Tag Archives: before

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. :)


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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



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.


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.


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?


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! ^.^

red underlay 1

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.

the architektLike my style? Hype it on Lookbook! ~ The Architekt

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.


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

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?


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! ^.^

L’Oreal Féria: 50 Medium Brown (Havana Brown)

There comes a time when I become curious about other hair dye brands – when the sexy woman and her shiny hair on the cover of the box actually convinces me that I can in fact look like her. So despite knowing that Garnier Nutrisse is not only cheaper but also works with my hair type, I caved in and bought a box of L’Oreal Féria in Havana Brown anyway.

I haven’t used this brand since early high school, when I was still obsessed with having bright red hair. So I figured that stepping outside of my brand name comfort zone just this once wouldn’t hurt. After leaving the mixture in for about a hour, here are the results:

Maybe it’s because I had recently dyed my hair dark a couple of months ago that the color came out uneven. But it’s really not that bad. My roots lifted to a warm medium brown, while the length of the back turned a light golden brown. My bangs are still dark, though, which is disappointing. But I guess my previously bleached hair from last spring exaggerated the dye’s “multi-faceted” promise.

My hair also isn’t as “shimmering” as I would like. Garnier Nutrisse definitely makes my hair shinier – and this is from years and years of experience, btw. So although I don’t mind the color gradient, I think having four different shades of brown on your head looks careless if not styled. Ultimately, I’m probably not going to try L’Oreal Féria again anytime soon.

In other news, I was at BJs the other day when my mom pointed out this conditioner to me. I had heard of and seen the Organix brand before in drugstores, but never made a purchase. The promise of straighter hair is always appealing to me, though. The four main advertised ingredients in this product are coconut oil, keratin proteins, avocado oil, and cocoa butter – all of which are known to be great for your hair. The fact that it smells deliciously like cocoa butter is a huge plus for me, too.

And although I’ve only used this conditioner three times, it has already made a significant difference in the texture of my hair. Not only is it softer, but it feels healthier and smoother. Unfortunately, it isn’t straighter when I air-dry it. But I’m assuming it takes continued use to take effect.

On a final note, have you guys heard of the NoMoreRack scam? Personally, I have had no experience with the website. I do admit that many of the deals seem too good to be true! But after doing a bit of research, several other bloggers have had no negative experiences with them at all. You can even read NoMoreRack reviews with a quick Google search if you’re still not convinced.

Garnier Nutrisse: 415 Soft Mahogany Dark Brown (Raspberry Truffle)

Edit: Don’t forget to check out my new Hair Dye page! :D

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. :) Mine was filled with much food and family time. I was assigned the task of making chocolate chip bread and pancit – look at how yummy they turned out!

And this was the smaller baking tray, lol.

Delicious!!!! :D

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. It’s mostly been due to stress and schoolwork. After my exam and presentation at the end of this week, though, I’ll hopefully have more free time to update. :P Anyway, I dyed my hair last week! Ever since I last colored my hair, the black faded really fast on the previously bleached parts into several different shades of brassy orange and brown. While at the drugstore, my boyfriend picked out this shade for me because the model was sexy. XD

Garnier Nutrisse in Raspberry Truffle is a deep chocolate brown with red undertones. I figured that I’d stick with shades of warm brown for the next few months, especially since a lot of people have been complimenting me on my darker hair. The maintenance on lighter shades is way too much for me right now. x_x Although I don’t have a “before” photo, this is a pretty accurate picture of the color after I dyed it.

These next pictures are just a comparison between what it looks like in flash photos versus direct natural sunlight. It looks much darker indoors, though.

And here’s the outfit I wore for Thanksgiving dinner. If you guys recall, that’s the dress I bought the other week at H&M. I liked this photo such much, I made it my new blog picture! :)

Anyway, stay tuned for my next post – I’ll probably be writing it either later tonight or tomorrow. :P Until next time! ^.^

Garnier Nutrisse: 434 Deep Chestnut Brown (Chocolate Chestnut)

Since my hair had been getting more and more orange over the past few weeks, I decided to color over it with something much darker in order to mask the damage and uneven tones. Because I’ve always longed for chocolate brown hair, I bought a box of Garnier Nutrisse in Chocolate Chestnut the other day at Target.

I firmly believe that change is good, so I was more than pleased with the rich dark shade that resulted. : ) Excuse my messy hair in the second photo – I took it at the end of the day. My only issue now is that I need to buy a darker eyebrow pencil. >.<;

And if you guys noticed my top in the “after” photo, that’s the new sheer lace dress that I bought at H&M! Although I found it in the lingerie section, I plan on layering under and over it for this Fall. :P I can just imagine myself tucking it into skinny jeans, pairing it with a black bra and blazer, and finishing off the look with knee-high boots. ; ) For the sake of showing off the pattern, here’s a racy (but tasteful) photo.

While at H&M, I also found the most darling dress! I can’t wait to wear it with tights and a cardigan once the weather starts cooling down. :D For now, I’m planning on wearing it to a concert at the end of this week!

If the dress had come in different patterns and colors, I would have definitely purchased them all in my size! $17 is definitely a steal for this. And who can resist this adorable key and heart locket pattern? =)

Anyway, that’s all I have for today. Until next time! ^.^

Garnier Nutrisse: R3 Light Intense Auburn

Edit: Don’t forget to check out my new Hair Dye page! :D

When I was in late middle school and early high school, I was completely obsessed with having punky red hair. Unfortunately, my options were very limited at the time – so upon using box after box of supposedly “red” dyes, it never lifted my naturally dark hair to the shade I wanted. Thankfully, cosmetic technology has advanced since then!

I purchased a box of Garnier Nutrisse in R3 Light Intense Auburn from Rite Aid the other day, based solely on the packaging and my history with the brand. The shade isn’t listed on their website, and I probably should have read reviews first, but I decided to take the risk. :P

At first, I was really skeptical of the results shown on the side of the box, but I kept optimistic. : ) After preparing the dye, it turned the color that ketchup and mayonnaise would make after being mixed. Upon application, though, it turned bright red. I kept it in for about 30 minutes before rinsing – and let me tell you, it took SO LONG for the water to run clear in the shower. This stuff is ridiculously pigmented. I was a little worried that it didn’t come out even because some parts looked much darker than others while my hair was still wet.

I went through my normal hair routine this morning, though, and was completely satisfied. Not only were the results dramatic, but as you can see in the photos below, it even lifted my black roots! Additionally, what I love most about Garnier Nutrisse is that my hair always becomes super soft and shiny. <3

This dye really evened out my faded golden brown color from last month, too. It looks so fresh, and dare I say even healthier! :o I love how long my hair is getting, by the way. ; )

Here’s a photo that my brother took of me in direct sunlight. As you can see, the red looks nuclear outside. I can’t even express how happy I am with this color! Usually, with shades like this, you’d have to purchase from a brand that specializes in alternative hair colors like Special Effects or Manic Panic. I’m so glad that a dye like Light Intense Auburn is available at my local drug store, rather than Hot Topic. :P

Unfortunately, I’ve had enough experience with hair dye to know that reds never last. They fade incredibly quickly, even with the use of shampoos and conditioners that claim they protect colored hair. All I can do is enjoy this shade while it lasts, and hope it fades nicely. : ) Until next time! ^.^