The Bleaching Process: Going from Virgin Asian Hair to Ash Blonde

the bleaching process virgin asian hair to ash blonde

Soooo, a few months ago I decided to knock an item off my bucket list.  I wanted to be blonde.  But going from virgin Asian hair to blonde is not an easy process and not a process that should be done overnight.  Both of which I did.

I am by NO means a hair professional but this is my story about going blonde.  The best and SAFEST way to dye your hair is through a professional.  That is my disclaimer.  Now, onto the fun part.

The Research

Before starting the bleaching process, I googled (as many people do) how to bleach my hair at home.  I don’t recommend doing this but I’m a college student on a budget and could not afford to do this in a salon.

After buying a bleaching powder and volume developer on Amazon, I waited (not so patiently) for the package to arrive.  Those seven to fourteen business days felt like five million years.  I just wanted to be blonde.

Surprisingly, there isn’t much on the internet about Asians going blonde.  There are a ton of pictures but no “How To” guide other than Wengie and a few other beauty blogger posts.

Wengie’s post about dyeing Asian Hair is super helpful.  I would definitely check it out.  Click HERE to read her post.

The Bleaching Process

Going from Asian hair to blonde, you will encounter roughly three bleaching phases: the red, the orange, and the yellow.

For my hair, I used the Loreal true blue bleaching powder and a 40 volume developer.  Because I was impatient, my bleaching process was all done in one sitting.  (CUE the dramatic gasp of EVERY hair stylist in world).  Essentially, I went from dark virgin Asian Hair to yellow colored hair in one night.  I know, I know that it’s terrible for my hair and I just damaged my hair to oblivion. Trust me, I felt the damage too.  My hair felt like straw that’s been laid out in the sun to dry.

There is absolutely NO way I can recommend that you do this. By the second round of bleaching, my scalp felt itchy and a slight burning sensation. When my friend and I finally applied the box dye to my head after two rounds of bleaching, it stung quite badly.

Plus, there are horror stories about people’s hair falling out after harsh bleaching so be careful and you’ve been warned.  When bleaching your hair, patience is definitely a virtue (that I wish I had).

After the first round of bleaching

the bleaching process first round of bleaching

Second round

the bleaching process second round of bleaching

*If I was to bleach my hair again, I would definitely go for a 20-30 volume developer because my hair felt like straw after bleaching with the 40 volume.

The Dyeing Process

the bleaching process asian to ash blonde hair

I just used a box dye, the Clairol Light Ash Blonde.  The color turned out pretty well. After the bleaching process was finally over, I was so excited.  I already washed my hair like five times already LOL.

How to Maintain Blonde Hair

The bleaching process takes away color.  But since my asian hair is so dark, there is a definite warm tone to it.  Without the proper shampoo, my hair will be brassy and orange very quickly (which is definitely not a look I”m going for).

the bleaching process my ash blond hair

Whenever you dye your hair, you want to maintain it for as long as possible and that means less hair washing which means dry shampoo is your best friend.

But if you wash your hair only once or twice a week, then you’ll have a lot of product build up from all the styling cremes, dry shampoo, and leave in conditioners you put in your hair.

The Products: Shampoo and Conditioner

the bleaching process shampoo and conditioner

I’ve been using Finesse shampoo and conditioner once a week to clean up product build-up. It’s amazing. It gets rid of the powdery white specks on your hair after too many days of dry shampoo and it gets rid of that sticky feeling in your hair when you have used too much texturizing spray.

My hair feels truly clean after messaging the shampoo in to my scalp.  Plus, it smells fabulous.  I’ve never been a huge fan of Kendall Jenner but she chose a seriously great shampoo.  Finesse is also super affordable, you can find it at your local Walgreens. (Collect up your points there and save a TON of money on drugstore products!)

To prevent my hair from getting brassy, I wash my hair with blue shampoo about four times a month.  JOICO’s purple shampoo is seriously amazing.  It leaves my hair feeling soft and my hair is NOT orange or brassy.  WIN!

The Products (AKA giving life back to my hair)

After bleaching my hair twice in one night, you can probably imagine how dry and damaged it is.  Yeah, figure that in and multiply by ten.

I use Argan oil and the John Frieda Detangling leave in conditioner. I apply Argan oil to my mid-shaft and ends after washing my hair.  After my hair has air dried for a bit, I spray an insane amount of the John Frieda leave-in conditioner all over my head.

These two combined leave my hair much softer and less tangled.  My hair is seriously a tangled mess after bleaching and dyeing it. There is a tangle or a knot in my hair, the second after I finish brushing it.

