Posts tagged hair
Sparks Salon in Liberty Village + Liquid Keratin Rules: Because gorgeous hair is the best revenge, BWA-HA-HA!
I’ve spent countless hours, JILLIONS of scalp cells and thousands upon thousands of dollars in my long and emotionally fraught quest to find “the one.”
You know what they say, gals — a good salon is hard to find.
Thus, I was intrigued when Sparks (they of the beautiful hot-pink signage that catches my eye every single day on the King West streetcar) opened up a new location in Liberty Village, just steps from where I live.
I was even more intrigued by all of the stylish model-types and hot hipster boys hanging out around front during their opening party. I totally would have crashed it, had I not been walking by straight after hitting the gym.
Instead, I waited until my roots needed some dire emblondening to check it out all proper-like. I’m a gentlekid like that.
First off, Guys, I am smitten.
Sparks Salon in Liberty Village is the closest thing in Toronto I’ve found yet to that perfectly girly yet modern salon of my Barbie-loving dreams (that isn’t rife with snooty betches and costs me half a month’s rent for a cut, that is.)
I mean, really, this as all every girl who grew up in the 90s is really looking for in a salon:
The staff at Sparks don’t sing while they do blowouts and they didn’t try to teach me how to get my boyfriend to pay my bills bills bills (maybe next time? Anybody?) but one time they all wore pink just like Bey and the gang in that video so it stands to reason that they’re every bit as cool.
They’re also friendly, fun to talk to, reasonably priced and super knowledgable when it comes to what they do, which is actually what every girl who cares about her hair is looking for.
It’s a good sign when the people working at a beauty salon are genuine babes, as opposed to dead-eyed cake-faced chain-smokers with asymmetrical two-toned everything (sorry, the entirety of Southwestern Ontario.)
Pictured above is Nicole, hairstylist (follow her on Instagram @Hairby_Nicole!) Ophelia, manager, and a Hello Kitty FREAKING CALCULATOR! I raved on and on about Air Hello Kitty when I saw that. Pretty sure I sent them a link. One day, homies, I’ll be blogging from the Japanese sky.
Anyhoo, this is supposed to be a review and not a weird Destiny’s-Child infused Laurant (what can I say? I spent ALL DAY surrounded by inauguration coverage and replays of Queen Bey ripping out her IFB) so let me rev.
I wish Beyoncé had performed a modified rendition of “Bills Bills Bills” at Obama’s inaguration. “Can you pass these Bills?…” #Inagu2013
— Lauren O’Neil (@laurenonizzle) January 21, 2013
1. Atmosphere: Awesome. (See cool wall-text above.) From the gleaming white floor to the brick backdrop against the pedicure wall, the space is stunning. I particularly enjoyed the fun words of wisdom written on the walls.
Dont mind if I do!
Because Sparks is a nail salon too ( one of the only places that specializes in Japanese 3D Nail Art in Toronto, I’m told) there were some really cool Japanese nail art magazines and examples of cool designs around.
Kid in a candy store, I tells ya. If I had 400 fingers and a cheat code for infinity moneys IRL I would have dropped a cool zillion dollars that day.
2. Actual hair services. As i mentioned before, Nicole is the name of the hairstylist who colored and cut my locks, PLUS gave me my first liquid keratin treatment. HAVE YOU TRIED LIQUID KERATIN YET?!? It’s miraculous. More on that below.
As hard as it is to find a good salon, it’s even harder to find a good colourist. Blondes know what I’m saying.
“Where do you usually get your hair done?” they often ask me, a glint of everything from pity to contempt to disgust in their eyes, depending on who emblondened last.
“I get around…” I joke. “I’m a bit of a salon ho.”
Don’t get me wrong – not every colourist I’ve ever been to in Toronto has been a dud. Many, I’ve seen multiple times with great success. The only problem is that they’re kind of salon hoes too.
