Tag Archives: bleach

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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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.

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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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Deciding on a winter coat is hard.

Especially when there are so many different options to choose from! Because my preferred temperature is 80°F, and I can already tell that this upcoming winter in New York is going to be brutal, I decided to invest in a new winter coat.

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Leather Jackets. I was delusional when I thought that I could even survive late Autumn in these, regardless of how much I love them. :'( As a matter of fact, not too long ago, I helped le boyfriend pick out a leather jacket from Express – the same store where I bought mine. And what I’ve noticed is that while his keeps him warm and toasty, mine barely does in chillier weather. I think it’s because a lot of stores focus more on fashion than function for women, compared to their products targeted for men, and design these styles accordingly. Which is a shame, since it makes it even more difficult to find something that meets both requirements without having to spend a small fortune. Side note, doesn’t he look handsome in said jacket? :D

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Fur Coats. For me, fur coats (faux or otherwise) are really hit or miss. I’ve seen fashion-forward women in the city wear an oversized white or leopard print fur coat and pull it off. Then I see multi-colored grey/green/blue knockoffs paired with Ugg boots on teenaged girls at the mall and cringe with how tacky and cheap it looks. But last month, I was seriously considering one of these faux fur beauties by UNIF: The Amelia Bomber and The Donna Coat. Unfortunately, I decided that an on-trend piece of outerwear shouldn’t be my primary go-to with winter approaching quickly. Though still something I want, a fur coat could wait until I find something more tame and practical. :< (A girl can only dream.)

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Wool Coats. My previous winter coat was an adorable dark magenta wool thinsulate toggle coat from Delia’s. Although the color and style were a little childish, it did keep me warm during my whole college career. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I’ve shrunken a few sizes and it no longer fits comfortably. I was looking into buying another wool coat, a pea coat in particular. Nothing says mature and put-together more than a 100% wool pea coat, after all. :P But my body type usually isn’t cooperative with the classic pea coat shape – they tend to either be too tight on the bust and perfect at the waist, or perfect at the bust and too loose on the waist. It’s a lose-lose situation most of the time for me. ;_; I would love to have either of these Victoria’s Secret pea coats, though. But since they only sell them online, the shipping cost on a return in case I order the wrong size would barely be worth it.

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Down Jackets. Not going to lie, I hate the way most of them look. The last thing I want to resemble is a giant marshmallow. Most styles drown your body’s natural figure, even when you buy the right size, and are rarely fashionable. But I do admit that they are one of the warmest and affordable options out there, and my best bet at keeping my temperamental body at a happy temperature. Thankfully, I finally found what I was looking for in the Kelly Jacket from Abercrombie & Fitch. The full retail price of $220 is a little steep for me, but I was lucky to have caught it at 40% off when I ordered it from their website a few weeks ago. ;)

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I ordered a navy one in size S, and it fits me perfectly! The quilted design keeps the down from shedding like past experiences I’ve had with similar jackets. I like the belt because it defines your waist, especially when you have an apple-shaped body like mine. The fur trim on the hood doesn’t look or feel cheap, and has the right amount of fullness. And one of my favorite things about this jacket is how the pockets are lined with the softest and warmest fleece. <3 Whenever I wear it, I feel like a cute eskimo and have yet to complain about the cold. The real test is whether I’ll survive the winter without a single shiver. :)

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Oh, and if you couldn’t tell from the photo above, I’ve dyed my hair again. >.<; This time, I used Garnier Nutrisse: #61 Light Ash Brown (Mocchaccino). Different from my usual warm shades, this color has cooler undertones. And so far, I’ve received a lot of compliments from people I don’t even know! :D It definitely looks a lot less harsh than my previous bleached color. I actually really like it, and may be my favorite shade of the year. =) Anyway, that’s all I have for now – don’t forget to comment and subscribe. :P Until next time! ^.^

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And the job hunt begins once again..

Long story short, I am currently unemployed. To be honest, I’m not too distraught about it. I wasn’t happy with my job, and it wasn’t what I saw myself doing after college. Maybe it’s a sign to move on to bigger and better things? It’s really time to get my priorities together and figure out where I’m going career-wise, though. I’m trying to stay optimistic, but with the job market being the way it is, I get so much anxiety just thinking about it. On the bright side, I now have more experience and can update my resume and cover letter template to something a little more impressive. :P

How did those of you who were affected fare Hurricane Sandy? Thankfully, I live in Queens and the storm didn’t hit my neighborhood as badly as it did Long Island and Manhattan. All we got were downed power lines and uprooted trees. Since my boyfriend lost power on his side of town, we’ve been getting our pleasant fill of candlelight and a romantic fireplace. ;) Though I’m really grateful that we’re not part of the thousands of people whose homes are still underwater. :( My prayers go out to them and their families – I can only imagine how difficult their situations are right now.

In other news, how was everyone’s Halloween? I spent it with some of my closest friends, and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Because the party was thrown together last minute, I put together a simple witch costume from my closet. I wore the new Sonya Sweetheart Bandeau Mixi Dress that I bought from Boohoo, which is slowly becoming one of my favorite online stores.

