Friday, December 12, 2014


Been a while...

No real reviews here, just a little list of a few of my latest obsessions. Like a true Scorpio, when I get into something I tend to immerse myself in it, learn everything about it and repeat it until I can't stand it anymore and these are no exceptions.

Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. It lives up to the hype, gives flawless coverage and does not freak my skin out. Pretty much see this as a one and only in the rotation for the foreseeable future.

Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Exposed. Flat out perfection. It's incredibly flattering, not glittery, just creates a glowy, gorgeous, natural looking flush that is flirty and sexy.

Benefit "They're Real" mascara. Holy balls. I can apply as much of this as I want without it getting clumpy and it amplifies my lashes to the nines.

Bite Beauty High Pigment lip pencils...Pomegranate is the all time perfect red for my skin tone and UGH. Just sex red. That attention commanding, makes you feel awesome when you're in it red that we are all after. It feels good on, has enough matte to it to stay put for a long time. Can't be without.

The any form, really. I can't stop listening to them, watching interviews with Matty on YouTube or reading articles on them. So intriguing. In the depths of a massive band crush here, I need to ingest everything they do lately. Their sound is completely new, but also has enough nuances of familiarity from songs I grew up on that they are at once insanely addictive and fascinating. I can find hints of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Bon Iver, 90's R&B, just really good music in their songs. I love how unafraid they are to create songs they love without feeling the need to box themselves into one genre and define themselves as such. They don't really fit into a genre, they are just The 1975 and that's all you need really. Matty Healy definitely has that "it" factor, he's full to the brim of charisma and might just be the very definition of the word. You can't not listen to him or watch him, he just commands your attention and has a lot to say. If you really want to invest, watch Matty do a couple of longer interviews. This kid has words for days, really well thought out and articulate ones. I am a little older than these boys (about 9 years to be accurate) but I can still identify with what they are saying and bond with their songs. Those themes are timeless, who doesn't love a bit of romanticized teenage boredom and sex? Especially when it comes packaged in incredibly "listenable" and addictive music. We can all relate to that, forever. They don't sound how they look if that makes sense, so don't judge this book by it's cover. I recommend listening to at least 5 of their songs before you decide how you feel about them, each one can be so different. My faves are Undo, Me, Head.Cars.Bending, Pressure and So Far (It's Alright). Happy listening!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cavegirl Costume Hair and Makeup

Happy Monday!

We threw a Halloween party at our house again this year. We decided to go as a Caveman and Cavewoman. We've been dressing up for Halloween with our friends for years and it's getting harder and harder to come up with costumes that no one has done yet. Surprisingly no one ever went as a caveman before.

We kind of lucked out, my uncle had gone as a caveman before so my husband borrowed his awesome costume and I found this one premade and fitting like a glove at Goodwill for $5.99. SCORE!!!!!!!!!!

I ended up still buying one yard of fuzzy leopard from JoAnne's to make my belt and some bracelets for me. I think I got it on sale for $9. I also picked up a bag of bones from the Halloween store with holes predrilled in them and got some faux leather straps from JoAnne's. I made our own necklaces, anklets and my hair bone with those.

The hardest part of this costume for me was the hair. I kept googling for cavegirl hair tutorials and there's literally NONE. So I thought I'd share what I did in case it would be helpful to anyone. Ducklip kiss included :)

Basically I washed my hair but skipped conditioner. I didn't brush it out and let it air dry as much as possible. Then I applied some Pureology styling lotion and blow dried it, still without brushing.

I then took small sections and used my flat iron to get random bends in my hair. No pattern, just kind of bent it forward then bent it backwards until it had a good wave. I then took my 1/2 inch curling wand and curled random pieces but only in the midshaft of the hair. Nothing at the top and left the ends straight. That gave me lots of volume but wasn't "pretty", if that makes sense. Then I took Beyond the Zone volumizing powder and sprinkled it into my roots all around my head, got a good "dry" feeling from that and then put a little more powder in my hands and put it on the ends of my hair in different spots for more fuzzy texture.

