Friday, 4 May 2012

Strawberry season


This is just a quick post to give an update on the hair-colour-change saga. I know right, what an interesting life I lead!

Well, to begin with I was in the salon for four and a half hours. I used to think 2, 2 and a half when I was a white blonde was a long time! To tell you the truth though, it certainly didn't feel like 4.5 hours - how time flies when you're having fun! I've had shorter shifts at work that felt eternities longer than that morning did. Anyway, the day before I'd tried to remove as much of the colour as I could using a technique I found on an online hair colouring forum (the inernet, hey?) Apparently it worked for some of the users with permanent colour but even with my semi-permanent, nothing budged. So at the hairdresser's my hair was bleached, bleached and then bleached again. Eventually I was looking in the mirror at a... well, an odd-looking person to say the least. I had mousy brown roots, fluoro yellow mid-lengths and fluoro orange ends. My hair was high-vis! Then red hair dye was applied to the lightest yellow parts and a semi-permanent was put over all of it. I had no idea what colour they were putting on at the end: the bits left around my hairline started to tinge brown over time so I thought I was in for a light brown? But I didn't want to get my hopes up that I'd no longer be fluoro so I waited...
As my hair was dried it looked quite a bit like my natural colour, but I stepped outside of the salon and BAM! Dark strawberry blonde? A browny-ginger? It's an odd colour so I'm not quite sure how to describe it. I was really self-conscious about it at first as there's a slight ginger element to it but I decided that noone but me knows that this isn't what I'd planned for, so I went out into the world trying to rock my new hair colour. And I've had compliments! The only downside is that I was warned by my hairdresser that the semi wont last long so I'm checking in the mirror every day for any signs of that ghastly orange resurfacing. Fingers crossed it stays hidden for a while!
The day was topped off though by my 'poverty': I couldn't pay for the appointment after all that! Extremely embarrassed, I slunk off home to borrow money off my partner, and put it through the next day. Dearie me!

So, now the question is... do I go back again in a month or so and do it all over again in an attempt to go blonde? Or, seeing as I'm pretty close at the moment, do I just gun for my natural colour from here? Time will tell...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Little April showers

Yes, I know it's May, but only just! With winter approaching, it's starting to get a bit nippy around the house at night. I've been wearing cheap slippers nabbed from an overnight stay at a hotel a few months back, but my partner's tootsies have been suffering since the demise of his old, worn, much-loved uggboots. So we went out to a few cheap department stores to try and find animal-friendly versions. (Since the brand name Ugg was developed, I'm pretty sure noone can officially call them uggboots anymore. One store we went to were calling them 'men's slippers' even though they had small, loafer shaped slippers in the next aisle, and these ones clearly came up above the ankle in a boot style. Anyway...) No luck in one store as the upper was real leather, but a cheaper shop was our friend - fully synthetic uggboots and for a tenth of the price! My partner has even remarked that his feet get too hot in them, if that could be a bad thing. Winter, here we come!

Talking about uggboots has made me think about all the things I own that aren't vegan. Not just the soaps and the hairsprays, but my sheepskin car seat covers. My duck down quilt. My pure wool blanket. My woollen beanies and scarves and gloves and jumpers. The woollen squares I started knitting last year to make a baby blanket. My silk skirts. All the books I own that are printed with animal-based inks. It's overwhelming. To be honest, though, I have no intention of throwing any of these items away, and will only search for vegan replacements if or when they wear themselves out. I know this would disgust some vegans out there but in my eyes, the damage has already been done. From a financial standpoint alone, I can't afford to give all these things to op-shops and start from scratch. As long as I don't buy any new leather, silk, feather items, then I'm not causing any harm. And if I contributed to the animal's suffering by buying these items made from their body parts, the least I can do is get a bloody good run out of them right? Surely waste would be an even bigger problem?
I guess there are a lot of things in the world of veganism that rely upon individual choice. I heard a story from a friend of mine of a vegan she knew that wouldn't eat anything from a restaurant if the plate it was served on was washed with other dishes that had had meat on them. Now, I personally find that to be a bit extreme, but I'm sure that person didn't and I'm sure many others wouldn't.  It's a bit weird to think that I lead a lifestyle many people would think of as extreme, yet there are probably so many out there who think I'm copping out or that I'm not doing enough. I know my partner for example, threw away a lot of the items he owned that weren't vegan as he just couldn't stomach using them anymore. I, on the other hand, still wear patent high heels and use Maybelline mascara...

What else...

I wasn't able to catch you up completely in my last post, so what other developments can I fill you in on?
I began the search for vegan makeup. (Let me tell you, as someone who usually gets a kick out of buying beauty products, it is a major hassle trying to replace them all with vegan versions. One step at at time...) Online blogs and forums led me to a few, but the easiest to access was Nude by Nature mineral makeup. I eyed off their product range, worked out what I wanted and sent off an email asking for a list of ingredients. I was pleasantly surprised with their quick and informative response, but disappointed to see that their primer, lipgloss and mascara all contained animal products. Their stuff is a tad hefty in terms of price, so I waited until I well and truly exhausted my current powder supply and had enough money to buy the Mineral Cover (foundation) and Finishing Veil (powder). Their blush was vegan too but it only came in one shade - a dark brown-toned pink - and it didn't suit me at all, so I refrained. I've been using the foundation and powder ever since. At first it took me a bit of getting used to, after 9 years of applying liquid foundation. It was strange to slowly build up cover, to know how to get an even coverage and know when I had enough or not enough on. I'm not blown away, but I'm not disappointed either. I look a touch paler than I did wearing my old liquid foundation, and my oily shine still breaks through the makeup after a number of hours but I haven't downgraded and my products are cruelty-free, so I'm happy!
I'm still on the lookout for vegan lipstick, blush, mascara and eyeliner so it'll be a while until my makeup bag is completely animal-friendly.

My partner and I were walking through a local street arts festival the other day and we came across a little vegan stall. We scored a whole heap of free stickers (who doesn't love free stickers?), my partner scored a new vegan shirt, and we both scored a potential new group of friends! Well, maybe. Turns out, the tiny vegan community in our town meets up every so often to hang out, eat vegan food, chat and maybe watch a DVD or listen to a guest speaker. Considering we are the only vegans that we know, it sounds like a great place for us to find new networks. We've both joined the online community, so now it's just a matter of mustering up the courage to go along to one of these gatherings. Thank the lord for my partner I say, as I'm so shy that I can guarantee I wouldn't go if I were on my own! Fingers crossed we meet some nice, like-minded people there - wait, who am I kidding, they're vegans! Of course they'll be nice and like-minded! So I guess fingers crossed there's some future friends there. It'll also be a refreshing change to have real vegans to talk to. I tend to shy away from mentioning much about anything vegan in real life for fear of people interpreting my musings as judgemental, evangelical or snobbish. It'd be good to be able to talk openly about anything and everything vegan.