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Apartment, Fashion

Organizing

Remember about a year and a half ago when I said I wanted to do a huge closet purge? Well, it took me forever to get around it because other things came up that distracted me and I’m the worst procrastinator when it comes to cleaning/organizing. But I finally did it! Or, well, at least I got close to finishing it anyway.

I got rid of a total of SIX garbage bags full of clothing that I no longer wear. Most things were very old, no longer fit, or had missing buttons, holes, or stains. My closet feels surprisingly empty now. In fact, I was able to clean out my entire hall closet and let my boyfriend have it to himself. Previously he was hanging some of his clothes in my closet, which was not the most efficient and there was barely any room in there any way. To do so I had to move all my jackets and coats into the back of my main closet but with all the extra room, I still have space! It’s so nice.

I’ve tackled most of the dresser, too. There’s still some things I need to go through, like the pile of clothes on top of my dresser, my lingerie chest (which has my underwear, bras, tights, and socks), my makeup, and my jewelry collection. The latter is kind of spread out all over the apartment right now in random places, so I also need to figure out how I want to store it and purchase whatever things I need for that solution. I am thinking of some clear stacking jewelry drawers for on top of my dresser for the items I wear the most, and then something for inside my closet for the things I don’t wear as often. For makeup, I’ve already cleaned off my vanity the other day but I still need to actually go through my makeup collection and purge things. I’m hoping I have enough things that I could sell to Glambot or something.

Speaking of selling things, I ended up not doing any of those online consignment things… I just had TOO MUCH STUFF to get rid of, and sadly the very easiest way to get rid of everything at once was to load it up into my boyfriend’s car and take it to Goodwill. C’est la vie.

After I’ve cleaned out all of the above, though, I know I will feel so much lighter. I already feel so from just doing the six bags of clothes! I’m not aiming to live any sort of minimalist lifestyle, but I do like the idea of downsizing to things I actually wear and use. There’s no point in keeping things that I no longer gravitate toward as I have grown and my style has evolved, but especially so if they are old (some things I’ve had since high school, why was I keeping it‽), worn out, and no longer fit.

With my hope to move to Europe within the next two years or so, downsizing in this manner is part of the process of preparing for such an endeavor. I don’t want to bring excess things with me!

Hair

I Woke Up Like This: My Curly Hair Care Routine

I get a lot of questions and comments about my hair, mostly from strangers but enough are from friends (hi, Yana!), family, and acquaintances that I realized I should write a blog post about it that I can link them to so I don’t feel like a broken record when I say the same things over and over again. I will start by saying that my hair mostly grows out of my head the way that you see it. (Hence the title of this post, “I woke up like this.”) Key word there, though, is mostly. While I had embraced my natural curl pattern years ago, I was still plagued with frizz, flatness, and dryness when it came to my hair. I had a lot of issues with breakage and split ends. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I switched up my routine and the products I was using and saw a huge, dare I say drastic improvement in the health, growth, and overall condition of my hair. So while I may “wake up like this” on a daily basis, there’s actually a lot of thought and care that goes into my hair and is the reason I’m able to just roll out of bed and go most days.

What I DON’T Do

The main aspects of my haircare these days lies in the things I do not do to it:

  1. I do not use sulfate shampoos. I find them to be overly drying to my already dry hair. I also, therefore, do not use silicone conditioners, since silicones are not water-soluble (except for a special few) and require a harsh sulfate to rinse out.
  2. I very rarely use heat styling tools or hair dryers. Since my hair is naturally curly, I don’t have to curl it. I straighten my hair maybe once a year, if at all. And I hardly ever, if at all, use a hair dryer. When I do use a hair dryer, I do so on a low heat setting and I utilize a diffuser attachment. I also NEVER heat style without a heat protectant.
  3. I do not brush my hair. Seriously, never. I only own one hairbrush, and I use it for brushing out wigs for when I LARP. I do detangle it in the shower with a wide tooth comb when it’s soaked with conditioner, but otherwise nope! I also don’t tease my hair, never ever.
  4. I don’t dry my hair with towels. The fibers on towels catch on individual hairs and pull at them, disrupting the curl pattern and causing frizz. Instead I use old t-shirts to dry my hair with after a shower, and use a scrunching, NOT rubbing, motion to do so.
  5. I’ve never colored my hair with permanent hair dye. I colored my hair once with semi-permanent dye, but it was only the ends to make them purple and pink and it had faded out after a couple months. Even when I did that, I told my hair dresser not to use bleach at all and I was lucky that my hair is light enough to take the colors without the use of it.
  6. I’ve never chemically straightened my hair. I did do a section perm once, to try to get the top layer, or “canopy,” of my hair to curl like the rest of my hair, but it only worked temporarily and I never repeated the process.

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Fashion

My First Stitch Fix

I first heard about Stitch Fix a while ago via one of my old neighbors who had signed up. She loved the service, and when they expanded their available style range I decided to sign up. (I definitely lean towards the more alternate/edgy side of fashion, and originally I felt they weren’t catering to that area of style.) I received my first Stitch Fix box in the mail last month (yes, I’m always belated with this stuff), and I wanted to share the experience with you!

