Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Full Moon Monthly

The full moon has come and gone this month, and as September draws to a close, I thought, why not end it on a high note with  a few smirks and giggles. Again, these events are based on real events, with real people that come into my shop…again, I wish I was making this up.

– The shop opens at 9:30 a.m.. It isn’t even 9:31 a.m. “Hey…do you ever worry someone is gonna drive through your front window?” – I guess I missed the memo that this is the new morning greeting.

– The phone rings. I answer with my go to greeting only to hear “Yeah, whatever. I am trying to find the number of the auto body place down the street. Can you look it up for me…I am kind of in a hurry”. Now, I know the shop’s number has the #4 in it, unfortunately it is not followed with 1-1 …wait for it…there you go.

– “My daughter has colored her hair and now it looks horrible. What hair color will fix it?”. I kindly let the mother know that without seeing her daughter’s hair I wouldn’t even know where to begin to help her. “Well her hair looks like pumpkin pie with a mix of orange and a little bit of caramel with chocolate pieces in it.”….oh yes…now I know what color her hair is.

– FYI – “out the door” top coat is the name of the quick dry top coat. It doesn’t mean you have to apply it while going out the door.

– A customer came in to tell me she was not pleased with the product she had purchased. I looked up her file in the computer and saw her last purchase was OPI Avolplex Cuticle Oil. “What was it about the oil that you weren’t happy with?” I asked, to which she answered “Well…look at my hair! It is so greasy! My stylist told me that my hair’s cuticles were fried and that I need some oil for the cuticles, so I bought the OPI oil and now LOOK!!!!”. I silently remind myself “Do not smirk. Do not show it on your face.” and proceed to let her know that the oil she purchased was for the cuticles on her hands, not her hair. After further discussion and explanation and a giggle or two, she ended up buying Kpak Revitaluxe and SOMA Solace – a cuticle sealer – for her hair.

– I have a dish of candies at the front counter. Everyday I am asked how much for a candy. When I tell people they are free, some stare at me and say “Come on! Really?”. Some say thank you. Some take 10 pieces of candy and some dig through the dish and then sigh “Why don’t you have any lemon candies? They are my favorite. These others are gross. What a waste.”. – about the latter – my thoughts exactly.

– I hear the chirp of the Salon door chime and as I look up from my purchase order, there she is. A complete stranger standing at the front desk with her shirt lifted up asking me “do have anything for these stretch marks?”. …enough said.

– A woman came into the shop and asked if her son could come behind the counter and see our computer because “he loves computer’s”. The child was no more than 3 years of age and had something that I could only hope was peanut butter all over his shirt. I let her know that children weren’t allowed behind the counter. She didn’t seem too impressed that she had to mind her own child while in a store. …imagine.

– A woman came in the shop and as I came around the counter to greet her I was told “Leave me alone. I am not a thief. I do not like people talking to me.”, then she walked over to the brushes, reached up, took one of the shelf and began to brush her hair. I went over to her and shook my head side to side. She looked at me and asked me what I was doing. I told her “I am telling you no to using the brushes. Now you have to purchase it because you used it. As the sign says – Please do not use the brushes. You Brush. You Buy.”. When she asked me why I didn’t tell her, I said “Well, you told me you don’t like people talking to you.”.  …not my finest moment, I know, but come on…she left that one wide open.

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

Let me introduce you to OPI

Over the past few months many women and young ladies have come into the shop with the same question “Do you sell OPI?” and my answer is always “Yes!”. I ask them what they are looking for from the OPI line and many answer with the same answer, they are not sure. I am told how they saw some great nail art designs on Pinterest, or You Tube or that the girl at the office swears by it. This is when I walk them over to my OPI shelves and introduce them to OPI.

OPI is a great nail care line. It has something for everyone, from nail strengthener to hand lotions to FAB! colors with FAB! names like “I’m not really a waitress” (H08- stock # if you are looking for it). OPI truly thinks of their clients and customers. Their website is fun, interactive and user friendly. The best feature of their website…the Try it on Color Studio – just choose any color of polish to see if you would like it for you. You are able to change the color of the pigment of the skin and the nail length of the hand demo offered.

As you know, my aim is always to educate and enlighten, so, me being me, I have compiled a little list of the big OPI sellers at our shop;

OPI NAIL ENVY – OPI’s answer to a nail strengthener. OPI has something for every nail type or ailment;

Original Formula – Maximum strength formula that strengthens with Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein & Calcium for harder, longer, stronger natural nails. *Ideal for weak/damaged nails

Matte Formula – offers the same features as the Original Formula with a natural look (clear) *AWESOME for men

Soft & Thin Formula – designed to strengthen soft & thin nails. Fortifies with extra calcium.

