That One Time I Was Blonde

That One Time I Was Blonde {thosegraces.com}

One January night in Philadelphia six years ago, I was busy bleaching the life out of my hair with the help of one of my best friends. We worked until late in the night, bleaching it once and then again. My scalp burnt in anger, but I got the desired effect. I was blonde at long last!

You’d be surprised at the downsides that accompany blonde hair. For example, people asked me, “Do blondes have more fun?” To which I would always reply, “If you consider being hit on by more creepy drunk guys fun, then yes, blondes have more fun.” Nearly every time I went out to the bar, I got some weird comment like, “Hey, Goldilocks!” Not to mention bouncers would stare at my ID where I was still a brunette, and look at me, apparently in disbelief that hair dye existed. It was the only time I was ever asked my astrological sign as if I had a fake ID.

Another downside of blonde hair is that your hair falls out. Well, not a lot of it and it mostly grew back. But I remember playing with my hair when all of a sudden, I realized that I had about twenty strands of hair in my hand. Yes, it’s true, if you bleach your hair at home with no prior bleaching experience, your beautiful blonde hair will mostly likely fall out. But don’t worry, you most likely have more hair where that came from. And if you don’t, then hopefully the clump came from the underneath part that doesn’t matter anyway.

By May, I was fed up with being blonde. The maintenance didn’t suit me. No one told me blonde hair meant sitting in the salon for four hours every two months. I don’t regret that time, however, because I saw my kindergarten teacher smoking cigarettes outside while her hair dye set in. So at least there’s that.

All this should probably mean that I would never want to go blonde again. But that would be a lie. I definitely would go blonde again. In fact, I would go white blonde like Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn. And you know something is a great idea when you want the same hair color as an animated woman who turns into a unicorn.

Kryolan Opens Boston Store and I Geek Out

Kryolan City Boston
When I first started geeking out about makeup about six years ago, one of the first brands I stumbled upon was Kryolan. The German brand made its name in theater and became critically acclaimed for its professional grade products. Up until recently it was only available in-store or by special order, which is why I never saw their products in person. So you can imagine my excitement when fellow Boston blogger Elissa of Style Wire told me that they opened a Boston store.

Kryolan City Boston
Though they have stores all around Europe, Kryolan City Boston is the brand’s third U.S. store. They also have locations in San Francisco and Chicago with plans to open up a New York City store next month. My experience at the store was unlike any other makeup store. U.S. brands like MAC and Sephora pale in comparison. The store is bright yet friendly and the products are a-maz-ing!

Kryolan City Boston
These products pack a punch with quality pigmentation and unique colors. They carry a green lip gloss and lipsticks that glow under a UV light. They even carry blue lipstick, which I’ve been hunting for since December. They have eyeshadows in just about every color. Needless to say, this isn’t a routine shopping experience.

Kryolan City Boston
The staff was also very helpful, and unlike other stores, I never felt talked down to. They had great advice and helped me find exactly what I was looking for! It was very welcoming and I never felt intimidated despite never having seen Kryolan in person.

Kryolan City Boston
Another great thing about Kryolan is that prices range from $2 to $42. I bought two lipsticks that retail for $2.40 each. Their lip glosses run around $17 while their HD foundation costs about $42. Since Kryolan manufactures their own products, they’re able to keep prices relatively low. If you don’t want to spend a fortune to have some fun playing with color, Kryolan is a great place to get started.

Kryolan City Boston
I definitely plan on stopping by Kryolan City Boston soon! You can visit them at 31 St. James Avenue in Boston.

View More Photos from Kryolan City Boston

Those Graces News, Updates, Announcements and The Like

From time to time, I like to do a “housekeeping” post where I tell you all the awesome things happening on Those Graces! That’s what this post is all about. Those Graces and awesomeness!

Sign Up for the New Monthly Newsletter

Once I get 20 sign ups, I will launch the monthly newsletter. Right now I have one. And it’s myself. So if you want more Those Graces, make sure to sign up! Newsletters will feature unique content that’s not on the blog including travel stories, reflections, reviews and a lot mroe.

Sign up for the monthly newsletter here.

Get New Posts Sent to Your Inbox

I know how hard it can be to keep up with all the blogs you read. Right now I have 315 unread posts in my Bloglovin’. Oh my! If you don’t have time to stop by Those Graces every day to see what’s up, you can sign up to get every new post sent to your inbox. It’s like magic. Except not.

Sign up here to receive all new posts to your inbox.

Did You Know I’m on Facebook?

I know, right? I didn’t have any interaction with Facebook for almost three years, but then I realized I wanted to be where you all are! It’s been an interesting process getting reacquainted with all-things Facebook. But I’m there and so is Those Graces!

Like Those Graces on Facebook.

So, What’s Going on with Beauty Shy?

I have sad news on the future of Beauty Shy. As of today, it is no more. To be honest, it was still really flippin’ hard to manage two blogs. I should’ve reread this post I wrote two years ago before trying. All my beauty content is coming back here. RIP Beauty Shy. You were a really good domain name.

I’m Really Excited!

