Friday, March 15, 2019

Freelancers, professionals, small business owners: Let Taxumo manage your taxes!

I saw my photo on the Taxumo website. I didn't know it was there, dun sa may reviews section. And yes, it's a real review and a really positive one pa. Sobrang happy ako as a small business owner (writing services so freelance writer and editor, editorial consultant, PR consultant, and professional blogger). In the two years or so I've been using Taxumo, wala talaga akong problema sa kanila. And I'm even happier now because dumami na their scope of services. Kung before monthly percentage taxes lang and a bit of accounting, ngayon they are offering to file more tax forms and even take care of your business registration and renewal. And more!

For example, it's only March but I'm already done filing my 2018 income taxes. I AM DONE! No hassle, no lines, no stress. I practically didn't do anything except click, click, clicked and yet I feel so accomplished. Thanks, Taxumo!

If you're a business owner like me, a freelancer, a professional, a doctor, a blogger, please do check out Taxumo. And sign up (use my code: FRANCES)! You will love it! This is not a sponsored post but—full disclosure—I do get a little commission for every sign up (so use my code: FRANCES!). I'm just really happy with how Taxumo has helped me and I want you all to experience what I've experienced, too.

By the way, if you also want Taxumo to file your annual income taxes, today is the last day to reserve a slot. You also get a discount in filing your BIR Form 1701 but you have to reserve a slot TODAY. Good luck and enjoy!

Click here to pay your taxes easily: TAXUMO

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

10 tips on how to care for colored hair

It's been a month since I visited the salon for a much needed hair color. Before that, I've been dyeing my hair with boxed DIY color. I'm so busy now as a mommy of three, a business owner, a blogger, and now also an employee that it's difficult to find the time for a professional color job.

But I decided I needed to take care of myself more this year and one of the first things I did was book an appointment at Lifestyle Salon by Louis Phillip Kee. It's really different when your hair color is done at a salon!

Sorry for looking like a ghost! I don't wear makeup when I go to the salon!

Since I'm acutely aware that time is the one thing that I have so little of, I decided not to do my usual vivid reds or blonde highlights. When you're a busy woman (mommy or not), choose colors that aren't so far from your real hair color. So I chose a rich brown which Louis then threaded with subtle red highlights.

Now, considering that I go to the salon just once a year for color, people always wonder how I keep my hair color looking good. And last loooooong, too. Here are my tips from more than 20 years of coloring my hair:

Good-bye, dull hair!

1. After coloring, wait 24 hours or longer before you wash hair. 
Let your mane absorb the new color fully. Water is color’s worst enemy so each shower means color down the drain. So try to wash your hair three times a week or every other day if you can’t resist. 

2. Use a shampoo designed specially for colored hair. 
Your hair has just been chemically processed so it needs extra pampering. Shampoo for color-treated hair has ingredients that are gentler on hair, that seal the cuticle (locking in color), add shine and protect hair from UV rays.

I've been using Beach Born Classy Not Brassy Purple Shampoo for a long time now. IT REALLY WORKS! I can't recommend it enough especially if you're blonde or a bright red. It keeps your color from fading. 

A good trim gets rid of dry ends.

3. Avoid clarifying and dandruff shampoos. 
These products are great for cleaning hair of oils, dirt, and build-up (hair spray, gels, mousse). However, they also strip away color. 

4. Wash hair with cold water. 
Hot water dries out hair and your newly colored strands are already parched. Plus, hot water opens up the hair cuticle and color leaches out faster.

5. Nourish with a conditioner. 
Colored hair becomes dry hair because of the chemicals. Bring back moisture and your mane’s health with a repairing conditioner. I use Beach Born Classy Not Brassy Purple Conditioner. Another hair product I can't live without!

Just a dark brown with red highlights throughout

6. Treat your hair to an intense treatment. 
Louis says, “Studies have proven hair color does damage your hair but not to an extreme extent unless you use it monthly for years upon years. Almost all dyes have chemicals in varying levels.” To repair damaged hair, use a hair mask every week or twice a month. I try different products but right now I'm using Human Nature Natural Hair Revival Coco Mask. My hair doesn't look or feel damaged as a result.

7. Avoid the sun. 
Sun is a natural bleach so prolonged exposure will change your new color. It will also dry out your locks further. If you must be outside, wear a hat or wrap your hair in a scarf. 

8. No pool water and salt water. 
Chlorine can actually change your color, especially if you’ve gone blonde. Salt water dries out hair. So before dipping, wear a bathing cap. If that cramps your style, soak hair in non-chlorinated water first. Wet hair is saturated which means it won’t soak up the pool/seawater so much. 

Subtle but pretty!

9. Refresh color. 
Louis advises to drop by the salon for a quick touch up. “Every 4 to 5 weeks would be ideal as by then there will be evidently hair regrowth and time for retouch and refreshing the color.” On a budget like me? Use temporary at-home coloring spray for your roots. I use L'Oréal Paris Magic Retouch. It's super easy to use, stays on hair even through brushing, and even when I get sweaty. You just wash it off after.

10. Pamper professionally.
If you have the time and the money to get a root touch up at the salon, you might as well get a pampering treatment “Cellophane or Brazilian Keratin blowouts give vibrancy,” Louis adds.

There you go! My top 10 tips to care for colored hair! It's not that hard really. Just the right products and a little pamper time on weekends should be enough for us busy mamas.

*Photos courtesy of Louis Kee. Book a coloring appointment at Lifestyle Salon by Louis Phillip Kee. It's at the ground floor of Forbeswood Heights at BGC, Taguig. Almost across Mind Museum. Call 856-4848 or 856-3388.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Going strong

Guys, can I make sorta yabang? LOL

I'm emailing influencers and editors now, right, introducing myself and all. And some of them reply, "Aren't you TOPAZ HORIZON???" And when I giddily say, "YES!", they go sumtin' like dis:

1. "My MOM is such a fan!"

2. "You're one of the pioneer bloggers! And you're STILL AROUND! So galing!"

3. "Aren't you still blogging? It's been YEARS! Amazing your LONGEVITY in the business!"

4. "Wow, you're doing PR now. But you're still blogging? That's great! So many of your peers have RETIRED."

This is good. This is good. Riiiiight???

Wow. Thirteen years this May, folks. 13 YEARS. Thanks for sticking around, my dearest Loyal Readers. I so love you all!

P.S. That's a throwback photo of me blogging on my first ever netbook, an HP Mini. Best investment evaaaar!

P.P.S. Who are the bloggers who have retired??? Kaloka naman these kids!