Category Archives: Hair

SUMMER RECAP: Clip-in Hair Extensions

Just like last year, I took a break from blogging for a few months – I mean, summer IS the prime season for social events and outdoor activities. But apart from that, it gave me the opportunity to dabble in a side job, reprioritize my life, set aside some much-needed time for myself, and improve some aspects of my lifestyle that I wasn’t satisfied with. But since I can’t recap my entire summer in a single post, I’ve decided to do a series of entries to get all my followers caught up. Enjoy! :)

A few months ago, in her heavy Korean accent, my hairdresser told me that my locks underwent “chemical melting” from all the harsh bleaching I had put it through. Which explained why my ends were so thin and uneven. So she chopped it all off. But because having my hair at shoulder length made me feel less feminine, my confidence dipped significantly. :( Thankfully, a friend recommended clip-in extensions as a temporary solution while it grows back. At first, I was skeptical. I had so many questions! Would they look natural? What is the color doesn’t match perfectly? Could I heat style them? How much would they cost? How long would they last? Would they fall out if I wasn’t careful?

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So I took to researching all the different options for my hair type. At the end of the day, I decided that a 7-piece set of wefts in varying widths would give me that layered look I wanted. Nervously, I ordered a set of 18” dark brown human hair extensions from the eBay seller “ldszyz” for about $31 with free shipping. When they arrived at my doorstep a week later, it occurred to me that I had no idea how to put them in. >.<; But, naturally, I was an expert three YouTube videos later. :P

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I was pleasantly surprised that the color blends beautifully – you can hardly tell they’re extensions! They aren’t heavy at all, it they stay put really well. Typically, it’s recommended that my extensions should last 3-4 months before replacing them – but that’s with everyday wear, heat styling, and regular washing. Since I only wear mine on the weekends, I estimate that they should last me about a year. And by then, my hair should already be six inches longer! :D My only issue with them is that they sometimes give you too much volume in humidity, especially if your hair isn’t naturally straight. But this is something that can easily be fixed by wearing it in a sleek, long ponytail. What do you guys think, would you ever consider wearing clip-in hair extensions?

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Blonde Envy

aka “How to go from dark brown to light blonde at home for under $50.”

I do admit that from time to time, I feel a pang of inadequacy because of my natural dark hair, skin, and eyes. Especially since two of my closest girlfriends are gorgeous blondes, I often find myself feeling so mediocre next to them. I suppose society’s standard of beauty is to blame, but I genuinely enjoy bleaching my hair every once in a while for a change of pace. :)

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There are varying opinions of Asian women with blonde hair. The general consensus always  seems to be,”It’s just not natural.” I disagree. Sometimes, it’s pulled off well. And other times, it’s just a disaster. It all has to do with skin tone, and finding the perfect shade for you. This time, I wanted to reach a cooler almost-platinum blonde instead of golden/strawberry blonde.

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The new Fèria Absolute Platinum in Extreme Platinum sounded promising when I first laid eyes on it. Unfortunately, it only lifted my hair a few shades lighter from dark brown to a medium orange-brown. It was at this point that I was getting frustrated with my reluctant strands, and went for a brand I’ve been wanting to try out forever.

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Palty is known for being very effective on dark, thick, Asian hair. It doesn’t hurt that the packaging is downright adorable, as well. I’ve read tons of online reviews, and was thankful to find a huge selection hidden in a beauty store at my local “Chinatown”, Flushing. I thought the most appropriate shade would be Super Flash Sparkling Blonde.

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It was a bit pricey at $13 per box, and I needed two.. but my hair successfully lifted more significantly. I have to admit that I felt a mild burning sensation on my scalp during the process. But I suppose that’s the price you have to pay for beauty. It came out a lovely golden blonde with brassy undertones. As you can see in the photo below, my ends are already getting fried. :X

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Unfortunately, I’m very hard to please and wanted to get rid of the orange tones completely. So I counteracted it with a cool blonde shade, Garnier Nutrisse: #82 Champagne Blonde (Champagne Fizz). I was going to get the lighter, White Chocolate shade, but couldn’t find it anywhere. :/ I was happy with how it came out, though. I got a lot of compliments at work. :P

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But after a month, my roots were already growing out and the brassiness was coming back. So I picked up two boxes of Garnier Nutrisse: #100 Extra Light Natural Blonde (Chamomile) to touch it up a bit. And to be honest, I’m in love with the results. It’s the perfect medium between warm and cool, and matches my skin tone pretty well.

