Tag Archives: blonde

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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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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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 Nice ‘N Easy Color Blend Foam: 5G Medium Golden Brown

aka..
THE WORSE DYE EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD IN OVER TWO YEARS.

Alright, so Kirsten sent me a coupon for a free box of Clairol hair dye a few weeks ago. I believe it was to promote their new Nice ‘N Easy Color Blend Foam. I walked into Target yesterday, and picked up the shade Medium Golden Brown. I figured the warm undertones in this would compliment my skin tones better than the Ash or Neutral shades.

From years of hair coloring experience, I know that the results on the side of the box are never accurate. This shade was supposed to make my dark blonde hair become a honey-esque, milk chocolate brown. I expected it to come out slightly darker, of course. The instructions in the box explained how to apply the foam product correctly: Pour bottle 1 into bottle 2. Close lid. Shake vigorously. Squeeze bottle to dispense foam. Apply to hair in a shampooing motion.

Easy enough, right? Well, I immediately disliked the application technique. My boyfriend had to keep shaking the bottle throughout the whole process because the foam kept turning back into liquid after a minute of leaving it alone. Which leads me to believe that this whole “foam” thing is merely a gimmick, since the foam would turn into liquid again once applied to your hair.

The dye itself SMELLED LIKE SOY SAUCE. I was not pleased at all. The consistency was like watered down pudding in my hair, and was extremely drippy and messy. My boyfriend was so frustrated with the squeeze bottle, that he eventually took off the lid and started applying the dye directly into my hair without foaming it. After my entire head was completely saturated, I left it in for 25 minutes before jumping into the shower and washing it out.

The result? An ugly, almost-black, disgusting mess. My hair came out at least three or four shades darker than the box suggested. Needless to say, I was incredibly disappointed. It didn’t even lift my black roots!

What’s worse is that the color came out REALLY uneven. As in, large patches of blonde in the back. I know for a fact that the dye was evenly distributed because I checked the back of my head with a mirror in the bathroom. I should also mention that this dye DOES NOT MAKE YOUR HAIR SHINY like Garnier Nutrisse does. If anything, the color is flat and boring. My damaged hair from before looked much healthier than it is now. =/

Ultimately, I’m completely upset over the current state of my hair. Never trusting Clairol again. Especially since my boyfriend has had bad experiences dyeing his own hair with Nice ‘N Easy. I may just dye over mine with a prettier shade of brown by another brand, or just go black. What do you guys suggest I do to fix this? :'(

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! : )