That’s it.  It was fun being blonde for a month but my hair grows fast and my roots took over.  I’m now a light ash brown.  But if you have any questions or an experience you want to share, please comment down below!

**Disclaimer: I recived the Finesse Shampoo and Conditioner FREE for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own!**

The Most Important Skincare Step You ALWAYS Forget!


Important skincare step exfoliation dermae scrub dermae mask

I’m guilty too.  I’m getting better at removing all my makeup every night and applying moisturizer.  But there’s this one step that I always forget and that is exfoliation.

The Most Important Skincare Step: Exfoliation

There are three reasons why exfoliation is an important skincare step.  The first reason is exfoliation removes dead skin cells.  Secondly, it prevents and cleans out clogged pores. Plus, exfoliation revives dull skin.

Exfoliation can seem scary especially for people with sensitive skin, acne prone skin, or dry skin.  People with sensitive skin shy away from exfoliation because harsh exfoliation irritates your skin.  There is a common misconception with exfoliation.  Many of us associate exfoliation with little tiny beads that you rub against your skin to get ride of the dead skin cells, but this isn’t always the case.  There is actually chemical peels that are super gentle and exfoliate the skin.  Or pre-soaked pads with chemicals that can help skin shed off dead skin cells without stripping the skin.  This type of exfoliation is also great for people with dry skin because who likes that really weird tight feeling you get from using harsh cleansers and exfoliants?  Some people with acne prone skin like these exfoliants too.

My Favorite Exfoliants + GlamGlow Dupe

Personally, (especially after a bad breakout) I prefer a physical exfoliant because I feel like it helps with skin circulation which will help me skin heal better while the exfoliants prevent hyper-pigmentation from the spots.  Lately, my favorite physical exfoliant is from DermaE.Their Purifying 2 in 1 Charcoal mask is a mask and exfoliant in one!  I love two-fer products.  The mask is actually quite similar to GlamGlow SuperClearing Mud mask, so if you’re looking for a dupe.  This is it!  The only difference I found between the two is that the exfoliant in DermaE is a bit harsher than GlamGlow, but they both leave my skin feeling soft and smooth and helps control breakouts.  So, I’m in love because saving money is always awesome!

The Purifying Detox Scrub from DermaE is also fabulous.  It’s very similar to the Soap and Glory Face polish that I love.  It’s a much gentler scrub that can be used multiple times a week. When my skin is relatively clear, I love using this to help revive my dull winter skin.  The cold weather has definitely taken it’s toll on my skin.  Right now, I’m in love with this scrub and bronzer because it gives me that summer glow I love (even in 20 degree fahrenheit weather).

 

**Disclaimer: I received the DermaE purifying detox scrub and charcoal mask free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

P.S. I added this post to the VA Bloggers Friday Link-up!

Check out other great #RVA bloggers on there!

Music Festival Fashion on a Budget + the Seven Pieces You Need This Summer


It’s officially spring!  (Throws petals in to the air) So, music festival season is around the corner.  Be prepared this year by scoring the five pieces you need this summer.  I’m here to tell you that Music festival fashion on a budget is possible.  You just need to shop early and get in on those mid-season sales (before they sell out). OR if you’re a little lazy and prefer shopping while laying in bed, then I have the PERFECT solution for you! Keep reading to find my fashion secret.

The Seven Pieces You Need This Summer

  1. Glamorous sheer tunics
  2. Fringed kimonos
  3. Distressed cutoff shorts
  4. Comfy platform shoes
  5. Sporty crop tops
  6. Super cute sunglasses
  7. A fabulous Hat

First on the list are sheer tunics.  They are perfect for layering over crop tops or a cute bralet.  They prevent your skin from being overexposed to the sun.  Plus, they’re super light and won’t make you sweat in the summer heat because we all know that is not a pretty sight.

Pair your sheer tunics with a great belt and a large hat with some fabulous sunnies for a picture perfect Rachel Zoe approved outfit.

The next item on your packing list has to be a great kimono.  It’s going to get cooler in the night, so a kimono or maybe even a denim jacket depending on the climate is a very necessary item to pack.  Kimonos are light and add texture and interest to your tee and cutoffs outfit.

A floral fringed kimono is basically the most beautiful and perfect festival piece.  You can even wear it to the beach or the pool as a cover-up!

Next on the list are cutoff shorts because who can live without these in the summer?  They go with everything from crop tops to tees to blouses and everything in between.  Plus, they also look great under long tunics and short dresses too!

Now, if you’re a short girl like me then platforms are a must-have music festival fashion item.  These can come in the form of sandals, boots, or sneakers.

