I got a gelish nail treatment

So after a prolonged period of time where my nails were disgusting, I finally got them done.  Obviously because I bought an online voucher.  That was going to expire soon.  Cause you know I always wait until the last possible moment with these things.  It was a voucher from  The Red Pocket for a gelish nail treatment & paraffin wax treatment at Shi Nail in Richmond.  It’s literally right across the street from where my bus stop used to be.  Now it’s literally right across the street of the street that’s across from where my bus stop has currently been moved to.  If that makes any sense.

My appointment was the first of the morning, and so I got there a little before they actually opened.  And there happened to be a bench outside, where I decided to sit while I waited.  But then this stupid bee decided that this would be a good place to buzz around.  Very close to me.  They say if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you, but I was clearly minding my own business and it bothered me nevertheless.  And so I was forced to get up off that bench and stand outside the place in my heels instead.  Yes, I’ve been wearing heels lately in order to prove that they were a good purchase and that I will make good use of them.

And then the place opened and I was let inside.  The lady gave me a form to fill out, showed me where to sit, got me a glass of water, and informed me the technician would be right with me.  Right, she was the receptionist, someone else would be doing my nails.  How do land a job like that?  Receptionist at a salon or spa.  With perks of getting free treatments.  That’s the dream right there.  I liked her outfit.  It was loose and black and comfortable looking.  And she got to wear flip flops.  I envied her.

What I didn’t realize when I bought the voucher, was that it wasn’t for a manicure.  It was just for the gel polish.  The technician asked me if I wanted a manicure, which would cost extra.  I decided against it.  I would just go with what the voucher would cover.  They always try to upsell & add on things when you buy vouchers.  I always try to resist.

I didn’t need a manicure.  What is a manicure anyway?  I thought that was a manicure.  I thought it was all included.  I guess it just meant that she wasn’t going to use her various nail tools to dig underneath my nails or get rid of excess skin or what have you.  That was fine by me.  She did file them for me though.  Which was good, since they hadn’t been filed in a while, due to me misplacing my nail file and also being too lazy.  They always ask how I want them shaped, if I want them square or round.  It doesn’t bother me that they ask, it’s just that when they do they say it as if square nails are the obvious choice.  But I don’t want them square.  I want them round.  And then afterwards I feel as though I’m being judged for making that decision.

I chose a light blue colour, because it was the one that most closely resembled the colour on my toenails.  And I like blue.  She applied a couple coats, and then went over those with the clear top coat or whatever it was.  And then you put your hands under the lights to dry.  I’m always worried that I’ll touch my nails to something before they dry which will ultimately result in them being smudged.  But this time I somehow managed to avoid that.  Good for me.

After my nails had dried, I was told to wash my hands so I could get the paraffin hand wax.  No, this has nothing to do with hair removal, they do not wax your hands.  I imagine that would be awful and painful.  Paraffin wax treatment is meant to help soften your skin.  It came with my voucher, so why not.  I was led over to the container of wax and she took my hand and submerged it, removed it, and then submerged it again.  It was as if she was trying to drown my hand.  For my other hand, I dipped it in myself.  Probably too many times, she wasn’t monitoring it.  And then they put plastic over your hands and put them in these giant oven mitt things for ten mintues.  I felt like someone who had the chicken pox and was forced to wear oven mitts so I wouldn’t scratch myself.  Actually I don’t really know if anyone does that in real life, but I’ve seen it on TV shows.  At least I remember them doing it on Full House.

Even though I didn’t get a full manicure, I am very happy with the results.  Gel polish is amazing.  I feel like I should only ever get my nails done with that from now on.  I feel like the colour is more shiny and vibrant than normal polish.  And more importantly, it lasts.  It’s been about a week now, and my nails are still in good shape.  Normally by this time, they would be chipped, and probably badly.  But not this time.  And it’s not like I’ve been extra careful either.  I’ve been quite careless actually.  But it doesn’t matter.  I feel as though nothing will destroy the gel polish.  It’s like it’s indestructible.  Other polishes should cower in its presence.  I would go and purchase a bottle myself, if only I wasn’t so bad at applying it.

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Your appointment’s at 12, but we won’t be open

So for every good experience, there’s an equal and opposite bad experience.  Or something like that.  Maybe I just made that up.  But yeah, yesterday I had a good experience with my pedicure.  So naturally, after yesterday’s success, today would be a complete fail.  Because that’s just how life is.

