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2003-04-30 - 1:28 p.m.

In which I experiment with Brown

I spent over an hour today dying my body brown in various ways. First was my hair. I got highlights a couple of months ago but have since decided (and I should have already known this) that I'm not up to root maintenance. I just can't go to the salon often enough and spend all that money. So, I decided to dye the whole thing a nice sedate dark brown again (pretty close to my natural color). I used Clairol Hydrience #44, Mocha Splash. It turned out pretty well, although I think the ends are slightly darker than the roots and I have no idea why.

Conveniently, The Scientist and I discovered that there's a new hair salon in our neighborhood (the first one within easy walking distance) so I can go try it out for a haircut and not have to admit to my former salon woman that I got rid of the highlights she did. I'm a salon coward.


The second brown of the day was an experiment in sunless-tanner. My Celtic (Scotch-Irish) Northern European (German, French, English) heritage has given me very pale skin that burns quickly (usually in a flattering splotchy pattern, sometimes involving a rash) and does not tan. Generously, one can refer to my skin tone as "alabaster" and make flattering comparisons to Snow White (pale skin, dark hair, red lips, hopefully more intelligence and spine than she showed).

It doesn't bother me most of the year, but in the summer I find myself longing for legs with more color than fishbelly white. I don't even want to be tan, just less aggressively pale. (My friend AR thinks there's an American Studies/Sociology paper in white America's obsession with being more brown.) Thus, Neutrogena's new Instant Bronze - Sunless Tanner and Bronzer In One (medium).

I've never used anything like this before (I bought some last year and then chickened out) and I was pleasantly surprised. It was easy to put on - the bronzer showed me where it was uneven - and gave me natural results. I wasn't tan, but I also was noticeably less white. In fact, The Scientist commented when he came home (as I was painting my toenails) that my foot looked tanner than usual and I hadn't even told him what I was doing.

I haven't had any trouble with it coming off on my clothes or towels, but I generally wear dark clothes (jeans, lots of black) so I'm not sure I would have noticed. All in all, a very successful experience with brown.

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