Dry & Brittle – moisturizing formula that also protects with anti-oxidant vitamins E & C. *No more snaps, splits or breaks.

Sensitive & Peeling Formula – a formaldehyde free formula for sensitive & peeling nails. Protects with anti-oxidant vitamin E & emoillient rich Kukui nut oil & soothing Aloe Vera. *terrific for nails recovering from poor acrylic applications.

OPI Start to Finish – a 3 in 1 combo of base coat, nail strengthener and top coat in one! *available in a formaldehyde free formula

OPI Rapid Dry Top Coat – this gem is FABULOUS! A fast drying top coat that dries tough, dries fast and is long lasting with a non yellowing high gloss shine. *Also available in a spray. ** One of my all time favorites.

OPI Drip Dry – a quick dry topcoat that you drip onto the nail. Dry to the touch after 1 minute, completely dry in 5 minutes. *Also treats the cuticles with soothing Jojoba and vitamin E.

OPI Chip Skip – A great nail primer which increases the adhesion of your nail lacquer. *put on your nails before base coat or color.

OPI Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing oil – Rich in avocado oil & Tocotrienol *super anti-oxidant – 1000 times more powerful than regular vitamin E. Contains featherlight grape seed oil, sunflower, sesame, kukui nut oils & lecithin to restore essential moisture & lipids to nourish dry cuticles. *IDEAL for rough heels & elbows!

OPI AVOJUICE – a beautiful line of hand and body lotions in an array of flavors from CocoMelon to Cranberry to Jasmine. These lotions are nourishing with fruit extracts, avocado extracts and healing aloe extracts.

OPI. A gem of a line that keeps up with the times, has a fun time with their products and is always thinking of their clients and customers. What more could you ask for?

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Tales of Truth – Part 7

Yep…you read it right…part 7. I’m telling ya, between the February “blahs”, the snow and grey days and the full moon, do I have some tales for you. I find myself wondering if my readers are beginning to send these people into my shop to see if I will either write about their escapades or to see if I will finally snap. As I have stated before, these tales are based on true events (sad…but true).

– A woman came in looking for a new shampoo and conditioner for fine hair. She had tried Joico’s Body Luxe, Matrix’s Total Results Amplify and KMS Add Volume and wanted something new. I showed her the Redken Body Full which is formulated for baby fine hair. She took the bottles in hand and then asked me “this conditioner says light, does that mean it is diet?”. …I am afraid I may let some of you down for I had a hard time stifling the giggle in my voice as I explained that “light” meant it wouldn’t weigh down her hair. (I sounded like Mickey Mouse for a moment…not one of my proudest moments but come on….diet conditioner?)

– A woman came in asking what I could sell her to make her roots not grow out so fast….enough said.

– From time to time I will order in a product that we don’t normally stock in the shop, so I take the customer’s name and number so I can call them when the order arrives. I called one woman to let her know her product arrived and was asked how I got her number.

– There is the sound of chatter and blow dryers and you can see women leaving with their hair beautifully coiffed…a woman comes up to the front counter with her hairspray, stands beside our Salon price list and says “do you have a Salon?” – happens at least 4 times a week…every week.

– The phone rings. I answer with my usual happy greeting. “Do you sell sinks?” is what I am asked. I let the gentleman on the other end of the phone know that we are a retailer and we   sell hair & nail products, to which he says “Yeah…so do you sell sinks?”. I let him know that he needs to get in touch with a wholesaler and even give him a number to call. The phone is dead silent except for a few heavy breaths, then he says “So, you don’t sell sinks then?”.

– A woman complained that her firm hold hairspray had too good of a hold. I asked her if she found it too sticky, or too hard, or if it felt crunchy. She said “No, it’s none of those. It just holds too good.”. – couldn’t help but wonder…does she complain that the Charmin is too squeezable?

– I would not suggest using your 30 Volume peroxide on household injuries or cuts…you don’t want to know.

– Every month we have a monthly draw. We have a sign and ballots right beside the product that is the monthly draw. Every day, at least 20 times a day, I hear “What’s your monthly draw?”…seriously…did hooked on phonics work for anyone?




Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

You don’t want ’em? I’ll take ’em.