So I had an online voucher for Ciao Bella Studios from Dealathons.  Yes, I know I probably sound like some sort of spa junkie or something right now.  Trust me, I’m not.  I just jump on the opportunity to buy a good online deal and then they pile up and then I have to use them all around the same time before they expire on me.  I’ll admit it’s a bit of a problem.  But I’m dealing with it.

So last week, I called them to make an appointment.  I made it for today because it was my day off.  When I asked her for the available times, she said 11:30am and later.  So I asked for 11:30.  And then she asked if I could come at 12.  So I said okay.  And then I thought, why tell me 11:30 is an option, when really it isn’t?  Why bother giving me a choice when clearly I don’t have one?  That should have been my first sign that there would be a problem.

Ciao Bella Studios is on Victoria Drive in Vancouver.  So it is sort of out of my way.  But it seemed like a good idea at the time.  A time when I bought more online vouchers than I should have and am now paying the price.  But nevertheless, I went there.  And I was early.  I’m always either super early or a little bit late for things.  But no matter, it allowed me time to scope out the area.  But when I found the place, it was closed.  Even though the times on the door and on the website said that they opened at 10am.  What the hell?  But I thought maybe that’s why she had asked me to come at 12, because maybe she wanted to just open the store at the time of the day’s first appointment?  But that’s still false advertising for anyone hoping to drop in.

They confirmed my appointment and then the store wasn't even open

So I gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited around the area until it was actually 12pm.  I went to a dollar store that was pretty crappy.  Didn’t buy anything there.  And I went to the SPCA Thirft Store as well.  Didn’t buy anything there either.  Though I was tempted to buy the Trump: The Game board game.  My family watches The Celebrity Apprentice, so it would have been a good idea.  I actually kind of regret not buying it.  Would it be worth it going back there to make that purchase?  There was no price tag and I didn’t bother asking how much it was.  Now I’m having non-buyer’s remorse.

Okay, maybe it's a good thing I didn't buy this

When I went back at 12pm, there was still no one there.  I had called them twice, which was pointless, seeing as there was no one inside to answer the phone so it went straight to voicemail.  I walked around a bit and when I came back there was another girl waiting outside.  She was waiting to go in for tanning.  She asked me if I was there for tanning as well.  I should have been like “Yes, because I’m so pale…”.  I think tanning is pretty much one of the only beauty regimens that I don’t need.  I was there for waxing, if you must know.

She said she’d been there before and they usually never open at 10, even though they’re supposed to.  Something about the person not being able to get up early enough to make it there?  But I mean come on, it’s a fucking business, you can’t just advertise your store hours and then not be there.  That’s kind of ridiculous.  And what’s more ridiculous is when you schedule an appointment for someone at a certain time and then don’t even show up to open the place.  I can’t even call it bad customer service, because I didn’t even get any service.  I don’t know even know what to call it other than complete unreliability.

The girl told me there were other places around there for waxing, but I explained to her how I had the online voucher so it had already been paid for and I needed to use it.  She thought about leaving, but she said the fact that I had an appointment must mean that the person would be showing up.  And so we continued to wait.  I called the Dealathons customer service line and explained the situation to a representative there.  He asked me if I was at the right place.  I assured him that I was.  He said he would try to contact them and then call me back.  The other girl remarked that he was probably just calling the store number, that no one was there to answer.  I agreed that she was probably right.

Because my phone is a piece of shit, somehow I missed his call back even though my phone did not ring at all, nor show any indication that I was receiving a call.  I checked my voicemail, called him back, and yeah, he had just been calling the store.  He said he would get in contact with them in the next few days and figure something out.  I told him I didn’t want to have to reschedule this, seeing as I’d come all the way out there and made the appointment in advance, and there was no way for me to guarantee that this wouldn’t happen again.  I’m hoping at this point that they will just allow me a refund, or at least a refund in Dealathon dollars so that I can make a different purchase.

So I completely wasted my time on my day off.  I could have slept in and not left the house.  But one good thing I got out of going all the way to Victoria Drive, was that one of the ways I spent passing the time before what I thought would be my appointment was going into Calabria Bakery.  All I bought was muffins, but they were good muffins.  The one I ate had walnuts in it and was really good.  If I’m ever in that area again, hopefully not because I’m giving Ciao Bella a second chance, I’ll be sure to buy some more baked good from them.

