Tag Archives: beauty

Figuring Out Some Self-Care (or Working On My Physical And Mental Health)

I’ve been a bit too stressed out lately. A lot of it had to do with just being overwhelmed and trying to schedule myself, but that didn’t explain all of it. Reflecting back on it, I think that it’s possible that my panic and anxiety disorder came back. It wasn’t enough for me to feel like I needed to take medication or call my new therapist, but it was something I was aware of.

Like with so many other things in my life, being aware is a huge step for me and I consider that to be a win. But of course I wanted to make the stressed out feelings go away and not just be aware of it. Part of what I’ve been working on is related to my monthly challenge this month. I’m being a bit selfish and turning down invitations to things I don’t want to go to. I’m not committing myself to things that aren’t what I want to do socially and I’m not going insane when there is an event I want to go to but it doesn’t fit into my schedule. I’ve had to miss some fun things like birthday parties and baby showers because of work, but I’m not feeling guilty that I have to work because my friends understand.

Being selfish is a bit of self-care and I never really thought of that before. I think it has been a big step in my mental health although it isn’t fixing everything. But giving time to myself does allow me to think through the stress I’m feeling and figuring out what is causing it and what I can do to make it a bit better. And I know I’ve said this probably a million times, but I am also working on time management to work on my stress. I hate when I get to the end of the day and I still have so much to get done. I’m trying to work on doing stuff throughout the day and not just after work or after my workout.

But this time, I’m also working on my physical self-care too. I love to look at different beauty products, but I’m not always someone who uses them. But I decided to get a set of sheet masks from Amazon (they were pretty cheap) so I could work on my skin care. They are nice, but I look pretty creepy when I’m using them!

I’ve only used one so far so I don’t see a huge difference in my skin, but I think the mental break I get when I use those masks help too. It is time that I have to be still and relax, which I probably don’t do enough. I also found a nice new body cream at CVS on sale that I got that feels a lot more luxurious than my normal body lotion. Sometimes, it’s the little things like those that make a big difference.

I’ve been working a lot of doing these self-care things this week and I really have noticed my stress levels go down. I still need it to go down a bit more before I feel totally like myself, but I’m glad it’s getting better. I didn’t need to turn to medication (which I’d rather not use since it will make my Vyvanse less effective) and I’m not waiting it out and suffering. I’m taking action and figuring out what works. Or at least what works for me right now. I know that things will change all the time and what is working now might not work later this year. But at least I was productive in figuring out what I needed to do.

I know that this self-care is a positive step, but I still am working on how to stop the stress from getting to this level. I want to be able to stop it before it gets this bad and I start feeling overwhelmed. But as I’ve learned I have to look at the baby steps I take and not get frustrated. I can’t be expected to figure out everything right away so I need to appreciate that I figured out one small step toward figuring it all out. And hopefully next time, I’ll figure out the next small step.

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Relaxation (or Taking Some Time To Myself)

I’ve been busy with a lot of things lately. Between work, workouts, acting, and other stuff I feel like my days are getting filled up really quickly. This is awesome and I’m so happy about it, but sometimes I realize that I need to take a step back and relax for a bit. I’m finally getting better at realizing when my body feels like it’s getting to a breaking point, so when I started to feel like that at the beginning of this week I took some time to myself. I’m glad that I didn’t get to the point where I got exhausted and needed a few days to get back to my usual self. This time, I really only spent 2 afternoons being selfish and doing things for myself and I feel back to normal already.

I ended up canceling plans that I had made this Monday to do some stuff that I needed to do but had been putting off. Even though my plans were more fun, getting stuff crossed off my to-do list is really nice too! None of the things on my to-do list were urgent, so I had been putting them off for a while. I think knowing that I should be doing something but not was causing a bit of stress in my life. So getting those done relived some stress and made the rest of the things I needed to get done not feel as overwhelming.

I’ve also rediscovered my love for the library. I used to use the library all the time. My original e-reader was a Sony because at the time that was the only one that could get library e-books. But then I almost forgot about the library and I let my library card expire (did you know they could do that?). So a few weeks ago, I went down to the local library branch to get a new library card so I could start enjoying library books again. I’ve checked out a bunch of stuff lately. It’s so easy to get library books on my Kindle (much easier than my old e-reader) so I’ve gotten a ton of new books lately.

