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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!

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.**

The Korean 10 Step Skincare System for Acne-prone Skin


10 step skincare acne prone skin

Normally, I’m all for the 3 step skincare system: cleanser, spot treatment, and moisturizer.  And I have been a huge supporter of this lazy skincare system for years now.  Until recently, those few steps were enough to keep my skin clear and kind of soft.  (I was terrible at remembering to exfoliate…)

But with stress from work and school combined with my three hours of beauty rest every night, my skin is far from clear or soft.  So, I decided to try out the 10 step skincare system.

What is the 10 Step Skincare System?

The founder of SOKO glam, Charlotte Cho, wrote a book called The Little Book of Skincare, where she explains the importance of replenishment, hydration, and exfoliation.  She recommends people of every skin type to use a non-stripping cleanser because oily skin is usually the result of dry skin trying to replenish itself with sebum.  With excess sebum, pores will clog and your skin will break out and blackheads will emerge.  Charlotte emphasizes the importance of hydration because hydrated skin heals better and hydrated skin is more even toned and smooth.

In her book, she lists out 10 steps:

  1. Oil Cleanser
  2. Water Cleanser
  3. Scrub
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum
  7. Mask
  8. Eye cream
  9. Moisturize
  10. SPF lotion

The Importance of Double Cleansing

So, you might be wondering, “Why are there two cleansers?”  Well, Koreans really believe in clean skin.  Double cleansing will help you remove all your makeup from the day and really clean your pores.  First, the oil cleanser breaks down your makeup and cleans your skin without stripping it of all its natural oils.  Second, the water cleanser cleans deeper in to your pores to make sure that there is no makeup residue left.

By double cleansing, your skin will be cleaner, have less clogged pores, and have smaller pores.  Pore size is reduced because there is no GUNK stuck in them!

Why Should I Exfoliate?

Exfoliating is an important step in keeping pores clean, your face smooth, and your face more even-toned.  The reason why exfoliating works is because the process of exfoliating removes dead skin cells.  As a result, your skin looks more radiant and even toned.

There are two types of exfoliation chemical and physical.  Chemical exfoliations are more gentle while physical exfoliation involves sugars or tiny micro-beads and can irritate the skin because of the physical abrasion.

Personally, I use a chemical exfoliant every two days and a physical exfoliant about twice a month.  This routine has helped my cells regenerate quicker and my acne scars to heal faster.  My skin also feels smoother and looks more even-toned.  If this routine irritates your skin, try exfoliating every three days.  Skincare needs to be catered to your skin, so do what’s best for it.  Plus, after double cleansing and exfoliating your skin will be better prepped for essence and serums.  Because your skin is clean, it can absorb products better.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydrated skin is healthy skin.  This is the reason why there are 7 steps dedicated to hydration in the 10 step skincare system.  Toner is used to hydrate and clean whatever residue is left on the skin after double cleansing.  After wiping your face with a cotton pad soaked in toner, apply an essence.

Essence is a light lotion.  It absorbs quickly in to the skin and gives it a good dose of hydration.  Once the essence absorbs into your skin, apply a serum to your face and neck.

Serums are a concentrated solution that hydrates and nourishes your skin with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

To really nourish and hydrate your skin, you need to invest in a good sheet mask.  A sheet mask is a paper mask that is soaked in serum.  You take it out of the package and unfold the mask.  Once you have carefully unfolded the mask, place it over your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.  Plus, the mask really helps your skin absorb the serum and lock it in.

The Importance of SPF

After doing all that work, you have to protect your skin from UV rays with a good SPF lotion.  UV rays can damage skin cells which causes pre-mature wrinkles and discoloration.

Once your applied your SPF, you can continue with your makeup routine.  Trust me, your makeup will actually go on your skin better because its smoother.  BONUS!

