liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
[personal profile] liv
I have a diverse and wise circle here, so let's see if you can help me fix small things in my life:

Hair dye
I want to purple my hair again, it hasn't been purple since I was an undergrad. I am a bit reluctant to bleach my hair, and it's a sort of mid-brown that is too dark to take dyes very well. So either I want to bleach just part of it, maybe streaks, or maybe just do the tips, or else I want to use several coats of a nice bright dye and accept that the purpleness is going to be fairly subtle.

Does anyone have any recommendations for good purple dyes? Years ago I used the Stargazer semi-permanent brand. It was easy to use and gave me a good colour, but it really really wasn't fast; it was sold with the claim it would last 8 washes and it barely lasted one. And even before I actually stood under the shower it kind of leaked all over my clothes whenever my hair got even slightly damp. I have quite long (about thigh-length) hair, which is somewhat curly and somewhat thick. I've generally found hair products marketed at white people to be adequate for me.

Also, does anyone have a link to a good tutorial on how to go about bleaching and dyeing? I'm not very competent at it and I think I could do with some hints. How to make up the bleach correctly, as well as how to dye neatly and get even coverage, how to avoid getting the bleach and the colour everywhere.

Menstrual cups
I feel a bit bad that I haven't managed to make the switch to reusable menstrual products yet. Does anyone have any personal experience of using a menstrual cup, any recommendations for or against? Opinions about brands would also be useful; the ones I've heard of are Divacup and Mooncup.

My periods are usually what marketing departments call medium to heavy, but not actually heavy compared to people whose lives are really disrupted by periods. Fairly regular, tend to last about 5 days to a week. I am not particularly bothered by getting blood on my hands or poking about in my bits generally. I do need to have the ability to manage the business while I'm travelling, so if it's very faffy I might have to carry on using disposable products when I'm away from home. I have a coil fitted, which I assume won't make any difference, but I'm particularly interested to know of any reason why that assumption might not hold.

Laptop
Part of The Plan would benefit from having a laptop I can keep at [personal profile] jack's; yes, I can carry my main computer back and forth between Stoke and Cambridge, but it's a bit of a barrier and I'm trying to reduce the friction of travelling between work and home as much as I can. So, I'm in the market for a laptop, and I'd like recs of either brands or retail sites where I can source one. In particular, any hints for where I can still pick up a computer running Win7? Budget: preferably under £500, depending what's out there.

Basically this laptop is going to be almost purely for work. So it needs to be powerful enough not to be frustratingly slow, and to run things like Photoshop and deal with large, hi-res images. It doesn't need to be a high-end gaming machine, though. I need a reasonable screen size and resolution, but I don't want a computer that's physically huge. Ultra-light is not necessary. The reason I'm asking about Win7 is that I somewhat need Windows to be compatible with work-related software; Photoshop itself is non-negotiable for a start. I have heard very very mixed things about Win8, but maybe at this stage it's too late and I won't be able to get the older OS for any reasonable amount of money. But I'm not absolutely fixated on that OS, I could hear arguments for other possibilities as long as you acknowledge the purpose I want this computer for, rather than some theoretical ideal of what OS is overall "best".

And finally, Tube-themed music for my sister's thirtieth. Details over at [community profile] mix_tape. This seems like a really good one to crowd source, especially clever puns on Tube station names.
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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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