2016….The Year of The Monkey

Hi Readers!! Welcome to 2017!! Hope everyone is looking forward to a new year as much as me. My 2016 was awesome, but I think this will be the year of positive change for me. The salon is doing better and better. I finally got rid of some dead weight here. By that I mean I got rid of the previous owner that I inherited with the salon. I have been counting down her exit since the day we opened. I got my wish just in time for the new year! I also just hired on a brow specialist to start a “Brow Bar” and I couldn’t be more excited. I have lots of new ideas for Shear Envy this year and can’t wait to get started!

I originally sat down and started writing a post about how the year started with my dealings with the employee who is no longer. I was in the throws of writing a masterpiece complete with pictures and said f*ck this. I deleted it. I figure there is no need to waste my typing skills on the drama. Instead I want to talk about some stuff that excited me in 2016 and some stuff that I am excited for in 2017.

2016..Let’s Review

Last year rocked for me in lots of ways. Here are 8 things I am thankful to 2016 for:

#1 Shear Envy Salon ( I mean did you even have to guess as to what the #1 would be?! I am elated to say I opened my 1st hair salon. It was not easy. I wanted to give up a times. I cried. I broke out in hives..a few times. I threw a few tantrums. But, things got easier. Stuff fell into place. I can now say almost 1 year after opening, that I love going to work every day. I live for this pace and for the clients that walk through my doors.) http://www.shearenvyct.com

#2 NYC (If you know me personally, you know my heart beats a little faster for this city. It is by far my favorite place to be. I am lucky to be able to up and run to this magical city anytime I want. This past year was no exception. I was there a lot to say the least and plan on keeping with that tradition in 2017. Some of the firsts for 2016 where getting henna for the first time. Eating Thai ice cream for the 1st time. Eating the Sarabeth’s bread basket….a must have. Walking the High Line. Seeing the plants in the Low Line. Chelsea Market.)

#3 Getting my gun permit and my own gun (This was a liberating experience! I was petrified at first to carry a gun. This year I have become so comfortable carrying a firearm that I hate when I don’t carry it! If you have never shot a gun or don’t have a permit. Go get one!!!!!!)

#4 New Orleans (I have dreamed of sitting in an outside cafe, sipping chicory coffee and eating a Cafe Du Monde Beignet. I got my wish. I wasn’t there long enough to get a good feel for NOLA itself, but I loved walking the French Quarter. There is always live music..as in a marching band could all of a sudden just start playing while walking up the street. The charm is old world and you can feel the strength of the city as you walk the streets. NOLA was destroyed but the perseverance of it’s inhabitants was not. The locals are so proud of their city and you can feel it. They fought back and rebuilt. I will go back and spend more time there as soon as I can. I met some new friends while I was there, had some new experiences and saw a place I had never been.) 

#5 Mexico (One of my favorite places to vacation!! This was an awesome trip and the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on. I got up in the morning, put on a bathing suit, had breakfast with my best friend and my husband and spent the days snorkeling and looking for sea treasures with Melani. It was heaven to me and much needed. If you have never vacationed with your best friend…you need to. It is literally good for your soul.  Having a bestie is like having a sister. That you got to choose!! The beaches are beautiful. The weather is great. The locals still like Americans. All a win/win) 

#6 Carmines 1st birthday (My nephew has a place in my heart that will only belong to him. I don’t have any children of my own. I have no plans of having children, nor is my lifestyle conducive to a child.  My sister went through a lot to have this little guy which makes him that much more special to me. Sisters always have a bond. My sister and I are no different. We may not talk much or see each other very often. We may not agree on things. We live different lives. But a piece of her lives in me. I can’t explain it, but I feel it. I feel this same way for Carmine. I can’t wait to see what he does and who he becomes. 

#7 Turning 40 (I know…everyone is thinking NO WAY! Alas….it’s true. I turned 40 this year alongside my husband. At least I didn’t have to do it alone. Thanks to all the awesome people I am lucky enough to have in my life, I had 3 celebrations and 3 amazing cakes. It was awesome! To start, my mom threw me a party! We celebrated again on my actual day and then I got the sweetest surprise from my husband who threw me a surprise party. It was a great birthday month for me and one I will never forget. 

