Tag Archives: dark

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?


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


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?



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

The Bustle Skirt

After seeing the lovely Emilie Autumn perform at Gramercy Theater last Friday, I was inspired by her dark twist on Victorian fashion. Somewhere between Gothic and Burlesque, she and her backup dancers wore beautiful costumes that made the concert seem more like a Broadway musical. While corsets have always had a special place in my heart, I was more fascinated by their modern-day bustle skirts.


Condensed from Wikipedia:
Bustles were originally designed to expand the fullness of the back of a woman’s dress during the mid-to-late 19th century. Typically a Victorian fashion, the shape created by the combination of a bustle and corset accentuated the rump, waist, and bosom – resulting in highly idealized representations of female sexual identity, simultaneously exaggerating and concealing the body’s figure.

If I owned a bustle skirt, it would render the illusion of my narrow hips looking fuller and my thick waist appearing more slender – even if just for costuming purposes. I’ve always yearned for an hourglass figure, but genetics have proven it impossible for me. Regardless of how much I work out or diet, the rest of me shrinks while my middle stays the same. ;_; (If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend my fellow blogger Christal’s post about apple-shaped bodies.)


Over the years, the burlesque industry has adapted the once-conservative fashion trend into something more risqué. Instead of being worn under a dress, modern bustle skirts are typically short and worn alone over lingerie. The fabric can range from sheer organza to dupion silk, depending on the quality. Personally, I’m completely in love with this elegant piece from Lovechild Boudoir, appropriately named Lady Lovecraft.


But as with most things, excellence comes with a price. And I’m not about to spend $100+ on something I may only wear a handful of times. I can definitely see myself frolicking about in one of these at conventions, raves, Halloween parties, and Renaissance Faires.. but I currently have financial priorities. :< Thankfully, there are some cheaper alternatives! Leg Avenue carries a burlesque line of clothing, which includes these adorable striped bustle skirts which go for as low as $14 on Amazon. Flimsy and thin, yes. But practical for the amateur costume enthusiast? Absolutely. :3


While we’re on the topic of burlesque, I really wish it hadn’t died out as an art form. It emphasized that curvy women are downright gorgeous, and we really don’t get enough of that in the media nowadays. Rarely am I ever impressed by current society’s standard that “anorexic” is “sexy”. In fact, I am awestruck by the beauty of buxom pin-up models like the legendary Dita Von Teese. So much so that last month I purchased this chemise inspired by her iconic look, courtesy of Wicked Temptations.


Maybe one day I’ll even muster up the courage and confidence to take one of those burlesque classes in the city so often featured on Living Social. ;D


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! ^.^

If You Start A Fire [Be Prepared To Burn]

First of all, let me get this out of the way – I’m not a regular theater-goer. My boyfriend and I simply decided to do something different last Saturday night and see an off-Broadway production of my choice. And to be honest, I didn’t even look up anything further than the one-paragraph blurb on the Mondays Dark Theatre Company website about If You Start A Fire before we went to see it at The 45th Street Theater. And you know what? The experience inspired us to make it a point to see plays more often, even if it’s only once every few months. Why? Because we paid $25 each for a ticket to a show that was worth so much more.

After having dinner and a few drinks at Cooper’s Tavern a few block away, we arrived at the venue fifteen minutes early. (Of course, I picked up some of the promotional flyers laid out on the table at the entrance for my scrapbook.) Anyway, we walked up a few flights of stairs and into the waiting room, where were checked in and were told that it was a full house that night. As everyone was being seated in the theater, I was immediately greeted by 8-bit video game music remixes and the set for the first scene – which, to my delight, was made out to be a small apartment that included things like a Macbook, a Legend of Zelda poster on the wall, a Guitar Hero controller, and several bottles of liquor in the background. It’s the small details like this that already had me intrigued before it even started.

The premise of the play revolves around a young couple trying to get rich in the recession we live in. Lucy is a part-time waitress who is going to school for her MBA, and Chris is a college dropout who just lost his job as a truck driver, along with their health insurance benefits. Tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck, they come up with a plan to “sell the illusion of sex” via the internet through live webcam – and soon they’re making good business. The first half of the show was a light-hearted comedy that explored their relationship, the reasoning behind why selling virtual sex was acceptable in this day and age, and the struggles both had to go through with their paying clients.

