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Sunday, July 28, 2013

DIY Reverse Ombre blonde to black

So about six months ago I had bought some hair extensions from Mini house 8888. They were the taping of time and the main reason why I got them was because I don't don my own hair. I thought that trying out a new trend but using extensions instead of my own hair would be a great way.

They lasted me anywhere between 2 to 3 months and they really weren't high maintenance compared to other hair extensions I have used. So I made a tutorial, then gave a review on them. Decided that I love them but I would like to be able to take them in and out whenever the mood strikes me to have different hair. 

So I ordered a 26 inch, straight, Remi clip and set in the lightest blonde that they had. I understand that my hair is not blonde. But this was for the sake of dying it. It's real human hair, quality stuff, doesn't fit out at the ends, and matches the thickness of my hair.

Just some quick background information. I actually do happen to know quite a bit about hair because I got my cosmetology license when I was in high school. This was just a back up plan and a way to make money during the summers and when I was away in college. That was a really long time ago I haven't done hair professionally in at least a decade. However I do remember fundamental things that I learned in vocational school. 

So how to figure out how to get the perfect ombre? Just like any other hair dying technique this requires simple math. 

There are 10 levels of hair color. The blackest hair would be a level one the lightest blonde would be a level 10. The blond that I bought from was a level 8. 

My hair is a level 1 and I am trying to make it look as natural as possible fading into a level 8. So the middle part of the ombre would have to be the half way point  of 1 and 8.
 8÷2 = 4. 

For example if you were a level threehair color,  which is a medium to dark brown and the extensions are a level eight then we would need to subtract 8-3 = 5. What you were looking for for a natural and successful gradient is to find the halfway point and blend it out.

I am looking for a level 4 hair color to bring it all together (warm, cool, neutral tone is a preference).

Since the entire extension from root to tip is already a level 8 I do not need to buy level 8 hair color.

I do need to buy level 1 and level 4 hair colors. Level 1 as I said is black which is my natural hair color so that the extensions seem to look like they are part of my head and so that it can gradually fade into the level 4 for the gradient effect. 

The level 4 hair color is a light to medium brown. That can be a warm Caramel Brown, a cool Ash Brown, or a neutral understated brown. That's based on your preference. I chose a neutral medium brown.
I didn't use anything fancy. The only things I may have used that were not bought at CVS were the medical gloves and my hair color brush.

For this look I am using to Revlon color silk boxed hair dye. I chose black and if you look in the right-hand corner it says 10. I also chose Revlon color silk medium brown and if you look in the right-hand corner of that it says 41.

What you'll need for this:
Latex gloves that do not come in the box dye 

brush or comb

Hair color brush

A towel

Your favorite conditioner

A sink or bathtub

Plastic wrap or aluminum foil to protect your work surface

Scotch tape to tape down the plastic wrap or a aluminum foil

1. Tape down your plastic wrap or aluminum foil on your work surface. Make sure to have good coverage so you don't stain your counter or floor or table.

2. Brush out the extensions and lay them out side-by-side. Making sure that all tangles are gone and that it's laying perfectly flat.

3. Follow the directions for whichever box dye  you chose and mix up your color.

4. Starting with the middle color, which for me would be the medium brown, I put it directly in the middle of where I thought the ombre should start and brushed out the gradient using sweeping motions of up and down instead of left to right. I don't want it to be a perfect line I want there to be a gradient so I use a technique where it is being feathered in to the bottom half of the blonde so that may be the coverage on the lower half of the brown is not so perfect. You don't want it to be perfect or there will be a line  of demarcation. You want to blended in softly so the color should be more concentrated in the middle and you start pulling it down feathering it towards the bottom of the blonde so that the border of the brown is hazy.

5. After you have made sure that there is enough brown or whatever color you chose for you and that it's concentrated mostly in the middle and fades slightly by using a lighter hand towards the bottom. You move onto the next color. So now the top half, where the clips are of the hair extensions should still be blonde. That's good because that's where the darkest haircolor will be and it will process the fastest. 

6. I now will take the darkest color, which for me is black, and concentrated mostly by the top of the extensions where the clips are an blend downwards into the brown hair dye if you need to add more that's fine but make sure that it's concentrated mostly on the top. There should be an overlap of the black and brown dye. That's really good because that's what the gradient effect is. There should be overlap between the dyes you're doing it right. With the darker colors you can be a little more heavy-handed with them coming together because they are having to process over each other.

7. Because this is such a light blond hair and should process between 20 to 25 minutes. You will then want to rent out in the sink with cold water. You can also do this in your top but whichever is more comfortable for you. Don't forget to have a towel right there handy. 