I have tons of ideas for the upcoming months of Those Graces. I’m also planning on launching several Instagram-exclusive series. So make sure you’re following me there! I’ll also be going back to making videos for this blog and my YouTube channel. I have a lot to share about my new work life, but that will be its own post!

The France Conundrum: Reflections on Young Love

The France Conundrum {thosegraces.com}

France or your partner. It’s a recurring theme of young love on television. We all remember The Hill’s Lauren Conrad’s ill-fated choice of choosing Jason, her then boyfriend, over an internship in Paris. However, I was surprised to learn that the France Conundrum dates back to 1998 and the first season of Dawson’s Creek. America’s sweetheart Joey Potter is forced between spending a year in France or climbing into Dawson Leery’s window night after night. Like Lauren, she chooses Dawson over France.

France seems to be imprinted on our cultural consciousness as a turning point in our young adult lives. And by “our,” I mostly mean the cultural conscious of twenty-something females who rallied for LC over Heidi and preferred Joey to Jen. Somehow we related to these women, and yes, their choice to pick love over France. We grit our teeth while simultaneously yelling at the screen, “Choose Paris, Lauren!” Perhaps we connect with these women because they are reflection of our own experiences with love and life during the vulnerable period that is our early twenties. Or maybe we relate because we’d like to think we’d choose France over love.

When I was 22-years-old, I chose my then boyfriend, now husband, over spending the summer in Wyoming working at Yellowstone National Park. Reading that even now makes my heart hurt because, oh, the adventure! I chose to stay in South Carolina for love. While I’m glad I did, I do wonder about that lost Wyoming summer. I imagine long hikes, vast wilderness and the sky high Rocky mountains. It’s hard to say I regret the choice since I’ve driven across the country three times.  My life hasn’t lacked adventure or choice.

While Joey is obviously a fictional character, it’s worth pointing out that LC finally made it to Paris and has probably been there countless times since. Though the choice between France and love might be a youthful misstep, perhaps the lesson here is that we all end up in France or some far off land on our own timeline.

Unedited image originally from The Brooklyn Museum, used under Creative Commons.

Extreme Thrifting: How to Survive the Goodwill Outlet Store

Goodwill Boston Outlet Store {thosegracse.com}

A few months ago,  I crossed over from a casual thrifter to an extreme thrifter. I came to this realization while thrift shopping with my mother. I was frantically pulling items left and right, almost regardless of label or size. Yes, my laid back days of thrift shopping were long gone. Enter the Goodwill Outlet Store near Boston in Roxbury, MA.

The Goodwill Outlet Store is a magical place where every item of clothing costs $1.75 regardless of size, brand or style. It has hundreds of pieces of clothing waiting to be purchased. But don’t be deceived, the Goodwill Outlet Store (and others like it) isn’t for the faint of heart. They’re a totally different ballgame than shopping at a typical thrift store. They require rolling up your sleeves and getting a little dusty. However, if you invest the time and effort, you can make some amazing finds. And if you’re like me, the $1.75 price tag will make that diamond in the rough all the prettier.

Tips for Surviving The Goodwill Outlet Store

Though my tips come from how to survive this specific store, I’m sure they can apply to any secondhand outlet store. Keep reading to find out how to score big!

Bring Cash
Self explanatory, but most important to know especially in our debit card ruled lives. They take cash only!

Check it Out Before Committing
The Goodwill Outlet Store is, in a word, overwhelming. It’s basically a warehouse space filled with about 40 to 60 huge rolling bins that contain everything from clothing to housewares. The first time I popped my head in, I was a bit shocked. It is a totally different shopping process. It took me three times to muster up the courage and energy to get digging. Get your shock out of the way, then dive in!

Be Ready to Dig
Usually “digging” entails going through every hanger. At the Goodwill Outlet Store, it means literally digging. Like pulling out a hundred items from a bin before you see the bottom. It requires patience and endurance to make the find.

Don’t Go Hungry or Thirsty
Since this what I’d consider a physically active activity, you’ll want to be hydrated and fed before you arrive. You might get over heated or feel your tummy rumbling, which can distract you.

Don’t Go Pretty
This isn’t your afternoon out with the girls. You’re probably going to get dusty and sweaty so don’t wear your favorite jeans. I also like pulling my hair back so I don’t get overheated and so my hair doesn’t get in the way.

Leave Your Jacket In Your Car and Your Purse at Home
Since you’ll be getting hot, you won’t need your jacket inside. Also make sure to leave your big purse at home so you can have your hands free at all times.

Examine Your Finds
Things get donated to the thrift store for many reasons, one of which is holes and rips in an item. Sure, more of the items at the Goodwill are not damaged, but some are. Make sure to examine your finds carefully for imperfections. If you don’t know how to fix them or don’t plan of fixing them, leave them behind for the next digger.

Happy Shopping!

I hope these tips help you survive the Goodwill Outlet Store and others like it. As I mentioned, it is a lot of work, but you can score big. Don’t believe me? Just today I picked up items from 7 for Mankind, The Loft, Banana Republic and Levi’s. And get this, some items were even brand new with tags! You just can’t beat that.