Now this is a good business

I finally stopped waiting and left around 12:40, and the other girl left shortly after.  And I’m pretty sure that no one showed up and that they’ve just continued to stay closed for the day.  Yeah, that’s good for business.  Because if anyone had bothered to show up and open the place, they would have received the two voicemail messages I left them and would have hopefully called me back to apologize.  But they didn’t.  So I can only assume that the place is still closed.  What a fail.  For them and for me.  And for the girl who wanted a tan.  Maybe this was a sign for me that I should only be redeeming one online voucher per week?  Or a wanring to stop buying them because bad things can happen?  Who knows?  All I know is I won’t be going back, regardless of whether or not they’re open.

At least I got some good muffins out of this

I got a pedicure

After a long day of working and volunteering, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure.  Well also, I bought a voucher from TastyGo a while ago that I had yet to use.  I tend to have a bit of a problem when it comes to purchasing online deals like Groupons, Indulge Living dealsSocialShopper deals, and so on and so forth.  I mean, I forgot I even had a TastyGo account.  And then I always end up checking my accounts at the last minute and realizing that I have a voucher that will soon expire.  This particular one expires in June.  However, I have another pedicure voucher from TeamBuy that also expires in June.  So I had to use one of them now.

The place I went today was Illusion Studio and Spa on West Broadway.  It was nice there. I picked out my polish, and then made my way over to the chair.  In the past I’ve often opted for red polish, because it’s just so classic, but lately I’ve been opening up my colour choices.  I thought a bright blue would be nice for spring.  And I think it was a good decision.  I tested a few shades of blue on my nail, only to realize there was a piece of paper sitting on the counter designated for colour testing.  Oh well.

I think I picked a good colour

I liked the set up they have there, because my chair was faced in good view of the TV.  At first I was disappointed because I thought that the chair was not a massage chair.  And then I noticed the remote carefully hidden at the side and retrieved it as soon as I made this discovery.  I love those massage chairs, pressing random buttons even though you’re never really sure what exactly they’re going to do.  Do they sell those things to normal people, or only supply them at salons?  Because I want one.  At some point the massage chair stopped massaging and it took me a while to notice before starting it up again.  But I did stop it while she was doing the nail art, as the vibration may have caused some disruption.

The TV was on the Food Network.  I think if you’re going to have the channel on the Food Network, you should also have some food available for the people watching.  It’s the decent thing to do.  The show that happened to be on was Family Cook Off, a show I had never watched before, nor will I ever watch it again.  It’s basically two families cooking an entree and a dessert and then the two judges give them points and whichever family has the most points wins the “coveted golden frying pan” and $1000 worth of groceries.  I don’t know why but that seems like kind of a lame prize to me.  I mean I’d rather have the $1000 so I can go buy my own groceries.  Cause I’ll bet the $1000 worth of groceries they get weren’t on sale.  The host of the show is super annoying.  She just keeps bothering the contestants as they’re trying to cook and asking them stupid questions.  The episode I saw was a family of kids against a family of old people.  The kids won.  That’s all I have to say about it.

Pretty nail art that I could never do

So back to my pedicure.  I usually don’t get nail art, but the voucher I bought included it.  Score.  I am quite happy with the outcome.  I don’t get pedicures very often, but in the past I’ve had some where they didn’t look that much better than if I had attempted it myself.  Okay, that’s not true, any attempts of mine would be far worse than anything a professional or a normal person could accomplish.  Or anything a drunk or otherwise incompetent person could accomplish.  But some were never really anything special.  This time, they came out pretty and professional looking, and like they’ll last.

For some reason, the woman beside me got a nail dryer after her pedicure to speed up the drying process.  I did not.  I was just left to sit there and let them air dry in their own sweet time.  But I didn’t complain.  It allowed me more time to sit and watch TV in my massage chair.  No complaints there.  I’m pretty sure the staff there made fun of me in another language, but I think that happens to me pretty much at any salon or spa I go to ever.  Or maybe I’m just paranoid.  But she painted my nails so pretty that I don’t care either way.