8.Once the water rinses clear add conditioner leave it in for a few minutes and then rinse again.

9. Blot your extensions with a towel. Do not rub them dry. You should not even rub your own hair dry. That leads to permanent frizz. Let them dry overnight don't use a blow dryer.

10. The next morning they should be dry. You can then flat iron them or style them however you would like. Remember you do not want to wash extensions as much as you wash your own hair. You don't want to constantly expose them to heat if you don't have to.

Here they are the next morning dry, about to be put in and flat ironed. You see how the black and brown melt into each other and then the brown and blonde melt into each other? That is what you were going for. A natural looking gradient without lines of demarcation.

I love the way they turned out because it looks so natural but I can even add fun colors to the blonde with hair chalk if I felt like it. Which easily washes out and is good for just the day or night or whatever location I'm using it for. I did love my purple hair but I had that in every day. That was not chalk! and it was a little harder to get dressed or put on makeup bc I was conscious of making it not clash.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or comments I'm always happy to answer back. Maybe you even have suggestions for me or your own experience with ombre!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weddings make me cry. Where's my makeup setting spray?

Big day is coming up! Every last detail has been planned, it's going to be magical, gorgeous and very heartfelt. You have the address, you've tried out different updos, had a light chemical peel, a spray tan and make up trial run throughs.

Not that you shouldn't trust your make up artist. I'm sure she or he is extremely talented and you look amazing. Like Photoshop but in real life. But you're probably going to cry that day. If it's dancing with your dad or walking down the aisle or saying your vows, you're going to cry. 

Let's say for whatever reason, you don't cry. It's still going to be a really long day and unless you're getting married in November you're probably going to be sweating. I have a solutions for you. This is my solution for my type of skin. My type of skin is sensitive, cystic acne prone and dry. 

Skindinavia moisture makeup setting spray and NYX dewy finish setting spray. Both companies also make a formula for oily skin. I have never tried it. However, those are the originals and always seem to be sold out. Less people seem to have a dry skin issue.

I purchased that Scandinavia online. It was a pretty good deal $24 and you also get a trial size to put in your purse. Tried it out for two weeks with no breakouts. It was summer in South Florida and there is nothing but rain, humidity at night, and if it is sunny it's really hot. I was really happy with it, it does what it says, I looked dewy and my make up did not slide off my face after a night of dancing in a sweaty night club.

I know. I know. There are great primers out there. They don't work for me. I went the primer route and ended up with acting for almost 3 months. I couldn't tell if it was the first primer I used or all of them together or if my skin just does not like silicone suffocating it and it might have been contact dermatitis and not acne. Maybe I was just having a reaction to the chemicals. 

Back to make up spray. So Scandinavia is great, but here's the thing. When you use this make sure it's special occasion. Unless you do something where your makeup needs to stay on for 24 hours I don't see this being a daily staple. I had to wash my face twice to get it all off. So the spring itself didn't break me out. The having to wash my face twice to get it off though could eventually break me out if I was not diligent about making sure I got everything off and it could give some seriously clogged pores overtime.

The deal with NYX dewy finish; it's great and cheaper! Hey, who doesn't love that! But it doesn't grip on your make up as much as Skindinavia. Yes, it works and it definitely keeps you looking fresh. But it can't last as long as Skindinavia. At some point within a 10-12 hour span it'll start breaking down. 

I tested this out at the Orlando theme parks. We went for Halloween horror nights. So we were at the Disney parks all day. Then at night we went to Halloween horror nights. There wasn't a whole a lot of down time to go back to the hotel and change or freshen up. So the make up I put on in the morning was the make up I wore that night. It looks great from 9 AM till about 730 to 8:00 PM. At that point it looks like my make up was evaporating. It didn't slide around it wasn't on my shirt. It just disappeared. Like I know longer was wearing foundation. I'm not sure if it's time, weather, or sweat that makes this setting spray breakdown. However, it clearly does break down and just disappears. At least it doesn't leave a mess. This one would be great for every day. Like Monday through Friday for work purposes. You look fresh throughout the workday and then when you take it off when you get home or when you go to the gym before you go home it's not a huge pain to take it off and work out without make up on. You don't need some type of special remover. It stays on what it needs to stay on it comes off when he needs to come off. However I don't know if I would wear this one for my wedding.

They are both great products and I recommend them both but for different occasions. I hope this really helped you out. Remember that Ulta and Sophora always have great return policies. What is your favorite makeup setting spray?Maybe I should try it out.