No summer wardrobe is complete without crop tops. You can style your favorite one with high waisted shorts, a ruffled skirt, or even a classic denim skirt.  Throw a kimono over your outfit and you’re festival ready!

Grab your favorite sunnies and a large brim hat because you’re now Instagram and Festival ready!  #outfitgoals

Music Festival Fashion on a Budget

Many of us are on a budget, so try shopping online for a great deal!  Currently, I’ve been obsessed with Tophatter.  They have a TON of great items for less than $25 including shipping!  If you love EBay shopping then you’ll love this.  Tophatter will actually notify you when bidding starts on your favorite items.  But if you’re impatient like me, you can also buy the items at the listed price.  I’m in love with this floral tunic I got from them.  It goes so well with denim shorts and a pair of strappy sandals.  The sheer fabric shows off my bralet in the most flattering way.

music festival fashion on a budget red sheer tunic

What do you think?

I also got this kimono from Tophatter.  Guess what? It was less than $15 and it is gorgeous, right?  It looks great with skinnies in the spring and fabulous over a dress once the weather starts warming up in RVA.

music festival fashion on a budget kimono

What’s your favorite way to style a kimono?

Music festival fashion on a budget is possible guys, especially if you’re willing to go digging for treasure at your local thrift store.  With thrifting, you’ll never know what you’ll find.  The thrift store is one of my favorite places to find jeans and cutoff shorts.  You can get your next favorite pair of high waisted shorts for less than $5!

When you find a super cool graphic tee at a thrift store, you can easily make it into a crop top or tie the hem in to a small knot for the perfect fit.  Remember music festival fashion on a budget is totally attainable if you use a little imagination and innovation.

Whether you’re going to a festival this year or staying at home these pieces are the perfect way to beat the summer heat in style!

**Disclaimer: I received the red sheer tunic and kimono from Tophatter for a discounted rate.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

Dress Chic in Seriously Cold Weather

how to dress chic in seriously cold weather

When it’s below freezing, you think, “It’s impossible to dress chic in seriously cold weather” because first, you’re cold so your natural instinct is to throw on sweatpants and a giant sweatshirt that swallows you whole.  Secondly, you REALLY don’t want to go outside, so you procrastinate from getting dressed and hide under the covers.  Third, you keep asking yourself, “Do I have to get up?”  While the word impossible keeps floating in your head, I beg you to remember the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.  She once said, “Nothing is impossible,the word itself says ‘I’m possible.'”

Trust me, I understand. With below freezing temperatures, it’s hard to wear anything except sweatshirts and sweatpants to stay warm.  (Translation: I don’t want to wear anything BUT sweatshirts, sweatpants, pajama bottoms, and my favorite fleece onesie.) However, there is a way to be stylish and chic AND warm.  In cold weather, layering and playing with volume is key to dressing chic and staying warm. Check out my tips below on how you can layer and accessorize with various pieces to dress chic in seriously cold weather.

These tips will prevent the horrible childhood nightmares of restricted arm movements and marshmallow (AKA Michelin Man) bulkiness because rolls are only good with cinnamon, cake or at the dinner table.

How to Dress Chic in Seriously Cold Weather

When you dress chic for seriously cold weather, you’re going to have to prepared for layers. LOTS of them because you’re going to need all the insulation you can get to stop those cold winds from reaching your body.  At the end of this, you might feel like you have half your wardrobe on your back and you actually might.  But when you’re walking from the parking deck to your office building, you’ll thank me.

The key to not looking bulky or restricting arm movement when you layer is to start with the basics: camisoles, tees, fitted sweaters, and oversized knits.  Playing with fit and volume will help streamline your layers and let you be chic while staying warm and toasty.  When the temperatures are BELOW freezing, an oversized cardigan or sweater is your best friend.

When you dress chic in seriously cold weather, you have to being the layering process with fitted pieces. In the winter, I love starting with a fitted camisole layered under a fitted t-shirt.  First two layers done.  This will NOT keep you warm but its a good start.

Now,if you’re prone to being cold then throw on a fitted sweater over your camisole and tee.  If not, then skip this step and just throw on the oversized sweater or cardigan you have.

Once you have your layers on, you’ll see the change in volume.  At this step, you’re basically a marshmallow.  Probably a cute one, but still a marshmallow.  The common mistake that many people make in the winter is wearing loose fitting or oversized bottoms with their layers.  All that fabric will swallow you up.  So, if you have volume on top, try to keep the bottom sleek.

Lately, I’ve been loving semi-fitted wool or knitted maxi skirts.  You can wear tights and leggings underneath to keep your legs warm.  Throw on a pair of socks and cute booties and you’re ready to brace the cold winds.

