My Public Service Announcement for the Day

I have figured something out about blow driers. You know how when you go to the hairdresser and they blow out your hair and it has this amazing texture? I figured out today that it is the blow drier. Blow driers have these nets that catch the dust from the air circulating through them. The dustier they get, the worse the blowing. Apparently, the worse the blowing, the worse the texture of your hair too, because mine was looking and feeling seriously shabby. Today I couldn’t stand that it was taking me twice as long as it should to blow dry, and I got the clue that I hadn’t cleaned the dust thing in months and months, so I cleaned it. Voila! Not only did my hair dry quickly again, but my hair had that texture I get at the hairdresser, a texture I have been only intermittently able to achieve at home. Well, duh. It’s the blow drier. Now I know and if you’re reading this, so do you. Clean the lint trap on your blow drier, experience a new level of great hair texture at home.

Stylin’

I realize on some level how silly this is, but I love the way I feel after having some beauty ritual performed, be it hair dressing or nail smoothing or whatever.  The other day I had my hairs arranged and cut and made to look beautiful.  Leaving the salon I could feel it silky and swinging on my neck.  Odd how simply having my hairs arranged can provide a pick me up.

I think I have mentioned before that I am not naturally the sort of woman who easily maintains makeup and hair styling and whatnot.  I am simply not one of those women who look perfectly made up at all times.  I cannot keep my sausagey fingers from looking unkempt.  I manage to keep pedicures looking somewhat okay, but I think mostly it is an illusion fostered by toes existing over five-and-half-feet from my eyes.  If I get closer, I often notice there are little bumps in the polish or nicks on the edges of my nails.

I am perpetually battling dry feet skin, never able to achieve the milky white perfection seen on Photoshopped advertisements.  I could probably make a mint if I figured out how to accomplish that little trick.  I will stay on top of the eyebrows for several days in a row, then realize one morning that Hey, I haven’t looked at them in a while.  It is with some foreboding I look into the mirror because I have had genuine fears of having my head turn into a shag carpet, Cousin Itt come to life.  Yikes!  Except for lipstick (my take-to-an-island mainstay), I have never been the sort to wear makeup for any length of time.  I invariably forget and rub my eyes, or smear the stuff on my lids, or do something else equally unattractive.

I try to maintain a well-put-together outfit.  I actually choose and wear quite pretty clothes.  The problem is when nylons start creeping down so the crotch ends up between my thighs, or waistbands creep into uncomfortable creases, or I dribble something on my chest.  You get the picture.  And after a while, in spite of my greatest efforts, my hairs just start to fly about.  I think it has something to do with the fact that my hairs would be curly left to their own devices.  I use a brush and hairdryer to make them straight.  They then wait and then when I’m out in public some of the hairs stage a mutiny, reverting back to their curly ways.

While I was in the salon I read a little article about which beauty regimens women are giving up in times of financial difficulty, and those they simply cannot live without.  I chuckled to myself at the irony of my sitting in that chair having my hairs arranged as my bank account is gradually depleted to nearly nothing since I have given the government all my extra cash.  Attempting some semblance of beauty through hair dressing is most certainly the beauty regimen I will not give up.  My answer to that question is easy.  No matter what, I always manage to get my hairs arranged.

Hair is a funny thing.  I tend to be the sort who, either through thin finances or thin time and sometimes both, leaves my hair arranging for 8 to 10 weeks rather than the recommended 6 to 8.  The result is that I usually arrive at the salon looking like a scruffy puppy.  While it is not much fun to go through life looking and feeling scruffy, it is marvelous to come out of the hair salon feeling like I got a shiny new coat of wax or something.  The feeling lasts for a couple of weeks after the arranging.  Then it fades into the background until the scruffiness reminds me that I really ought to do something and stop scaring people with the way I look.

The Garden by Joan Miro

I obviously love this painting, I’ve been using it as my page art for a couple of years now.  It is so whimsical.  I can imagine the bird in the tree chirping to the other birds nearby, “This is my place!”  Below, plants sway and lean towards the sun, while insects pause in their grazing.  Hidden beneath fronds another bird waits, dreaming of flowers.  A woman hesitates at the entrance to the garden, surveying all that lies before her. The sun, a star, gazes overhead.

