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.

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