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Pit Crew

As you know, yours truly receives products to try, to give a test run if you will. The latest product bestowed upon yours truly was something I didn’t ever think about blogging about, although it is a key factor in every Lady’s and Gent’s daily beauty routine or regime. Deodorant. All these years I have been educating the masses on their tresses or lack there of, on self esteem and kindness and yet I had never delved into the pit …see what I did there? Body odour. It’s never spoken about until it literally fills the room. Do not fret Beauties. I have found something that can save you from those awkward side sniffs or those   stretches that have the people around you wondering why you are doing yoga at the breakfast table. Meet Pure Mint Deodorant from Arbonne.

This gem is a natural, yes, I said natural product. Free of parabens and aluminum. It is vegan and gluten free. Now, I can feel the eye rolls and know what you are thinking “Natural deodorant? They don’t work.”. Well I am here to tell you they do. I personally used Arbonne’s Pure Mint Deodorant for 3 days straight. One of those days consisted of yard work in the hot sun, another one of those days was working over a hot stove and grill for the majority of the day…and  my hubby still wanted my hugs. The neighbourhood children nor my customers shooed me away or turned up their noses. I have to say, I smelled pretty good.

There are a few key components to Arbonne’s Pure Mint Deodorant that make it work so well.

  • It is infused with spearmint, mint and antioxidants from White Tea, lemongrass, sage and tea tree extracts (these gems help to condition the delicate skin under our arms = less chafing).
  • Aloe Vera leaf juice and Witch Hazel Water soften and smooth the skin for a more comfortable application
  • Zinc = absorbs moisture
  • Vegetable enzymes = neutralizes the effects of odour causing bacteria to deliver a gentle, effective protection
  • Baking Soda in combination with the above vegetable extracts = a unique odour fighting formula.
  • It is created for Women and Men. Yep. This baby is Unisex.

One of my favorite things about Arbonne’s Pure Mint Deodorant? NO WHITE MARKS on my clothes! None! Not a one! For a gal who likes her black ensembles, let me tell ya…it’s a whole new world.

A little side note – since I began changing the direction of my blog, many opportunities have been arriving in my inbox, if you will. One of the them was from the Beauties at reviews.com. They enjoyed my tales thus far and inquired if I had ever tried natural deodorants. Since I am telling you about Arbonne’s natural deodorant, the Beauties at reviews.com have graciously sent me a link to others that may interest you, or that may be available in your part of the world.

https://www.reviews.com/natural-deodorant/

…another little side note… shout out to Jericka from reviews.com !

1

Baggage claim

Over the past months, yours truly has encountered many people that seemed tired. A blank stare when being spoken to. Quick to answer, even faster to object to anything anyone around them had to say. Snap decisions being made and words uttered that should have been held silent. I am starting to think the culprit to the above is holding onto baggage and trying desperately to look perfect. Now that would be exhausting.

Over time, you get to know people. You see when something has changed. Sometimes for the better, be it a new hairstyle, a new fashion sense, a spring in their step or more smiles than grimaces. Some of the time the changes you see aren’t what you hope for them. Their hair not styled, shirts untucked, their Louboutin’s have been replaced by Crocs…you get the picture. The person you once knew who had a smile for you now has a scowl or snide remark about any opinion other than theirs.

In this life, as I am well aware and those who follow my blog are well aware, things do not always go as planned. Hell, more often than not, it never goes as planned. In my 45 years in this earthly realm I have come to one absolute truth… it’s not about you. Sure, there is the chance that you were talking out of your ass and offended someone – something I am guilty of (who isn’t), but it is a safe bet that something else is going on. It’s easier to blame others, blame your boss, blame your ex, hell, blame the family dog for your life not going as planned. Guess what? Until you put some of the blame on yourself, nothing is going to change. Nothing. You gotta own your shit. You gotta. It’s your baggage sunshine, and every time you blame someone else and pass them your baggage, it just goes back to baggage claim and waits patiently for you to arrive.

