Sep 27, 2013

Mixing the Perfect Purple with Special Effects Dye Atomic Pink and Blue Haired Freak

I Bought This Affiliate Links

So continues my obsession with purple hair....

After doing my hair with the ION Color Brilliance Brights in Lavender, it was purple but not quite purple ENOUGH. You know what obsessed people are like, they can NEVER have enough (-insert crazy eyes-) *A*  So I decided to use Special Effects Hair Dye since I noticed Rie had such amazing results with it..... only problem was I couldn't find ANY of their purple dyes in stock ANYWHERE. Not on Amazon, not on eBay, not anywhere. I really wanted Wildflower, but it was just completely sold out along with every single other purple dye Special Effects makes :( So what is a girl to do when she can't find purple hair dye? Well, mix some of course!

Atomic Pink and Blue Haired Freak Purple

  1. I covered my hair in coconut oil and bleached the mid lengths and ends again, blending upwards to keep the gradient effect. I wanted to get the old silvery purple colour out and make it as light as possible.
  2. I mixed about 3 tbs of deep conditioner with 1 tbs of Atomic Pink and 1 tbs of Blue Haired Freak. I wanted a more pastel colour, rather than bright blaring purple, so I mixed it with quite a lot of conditioner. TIP: You really only need very little dye to achieve excellent results and the conditioner locks in the colour.
  3. I applied the purple mixture all over the mid lengths and ends of my hair (basically everywhere I wanted it to be purple) and left it on for a couple of hours.
  4. I washed out the dye with plain cool water. Because I mixed it with conditioner, I hardly got any colour running when I washed it out.

The day after dyeing it...

Excuse my crazy eyebrows... this was a real no makeup swatching day =_=;;

The pictures below are about a week after I dyed it.

Mix Purple Hair Dye

Mix Special Effects Atomic Pink Blue Haired Freak
Trying to get artsy...
The colour faded a bit and blends beautifully into the lighter blonde hair. It has faded a little bit more since then, but it's still pretty vibrant (although looking more pink than true purple). I think next time I dye it, I'll add more blue than pink so it stays purple longer. So okay, it's not exactly the PERFECT purple, but it's pretty darn amazing. I'm so obsessed with candy coloured hair right now, it makes me happy just looking at it!

Here's a pic of my friend Desiree who has just Atomic Pink in her hair. I did the same process on her hair as mine, just on her entire head.

What do you think about candy coloured hair? Are you loving it, or is it not for you?

Sep 26, 2013

Easy Halloween Nail Art: X Marks the (Blood?)Spot.

I Bought This

Halloween!! One of my favourite holidays... Sweet treats and dressing up in cool costumes, what else can you ask for? I actually did these nails as an entry for a giveaway Destany was having, but I thought they'd make perfect Halloween nails! You could wear them as a complement to a zombie costume, pirate outfit, insane bloodthirsty murderer ensemble... They're just the right amount of dark and gritty 'Halloween chic'.

I used OPI Spotted as a base, then drew red X marks with a red Kiss nail art polish and topped with Out The Door top coat. So simple and easy, but it really screams Halloween! (Get it, screams... yeah) >_> If you don't have OPI Spotted, get a black nail polish and wipe off the brush until it's almost dry, then brush and dab on the nail to get a similar effect.

I'm hoping to get a bunch of Halloween nail art and makeup looks done and posted on the blog for inspiration! I have a couple of ideas of what I want to dress up as, so I'll be trying out different looks :) What are you thinking of being for Halloween? If you participate in it, that is!

Sep 20, 2013

DIY Ombre: Bleach Dark Brown Hair to Blonde Without Too Much Damage

So, before I put the purple in my hair I did an ombre using bleach. Last time I did a DIY Ombre at home, I used box dye and pretty much fried the shiz out of my poor hair... I tried everything known to man to put some moisture back into my frazzled hair, but eventually I just had to cut most of it off and start over. This time, I wanted to try and protect my hair as much as I could , so I did a few things differently...

First, I went to Sally Beauty and bought  ION Color Brilliance Powder Lightener, ION Sensitive Scalp 30 Vol Developer and Wella Color Charm Toner in T18, 'Lightest Ash Blonde'. Then I went to Walmart and bought a jar of Coconut oil! Coconut oil has been widely purported to have great moisturising and protective benefits for hair, so I decided to try it out and see if it worked.