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As you can see in this photo, I’m almost as blonde as my beautiful friend Kristiana. <3 I’m in dire need of a trim, though. My strands feel like straw, which I’ve been trying to nurse back to health with lots of deep conditioner and by only flat-ironing my hair on the weekends and special occasions. Next month, I might just get my roots and highlights done professionally. Because the bottom line is that as much as I love doing my own hair, I could have just saved myself all the trouble and went to a salon. The extra money would have been well worth it, given the hassle I went through. x_x

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Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil

As a BzzAgent, I’m able to test out new products released by brands that I already love! In this case, I was sent a free bottle of the new Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil. I’m already a long-time fan of their hair dye line and have also recently started using their straightening heat protectant spray, so being picked for this campaign was a pleasant surprise. :) Marketed as an everyday multi-purpose product for hair, body, and face, this weightless formula absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily residue. It combines three different oils: olive, avocado, and shea.

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Olive oil moisturizes, protects, and replenishes your dry hair, improving its strength and elasticity. You face and body benefit from antioxidants that help protect against skin damage. Avocado oil is loaded with Vitamin E, and protects against dryness while locking in color and moisture to keep your hair looking radiant and silky soft. The oil’s natural hydrating abilities promote soft and supple skin, too. Shea oil is known for heaving unique healing properties. It rejuvenates damaged hair and leaves it with a healthy shine. It’s also a great moisturizer that helps improve elasticity in skin. –Garnier Fructis

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Since I’ve been embracing my natural hair lately, and choose to air-dry instead of blow-dry, I could always use some extra moisture. After using this product every morning for a week.. I noticed that it was shinier, my waves were more defined, my dry ends didn’t feel as brittle, and my locks were overall softer.

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TIPS:

1) Do not apply directly into your hair. Especially your bangs. The product is very heavy and soaks in really quickly, so it won’t get distributed evenly and you’ll just end up looking greasy. If you have medium/long hair like me, two spritzes into your palm will be enough. Rub your hands together, and run them through your damp hair at least three inches from your scalp in a downward massaging motion. Once your hair has dried and you still think it could use some extra moisture or softness, do not use more than one spritz to touch up. A little goes a long way!

2) If you have oily and/or acne-prone skin, do not apply onto your face. Not for extended periods of time, at least. I didn’t even risk it, since I know that I break out really easily. If you have dry skin on other parts of your body, though, I highly recommend this. It’s a lot more lightweight than other similar oil-based products, and gives a healthy glow. Since I love showing off my legs in the warmer seasons, I can imagine myself using a little bit of this to accentuate them in shorts/skirts/dresses. :P
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Reds Never Stay ;_;

Since my post on the Garnier Nutrisse: R3 Light Intense Auburn had become really popular over the past two years, I figured that I’d become a redhead again. Easier said than done. My first attempt with Garnier Nutrisse: #56 Medium Reddish Brown (Sangria) last month resulted in a very dark burgundy brown that only looked red in strong sunlight, and faded almost immediately within 2 or 3 washes. I’m not even going to provide photos; not worth it.

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Thankfully, my second attempt the other week with L’Oreal Féria: R57 Intense Medium Auburn (Cherry Crush) was a bit more successful. Although not as vibrant as I would like, it came out more of a deep mahogany. Again, the color didn’t stay for very long. Now it’s faded to a very warm dark brown with red undertones, getting lighter towards the ends. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

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My new endeavor is to find out how I can manage the dip-dye hair trend at home. Sure, there are plenty of excellent DIY tutorials on YouTube and several of my favorite blogs. But if done wrong, I can seriously look like a ratchet mess. Which is why I’m considering getting it professionally done at a salon come mid-Spring. Here are some photos of Jamie Chung rocking her beautiful ombre locks. I’m still deciding whether I want my gradient to go from black to brown, or brown to blonde. What do you guys think?