“Hi! I’d like to make an appointment with Monique, please…”
“I’m sorry she’s no longer with us. She moved to Calgary.”
“Hi! I’d like to make an appointment with Marissa please,”
“She’s a little booked up. Can I pencil you in for next March?”
“Hi, I’d like to-
“*beep beep BEEP* the number you are attempting to reach is no longer
And for every great stylist I’ve loved and lost due to my own moving around to different cities, there have been 3 that simply don’t meet my high standards (Leave peroxide on my head for 3 hours because my hair isn’t ‘lifting as fast as usual?’ Thanks for the the irreparable dammmaaaage superstaaaar!)
What can I say? I want the best for my blonde.
But uh, enough about my hair issues, back to Nicole. She’s awesome. Talent minus ego desirable and marketable and SO FREAKING RARE in Toronto, across more industries than I could ever explain right now while still holding fast to my agressive sleep debt repayment schedule.
If you need a thoughtful, well-educated hairstylist who knows her colour and undertands that a TRIM does not equal 1798576 inches (Why do so many people not understand this?) hit her up.
Kevin Murphy and Moroccanoil. Nuff said.
Everything else in the salon is of equal high-quality (and Eco-friendly, says Internet. Sparks is a Certified Green Circle Salon).
And here’s where I’m going to dish about that liquid keratin treatment:
Liquid Keratin is the reason I held off a good three weeks after my experience at Sparks before writing this post. Well, that and my aforementioned hardcore sleep / work / not so much blogging January schedule
Based on the results, I wondered if it might be too good to be true and I wanted to make sure that my hair didn’t get all gross again after a few weeks of washing. Rest assured, it didn’t. This stuff is legit.
A before and after of my own hair, after one of 3 steps, before cut or colour, no straightener, courtesy of Nicole:
Insane difference already, eh?
I wasn’t kidding when I said that my hair was damaged. Be careful who you trust to put peroxide on your head is all I can say… and like, ease up on the everyday ponytails / hair straightener / etc.
To rip some copy from the company’s website:
“Liquid Keratin Professional Restorative Smoothing Treatment is an exclusive new certified Formaldehyde & Aldehyde Free system developed to promote hair straightening, smoothing and relaxing waves while repairing damage caused from other chemical processes. Because of its ability to penetrate the hair fibre, Liquid Keratin Professional Restorative Smoothing Treatment, provides more shine, conditioning, strength and resistance to hair fibers damaged by other chemical processes.
The 3-step process is intense, but only for the poor stylist who has to wash your hair with special stuff and then put more special stuff on your hair and then rinse it out to put more special stuff on it. You just sit there and chill while your hair turns from straw into silk, curls into pins, or whatever you desire to get out of the treatment.
For me, it worked wonders. It actually made my hair feel better than it has in years. Soft and silky and smooth, like it was when I lived in cities that didn’t have Toronto water in the pipes. Mmmm, clean water…
I’m not going to lie — it’s a pricier treatment, but it lasts for months if done well, and you can get just your ends done for a lot less. If your hair is in serious need of some TLC, I woud recommend it. I haven’t had to use my straightener all month and my natural frizzwave is nowhere to be found.
That’s all for this kid tonight. Hit me up in the comments if you’ve tried Liquid Keratin. I’d love to know what other people think!
And because I can’t leave you without at least one SOLID SOLID lol on a post, THIS:
Night night homies
Back into the (wo)man I used to be, sheeeeet.
This is probably the biggest hair change I’ve made since 2006, and it’s not even a change per se — I simply let the bangs I’d rocked my entire life grow and grow into a long side sweep over the past five years.
On Saturday afternoon, I went to see my new hair guy Darren Kwik for a trim and root touch-up.
Not only is the studio like, a two second bike ride from my home, Darren is incredible.
Creep his blog — he does all of the hair for Fashion Week in Toronto which gives him prime access to do handstands on the runway.
