My current Hair Color: “Bronde” and how to get it…

(**Disclaimer! I’m not a hair professional, but have just done my research and worked with my own hair to get results I’m happy with. But whenever dying your own hair at home, please follow manufacturer’s directions and consult with a professional when possible or in doubt)

As you all know…I’ve been lightening and coloring my hair since late last year, in an attempt to get a lighter color that is neither brassy, or too harsh/dark for my complexion. Check out my articles on hair coloring and soap capping. And recently I’ve been rocking a hair color that I found out was called “bronde”; too light to be a solid brunette, and too dark to be a blonde. Kind of a caramel color in between two opposites. A nice neither region that I would like to reside in for the next little while. Why? It’s not as high maintenance as a light blonde, and it’s not as brassy as that rust color dark hairs get when they lift too little color. It’s just peachy. Check out this Vogue article about this hair color to get some inspiration. But for how, here are some famous “brondes”:

Jessica Alba: at the tonight show with just the perfect balance of light and dark caramels and soft, bouncy waves.
Amber Heard on GQ? As a darker blonde than she normally is, I think she’s got a lot more mystery and allure…
Beyonce is Bey-youtiful with a hair colour that compliments and warms her complexion. 

Okay, so you get the idea…how the color should look, but now how to achieve this neutral tone, middle level “bronde”color…Go to an expert hair stylist who does great hair color, or try it at home with these tips!**

For Brunettes want to go Bronde:

Step 1: Lighten enough: Believe it or not, us brunettes (black or brown hair) have to lift a level or two above middle lightness to achieve ‘bronde”. It’s not fair, but it’s just the way it is. For those doing this at home, you need to get to a level 7 lightness, at least. Check out swatches on how light a 7 level is.

Step 2. Tone/Glaze: This is so important as it adds the finishing shine and touches to a lighter hair color. Lightening dark hair always brings out warmth. And warmth is the enemy when trying to achieve a gentle tone in hair. Use a demi permanent hair dye with a low peroxide developer to add ash (blue/green) pigment to your strands. Use a lighter level than your hair is. So as a level 7, get a level 8/9 ash tone color. Toning with an dedicated hair “toner” only works for hair that has been lifted past a level 8.

A bit on the warm side, but I will be toning/glazing with a demi in the next week or so.

For blondes wanting to go darker to Bronde:

I’m not the most experienced in this matter, since I am a brunette, but here’s what I do know:

  • Use a demi-permanent hair color, since you are depositing only and not lifting levels. It’s gentler and from what I hear, shinier!
  • Stay away from ash tones. Ash upsets the darkening process by getting too dark/green too fast and then you’re stuck with it.
  • Always use a demi color one or two levels lighter than you want to achieve. So if I were a light blonde, I would do a 7 or 8 with warm/golden tones to get to caramel. Depending on the intensity of bronde you want, diluting the hair color formula with a clear gloss demi would be smart for avoiding over saturation and it looking flat and fake whenever dying darker.

Hope these tips help for all that want this hair color. I find it suits all skin tones and ages and just looks really healthy. Try it today.

**DISCLAIMER: all advice I give is based on my own personal experience with hair color. I’m not a professional hair stylist, so use my advice with a bit of caution and never hesitate to consult to a professional! Thanks!

 

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Doing your own nails…why it’s better…

I’ve had a long relationship with doing my own nails. Ever since I was a teenager, searching for the trendiest colours, whether it be gun metal black, or a candy inspired pastel-y blue; it’s been something that as a nail art enthusiast, I’ve known all about. As a teenager, I didn’t really have the cash or the need to go to a salon to get my nails done…and as much as the thrill of getting pampered is these days now that I’m older with a ton more on my plate…one thing still stands; I want to do my own nails.  I prefer to shape, paint and design my own nails…and here’s why…

Reasons to do DIY manicures:

