYX but still want to try some of their products, I would personally recommend trying out their MegaShine lipglosses, their single eyeshadows, and their powder blushes.

Sale ends at 11:59 P.M. CST.  Use code: NYX40

Happy Shopping:-)

Review: Great Lash Curved Brush Mascara

So besides the dying desire to show you an up close look of my oily skin, I wanted to do a quick review of the Great Lash mascara with it's curved brush.

Like so many times before, I purchased this mascara due to an unsuccessful search for another mascara: Maybelline's Great Lash Designer Limited Edition Mascara.  Of course, when I saw this brush I immediately thought of the Falsies mascara, which sadly enough my brain didn't make the immediate connection that the same company makes both.

When I first tried the mascara on, I wasn't immediately in love.  While Great Lash is a good mascara, I feel as though I have out grown it.  Like it is a piece of my make up evolution that I look back on with fond memories but don't usually revert back to the beginning. 
 without mascara

Amusingly enough, it wasn't until I took the pictures for this blog post (which was a couple of weeks ago), that I really started to like this mascara.  It really did give me "umph" to my lashes.  The curve of the brush does allow for a bit of a curl and great length.  While I've seen better volume from other mascaras, this one is fairly nice.
 with mascara

Ultimately, I think this mascara is worth the buy.  However, for some reason I just don't like the brush that much.  Maybe because most brush applicators are now that plastic/rubbery like material and that is what I've grown used to, but Maybelline sticks with it's classic bristles on this one.

Either way, this mascara definitely has "repurchase" quality written all over it.

 original great lash brush on the left
 original great lash brush on the left

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Story of an Army Wife: 14 Days of Marriage and Screaming Matches

Today, Akeem and I have been married for two weeks.  While two weeks is not a significant amount of time in a marriage, it marks enough time to pass for me to realize that this is something more than my past relationship status of girlfriend.

In the year and a half that we've been together, Akeem and I have been through hell and back. From damage inflicted by us to inconsiderate third parties, I feel it is safe to say our relationship has had it's fair share of testing. But through it all, we have made it to this day and I have to reflect.

Last night, we had our first screaming match.  While the details are too exhausting to mention, it was one of those reality check moments for me.  Here I was screaming my lungs out like never before and swearing in my parents' home, like a whore in a cathouse. While I was upset, one thought ran through my head: we're married.  It wasn't a sentimental thought or even one that I thought of in regret.  The realization that we were married made me stop screaming out of anger but only to match his heightened hostilities.  Because the situation wasn't worth being angered over at that point, but I couldn't help being caught up in the passionate moment.

After the fight, my mom laughed while I tried to talk to her with a sore throat.  She told me that in a marriage you should defend yourself but not scream it out (she came from a family of screamers).  When I told her he was screaming too, she laughed again and told me that that was different then.  However, it was her simple comment of telling me that I'm married now and that "that" is between me and Akeem, which truly made me realize that I would have to work in my marriage: no more mommy and daddy to the rescue.

One thing that I love about my husband, is that while he may get angry about things he can eventually humble himself and genuinely apologize and/or admit when he is wrong.

While screaming matches aren't something I recommend for any marriage, sometimes you do have to duke it out with your spouse or you will never get to the core of your problems.  I, too, have shortcomings as a wife and through trials and tribulations, I am working to become a better spouse for the sake of my marriage.  After 14 days (and we still don't live together......yet), I feel more married to this man than ever.  My marriage is not perfect and I haven't had enough time to know the key to a happy one.  However, after years of being a marriage pessimist, I feel fortunate that someone is there holding my hand through the highs and lows of it all, even when I'm screaming my head off at him:-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Story of an Army Wife: What's in a Name?

At 23 years old, I never thought I would be married.  Not because of some deep insecurity or hatred of marriage, well may be a little.  But I honestly had a different vision of my life at 23 and the path that I am currently on is not one I ever expected to travel.

As I grew into an adult, I did the most random of things to shed myself of an identity that I didn't want or had created and felt that it wasn't right.  While I tell people the main reason I go by Kris is because people seem to have a hard time pronouncing Kristin (which is largely true), I think there was more to it than I let on to other people.

In my mind, Kristin was the girl who was the doormat.  Who got played by guys and was clueless about the world.  While people have called me Kris my whole life, it wasn't until college that it really stuck.  Kris became who I wanted to be as a kid: confident.

But when the persona of Kris became another mistake, I decided change my last name (on Facebook at least) to separate the negative things of my childhood from who I was as an adult.  Keep in mind, when this was all happening I didn't think anything about it.  Only in retrospect, do I realize how much of an identity issue I had.