Again, my intention for today’s tale was to tell you all about the awesome mousses out there, alas, I am in need of telling another tale. On twitter (yeah, I’m on twitter too….I am everywhere), I saw that Tabatha Coffey had tweeted whatever happened to professionalism and integrity, which is what I found myself thinking yesterday. You see, I am working this weekend, Saturday and Sunday – not my usual schedule. Yeah, working the weekend  at 40 is a bummer but my PTG (part time girl) is awesome and deserved a weekend away. (oh, to be 21. ).

Anywho, I am finding myself quite thankful for working this weekend. Yes, it helps that it is raining, I will admit. The reason for my gratitude is not just because of Mother Nature but that I have been present to help women in desperate need of help and advice, be it with beauty advice or just having someone listen to them for one minute.

One woman is in the midst of chemo for the second time and is afraid of losing the hair she has left and her stylist told her to get a wig. So I introduced her to the Nioxin hair care line. Once her chemo is completed it may be the answer for her. Nioxin is formulated to help stop hair loss in its tracks and in many circumstances the hair that has been lost grows back. I have seen it with my own eyes on many occasions – no worries my lovelies, I will tell the tale of Nioxin soon.

I have seen 3 women in two days that have had improper removal of their gel/shellac/acrylic nails and they have come into the shop with their heads hanging low and hardly able to open the door because their fingers are so red and their nails are as white as fresh fallen snow. The culprits? Soaking in a bowl of acetone and the ever evil dremel tool. (Dremel tools are great…for DIY’s and crafts ladies…not your fingernails.). The one woman was on anti-fungal medication because the tools at the nail place she went to were not cleaned and disinfected properly – so not only does she have sore hands and fingers, she has to get her liver function checked every two weeks. ( The oral medication you must take for fungal infections can damage your liver). Please…read my tale “put my hand where?”. Tell your friends. Thank you…and NEVER be ashamed! It was not your fault. Keep your chin up…if only to reduce the look of a double chin in pictures.

I met a woman who’s hair was meant to be blonde, but that was not her outcome. A stylist told her to buy a purple shampoo to get rid of the brassy tone left on her hair. Ladies and Gents – to be clear – purple/blue shampoo’s will remove brassy tones on blondes and people with grey/silver hair – the brassy tones caused by product/pollution/nicotine build up. If you color turns out brassy – no amount of purple/blue shampoo is going to diminish that brass. You need to go back to the stylist and you need a toner. * DO NOT try to do this yourself.

A woman came in to buy a flat iron and had been told by her stylist that if the cost isn’t over $200.00 (like at her Salon I was to find out) that the flat iron was “crap” , classy move, I know. So I explained the differences between all the flat irons and their features. I asked her if she travels alot, and low and behold she travels to Europe. So I explained Universal Voltage and why she needed her flat iron to have it (short explanation – so it won’t set on fire or short out). I let her know I was familiar with the flat iron her stylist had told her about and that it was not universal voltage. She ended up informed, happy and with the right product- universal voltage, auto shut off, up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and spent under $100.00.

As promised on my first entry, these tales will sometimes be product knowledge, tales from the customer’s perspective, tales from the stylist’s perspective and from my perspective…well… a lot from my perspective it seems. Today’s tale is to help wake up the stylists, nail techs, and Salon owners to educate yourselves, use the proper techniques and procedures, pay attention to your clients, listen to them. Also, inform yourselves about other products out there that you may not sell so that you can tell your clients about something comparable that you sell. Don’t get me wrong, I love selling products to your clients, I don’t understand why you don’t and your clients wonder the same thing, trust me, I hear it everyday.




Wake up and smell the acetone

I am sure by now you have all heard of the newest trend in nails… Shellac. First and foremost let me say this, it is an innovative nail system that is an awesome idea. It is a great product and Creative Nail Design is a great company with terrific products for our hands and our feet. Shellac was created so women could have nice looking nails without chips and also to promote healthy nail growth. Shellac is a nail polish system that lasts up to two weeks without chipping, every woman’s dream. Unfortunately it is becoming a nightmare.

The reasons for the sleepless nights are these…poor application and removal of the product and not educating the client about what they are putting on their nails. At least four times a week I have a woman come into my shop either with red, irritated nails and cuticles wincing as she explains the horrors of Shellac or asking if I sell acetone so she can “soak her hands” to remove the Shellac – because that’s what her “nail girl” told her to do. YIKES!!! So I am taking  upon myself to give you all a heads up about this product…call it Nails 101.

(From the CND website) – Shellac is a breakthrough, patent-pending UV3 technology that combines the ease of polish with the permanence of gels.

