Tag Archives: natural

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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My first experiences with fake nails.

About two months ago, while I was browsing the nail care section of Target, I came across this super cute set of press-on Hello Kitty nails! As I must have mentioned several times before this post, I have a really bad nail-biting problem. The only thing that has effectively stopped me is painting them. I thought fake nails would help me out even more with this bad habit. :P

So after buying them for only $3, I returned to my dorm room that day and promptly applied them with nail glue. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. Although the designs were super cute, the nails themselves didn’t fit me very well. They were also too long, but couldn’t be filed down without getting damaged. On top of that, they were shiny and plastic-looking. Needless to say, they got wrecked pretty easily by doing everyday things like organizing books and papers. :'(

The other day, though, I decided to give fake nails another chance and use a box of Kiss Everlasting French glue-on nails because I was going to a BBQ party the next evening. My mother had left them on my staircase for weeks, before I realized that she was never going to use them for herself. XD

I’m pretty sure a box of these run for about $6, which isn’t so bad because they last up to a week or two. Definitely cheaper than getting a manicure regularly (which I don’t do), and less of a hassle than growing your nails out and painting them. Inside the box was already included pink nail glue, rather than clear, for a more natural look. After applying them, I must admit that they could have passed for real nails. :P

I prefer round to square tips, though, since they give the illusion of longer and more slender fingers. So I filed them into a more flattering shape. No damage whatsoever! :D

I’m no pro at using nail glue, either, so I ended up with a few unsightly bubbles underneath. In an attempt to fix this, I tried painting over them with polish but only ended up ruining the nails. >.<; Total fail. This second experience was much better than my first one, though, and convinced me to consider trying fake nails again sometime soon. With the proper application technique, mind you, to avoid the mistakes I made here. :P

On a final note, I have a new blog signature. : ) Until next time! ^.^

NYX Cosmetics Haul & Review

I believe that the greatest downside to wearing makeup is that you constantly have to replenish your stash every x amount of months. I recently ran out of mascara, foundation primer, AND concealer  – so I figured it would be a good time for a mini makeup haul. : ) I’ve been in love with NYX Cosmetics ever since I bought their Round Lipstick in B52 at Ulta over five months ago, but that tube has since broken in my purse out of my own carelessness. >.<;

I considered purchasing a few things from the official NYX Cosmetics website, but then I remembered a site that all my favorite bloggers have mentioned at least once: Cherry Culture. They sell makeup for a hugely discounted price, and offer free shipping on all orders over $40! Needless to say, I immediately took advantage of it. :P Over half of the products I ordered were on sale, meaning I wouldn’t be able to return them. I placed my order on March 26th and received my package earlier this afternoon, making the total shipping time only five business days! :o

+NYX Doll Eye Mascara, in Long Lash Extreme Black: $9.00 $7.00
+NYX HD Eyeshadow Base: $7.00
+NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer, in Lavender: $12.00
+NYX Concealer Jar, in Medium: $5.50 $5.00
+NYX Black Label Lipstick, in Diva: $7.50 $6.00
+NYX Round Lipstick, in Black Cherry: $4.00 $2.50
+NYX Round Lipstick, in Milan: $4.00 $2.50

Milan is a very pretty, neutral pink shade of lipstick. Compared to B52, it’s less pink and more “brown”. In other words, this is the shade that I wish my lips were naturally. As with all of the NYX Circle Lipsticks, the color payoff is great for the price! The formula is super rich and very creamy, though a little slippery. I definitely prefer the shade Milan over B52, though. ; )

Black Cherry is a deep red lipstick with plum undertones. It looks very intimidating in the tube, and very bold on your lips. I am so glad that I chose this shade over the popular Snow White, though, as it looks great with my naturally tan skin. From photos and reviews of Snow White, it looks as if the shade is meant for people with cooler undertones and paler skin. On the other hand, I think Black Cherry can compliment just about every skin tone! Wearing red lipstick is always a strong statement, and this is no exception – I only plan to wear it on special occasions and photo opportunities. :P

Because I already knew that I loved the NYX Circle Lipsticks, I decided to see if paying a little extra for their Black Label Lipsticks wold be worth it. I chose the shade Diva, which comes out to be a bright fuchsia pink on my lips. The product is definitely of a higher quality than the Circle Lipsticks – not slippery at all, still very rich and creamy, and even more pigmented. The packaging looks so classy and sleek, too! Depending on how I feel the next time I need to restock on lipstick (which won’t be for a long time), I may prefer these. : )

This mascara? Amazing. NYX Doll Eye Mascara in Long Lash Extreme Black make my eyelashes look incredibly long. The brush is shaped so that even the corners get some love. ; ) You can layer, layer, layer, and this stuff refuses to clump! No spider legs, no flaking, no transferring onto my lower lid – it’s practically perfect. My dentist actually asked me today if I was wearing eyelash extensions. :P This is definitely my favorite mascara so far. <3


Only two coats.. can you believe it? :D

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I heart recycling.

You know what irks me? When people don’t put recyclables into the appropriate bin when it’s right in front of them. Many of the residents in my building even leave them in the hallways! For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been collecting soda cans and bottles. Yesterday, I cashed them in for $0.05 per piece at Walbaums in their recycling center. : )


Photo credit goes to kingdesmond.

As a college student whose university prides itself on being a green campus, it feels great to know I’m doing my part while making some extra money on the side. My RHD even gave me and the other RAs a pile of these cute pins to hand out to students in order to promote recycling!

