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

Attention

Well Beauties, yours truly is having a moment. A moment I gotta say something and those who know me know I gotta say it. I gotta.

Lately, I don’t know if has to do with my age (gonna be 44 in August) or my lack of a uterus (haven’t had to pay that monthly bill in over 7 years) or if it is as simple as I have a low, very low tolerance for bullshit, but I seem to have no room for those who lack accountability for their actions, nor do I have any room for those who are unkind.

Working in a Salon, you hear it all.  You hear about the celebrations of life, the trips, the new house and births. You hear about the not so good stuff, illnesses, divorces and deaths of which I have all the patience and time in the world to listen to. Where my attention begins to dwindle? When lack of kindness and accountability enter into the conversation.

A few  weeks ago a woman and her friend came in the shop and she was complaining that her fiancée got upset that she took out her phone as he was proposing. “I wanted to capture the moment for my Instagram and he got mad at me! He actually asked me if I could wait until he finished the question. Can you believe it?” …that he continued the proposal? (gotta admit, that was what I was thinking). She was actually mad at him. She kept going on about how he ruined the memory. Yep. He and he alone ruined it. I just stood there, trying not to show it on my face. This woman was so caught up in herself that she couldn’t see her part in any of it, well, except for her Instagram pic. She later complained that it wasn’t fair that her favorite OPI shade had been discontinued and got mad at me that there wasn’t anything I could do for her. …by the way, her phone never left her hand and with every third word spoken, her eyes looked at her phone. …sigh.

I get the importance of social media and the lure of smartphones. I am a blogger, a Retail Consultant and a Salon manager so I get it, I do. I also get that as important as they seem, there are other more important things in life, like  my loved ones, being kind, being present.

Being me, I have compiled a little list for you all, some daily reminders if you will. Feel free to share – no pun intended;

  • before you tell a story, be sure it is yours to tell
  • when you hurt someone’s feelings, apologize, to their face.
  • when someone is speaking to you, put down your phone and look at them. They are speaking to you, not texting you, there is no need to look at your phone.
  • not everything needs to be shared. I am so pleased your toddler pooed on the potty…didn’t need to see it on my timeline.
  • it is not the salesperson’s fault that your favorite polish is discontinued.
  • when you are getting your hair cut, put down your phone. You may not realize it, but when you text, your head moves.
  • do not take a selfie during your bikini wax. #toomuchinformation
  • if you wouldn’t chase someone down the street asking if they like your picture, it shouldn’t matter if they like it on facebook
  • life is not “unfair” because your fiancée wanted to share the proposal with you, and you alone.
  • you may like to crush candy, others do not. Please stop sending candy Crush invites
  • if you don’t want the opinions of others, you may want to rethink ending your post with #whatsagirltodo
  • you do not have to agree with everything you read and see on social media…you also don’t have to let everyone know that you don’t agree

Look up once and a while. Think before you post. Ask before you snap a pic. Be kind, plain and simple.

 

 

 

 

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

Monday Motivator – The New Orleans Collection by OPI

Here we are again, it’s Monday. In my neck of the woods Mother Nature forgot to check her calendar and our April is feeling and looking more like January. We woke to ice, snow and cold winds. I can’t help but wonder, if April showers bring May flowers, what on earth will April snow clippers bring? As I was shoveling, pouting and cursing this morning, I decided that no matter how cold my toes were and how much my nose dripped, I was going to make Spring happen…well at least for myself, and now for you too. In hopes of brightening your day and  motivating Mother Nature herself, let me introduce you to the latest collection from OPI. The Spring/Summer 2016 collection, the New Orleans collection!

OPI New Orleans    OPI New Orleans

To celebrate the spirit and hope of New Orleans with these FAB! bright shades that go by the names of “Let Me Bayou a Drink”, “Crawfishin’ for a Compliment”, “Got Myself into a Jam-balaya” and “Show us your Tips!”, I dare you not to get a smile on your face, a spring in your step and more than a glimmer of hope for Spring.

Besides having fun and fabulous shades in all their collections, there is something not many people know about OPI. Not only does OPI create heavily pigmented, long lasting chip resistant lacquers…all their lacquers are formaldehyde free – formaldehyde has never been an ingredient in OPI lacquers. *Some of OPI’s nail strengtheners/hardeners do contain formaldehyde – a level 4 times lower than the safe standard established by the FDA. For those looking for a formaldehyde free alternative, OPI Nail Envy Sensitive and Peeling and OPI Start to Finish Formaldehyde Free formula are your answers.  Another FAB! fact – in 2006 OPI reformulated their complete line to eliminate DBP(dibutyl phthalate) and Toluene.

