Why I Love Fiberwig Mascara

My beauty routine is basically driven by ease, comfort and convenience. Not necessarily in that order. I have never been one to wake up one or two hours early to style my hair or primp before work. I like to sleep in as much as possible. I’ll maybe use one hair product and I have a simple beauty routine that gets me out the door even if I’ve overslept. Consequently I’ve had a few people ask if I’m even wearing any makeup. Well yes, but only a few essentials. Two of them being a good eyelash curler and mascara.

I was perusing Sephora.com a while ago in need of a new mascara as my old drugstore standby had been discontinued, when I came across Fiberwig. Of course it sounded wonderful as all write-ups do when they’re trying to sell you something, but what caught my attention was the claim that it came off easily and completely with warm water. I didn’t know it was possible to remove mascara completely. I always had to wipe mercilessly with eye makeup remover then scrub with facial wash and still invariably wake up with dark smudges under my eyes. So I hit purchase and eagerly awaited this feat of engineering that would give me beauty and ease of clean up.  It arrived without fanfare in its plastic envelope and the next morning I opened the tube that changed my life forever. Yes, overly dramatic, but still. It kind of did. I’m trying not to get too carried away; it does not give the longest or fullest lashes. It doesn’t look like I’ve got fake lashes (which they’d like you to believe in their marketing campaign if you’ve seen it), or create the illusion that I’ve got wings on my eyes, nor would it cause a sensation on the street. It just extends what I’ve got with little fuss and clumping which is admirable but not earth-shattering. What it does that rocks my world is come off easily and completely just like promised. Yes, it’s a little strange at first to slowly run your fingers down the length of your lashes coming away with smallish clumps of black sludge that slip merrily down the drain. But I got used to that in a flash as it’s decreased my nighttime cleansing routine by several minutes and fits so perfectly into my overall beauty philosophy.

Bathtub Bliss

Not long ago, I moved to a new place and it has a bathtub. For the first time in more than 11 years, I now have unlimited access to taking baths, and this is a treat. Finding the perfect bubble bath, however, took some searching. You can pick up any generic, waxy, artificial smelling bottle of suds at a local drugstore, but to settle into the finest bubbles and an aroma that will fill your home for hours, you have to do some research. After trying out several varieties, I discovered Tokyo Milk Bubble Bath, No. 12. With the scent of “Citrus Zest, Rosewood, Mimosa, and Mandarin,” this is a bubble bath worth the $25 price tag. It's sold both online and in Santa Cruz at Saffron and Genevieve. There’s nothing better, really, than settling into a bath, calming your mind, and letting your worries wash away.

Find Tokyo Milk Bubble Bath, No. 12 at Saffron and Genevieve, 901B Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 462-4506, saffronandgenevieve.com or at tokyo-milk.com.

So Fresh and So Clean

La Fresh may sell moistened wipes, but these eco-friendly, 100 percent biodegradable cloths are a far cry from the slimy baby wipes I expected them to be. I was initially drawn to the company because of their Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover Wipes, which, I’m happy to announce, are my long-awaited solution to the pervasive eco-nail polish remover dilemma. I’d found some great “green” nail polishes (like those from PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics, which I wrote about in a past post), but was hard-pressed to find a nail polish remover that wasn’t totally noxious. Thankfully, each La Fresh nail polish remover wipe easily cleans and conditions 10 nails without the nasty chemicals and their accompanying stink. In fact, believe it or not, they actually smell good.

But I stumbled upon a few other products from their eco-beauty line that I think are even handier. I keep a pack of the Healthy Hand Sanitizer Wipes at work for when my hands need a quick clean up. Not only do they kill 99 percent of germs, they do so without alcohol or other harsh components. Instead, they are packed with aloe, Vitamin E and other natural ingredients. I also stash several individual packets of the La Fresh Instant Body Soother, Waterproof Makeup Remover and Oil-Free Face Cleanser in my gym bag and car because, really, who knows when you’ll have mascara running down your cheeks or not enough time to shower after a workout? They come in handy surprisingly often, and I recommend any or all of these wipes for eco-minded jetsetters and busy gals always on the go.

I Tried It: The Sock Bun

I have always wanted to be able to wear one of those big, round buns that makes me look like I was born with a thick head of hair. I remember as a kid asking my mom to sculpt my hair into this kind of bun as I got ready for ballet class, but my fine hair just couldn't hold the style. Fast-forward 20 years and I stumbled upon a YouTube video on the Sock Bun. My inner bun dream was about to come true.

What is the sock bun? You wrap your hair around a sock (I prefer to make a tube, slip my hair into the tube, then roll it into a bun shape), and then secure it with bobby pins. Admittedly, I am not the most coordinated person, so this did take some practice. The end result: a big bun that brought out the Victoria's Secret supermodel in me (I'm just six inches too short). What's even better is that if you put your hair up when it's damp, it turns into gorgeous curls when you take it out.

If you like the look of messy buns like I do, even an uncoordinated person can try this and make it work. For those who lived their teens regularly trying new hairstyles, this will be a cinch. 

Dream Come True

Most women would probably agree that it takes time to find a hair stylist that is the right “fit." Like a good pair of jeans, once you find that perfect fit you are religiously devoted to them. But what about the “fit” of the salon itself? It's important to not only appreciate your stylist, but also the atmosphere in which you are receiving your haircut. Dreamers and Make Believers, located in the Mission District of San Francisco, is a salon with an atmosphere that is as fetching as its team of stylists. Bright white walls bathed in natural light, vintage artwork, simple succulent arrangements and mid-century modern vanities lend to the understated beauty and retro charm of this salon. While the décor of Dreamers and Make Believers was born out of the personal style of co-owners/stylists Megan Morales and Wendy Newsome, the idea to start their own business was not always on their radar. 

Fresh out of cosmetology school, Morales was scouring Craigslist for a place to live when she happened upon the space and jumped at the opportunity to open a salon in a neighborhood that was already beginning to thrive with hip, independently owned businesses. Fast-forward four years and Dreamers and Make Believers has carved out a niche in its neighborhood. In addition to the modern design elements and top-notch stylists, the salon carries a unique product line and hosts music and art shows.

Check out Dreamers and Make Believers for more information about rates, stylists and upcoming events.