Not a weather appropriate footwear choice

I brought flip flops to wear after, as you’re supposed to do.  But unfortunately for me, I was taking public transit and it was cold and raining outside.  I probably looked like an idiot with my rain coat, umbrella, and flip flops.  Not exactly weather appropriate footwear.  But whatever.  Why hide a good pedicure?  And it wasn’t terribly cold.  Although my last bus was late so I was standing outside longer than I had expected.  But I figured that if my toes were to turn blue from the cold, they would at least match my toenails.

I am wearing socks right now, so I can’t see the beauty of my toenails at the moment.  Because it’s cold.  And tomorrow I will likely wear boots because it’s supposed to rain.  And the day after that, closed toed shoes of some kind because it might still be cold.  But damn it when the sun is shining and the weather is nice, I will wear my flip flops proudly once again.  Also, the Army & Navy shoe sale starts next week, so at least my feet will look good as I’m trying on shoes.

My feet will look good in so many shoes now

To wash or not to wash?

Don’t worry, I shower everyday.  Personal hygiene is important to me.  And yes, I am talking about my hair YET AGAIN.  I do realize that I have some sort of problem here.  Why am I so obsessed with my own hair?  I don’t have an answer for that.  But please just allow me one last blog about my hair and then maybe I’ll shut up about it for a while.  Okay well maybe two more, because I’ll need to blog about what happens after I finally wash it.

My hair 5 days after keratin treatment and yet to be washed

It’s been 5 days since I washed my hair.  Well no, that’s not actually true.  I mean my hair was washed 5 days ago, but not by me.  They did that at the salon.  Right before applying the keratin smoothing treatment.  Am I the only one who’s always had a problem with the hair washing process at the hair dresser?  I mean when you have to rest your neck against the sink for the duration of it and it begins to hurt after a while.  And you hope it will be over soon but then they just keep on rinsing while you lean your head back in pain.  It’s not just me, right?  It is uncomfortable.

My hair is pretty flat right now.  And sooner or later my scalp will itch, at which point I will definitely have to wash it.  But I just love how straight it is.  I mean it will be nice to finally wash it, but not so nice once it dries and loses its straightness.  I don’t know what to expect.  It’s supposed to remain smooth.  And somewhat straight?  But not completely straight?  I guess I’ll have to wait and find out.

I went out and bought a new hair dryer for the occasion.  Yes, apparently washing my hair has now become something of an occasion.  Don’t judge me.  Isn’t “I have to wash my hair” one of those excuses you use as to why you can’t go out with someone?  Or you know, one of the excuses they use in TV shows at least?  I’ve never used it before.  But seeing as I have a new found obsession with my hair, if I do end up using it in the future, chances are I won’t be lying about it.

My new hair dryer. Hopefully it's good.

It’s better straight

Before you accuse me of being homophobic, please note that I am referring to hair, not sexual orientation.  And I’m referring to my own hair, not hair in general.  If your hair looks better curly, I respect that.  In fact, I envy you.  If my hair looked better curly, then it would save me a lot of time, effort, and money.  But sadly this is not the case.

My main problem is frizz.  My hair gets ridiculously frizzy, even when I put so called “anti-frizz” products in it.  Nothing ever seems to work.  I would spend time and money and effort but it was all in vain.  It doesn’t help that I’m fairly incompetent when it comes to hair in the first place.  So of course I would be cursed with hair that just won’t behave.

But then I discovered the hair straightener.  Unfortunately, the hair straightener I discovered was a crappy and disappointing one.  I currently own one of those corioliss straighteners that they sell in the mall kiosks.  It’s my second of two, because the first one crapped out on me.  I feel like this one is about to do the same.  They all suck.

After much debate, I finally decided it was time to try out one of those keratin treatments that make your hair straighter, smoother, healthier, and just better looking.  The problem was they are crazy expensive.  And I have limited funds.  But as luck would have it, I managed to find a deal on Social Shopper for a keratin hair smoothing treatment at Ocean Breeze Spa in Yaletown.

The process took over an hour.  She put in the treatment, left it for 15 minutes, then blew dry it, then straightened it.  It took two of them working on my hair simultaneously in order to get it straight.  I would have just given up after fifteen minutes.  Perhaps that’s why I could never managed my hair.  I just don’t have the patience for it.