With this wintery weather and another Monday upon us, how about you join me and OPI, “Take a Right on Bourbon” and turn your face towards the sun.

 

Beauty, Business, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Tales of Truth – The Holiday Editions

The retail Holiday season has officially begun. Tree’s are trimmed. Shelves are stocked. The all important Holiday hair appointment’s have been booked and confirmed. Holiday parties have been planned. Christmas carols are playing on every radio station (trust me, I checked). In my corner of the globe, even Mother Nature has joined in, and the snow has begun to fall. This year marks my 25th Holiday season in the retail/sales/customer service gig. Call it nostalgia, call it the Christmas Spirit, over the past couple of weeks, every so often, I found myself getting hopeful, even excited for the coming retail Holiday season. I found myself daydreaming  of the customers and I breaking out into joyous song and the Osmond’s entering stage right like in those variety shows in the 70’s. ….but as I know, and for those of you familiar with my Tales of Truth now know, it’s safe to say that the only thing entering stage right is a flying flat iron. …and that I should limit myself to only one Vodka & Tonic a night.

 

To be clear, I still love Christmas. I love the sights and sounds, decorating my tree and the memories each ornament stirs up. I love making my famous Sugar Cookies and delivering them to my friends and loved ones. The following events, and the events to come – of this I am sure, will not taint my Christmas Spirit….and a little help from my Smirnoff Santa. So, without further adieu, gather ’round Ladies and Gents, boys and girls. It’s time for That Girl in the Red Coat’s Tales of Truth!

  • The phone rings. As I answer with my standard greeting I am interrupted by “YEAH! Whatever! Do you have my hairspray in yet?”. I ask which hairspray it was she was looking for to which I was told “Well, you’re no help at all!” and she hung up.
  • A woman came into the shop looking to purchase Joico VeroColor hair color. I let her know that it is not retailed or sold to the public. It is a hair color line that has to purchased by a licensed stylist at the wholesaler. “Well, my old hairdresser would get it for me and I need some more!”. I explained that I could not purchase it for her nor could I sell it to her for the exact reason mentioned above. She asked to speak to a manager and I let her know, “That’s me!”. She stared at me for a minute and on her way out of the shop she told me “If you were any good at your job, you would break a rule now and then!”. …sigh
  • We have monthly draws every month. As a woman was filling out her ballot, she quipped “You never pick me!”. I giggled and said, “I try to.”. She put the pen down like a judge ruling with his gavel, sighed at me and said “this isn’t funny. I am not impressed that you haven’t chosen my name, after all this time!”. I apologized and told her I would try harder. She said “You better!”, grabbed her Shaper Plus and stomped out the door. …I gotta get a camera to prove this really happens
  • It took me 10 minutes to explain to a customer that Shampoo for curly hair will not make their straight hair curly. “but the bottle says curl enhancing, so it will give me curls, right?”. I explained that it meant if you already have curls that it will help to enhance them and give someone with curly hair more control of their curls. She stared at me for a minute, kept hold of the bottle, pouted and said “Well, I think it’s unfair that they false advertise.”.
  • A woman was looking for a certain shade of OPI nail polish. I let her know it was a discontinued shade. As she laughed, I was told that “there is no way YOU could know that!”. I brought out my latest OPI product listing, walked over to her and told her “Lets look at this together and maybe you can find a shade similar to the one you were looking for.” to which she informed me “How am I supposed to know the color I want, I just heard the name of the polish and thought it was fun. Who knows what color it is?!? Do you?!”.  ….it took everything in me not to say “there is no way I could know that!”.
  • One of the fantastic questions posed to me “Will this wax not rip off my skin, you know, around where my underwear is, like between my thighs?” – enough said.
That Girl in the Red Coat

That Girl in the Red Coat

 

 

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

…I thought it was my Ab’s

“I thought it was my Ab’s!”. A phrase exclaimed, in a morphine induced haze, by yours truly while laying on an exam table in the E.R. of my local hospital. Long story short, I had been working out, trying to lose weight and tone up and was so excited that my tummy was feeling firm. I hadn’t been feeling well, been feeling discomfort that I was putting down to being 37 and working too much and working out too hard. I was having trouble with stomach pains when I ate certain foods, again, put it down to age. Little did I know that in the course of 13 months, (I know it was 13 months because during my physical the year before – no abnormalities were present) my body had decided to grow a fibroid on top of my uterus. A fibroid measuring 20cm x 11cm x 14cm – hence the pain – this little devil was pushing all my internal organs up and over to my right side. Long story short – a hysterectomy soon followed, no cancer present and yes, I still weep a little that it wasn’t my Ab’s….I had never had a firm stomach.

