Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

… not by the hair on my chinny chin chin

So it happened. There I was, applying my foundation, wondering if I should redeem my optimum points … my fellow Canadians will understand, and treat myself to Philosophy’s Renewed Hope in a Jar (my favorite face cream) when I saw it. Mocking me by peeking out behind my Beauty Blender. A hair. A thick, black hair. Standing out, proud and tall on my chin. I immediately grabbed one of the perks of your forties, a magnifying mirror, pulled it out from the wall to get a closer look, all the while convincing myself it was just a thread off my towel, my beige towel. Nope. No thread, no fuzzy, it was a hair. Shit.

As you know, I do my best to keep it real here. So here’s some reality for you. In your forties, not only does your hair change it’s texture, porosity and growth pattern, you also start to grow hair, everywhere…as I soon discovered after the new found chin hair. I put the FBI forensic lab unit to shame as I took to finding any other stray hairs. Needless to say, yours truly has invested in some tweezers. Sigh.

My discovery this morning got me to thinking of all the lovely surprises your forties bring to your door that no one ever talks about. Well, lets talk about it, shall we? In your forties;

  • hair begins to grow in places you didn’t realize had a follicle
  • your hair turns grey… all of your hair
  • one day you can strut in 4 inch stiletto heels, the very next day you cannot
  • at least once a week you feel another internal organ, just by getting out of chair
  • you are no longer silent when you bend down…hopefully the noise is a mild grunt or sigh. I work retail and have had the unfortunate witnessing of a different sound while a customer bent down, in front of me…I think you know what I mean
  • you wake up with a flat tummy, by 4 p.m. you may look like you are 5 months along
  • you begin to understand the attraction of sensible shoes
  • instead of reading clothing labels looking for “dry clean only”, you now read clothing labels looking for Lycra
  • your arms are too short …. you find yourself stretching your arms to their full extent just to read the expiry date on a carton of milk
  • you fear sneezing
  • you will spend hours, days, even weeks trying to find a piece of clothing that does make you look like your teenage daughter or your aging mother.
  • you find yourself thinking about how to go about giving yourself a pedicure, deciding how long it will take for a hip or knee to lock up
  • your idea of taking a risk is having coffee after 4 p.m.
  • you relate to and understand Archie Bunker

Don’t get me wrong, most of the forties are fabulous! I like to refer to my forties as returning to yourself. The person who was full of confidence and sass, believing she could do anything because the world hadn’t gotten to her yet and the idea that because I was a girl I was limited wasn’t even on the radar.  In your forties, your renewed confidence is combined with knowledge, depth and experience. In your forties, you begin to realize what’s important and not to sweat the small stuff.

…unless it’s a hair on your chin, then, you’re gonna sweat a little.

health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, writing

Reminder

I woke up this morning with words and phrases swirling around in my head. Conversations I’ve had with friends, words that were spoken out of haste or anger, from me and directed at me from strangers, family and friends. Snapshots of memories, past and present playing like an after school special. I’ve been reading more than one book at at time this past month before bed, jumping between Unfu*k yourself! – Gary John Bishop, The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck – Mark Manson, Life will be the death of me – Chelsea Handler and Girl Stop Apologizing – Rachel Hollis, which is probably the reason for this morning’s array of thoughts, visions and emotions, all before 8 a.m..