Eyeshadow Sticks: the good, the blendable and the ugly

Hey guys,

I wanted to give you a quick review on make up you might have been curious about or maybe you have it too. I do have a lot of makeup but I don't ever have a full face on. I usually just do one or two things like eye shadow and mascara. Minimalistic is my motto because I'm just not able to sit there and do a full face for 20 minutes. Its not for me. I'm looking to spend 3 minutes.

So I have Urban Decay $24 , NYX $6 and Revlon $8.99 single or BOGO 50% off eye shadow sticks. 

What you should look for in an eye shadow stick or any eye shadow for that matter:

1. Color pay off : you don't want a color that is basically translucent powder
2. Blend-able: you don't want a color that once you put it on it doesn't move with eye shadow because it leaves a really harsh line from almost instantly setting.
 * you don't want it to never set either and it smears to settle into your under eye area.
3. Non-creasing: you don't want it to flake off or start traveling into a weird pattern on your eye or under eye. This happens when there is too much wax, oil or some emulsifier.

Check out my swatches and smear test. from left to right NYX, Revlon, Urban Decay.

Urban Decay is known for their color pay off, unique colors, and generally a long lasting product.
unique colors true to product
lasts all day
won't crease
Sold at JCPenney, Sephora, Online

doesn't blend into anything else which could be bad for darker colors
its $24 for one stick

NYX is known for putting out a good product at a decent price with more unique colors than a drugstore but less than a department store.
better choices of color than your local drugstore
can work as a base for shadow

will crease and smear if there is no powder to set it (did that and had raccoon eyes, it still moves a little with powder so keep checking your face)
color pay off is not as great as it could be
Only sold at Ulta or specified NYX retailers

Revlon is known for their colorstay line and at a mid range price to sometimes high price for a drugstore.

decent color pay off
doesn't crease
CVS has BOGO constantly on Revlon to make buying 2 $6.50 each
Its double ended so you get 2 colors

very limited color range
if you are allergic to silicone or bisthmus like the ingredients in most of the colorstay line you wont like this
if there is no BOGO, Revlon isn't the cheapest at the drugstore

I have all three. I use them for different reasons. My holy grail go to product is the Revlon in Torch to get a quick natural smoky eye that lasts all day.

However, the Urban Decay is awesome for an all night out situation or where you might cry like a funeral. The NYX is great for Halloween makeup and for being used as a base to amp up the color pay off on my eye shadows.

Is there something you use that I should try out?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Maybelline Falsies vs Maybelline Big Eyes

Hello cupcakes, 

So I'm back and have some more complaining and raving to do. 

I don't wear a ton of make up. But I love big lush lashes just as much as the next girl. I have tried every mascara possible under the sun. I have undergone the pain staking task of lash dip. Which I don't recommend. Way expensive, with no pay off. Seriously save your money and your patience. If you're going to spend that much money and be that uncomfy for two hours you may as well get individual lash extensions.

I live in South Florida. So my biggest problem with mascara is that even if the original formula is better than the waterproof, I must use the waterproof version. It's always hot, always humid and will probably rain at some point even if it's just for 20 minutes.

I have tried high-end mascara and drugstore mascara. From cover girl to Armani. I have even used that dumb Too Faced Better Than False Lashes where you brush lint on your eyelashes and cover it with mascara only to later have black lint all over your face. The $35 disappointment. Meh! 

So the clouds parted and I surrendered to this.

Maybelline the falsies volume express waterproof mascara in very black has been the only mascara to be dark enough and the right consistency to actually build volume and length Also did I mention the waterproof? Doesn't smear, doesn't get all over my face and doesn't end in flakes.

Since I'm such a fan of this I decided to go out and try the new version Maybelline the falsies big eyes waterproof mascara. I bought it at my local CVS. I think it was about seven dollars. The brush is different than the original Maybelline the falsies. I thought nothing of it. The compartment for the lower lashes has a very small brush to be able to reach all of your baby lower lashes. It seems like a great concept. I was sorely disappointed.
Believe it or not this does melt over the day, and then flakes and the raccoon eye effect. Definitely not a good look. I don't work outside. But it happened anyway. The funny thing is it was harder to get off than the original version. I'm not in my 20s so I don't like pulling on my eye area. The original waterproof version stays on when it needs to stay on and comes off with a make up remover when you need it to come off.

Which leads me to thinking... Did they change the waterproof formula? Is that the packaging that is somehow affecting the formula? Am I getting less product because of this ridiculous packaging that I once thought was such a cute idea?