#8 The last thing I am grateful to 2016 for, is the great memories I created with the people I love. I have happiness, my health, and success. It was truly a great year for me and this recap doesn’t do it justice. When Shauna and I started this blog, I think we both had things on our minds regarding our future that we needed an outlet for. Mine business. Her’s a child. By writing about our lives and experiences, it became therapeutic in a way. For me it still is. I sit and write for an hour or 2 and get lost in my thoughts. It forces me to push out my daily craziness and bullshit and concentrate on the good in my life. I reread what I write and I laugh, I cry and most of all I reflect on the life I have built and I can say I am proud of me. I don’t mean this in a conceited way, I mean it as a suggestion. When things get tough, crazy, dramatic, feel impossible or even in your greatest moment, sit for a minute. Write down your experience. Tell someone what you feel. Talk about your memories. Ask for advice. Give advice. Feel proud of yourself. You deserve it. Cheers to you all in 2017 xo, Tara

Beauty Box Subscriptions….Treasure or Trash? A look inside……..

Hi everyone!

It’s Melani, your makeup and product addict here 🙂 … As usual I am always on the hunt for new and innovative beauty products and since it’s a new year  let’s talk about a no brainer way to do just that! I for one am sick of wasting money on products that end up in the bottom of the makeup drawer that I find years later.

The Tale of the Makeup Hoarder 🙁

So.. in comes the beauty box subscription: Should you or shouldn’t you? And which one?? Every store and every beauty resource has one. If you want to keep up with what’s new and exciting in the world of beauty then I say go for it! I am constantly searching cosmetic company  websites such as MAC, Sephora, Ulta, Dior, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Lancôme, and Urban Decay just to keep up with what’s on trend or being released. It’s a full time job!

What attracted me to beauty boxes is that you are able to try new or just released items in a deluxe trial size and hopefully saving yourself some money in the process. In the past,  I have given these subscriptions as holiday gifts and because I am such an avid makeup buyer I thought this year I would give one to myself. So how do you choose which subscription is right for you?

My top three pics:

  • Ipsy Glam Bag: $10.00 Per Month, Monthly Subscription which can be cancelled anytime. This is the subscription that I have. https://www.ipsy.com/
    1. There are 5 deluxe size samples and a small cosmetic bag
    2. Your preferences are taken into account and include hair, skin, nails, and makeup
    3. Higher end products like IT Cosmetics, Ren Beauty, Ciate London
    4. Includes some drugstore brands such as NYX, however, you can request only certain brands and/or products. For example, for two months in a row I received hand cream. I updated my preferences to no more hand cream. I can also change my preferences each month.
    5. Ipsy also has a great app with discount codes listed and offers from the companies that are represented such as Crown Brush which is a great cosmetic brush company. This month Ipsy is offering 30% off if you are a subscriber. That is even better than the discounts offered at the professional makeup shows! Here is an example of the January Glam Bag (minus the hand cream that came with it):
Ipsy Glam Bag January 2017. Pictured From Left to Right: Ciate Gel Top Coat, Manadakar Single Eyeshadow, Pacifica Blush Single, and IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Illuminating



  • Birchbox: $10.00 Per Month, Monthly Subscription (can be cancelled anytime) or Yearly $99.00. https://www.birchbox.com/
    1. There are 5 deluxe size samples of beauty products but one may be substituted for stationary or a hair tie or some fun item based on preferences
    2. Includes all types of brands and some Indie brands from high end to drugstore
    3. Money saving if you choose the yearly subscription
    4. Full size may show up once in awhile
    5. Special offers and discount codes are available each month from the companies included in that month’s box
Birchbox Example with 4 deluxe samples shown


  • Target Beauty Box: $7.00 Per Month, Purchased when available on http://www.target.com/p/target-beauty-box/-/A-16331809
    1. There are 5 deluxe samples and all items are available at Target
    2. Usually includes a coupon
    3. Available monthly however, can sell out quickly as only 20,000 are available
    4. Items are drugstore brands and include hair, skin, and makeup
    5. Great choice if these brands appeal to you and very affordable
Target Beauty Box Example

These three subscriptions are the best bet to keep up with what is going on in the world of beauty. I have found that the Ipsy box gives the best bang for your buck in terms of quality. Next up I will review this month’s product line up from the January Ipsy bag and what discounts are available if you are a subscriber. Until then please leave comments, questions, and thoughts on all things beauty!

xoxo Melani