10 step skincare lumpro c

The Products I Use

Since I have acne-prone skin, I customized the perfect 10 step skincare system for my skin-type.  The ten products I use are:

  1. Garnier Fructis Oil Cleanser
  2. DermaE Purifying Charcoal Cleanser
  3. Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose In It
  4. The Body Shop Mattifying Tea Tree Toner
  5. SK II Facial Treatment Lotion
  6. LumaPro-C Skin Brightening Pigment Corrector
  7. Tony Moly Tea Tree Mask/ Dr. Jart Clearing Solution Mask/ Glamglow Superclearing mud mask
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Cerave Moisturizer
  10. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen

My Results + Product Reviews and Tips

My skin feels softer, smoother, and more even toned after two weeks with this 10 step skincare system.  I still have breakouts because I ate way too much dairy and had an influx of hormones from that awesome time of the month we all love.  To help with the scarring and hyper-pigmentation left from my blemishes, I use the LumaPro-C Skin Brightening Pigment corrector.  This serum evens out my skin while also making it feel baby soft.  The serum has vitamin C in it too!  And Vitamin C is one of the key ingredients for radiant skin.

If you can’t find a good essence or don’t want to splurge for the SK II one that I’m using, try applying a second more moisturizing toner.  It will give you the same benefits of an essence at a fraction of the cost!

After all this, I’m sure you already know the answer to the question: Does it work? Yes, the 10 step skincare system works. And I promise it doesn’t take up too much time.  Actually, it only takes me 20 minutes to finish this skincare routine from beginning to end (if I do the sheet mask).  On days without the mask, I’m done in 10 minutes.

Would you try this 10 step routine?

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6 Benefits of Chia Seeds for Hair and Skin that You Didn’t Know + Bonus Review

Chia Seeds Benefits Hair

Chia seeds are one of the hottest food trends right now.  Not only are chia seeds great for weight loss but they’re also great for your hair and skin too!  The benefits of chia seeds are endless.

They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, and iron.  The antioxidants and minerals found in chia seeds help your hair grow stronger, fuller, and shinier. Plus, chia seeds also improve your skin with bacteria fighting antioxidants and skin rejuvenating minerals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

1) So,not all fats are bad. These ones are actually some of the best. Omega-3 fatty acids can actually treat dry hair and promote the growth of strong, shiny hair. How you may ask? Well, this antioxidant improves blood circulation throughout your body. By carrying fresh blood to your scalp, your hair gets more nutrition, making it less dry and damaged.  In addition to the extra does of nutrients, these healthy fats also nourish hair follicles at the scalp which improves hair growth and prevents the development of dandruff.

2) Improved blood circulation helps your skin become more hydrated, radiant, even-toned, and smooth.  The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds also contain ERP and DHA which have bacteria-fighting properties and skin rejuvenating features.  Another amazing benefit of ERP and DHA is its ability to reduce skin damage from UV rays and treat hyper pigmentation in the skin because they inhibit the synthesis of melanin in the skin. As a result your skin is more even toned and radiant.

Protein

3) Hair is made of keratin. This protein can get stronger when you consume or apply more protein to your hair. The high levels of protein found in chia seeds encourages hair growth and makes hair shinier and stronger.

Zinc

4) Zinc is one of those vitamins listed in many multivitamin supplements. But what does it really do? Researchers have found that Zinc promotes hair growth by stimulating hair follicles and increasing cell growth.

5) When you consume or apply supplements containing Zinc to your skin, it can reduce acne and clogged pores.  Because Zinc improves your immune system, your body can better defend itself from bacteria which leads to clogged pores and inflamed acne spots.

Iron

6) Much like Zinc, Iron promotes hair growth by increasing the amount of hemoglobin going to our scalp and hair follicles.  With higher levels of iron, our hair follicles are stronger and more likely to stay attached to our head.

An easy way to incorporate chia seeds in to your hair routine is with HASK chia seed volumes get shampoo. This shampoo smells amazing and the conditioner leaves your hair soft and full. I wash my hair three times a week with this shampoo and conditioner combo and I’m loving the results.  The conditioner never leaves my hair heavy or oily.  It just gives my hair a nice volume boost.  When I blow dry my hair, I can definitely see a difference in volume that I didn’t have before. Plus, HASK shampoos and conditioners don’t have any sulfates or parabens.

For your skin, try making a DIY mask with chia seeds and coconut oil. The mask will leave your skin hydrated from the coconut oil and smooth from the exfoliating chia seeds.

 

**Disclaimer: I received the shampoo and conditioner free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own. **