Now, before you begin to throttle me with comments about there are somethings you can’t control, I totally agree. You cannot control a loved one’s illness, a hormonal teenager, a jerk for a boss, a job loss, you name it. You can however control how you deal with it and how you let it affect you and how you deal with everyone around you. Spreading anger and resentment will get you nowhere but alone and even angrier at yourself and the situation you have now found yourself in. Trying to fake your way out of your life is even a worse road. You know what I’m talking about, we do it all the time.

“Oh, I love my kids! They are perfect!” – meanwhile you aren’t speaking to your kids unless eyerolls and hand gestures constitutes conversation.

“Everything’s great! Life is wonderful” – as you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage since your spouse just lost their job but doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

“Never better!” – although it took you 1 hour to get out of bed that morning because you didn’t know how you were going to face another day.

“Let me get this” – as you cross your fingers and every available body appendage hoping your card isn’t declined.

I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture. Here’s the deal. Your life is going to be messy. Relationships are going to get messy. Parenting…Jesus, there will be days when you completely understand why someone gets in their car one day to never be heard from again. You know what? Everyone has felt the same way or is feeling the same way – most won’t admit it, but they do. Maybe, just maybe, getting real with people will help not only you but them. I know it has helped me and countless people I know, many who have become cherished friends. When my life is going down the toilet and someone asks how things are, I tell them “my life is going down the toilet”. After the initial shock of truth wears off, I usually find out their life isn’t all moonlight and roses either. We bounce experiences of each other and somehow, someway, we feel better and solutions are found. Sometimes my honesty sends people running for the hills and that’s okay. This is my journey and that is theirs.

Here’s the deal. Own your shit. Be kind when you can, and you always can. It is not your job nor your responsibility to carry other people’s baggage. If you are carrying some baggage around with you, be sure it’s your own.

 

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The “Key” to sales

There is a word that seems to invoke fear in many Salon owners and stylists alike. The word is retail. Now, before you hide under the covers, I am here to tell you to have no fear. Retail is your friend. Retailing product in your Salon increases profits, helps to ease the financial drain of your overhead and most importantly, keeps your clients hair in the beautiful state it was in at their last appointment and in tip top shape until they see you again. Saryna Key is a line that can do all of the above.

 

Yes, there are many oils in the market. It seems all brands have jumped on the oil bandwagon, so many Salons and stylists think “What’s the point of carrying this line when there are so many others out there?”, “I don’t know how to sell it.” or my all time favorite “Oh, my client’s won’t buy that.”. Well, I am here to help you understand why you should have Saryna Key as a brand in your Salon and how to sell it. Once you educate yourself, you can educate your client. Once a client understands the value of the product, most will not even blink at the cost. Plain and simple.

 

In my experience, many times we get caught up in the ingredients of a product, which I admit are important, to the stylist. The client…not so much. Our clients need to know how to use the product, how much, how often and in what order. So, I am here to tell you how I sold Saryna Key to our clients and our customers. You’re welcome.

Every woman I spoke to asked me the same question. “What’s the difference between all these oils?”. (This is where educating yourself about Saryna Key and its competitors comes in handy.). Before I would answer, I would ask them the following questions;

          What is the issue you are having with your hair?

          Have you colored your hair at home?

          Are you currently using drug store or professional products on your hair?

          Does your hair fall limp easily?

          Do you battle with your curl and frizz?

Asking these questions allows you to diagnose your client’s hair situation and give her the proper product. Once the question(s) had been answered, this is how I introduced Saryna Key;

Saryna Key is as an oil that repairs and restores your hair. Saryna Key is one of the only lines that has created separate oils in separate lines for each hair types, unlike other lines that have only one oil, and as we know, not all hair types are the same. 