Maybe I am biased towards the original formula because it's worked out so fantastically for me. Did the original not work out for you? I bet I know why. It took me some experimenting with it to figure out what I needed to do. When you first buy it the formula is too wet which can lead to either uncurling the lashes or spidery lashes. Who wants that? 

What you have to do is one eye at a time. So put on one coat give it about 20 seconds to dry up a little bit. Then slick on another coat before that one dries all the way. Wait 10 seconds, slick on another coat. Now you're going to want to have a blowdryer handy. With the blow dryer on the lowest setting you were going to want to look down. 

Don't tilt your head down just look down with your eyes. Keep your eyes semi open and put the blow dryer about a foot away from your face under your eyes NOT ABOVE and NOT HEAD ON! On the lowest setting it will be safe enough where it's not bothering your eyes, but it is gently setting the mascara to dry and for your lashes to be up and out.

Repeat the same thing on the other eye. This is how I made this work for me and to set well and to keep a curl. Usually waterproof mascara is nothing to write home about. But now I know why Maybelline the falsies is called the falsies. I feel like my lashes look like they could be fake when I naturally do not have anything other than average lashes that have no curl themselves. I have very straight lashes just like my hair.

Maybe you had a different experience with Maybelline the falsies big eyes mascara. Let me know if I'm using it wrong. I hope this helps you out or at least you found out my experience with it and can decide if it's something you would even want to try. Have a smashing day.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tape in hair extension DIY dip dye

So the dip dye ombre hair trend thing has really caught my eye. 
Back in high school I went through a grunge/gothic phase. 
Kids, this was a long time ago and Kurt Cobain had just passed on. Yes I am a dinosaur.

I will say, that I do have very long, straight, black, healthy, virgin hair. Its conditioned with coconut oil and rarely heat styled.
This is because every time I want to do something to my hair I find an alternative. For example, this new trend is just the way to show you. I love the color I love the ombre but I don't want to bleach or do any damage.

I bought a pack of tape in hair extensions that I got from 
They were the perfect bayalage color to do this experiment with. And they were only $71.70 so yes sign me up!

I don't plan to keep them in for longer than a few months and they can be retaped and reused when I am in the mood again. Perfect! My little pony hair for a few months.

You will need:



Foil to cover your work surface

Scotch tape

2 plastic bowls

2 dye brushes

Developer 20 volume

Demi permanent colors of your choice

Optional: Permanent hair color that matches your own hair. This is if the extensions are not dark enough. Or if you just desire a different permanent natural hair color. 

How To:

1.Tape the foil down to your work surface. Lay hair down and tape it as well with regular scotch tape.

2. Mix your Demi permanent wild color in one bowl. For me blue and pink made purple but just pink or just blue would've been fine.
To make to color more pastel mix it with conditioner to lighten the vibrant color

3. Paint the Demi color from the bottom up to where you would like the next color to start.

4. Mix your permanent color and paint it close but not on the taped part of hair and feather it down blending in into the Demi color to meet in the middle.

5. Let this process for 20 minutes. 

6. Run the extensions under cold water and condition them well. Then rinse again.

7. Let them air dry overnight!

8. Now when they are dry you can flat iron them.

9. Have them installed. I only did the bottom half of my head.

10. Rock out with your new do for summer!!!

What's your favorite summer trend?

Cake in a cup...and in a hurry

I think this is a great little fast dessert for either an impromptu get together or just a rainy movie day at home.

It's easy and fun. You can experiment and be fancy with it or just throw it together real quick when you are alone and binge eating. Pfft! Who does such a thing? Ahem oh yeah me

     Servings: 1 per mug
     Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
     Total Time: 7 minutes


  • 1 box Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 1 box any flavor regular Cake Mix
  • 2 tablespoons water

Step by step

  1. Get your 2 cake mixes out. Take one tablespoons of Angel Food Cake and 2 tablespoons of whatever other flavor you picked.
  2. Mix this with 2 tablespoons water; Micro-wave for 1 minute - 70 seconds. Let it cool off.
  3. Top it off with canned frosting, whip cream, icecream, fruit or sprinkles. Anything you can think of. Maybe even poke some holes in it with a skewer and dump in some sweet and condensed milk for a tres leches effect.
  4. Try all kinds. Red Velvet, Chocolate, Carrot or Funfetti! Yay Funfetti! Sorry I'm five. Noms!
It's really easy, no egg and even something to do with your kids. Since you are only using a few tablespoons at a time, each box will last you a really long time so be sure to seal the left overs in a ziplock bag.

Try it out. Have a mad tea party! If you have any questions or comments just comment down below.