The point to today’s tale? To make yourself a priority. To keep yourself off the back burner. I had been feeling “unwell” for months, chalking it up to working too much, eating the wrong food, pushing 40, you name it. I should have called my Doctor. To be completely honest – I was hoping it was my Ab’s, but something in me thought it felt weird, but was too fearful to find out what it may be. In my case, I was damn lucky that it wasn’t cancer, that the fibroid hadn’t attached itself to my intestines, kidneys or any other internal organ.

Everyday at the shop I hear women make little comments about their health like “It’s probably nothing”, “I’ll call the doctor if it doesn’t get better in a few weeks”, “It’s probably normal”, or like yours truly, ” I think I’m getting Ab’s!”. For some reason, as women, we put ourselves last. We put work, our friends, our lovers, our kids ahead of ourselves. I see women buy a flat iron for their daughter before buying one for themselves, buying their mother the newest flavor of OPI Avojuice hand cream even though they love the scent, or buying Gehwol MedSalve for cracked skin foot cream for their friend who suffers from painful heel cracks as she is need of the same cream. We are so busy concerned with others that we forget about ourselves. Sure, we say our husband’s need us, that our kid’s need us and that’s why we put ourselves last. Well ladies, the jig is up – those are excuses and you know it. If we truly mean that they need us – we would be taking care of ourselves to the best of our abilities so we can be there for them.  Ladies, it’s time to take care of ourselves. Plain and simple.

Here’s the deal. If something seems strange, or something just feels off – call your doctor. If it’s nothing – great! If it is something – the sooner it is dealt with, the better. I know it’s a scary thought. No one likes waiting for test results. No woman enjoys a pap smear. Stool samples are messy and hospital gowns are not becoming, no matter their color. Dealing with a health issue as soon as it pops up also ensures less trauma to you, your family, your physical health and your emotional health – if I had gone to my Doctor as soon the question “what’s that?” popped into my head, I would have had a laparoscopic surgery to remove my uterus – instead I had to have it removed the old fashioned way with a 6 inch scar to prove it. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t care about the scar – my recovery would have been easier and less days spent in the hospital, and less worry for my hubby and my girl.

When our loved ones are under the weather or in pain, we get them and give them all the love, attention and help they need. You are worthy of the same love and attention and help. You are. …You are.

 

Beauty, Business, communication, entertainment, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Tales of Truth Part 12

This summer we are in for a treat! We will experience not one Super Moon, but three! So, you know what that means…Ladies and gents, boys and girls, gather ’round for the latest installment of That girl in the red coat’s Tales of Truth. If the past few weeks are a preview of what is to come, I am going to have some interesting tales to tell.

– A woman comes into the shop asking about at home hair color. I ask her if she has ever used box dye on her hair, to which she answers “Never! This is my natural hair”. As I see her blonde tresses with black roots, I ask her again, “Are you sure you have never used a box dye from the drug store when you have colored your hair?”, to which she answers “No! I have never used a box dye at home! Only professional hair color, so it’s my natural hair.”. …wait for it…there you go.

– A woman came into the shop looking for our selection of OPI nail polish. I led her over to our selection and asked if she needed my help finding a certain shade. She told me no. After a few seconds I hear her sigh and say “hmmpppt. stupid.”,then “Sure! Whatever!”, followed by “you are so dumb” as she was holding a bottle and talking to it. “Are you sure I cannot help you?” I ask. “Only if you can tell me why I don’t like these shades of pink” was her answer.

– “Why does this hairspray say it is hard to hold? The can isn’t THAT heavy.” …there are no words.