As I shuffled into the kitchen for my first of many morning cups of coffee, I went to my “mug shelf “. Yes, I have a mug shelf. There’s just something wonderful about pretty mugs, or a mug that makes you smile or says something sassy or inspirational. Say what you want, side eye me if you will, we all have that something that we like. I like pretty things to look at when I start my day, because you never know what life is going to throw at you, so why not start your day your way. Enough about my mugs, As I reached for my “you did not wake up to mediocre” mug, a story that is not mine to tell popped into my head. Then another, and another. What I realized is all my stories and the stories from friends and family alike all had two things in common. #1 = Fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear of not being loved. Fear of not being able to love. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of the opinions of others. Fear of not measuring up. The list of fears is endless. #2 = we all have the same fears. Not always at the same time or to the same extent, but we all feel the same way. The sad part of this commonality? More often than not, no one talks about it. We all are guilty of acting like everything’s fine, everything’s great, nothing to see here. Instagram posts with the “fun in the sun” hashtag, but the fight before the picture and the silent treatment after the picture didn’t happen. The “love your spouse” posts on Facebook, all the while your husband is sleeping on the couch. I am not the guru on the mount, nor am I an expert, but I’ve been around the block a time or two, and in my not so humble opinion, everyone showing the highlight reel of their life adds to everyone’s fear.

Life can be easy, beautiful and wondrous. It can also be hard and a shit show. We cannot control anything or anyone but ourselves. Most importantly, almost everything that is happening in your life is not about you. Your boss is a jerk to you, your child is struggling with life, your parents didn’t hug you enough, your friend isn’t texting you back, plans are cancelled – whatever it is, more often than not, I’m sorry to say, it’s not about you, it just feels like it is. You are overweight and don’t like your body? That is about you. Your friend is overweight and doesn’t like their body? That is not about you. In the past, and sorry to say even in the present I have been and am guilty of making the reactions and words of others personal. Hearing their words and automatically thinking about myself instead of listening and thinking about them. I would hear the words that fit my mood or my fear if you will, to solidify my reasoning of self doubt and to prove my fear was relevant. In the end, all that was left was two or more people feeling frustrated, ignored and scared.

What I have learned and am continuing to learn is this. It is okay to have fear, it is not okay to let that fear define you. Let yourself feel it, then face it. If you can’t do it on your own, ask for help, from a friend, a coworker, a counselor, your minister – take your pick. We all make mistakes, we all fear making them. Mistakes are going to happen. You will stumble, you will fail, you will forget to pick your kids up after school, you will miss a deadline. It may feel like the end of the world, trust me, it’s not. Take a breath. Take a hard look at the situation. Assess it. Look to see where there may be another answer or room for improvement. Ask yourself “what am I to learn from this?” instead of asking “why is this happening to me?”. I know, easier said then done. Trust me, I know. I. Know. One other thing I know, you and I did not wake up to be mediocre.

 

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

Monday Motivator

Everyday, I receive an email or a text or a phone call asking about hair products. I have friends, family and coworkers ask for hair advice on a daily basis. I have stylists asking for my advice or asking my opinion on hair products. My Monday Motivator series usually focuses on one specific product to help you with your hair woes and to make Monday a little more enjoyable. Today, I am combing through my archives to give you the links to all my hair “how tos” and what’s what of hair products and tools. It can be overwhelming, all those bottles, all those brands, all those promises of red carpet worthy hair. Once you have the information and the knowledge, it isn’t so overwhelming and you will come to find that having a good hair day everyday is possible.

 

In need of a new blowdryer? https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/03/18/blow-out/

 

In need of a flat iron? https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/11/would-a-flat-iron-by-any-other-name-still-be-as-good/

 

Using a flat iron everyday? READ THIS! https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/04/09/you-should-hear-sizzle-at-the-stove-not-at-the-vanity/

 

Be careful where you purchase your products! https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/01/15/divert-your-attention/

 

Clarifying Shampoo’s…not for everyday https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/09/14/lets-clarify-the-situation/

 

A break down of hair products – from mousse to wax and everything in between https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/10/27/what-does-this-do/

 

Conditioning treatments are not created equal  https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/07/17/product-101-conditioning-treatments-to-heat-or-not-to-heat/

 

Hopefully these tidbits of information will help you feel less overwhelmed and more empowered. My wish for you is to have a great hair day everyday and to admire yourself and your reflection. PSST…. I have added a “what can I help you find” search engine on my site. Feel free to type what it is you’re looking for and baby, if I wrote about it, the answers and info. will appear before you.

