Browsing Category Los Angeles

Hair Cut Magic with the Curl Doctor, Shai Amiel

Besides the food and Sephora, the thing I was excited about the most during my trip to the US was getting a hair cut at Capella Salon by Shai Amiel, more affectionately known as Curl Doctor. One look on his Instagram page was enough for me to make a phone call to his salon first thing in the morning (2 months before my trip!). He’s legitimately a curly hair wizard.

I made the appointment for first thing in the morning the day after I landed in LA. Jet lagged out of my mind, I stumbled into his gorgeous salon in Studio City. Very rarely do I make trips in LA that involve going to the Valley, but this was definitely a special occasion.

before hair cut

As I sat in his chair, we went over the game plan. At that moment, my hair was incredibly uneven, limp, and lacked volume. My ultimate goal was to have layers, get bouncy curls that move, and to get volume at my crown, which is something I could never really accomplish because my hair is so fine. Shai uses the Deva Cut technique, which means he cut my hair, curl by individual curl, while it was dry (CRAZY IMPORTANT!). Every single other time I’ve gotten a hair cut it’s ended up wonky because the stylist either cut it while it was straight, or while it was wet. I never straighten my hair so getting it cut while it’s straight doesn’t make sense, and cutting it while it’s wet doesn’t make sense either because I have tons of shrinkage.

As he took each individual curl and snipped away, he told me about products and methods that would work for my hair type. Ions ago, I was always trying to get my hair to look “perfect”, meaning no frizz, and super defined curls. I’ve realized that’s not the look for me, and I want to get big hair, even if it’s slightly frizzy. For his “hair prescription”, he told me to invest in a hair pick, so I can lift up my roots at the crown, and to make sure to use products without sulfates or silicones. I’d already cut out sulfates, since at that time I was only co-washing, but silicones were a different story.

Silicones are awesome because they make your hair FEEL great, that super silky, super soft feeling that everyone loves. Unfortunately, for a lot of curly haired girls, silicone is awful. It causes awful build-up that weighs your hair down, which is why my top complaint was that my hair didn’t “move”. It would look great for a day or two, then I’d have weird hair and I didn’t feel like dealing with it so I’d wear it in a bun. I really felt like a had cartoon character hair, it just sort of stayed in one place. Gross x 232535. Shea butter is another culprit for me. I had stopped using products with shea butter a few weeks before the trip, because I just found that oils and certain creams are just WAY too heavy for my hair.

Anyway, after cutting my hair, his assistant washed it, conditioned it, and then deep conditioned it. While it was still completely soaking wet, he applied the products, first, a gel, then a styling cream. Apparently, applying products while your hair completely soaking wet is key. I’d always wring mine out or let it dry a little bit first before doing anything to it. After the products were applied, the assistant diffused my hair dry. And what I saw next was nothing short of a miracle. My curls were bouncy, soft, and extremely defined. There was virtually no frizz, yet my hair had volume and shape. He didn’t cut much off, but it made an entire world of difference. It really and truly felt, and still feels like I have new hair….like my old hair was removed and I got a new hair replacement. Insanity.

sheryll after 2

The second day was even better! I wore my hair in a pineapple bun that night, and when I took it out the next morning, I just shook it out and BAM! It was done! I didn’t even have to reapply product like I normally do. I can wait until the day before I wash it (normally every week.to  1.5 weeks) to throw it in a bun, instead of like the 3rd or 4th day.

2nd day hair

Per his recommendation, I bought the DevaCurl No Poo Shampoo, and DevaCurl One Condition Conditioner, along with the DevaCurl Arc AnGEL Light Hair Gel. They’ve all 3 been working wonderfully for me so far. I especially love the hair gel, because it instantly dissolves when it touches water, but it forms sort of a cast/shell over your curls. Once it’s dry, you can scrunch your hair and it’s unbelievably defined, soft, and bouncy. I swore I’d never use gel in my hair, but I’m a fan.

sheryll today

Since DevaCurl is hella expensive, I wanted to try and find something I could stock up on, since I won’t be in the US for a while. At Target, I found the brand Curls, which I had used very briefly when I lived in LA. Curls is paraben, sulfate and silicone free, perfect for my fine curls. I purchased the Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream, the Coconut Sublime Conditioner, the Quenched Curls Curl Moisturizing Spray, the Blueberry Bliss Control Paste, and the Créme Brule Curl Cream, and the Cashmere Curl Jelly. Yes, it’s a lot. But no one in Korea sells it, and I just gotta bring everything.

products

Anyway, my hair is incredible and my new products are awesome. I finally, FINALLY have the hair that I love!

