Tag Archives: light

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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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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Post-Grad Interview Outfits

Hello! Sorry once again for the long wait before another post. It’s the last four weeks of school for me, and I’ve been swamped with group projects and presentations. Before I go about about giving tips for what to wear to an interview, let me just update you guys on the current state of my hair. It’s been about two months since the last time I dyed it, and my black roots were growing in much quicker because of the warmer weather. (It’s true, look it up!) I ended up buying a box of Garnier Nutrisse #63: Light Golden Brown (Brown Sugar), and apart from the roots, it didn’t change my previous shade by much. So I’m not going to be posting pictures this time. :<

I probably shouldn’t be experimenting too much with new shades anyway, since I’ve been spending the past two or three weeks applying for jobs and waiting for callbacks. Who knows if something can go wrong with a hair dyeing session the night before an interview? :P Speaking of which, I just had my first interview yesterday for an entry-level job relating to my major! :D Which inspired me to write this post.. here’s a good Polyvore representation of the outfit I wore:

Always dress appropriately for the position you’re applying for.
This is common sense. Yet I still hear of horror stories of applicants who show up to interviews in jeans and a blouse. At the same time, it also depends on the field you’re looking to work in. As a Health Care Management major, I always assume that the company will be a distinguished organization and bring my best business attire. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, after all.

It’s 2012. You can look put-together without being too conservative.
What always irked me about putting together an outfit for an interview are reading websites giving advice on how to dress demurely. Given, these websites mostly target middle-aged women. And I think that many younger college students are led to believe that they have to dress in their grandmother’s Sunday Best in order to secure the job at the interview. I disagree. In fact, I firmly believe that you can wear clothes that are more fitted to your body. Many websites tell women to avoid skirts, on the risk that they may be too short. But I think that times have changed, and it’s now acceptable to wear a skirt above the knee – as long as the hemline and the rest of your outfit is still reasonably modest.

You can never go wrong with a blazer.
I understand that freshly graduated college students may not have the wardrobe or income to provide them with several full business suits. Thus, I’ve come to the conclusion that blazers are a lifesaver. A single-button blazer looks great on top of many dresses, shirts, or blouse you may already own – and add instant class to your outfit. :) Invest in one or two, for now!

Avoid patterns – solid shades look neater.
While I was looking at websites targeting young women, many have a “professional wear” section. I was horrified to see pages and pages of fashion faux pas in the business world. Gaudy embellishments, tacky pinstripes, and too many ruffles to count, just to name a few. In my opinion, sticking to solids in a more traditional cut looks much neater for a first impression.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors.
Monochrome suits are dated. Many companies seek applicants who are on top of current trends and technology. To a certain degree, I think you should look like it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should wear anything too trendy. Sticking to neutral colors like black, grey, and beige are very safe bets. Just don’t hold the old-fashioned mindset that your outfit should be limited to a suit in the same color. In fact, statistics have shown that navy blue is the most successful color to wear to an interview. ;)

Leave your statement jewelry and dramatic makeup at home.
This, too, is common sense. Don’t wear your giant feather earrings or tribal necklace. In fact, I had to take off my favorite necklace before my interview because the pendant was a pair of scissors – which may have raised some concerns if my interviewers were from an older generation. Additionally, don’t make up your face to the point where you can be mistaken for a street walker. Keep it natural and light. As a girl who really enjoys lipstick, I would advise settling for chapstick or tinted lip balm for your interview. Good luck!

Spring Dresses from H&M

Exactly seven months ago, I bought a cute dress at H&M.

Remembering how much I loved the fit, pattern, and relatively inexpensive price tag.. I sought out another one the other day. It’s the perfect time to buy a new Spring dress anyway, now that the weather is getting nicer. :)

While browsing the racks, I immediately fell in love with the romper shown on the left in the photo above. I would have purchased it right away if it weren’t for the fact that I had difficulty closing the zipper over my bust. Although a size 6 fits my waist and hips perfectly, I find that clothing at H&M is usually not accommodating to women who have a C-cup or larger. Which is a shame, since I felt that it was very flattering to my figure. :< On the other hand, I did find the black dress above to be the complete opposite – draping over my body to the point where I looked shapeless. ;_;

And between the other two dresses I tried on in the fitting room, one had sleeves and a collar that were a tad too conservative for me, and I was undecided as to whether the light blue shade of the other dress flattered my skin tone. After some reassurance from an employee, I ended up buying the latter.. which I wore to a casual lunch and karaoke get-together with some friends back home. :D I especially like the pattern of white hearts all over it. It’s a little too long for my short legs to be considered a “mini dress”, but I’m sure the hem will get hiked up a few inches after throwing it in the washer and dryer. ;)

While I was catching up with everyone over some drinks, my friend Kristiana introduced me to the world of instant cameras. I had seen her bring one to functions before, but I never asked much about it until now. Especially since I had recently stumbled upon a plethora of old-school film cameras at Urban Outfitters, I was more interested than ever to get my own!

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Film Camera pictured above is the one that I’m looking to purchase after I save up some money. It costs about $63, not including the film – which can easily be $15 for a pack of 20. I hear that it’s much cheaper to buy the film on eBay, though, which is what I’ll probably end up doing. Anything to save a few extra dollars. :P

To me, instant cameras are a fun variation of casual picture-taking. It’s always super exciting to see the prints develop right in front of you, too! They also provide you with a tangible souvenir of the experience, something that the age of digital photos has somewhat lost. I can’t wait to start up this new hobby! ^.^

Christmas in California [Part 1]

WARNING: Long and photo-heavy post ahead! :)

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OXO Candela Glow

As a BzzAgent, I get the opportunity to try out some nifty stuff! This time, I received a package of OXO Candela Glow rechargeable lights. Which is actually really cool, since I can’t have real candles in my dorm room. (Fire hazard, duh.) The set comes with two medium-sized LED lamps and a charging station.

The photos on the official website are actually an accurate representation of what these lights look like. :P The glow is soft, and gives a really romantic vibe to any dimly lit room or corner.

Personally, I keep them in a little shelf above my closet space. The glow really diffuses within the cubby hole, and gives my dorm room a really relaxed atmosphere. Which is awesome, since the overhead lights in my room aren’t the best quality and my built-in desk lamp is blindingly bright. Disregard the terrible picture quality below – my camera doesn’t work so well in the dark.

As far as the power goes, I accidentally left them on overnight and it took about 10 hours for them to go out. Not sure if they were fully charged when I turned them on, though, so they may actually be able to last even longer. :D My only issue with the product is that they cost $39.99 for a set of two. When I saw the price tag, I was really glad that I got these for free. If they were a cheaper, I’d totally tell you guys to go decorate your homes with them. 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! ^.^