Since I don’t have any formal events to attend in the near future, I’ve been looking for an occasion to wear it. So why not start now? :P I love that it’s stretchy, and that the fit actually hides all the unpleasant things about my middle area. >.<; Nonetheless, clothing will always look better on the website models than on me. Strapless dresses always make me self-conscious about my arms and shoulders, too. I think it’s time for me to start my exercise routine again. ;_;


Oh, did I not mention that I bleached my hair? It took me two boxes of  Clairol Born Blonde Maxi to reach this shade. It’s so shiny in the sunlight! :D

Anyway, since I’ve come across some extra free time in my search for work, expect me to be posting more often again. ;) Until next time! ^.^

Clairol Born Blonde Maxi

Because I couldn’t stand my dark roots any longer, I went ahead and lightened my hair again last night. :P The history of my hair-dye posts is proof that I never use the same shade twice, mostly because I like trying new brands. This time, I picked up a box of Clairol Born Blonde Maxi. : )

The product claims that it can turn extremely dark hair into a very light blonde. Of course, I didn’t believe it. I mean, look at those swatches on the side of the box! There’s no way that could happen without damaging your hair to the point of breakage. But I wanted to try it out anyway. :P

The contents included not one, but two lightening powder packets. At this point, I knew I was in for a rough ride. I’m no stranger to bleaching, and I know how painful the process can be. After mixing the necessary products, the solution inside of the applicator was a bright blue. My boyfriend applied it to my hair, to make sure everything was evenly saturated. And I was right to assume this stuff was incredibly strong. My scalp felt a mild burning sensation, my eyes were watering, and I was trying as hard as I can to not breathe the fumes in. I washed it all out after 15 minutes, and used the included moisture intensive conditioner.

The photo above is what my hair looked like immediately after washing it out. I was so afraid that it came out badly because it was a radioactive orange! Thankfully, hair lightens considerably after drying,

I’m actually quite impressed with how evenly it came out! The roots lifted wonderfully, my length lightened a bit, and my ends are now super light blonde. I still have the gradient effect going on, except I look like I have highlights now!

My hair doesn’t feel any more damaged than it was before, which is a relief. I have a feeling that my next bleaching will actually make me a true blonde. Which is perfect, since that will be just in time for summer! : )

L’Oreal Super Blonde Creme Lightening Kit

For those of you who are new readers and subscribers, let me begin by saying that I’ve been lightening my hair little by little for the past couple of months – in hopes of being blonde one day. Because I have naturally dark Asian hair, getting it to go more than a shade or two lighter in one application (without damaging it too much) is almost impossible to do without spending a ludicrous amount of money at a salon. Thus, I’ve been content buying boxes of drugstore hair dye.

Yesterday was different, though. I stepped outside of my Garnier Nutrisse comfort zone and bought the L’Oreal Super Blonde Creme Lightening Kit.

The difference between this and what I’ve previously been using is that this was bleach, not hair dye. I’m no stranger to bleach, but I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences. The most recent was two years ago, when six inches of blonde hair broke off over the course of two weeks because I had left the bleach in for too long. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.

To ensure that my entire head would be saturated evenly, I had my boyfriend take care of the application for me. He did the roots first, then the length. Because my ends were already blonde and overprocessed, I warned him not to apply too much onto them.

I left the bleach in my hair for only twelve minutes before rinsing it out – only because my roots were lightening significantly faster than the rest of my head.

As you can see from the results above, my hair did lighten. The difference is much more significant in person, though. The photo below compares the color of my ends to the color of my length. The color didn’t turn out uneven – it just has that really cool gradient effect, giving the illusion of highlights.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how my hair came out. Would I buy the product again? Probably not. It’s a little more expensive than what I’m used to paying – $12 instead of $8. The amount of product they gave was perfect, though. The only downside is that my hair felt like straw afterwards. But that was to be expected, right? Looks like I’ll be on a strict conditioner-only regimen for the next couple of days. Minimal heat styling throughout the week, too!

Should I dare go even lighter next month? 

Garnier Nutrisse: #100 Extra Light Natural Blonde (Chamomile)

I know that I promised to buy that special bleach for dark Asian hair – but my budget really couldn’t handle buying two boxes ($13 each) plus shipping from Amazon. :'( Since I recently had a talk with a platinum blonde friend about how she maintains her hair, she promised me that any big drugstore brand would do, as long as I deep condition daily until it’s back to it’s regular state. Heat-styling is out of the question for at least a week, too.

The bleach I used this time is made by Garnier Nutrisse (my favorite brand) in #100 Chamomile. It’s described as an “Extra Light Natural Blonde”. My boyfriend did the application for me, to make sure it would come out as even as possible. Of course, I was afraid to leave it in for too long, so I washed it all out after 15-20 mins.

It really evened out the color, and people have told me that it looks significantly lighter than before. It really all depends on what kind of lighting I’m under. The tips are pretty blonde, though. But I’m sure these photos aren’t 100% accurate, especially since I haven’t been able to take any pictures with natural or indoor light. (Mostly because of this awful, icy, cloudy weather.) And excuse my silly pose below, I was scratching my arm. XD

I’ve always longed for lighter hair that wouldn’t clash with my tan skin tone. Depending on how I feel about this new shade in a couple weeks, I may or may not decide to go lighter. :P Here are a few photos of some blonde Asians that make me terribly envious. Don’t forget that you can click on them to enlarge!

What do you guys think about Asians with blonde hair? What range of shades do you think look best ? Orange-toned, platinum, strawberry, ash?