Groupon Does Business with Pure Med Spa

After several commenters noted that Groupon in Dallas is giving out a Groupon on Pure Med Spa (aka Beauty Med Spa–same name, no difference), I sent them an email saying that they really ought to reconsider promoting a company that has done so much harm.  Here was Groupon’s response:

Hi Lara,

Thanks for your feedback and sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
We do our best to feature businesses that see Groupon as an opportunity to gain loyal customers as well as advertise their services.

We stand by all of the businesses we feature and the deals we offer, but if you ever feel let down in any way when using your Groupon, we’ll be more than happy to work with you towards satisfaction! Also, thanks for the information! I will be passing this on to the right people.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,

Sarah M.

support@groupon.com

I told them that I am not going to be let down, but others will be.  Who wants to be a loyal customer to a business that has stolen thousands of dollars from customers, burned people with lasers, caused one woman to require surgery because they damaged her legs, and on and on. They are being investigated by several state attorneys general and have been profiled on many television news programs for the harm they have caused.

It’s a shame that this is Groupon’s response considering the negative publicity associated with this company.  Groupon is promoting thieves and hucksters.  Send Groupon a letter letting them know if you have been harmed and what happened.  Maybe if enough people contact them, they will change their policy.

Pure Med Spa, Brite Smile, Crooks All

I finally started the article I have been planning to write for over a year.  Every two or three days another comment comes in on the company detailing further bad acts.  Over and over people tell stories of failed treatments, closed doors, lost money, and injuries.  I have been called by Jeff Nourse.  I have spoken to employees and customers.  An attorney general called me to ask what I knew about the company’s practices.  A local Portland television station profiled a victim of Pure Med Spa and called to get my input.  A financier in New York called because the CEO and CFO had contacted him to borrow money.  Basic research led him to this site and to me.  Along the way Pure Med changed to Brite Smile, and the stories continued.  More money lost.  More people harmed.

It is time to get the word out that this company is a public health hazard.  When another story popped into my inbox tonight, I stopped reading my book, pulled out the computer, and started working on the story.  The words are flowing.  I am going to write about this disaster of a company who steals its customers’ money, disfigures and scars their bodies, and runs rampant over its employees.  Then I am going to submit the story to every major woman’s magazine in this country.  Hopefully one of them will realize that this story is a big one, and that in order to protect consumers, the story needs to be told so that no one gives them another penny and nobody else gets hurt.

Some people have asked me Why aren’t these people in jail?  They are crooks!  They hurt me!  They stole my money! Why indeed.  Something needs to happen to stop them before someone else gets hurt.  If we can’t jail them, at least I can try and stop them with my words.

Stylin

I realize on some level how silly this is, but I love the way I feel after having some beauty ritual performed, be it hair dressing or nail smoothing or whatever.  Yesterday I had my hairs arranged and cut and made to look beautiful.  Leaving the salon I could feel it silky and swinging on my neck.  Odd how simply having my hairs arranged can provide a pick me up.

I think I have mentioned before that I am not naturally the sort of woman who easily maintains makeup and hair styling and whatnot.  I am simply not one of those women who look perfectly made up at all times.  I cannot keep my sausagey fingers from looking unkempt.  I manage to keep pedicures looking somewhat okay, but I think mostly it is an illusion fostered by toes existing over five-and-half-feet from my eyes.  If I get closer, I often notice there are little bumps in the polish or nicks on the edges of my nails.

I am perpetually battling dry feet skin, never able to achieve the milky white perfection seen on Photoshopped advertisements.  I could probably make a mint if I figured out how to accomplish that little trick.  I will stay on top of the eyebrows for several days in a row, then realize one morning that Hey, I haven’t looked at them in a while.  It is with some foreboding I look into the mirror because I have had genuine fears of having my head turn into one giant hair pile, Cousin Itt come to life.  Yikes!  Except for lipstick (my take to an island mainstay), I have never been the sort to wear makeup for any length of time.  I invariably forget and rub my eyes, or smear the stuff on my lids, or do something else equally unattractive.

