An Invitation: Caudalie French Skin Care + Jason Wu Event in Venice Beach, California

An Invitation: Caudalie French Skin Care + Jason Wu Event in Venice Beach, California

As I was going through the mail following our summer travel, I discovered an invitation to an event for a brand of which I am a longtime fan. The event was to celebrate the collaboration between the french skin care line, Caudalie by Mathilde Thomas, and fashion designer, Jason Wu. My first thought was, "I can't fly to Venice Beach, I just got home from 3 weeks in Europe". Then I realized that Scott was already planning to be in LA for a class reunion that very weekend and had already reserved a hotel. The timing could not have been more perfect! We decided to drive the 8+ hours to Los Angeles and it was so convenient to have a car for all the stops we planned to make. We downloaded the intriguing podcast 'Serial' which made the drive absolutely fly by.

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The Story of How We Met (+ a walk down memory lane in San Francisco)

The Story of How We Met (+ a walk down memory lane in San Francisco)

The last thing I wanted to do that breezy fall day, back in 1997, was attend an early mental health conference in South San Francisco. I was going through a difficult time in life, a drawn out divorce, and I barely had the energy to make it to work as a school psychologist, much less pull off the professional thing at a conference an hour away. I remember getting stuck in traffic and feeling like a hot mess when I finally arrived at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront in South San Francisco. I thought I could finally relax, then I learned a colleague was intent on introducing me to the chairman of the conference before the session began. UGH!!!! I protested and started to walk away, until he caught my eye. His smile, and that twinkle in his eyes, were electric. I must have lit up, too, though it had been awhile since I had felt lit up in any way.

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An Invitation to The Knot's Dream Wedding in Wine Country

An Invitation to The Knot's Dream Wedding in Wine Country

A dream wedding in wine country? Yes!!  I felt excited as I read my invitation to attend the wedding of the year by the wedding website, The Knot. I had used The Knot website to plan my wedding back in 2000, and since that time they have become the premier wedding website. I also noted that the wedding location, the picturesque Chateau St. Jean, in Sonoma Valley, is a quintessential wine country venue.

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How to Color Your Hair at Home with L'Oreal Paris

I have planned to write a post on 'how to' color your hair at home for ages. When L'Oreal Paris contacted me about reviewing their new Excellence Age Perfect Layered-Tone Flattering Color hair color line, I knew the timing was perfect.  I've colored my hair at home since my early 20's. When I think of the time I've saved, from appointments at the salon, and the cost (roughly $40 touch up cost x 12 months x 25 years =$12,000), coloring your hair at home is definitely a smart, savvy idea. My problem with my frequent root touch-ups at home was the regrowth; if my shade was on the darker side, the re-growth was very obvious. If my shade was too light, my color may last longer but the tone would wash me out. Finding the balance in shades is always the tricky part.

Those grays....I usually like a little mixed metal (silver and gold) but it's definitely prettier in jewelry than in hair.

When I agreed to write a review, L'Oreal requested the typical shades I would use to color my hair. Several days later the sample arrived at my house. The hair color experts at L'Oreal chose 8N (medium natural blonde) which was a good match to my caramel, golden blonde base. I was looking forward to trying the new multi-dimensional formula pioneered by L'Oreal. A flat, one-dimensional hair color does no favors for anyone, but 'shimmering, radiant, harmoniously blended roots', all sound like a great hair day to me!

Coloring your hair at home is very simple.

These are my steps:

1 - Read, and re-read directions to be certain you understand the steps.

2 - Lay out your tools--color tubes, gloves, comb/brush tool, timer and directions--before you start. I add a towel, or scarf, and facial oil.

3 - If you have never used a hair color before, a strand test is essential to work out timing and sensitivity level for your unique hair type.

4 - Wrap a towel or scarf around your shoulders to catch any drips.

5 - Rub facial oil on the skin along your hairline so that color does not dye your skin.


6 - L'Oreal designed a handy new tool for easy application. Once I got the hang of using this brush/comb, I found it to be genius (practice a trial run before you load it with color)!

7 - Mix colors according to directions, shake well, & work quickly to load the brush with color.


Shake it!

8 - Apply color to your roots, starting with the hairline and natural part, and work backwards. I use the point of the comb to part hair into straight rows (the best way to get perfect overage). Starting at the front hairline and part, allows extra time for color to develop on the areas that show the most.

9 - When you've covered all roots, set the timer to 25 minutes, and allow L'Oreal Excellence Age Perfect color to work its magic.

10 - When the timer beeps, use the brush to pull color through to your ends, for the final 5 minutes of color time.

11 - 5 minutes later hop in the shower, lather up color with water, and rinse thoroughly.

12 - Apply the luxurious Restorative Conditioning Treatment, for the final 2 minutes in the shower, and rinse until water runs clear.

(*Full Disclosure: I learned a lesson by asking my husband to take a few 'head-shots only' in the shower! ;) #crop #crop #crop

I was one of those dark hair, blue-eyed girls that went gray early. I've found that dark blonde shades are much easier to maintain, than dark hair with a frequently reappearing skunk stripe. Being a veteran of 25+ years of hair color at home, I was extremely pleased with my experience using L'Oreal Excellence Age Perfect.The directions are clear and easy to follow. The innovative brush/comb eased the awkward application process, even at the nape of my neck. The scent was actually pleasant, rather than the harsh chemical smell of some hair color products. My husband even noticed the gentle fragrance as he photographed my 'shower scene'. L'Oreal seems more gentle than other brands I've used and it did not irritate my scalp in the least. The conditioner was extremely luxurious and left my hair feeling silky smooth and full.

The best thing is truly the radiant color. I was very happy with the level of shine and shimmer my hair had after coloring. The multi-dimensional properties allow for your roots to grow out and blend, with less of the dreaded 'skunk stripe', which equals more time between touch-ups. That's a big plus in my busy calendar.

I want to thank L'Oreal Paris for the opportunity to give their new hair color a test drive. My hair feels soft, silky and looks shimmery, loaded with multi-dimensional highlights.  I'm very pleased with my results and will most definitely be using L'Oreal Excellence Age Perfect Hair Color again and again.

Have you ever colored your hair at home?

If you are considering at home hair color, try this helpful online tool L'Oreal Paris.

Do you have any tips you would like to share?


I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for L'Oreal Excellence Age Perfect. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with L'Oreal Excellence Age Perfect and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.