But the second half was much darker – delving into the loss of morality, humanity, and self. It really asks the audience, “How far are you willing to go for money?” When things spin out of control, I was shocked by how different of a person Lucy had become. And by the end, you can’t help but sympathize with Chris. Overall, this play was excellently written, and the actors really had me feeling what they were going through. My only criticism is that because the couple was so relatable at the beginning, there should have been a more complex closure to their relationship and the play as a whole.

Garnier Nutrisse: #40 Dark Brown (Dark Chocolate)

I know, I’ve been neglectful of this blog lately. But to be honest, this is the happiest I’ve been thus far in terms of where I am in life right now. I’ve got a degree, a full-time job, a supportive family, wonderful friends, and an amazing boyfriend. Everything is looking up, and I feel optimistic for the first time in too long. Blogging can wait a little bit while I enjoy life for the time being. :)

Me and my brother on graduation day! :D

Of course, I can’t keep myself away for too long. :P I just wanted to share my new hair dyeing experience with you guys. It’s no surprise that I’ve decided to go dark again, since AnimeNext is next week. And although Sailor Mars has pitch black hair, I figured it would be too harsh against my tan skin (I went to the beach last Saturday!) and picked out something a little softer.

Garnier Nutrisse in Dark Chocolate transformed my locks into a deep, almost-black shade of brown. At first, I thought it was wayyyy too dark! But that’s probably because I’ve been so used to my hair being significantly lighter. I know it’ll lighten in the sun anyway over the next few weeks. :P What I like the most about this shade, though, is that the neutral undertones of the color make my warm complexion look much fairer and less yellow. :D I look like a mess from the humidity on the day this photo as taken, but it’s a pretty accurate representation of what my hair looks like right now.

Excuse the awkward 16″ height difference. >.<;

In other news, remember my recent craze over tinted lip balms? I just purchased  the L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Balm in Plush Plum (which I’m wearing in the picture above) and couldn’t be happier with it. It’s not as moisturizing as Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, but definitely lasts longer and has a better color payoff. The selection of shades is much wider, too. Plush Plum in particular is a rich, not-to-sheer, not-too-opaque shade of plum with just the right amount of sparkle! It smells like vanilla, and definitely applies more red than purple on my pigmented lips. I’m tempted to buy a couple more in different shades. :P

I also bought a bottle of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Midnight in NY. Black nail polish will always have a special place in my heart, and the multi-colored micro-glitter in this one had me at hello. :) Unfortunately, it’s not as long-wearing as the solid creme shades from the same brand. It was already chipping after less than two days, but maybe it’s because I handle a lot of paperwork at my job? ;_; A top coat is definitely needed, and it was my mistake not taking the time to apply one.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your week. I’ll be busy basking in the glory that is youth and freedom. (I like to exaggerate.) Until next time! ^.^

Garnier Nutrisse: #53 Medium Golden Brown (Chestnut)

Hello! Again, I’m sorry for the hiatus. Things have been very hectic with work and school, and I have yet another exam later this week. Thankfully, I’ve found some free time to update you all with what’s been going on with me. But first.. my new hair color! :P At this point, I’ve tried out most of the Garnier Nutrisse shades, so I picked one at random that I haven’t. What did I have to lose?

I was getting sick of my black roots anyway, and although Medium Gold Brown lightened them, the length of my previous color was darkened significantly. I still have the gradient effect going on, which I can’t seem to get rid of ever since the last time I bleached my hair last Spring, but I don’t really mind.

Under indoor lights, the result does look somewhat golden. But as you can see in the photo below, the shade is more of a chocolate brown in flash photos – same goes for in natural sunlight. I was just really relieved to get rid of the brassy orange undertone that my hair had developed prior to dyeing it.

Yes, that is a pineapple rum cocktail in my hand! :)

So what’s been up with me? Stress, and lots of it. It’s not even necessarily my workload, either. Between trying to juggle my academic responsibilities, keeping up with Resident Assistant work, and enjoying my last year of college as much as possible – I’ve just been exhausted and drained all the time. It’s kept me pretty productive, though! Check out my bulletin board for this month:

I thought it would be useful to my residents to put up vacationing tips, especially since I know that many of them are going out of the country for Spring Break. Not only did I take this opportunity to promote safe traveling habits, but also safe sex and responsible drinking. :P I also designed a poster for a passive program that my staff is implementing. My boss is going to blow it up really big, laminate it, and hang one up in both laundry rooms in our building. :D

Again, I apologize for not updating as often as I once used to. I’ll keep trying to stay active, but the several hundred other things in my life must take priority. This next photo accurately explains my current mindset. Until next time! :)