  1. I coated my hair in the coconut oil, enough so that it was fully saturated, but not dripping. Note: I've also heard good things about protein filler and conditioner baths, but I have only tried coconut oil so far.
  2. I mixed 1 part bleach powder with 2 parts 30 Vol developer. 30 Vol is the highest you should go if you have dark brown hair, in order to not damage it too much. I applied the bleach mixture to the ends of my hair and worked up with my fingers, blending it by just dabbing it and rubbing it from the top down, getting a little higher each time. TIP: Use dishwashing gloves, they have textured bumps on the fingers that help with blending!
  3. I wrapped my head in saran wrap/cling wrap and left the bleach in for 40 minutes, heating it for about 20 minutes with my hair dryer. The ION Sensitive Scalp developer was amazing, it didn't sting my eyes or burn my scalp at all. After 40 minutes, I washed my hair out thoroughly with plain water, making sure to wash until all the coconut oil was gone. TIP: Sometimes the coconut oil can leave the hair feeling slimy/oily so really make sure you wash very well to get it out!
  4. If your hair is as light as you want it, then you can move on, however mine wasn't quite where I wanted it, so I repeated steps 1-3. Note: My hair still felt quite smooth and hydrated after bleaching it twice, I can only attribute it to the quality of the bleach and the coating of coconut oil. It wasn't in quite as good a condition as before bleaching, but it was much better than last time I bleached it!
  5. I then mixed 1 part 30 Vol Developer with 1 part Wella Color Charm Toner in T18, 'Lightest Ash Blonde', applied it to where I had bleached my hair and left it on for 20 minutes. This is to cancel out the yellow/orangey tones in your hair after bleaching. Note: You can use coconut oil before applying this as well, but I didn't.  I have heard of some people experiencing the toner not grabbing onto the hair because of the coconut oil, so I didn't want to risk it.
  6. Washed it out really really well with a generic brand Purple Toning shampoo from Sally Beauty and viola! This was the result:

My hair is still semi damp in this picture, as I didn't have time to dry it before I dyed it purple. I think the blending is pretty good (for having done it myself! Can't see the back of my head..) and I love the light brown to white blonde progression! It's definitely a lot less orange than last time I bleached my hair. My ends are still relatively soft and retained moisture without a lot of bleach damage. This is pretty amazing, seeing as I went from dark brown to white blonde at the tips! I definitely think the combination of the protective coconut oil and the ION Sensitive Scalp developer helped a lot with avoiding damage. I hope this helps next time you plan on bleaching your hair!

I'll be posting about my custom blend of Special Effects dyes to make a pretty purple very soon, so stay tuned!

Sep 19, 2013

Brown to Purple Ombre Hair using ION Color Brilliance Brights Lavender

I Bought This

As I've mentioned before, I like purple. Purple hair has been on my lust list for the looooooongest time now, especially lavender, pastel, almost silvery unicorn hair. I absolutely adore it. Honestly, I wanted to have my whole head a silvery, pastel purple colour, but I just can't deal with the maintenance and continuous bleaching that that would entail. So, I had the option to either do some purple highlights/streaks or do a purple ombre... of course I took the easier (and trendier) route and did an ombre!

First, I did a DIY Ombre at home. The first time I ever did an ombre, I used box dyes, but this time I didn't want to fry my hair so badly =_= so I bought some supplies at Sally Beauty and bleached the mid-lengths of my hair to a light brown, fading into white blonde at the ends (which I'll write about in another post, also how I protected my hair from too much damage!). Then, using ION Color Brilliance Brights in Lavender, I dyed the lower half of my hair. Now, I ended up doing it twice because the colour didn't show up as much as I wanted it to the first time. The ION Color Brilliance Brights are a very thick, drier consistency, so I added a little water to make it easier to saturate my hair and it ended up with a creamier texture, like you see below.

I then tried to completely saturate my hair and left it on for 60 minutes. As I said, I did this twice, using 2 tubes of the ION Color Brilliance Brights in Lavender, and ended up with a pretty nice, vibrant purple shade on everywhere my hair was white blonde. The colour didn't really show over the darker parts of my hair though.

These two pictures above are after curling my hair a bit with my GHD flat iron, a few days after dyeing it. I really liked the silvery, lilac shade of purple, but it didn't quite cover as much of my hair as I wanted it to.

My hair then faded to this silvery shade about 3 weeks after dyeing it. It still looked pretty, but I was ready for a more PURPLE purple shade, so I decided to dye over it with some Special Effects dye, which I'd heard a lot about. That I'm saving for Part 2 of my Purple hair post though!

Overall, the ION Color Brilliance Brights in Lavender was a pretty good product, especially for around $4.50 for each 2.05oz tube. They also had a special at the time, which was buy 2 tubes, get 1 free! So I got 3 tubes for around $9! I think it works best on very light, white blonde hair because it's a more pastel shade.