I try to maintain a well put together outfit.  I actually choose and wear quite pretty clothes.  The problem is when nylons start creeping down so the crotch ends up between my thighs, or waistbands creep into uncomfortable creases, or I dribble something on my chest.  You get the picture.  And after a while, in spite of my greatest efforts, my hairs just start to fly about.  I think it has something to do with the fact that my hairs would be curly left to their own devices.  I use a brush and hairdryer to make it straight.  It waits and then when I’m out in public some of the hairs stage a mutiny, reverting back to their curly ways.

While I was in the salon I read a little article about which beauty regimens women are giving up in times of financial difficulty, and those they simply cannot live without.  I chuckled to myself at the irony of my sitting in that chair having my hairs arranged as my bank account is gradually depleted to nearly nothing while taking a break from job hunting.  Attempting some semblance of beauty through hair dressing is most certainly the beauty regimen I will not give up.  My answer to that question is easy.  No matter what, I always manage to get my hairs arranged.

Hair is a funny thing.  I tend to be the sort who, either through thin finances or thin time and sometimes both, leaves my hair arranging for 8 to 10 weeks rather than the recommended 6 to 8.  The result is that I usually arrive at the salon looking like a scruffy puppy.  While it is not much fun to go through life looking and feeling scruffy, it is marvelous to come out of the hair salon feeling like I got a shiny new coat of wax or something.  The feeling lasts for a couple of weeks after the arranging.  Then it fades into the background until the scruffiness reminds me that I really ought to do something and stop scaring people with the way I look.

Her Hair was Attractively Styled

I am not one of those women who is able to maintain a perfect beauty regimen. In fact, I’m pretty pathetic. I sit here typing at the computer and one of my nails is splitting. I am nearly pathologically unable to quit playing with it until I find a nail file. The urge to pick and chew at the piece that is sticking out near the split is overwhelming. I finally give up and bite the damn thing off, making the nail ragged and ugly. The fact the nail split in the first place is part of the evidence against my ability to maintain western trappings of femininity. Don’t get me wrong, I do not go out of my way to eschew such contrivances. I don’t purposely dress in sacks or not shave my pits or grow a mustache or not wear deodorant or any of it. In fact, such things would bother me immensely. I actually LIKE certain aspects of western trappings of femininity, I’m just not very good at them. And so I exist in my little, pitiful, half-baked attempts.

I have a wonderful hairdresser. She does such a lovely job putting in highlights and cutting my hair. My hair is naturally curly and I straighten it. My hairdresser knows this and cuts it accordingly. She straightens it for me beautifully. Even I am capable of straightening it fairly well, and during the time after it is straightened and before I go to bed or get it wet, it looks moderately attractive. Yet I’ve developed a habit of staying up too late with the male person in my life, so when I have to get up and go to work, I do not want to spend the extra 45 minutes showering, straightening, and coiffing. I would rather sleep. The result is that my hair has odd bumps in it in places where it has been slept on, the places that tried to return to their natural state of curliness, but did not quite make it. Most mornings I throw it into a ponytail, make a feeble attempt at presenting my bangs in a semblance of order, and head out the door.

Oh, and the bangs. Do you know why I have bangs? I have not had bangs in over a decade. I’m not partial to them. Last summer, my hairdresser noticed my hair had thinned significantly. She deduced this was the result of radiation treatments the winter before. Small problem…radiation does not cause hair loss unless the radiation is on the hair. Mine was not. We decided stress was the culprit then. In spite of my attempts to stave off the loss, the hair continued to break and thin. One morning while straightening my hair, a large chunk of hair fell right into my hands. Its ends were burned brittle, sizzling and smelling as I held them. WTF?!?!? It turns out my blowdryer had been sucking hair into its coils and burning it off my head. Hence, the hair loss. I went into hairdresser and described what had been happening. As she laughed in horror, she attempted to repair my mangled head. The result was bangs. I was forced into bangs and layers to deal with the trauma. Yikes. The hair is growing back now. It is healthy and it is thickening. I have pretty thick hair so it’s noticeable when it thins. Since having this happen, I am grateful for my thick hair. I like the way it hangs when it’s thick. It’s pitiful when it’s thin.