Even Chrystyn in "Chrystyn's View" came from one of those identity moments I had as a kid.  When I was in school, the black kids used to make fun of me for having a "white" name.

While I still go by Kris (partially because being called Kristin throws me off sometimes),  I have started to embrace who I am now: crazy.

HAHA! Only kidding.........sort of.

Before I got married, it was a frequent conversation about changing my name.  Mostly due to the fact that I could not completely wrap my head around the concept that I would no longer be Kristin Shannon.

I have no regrets about changing my last name for my husband.  My whole life I felt like I hated my name, but now that it has changed it feels odd.  It is like no longer being a Shannon has left a slightly incomplete feeling and being Evans is the replacement that has fully adhered to the rest of my life (probably cause I still live with my parents).

When I told my husband that I would be moving to Kentucky before Thanksgiving, he texted me that this would be our first Evans Thanksgiving.  I smiled and was taken aback a little, because all I knew were Shannon Thanksgivings.  They have never been something I look back on with a smile, more like an scrunched face; however, they were apart of who I am.

This post has been random and may seem irrelevant to me being an army wife, but the reason I mention it is because of the military. My relationship with my father is a hit or miss experience but I am proud to be his daughter and all that he has accomplished (including being a General in the National Guard) was under the name Shannon.  But why do I take pride in that like I am the Shannon who did any of those things?

I see other military wives who take so much pride in their husband's success as if they are the ones who actually accomplished those tasks and act as if they deserve the same respect as a decorated veteran.  I am proud of my husband but I didn't go to boot camp and it won't be me being called for deployment. So when people say Evans.............they better recognize it as Kristin Evans because despite the last name, I am not my husband, I am my own person.  Because while I love my husband and am blessed to be his wife, I plan to make a mark on this world and I don't want to just be Mrs. Akeem Evans,  I want to be Kristin Evans.......wife of Akeem :-)

Review: Covergirl Lash Perfection Mascara

 When I ran out of my Covergirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, I decided to try something else.  So while wandering the makeup aisles of Walmart, I decided to pick up the Lash Perfection.  

When I initially saw it, I thought it would be just like the NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara due to the packaging and similar brush. There is an obvious difference in the consistency between the two, but for the most part I get similar results; however, the Lash Perfection seems to give me a little less volume and a little more length compared to it's NatureLuxe counterpart.
without mascara

According to Covergirl, the brush is supposed to help coat each individual lash and give you 3 times the volume of bare lashes.

Overall, I think it is a nice mascara (a little bit on the drier side) and I would definitely buy it again.
with mascara

Lash Perfection in Very Black

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 2011 Favorites (non-beauty related)

So October has been a crazy month.  I got married this month and have started my countdown to my move to Kentucky.  While I await the day until I can move in with my husband, I thought I would start doing my monthly favorites again (beauty and non-beauty related).

This is what I loved this month:

My Husband
I won't get all sappy on you all, but of course he is my favorite (every month).  Every time we talk, I am reminded of how lucky I am that he found me, especially at a time when I was so lost.

I haven't really watched network television in years.  Most of the shows I watch are reality shows or the movie channel.  So I decided to invest my interest in a new show.  Suburgatory is about a family, father and daughter, who relocate from the city to the suburbs.  It probably wouldn't be a show I would love if I didn't grow up in the suburbs, because the humor is a bit dry and slow at times.  However, I can appreciate the exggageration of suburban people, since some are not that much of an exaggeration.

Jojo's "Marvin's Room (Can't Do Better)"
I found this song on a friend's Facebook page and I have had it on constant repeat.  While I clearly am not in that place now, it is something that I can't help but sing to while I drive to work.  I always thought Jojo had a good voice, but I had kind of forgotten about her recently.  It is interesting seeing her all grown up.

Frank Ocean "Novacane"
Akeem sent me a text informing me that this was my new ringtone. Needless to say, it too has made its fair share of replays.

Starbuck's Venti Cafe Mocha
A mix of chocolate and coffee is a great way to start the day of my crappy work day.  While some baristas don't make it quite right, my local Starbucks has been doing fairly well lately.  With the weather changing, it is nice to drink it warm as opposed to the iced version i drank all summer.  Sad part is that I always have to get venti to get any sort of affect and sometimes I need an extra shot (total of 4).  Oh well, more love:-)

Turkey Spinach Wrap
Trying to break away from the usual fast food lunch break, I go to Publix deli and get a turkey spinach wrap.  While I have know science behind it, I have convinced myself that it is good for me.  Honestly the spinach wrap that I get doesn't taste much like spinach, but once again I'm convinced that their is something redeeming about it because it has spinach in it.

Check out my beauty favorites for October!

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