You can also throw on a pair of tights or leggings before slipping in to your favorite pair of jeggings.  Trust me, the extra layers will prevent your legs from turning in to popsicles.

Cassie from tothe9s also gave a great tip in one of their essentials videos, you can wear a pair of fleece-lined leggings under trousers.  You’ll look chic and no one will ever know that you’re basically wearing fitted sweatpants underneath your trousers.  (Don’t worry I won’t tell…)

Or you can try a body-con skirt on top of tights and leggings.  Popsicle legs are terrible, so throw on a pair of over-the-knee socks and boots to keep your legs warm.

Another winter favorite of mine is layering with summer dresses.  Any length works.  Once you have the camisole and tee on (plus a fitted sweater, if you’re ALWAYS cold), slip on your favorite summer dress before putting on your oversized knit.  Then, cover your legs with tights and leggings before shoving on boots.

**Bonus tip for ALL types of layering: Make sure the color palette is the same if your layers are longer in length.  If the colors don’t match, make sure your inside layers are shorter than the outside (that way no one will know!).

Finish off all of these looks with a great parka, trench, or pea coat to really insulate your body from the freezing temperatures!  With ALL these layers you’re bound to stay warm and toasty while looking super chic!

Accessorizing in Seriously Cold Weather

Scarves, hats, and gloves.  It’s hard to imagine coordinating these three without thinking back to the Minnie Mouse sets you used to own as a kid.  But there is a way to to coordinate without looking like a toddler.

In order to dress chic for seriously cold weather, you’re going to have to first find that “other” glove that’s gone missing since last year. And in many cases, they’re probably just behind the dresser or they’re having a party with all the lost socks.  In that case, RIP glove.

If you can find bother gloves and actually having a matching pair, then yay the hardest part is over!  Playing with pattern and texture is key to creating a chic look.  Personally, I love the faux fur scarves, faux fur trimmed gloves, and pom-pom beanies.  They are a great texture piece that will help break up all the various knits you’re wearing.

When you have a scarf, hat, and glove in the same color family then you’ll look polished and sophisticated while bracing through the cold winds.  You can have everything in the same color if you have different textures: knits to fur, beaded to solid, patterns to fur…etc.  Accessories add interest to your outfit so have fun with it!

And that’s it.  Those are my tips and tricks on how to dress chic in seriously cold weather.  This post was inspired by the below freezing temperatures in #RVA.

Which was your favorite tip?

The Best Translucent Powders for Acne-Prone Skin (That I’ve Tried)

Best translucent powders #howdoyoutlsp #contest

After spending a good 30 minutes on your makeup, you want it to last.  You want your makeup to look (almost) as flawless as it did right after application, BUT if you get oily through the day we know that won’t happen (at least without multiple touch-ups and a crap ton of translucent powders).  My secret to flawless skin even four hours after application is a good translucent powder.

Since, I have acne-prone skin my skin is combination.  It’s oily around my T-zone and cheeks but super dry under my eyes and forehead.  This mean my face is a powder nightmare.  Many powder foundations and translucent powders look cakey and get stuck on dry patches.  So after powder application, my face is splotchy and looks like a snake molting its skin.  (NOT a good look.)  But after years of trial and error, I’ve found FIVE (yes five!) of the best translucent powders that are perfect for keeping the shine away and doesn’t get stuck on dry patches. Some of them are even drugstore ones!

The Five Best Translucent Powders

  1. Laura Mercier Translucent Powder
  2. Too Faced Primed and Poreless
  3. Tarte Smooth Operator Powder
  4. NYX HD translucent Powder
  5. Rimmel London Stay Matte Powder

Best translucent powders Laura Mercier translucent Powder

Review of Laura Mercier Powder

Currently, my favorite is the Laura Mercier Translucent powder.  It’s loose formula is also PERFECT for baking and it gives your skin a subtle glow and who doesn’t love radiant looking skin?  This powder blends beautifully in to the skin and just looks you’re glowing from the inside out. With this powder, I know my makeup looks flawless and stays flawless for most of the day which is a huge achievement.  Without this powder, my foundation tends to break up around my nose and t-zone areas. And when I go to re-powder my face with other powders, it gets cakey and gross looking.  I can honestly say that Laura Mercier is a life-saver and totally worth they hype!

For other reviews, check out my 7 Drugstore Dupes Post.

AND if you’re looking for even more AWESOME drugstore products, check out my US and UK roundups where I tell you the BEST products to pick up!

Top US Drugstore Products

Top UK Drugstore Products

What are YOUR favorite drugstore products? And have you tried Laura Mercier’s Translucent powder yet?

**Disclaimer: I received the Laura Mercier powder free from Influenster for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**