I feel so silly that I haven’t used the library lately, but now I’m back and obsessed! After running the errands I had to run on Monday, my afternoon and evening were spent reading and that was such a perfect way to spend the day. I still have books that I buy, but I’m so glad that the library is pretty well stocked with e-books so I can curb that spending habit. I know I’ve spent a lot of money on books (I love them so much!) and if I could limit my book spending just to the books I love so much and know I’ll be reading over and over again, that will help me budget better. I still can’t get over how this wasn’t something I thought of sooner, but at least know I’m on the right track to reducing my spending habits without reducing my reading material.

I also spent time getting ready for my upcoming trip for Rayshell’s wedding. I had already gotten a dress to wear and some cute and comfortable shoes. But I realized that if I was wearing open toed shoes at a nice event my feet probably should look nice. So on Tuesday after work, I went to my favorite pedicure place and splurged on a pedicure. My last pedicure was last spring, so I think that I had deserved to get another one. And I found the perfect color to put on my toes for a wedding!

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I’ve still got a couple of other things that I need to do before this weekend, but there’s nothing that feels so big that it will be tough to complete. I want to be able to enjoy my weekend (which includes the wedding and a 5K race) and not have to stress about things at home or things that need to be done. Most of the things on my to-do list now are ideas that I’d like to work on (like reorganizing my desk and cleaning out my workout clothes drawer), but they won’t affect me if they don’t happen this week or month. I would like to work on checking things off more often so they don’t build up like they have. That’s just something else I need to work on in my self-improvement so I can maybe start treating these relaxation days and rewards for getting stuff done!

Getting A New Look (or Two Attempts To Dye My Hair)

I’ve had a very similar hair color for several years now. I’ve had small changes and have had it dyed a little darker or a little lighter (depending on the season), but it’s pretty much been the same for a long time. And while I’ve loved the color it’s been, I’ve been ready for a change for a while. But I’ve been putting off changing up my hair.

Part of the reason for this is that if I change my hair color drastically, I have to get new headshots. It’s just the way it is. Before I was really pursuing acting, I would change my hair color almost every time I had my hair done. In some ways I miss that, but in other ways I’m glad I’m past that stage (I’m not good looking as a blonde).

So the last time my friend Erin did my hair, I mentioned that I thought that the next time she did my hair I would go for a big change. She’s totally cool with changing it up (I think she wishes she could change my hair more often) and we texted back and forth a couple of pictures of ideas. We had finally settled on one and this past Friday I finally got to change up my color.

Besides being excited to change my hair, I desperately needed a cut and color. It had been several months since my hair was done, and it was looking a bit scraggly.

Hair Before

First, Erin dyed my hair the color that she had picked out and texted a sample of to me. While it looked good in the sample, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I did really love the color, but I knew that it wasn’t the most marketable color for me to have (I’m a big mad that I loved the color so much and had to change it). Then Erin added a brunette toner on top of the color she had dyed it earlier and it came out perfect and exactly like the picture I had sent to her.

Hair After

I’m so in love with my new color, but it’s a big change and I’m still getting used to it. It looks so much healthier now and I think that the color is going to be easier to manage. And so far, everyone who has seen me has loved it. And while it looks much shorter in the after picture, it’s pretty much the same length it was before.

Because of the hair color change, I’ll be doing new headshots very soon and I’m excited to see how casting directors react to the new color. Hopefully the new look will get me more auditions because I won’t look like a lot of the girls in my category (we’ve all had light auburn hair for a while).

Change is sometimes scary for me, but this time I think it’s a really good change and I’m excited to see what my new hair color inspires me to do!

 

People Don’t Get It (or My Comment On The Dear Fat People Video)

Some of you may have seen a video online called “Dear Fat People”. I’m not going to link to it because I don’t want to necessarily promote it (if you want to watch it, it’s pretty easy to find). I actually had not seen the video until yesterday and I had some pretty strong feelings about it.

First of all, I guess the fat people video is supposed to be funny. The woman in it is a comedian who thought that it would be seen as a joke (or at least that’s what I’ve read in interviews). In the video, she claims that fat shaming isn’t a thing. People who are fat should be shamed so they can change themselves. She thinks that fat people are fat because they don’t know that it’s wrong and don’t know how to fix it. She tells a story about a family who are all overweight (she says that they smell like sausages and sweat out Crisco) and are on a plane with her. According to her, she has to hold back the son’s fat while he is sitting next to her so it doesn’t cover her. She goes on and on about more stories about how fat people don’t realize that they need to change because they are all dying off from fat diseases. She does say that this video isn’t about anyone who may have a medical condition who makes them fat.