Not since my longest-running-and-sorely-missed hairkeeper Adrian have I had someone do my colour so expertly, so flawlessly. He’s a master with the shears too, so I took a leap of faith.
“Bang me, Darren. I’m ready.”
He agreed, and thus, here I am. Bangs again.
Do you have fringe? Drop me a link to a photo in the comments or get @ me on the Twitter. I love to talk hurrs
Is that not a really, really good song? Even out of context, the soulful mix is dope. And the video? Well…
‘Nuff said. And if you don’t know who Sweet Brown is, watch the original viral video here:
Antoine Dodson Sweet Brown is totally famous for another 15 seconds thanks to that remix, and I’ve got a new morning hype-track for another day or so (I’ve already been jamming to this for 10 so… ya know.)
Speaking of news memes though, did you know that Antoine Dodson is going to be at ROFLcon this year? Well OBBBBVIOUSLY he is. Everybody is. Including ME, WEEEEEE!
I’m going to run and tell that homeboy how much Canada loves him if I get a chance. Maybe Sweet Brown will come too. That would be gravy.
I put some purple in my hair this evening. With chalk.
It’s faint and only in the bangs. I’m going to go nuts with some turquoise later this week, but only on the ends, a la Kate Bosworth:
You know what’s fun on a Sunday night? Watching cheesy Raven-Symoné movies and teasing the heck out of your hair.
Oh oh oh, hold up now – what is THIS? I started watching this “Jane By Design” show on Netflix and I’m madly in love, not even 10 minutes in. HI BILLY:
Google tells me his real name is Nick Roux and that he’s a total Disney kid. Blergh. This gen’s Chad Michael Murray circa One Tree Hill season 1. *sigh*
Hehe, Oh Chad! Stop!
I’ve got to go to bed now…
PS – In case you were wondering, Sweet Brown finally got her cold pop! Awwww…
Bonjeezy! What up? I HAVE A SOCK ON MY HEAD BUT YOU CAN’T SEE IT, HA!
Okay, maybe you can see it a little bit. It was my first attempt at sock-bunnage and I didn’t yet know that I was supposed to use hairspray. Split or no split, it’s pretty freaking cool.
If you follow me on the Twitters, you may recall a certain freakout over this a few weeks back. I Tweeted multiple times. I was impressed.
I’m glad to have finally tried it! Was thinking about wearing it to shoot this evening since I was told to keep my hair away from the lavaliere mic (my side pony be rubbing all up on it making crazy noises in the director’s ear!), but want to have a bit more practice first. Maybe next time. You guys can watch and know that the blonde chick’s got a sock up on her head, BWHAHAHA.
Anyway, it’s my Sean’s birthday today. His ARSENIC birthday! Doesn’t he look fly?
We had a party for him Saturday night, which is where that photo was taken (by Casie – thanks!). If I knew how to bake a cake, I’d bake him this one…
But I don’t make cakes and there isn’t time to comission one and Sean isn’t really into junk food anyway. I’ll steam him some broccoli and brown rice… with sprinkles!
Moral of the story? I didn’t buy you or bake you a cake or even a heart shaped pizza, but I DID find some pictures of weird cakes on the Internet and I love you so we’re good, right? I’ll give you your real present later. (Hint: It rhymes with Men Bee Eh Meague Pass and I just hyperlinked to it and you already know you’re getting it WAH!)
Happy birthday Sean Sean!
Don’t understand why that stuff is funny? Maybe this is more your speed (said the pretentious nobody). Sheet, who am I kidding – I SET that speed. CATSANDCATSANDCATSANDCATS.
Good on ya, buddy. Damn.
C’est tout. Bye bye.
Dear Willow Smith,
I mean, I suppose you could whip it around a little bit, but not nearly as hard or effectively as you could with candy cane locks.
Ahhh well… hair grows And besides – Willow looks hecka cute with short hair. That little girl on the pony up there next to her on the other hand… not so much.
That fugly pony rider is 5-year-old me by the way and, unlike little miss Smith, the stupid dorothy hamill ‘do was not an autonomous personal choice.