(ps this post was in no way sponsored nor does it feature any affiliate links, I just wanted to share how amazing my hair is now lol!)

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2012: A Photo Essay

champagnenewsyears

2013 is almost here! I started the year in Paris, and I’m ending it in Seoul. I wanted to share with you some never before seen photos from my travels this year. Featured will be Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, Madeira, the US, China and Korea. I hope you enjoy! Here’s to 2013, and many more years of travel!

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I Needed This

My month long break has just started, and I already feel 10x more productive now that I’m not at work. It’s incredible how much you can get done during the day, not to mention how happy I am I can actually see the sun, instead of being in a windowless room. I did my nails, got an oil change, went to the gym, did laundry, managed to do some reading and watched a movie, ALL in one day. I can’t even explain how awesome it feels.

This weekend, Johnny and I ventured off to an area of LA we’ve both never been to before, Little Tokyo. For someone as obsessed with Hello Kitty as I am, I’m super surprised I’ve never been. Well, to make a long story short, it was incredible. Located downtown, Little Tokyo has a Sanrio store, tons of sushi and ramen restaurants and a discount Japanese store with even more Hello Kitty, Japanese stationary, candy and housewares. I immediately felt like I was in heaven.I even got to take a picture with Hello Kitty!

Johnny and I ate really inexpensive bento boxes from a restaurant called Sushi & Teri. In a rush, we made a dash for a dessert place for donuts and I grabbed a few Hello Kitty items, including some stationary, a coloring book, and origami paper. (Yesss for origami paper! Bringing back my childhood!)

Today, Johnny and I made good use of a Living Social coupon we bought a while back for the Beachcomber Cafe on the Malibu Pier. It was the perfect day to go, not to hot, not too cold. We were immediately sat outside on the patio, where we had a few beers and just enjoyed being in the sun. Breathing in the fresh, salty air, I knew that I’d made the right decision to take this break.

I decided to dress up for once!

Not going to lie, I had been slightly apprehensive and anxious about the break. I keep thinking “what am I going to do after this month is over?”, “what happens if I don’t figure it all out?” Talking with my therapist earlier today, she told me basically that I need to calm the hell down and enjoy it. Things will happen naturally, and naturally I’ll find exactly what it is that I want to do. This is the reason why I go to therapy, she keeps me grounded.

And as a present to myself for sticking up for myself and actually getting the guts to even take this break, I bought myself a new pair of shoes from Aldo. They’re basically the loves of my life, and I’ve been wearing them constantly. I’ve been wearing them in the house, in the bathroom, while I’m doing the dishes. I’ve completely fallen in love. However, it’s been awhile since I’ve actually worn heels in a consistent basis. With the depression, I just never really cared enough before, and I’ve been tripping everywhere. Johnny is pretty sure I’ve bought the shoes of death. But tribal print, 5.5 inch high, round toe platform wedges sound like the shoes of LOVE to me.

PS. If you can’t tell already, I’m obsessed with Instagram. Johnny got an iPhone and I’ve been hoarding it from him. LOVE!

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Exploring Los Angeles

Gardens at the Getty Museum

Los Angeles is a weird city. After living here for over 2 years, I’ve realized that the one thing that separates Los Angeles from other large cities is the sense of community. Everything is way too far apart to have a central location, to actually meet people, to explore the city. It’s pretty discouraging to explore Los Angeles when it takes an hour to drive 6 miles. In order to avoid the stress and traffic of the city, you soon find it’s so easy to stay within your 3 mile radius and never venture out. It’s the rut I’ve sadly fallen into.