With a small fraction of the money I earned from recycling all those cans and bottles, I decided to buy a tube of Wet’n’Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Bare it All. It’s a lovely, nude, semi-matte shade that softens your look when you want to wear dramatic eyes. The formula looks creamy, but can be a little drying – that can be solved by wearing lip balm underneath, though. And because my lips aren’t very photogenic, here’s what the lipstick looks like on fellow blogger Jo from JoMakeMeBlush.

At first I was afraid it was going to be too light on my tan skin, but I make it work. :P I also like it because it has great value – only $2.99 at your local drugstore! The shade really tones down and neutralizes smokey eyes, making them wearable during the daytime. It’s perfect for Spring, too, since I want to experiment with more colorful and experimental looks. Can you believe that it’s almost March? I can’t wait for warmer weather. : ) Until next time! ^o^

How to Cook: Sopas

For the past couple of days, I’ve been really sick – sore throat, runny nose, cough, fatigue, everything! I’ve been taking many of my friends’ advice on a natural approach to recovery – lots of tea and soup. I’m basically on a liquid diet. >.<; It’s a shame that I haven’t been able to work or go out, but I’ve been focusing my energy on other productive tasks in the meantime. Today, I cooked one of my favorite Filipino stews for dinner called sopas. It’s delicious, healthy, and very easy to make!

YOU WILL NEED: butter, garlic, onion, chicken breast, patis (fish sauce), hotdogs, pasta elbows, carrots, cabbage, and plenty of water!

Here, I’ve already cut up all the vegetables and meat:

First, you will need to boil some elbows in a large pot. Use only enough water to bring it to a boil. We will be adding more later!

While that’s boiling.. sauté your garlic and onion with butter in a separate pot. Add your chicken breast, and pour some patis for flavor. Once that’s cooked, add your hotdogs. Stir for a few minutes, then set aside.

Your elbows should be tender by now. Add the cabbage and carrots, then some more patis for flavor. Once the cabbage has softened, stir all your ingredients together in the larger pot. Add some more water, then let boil for a few more minutes. Taste, then add even more patis if you feel like it needs it.

Once it’s done, serve yourself some in a small bowl, and feel free to add a little bit of milk for a creamier flavor. Enjoy! ^o^

Canola Oil Hair Treatment

Hey, guys! It’s been snowing here in my part of New York. The forecast predicts that we’ll be getting 14 inches – yikes! Here’s the view outside the front of my house earlier today, just as the blizzard was starting. I hope everyone shovels their sidewalks by tomorrow afternoon, as I’ll be going out. >.<;

Since my last coloring the other day, I’ve been really worrying about the state of my hair. It’s been feeling really dried out, and my ends are beginning to split. I remember the last time I fried my hair, I bought Bed Head’s Dumb Blonde Reconstructor and it was absolutely amazing.

I remember its delicious pineapple scent, and the way it saved my hair with its thick protein-packed formula. Truly a godsend. Unfortunately, quality damage repair products don’t come cheap. A mere 6-ounce tube of it costs $16! As a poor college student, I really can’t afford to be spending that kind of money. Thus, until I find a cheaper drugstore alternative to Dumb Blonde, I’ve been using some of my mom’s canola oil that she uses to cook. (Mostly because we currently don’t have any olive oil in the house.)

You don’t need much – just measure about an eighth of a cup of canola oil, and microwave it for a few seconds until warm. I apply the oil to the lower half of my hair only, and leave it in for about fifteen minutes before jumping in the shower. The effects are very nourishing, and make my hair soft without being greasy, since canola oil is lighter than olive oil.

It’s a little difficult to tell, but here in this photo that I took for my boyfriend, you can kind of see that the damage has been reduced since my last hair post – it doesn’t look like straw anymore! : ) I accidentally deleted the original picture, though, so I’m sorry that it’s in black and white.. :X

I don’t plan on using canola oil for too long, though, since there are a ton of hair products that  want to try out and review for you all. ; ) Until next time! ^o^

This semester went by FAST. o_o

There are only two more weeks  until the end of the semester. I couldn’t believe it when I found out! As far as my academics go.. I have five final exams (one of which I just finished this afternoon because it’s a take-home), a five-page essay, and a coding project due. D; I know how to sit back and enjoy myself on the weekends, though. For the past two days, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XII with Michael. I remember starting it a couple years ago and getting 3/5 through, but just never got around to finishing it. Thus, we started a new game! :D

In other news, I’ve been eyeing the Urban Decay NAKED palette for quite some time now. Everyone’s been raving about it, and it’s been sold out EVERYWHERE for months. Although I know it’s a quality purchase, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to spend $44 on a set of eyeshadows. The nude shades are so pretty, though! x_x

Luckily for me, I found another nude palette that would more than satisfy me for less than 1/4 the price of NAKED. ; ) The NYX 10 Color Palette in Champagne and Caviar comes in at only $9.75! I’m not one to do outrageous or colorful makeup looks in the daytime, since I’m kind of a newbie to eyeshadow, so I really love soft browns and bronze-golds. I’ll probably buy myself this palette once my current Wet’n’Wild Vanity eyeshadows run out. : )

On a final note, I just want to point out the current sale at  Charlotte Russe: 50% off their holiday party dresses! :o If I didn’t have so many already, I would totally buy another one asap. XD I found this really cute silver dress on their website, that I would absolutely wear to this year’s Christmas party if I owned it. :P

I don’t like wearing short dresses all by themselves in the cold weather, though, so I was also drooling over these adorable tights on the Urban Outfitters website. <3

Until next time! ^o^