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And while we’re on the topic of red, I was invited to a wedding this May and was perusing around the interwebz for a fancy dress. Although a little too formal for the occasion in question, I came across this high-low gown that is definitely drool-worthy! I’m a sucker for bold, contrasting underlay fabric that tastefully peeks through. I can actually imagine myself wearing this while working some Latin ballroom magic of the dance floor. *sigh* It’s a shame that it costs upwards of $300. x_x So my search continues for something less extravagant, but equally as stunning. Until next time! ^.^

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L’Oreal Féria: 205 Extra Bleach Blonde

Sometime last week, while I was compiling all of my hair dye posts into one page, I decided that I had already gotten tired of having black hair. So I tried coloring over it with a dark brown shade over the weekend. But, silly me, it didn’t take. The roots and ends lightened somewhat, but I wasn’t pleased at all. Here’s a picture of me the day after my attempt.

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So what did I decide to do? Buy a box of bleach, of course. >.<; So with complete disregard for the health of my hair, I ended up picking out L’Oreal Feria: 205 Extra Bleach Blonde. Since my target shade was dark/medium brown, I figured that leaving it in for only 15 minutes wouldn’t result in too much damage.

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My boyfriend Billy volunteered to do it for me, despite it being his first time. And I wouldn’t say that the color came out uneven.. but the bottom layers are definitely lighter than the top ones. And although the bleach doesn’t smell are strong as others I’ve tried, it definitely works harder I only left it in for 10 minutes after application, and here’s how it came out. You may not be able to tell from the photo, but my ends are fried. I’m due for a trim soon anyway. :X

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Camwhoring at work with my phone. #nomakeup #chapstickdoesntcount

I’m not completely satisfied with the shade, but I suppose it will have to do for now. x_x I promised myself that I’m going to start experimenting with Palty shades in the near future, though – which I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I hear it’s more effective on Asian hair textures anyway, so why not?

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On a completely irrelevant note, I’ve been lusting after several pairs of Madden Girl wedges. And the only way to keep myself from splurging on them is to tell you guys about how much I want (but currently can’t afford) them. Not at the same time, at least. :P Which reminds me! If any of you are looking for a good store to buy comfortable shoes for women, my friends at Schuler Shoes may be able to help you – check them out. :) Until next time! ^.^
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My new appreciation for headbands.

Ever since I spontaneously decided to give myself blunt bangs last week with the help of a YouTube video and a pair of semi-sharp scissors, I’ve realized more and more how uneven and high-maintenance they’re becoming. And when they come into contact with the wind? Forget about it. I’m quickly learning that hairspray and headbands are going to be my two best friends until they grow out. I really regret cutting them, and I already miss my sideswept bangs. ;_;

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I’m glad the headbands that I already own are being put to good use, though. I received most of them as gifts, but I haven’t worn them nearly as much as I would have liked over the years. I actually found this cute one at my local 99¢ store the other day – the color scheme reminds me of the 4th of July and/or sailors. :D I actually wore it to a camera date on Friday with one of my friends Mia. We played dress-up and took silly photos in my backyard. :P So please do me a favor and hype my look? <3 Thanks! :)

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I’d love to expand my collection, though. Particularly with metallic headbands and those that have embellishments like studs, pearls, and rhinestones. Soooo, if any of you still don’t know what to get me for Christmas, here’s a hint. ;)

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On a different note, in order to prepare for the next few weeks of holiday parties, I decided to restock on three things that will be necessary for me to pull off a more glamorous look: black gel eyeliner, tinted lip balm, and lip liner.