Johnny and I have made it our priority now to try at least one new restaurant, bar, museum, hiking trail, bike path, play, etc. per week. Using Groupon.com, Goldstar.com and LivingSocial.com, trying new places is a lot cheaper than originally expected. Through Goldstar.com, you can find plays or shows for as cheap as $7, or even free sometimes.

Santa Monica Arcade

So far on this quest, I have discovered a restaurant that has the best happy hour I’ve ever heard of (99 cent beers anyone?). I’ve bought a Groupon for a restaurant in Malibu I’ve always wanted to try. Johnny and I have hiked to the Hollywood sign. I’ve found a new dog park in Culver City to take Jack. I’ve discovered a food truck with the best ice cream sandwiches ever.

Although I feel that my love affair with the City of Angels is slowly nearing a close, I do realize how beautiful this city is. Never have I ever been able to visit the beach and the mountains in one day. There’s the grittiness of Downtown and the lushness of Beverly Hills, the tourist trap of Hollywood and the local eats of Culver City. There’s so much to explore in Los Angeles and I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface.

So I’m opening my eyes and experiencing this city with a new, fresh perspective. No longer will I be that jaded, spoiled Los Angeles girl. Since I’m not able to travel to Argentina just yet (few more months!), I’m going to travel my own city.

I’ll be on the quest for the best tacos, the best happy hours, new shows, best places for vintage clothing, everything. I figure while I live here I have to make the most of it right? Right.

I’ve added a new page up at the top that’s going to showcase all of my Los Angeles finds. I don’t want to inundate the entire blog with Los Angeles posts, but I’ll update my Twitter or Facebook when I’ve added something new to the page. Explore with me!

PS. I’m proud of myself, I actually took all the pictures featured in this post. Baller!

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Life is Too Short

This weekend, I was witness to a horrific car accident. I was picking my boyfriend up from work at 3am (he works in a bar). I pulled into the parking lot, waiting for him to come outside. After he came outside, we stayed  to chat with friends for a little bit. All of a sudden, we heard a loud screech followed by the most devastating crash sound I’ve ever heard. We ran out to the street to see a car completely wrapped around a palm tree, horn blaring. My boyfriend ran across the street to where the car was, seeing if he could help. I stayed still and silent, violently shaking, surveying the crash and judging from the way the car looked, its occupant was most likely dead.

Luckily a police officer was around the corner and quickly came to the scene. The crowd of people grew, all calling 911 and trying to see if they could help. As the police officer broke open the passenger side window, a doctor was on the scene and confirmed what I already knew. The man inside was dead.

From eye witnesses, we learned that the man was involved in a street race. The other car in the race clipped him, and he lost control of his car, crashing into the tree.

My boyfriend gently touched my shoulder, motioning for us to leave. I just stood on the pavement, looking at the wreck, knowing that just a few minutes ago this man had been alive. He was someone’s son, maybe a brother, uncle, cousin, boyfriend.

On the way home, I started to sob. I couldn’t stop replaying the sound of the crash, seeing the car completely totaled. Between sobs, I told my boyfriend that life is too short, and we need to do all the things we’ve been wanting to do, including quitting our jobs and traveling the world.

People always say, “Life is too short, just do it”. I always would agree, but never really took it to heart completely. You always think you have one more week, one more day, one more hour. But really, nothing in life is guaranteed.

All of the things I was worried about before have flown out of the window. Just before the accident, I was complaining about how I was upset my job isn’t going to give me a raise for another 3 months. Not that big of a deal now.

Since seeing the accident, I haven’t been sleeping well. Every time I close my eyes I hear the crash and I see the car and the doctor pronouncing the man dead. Out of this whole experience, I’ve learned that really, life IS too short. I have to start living in the present and stop letting fear get in my way. I’m going to travel, whether my mom, dad, job, sister, etc. like it or not. I can’t worry about what I’m going to do once I return. I can’t worry about the how, what, when, where, if.  I have to do what I want to do in my life.

If you are on the fence about travel, please do it. If there is anything in your life you’ve wanted to do, please make plans to do it NOW. Please don’t sit idle and just let life pass you by. If you are depressed, get help. If you want to go back to college, please apply. You want to take cooking classes? GO! You never know what will happen in the next moment. Life is really too short.

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