My Hair Color Transformations and Comicon Cosplay!

I had lightened my hair several times within the last half year in an attempt to find a hair color that suited my aging complexion. Age plays a big part in what hair color to wear, and my complexion recently has turned a bit more pale and ashy,┬áless olive and creamy. Also been getting a few grays here and there. My natural hair color of black was no longer an option, because dying black hair black, looks like inky mess. So ultimately, I lightened my hair (soap capped it) to a “bronde”, a bronze-dark blonde.

Tinting it with a Pink Semi Permanent:

But I remember recently about how I used to have a goal to have rose tinted brown hair…a subtle red/pink that would glow under the sun and bright lights. So one day, feeling tired of my “bronde” locks (my previous article about “bronde”), I saw there was an unused tube of vibrant purple/pink semi permanent hair color on my shelf, and decided that was the day that I was gong to use it.

I used Ion Color Brilliance Semi-permanent in “hottie pink”. And I diluted it 1:1 ratio with conditioner and a bit of coconut oil. Why did I dilute it? My hair was a warm caramel color to begin with. Without diluting, the hair dye would have come out darker, more muddy, layered on top of my existing color. But with diluting, the color came out as a tint over my existing shade of hair. It darkened it as a “no-lift” color will, but also added a rose tone to the hair (the purple in the pink dye was cancelled out by orange tones in my hair) With my dark roots showing and the caramel undertones, it was like a cup of tea infused with rose petals. Thus why I call it “rose tea” ­čÖé

Tea anyone? Can you see the rose glow on top of my brown locks?

Going to Light Brown for Montreal Comicon:

Ok, now part 2 of my summer hair coloring: Going to a light brown I call “brown sugar”: it’s kind of a golden, muted brown color…I used a permanent Wella color since the ammonia in it could lift my faded reddish color to the right lightness. The character I was channeling for this color inspiration? “Cat” from the TV series Gotham, as a cosplay costume for Montreal Comicon 2018!

This is my starting color from the washed out Rose tint. (took me about 8 shampoos)
Used 10 volume on roots to avoid lifting brassy orange tones. Rest of my hair 20 volume to lighten ever so slightly…
Mixed an Ash blonde for toning with a double NN blonde for more pigment…a must for darker hair going lighter!

Using a blonde color (level 8) was what I wanted to do because I knew with out bleaching first, my hair couldn’t get any lighter with a permanent color, so I had to make sure any color deposit would be light. Also, since my hair is darker than level 8, I mixed ash with a double neutral for better pigment coverage. After processing, I washed the permanent dye out and the result: Light brown: hello Selina Kyle! It was so much fun transforming my hair instead of buying a wig for costumes. It was actually more economic, and less wasteful for the environment. I thrifted most the rest of the cosplay┬ácostume too!

Cosplaying Selina Kyle “Cat from the Gotham TV Series! Got the hair color I wanted without using a cheap wig!

Beauty Sleep…Fact or Myth…

One of my favourite activities as a young child was going to the cinema with my mom…and also at home, and when movies came on TV, I was in the living room with my mom, watching classic films like Psycho, Gone with the Wind and Sound of Music. Disney films were also a treat. My mom took me to the theatrical release of Sleeping Beauty when I was four and after seeing it, I was floored, mesmerized by the romance and I wanted to keep seeing it. It was so magical and amazing that a princess cheated death and aging by sleeping and was awoken again by true love! I wanted to ask my mom to take me again to see it, right after leaving the theater,┬á but I was too shy to.

Time to wake up! After 100 years of sleeping or so…she’s definitely rejuvenated!

The story of Sleeping Beauty struck a cord in me, because I think that’s because sleep is connected to beauty. It’s when we rejuvenate and replenish ourselves with energy, strength, spirit. It’s when we regenerate our tissues, bones and hair. It’s how we reset our physical and mental programming to face the everyday world. And every minute of it is worth gold. For example, I myself went a little crazy a few weeks ago when I was not sleeping well, stressed and anxious with modern day life challenges. And it showed in my complexion: my skin was bumpy and flacid, puffy eyes, limp lifeless hair, and low energy to the nines.