 

 

 

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women

10 in 1 …say what?!?!

Here we are. March 21st. Spring has finally sprung. Just as we are about to put those pesky toque’s away (hats for my non Canadian readers) we find ourselves rethinking that notion. Winter tends to wreak havoc on our poor tresses and can leave us wondering if anyone would notice our toque at the next board meeting. Winter is not the only foe of our hair woes. Chemical and thermal damage, misuse of product, or lack of use of the proper product for our hair type can leave us reaching for the nearest hat or scarf. Until today. Beauties, let me introduce you to a lovely product from Revlon Professional. I met this gem over 8 years ago. Let me introduce you to Uniq 1.

Uniq 1 offers four delicious scents, today’s feature is Coconut.

  • Original scent – a mix of Bergamot, pineapple, peony and Patchouli… think about what Jon Bon Jovi would smell like…this is it.
  • Coconut scent – a mix of coconut, caramel and vanilla… this scent will have you thinking of  sitting on a beach chair being served a daiquiri
  • Lotus Flower scent – a mix of lily of the valley, rose and lotus flower… this scent will have you dreaming of the  warm summer sun shining on your face while a cool breeze passes over.
  • Green tea scent – a mix of lavender, lemon, green tea and sweet musk… this scent will leave you as Zen as the Dalai Lama

Uniq 1 is a multi-benefit hair product. This gem is a leave in spray mask that offers 10 benefits in one product – hence Uniq 1. Created for all hair types and safe to use daily if needed. Best results are on towel dried, clean hair, before blow drying. A little goes a long way, so for my short hair gals, use sparingly. The benefits of Uniq 1 (other than it’s FAB! scents) are;

  • repair for dry/damaged hair
  • shine & frizz control
  • heat protection
  • silkiness & smoothness
  • color protection with UVA & UVB filters
  • easier brushing and ironing
  • incredible detangler
  • long lasting hairstyle
  • split end prevention
  • adds body

Uniq 1 is the perfect product for anyone who wants a great hair day but doesn’t want to use a lot of products. I have personally been using this product off and on for over 8 years. … as you are well aware, I try A LOT of products. Uniq 1 is one product I know I can rely on when my hair needs that little extra something, or when I am running behind and may not have the time to apply a leave in, a mousse, a thermal protectant…you get the picture.

Uniq 1 delivers the results I need for a good hair day, and it will deliver results for you as well.

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, writing

Seven Year Itch

 

Yesterday as I plopped into my favorite chair with my morning cup of Joe I heard the all too familiar bottle cap notification coming from my phone. It was an email alerting me of my 7 year anniversary as a blogger. 7 years. Within seconds my mind was flooded with images from the past 7 years. Nervously circling the table, staring at the computer, deciding to just go for it and write. Coming home from work to find a laptop waiting for me, given to me by my hubby with a “Happy Birthday” screensaver (which is still my screensaver by the way). Kristen Johnston reading my blog and retweeting it. Wynonna Judd sharing my “Kindness 101” blog that ended up getting over 700 views within hours. https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/21/kindness-101/    Major hair companies following my tales. Magazine editor’s and Hollywood stars following my blog. Writing opportunities coming my way. Strangers thanking me for my hair advice. Strangers laughing at my “Tales of Truth” series. My blog being read across the globe. The list of memories is endless.

Fast forward to today. For those of you familiar with my blog, you are well aware of the struggles I have been having trying to decide which direction my blog and I should take. I began this blog while managing a Salon/retail shop and once the shop closed I felt I didn’t have a platform of which to write. Every single fear and anxiety reared it’s ugly head and I am sad to say, more often than not, they won the battle, not me. I was having coffee with a dear friend yesterday and when I told her of my blogging anniversary I received a high five. During our conversation I came to the realization that I started this blog to spread information and to educate and enlighten, not only for hair care, but for all aspects of daily life, from business to self care to parenting, speaking my truth in hopes that it may give others the courage to do the same. As a reminder that a little kindness goes a long way.