The story goes that daddy had tried to trim my bangs while mom was in the hospital having Brodie (2 years before that pony picture was taken) and left me with an epic mullet that took forever to grow out.
They had to pierce my ears so that people knew I was a girl. *sob*
At least they didn’t do this to me:
What’s the verdict, Internet? Would YOU rock the mushroom cut? Or have you ever?
P.S. Don’t even try to tell me (mom) that I looked sort of cute with that hair cut. I’ll only lose respect for your lying lieyee lie face and shout “LIES!” at you. Liar.
Kix and keyboards, Wheaties and WordPress, Corn pops and coding – Is there any finer a combination than cereal and computers?
If you look at my be-crumbed workspace , you will see that I think NOT.
Another fine combo? Tunes and Toys (in so many ways).
Music and technology go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like movies and popcorn. Like Lauren O’Neil and literary triptychs.
Last night, it all went down without a hitch.
I was lucky enough to score a VIP pass to the party (Did I mention that I love Dell lately? ‘Cause I do.) but unfortunately, I got caught up at work in the busy city and couldn’t make it to St. Cats in time for the band’s performance.
Woe is me I’m so woe.
Fortunately, my homegirl sent me some pics of all the contest winners rocking out so I didn’t feel completely disconnected.
I was bummed that I couldn’t be there, but I’ve got to admit that even just seeing pictures of the fans going wild made me smile.
There’s something so purely positive about fandom in general. Whether it’s sports, music, comedy, gadgets – whenever I see people getting fanatical I feel a little bit fanatical too.
Then again, I’m a bit of a fangirl by nature. My head explodes on the daily.
Last night I absolutely lost my marbles over this font and, I don’t know if you can really be a bona fide fan of laughing camels, but I’ve been LOLing over this all morning.
I may even compulsively scour the internet for advice on how to buy a camel in Canada today. Maybe.
Our love is like water, ticklish camel.
I’ve got to go blowdry my hair and get to work now. Tonight I’m getting it CHOPPED! (my hair, not my work.)
I still have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Hopefully the stylists at this trendy salon everybody’s been telling me to hit up will be able to help out with that.
I’m leaning towards a long bob, like the 2008 Nicole Richie cut I’ve been loving on for years:
But I also like the sort of messy platinum look Gwen’s been rocking lately, since it’s pretty much exactly what I have right now (complete with the long uneven bangs) except shorter.
What do y’all think?
Guess where I got to go today?!?
Yeah, that’s the London city dump. And this is what the truck looked like after we did a bunch of shooting there:
My boots now smell like diarrhea soup, and I’m pretty sure my hair does too…
When I get home tonight, I’m going to take a shower so hot that it BURNS MY SKIN A LITTLE BIT.
I don’t know why I was SO insanely pumped to go there… it wasn’t what I expected at all. Then again, I was pretty much expecting a brightly coloured, scentless wonderland of secrets and treasures that I could uncover, refurbish and sell on etsy. Remember that episode of Arthur where the boys (err… the Aardvark and the Rabbit rather) visit Mr. Frensky, the “sanitation worker”, at the dump and find out that it’s the most badass awesome place ever???
Yeah… it’s not. Especially when you’re stepping through chicken bones and crumpled bits of lord knows what else to play stand-in for a videographer.
I must say though, that the garbage men we talked to were all like SUPER DUPER nice. Once again, The Simpsons were right. The Garbage Man can, And he does it with a smile and never judges you…
That was the highest quality clip I could find. You should know this scene off by now anyways. It was like, Season 22 – HELLOOOOO.
Anyways, I’m now officially half-way through my month long internship.