  SarynaKey Damage Repair Oil SarynaKey Curl Line - That Girl in the Red Coat SarynaKey ColorIMG_20150112_140505

Then I would introduce the value of Saryna Key;

 It offers a better price point for their products. For instance, their 500ml Shampoo is the same price as the competitor’s 250ml bottle of Shampoo. I would introduce them to the Saryna Key selection, starting with the Damage line, then moving on to the Volume line, the Color line and finally the Curl line. I would wait for them to say “What about those?” and then would introduce their Dandruff Shampoo and the Neutralizing Pigment Shampoo (or purple shampoo if you prefer).

Then I would have a 2-3 minute consultation on how and when to use the products. I would explain how many times per week or month the treatment should be used. I would show them in my hand the amount of oil that would be needed. I would show them in my hair, (or theirs if they preferred) how to apply the oil and distribute it properly throughout their hair. I would show them how to mist the shine spray – how far to hold it away from their hair for even shine distribution. For our curly haired Beauties I would explain the importance of proper product application and drying time to avoid frizz and unruly curls.

…and that’s it. It really is that simple. Once the value of the product was presented and the time was taken to explain not only how the product works, but how to work with the product, another bottle (or two) of Saryna Key left the shelf.

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The choice is yours

A few years ago I received a sign for my office from my girl, with many positive affirmations collaged together. The one that sticks out the most to me is “Happiness is a choice you make everyday”. So very true, so easy to remember yet so easily forgotten.

Over the past weeks I have heard the following from friends, family and the people I see everyday;

  • I’d be happier if he was nicer
  • I’d be happier if I got a raise
  • I’d be happier if my child behaved in public
  • I’d be happier if people kept their opinions to themselves
  • I’d be happier if I got to see my friend’s more
  • I’d be happier if I had more help around the house
  • Etc… etc… etc…

It seems everyone wants to be happier, but doesn’t want to do the work. Trust me. I know. It is easier to put the blame of our woes on someone else’s behaviour. Been there, done that. Try my best not to do that anymore. For no one, anywhere, wants to look in the mirror, take a long hard look at themselves and admit a fault. …but darlin’, ya gotta. There is no magic happiness pill, no happiness potion, no mystery man arriving at your doorstep with your package of happiness waiting to be unwrapped, it’s all up to you. Before you get all upset or weepy, I do know that life throws curveballs, of this I am certain. There will be illnesses, job losses, flat tires, spilled coffee, baby spit up on your shoulder that you missed, but the President of the company did not. There will be bad hair days, bloated days, adult acne days ….by the way…what kind of sick cosmic joke is that? We cannot control what happens to us or around us. We can control how we decide to let it affect us. We can control how long a harsh word gets to live in our head rent free.  Have your head spin around and spew venom because the dishes weren’t done or the garbage emptied, or don’t. The decision is yours.

Happiness can be created anywhere, anytime. It can.

  • Had a hard day at work and still have to go to the grocery store? Buy an extra canned good or two and drop in it the food bank donation bin.
  • Your teenager is making you crazy and you are at your wits end over the useless arguments…go look at their baby pictures, their saved school artwork…remind yourself of the love there.
  • Just a long, stupid day? Get yourself some instant cocoa, grab your favorite mug and top that baby off with some whipped cream. …sprinkles too if it the day really kicked your ass.
  • Make a Jello. My gramma Leah always told me that. This way whenever you look in the fridge, you can be reminded that you made something that day and accomplished something.
  • Make some cookies or muffins and deliver them to a neighbour or friend, for no reason. Just to do it. Trust me, 9 out of 10 times, they are in dire need of a glimpse of happiness and a the touch of kindness.
  • Send a joke to a friend.
  • Share a you tube video with a friend, reminding them of a memory you share.
  • Post a joke on your Facebook wall in the morning…it will make someone’s day.