I have so many issues with this video that I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, her disclaimer that this video isn’t about anyone with a medical condition is stupid. How does she know that the people she discusses in her video don’t have a medical condition? While I don’t have a medical condition that causes my weight issues (beyond my eating disorder) I do have an invisible disability with my hip issues. I get a pass when I go to Disneyland that lets me sit off to the side when I wait for rides. I still wait just as long as anyone in line, but I don’t have to stand in line while waiting. When it’s my turn, I get to go onto the ride. Many guests think this is a front of the line/instant access pass. It did used to be that way, but too many people were faking injuries to get it. Back then, the disability line for many rides were longer than the regular line (I once waited 3 hours for Space Mountain when the regular line was 1 because I need to use the accessible coaster car so I can get into the ride safely). Now that it’s not considered as desirable to people who fake their injuries, the wait times are similar or maybe a little longer than the regular line. With this pass, I’ve had some people shame me for using it. I’ve had people tell me that if I wasn’t so fat that I wouldn’t have to cheat the system. I’ve been called names. I’ve been pointed out and laughed at. In the beginning, I used to carry around the pictures from my surgery to call out people, but now I just don’t care. But it does make me mad when someone assumes that someone doesn’t have a disability because they can’t see it.

I also find the story of the airplane completely unbelievable. If someone doesn’t fit into one seat and will be encroaching onto another seat, the airlines are pretty quick to force that person to buy a second seat so they have enough room. The guideline is that the armrest needs to go completely down without any spillage for the airline to agree that you take up one seat (yes, I’ve been called out on this and it was stupid because there was more than enough room for the armrests to go down). If this woman really had to hold back the fat of someone to enjoy their flight, I’m sure that the other passenger would have been asked to buy a second seat. I’m sure that either this story is made up or exaggerated for theatrical purposes.

Finally, the person in the video believes that people who are fat don’t know what to do to fix it. While this might be true for some overweight people, the majority of the people I know with weight issues know more about health, nutrition, diet, and exercise than almost anyone else. This is because most of us have tried every diet under the sun to lose the weight and get healthy. I can tell you the calorie counts of so many different foods. If you tell me your weight, I can guess how many calories you will burn if you walk or run a mile with pretty decent accuracy. I know what drinks have added sugars, fake sugars, or have a base other than water. I probably could teach a class on nutrition by this point. And I think that most of you who are regular readers would agree that I am working pretty darn hard on my fitness and know what I need to do. If I didn’t have my eating disorder, I’d probably be a size 2 now.

To anyone who watched that video and was embarrassed about your weight issues, there’s no need to be. Everyone has their struggles in life. Those of us with weight issues just have our issues on the outside where everyone can see them. If you are happy at the size that you are and your doctors say that you are healthy, then stay exactly how you are. If you want to lose weight, do it. There are plenty of great and healthy ways to lose weight and become the best that you can be.

And if you watched that video and felt like that people who are overweight should be shamed, you should know that shaming someone isn’t probably going to motivate them. For people with eating disorders, it will probably make the problem worse. If there is someone you love who is an unhealthy weight and you are worried about them, try to let them bring the issue to you. It’s embarrassing to discuss these things at times and if someone else brings it up they might not want to talk about it and then keep it buried inside even longer.

I’m aware that this is a rant about a silly video online. But if I had seen that video online maybe 5 years ago, I would have had a very different reaction to it. I see it as silly now, but then I would have been devastated and would have wanted to avoid the public in fear of random people trying to shame or taunt me because of my weight.

But now I know that no matter how skinny or fat I might be, I’m still the same fabulous person. People love me for who I am and not what I look like. And anyone who thinks differently isn’t someone who I need in my life.

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Feeling Refreshed (or Looking Good While Babysitting)

With so much going on lately, some of my regular “maintenance” things have been forgotten. I usually get my hair done pretty regularly but with everything keeping me busy I just kept putting off doing it. I’ve had some people make some comments about my hair not looking its best, so I realized that I needed to stop procrastinating and finally get my hair done.