I pulled the top section of my hair up into a high pony and wrapped a small section of my own hair around the band to hide it. I then took my backcombing brush and basically back combed the ever living life out of my hair, stuck a bone in the top (I wrapped a bobby pin to the bottom of the bone using the faux leather) and was left with some serious Cavegirl hair!

For my makeup, I did use my Tanwise self tanner for about a week before the party to get a little glow. I used my Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 hour foundation in shade 200. I like this because there's no SPF so you get very little, if any flash back in photo's from it. I used my L'Oreal concealer pencil in the darkest shade to contour my forehead, down my nose and to carve out some serious cheekbones! I then used the Wet N Wild bronzer in Rosy Gold for an all over warm glow. ELF baked highlighter in Moonlit Pearls down my nose, on the top of my cheeks and cupids bow. Maybelline Bouncy blush in Hot Tamale. 

For my eyes I started with brows...of course. I wanted them a little more dramatic than my normal brows so I used my Maybelline eyebrow pencil in Medium Brown (perfect for a warmer eyebrow when you have red hair!). I then used my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige as a base. I then used Smog from my Naked palette all over my eyelid. I used Half Baked right in the middle of my eyelid and Sin in my inner corner. I then used L'Oreal Infallible in Eternal Sunshine to blend those out into my crease and used L'Oreal Infallible in Iced Latte on my browbone. Rimmel ScandalEyes in black as an eyeliner and I just did a smudgy flick, nothing too perfect. Same colors on my lower lashline. Then I used Maybelline The Falsies mascara in black on my top lashes and Jordana Best Volume Extreme mascara on my bottom lashes. I then used KISS Ever EZ lashes in number 11. These are human hair lashes so they look really real, you don't get the tell tale glossy texture of fake lashes.

On my lips I used Jordana lipliner in Bordeaux all over my lips as a base. I applied Wet n Wild Mega Last lipstick in Cherry Bomb, one of my favorite fall lipsticks and it lasted ALL NIGHT.

Now for my favorite part...the leopard spots! I just couldn't resist...It just had to be done you guys. So for these I used an old ELF eyeliner in pure white to mark out the spots. I then applied Half Baked from the Naked Palette over the white spots using a Q-Tip to get a really bright pop of true gold. Then I used my NYX liquid eyeliner in black to do little "c" patterns around the gold, making sure to leave 2 openings on each one and try not to make them too uniform in shape or size. I then put a few little black spots in between to even out the shape and ended up with this:


So there you have it! Cavewoman hair and makeup! It ended up being one of our favorite costumes we've ever done. Super comfy and fun.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Fight Like A Girl

Not sure if I have shared this before but my mom is a breast cancer survivor. She actually got breast cancer two different times and ended up having complete mastectomy's and reconstructive surgery. So this month is near and dear to my heart. My mom is a fireball. A Gypsy, Gold Dust Woman. A wild woman, fearless, individual, completely her own self and strong as a lion. I know people say that all the time, but if you know her you know that to be true. She's the honest to god definition of fierce.

Her motto during her cancer was to fight like a girl. When she finally did beat it and was in recovery, she got two pink boxing gloves tattooed on her inner wrist with the quote "TKO 2006". The year she kicked cancer's ass. Pink boxing gloves have been her muse to keep her fighting, to keep her strong and to remind her of how far she's come and how strong she truly is. One of my favorite shirts of hers says "Hell Yes They're Fake! The Real One's Tried to Kill Me!". It's just so my mom.

I actually got a Breast Cancer ribbon tattoo while she was going through chemo and to this day, faded as it is, it always reminds me how serious breast cancer is and how lucky we were with my mom's recovery and how lucky we are to still have her with us.

Her amazing plastic surgeon recently asked her to be the face of a breast cancer awareness campaign this month and her photo shoot for it was today. I was so honored when she asked me to do her makeup. I didn't even think, of course I said yes as fast as I could.

She wasn't picky, just wanted to look pretty. I decided to go for super flattering colors and warmer neutrals. As you can see in the pics, I didn't need to add any pink to the makeup, she had enough pink going on already (such a bad ass).