The other beauty area in which I am woefully lacking is makeup. I can’t wear it. When I do, I forget, rub my eyes or cheek, and smear it across my face. Lovely! I wear lipstick. I’m actually kind of abulic about wearing lipstick.  The lipstick takes over and informs me that it will be worn, whether I like it or not.  Have you ever seen a baby mouse or rat?  They are so cute when they are really little, just after they get their fur.  What is really cute is how they try to wash themselves before they are physically able to do so.  It is apparent that they are driven by forces outside themselves to clean themselves like they do.  It’s the same way with me and lipstick.  I’m driven by a force outside myself to wear it.  Often when it’s on it’s way to my lips I realize I’ve unthinkingly reached into my purse and removed the stick to put it on.  It’s rote.  I do not like the feel of my lips without lipstick; they are too dry. I also do not like the look of my lips when they match my skin. I like them to look reddish, like lips. I like them to show. Women’s magazines often ask some movie star what one makeup item she would take to a desert island (in order to attract the palm trees or crabs, I suppose). My one desert island item would be lipstick. It’s true. I admit it. Please do not think less of me for this. Give me points for admitting it.

My worst beauty area by far is my fingernails. I cannot keep them manicured properly. I try, oh yes, I do. I file them. I keep them even. I attempt to force back the mountains of cuticle. I let them grow so they look sort of long. I just can’t keep them looking pretty. I have paid for professional manicures before. They look ragged and sad within hours. It’s simply not worth the money. I’ve also found that nails that are too long get in the way of doing the things I like to do. When I do such things with long nails, the long nails break. This is not attractive. I do pay for pedicures. I like having my feet pampered and since my toes are further away from people’s lines of sight, they don’t notice the dings as much as the ones on my fingernails. Part of the problem is that my fingernails are ridiculously thick. Where many of my friends complain of thin and brittle nails, I have the opposite problem. One split goes deep and filing it away does nothing. I have to cut the whole thing off, behind the origin of the split, or it just keeps going. Not good. I’ve had some nasty splits that went into my nail bed because of this. They hurt. I am also constitutionally unable to keep polish looking nice. For one thing, my nails are short and fat things. They match my short and squat fingers. For someone who is rather tall and very thin, I certainly have the fingers and fingernails of a troll. They are like mini sausages. I do not have willowy fingers or hands. My hands look like they could pick up a hammer and start banging something with precision. They’re workers’ hands. And they’re ugly. The nails match. Good times.

I am also woefully lacking in the ability to dress femininely. I always miss, usually on accessories. I see girls who are all put together. Their hairs are tamed, their nails are polished and manicured, their makeup is flawless, and their clothes are pert. Not me. My hairs are wily, my nails are squat and splitty, my makeup is lipstick and sometimes some dark circle coverup, and my clothes seem thrown on at the last minute, even when I’ve attempted to look put together. I just can’t quite manage it. Maybe if I had a personal assistant and makeup artist I could do it. I suspect, however, that I would give such a person fits.  She would follow me around rolling her eyes, doing her best to remake what I had undone.  Such an assistant would need to be the sort who likes to watch her work destroyed and making attempts at rebuilding.  I would be a good project for someone like that.  If I were famous, People Magazine would have a field day with me. I’d be the constant go to girl for hideous shots of stars looking pitiful. Even better, they could use me in the See, they’re just like US! section of Us Magazine.  She gets toilet tissue stuck to her shoe!  She spills gravy on the front of her blouse!  She forgot to zip up her fly!  She drops her groceries, keys, and purse then flails mightily to recover them! They’d love me. They would never run out of fodder.

Since typing this, I’ve managed to worry down the nail split somewhat. It’s raggedy and needs a file, but it’s better than it was when I began. It’s hopeless–I’ll never be a model of western femininity. I couldn’t do it if I tried.