I finally made an appointment with my friend who does my hair this past weekend and since I would be over there anyway I agreed to babysit as well. I’ve been watching her kids for forever so they are usually pretty good for me. And since it was going to pretty much just dinner, watch a movie, and then put the kids to bed; I knew it would be a pretty easy evening.

But before babysitting, I got my hair cut and colored. I’ve been getting it dyed red for a very long time now. I’d like to switch it up a little bit, but that also means getting new headshots. So we have to keep my hair in pretty much the same color family. But my friend was able to make it a bit more copper than it has been in the past, so while it’s still similar it’s a nice subtle change for me.

Fresh Hair

I love when my hair is freshly dyed and looking so nice! If I could afford to get my hair dyed as soon as my roots are starting to show, I would do so. But for now, I’m usually getting it done every 3 months (I’m hoping to change that to every other month soon).

I always think it’s pretty funny that when I have my hair looking the best that I usually spend that night babysitting. But that’s how it goes when you babysit your hairstylist’s kids.

The babysitting job was relatively easy. Since the kids know me so well they sometimes try to pull an attitude with me, but nothing that bad (nothing compared to some families whose kids have hit me). Plus, when they pull an attitude with me my friend trusts me enough to handle it and call them out. So I don’t feel like I have to put up with her kids lying to me and arguing with me about things (usually about dumb things like how they claim they are allowed 4 different desserts).

But besides the kids trying to trick me into extra desserts, they were super well-behaved and went to bed without too much fighting. And once the kids were asleep, I spent the rest of the time there reading my book.

While I love being super social and busy, it’s also super nice to take care of myself and have time to read (and in an air-conditioned house!). While I didn’t get to take advantage of my awesome looking hair that night, it was fine with me.

At least I finally got my hair done and my roots and split ends taken care of and nobody will say that my hair is looking a little scraggly!

Pre-Thanksgiving Pampering (or Trying To Get Everything Done)

Thanksgiving is pretty much here already. That’s insane! I’ll be heading to San Diego this year to join my family, and before I go I have so much stuff to get done!

I have some of my usual craziness, but for some reason this upcoming weekend is one of the most packed weekends of the year for me. And besides getting things packed before I drive, I have some food and crafts to finish up (I’ll post about those during Thanksgiving week).

But yesterday after work, I realized that if I wanted to get any of the beauty things done that I wanted to do, it was my last chance before I drive down.

So as soon as work was done for me at 3pm, I hopped in my car and drove to Brentwood where the Benefit store is that I get my eyebrows done at. Fortunately, you make appointments online so I knew that I would get in when I needed to.

Getting my brows done pretty much feels like maintenance to me. I’ve been getting them done since I was 14. And when I don’t get them done, I have a pretty bad unibrow. But at least at Benefit they try to make it fun. They always do a little makeup for you before you leave and while you are waiting there is a ton of makeup to look at and play with.

I actually needed to purchase a few things, and I found that they had a holiday gift pack that was cheaper than the 2 things I needed. So I got what I needed plus a little extra (some of which I will be giving to my mom).

After my brows were done, I got back into my car and drove about 20 blocks to the nail salon. I had also made an appointment for my pedicure (I don’t like doing walk ins anymore because you never know if they can get you in or not). I hadn’t had a pedicure since before my birthday and the blister on my foot is healing very nicely. So I figured I was due and wanted cute toes for Thanksgiving (although I’ve realized since that all the shoes I will be packing are closed toe).

When it’s wintertime and I get a pedicure, I try to go for some out there colors. I’ve done yellow and various neons before, but this time I found a really cute icy blue that seemed perfect for winter.

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Now that I feel beautiful and girly again (it’s funny how getting your eyebrows done and a pedicure can make you feel like you got a total makeover), I’m superficially ready for Thanksgiving. This weekend will be some shopping trips and getting things prepared for my drive as soon as I’m done with work on Tuesday.

The countdown to the major family event of the year is on!

Birthday Beauty Discounts (or Making My Birthday Last The Entire Month)

I’ve talked about birthday deals in the past and there are some that I enjoy every single year. And I’m learning to start asking stores that I frequent if they have any birthday deals.

And this year, even though my birthday isn’t until tomorrow, I’ve already enjoyed 2 birthday deals related to beauty!