I wanted products that would give her a lot of coverage and color payoff and would last through hot lights and a long photo shoot. I used the following:

Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
CoverGirl Simply Powder Foundation
Mabelline Define-A Brow Dark Blonde
MAC Bare Study Paint Pot
L'Oreal Infallible Amber Rush
L'Oreal Infallible Iced Latte
L'Oreal Infallible Bronzed Taupe
Urban Decay Naked Basics palette (Faint and Crave)
Rimmel Scandaleyes Black Eyeliner
Rimmel Scandaleyes Nude Eyeliner
NYX Dusty Rose Blush
Milani Luminoso Blush
Maybelline The Falsies Black Mascara
Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes from Younique
Wet n Wild Mega Last Lipsticks in In the Flesh and Bare It All
L'Oreal Infallible Lipstick in Forever Frappe

Love You Long Time LADY.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Red Hair Care

Because Merida is my all time favorite Disney character and has the best red hair EVER.
Since going red I've been asked several times how I keep it staying red. If you've ever been red, in any shade of red, you know how hard it is to keep it vibrant. The color molecules in red are larger than any other color so they are much harder to keep in your hair. Hot water, sulfate shampoo's, lots of washing all aggravate the molecules and wash that gorgeous color right down the drain.

I have been researching different tips to make this color stay and so far here's what I've been doing.

First off, I think you have got to have GOOD COLOR. I am so beyond impressed with the Clairol Flare line. I have now used it 4 different times (on friends and myself) and can't believe the color you get with such minimal damage to your hair. I swear to you, my hair is softer and shiner now than it has been in years. If you are going from super blonde to any darker color I'd highly recommend using a PROTEIN FILLER before you color.

MOISTURIZE. Dye doesn't want to stick around in dry, straw like hair. Even if it does, it won't LOOK pretty. Your split ends show up like white dots with darker hair so get regular trims and moisturize your hair. I've been using Argan Oil on the daily and deep conditioning treatments every other shampoo. Avoid hot styling tools as often as possible.

SKIP SHAMPOO'S. Get a shower cap and a good dry shampoo and stop washing your hair. I used to have to wash every single day and by the end of the day my hair still felt greasy and limp. About 2 years ago I started washing every other day and I can now go 3 days between washing my hair before it gets bad. Your scalp will adjust and your hair will thank you.

When you do shampoo, for the love of all things holy get a SULFATE FREE SHAMPOO and make sure it's safe for color treated hair. Your regular shampoo won't hold your color in. It's designed to scrub and your color is all too happy to be washed right out. Also wash and rinse in the COLDEST WATER you can handle. Right now, I'm absolutely obsessed with the Renpure Originals Argan Oil Luxurious Shampoo. It is honestly the best shampoo I've used in years (high or low end) and has transformed my parched hair into something that actually looks nice. Smells great (actually smells a lot like the original Moroccan Oil) and I can see a noticeable difference in the color of the water when I shampoo. What used to be deep orange is now barely salmon tinted. You need this shampoo like...yesterday.

Get a COLOR DEPOSITING CONDITIONER. They make the color depositing shampoo's but for my money, I feel like a shampoo is removing grime while a conditioner is already leaving moisture so having it also leave color makes good sense to me. I've been using and loving the Riveting Reds conditioner from Sally Beauty Supply. It's safe for all shades of red, but if you are lighter than a level 6, I'd be careful because it seriously DEPOSITS color and lots of it. I use this every single time I shampoo but I also use it once a week (usually on a Sunday) as a deep conditioner. I'll shower, shampoo and towel dry my hair. Once I've gotten some of the water out, I'll apply the Riveting Reds and then comb through with a wide tooth comb to make sure it's even. I pile it on top of my head and leave it on about 20-30 minutes. Be careful, this stuff will stain. Then rinse with the coldest water you can stand and you get an instant color boost and tons of sparkly red.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

5 minute Rose Gold and Plum Autumn Eyes

Hello Lovelies!

I have been playing around with different makeup since I dyed my hair this color and am loving the different options so far! These warmer, peachy, plummy colors have just spoken to me lately. I have been really enjoying this particular look and it seems to garner a lot of compliments so I thought I'd share it. I do this almost every day for work and it honestly takes less than 5 minutes but has major color payoff and it LASTS all day long.