– A woman rushes into the shop “Do you sell Big Sexy Hair Products?” to which I tell her yes and show her the bonus size promotion on the Spray and Play hairspray. “How do you know it is a bonus size?” she asks, to which I keep a straight face and show her that the can is bigger then the regular  size bottle right beside it and the bold lettering on the can that says 40% more free, to which she says “How do you know they are telling the truth?”.

– “Do you have the product that smells really good that used to be in a white bottle?” – this gem is posed to me on a weekly basis – full moon or not.

– A woman came in looking for an everyday shampoo for her family. I showed her the ISO Daily Care Shampoo and let her know it was one of our best sellers. She looked at me and said “This is no good. We don’t wash our hair everyday so we can’t use a shampoo that is for daily use.” …sigh

– A woman asked me the difference between soft hold hairspray and firm hold hairspray, so I let her know that soft hold gives a very soft, workable hold and a firm hold hairspray is a finishing spray to spray once you have your hair styled the way you like and it is not as workable. “Yeah…so what’s the difference?”. …it is usually  at this moment I fear I have had a stroke and although I think I am making sense, my words are no longer audible.

– A woman walks around the store 4 times. I ask her if I can help her find something. She looks at me, tells me to stop interrupting, and leaves.

 

So there you have it. Another glimpse into the daily life of That girl in the red coat. I am hoping that people have caught wind of my Tales of Truth and are coming into the shop in hopes of appearing in one of my Tales. …Sweet baby Jesus, I hope so.

 

Dad's laugh

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

Tales of Truth Part 11

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather ’round for another installment of Tales of Truth. Last week was the week of the full moon and Friday the 13th., so you can imagine what yours truly got to hear and got to see. As always, the following tales are based on real events…sigh.

– I hear the chirp of the Salon’s door chime. A regular customer comes up to the counter and says she needs my opinion. I say “Sure! What can I help you with?”. She proceeds to come behind the counter, lifting her skirt as she walks. I stopped her dead in her tracks, put my hand up and said “You can keep your skirt down. Let me guess…you want to ask me if red bumps after waxing is normal” to which she looked at me like I was Dionne Warwick and I was her new psychic bff. “YES! How did you know without seeing?”. ….double sigh

– A woman came in to buy her hairspray and she was concerned about leaving the hairspray in the car as she ran errands because it was such a hot day. I reassured her that if she put it in the trunk, it should be fine. She was quite relieved. As we were waiting for the debit machine to connect, she became a little anxious. “Can you hurry this up? I left my dog in the car!”. …wait for it…there you go.

– We carry products that are vegan and certified organic. I had a customer ask me if they were packaged on a farm. I let her know that they weren’t packaged on a farm, they were packaged in a factory. She then began to tell me that there was no way the products could be organic because they weren’t packaged on a farm.

– I have a dish of candies at our front desk for our customers and clients, to add a little sweetness to their day. A woman asked me if the candies were free of charge. I let her know that they were and to help herself. She couldn’t believe that I would just give away candy so she left a quarter on the counter “just in case I was trying to pull one over on her”.

– Later that same day I had a woman ask if the candies were free, I let her know that they were and to please help herself. She dug through the bowl and took all the red candies, 10 in total. How do I know it was 10? She counted out loud…people, I shit you not…this really happens.

– From time to time companies will offer a bonus size hairspray that retails for the same price of the regular size bottle. The bonus size can be up to 300 ml more than the regular retail size bottle – it’s like getting two for the price of one. I had a woman get down right angry that all I had in stock were the bonus size cans. She didn’t like them and thought they looked tacky. I let her know that although she may not like the look of the bottle it was a great savings. Her exact words to me were “Who are they to decide that I want to save money?”.

– As I was ringing through a purchase, my customer complimented me on my hair. I thanked her and let her know that our stylists in our Salon do my color for me. “Oh, is that why whenever I come here I hear blow dryers and the chatter?” …I just smiled and handed her a Salon price list. As she was leaving she looked back and said “Thank you! This makes so much sense now.”.

– A woman came in looking for nail polish. I took her over to our OPI and China Glaze displays. When she noticed my sign “please do not try on polishes, please ask for assistance with the swatches” she remarked that she couldn’t believe people would actually open up products and try them out. She chose her polish and said she was just going to look around. Not ten seconds later do I hear “ppffffftttt” – I came around the corner to her trying two different hairsprays, one on each side of her head “Oh…I am just trying them out. I just want to see which one holds better”.

…triple sigh.

 

Dad's laugh

 

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.