The only birthday beauty deal I knew about in the past was at Sephora where you get something for free on your birthday (I haven’t gotten my postcard yet so I don’t know what I can get for free this year). I do take advantage of the Sephora deal, but I try not to spend too much on other things while I’m there (and I know that’s the reason for the freebie!).

Something that is a total freebie is at Benefit’s Brow Bars. I go to the one near Santa Monica to get my eyebrows done. It’s more expensive than the cheapie nail salon that I used to go to, but I think they do a way better job at waxing and shaping my brows and you even get a free makeup touch-up when they are done!

Around your birthday (I’m not sure if it has to be your birthday week or month), you get a free brow wax! And since I go there anyway, of course I scheduled a wax over the weekend to take advantage of that!

The brow wax is usually $20 (the cheapie nail salon was $10), so when I get my free wax, I am able to leave a big tip since I’m saving so much! This time, I left a $15 tip (I usually do $5).

Not only did a get a free brow wax, my eyebrows are going to look amazing for my birthday party (which is tonight!).

Another beauty birthday discount is at Queen Bee Salon and Spa. Sorry for my readers who aren’t in LA, but this is a salon that has one location in Culver City and another in Brentwood (I go to the Culver City one). I go here for bikini waxes and have been going for a little over a year now. Bikini waxes are never fun and they aren’t painless, but Queen Bee makes them more bearable. Plus, the waxer I go to, Jenn V., is super awesome and friendly. So we are normally chatting and gossiping while she works and it helps to distract me from the pain (taking a painkiller about an hour before I go helps too).

When I went in for my bikini wax last month I realized that my next wax would be around my birthday. So I asked if they had any birthday deals even though I had never heard of one there before. It turns out, they just created a birthday discount! If you get a service done either 4 days before or 4 days after your birthday you get 10% off!

So I scheduled my wax to be yesterday and I got a nice little discount on something that I would have done anyway!

I am going to DryBar today to get my hair done before my party, but when I looked at their deals, only people with memberships to DryBar get free blowouts on their birthdays. I definitely don’t get enough blowouts to make a membership worth it (nor do I have the money for something like that).

I’d love to find some more beauty birthday deals while it’s my birthday month! Those are so much better for my weight loss goals than all the food freebies (although I will be going to at least one of my free meals this month).

If anyone knows of a pedicure birthday deal, you would become one of my favorite people ever!

Coconut Oil Hair Mask (or Trying A Simple DIY Beauty Trick)

I bought a jar of coconut oil at Trader Joes a while ago. I’ve been using it on my skin as a moisturizer and to help heal little cuts that I get (it seems to help with scars). But I had been seeing online about using it as a hair mask, so I figured I’d give it a try.

It’s really simple. All you need is some coconut oil, a hair clip if your hair is long, and a shower cap.

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My hair was dirty when I did this. I only wash my hair 2 or 3 times a week (helps keep my red hair from fading), but I made sure that my hair was brushed through and free of any tangles.

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Please ignore my greasy roots (and how badly my roots need to be dyed!). Coconut oil melts at a very low temperature (about 76 degrees and it was warmer than that in my house this particular day) so the coconut oil in the jar was actually pretty liquified when I used it.

I poured some oil into my hands and started to saturate my hair starting at the ends. I used most of it on the ends but I did put a little on my roots as well. I didn’t measure how much I used, but it was probably about 2 tablespoons.

After getting the oil in my hair (and making myself smell like a coconut cookie), I clipped my hair back into a bun and covered it with a shower cap.

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I read online on several sites that you should heat up your hair while the oil is in it. Many sites recommend using a blowdryer for this. But I’m lazy so I figured by covering my hair with the shower cap it would get warm in there and be good enough.

I left it in for about 30 minutes before I went to wash my hair. Since my hair is thin, I washed my hair twice to make sure that I got all of the oil out of it. Just a warning, washing the oil out of your hair will make the floor of your shower slippery. Be careful! Even though I have an anti-slip bathmat in my tub, I still was slipping.

I dried and styled my hair as usual and this is what I looked like when I was done.

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It wasn’t bad, but my hair didn’t feel clean. It felt more like the day after I shampoo. The curls held a lot more than they normally do when my hair is clean. And I felt like my hair was a little flat as well.