Week two was colourful – a lot more fun than week one, I would say, since I got to do more. Some highlights:
- Interviewing a mortgage broker about fixed and variable interest rates! This was actually a lot cooler than it sounds, since he was really really passionate about the topic and had a sweet old blueberry imac – for decoration – in his office. Ah, memories…
- Trying to line up a live tiger for the 6:00pm news (didn’t happen) and trekking out to some crazy dead guy‘s pad in the middle of nowhere. Yup, I joined Nick on the Tiger Beat that day.
Not THAT Tiger Beat, silly! bwahaha…
- Interviewing a woman who has a sister in haiti running an orphanage and making her cry a little bit on camera. I know that’s not something I should be proud of, but you have to understand; tears + camera = good T.V. This is what they teach us in journalism school, you know…
But for real – this woman was incredibly inspiring. Not only has she adopted a sick Haitian boy, she travels there regularly to volunteer at her sister’s orphanage. At the time I spoke with her, she didn’t know what was up with her sister, as the phone lines were down across the earthquake striken country. She now knows that her sister (a veritable modern day Mother Teresa in her own right) is safe, thank goodness, but unfortunately many of her friends and the orphans she cared for didn’t survive. She’s now pulling bodies out of buildings, literally, and in dire need of resources. If you’d like to donate directly, please contact me and I’ll send you her deets.
Anyways, on to something less depressing…
- I taught my boss about TwitterBerry and UberTwitter. Even tried to install both apps on his BB, but the model was too old. Time for CTV to spring for an upgrade, methinks!
It seems as though I’m continually labelled as the resident techie whenever I’m working around grown-ups. The fact of the matter is that I’m just a normal (maybe SLIGHTLY more geeky than normal) Millenial kid. We speak computer better than we speak human, some of us. And speaking of which…
-I got to use my super-sleuth skills to track down an image of a bad bad man from London for a news story. Nobody was having any luck finding this guy with their internet searches, so I took a shot. Benedetti‘s research methods class proved to be quite relevant. I ended up nabbing a screenshot from a cached page with the way back machine and wowed the WOILD eee! I felt so… useful for once.
- I went to the World Junior Figure Skating Championship thing and got to help Anna film a bunch of sweet ice dancing stuff. So many cute little skaters… that was a fun time.
- And TODAY , I went to the garbage dump. It wasn’t exactly the most pleasant of places, but it was an experience nonetheless and I do love experiences…
I’ve got a busy weekend ahead, as per yooooje.
Tonight I’ll be working on my article for Canadian Living (Did I mention that I’m a finalist in their journalism student prize competition? Well I am mentioning it now. I rule at life. Go me. j/k… no I’m not.) and tomorrow, it’s off to Windsor to get my hurrs did. I’m thinking STRAIGHT BANGS. Anybody object?
I’ve been rocking the long side sweep for a while now and it’s time to change things up. Plus, I saw a really cute picture of Nicole Richie that made me want to emulate her in every way possible, minus the hideous brunette thing (major hair fail on her part, imho). So yeah – who wants to knock me up and give me a jewellery line?
Now that I’m googling, I do really like her with the long bangs…
But maybe it’s just the colour I like? UGH. Decisions.
On Sunday, it’s back to London and if it’s sunny & warm as predicted, I’ll be busting out my board and heading up to big bad boler for a few hours.
And MOOONDEH I’m off to the Tee-dot to cover the Disband Finale for MuchMusic. I’m so stoked for that. I get SPLANDUNKERIFICKALLY psyched every time I get to work @ Much, but I’m especially excited for this because I’ll be getting to rub elbows with dudes who just may be crazy famous rockstars in the future. Disband is quite the launching pad – ask Stereos.
Anyhoo, it’s time for me to mosey on over to the gym and run away the pain of sitting at a computer desk for three hours straight (ew) – but before I do, I’ll leave you with MY ONE FRAME OF FAME.
Yup – that’s me starring in a badass music video for c-mon and kypski.
Okay, so maybe it’s not a STARRING role, but it’s a role – and you can have one too! Bust out your webcam and participate in a little bit of good ol’ fashioned crowdsourced art, why don’t cha?