To start, if you are not familiar with Stitch Fix—it is a subscription box service for curated fashion. You fill out a style profile, which is impressively extensive, and a stylist is assigned to you to hand-pick five items for your box. You can choose to receive a one-time box or have an automatic subscription repeat every two weeks, every month, or every other month. I currently have every month selected, personally, to see how it goes. They charge a $20 styling fee per box, which gets deducted from whatever you decide to purchase from your box. Whatever pieces you decide you don’t like, you send back in a provided shipping bag with a prepaid shipping label. So it’s kind of like having a personal stylist choose some items for you! I found it extremely helpful to provide a Pinterest board of my personal style preferences, as a reference for my stylist.

The box arrived and looks like this when you first open it up:
FirstStitchfix-0

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Fashion

Closet Purge

I’ve been in a spring-cleaning mood, despite it not being Spring. (Though, honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you mistook summer in San Francisco for early Spring 😛 It’s still kinda cold here even though it’s nearly August.) After moving into my own apartment back in September, I realized I have a rather large amount of clothing. And while that may be nice to, you know, not do laundry for a few months (yeah, okay, I know that’s kind of ridiculous), I can’t help but realize that I own a lot of pieces that I simply don’t wear anymore.

It’s not even that the items don’t fit—though, yes, some probably don’t—it’s moreso that my style has evolved over time. For example: I used to be a big wearer of geeky/nerdy t-shirts. While I still love a good t-shirt, I just realistically never gravitate towards wearing them. I have a whole drawer full of these t-shirts and, if I’m 100% honest, the drawer is actually overflowing. But it stays full/overflowing because I am hardly, if ever, wearing these t-shirts.

It’s about time I went through all my stuff and did a good purge, starting with the stuff that never sees the laundry pile. I think it’s a pretty good indicator of my use of a particular item if it never ends up in the wash and just hangs out, forever, in my closet or in a drawer (like those aforementioned t-shirts). I could use that space for stuff that I actually wear! And then buy more stuff I actually wear! Imagine that.

I don’t, however, just want to throw a pile of clothes in the trash or donate them to Goodwill. I’d like to, ideally, make some cash selling them. I’ve experimented selling some of the stuff I already have in get-rid-of piles on Poshmark but, frankly, I am too lazy to ship each piece individually. It involves making a trip to the Post Office, which is several blocks out of my way both two and from work and who wants to waste their lunch hour at USPS? Nope, not me. I’d rather eat a tasty sandwich. Yes, I realize Poshmark provides me with a shipping label. But do you think I have boxes ready to go in my apartment? I don’t. I also don’t have a printer. Or packing tape. And I don’t really want to have to worry about these things, either. (You are now starting to truly understand how stubborn my Lazy is.)

As an alternative, I’ve decided to check out these three online consignment stores: Twice, ThredUp, and Threadflip. (As an FYI, these are all referral links. ‘Cause who doesn’t like a little bit of incentive?) I intend to write a blog post on how my experience with these three services goes, but the basic gist of how they work is that they send you a shipping bag to mail them all the items you want to sell.

They go through your items, pick the ones they want to buy from you, and you agree to the offer. After that, they pay you and list the items on their websites. Threadflip seems to have an option to list an item individually, yourself, like how Poshmark works. Threadflip also doesn’t pay you until your item sells, and you get up-to-80% of the selling price. Twice & ThredUp pay you up front, like a consignment store would, for your items.

Twice seems to be the pickiest of the three, in terms of what brands they’ll accept. I intend to mail them my more high-end items, and send the rest to ThredUp which has a much broader list of items they will accept (like things from Forever 21, which Twice won’t take). One of the nice things about Twice is that if there is anything in your bag that they don’t take, they’ll donate it to Goodwill for you, so the item doesn’t go to complete waste. I’m not sure what ThredUp does with anything they don’t take, as it’s not specified on their website. As for Threadflip, I think I’ll try sending them a few items and see what happens. I’m not keen on the idea of waiting for an item to be purchased before I am compensated, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m just impatient.

Hair

Deva Cut: Before & After

In December of last year—yes, I know, this is a very belated blog post—I went to get my very first Deva Cut, which is a specific method of cutting and styling curly hair. They cut your hair dry, so that the curl pattern is visible, instead of wet which can weigh down curls and stretch them out. Then they wash, style, and go back in with scissors to do any touchups. They never use a razor or thinning shears, and they cut each curl individually and at a specific point in the curl so as not to break it’s pattern. It’s a long hair cut, 1-2 hours, but totally and utterly worth it.

I was able to find a salon here in San Francisco, Madusalon, that caters specifically to curly hair and are experts in Deva Cuts. Previously I’ve had my hair cut at Ouidad in NY, where they also specialize in curly hair but they still cut your hair wet. When I moved to SF I was originally going to Barber Lounge until my stylist left the salon. I really liked my stylist there and we remain friends, but I had been wanting to try a Deva Cut for a long time now. (That post is from 4 years ago! Augh.) I’m glad I finally did, and am kind of kicking myself for not doing it sooner!

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