The next day, my hair looked much better.

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It was nice and shiny and felt a lot smoother than it usually does. And after washing it another time, it still felt really good.

I’m probably going to keep using this basic hair mask but only do it once a month or so. And I’m not going to expect my hair to look fabulous on the day I do it. But I think that it helped to make my hair seem healthier and shinier (and maybe a bit less frizzy). And since I’ve got a giant thing of coconut oil (and using it on my skin barely uses any of it), I might as well keep doing it!

If you have any other DIY hair masks I’d love to hear about them!

Pamper Me Fabulous (or At Least The View Was Pretty)

A few weeks ago, I saw that tickets for Pamper Me Fabulous were on Living Social for half price. I remembered that some blogger friends of mine had gone to the event earlier this year, so I thought I’d check it out. Plus, since I had a credit on Living Social from the laser hair removal place that refused to honor my deal, technically the event was free for me.

So yesterday, I headed down to Palos Verdes Peninsula to Terranea Resort. As soon as I pulled into the property, there was a huge line of cars trying to park. So I enjoyed the view while I wasn’t moving.

After finally parking my car, I got into the line to check in for the event. The line was long, but it moved quickly, and I was inside the event.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this event was not it. It was so crowded and had a trade show vibe to me. Everywhere I turned, people were selling something. The event had promoted online that there were free and cheap spa treatments available. The mini-facials that were available were $39 (the same price I pay for a real facial). A manicure was $18 (at the nail salon I go to, it’s only $10). And even if I wanted to get something, the appointments were filled up until almost 5pm.

The only “treatment” I got was at a booth that was trying to sell curling and flat irons. I’m actually in the market for a clamp-less curling iron, but I didn’t want to spend $150 on it. The sales woman did do my hair and teach me some tricks.

After an hour of trying to get around all the people in the event, I decided to go outside, and some lunch, and then call it a day. The lunch was nice, but the view was spectacular.

The last thing I did there was pick up my gift bag. This gift bag was supposedly highly coveted and worth more than the cost of my ticket. It was filled with some pretty great (and full-sized) products.

Overall, I didn’t have a great experience at Pamper Me Fabulous. It was beyond crowded in there. Maybe by putting tickets on Living Social they got more attendees than they expected. And maybe I would have had more fun if I had gone with some friends. I’m not sure if I’ll check it out again in the future. Maybe if it’s a bit closer I will, but I don’t think that it was worth the hour drive each way.

Dealing with Living Social (or I Thought I Bought a Good Deal)

As someone who is trying to bring down their credit card debit, I love good deals! But I still enjoy fun things in my life. I try to do spa stuff during Spa Week (which is coming up in mid-October). I look out for sales on clothes and shoes. And I love Living Social deals!

Or at least I did love those deals.

About 3 weeks ago, I bought a deal for 6 laser hair removal treatments for $99. It was at a place in Beverly Hills and the reviews on Yelp were all 4 and 5 stars. I was excited because this would be a great way to see if I could handle the pain of laser hair removal and would want to do it on other parts of my body.

I finally got through to someone on the phone this past Saturday. He was extremely rude on the phone to me. No greeting when he answered the phone. And as soon as I said I had a Living Social deal, all he said was “we can’t see you until October”. I said that was fine as long as I could use all 6 of my treatments (the deal had a promotional value expiration date of December 17th). The guy said that they would only let me use treatments until December 17th, therefore I would only be able to get 1 or 2 of my 6 treatments done.

I think that this is crap. I pretty much said that to the guy on the phone, who claimed to be the manager. If you are too busy to see me for over a month, you should let me complete all my treatments as long as I start them before the expiration date.

So on Sunday, I called Living Social. I explained the situation and said I wanted a refund. They weren’t able to offer me a refund, but they did credit the amount I paid to my account. And then the guy on the phone told me that they were having a lot of complaints about this vendor not honoring the deal they offered.

I’m glad I got my money credited to my account. Even if the laser hair removal place apologized to me, I wouldn’t want them to have my money. I’m a little sad because I was excited to try laser hair removal. I guess I’ll have to wait until another good deal comes along.

Oh, and all those 4 and 5 star reviews on Yelp? I think they are fake. Now when you look, it’s a lot of 1 and 2 star reviews (including my 1 star review on how they treated me).