Doing for others is doing for yourself. Making others feel good will make you feel good. Carrying happiness with you will allow happiness to spread to those you are around. Plain and simple.

bubbles

1

Share and share alike

Everywhere you look, people are sharing. Sharing “likes” on Facebook, sharing pics on Instagram, tweeting their latest opinion on Twitter, snapping a moment on Snapchat. I often find myself wondering, what is real and what is not. Over the past weeks, you may have noticed that yours truly hadn’t been sharing much on my blog. It wasn’t for lack of material or opinions…as those who know me know all too well, when it comes to opinions I have a deep well to draw from. The reason for my lack of sharing you ask? My life and the lives of those I hold dear needed some attention, some tending to if you will. I also needed some tending to. I realized I had to take a step back and take a good look at what I was doing, where I was going and where I wanted to go. Now, before you all start to create scenario’s in your head to spill at the watercooler, let me make things clear. No one is ill. No one is leaving anyone. No one has been arrested. I came to realize that the powers that be that directed me onto this road after the closure of the shop had given me a gift. That gift being time.

I used to have time. I used to make time. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 5. Back then I would make time for me. I would make time for chats with my hubby, walks, coffee with friends, well, for life, plain and simple. I would make time for me so I could enjoy the time with my daughter, so I could enjoy the multitude of questions posed by a toddler – 100 before 7:00a.m. ( I counted one day – hey it was educational…I taught my daughter to count to 100 didn’t I?). Over the past weeks, I realized that I hadn’t made time since my daughter crossed the threshold into her kindergarten class. I went right back to work, full force. Always moving on to the next thing, finding the next idea. Over coming financial struggles, dealing with plant closures and lay offs, taking any amount of hours given so we could keep our home. Those days are long gone, but the memory of them still reside. I had put myself in survivor mode and forgotten to change the record. I had become so focused on working and keeping my house, paying off debts and having money in the bank that I hadn’t realized that I still had my house, the majority of the debt is paid off and there is money in the bank.

I realized something last week. I am always telling the women I know to make time for themselves. I thought I was. It wasn’t until last night as I was painting my nails that I realized this was the first time in along time I was painting my nails, for me. Not for an Instagram shot, not for work. For me. On the weekend, I was having a really good hair day, so I took a selfie. For me. Yes, I put it on Instagram, but I put it up there for me. If no one had liked it, I would have been fine with it. People liking it was a perk. I did it for me. I have adored photo’s since I was a child. I could and can sit and look at photo’s for hours. I wanted that picture because whenever I look at it, I remember how I felt and remembering happiness is a good thing.

The moral of today’s tale? If you are going to share your moments, your opinions, your snaps and your chats, make them worth remembering, for you. Create moments worth sharing. Do not create moments just so you can share them. Plain and simple.

1

VIP…Venus style

When you think of Monday, you picture people trying to come up with an excuse to stay nestled under the covers, laying in their beds mourning the loss of their weekend, or trying to convince themselves their early morning sneeze is the beginning of the flu and they should call in sick to work. This past Monday, yours truly was up before the first chirp of the neighbourhood birds, raring to go. Why you ask? Well, I had somewhere to be. By 8 a.m. I was on the highway, headed to Niagara Falls to the Venus Beauty Supplies VIP Event, or #VENUSVIP16 for my social media peeps.

Held at the Sheraton On The Falls Avenue Resort ( a lovely venue for those looking for the right place for an event), Venus put on quite a show. The main stage was rockin’ with appearances from Schwarzkopf, Peter Coppola, COLORWOW, Revlon, Unite, Moroccanoil, Reuzel …just to name a few. New color applications and cutting techniques were showcased as well as new product launches. When you entered the adjoining room, you were met by brand managers from each line to answer any questions you may have or to point you in the right direction of which product was which, and which product would suit your client’s needs best. Everyone was very welcoming, enthusiastic and you could feel the pride that they had in their brands, and in themselves as representatives of their products. Here’s a little peek of what my Monday looked like;

  The newest addition to the Schwarzkopf family – FIBREPLEX! Their FIRST Bond Enforcing System to protect the hair from breakage during lightening, high lifting or coloring process.