Stay tuned, I'll be posting Part 2 of my Purple hair journey using Special Effects dye in the next few days :)

Click here to see how I bleached my dark brown hair before dyeing it purple with very little damage.

Sep 13, 2013

My 29 Year Old Friend had a Stroke??

Today I wanted to post about something that's non-beauty related, but that I think really deserves 5 minutes of your time. One of my husband's best friends, Chris, is a 29 year old pretty normal guy. He has a girlfriend, is a dancer and a photographer, likes to do active stuff... He doesn't smoke or do drugs, has the occasional drink, but not to excess, pretty much your normal 20 something.

My husband and Chris at Chris' brother's wedding, only a few months ago.

So how the heck did this normal 29 year old end up having a debilitating stroke? We had just seen him the week before and he seemed perfectly fine, then we suddenly heard that he was in the hospital. Read what happened in his own words, it is actually scary how sudden it was and how NON-caring and ready to dismiss him the first hospital he went to was!

Chris and his girlfriend Angela

It was Sunday morning. Nothing special about that day. I went down to fix breakfast but something did not feel right. As I tried to grab something with my right hand, my arm didn't respond. Before I knew it, I was on the ground having a seizure. 911 was called, and I was brought to a local hospital. By that time my mother had joined us in the ER. Hopeful and relieved, I would be able to get the care I needed and maybe some answers. They treated me like I was insane. They thought I was seeking pain medications and my seizures were fake. In fact, I had another seizure in front of the doctor as he pulled my mother aside and told her I was faking it. I don’t even remember it happening. At this point, scared out of my mind, the doctor begins to have me question my own sanity. Is this really happening? What is going on? Am I going to die? Let’s get this clear, I do not smoke or do drugs. In fact, I had been on a real healthy tip having ran 3 miles the day before with some good friends. Needless to say I was discharged and sent home with the same weakness of my right arm and leg.

The following day my mother decides to take me to St. Jude Hospital. I am admitted and they run many tests, trying to find an answer. The doctors, nurses and staff worked so hard to figure out what was going on. On an MRI (brain scan) they found swelling in my brain. I am angered and slightly relieved to find there was something wrong after all, despite what they said at the other hospital. The region affected was the part of the brain that controls motor and sensation of my right arm and leg. Many specialists are called because they are having a difficult time figuring out what is causing the seizures and the brain swelling. The next day I had another seizure, meanwhile my right side is continually weakening due to lack of use. I end up with 2 spinal taps, which cause debilitating headaches. Close to being discharged, I had another seizure, and there are still no answers. Then something happens.

Weak, tired, and sick of being poked, I began to have difficulty breathing. They run tests and turns out I developed a blood clot in my lungs. I nearly died. Though it was a close call, it was a blessing in disguise. The doctors check for blood disorders and finally a diagnosis is found. The results show I have a rare blood disorder called Factor V Leiden Deficiency. Due to an inherited gene, my blood is predisposed to making blood clots. Only around 4 % of the population carries the gene. Amongst African Americans only 1% carry the gene. Out of that 1% population only 10% develop clots. A tenth of 1% is extremely rare, but there I was in the hospital, a 29 year-old stroke victim. Wondering if I would return to my normal self or completely lose the use of my right arm and leg. Those weeks in the hospital will affect me forever. Currently in rehab, you will be happy to hear I am fighting. It is not an easy fight but I promise you I will get there stronger than before.
Today, Chris is still on the road to recovery. It seems crazy that, out of nowhere, he was struck down and suffered a stroke, something you usually only hear happening to older people. It REALLY brought it home to me that you DON'T know when it could be your last breath, you can't take it for granted that just because you're young and seemingly healthy, something like this can't happen to you. I am trying hard to appreciate every day with my loved ones, because you truly never know what could happen. I'm extremely thankful that Chris, although it was a terrible experience for him to go through, is lucky enough to still be here.

Unfortunately, Chris didn't have health insurance. He had just been laid off at his work, and although he has just now managed to find another job (yes, even though he is still recovering!!), he has the burden of a huge medical bill hanging over him. I recently had to go to the hospital for a kidney stone, and even though it was relatively minor, my bill was still $3000!! I can only imagine how expensive all the tests, medications, weeks of recovery and rehabilitation has been for Chris.

If you could find it in your heart, PLEASE donate so that he can not only ease the burden of his medical bills, but also raise money to bring awareness to the fact that we only have one body and we have to take care of it. As he says... "I want people to understand how important it is to have health insurance. There are a lot of us in our 20’s who choose not to have health insurance, but most do not realize that a hospital bill that large could not only ruin our lives financially, but also the family around us. I also wanted to create stroke awareness and promote a healthy lifestyle. The 6 months prior to the stroke I had been very healthy, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods. In fact I had lost close to 40 pounds, but there I was in the hospital. I want people to understand that we only have one body and that we need to care of that one body."