So, it is a polish/gel product. It is not recommended to be applied to a nail bed that is damaged – peeling or splitting. It is not meant to be used as a nail strengthener. The proper removal process is to wrap each individual nail with a foil nail wrap that has been saturated in acetone, leave them on for approx. 5 – 15 minutes (depending on how long you have had the Shellac on your nails), remove the foil nail wraps, then gently remove the remaining Shellac with an orange wood stick. YOU SHOULD NOT PLACE YOUR HAND IN A BOWL OF ACETONE!!! Also, the nail tech should NEVER use a drill on your nail to remove Shellac. Ever.

Shellac is meant to be applied by trained Nail Professionals and removed by trained Nail Professionals. I stress the word Professional. Ladies, please, for the love of all that is great…when you go to get your nails done, ask what the Nail Tech is doing. Ask what she is using. Do not let her put your hand in acetone. Next time you sit down to get your nails done, if you are asked to “soak your hand in this” – ask what it is and unless you are at Home Depot, there should not be a drill in sight.

Beauty, Business, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Some things you can’t “un-see”…

I am an inquisitive person. There isn’t much I don’t want to learn about or see. That being said, lets begin today’s tale, shall we?

In my years in the beauty biz I have had many questions posed to me… “What is the difference between Root Boost and Mousse?”, “What is a good conditioning treatment?”, “How do I get the brassy tones out of my blonde?”. Many times I have had women (and men) show me their receding hair line, or their hang nail and ask what to do about it. There are a few things I nor any other person except your physician should see. “Excuse me…can you help me” is what I hear. As I look up, I see something I will never un-see. I kid you not, there was a woman standing by the counter, showing me the red bumps on her bikini line (and she did not look like Christie Brinkley nor have the body of Jillian Michaels – yeah – I said it). “Do you have anything that would help with this?!” As I looked over my shoulder, praying to see a camera, I answered “uh…yes, I do. You can cover that up now.”. I kindly let her know that next time all she has to do is tell us she has red bumps from waxing, we know what she is talking about, we know what it looks like.

Another thing for the physician – if your scalp has bleeding, oozing scabs on it, please don’t show me. If you must tell me..alright ….but don’t show me…I am sure I can picture it in my head. I know I am in a Salon, I know I have masses of product to sell you – what you need in this situation is a physician, pharmacist, exorcist…take your pick.

Last but not least….Hands. I know we have nail biters (I was when I was a child – no judgments), I know some of you pick at your cuticles…don’t recommend it but hey…whatever floats your boat. Just so you know (feel free to share this tidbit of info. with the masses), when your nails or cuticles are bleeding – not a good idea to be touching all the product on the shelves or opening up said products.

I wonder what I will see today….

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Do you know where that has been?

So there I was, restocking the shelves when out of the corner of my eye, I saw her. Standing in front of the 8 x 10 sign which read “please do not try on the polishes – we have color swatches to show their true color” she was opening up the bottle of China Glaze Kiwi-Colada and just before the brush hit her nail I stopped her. “Please do not try on the polish unless you are planning on buying it” (service with a smile as usual). Then another favorite of mine “Well….how am I gonna know what the color’s gonna look like?”. (Did I mention said customer is in her 40’s?). So, I showed the sign, and the array of color swatches in front of the China Glaze collection and assured her that is the color after two coats had been applied which she responded “How do you know?”. Really? Do people hear themselves? So I let her know that I was the one who had made the swatches, had applied the colors, and labeled them to make her choice that much easier. (What I really wanted to say was “you aren’t Cinderella and this isn’t a fairytale”, alas….I kept my decorum. ).

Ladies and gents, I know you all like the newest things, the shiny packages, the pretty little bottles. I know you are itching to try that new cream or try on the new scent. If the package is labeled “tester” – go ahead, test it out….proceed with caution, but go ahead. I say proceed with caution because you don’t know who just tested the tester. At my shop we clean the lids and bottles of the testers we use. Most of the hair products our stylists use in our Salon, so our customers are invited back to the Salon to try the hair products. In the store, it’s mostly just the hand creams. Why you ask? As I just stated – you never know who just tested the tester. That being said – if there is not a “Tester” label – do not try it. Seriously, would you want to buy a used product? Didn’t think so. I may be turning 40 but I can still hear the crack of a lid opening 500 feet away. (and by the way…at my shop…you open it and try it… buy it sweetheart).

