In a span of 10 days, I have managed to accumulate 2 new incidences that I could relay as a sort of lessons learnt for others. One is on online shopping, and the other on beauty.
So let's get into it to cut the story short (because God knows I cannot write anything briefly!)
The first incident on online shopping happened on a nice Friday afternoon at work on 10th March 2017. Before we jump to the actual story, a little background is that whenever I am stressed, I tend to look online for shopping inspiration. I love looking at luxury handbags especially vintage ones, makeup, shoes, clothes, anything that would give me a good feeling to boost my self-confidence and lift my spirits. In fact that was how I purchased my first vintage piece a few years ago, an LV Epi Leather Tri-Colour Noe GM. But before making a purchase I would always ensure a few things are covered. I would gather as much information that I could find on the bag, what authenticating features to look for, the profile and track record of the seller, the authenticity guarantees and money back and/or return policies, etc. Because let's face it, despite the bags being vintage they still cost quite a bit of money although not nearly as much as full retail price. As time goes by, I acquired quite a bit of knowledge especially on identifying a counterfeit against an authentic Louis Vuitton bag, which was pretty much how I ended up purchasing 2 more LV bags, the Alma PM (a whim) and the Speedy 35 Lockit (the excuse was my work anniversary). Both were acquired from a trusted pre-loved luxury bag seller through Instagram.
Now, now, don't get me wrong. I don't ALWAYS indulge on my whims and fancies EVERY TIME I get stressed. But on this one particular day, after what was an especially stressful week at work, I decided to browse through pre-loved sellers' IG. I follow a number of sellers and most of the time I would just like the photos and move on. Just so happen there was this one seller who I was always a little skeptical about. She had a lot of luxury bags from LV to Balenciaga to Chanel to Mulberry to Ferragamo and Dior. She also had the occasional Coach, Kate Spade, Bally, Bonia and others. But what always was so confusing to me is how cheaply she was selling the bags for. At one point I told Dieselfire that I was pretty darned sure one LV bag she was selling was not authentic. The vachetta leather just didn't look legit.
While this should have rung a loud alarm to me, I still continued following her and browse through her collection. And this was when shit got real. She had a cute Mulberry Mini Alexa in the colour Watermelon (okay, basically red) on sale. She was selling it for the CHEAPEST that I have ever come across and my curiosity was piqued. I made a query and got more photos and a final price. I was so darned sure from the photos, it had all the authenticating features intact, that I told her I was willing to reserve it and pay the balance at the end of the month. Before long, I find myself transferring the deposit and daydreaming about the bag.
The weekend came and I was on a perpetual high like only a new handbag could do. I was itching to just transfer the rest of the money to the seller just so I could start using it. But as I was looking at the photos over and over on Saturday, and watching some Youtube videos on a review of the exact bag by Mrs Pinky Crazy Bag Lady, I saw one little anomaly. ONE! It was not obvious at all, and you could miss it if you were not fussy. What I found was that the leather tag that was inside the bag had a totally different font than that of an authentic Mulberry. Just the font! That was it. I went on panic mode almost immediately! I told Dieselfire about it and she encouraged me to confront the seller and insist on getting my money back. So I did just that, not without some worry that I will have burned the money on stupidity and hastiness. Initially I think the seller was adamant that her merchandise is legit. But I told her I am really worried and that I could ask The Purse Forum to help me authenticate the bad. And I can't help but think right after I said that was when she caved and willingly offered the refund. By Monday evening on 13th March, I got my refund and unfollowed the seller. But I do commend the integrity of the seller. Instead of throwing a bitch fit over "buyer backing out", she honoured her end of the deal and remained professional. I just hope she will make sure her pre-loved bags are all authentic before selling them.
Phew! Can we say close call?
The next incident was not such a close call but more like a close cut. Sigh...
Ever since I started wearing the headscarf, I have had a tough time looking for a good "Muslimah" or women only saloon. I used to indulge every now and then without really caring who does my hair. But now things have changed. So much so that in the 4 years since I've worn the headscarf, I have only had 3 haircuts in total. As a result, my hair grew longer than I have EVER had them and quite unruly, to be honest. Haha.
The following weekend after the fake Mulberry incident, my sister Buffy who also wanted a haircut (she also has started wearing the headscarf), told me she got us an appointment at a Muslimah saloon and spa. I was so excited because it's pampering session with my sister! So off we went and I remembered going there back in 2013 or 2014 with a friend of mine. I told Buffy, "Oh this place is pretty good! Back then."
So with that we went in and it was the same yet different. The girls were younger, they were more "Hijabista" than actual stylists and and the place is a lot smaller. The lady that saw to us told us about promotions they were having. Sounded great but because they couldn't accept credit card that day, we decided to forgo it and just opted for wash, cut and blow with a price tag of RM69.
She started on Buffy first. After the hairwash, Buffy told the "stylist" that she wanted a pixie cut. Know what the girl said? She said, "Oh I haven't learned that style yet. We haven't been sent for the course. But I can do a straight cut and layer".
Buffy and I had a moment where our eyes locked and we were telepathically telling each other this was a bad idea. But we went on with it anyway. As Buffy's hair was about to finish cutting, it was my turn for a wash by another girl. And just about then was when the "stylist" decided to tell Buffy that she was actually a trainee! AMAGAD!!!!!!
When I got to the chair, Buffy was probably in too much shock or something to tell me, but I did think her hair was pretty well done. Sat in my chair and the girl asked me how much do I want off. I told her I want my hair to be just past my shoulders so that I could still tie it up. The girl said, "Ok, so three inches". Fine by me.
Next thing you know, SNIP, SNIP! And I'm pretty sure at least 4 inches of hair was snipped off. And then the "layering"; she lifted my hair hair, SNIP in half and done... Long story short, I ended up having hair the length at my nape and jagged choppy "layers". Suffice to say, Buffy and I were in Devastation City. But the consolation is that no one would have to see our hair under the scarf. We tried to live with the hair... Really we did. We lasted all of one night.
By the next morning, despite having paid RM69 for the shoddy work, Buffy told me she needed to get another haircut. I was trying to be the rational one, but after a while of running my hands through my short/long hair, I called Buffy and said yes to finding a PROPER saloon that is NOT necessarily "Muslimah", with a PROPER hairstylist to fix our hairs. After a bit of looking online, I found Peek-a-boo that was at The Curve, which was just a stone's throw away from Buffy's place. I got us an appointment at 2.30pm requesting them for a female hairstylist and a private room if they have one. Thankfully they had all that we needed. So we met for lunch and after ditching my BIL and her kiddies, we went to the saloon to get our hair fixed.
The hairstylist was probably trying to be polite when she asked if we haven't had a haircut in a while. But I caved and decided to tell her what happened. After knowing our plight, she happily came to the rescue. The result: My hair, while shorter at least looks better, and Buffy finally got a cute pixie cut. ALHAMDULILLAH!!
We were so crazy happy that we wished (for a tiny moment) that we didn't have to wear the headscarf. Hahaha!
So the lesson here is ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEARCH. Be it purchasing something or even for a simple haircut. You never know when you might end up making a huge mistake! But I do recommend going to Peek-a-boo to get your hair did.
~Peek-a-Boo, I See You~