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As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m obsessed with tinted lip balms. I picked up the new CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Jam Twist. It’s designed like a twist-up pencil, and the color payoff of this muted rose shade is better than I expected for a drug store brand – maybe because my natural lip color is already so pigmented and the balm just exaggerated it. It’s not too sheer, and not too opaque. The product itself is very lightweight, and doesn’t give you that gross creamy feeling. Which is fine by me, because creamier formulas are too soft for my liking, and tend to break inside the packaging. Rating: 5/5

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I also picked up the new Revlon Crème Gel Eye Liner in Black, despite my original intentions to buy the original liquid liner. It comes with a brush that seems too round and thick to apply precise lines, so I suggest using your own angled brush. After twisting off the cover, you’ll reveal the all-too-soft gel formula. It doesn’t apply as dark as the liquid liner, so you may want to wear black pencil underneath it or apply two layers for a more intense black. I’m a bit disappointed, to be honest. But unlike other drug store gel liners I’ve tried in the past, at least it removes easily. Rating: 3/5

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Lastly, I bought the Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Pencil in Wine. As many of my friends know, I love to wear bold red lipstick for my evening looks. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of color that bleeds so easily and ends up making more of a mess (mostly on your clothes and significant other) than it may be worth. Unless you get the application right, of course. :P It’s perfect for defining my cupid’s bow before lipstick application, or for shading my lips in entirely for that matte look. And for only $3? Good job, Rimmel. Rating: 5/5

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The Birthday Massacre

First of all, let’s get this out in the open so that there’s no room to make  assumptions – I love the goth subculture. I know it may not seem likely at first, but from the fashion to the music, I’ve always found its dark influences appealing. So when my good friend Peter invited me to see The Birthday Massacre in concert last Saturday, I couldn’t say no. :) Not only have I been listening to them since early high school, but they had just released their new album a few weeks ago. And while many musicians’ work declines as time goes by, I feel the exact opposite about Hide and Seek. Although it doesn’t contain as many heavy tracks as their earlier albums, you can definitely hear how much their sound and songwriting has developed and matured since they formed in 1999.

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The venue was Gramercy Theatre, which I hadn’t visited since I saw Dir en Grey back in 2009, and is also where I will be seeing Emilie Autumn in February. :D We arrived just in time to grab a drink at the bar before the first opening band started playing. Without even knowing who else was performing, all it took was a single glance at the frontman’s mutton chops to know it was Creature Feature. A blast from the past, if you ask me, since I first discovered them on MySpace when I was 14 and haven’t heard of them since. They even played an old favorite of mine: A Gorey Demise, based on Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Next up was Aesthetic Perfection, a electro-industrial duo whose lead singer sounded eerily like Marilyn Manson. (Don’t hate, it’s a good thing.) To be honest, they were my favorite out of all three of the opening bands. Mostly because so many of their songs were so fun to dance to. :P

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The next musician to come on was William Control – who was dressed like a priest,  smoked cigarettes on stage the entire time, and was wearing his hair like Elvis. To be as concise as possible, he sounded like a VNV Nation wannabe. I do admit that his music has a lot of potential; I just think that most of his songs are very rough around the edges. When the time finally came for The Birthday Massacre to perform, I was beyond excited. I love Chibi’s voice, and she sounded even better live than on their albums. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t as energetic as I was hoping them to be. It’s really a letdown when you’re the only one actually moving to the music, and everyone’s just standing there like zombies and occasionally bobbing their heads. :< The band didn’t play too many of my old favorites, nor did they play the entirety of their new album like I was expecting, but I still had a great time. :) All of the photos that I took of the performance came out blurry, so here’s a photo of le boyfriend and I after the concert, instead. <.<;

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And since we’re on the topic of goth – a friend of mine recently commented on my most recent Facebook profile picture to say that I look like Misa Amane from Death Note. Since my hair is currently dirty blonde and I recently cut my bangs into a straight/blunt fringe, I suppose I can see the slight resemblance. :P Side note, I took both of the photos above and below with my old cheap point-and-shoot. The lens is a bit scratched up and I feel like the image quality has worsened since when I first bought it two years ago. Should I buy a new one? I was thinking of saving up for a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V to replace it.

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