Back to the tale of the misguided polish painter. After she realized that I was telling her the truth, she told me she always tries on polish…everywhere she goes, that she had just tested colors at WalMart. I told her that I didn’t think that was a good idea, since she didn’t know if the woman she just saw do the same thing had a fungal infection on her nail. I swear I saw her shoulders roll forward as she looked down at her multi-colored nails. To top off the conversation and to make my day I got to hear the best question of the day… “Does this mean that I shouldn’t try the lipstick testers on my lips?”.

Common sense isn’t that common.

Beauty, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Nailed it!

As a follow up to “Put my hand ….where?” here is a tale of recovery. I know there are many nail products on the market. The one I am familiar with and have seen the results first hand (and nail) is OPI Nail Envy. If you suffer from weak, brittle or damaged nails, OPI has an answer for your every need. Nail Envy by OPI.

OPI offers 6 solutions to your nail ailments.

Nail Envy Soft & Thin – fortifies soft, thin nails with a boost of extra calcium (if your nails bend but not break – this baby is for you)

Nail Envy Sensitive & Peeling – for post acetone abuse – a formaldehyde free formula that soothes sensitive nails with aloe vera and protects against peeling with vitamin E

Nail Envy Dry & Brittle – moisturizing formula that helps maintain flexibility with vitamins E & C (if your nails break instead of bend – this is the ticket)

Nail Envy Maintenance – great to use once nails are in optimum condition. Not recommended if you are using Nail Envy Sensitive & Peeling (nails may still be too weak from prior damage)

Nail Envy Original – Maximum strength formula -helps nails grow stronger, longer and harder. (recovering from poor gel removal – stick with Sensitive & Peeling until peeling stops)

Nail Envy Matte – Same formula as Nail Envy Original but has a natural matte finish. * Perfect for men (yes gents, the jig is up….we know about the manicures).

A great addition to this recovery process is a cuticle oil. OPI Avoplex cuticle oil hydrates and replenishes the cuticle which in turn helps promote healthy nail growth.

I know, you are thinking who has time? You do! Do it while you watch T.V., or check your Facebook or even while you read my blog.

Beauty, Fashion

Put my hand….where?!?!

We all love a manicure. Our hands look so dainty and pretty as the sun catches the glimmer of the freshly painted top coat. Sometimes we opt for the danger and taboo of a design, sometimes candy apple red. Of course I am speaking of the nail polish color being candy apple red – not the cuticle and surrounding nail bed and skin.

This week alone I have met two women in extreme pain. The culprit of said pain – poor removal of shellac and gel nails. Shellac is an awesome product when applied and removed PROPERLY. Shellac will keep your nails chip proof for a 2 – 4 weeks. They have an acrylic base – that is why your nails must be cured under a U.V. light (cured as in hardened – not cured as in healed…sorry, had to clarify, you would be surprised how many times I have had to clarify that point). Gel nails – well we have all heard of those. The majority of gel nail systems are acrylic based, so unless applied and removed properly, damage to your nail may occur. Now – back to the red.

After question upon question posed to these poor souls who could hardly pick up their keys because their fingers were so sore and raw it came down to one common factor – acetone. Acetone remover is what one can use to remove shellac and gel nails – there is one way and there is a proper way. To be clear, I am not a nail tech nor aesthetician. In the training that I have been fortunate enough to sit in on and the demonstrations that I have seen, the better way to remove shellac or gel nails is this;

– soak a cotton pad with acetone

– place it on the nail

– wrap the nail with foil (there are now little finger sleeves available)

– leave on for 5 -10 minutes

– remove foil and cotton and gently remove the remaining shellac/gel with an orange wood stick – gently scraping so you do not damage the nail bed.

* Some systems have their own remover – placed on the nail and then under U.V. to remove

Unfortunately for the two women I met and for countless others, the above method is not used. The preferred method to my horror is;

– put your HAND in this bowl of acetone.

Question – at home, would you pour acetone into a bowl and put your hand in it for 10 minutes? So why are you paying someone to do this to you?  Some use this method because they don’t know any better, some because it is quicker. The downside to this method – besides not being able to pick up anything from money to men and hands and fingers as red as a drunk’s nose is there is a possibility of contact dermatitis. The skin around your nails, your cuticle and the pads of your fingers can become flaky and easily irritated and you may become more prone to infection and hang nails – depending on how much the nail bed was damaged.

I know you are looking down at your nails right now, it is alright. Now you know. Take a breath. Knowledge is power my friends.

Remember – Madge had people soaking – but it was Palmolive.