  1. It’s easy to do. There is a misconception that a manicurist can do it better than you. Well, maybe they are better at painting within the lines, but ultimately, all you need is: a base coat, two colour coats and a top coat. The real trick is keeping all the coats thin so they dry relatively fast…(a cool tip for setting the polish real quick? Rub each nail with coconut/olive oil for a minute after the final coat to help it set)
  2. The myth that a manicurist shapes better…this is not true. Invest in some basic nail files, coarse for shaping and fine for smoothing, and you’ll get the loveliest shapes with your nails. My go to shape? An almond shape…short on the sides and softly arced on the tips.
  3. The misconception that the quality of the polish is better: there is so much noise out there today about gel nails, seaweed nails, and all this stuff. But when it boils down to it, the salons are using the same paints that you can buy at any quality beauty supply shop.
  4. Health reasons: you can choose to buy and use formaldehyde free polishes, “three free”, and “seven free”…basically, you can get gentler products that contain less toxins in them if you really wanted to and you should for the sake of you and your nail health.
  5. Think of the health and ethical rights of manicurists/beauty workers. I recently read this scary article about how in New York City, manicures are so cheap, like less than $10 a pop, and the reason for that is not pretty: a lot of the salon workers are immigrants that don’t get paid well, and are exploited in terrible work conditions.  Not only that, but they are exposed to really toxic nail enamel solvents and chemicals and it affects the worker’s health (even their unborn babies if they are pregnant!)  I also feel like it places a big divide between more fortunate women and less fortunate ones…At the end of the day we are all people, so don’t support these back-alley nail salons.  At least go to a higher end salon that is known to treat their workers right and pay adequately for the luxury of being pampered.
Have fun with designing and creating colour combinations…I always do!

So there it is, my 5 main reasons why it’s better to DIY your manicures.  Yes, it takes more time and effort to do your own nails, but at the end of the day, they are your nails and if you want them to glow and shine…it is a creative job that should not be “outsourced”.  🙂

My Spring DIY projects!

Spring is a beautiful time to the year.  In pagan beliefs, it is a time for rituals of cleaning, renewal and rebuilding.  With that sentiment, it has seemed to fuel my current DIYs, and this is a douzy of on article with 3 awesome projects for fashion and home that I’d like to share with you all!

#1 Distressed and broken t-shirts

I work at a high end fashion boutique, so when raggedy beat up shirts started showing up at the store and I also saw this look in movies and tv, I wanted to get it.  But I wanted to get it for free.  So of course I would DIY this look, it’s so easy to. Who doesn’t have a t shirt in the drawer that is not getting used these days and could benefit from a make-over?  I used an old graphic tee that I barely wore and after a few tutorials from youtube on how to compose a good distressed pattern, I went out on my own.. and I quite like it. Try it yourself, it is really easy, but I recommend you distress a trial t-shirt you can dispose of first before doing it on the one you want to keep.  It really helps you learn what kind of distressing works and where you want it on the shirt…

I really like what I did on the hip/edge part of the shirt, and the sleeves are pretty cool too. all I need is to fade the graphic a bit more somehow…

#2 Uneven Jean Hem

This trend is a bit more low key.  I have only seen it a few times, and it looks best with healed shoes or backless mule type slip ons or loafers. I like how it’s edgy, and adds just the right amount of street cred to a boring full length jean.  And it’s far from being the pedestrian looking cropped cuffed jean.  To get this look, you break apart the seams carefully with scissors on both sides of the jean leg bottom. Then cut straight across on the front panel, higher than the cut on the back panel.  I distressed the cut edges a bit too. And voila, you have an interesting looking jean hem that you will love to sport on errand days or for just getting out on the street…

Looks good with any kind of heels, chunky or stilettos. I think mules or slide on flats with it would be cool for the summer too.

 

#3 Bunnies from unwanted gloves:

Ever wanted to have a cute plush toy made from things you didn’t think could be cute?  Enter these old gloves I had lying around my house that were not pretty enough to be worn in the winter, or too mismatched from losing the other pair over various winters.  I decided to make stuffed bunnies out of them for Easter. I cut off the thumb, the pinky, and middle finger, leaving just two finger for ears.  Then I sewed up all the holes, and added some leg shapes by cutting a slit at the bottom of the glove for where they would be.  I stuffed the gloves, and added whiskers and a ball tail.  And now I have the cutest stuffed bunnies this side of the world!  I am selling these on Etsy, so if you want one, just make an enquiry!

So cute, and handmade looking. Their appeal is the simplicity of the bunnies and the idea to reuse gloves.

What do you think of my Spring DIYs?  Are they fun and easy enough to inspire your projects?  I love being creative and re-inventing materials to make clothes work better for oneself’s life…