I used Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather cream shadow as a base in "Creamy Beige". I love the Color Tattoo's, the Leather one's seem to be creamier and I really like the matte color of this one. Warmer than Tough as Taupe so it's perfect for this look.

I then applied L'Oreal Infallible in "Amber Rush" to my entire lid.  It's the perfect rose gold eyeshadow and makes blue eyes POP. I actually apply these shadows with my finger, I find that because they are pressed pigments I get less fall out and a lot more color by applying this way. I just gently pat it over the base, I don't wipe or rub.

Then taking a smaller paddle brush I apply MAC "Trax" to pack the color onto the outer third of my eyelid and then gently buff the line between the two colors to blend.

I then apply MAC "Satin Taupe" to the outer v and under my lower lash line.

I use L'Oreal Infallible in "Iced Latte" to my inner corner and browbone.

Creamy Beige, Amber Rush, Iced Latte, Trax, Satin Taupe

I used a clean fluffy brush to blend. I then applied 2 coats of Maybelline "The Falsies" on my top lashes and Jordana "Best Lash Extreme" on my lower lashes.

I didn't wear eyeliner today but I have worn this look with both a chocolate brown and a plum eyeliner and have loved the results.

On the rest of my face I used Garnier BB Cream for Combo skin, Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in "Fair", CoverGirl powder foundation in "Creamy Natural", NYC Bronzer in "Sunny", Maybelline eyebrow pencil in "Medium Brown" (great for red hair), NYX blush in "Dusty Rose", Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in "Bare it All" and "In The Flesh" mixed together. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Flat Iron Waves for Shorter Hair/Long Bob

I wanted to post a quick idea for shorter hairstyles. I always see TONS of tutorials and inspiration pictures for wavy longer hair, not so much for the shorter haired ladies. This is a great hairstyle for 2nd or even 3rd (I won't tell if you don't!) day hair. With this red hair, I need all the shampoo-less hairstyles I can come up with to make this gorge color last longer!

I will say, so far I have not had a *TON* of fading or bleeding of color, but definitely still am seeing orange tinted water when I shower.

Also, let's just be real here. This is my office. A girls gotta document a good hair day when it happens, real talk.

Anywhoo...this hairstyle. I basically washed and dried the first day and wore it straight. Woke up the next morning, showered but didn't wet my hair and then applied dry shampoo. Right now I'm loving Beyond the Zone Rock On dry shampoo from Sally's. I'm a hardcore fan of the Suave but am always up for something new and so far, really like this one!

I applied the dry shampoo to my roots all over my head and let it sit while I applied my makeup. Then I kind of work  it in with my fingertips to get rid of any whiteness. This also gives me a little bit of texture.

I pin the front section of my hair back to get it off my face. I can deal with unshampooed hair for a day or so but the less I have to "feel" it, the more tolerant I am.

Then I just took my 1 inch flat iron and waved random sections. Nothing too organized or tidy. Just grabbed whatever hair was grouping together, did a flat iron wave and let it cool. I then broke the waves up a little with my fingers and applied Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray. This lasts forever!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crimson, Red, Auburn, Burgundy...It's all GOOD!

Ta-da! Another hair change, what's new??!!

This color has been one in the deep compartments of my brain for a VERY long time. I've always been obsessed with dark red hair. I've had the underneath section of my hair died various shades of red multiple times but could never dive all the way in and go for it all over. My dalliances with any shade other than a blonde have usually just been deep brown. Until now!

I was in Sally's a few days ago picking up some supplies and saw that they carry a new line of hair color from Clairol. My hair has always gotten good results with any version of Clairol hair color so I was interested. It's called Flare. It's a permanent cream color with a built in gloss. Sounds great...then I read the first line about Alpha-Red Technology and was like, DO IT!