A break down on why sleep is so important:

  1. Life is always stressful: Between family, work and social obligations personal ambitions, daily life is full of anxiety, worry and distress. Sleep not only helps us have energy for these things, but is a key factor in keeping  mental health to face these things.
  2. It helps us regulate water/hormonal, emotional balance: I remember gaining water weight in the cheeks and hips when I was not sleeping well…and even my emotions were up and down…sleep is something that balances our body functions. Exercise also helps, but not as much a good rest, in my opinion.
  3. My complexion suffered. Wrinkles appeared out of no where, the smooth texture of my skin was gone…even make-up didn’t cover this up…
  4. My immune system was lowered and I was prone to infections and illnesses, allergies…etc
  5. I became very depressed and unable to think positively. I know that I have often battled sad days, we all have, but when I was lacking sleep, it felt that much harder, that much more severe.

So the bottom line? “Beauty sleep” does exist, because being well rested is a vital part of physical and mental health. What ways have you been neglecting a good sleep hygiene? Doctors say eight hours a night is ideal…so are you hacking it, or what can you do to make sure you get that? It’s worth the effort to get good sleep because then you get to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed to face the world!

Preventing wrinkles: it can be as simple as your expressions!

When I was a young art school student, studying Fine Arts and Theory at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, I was always inspired by my professors. They were so accomplished, talented and brilliant. Intellectually strong and academically enriching able to carry on discourse deeply, engagingly. One of my professors that I really liked was a cerebral Art seminar instructor who was heavy with her ideas. She often dawned very politically charged, raw topics, and presented them to her students with a lot of open minded energy. She also re-affirmed and validated my artistic ambitions, whether in positive critiques of my essays or in actual pieces. And that’s why I adored her. But one thing I noticed about her was how when she was deep in analytical thought, she would furrow her eyebrows so deeply, they had a permanent wrinkle on her forehead. She was a handsome woman who didn’t seem to care about superficial beauty, but was after what her mind could embody and the intellectual beauty of that. I could respect that, and still do.

But I work in the fashion industy, and also have my own cosmetics line, dream e beauty, so I know that physically aesthetic beauty is valuable too. I will never teach Art at a University level, but I will have to represent daily, my more tangible skills…and that is…avoiding wrinkles by not emoting too much. It’s sad, isn’t it? That deep thinking, stress, and expressing emotions like joy, anger and fear, can cause wrinkles–but it can. When we pose our faces in certain expressions everyday, we are training our skin to crease in the same areas, and like a piece of paper, we will crease, especially as we age and our skin gets less elastic and less supple.

Is there a solution to preventing this? My advice is to be aware of when we are making certain expressions that will cause wrinkling. For example, when I get excited, suprised or angry, I often lift and furrow my eyebrows, causing my forehead skin to wrinkle. And I noticed over time, that these wrinkles are starting to stay. I use my anti-wrinkle antioxidant balm every night on my forehead to increase the skin suppleness there, but another guard is to just stop making expressions that cause wrinkles. And here’s the hard part…I have to make myself aware of which expressions, and facial muscles make these creases, and stop doing them. So hard…especially since they are natural reactions to my life and my world.

Which brings me to what a wise friend once told me. To stay young and creaseless, one cannot smile, one cannot frown, one cannot laugh, or worry, or scowl. We have to remain expressionlessand emotionless to maintain flawless unwrinkled skin. And that’s a tall order…are you willing to trade in your human personalities and expressions for the sake of flawless skin? Is being less emotive and human worth it? Maybe, maybe not…but it’s useful to know that some wrinkles can be created, and therefore can also be prevented.

The gamut of expressions a gal might make; looks cute in these manga drawings…but in reality, they could mean a whole bunch of wrinkles after a few years of emoting too fiercely!