I’m happy with my hair right now.  But I haven’t washed it yet.  I have to wait at least 48 hours before getting it wet.  Of course when I left the spa, it was raining.  I hovered under my umbrella and hid my hair under my hood, even though I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be wearing a hood.  I’m also supposed to avoid hats or hair clips or tying my hair back until after I wash it.  Otherwise it could end up with kinks in it.  I even stopped by the dollar store to purchase a shower cap.  For the shower, not for the rain.  When I went to bed last night, I got confused as to how I was supposed to sleep on it.  I kept adjusting it and worrying I would mess it up.  Luckily, it still looks pretty good today.

I was told that if I do notice kinks, I should flat iron them right away.  Except that my flat iron is so crappy it wouldn’t make a difference.  If anything, it might just make the situation worse.  I’m also supposed to use shampoo that is free of something harmful.  I can’t remember what it is though.  Should I splurge and buy expensive shampoo?  I mean it would be stupid to pay a lot for the treatment, and then have it all fall apart just because I’m too cheap to buy decent shampoo.

At this point, I’m worried about what’s in store for me after I wash it.  They made it a point to make sure I knew that it wouldn’t stay straight like this.  Unlike the Japanese straightening, this treatment will not make it pin straight, it will just keep it smooth.  But unlike the Japanese straightening, it is also free of harmful chemicals.  Why do chemicals make things better looking?  That’s so unfortunate.

Until I wash my hair, I’m going to be paranoid.  I have not yet passed the 48 hour period.  When I’m taking public transit, I’m worried that the sick guy behind me is going to sneeze on my hair.  When I’m walking outside and see a bunch of birds overhead, I get scared that one will poop on my head.  It’s never happened before, but I’m sure they would choose a time when it would bother me most.  They’re conspiring against me, I swear.

Hopefully, after I wash it, it will still be manageable and decent looking.  It’s supposed to last for a few months, depending on how well I take care of it.  When something depends on how well I take care of it, we have a problem.  I will keep you posted on how things go with my hair.  Not that you care one way or the other.  You just want entertaining blog posts.  Don’t worry, there’s lots of good stuff inside my head.  It’s just about time there was good stuff on top of it as well.

Spa deals

So I sort of have this addiction to online shopping for spa deals.  In the past, I never would have purchased anything online.  I still don’t really, for actual products because I need to see them before I buy them.  But spa deals are different because it’s a service, not an item.  And so I sometimes go a little overboard.  My friend told me earlier this year about Onespout.com, which gives you links to a bunch of deals from various sites like Teambuy and Groupon.  And upon hearing this information, I lost of bit of control.

I’m not a big spender, in that I don’t splurge too often, and I like to find a good deal.  For someone like me, these sites can be disastrous, because they offer you savings and percentages off luxuries that you didn’t think you would be able to afford.  I remember one time going to get a pedicure, something I would do maybe once a year, and I overheard two other customers there talking about how it’s something they do at least once a month.  Really?  Even in the winter?  Who’s looking at your toes in the winter?  But if you can afford it I guess, then why not?

My problem is I’ll buy them and then not use them for months later.  Which really defeats the purpose of saving money on them, since I wait so long before I make use of them.  I still have a Teambuy for a haircut and a pedicure which expires next month.  I better get on that.  It’s a bit of an odd combination, I wonder if they’ll do my toes and my hair at the same time?  I’ve heard that Pink Lime is a good place, so we shall see.  Sometimes I don’t really have time to use them because the places aren’t open late and I work during the day.  But I will figure it out.

I often run into difficulties with all these accounts.  I’m not so good with remembering passwords.  I forgot my Teambuy one and it took a while, getting help from customer service, to actually get it reset.  And then I want to use one of the ones I bought and I can’t remember if it was a Groupon or an Indulgeliving or a Socialshopper deal.  How does one keep track of these things?

It’s often difficult because when I see a good deal, I just want to jump on it right away.  I recently saw one for some sort of hair smoothing treatment.  And then I remembered I had already purchased a hair smoothing treatment that I’ve yet to use.  I guess I should use that one before I buy another one?  But I mean some of these deals only come along every so often, if I don’t buy it now, maybe it won’t be available again when I really do need it?  No, I have self control.  I can wait.  But if it’s not available again when I do want it I will be upset.

It’s actually not that much of a problem really.  I have been using the ones I’ve bought and they have been worth it.  And I actually haven’t bought as many as I’ve made it seem.  And I haven’t purchased one in a while.  I can’t actually remember what or when the last one I bought was.  Well, since it’s been a while, maybe I’ll go check the website now and see what’s available…