He also plans to raise money for the hospital that saved his life, that actually took the time to run tests and believed that there was something really wrong with him. If you can't afford to donate, please share this post!

You can find out more and donate here at the Chris Flowers Stroke Recovery Fundraiser. Even $5 will help, heck even $1!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and hopefully if you can, to donate/share!!

Sep 11, 2013

Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stains on Warm Toned Skin

I Bought This

Lip Balm Stain Review and Swatches

What's better than high-end quality for a ridiculously low price? Not much I'd say, and these Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stains certainly deliver on both. We used to either have to compromise on quality, or pay out of the nose for good products, but no longer! There are a bunch of super affordable brands now that make really good products and Jordana looks to be one of them. I love these balm stains even more than the Revlon ones that they are supposed to be similar to, at a third of the price!

From the Jordana website:

• Moisturizing Balm Infused with a Light-Weight Stain
• Applies with a Glossy Finish then Transforms into the Perfect Flush of     Color
• Long-Lasting
• Retractable, No Sharpening Required
• Paraben-Free
• Made in USA
NET WT 0.095 OZ / 2.7g

Available in 8 Shades
Price: $2.99

I have swatches of 3 of the shades, 06 Cranberry Crush, 07 Rock n Rouge and 03 Tropical Frenzy. You can see what these gorgeous shades look like on my warm toned tan skin :)
Jordana Balm Stain Review
L - R: Cranberry Crush, Rock n Rouge, Tropical Frenzy
Jordana Swatches
L - R: Cranberry Crush, Rock n Rouge, Tropical Frenzy
Cranberry Crush Balm Stain Lip Swatch
Jordana Cranberry Crush
Cranberry Crush on Tan Skin
Jordana Cranberry Crush
Jordana Rock n Rouge
Jordana Rock n Rouge
Rock n Rouge on Tan Skin
Jordana Rock n Rouge
Jordana Tropical Frenzy
Jordana Tropical Frenzy
Jordana Tropical Frenzy
Jordana Tropical Frenzy

I have been using these three almost every day, so it's safe to say that I pretty much adore them. I may just have to go back and get the rest of the shades! Considering they're only $2.99 at Walgreens, it's hardly breaking the bank. They last on me around 5 hours without fading, through drinking. They do fade a little through eating, but the nice thing is that they fade evenly and don't leave you with that 90s lipliner look. One thing I love is that they are so pigmented, but still so smooth and buttery. They really feel like a super moisturising light lipstick, not too heavy or cakey, and they don't flake. My Revlon balm stain tends to start flaking after a couple of hours, so I find myself reaching for the Jordana balm stains a lot more.

Have you tried out any of the new Jordana products? I have my eye on those pretty eyeliners as well!

Sep 5, 2013

My Favourite Purple Products + Purple FOTD.

I Bought This

My favourite colour has changed a few times over the years. First I was all PINK FO LYFE, then I had a brief love affair with turquoise (which I still revisit from time to time), nowadays though it's ALL about the purple. Lilac, lavender, mauve, phlox (yep, that's a shade of purple!) you name it, I am obsessed with it.

Three of my go-to purple products have to be the following little gems - they're perfectly pigmented and were all under $10!

1. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling
2. Milani COLOR BRILLIANCE eye pencil in #04 Purple
3. Confetti nail polish in Belle of the Ball
 I am SUPER in love with my Revlon Balm Stain. It's the perfect glossy purple and feels smooth and lightweight just like a lip balm. I notice that it stains to more of a magenta colour the longer you wear it. The Milani pencil is actually discontinued, but I love it so much that I use it every time I want a pop of purple liner. The nail polish I bought for a couple of dollars from CVS, win!

I actually asked my husband what I should do with my nails and he said "A purple fading into pink". So that's what I ended up doing.

For the nails, I did a sponged gradient using Belle of the Ball and a random unnamed pink Color Club polish. The ring is by my friend Amber from Angel's Boutique! I love it, it's super kawaii  >w<!!

I wore this makeup look to my niece's birthday party, something fun and different. I find that I've been incorporating purple into my makeup a lot more recently and I love it! It's also a perfect Fall colour :) Some of you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram and Twitter.. I love purple so much, I dyed my hair purple! I'll be posting about that very soon, as well as how to bleach dark brown hair without too much damage.

Hope you're all having a great week! It's been super hot here, when does the Fall weather kick in?? I'm ready!!

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