FLARE Permanent Cream Hair Color Crimson
 FLARE Permanent Cream Hair Color Dark ChocolateFLARE Permanent Cream Hair Color Burgundy

I actually ended up buying 6 tubes of different colors and figured I'd come up with the color recipe later. What I ended up using was 2 ounces of the 4BB (Light Intense Brown-Chocolate), 1 3/4 ounces of the 3RRV (Intense Red Violet-Crimson) and 1/4 ounce of the 5VVR (Light Intense Violet Red-Burgundy). Ounces are clearly marked on the side of the tube which makes measuring super easy. 4 ounces of the Flare 20 volume developer and apply with brush and bowl and GLOVES. For the love of all things holy use gloves!! I applied vaseline around my hairline, ears and neck, then I sectioned my hair off into quarters and applied in small, thin sections. I don't ever just flop dye on my hair and hope for the best. The neater you apply, the better your coverage. Make sure to saturate each strand and be tidy. I let it sit about an hour, on accident. I started cooking dinner in the middle of processing and kind of got distracted. Rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed and rinsed some more with cool water until it ran mostly clear (oh my gosh my shower looked like some kind of gory halloween set.). Applied a leave in conditioner and let it mostly air dry before blow drying the final bit. I would not go to bed with this hair color'll end up with pink pillows. So definitely wash and dry before bed or wash in the morning. Also, use OLD towels for the first few washes.

Scary red on...turned VERY dark, almost black before I rinsed it off.
Makeup-free and RED! Fresh after drying and crappy kitchen lighting!
I know that from going so blonde to this color I will have some definite fade out for the first few times I touch up. I plan to combat with cool rinses, skipping as much shampoo as I can, using sulfate free shampoo and making a red conditioner. I found a recipe mixing Manic Panic with a deep conditioner and using once a week, we'll see if it helps.

So far...I am completely in love. I just feel so DIFFERENT with red hair, but it's so much fun and talk about SHINE. Blondes never get shine. It also definitely makes blue eyes POP! It's not a natural red color but also not a "punk red" or clowny red. It's a flattering unnatural shade I think.

I am really impressed with the "Flare" colors. They are thick and creamy and don't smell too offensive. It really deposited the color I was hoping for and the color is deep and rich. My hair was left soft and vibrant, I will definitely use this line of colors again and highly recommend.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Little Amazing Finds

I have been obsessing over these 2 products lately and had to share.

The first one is the Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector for Combo/Oily skin. I know...a drugstore BB cream? Bear with me. It's amazing. I've tried a ton of other BB Creams and was less than impressed. I didn't even like the original Garnier BB Cream. No coverage, they smelled like sunscreen and felt greasy on my face. Not a fan. I went camping recently and needed something I could apply in the morning and give me a little coverage and protect my face. Like a good blogger, I read some reviews and it seemed like this little treasure was different.

I gave it a go and am so glad I did. This is NOT a tinted moisturizer. It's got really great coverage, dries to a semi matte finish and feels really nice on the skin. It has SPF of 20 but doesn't smell or feel like sunscreen.

I will tell you a little secret though. I like this best when applied with a sponge (wedge, beauty blender...whatever you like) not a brush and not your fingers. I find I get the best coverage and finish when applied that way. It lasts all day without breaking up in the oily places and doesn't oxidize or turn orange. They don't have a great color selection (I think only 4). I wear the Light/Medium. I highly recommend. $12.99 at Fred Meyer.

This is just the BB cream, under eye concealer (no concealer anywhere else), bronzer and blush on my face, not counting eye makeup. Seriously good coverage.

The other little prize I'm coveting is the Maybelline Define-A-Brow. My Revlon Brow pencil got too short to sharpen anymore and I did not like the brow gel that was on the other end of it at all. It made my brows look flaky. Ew. So I'd been on the hunt for something that was very taupe for my eyebrows with not even a sneaky hint of warmth. Nothing I loathe more than an orange brow on a blonde. Not cute.

I saw this little tiny tube and it instantly reminded me of the Anastasia Brow Wiz. Same slender tube, except this one is lime green. I picked it up in the Dark Blonde color and it's fantastic. The color is perfect. Don't wind too much up, I only wind up a small amount at a time so it won't break off and haven't had any issues. It's waterproof so you don't have to worry about your eyebrows disappearing in the heat/pool. For a fraction of the price of the Anastasia, this is a gem! $7.99 at Walgreens.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jordana Cosmetics Crushes

Lately I have been seriously in love with Jordana products. I started with the mascara but a few other things got my attention and at less than $3 a pop, I figured why not. The standouts for me have been Best Lash Extreme Mascara (basic black), 12 Hour Made to Last Liquid Eyeliner Pencil (I have and love the black and brown)  and the Twist and Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain (I have Sweet Pink and Rock N Rouge).