The FAB! stylists representing Peter Coppola. PSSST…The Infusion AntiFrizz Cream is outstanding and can be used on the finest of strands to the thickest of tresses!

 The dapper Gents of FRAMAR. Some of the best hair coloring tools and accessories around….OH! I have to tell you, I can’t believe I haven’t already…KOLOR KILLER Wipes – you gotta get ’em. These babies remove any color that may have stained the skin in a flash! They smell great and are safe to use on sensitive skin. How do I know? Well, all other color removers leave me in a red, blotchy mess. The KOLOR KILLER Wipes do not have any effect on my skin, except the removal of a color stain. Get some for your Salon. Seriously, get them now.

 REUZEL. A Fabulous line created for Barber’s and the Gents in their chair. Their story is a great one, that I cannot do justice. Check them out at http://www.reuzelpomade.com

 Can you say SWAG!!!! Venus Beauty Supplies DELIVERED!

 The FAB! Patricia, my Venus Rep. and I. Calling her a rep. doesn’t do her justice. She is awesome.

Yes, today’s tale was short and sweet, like yours truly. I gotta go. As you can see from my FAB! SWAG bag, I got a lot of products to test and try, to let you all know what’s what! Stay tuned Beauties and thanks for the love!

 

 

 

2

…you’ll figure it out

screenshot_20160817-101334

September. Although the calendar marks January as the beginning of a new year, many feel September is the beginning of all things new. The kids are back in school, commencements are commencing, the care free schedule of summer has come to an end and the more regimented schedules of work, home and life have returned. This September truly feels like a beginning for yours truly. For those of you familiar with my blog (thank you again for all your lovely support), you are well aware of the closure of the shop. Many were and are still worried about what will happen, about what I will do now. When asked “What will you do now?”, thanks to the above quote by the FAB! Tina Fey, my answer is now “I will say yes and will figure it out afterwards.”. …and I have begun to do just that, and I gotta tell you…it’s been pretty fabulous.

Many changes have occurred, my tag line being one of them. Since I am no longer at the Salon, I have decided to change my tag line from “Mane Tales from the Salon” to “Bringing Enlightenment to the world of Beauty”, for my primary focus has always been about beauty. I write about hair products, hair product reviews, retailing tips, tips on how to be kind, tips on how not to be an ass, or about life in general, all in the hopes of helping someone. Be it with their hair, their business or their self image and self worth. Sharing my experiences may help someone feels better about themselves, begin to like their reflection, feel capable of achieving the hair style they have always wanted, be able to improve their retail revenue and in turn their business, or simply remind someone that they are not alone. If that is not a thing of beauty, I do not know what is.

Over the past weeks, I  have taken a break. A much needed rest for my mind. It was as if the universe, the powers that be, the smurfs – take your pick knew I needed a reset and gave me one. The closure of the shop was a gift, it really was. I had no excuse not to slow down for a moment or two and figure out what needed figuring. The guilt about leaving someone else at the helm, feeling selfish taking time off, that aching feeling that I was forgetting something, all those thoughts and feelings were no where to be found. For months I knew it was time to move forward, but I didn’t want to let anyone down, or leave anyone in the lurch. Thanks to the closure of the shop, I no longer had those feelings, those worries or those concerns. Well, quite honestly, those fears. … which got me thinking. How many of us, in our work life or home life, put these unneeded fears in our way? Worrying about what people will think? What will people say? What will happen? What will I do?

Don’t get me wrong. I still battle those shouts of fear, for I am embarking on the known yet unknown. I know my capabilities. I know I am good at what I do. I know I have much to offer. I know what the next step is to take and I know where that step is. What I don’t know is what comes next – that in itself is the fear talking. So when I hear the fear shouting “Uh Oh! Oh, I don’t know”, I listen for the faint whisper of “Say yes and figure it our afterwards”. It’s always there. Always.