When I woke up this morning, I found myself wondering if my blog related trepidation was due to the 7 year mark. We’ve all heard of the 7 year itch where relationships/marriage is concerned. Maybe it’s the same with goals. It’s all nerves and excitement at the beginning. Lots of new and exciting things happen. Milestones are reached. Celebrations seem to be every other month. Then things slow down, hit a plateau. It doesn’t seem to be as exciting, the shine is off the diamond if you will. It begins to feel like a chore. Other avenues are catching your eye. You feel like throwing in the towel. At least that’s how it felt for me. What I have come to realize and accept is that things change. Who I was when I began this blog I will never be again, and that’s okay. 7 years have passed and I have more experience, in work and in life. I have more of an understanding of who I was, who I am and who I intend to be. I feel I am a good writer. I enjoy it. It’s cathartic. I came to realize my lack of posts for the past 12 months was due to one thing – I was trying to be something and someone I am not. Writing blogs with others opinions in mind, not my own. I began this blog without any thought of what people would think, just the hope that someone would enjoy it and get something out of it. It’s time to get back to that.

Thank you to all my readers, my followers, my family, my friends and those who have shared my tales. More are on the way… hope you enjoy them.

 

Beauty, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women

Take the time

Yesterday yours truly was treated to a spa afternoon. My lovely friend invited me to join her for an afternoon of pampering. I put aside my reservations of an afternoon at the spa. You see, after being in the beauty biz and running a Salon, I know the health standards and the health codes, I know how spa tools are supposed to be cleaned and sanitized, hence my reservations. In the past I could never relax enough to enjoy the services, I found myself seeing the spa through the eyes of a manager instead of through the eyes of a client in dire need of some self care. I spent the morning getting myself into the proper head space so I could enjoy myself. …and let me tell you, I did.

We started with pedicures and I chose the color “self love” by SpaRitual for my toes.

Pink Salt Foot Detox

 

*FYI – SpaRitual is a Vegan polish. Cruelty free, free of any animal derived ingredients, gluten free, and free of Touline, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl tosylamide, Xylene, MEHQ/HQ, MIT and Parabens.

We followed our pedicures with a Pink Salt foot detox and a session in the healing Salt Cave. Pink Salt is a powerful tool for rebalancing, revitalizing and gently cleansing the body and the mind. Salt Caves can help with breathing disorders, sinus infections and inflammation and many other respiratory and health ailments.

Enough about the services. The point of today’s tale is to come clean about something. After our pedicures, we were guided to the Pink Salt foot detox room and offered coffee, tea or water. I planted myself down in my tub chair, placed my feet on the Pink Salt and waited for my coffee. When our lovely guide came back, she gave me my coffee and said “this service will be 45 minutes long. No worries about watching the clock, we will come get you when your time is up” and left. I felt my stomach sink and for a brief moment I felt anxious and guilty that I was just going to sit down and treat myself, just to do it. I turned to my friend and admitted my feelings. I had a huge light bulb moment. I found myself thinking about all the women that feel the same way I did. How many times they and I put the needs of others before themselves and in turn began to resent others for it. I came to realize that some of my anger towards others wasn’t completely on them, it was on me too. More often than not, people have no idea that you have put yourself on the back burner to put them first. They have no idea of what you are feeling, thinking or what you need, because they are not in your head, plain and simple.

I know all too well life gets in the way and that finances don’t always allow for a spa day or even spa session. What I have come to realize is there is always time for self care, be it 5 minutes or if your lucky, an hour. Put down your phone. Boil the kettle and steep your favorite tea and take a seat and look out the window. Run yourself a hot bath with some Epsom salts (they sell them at Walmart…I know you go there). Give yourself an at home Mani, nothing fancy. Pull a Madge and simply soak your hands in Palmolive if need be. Grab your facial scrub and use it on your hands to exfoliate, follow with your favorite hand cream. Massage the cream in for two minutes. Most importantly, when doing any of these “self treats”, breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Breathe. Let go. Be present. …and put down your phone.