The mascara is bomb dot com. It's super dark. I like this best layered over another mascara, it just gives an extra OOMPH that lasts all day. It's also a GREAT bottom lash mascara, it doesn't smudge or flake at all.

The eyeliners have basically replaced all other eyeliners in my book. Super dark, sets and lasts. It can be smudged out for a smoky look if you work quickly but once it sets, it stays.

And finally...The Balm Stains. These are what all other balm stains should aspire to be like and they are only $2.99!!!! There is a good color selection, they feel comfortable on your lips and they last like no other. The Rock N Rouge is the perfect, EASY red lip that lasts. Sweet Pink looks like a soft nudey pink in the tube but comes off brighter on my lips and it lasts all day. I can seriously, easily get 6 hours of wear out of both even with eating and drinking. The shine might fade, but the color doesn't and they don't feel drying. You could basically buy all 8 shades available and spend less than if you bought one in a higher end brand.

Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara12 HR Made To Last Liquid Eyeliner Pencil
Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain
Rock N Rouge
Sweet Pink

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Chop and Change" A new Beachy A Line Bob

One of my favorite Black Keys songs and super appropriate here!

I chopped all of my hair off and I am so glad I did. I don't understand why I grow so attached to my long hair, I always end up loving the feeling when I go shorter. I think I just identify as a "long hair" girl and I'm sure I'll grow it back out but for now, this feels so nice!

I've been coveting this oh-so-pinned image off Pinterest for months.
Buttery Blonde
I finally just decided to go for it but I asked her to go a little shorter to give me a little more time between trims. Love it. I can still get a teeny nubbin of a pony tail if I just need the hair off my face, I can wear it straight or I can do beach waves with a flat iron. Most versatile short hair I've ever had.

It's A-Line and thinned at the back but not stacked. My hair just won't do that style, curses of the cowlicks. The length pretty much goes collar to collarbone.

The balayage had basically all been cut off and/or faded out so it needed to be touched up. I went a shade darker this time, mixed a 7NN with a 7A Smoky Ash, both from Wella and with a 20vol developer. I let my roots process about 30 minutes and then combed through the length of my hair for the last 10 minutes. I did a protein filler before to avoid it pulling in the more porous spots. After it was washed out and rinsed I did balayage on a few face framing pieces and the bottom is still a tinge lighter than the roots so it has a nice ombre/balayage result. I wasn't really going for subtle. Excuse my hair bleaching shirt (don't we all have those??)
And this is the end result. The first one is just blow dried with a paddle brush and some argan oil on the ends. It's nice and polished and definitely easy if I don't have time to curl it. It also air dries pretty nicely but I get more frizz that way.

 Here I beach waved it with a flat iron. I really only focused on the top layer and front peices, the back is so short it just needs a slight bend of the iron to blend in. I finger combed the waves out, added a little texturizing spray to the roots and some beachy sea salt spray to the ends for more of a lived in look. This lasts all day and takes about 10 minutes.

Friday, June 13, 2014

From Platinum Blonde to Dark Blonde Balayage-DIY


Trust me. I know I do awful things to my hair ALL THE TIME. I just can't help it. I get bored. It's why I do it myself, ok??!!

On to the project. I loved the platinum. It was fun. I got it out of my system and wanted to try something else. To was this blonde:

DIY Platinum Blonde-Lovely Dalliances: Blondes Have More Fun?
I've been coveting Jessie James Decker's hair for a loooooong time. She recently posted a video on her YouTube channel showing how she does it herself. She even uses Frost N Glow!!!! Girl after my own heart.

She calls her hair "honey dipped" which is adorable. It's her version of the balayage she used to get in salons and which can cost a fortune. Balayage is basically hand painting your highlights on for a more natural look as opposed to weaving and foiling uniform highlights.

Love her, love her hair, and love that she uses Revlon Frost and of my favorites!  Jessie James Decker highlights

So I decided to give it a try. I used a 7n and a 7g mixed together with 20 vol so it would deposit more than lift. I wouldn't normally use a gold but I needed something other than neutral to avoid it going blah. My natural base isn't as dark as hers either so that's something to consider. She's probably a 5 or 6, I'm naturally more of a level 7.

Left it on about 35 minutes, rinsed and blow dried and was basically left with my natural color. BORING.

 (Bathroom lighting makes it look pinkish, it wasn't. Just a blah mousy dark blonde)
Then I mixed up some bleach powder with some 20vol because I knew the ends would lift fast and were already kind of "thirsty". I tried to do what she did, picking up the pieces that the sun would naturally hit and putting more bleach on the ends and fading it up. I left the interior pretty much alone and focused on the peices around my face and the ends. I tried to go up different lengths on each section so it wouldn't leave a hard line. I wanted sun kissed, not ombre or dip died.

Left the bleach on about 20 minutes, washed and blow dried and got this...TA-DA. My hair is always so poofy after I blow dry.

I kind of love it...a lot. It's a lot less maintenance and feels a lot more fresh and modern. Honestly, balayage is a LOT easier than foil weaving your own hair, if you are brave and used to doing your own hair, I highly recommend giving it a try!



Monday, May 19, 2014

Refinishing Tables

Why do I do this to myself? I swear. So...last summer I decided that our coffee table and end tables were going to go from a dark cherry stain to black. All of our other furniture is black and it made sense at the time.

Cut to about 3 days after I was done and I was totally regretting it. The black just showed EVERY single thing. I had to clean the tables at least once a day and even then they still looked grubby. I swear if you set anything on them, even a phone it would leave a mark.

I could have just put a satin poly on them to get rid of the glossiness but to be honest I was over the black table tops. Completely.

This weekend I decided that they needed to be changed. It worked out because my poor husband got sick and K and I were relegated to being outside as much as possible to avoid getting whatever grody bug he had :( No bueno.

So I started by stripping the paint off of the coffee table. I applied the stripper, waited about 30 minutes, scraped as much as I could, applied, waited and scraped again. Then I wiped with a wet rag and let it dry overnight. This required more time than I was willing to spend. I'm impatient. So the end tables just got sanded down, no stripping involved.

This is the table the morning after it was stripped. Still some white primer hanging around.

I then took 80 grit sandpaper and an orbital sander and sanded until I got to the bare wood. I rounded off the edges for a "rustic/worn" look. I then used 120 grit to finish sanding for a smooth finish.

Once that was done, I took a rag and removed all of the dust until I had a bare, clean surface.

I applied Minwax Pre Stain Wood Conditioner to make sure I had an even application of the stain. It absorbed in about 5 minutes. I wiped off any excess.

The next step was applying stain. I couldn't decide between 2, so I decided to use both. I wanted an aged, non golden or red finish that looked like it had always been there. I chose to start with Minwax Weathered Oak. I applied one coat of this, let it sit about 10 minutes, wiped off the excess and let it dry 2 hours. Weathered Oak gives a weathered, worn look to the wood. It tones down any warm tones and gives a grey appearance to any really light peices as you can see in the bottom right corner. It's a really neat effect but a bit too light on it's own for me personally.

I then applied one coat of Minwax Provincial, which is gorgeous but scary. It looked so dark! But I let that sit also about 10 minutes and then wiped off the excess. It was still pretty warm for me. But after it dried a bit, surpise, it was perfect! I let that dry another 2 hours, applied another coat, wiped and let it dry 3 more hours.

Then came the poly. I chose the Minwax Wipe On Poly in the Satin finish. I didn't want anything even remotely glossy and the wipe on gives a really neat effect. It's also very simple and goof free. This is the tables after one coat of poly. It was dusk so the porch light gives more of a golden look than what they really are.

I applied one coat, let it dry 2 hours and then applied another coat. I let them sit overnight and then brought them back in the house. We didn't use the tables for 24 hours but oh man, are they pretty. This is a really accurate picture of the end result color.

I just LOVE the end result with the rustic tops and black bottoms. The overall look almost everything else in our house and now I think our antique dresser needs this same finish! The bottoms of the tables are still Behr Black Suede.