We cannot possibly control every aspect of our life. Life will still be hectic. Children will cry, pets will get sick, bosses will be well, bosses. Plans will fall through, dinners will burn, spouses will be late. Sometimes you won’t be having the argument, it will be having you. No one is perfect, nor will they ever be. You are not perfect, nor will you ever be. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed. You are allowed to feel you are over your head. You are also allowed to take time for yourself. We all are. It’s time to put down the guilt baggage and leave it there. When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others. As one of my favorite Queer Eye gents ( I adore them all) Jonathan Van Ness says “It’s not vanity. It’s self care”

 

Take the time.

 

Beauty, Hair Care

Monday Motivator WOW factor

…and here it is, once again. Monday. The snow is falling, the winds are blowing, Mother Nature has once again shown she is in charge. Facebook feeds are filled with school closures, road closures and delays. Parents are texting everyone they know, scrambling to find day care for their kids. When your week begins in chaos, you are left feeling out of control. There is one thing you can control…your hair. It may not seem like much, but you and I both know, when you are having a good hair day, it does make everything else seem a little more bearable. I may not be able to stop the snow from falling, or find you a babysitter on a moment’s notice but I can help you have a good hair day. Let me introduce you to some of my new found favorites from the Beauties at Color Wow. Meet Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail and Style on Steroids!

 

Color Wow Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail & Style on Steroids

 

I was first introduced to Color Wow 3 years ago when my rep brought in a root cover powder. In a word – AMAZING! Over the years, Color Wow has expanded their line to include shampoos, conditioners, treatments, styling products and tools among others. As you are well aware, yours truly is a bottled blonde, born a natural blonde – I have pictures to prove it, but a bottled blonde none the less. I have been coloring my hair for over 20 years, using a flat iron every day, so it’s safe to say, my tresses need all the help they can get. Let me tell you, I have tried more products than I can count and I have to say I am impressed. Here’s a break down of why I think you should give Color Wow Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail and Style on Steroids a go.

COLOR WOW Bionic Tonic Coconut Cocktail – this is a leave in supplement, not a leave in conditioner formulated for dehydrated, straw like hair. It mimics the natural lipid layer of your hair that is lost when chemicals, like color are applied to your hair. Apply a coin size amount to clean, damp hair before blow drying. Your hair will instantly feel smoother, have more shine, look more glossy and be frizz free thanks to this gem being humidity resistant. *this is a heat activated product – best results are when heat is applied.

* Color Wow offers two other cocktails –

  • Kale Cocktail – created for those of us dealing with breakage. It fortifies the bonds within the hair. With your first application your hair will be 50% stronger
  • Carb Cocktail – created for fine, limp hair. It bonds a high carb complex to the hairs surface to instantly produce mass and volume

COLOR WOW Style on Steroids – a texturizing spray created for color treated hair. This gem keeps your color vibrant and fresh. You may have found as I have that some styling sprays leave a cloudy film on your hair that dulls your color – Color Wow Style on Steroids does not! It contains moisturizing elastomers that give spring to your strands. Apply to dry hair before using a thermal styling tool like a flat iron or wand. Style on Steroids;

  • keeps your color vibrant
  • is never stiff or sticky – never a worry of strands sticking together
  • offers thermal protection
  • can be used as a refresher – apply in the morning to refresh yesterday’s style

* to add more volume to your ‘do – flip your head upside down, spray under layers and style as desired

* for a sexy, undone ‘do – spray throughout mid section and spread the product throughout your hair with your fingers. *great for separating curls

Check out their website – http://www.colorwowhair.com for more tips and tricks and to check out their complete line. Trust me Beauties, after using these products, the first words out of your mouth will be “WOW!”.