Saturday, June 21, 2014

Light Violet Night

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the products mentioned.

I wanted to give the lighter purple a second try, and then if it didn't work I'd return to my original plan of going darker purple.   I did a little more googling to try and figure out what would work to help remove the conditioner and protein overload as well as work with lighter shades.   I ended up washing with Malibu Goo Undoo clarifying shampoo with some baking soda mixed in.  The baking soda acted as a mild abrasive, not something you'd normally want but it did work.  I've used this mix before with a very small amount of baking soda to give my scalp a good scrubbing.  While it's generally not recommended for color treated hair, the three times I've done it were within a few days of a recolor.

I meant to pick up some conditioner but in running around trying to do too many things at once, I forgot.  I knew I had some Matrix Biolage Smooth Therapie conditioner tucked in the back of the closet, so I double checked the ingredients and didn't find anything that was recommended to avoid with pastels.  I mixed up more Manic Panic Violet Night with the Biolage, this time using 10 parts conditioner and 3 parts dye.   Advice I'd read suggested the color in the bowl should be about 2 shades darker than what you want.  I figured this color looked good.

I started to apply and could tell right away that the shampoo prior to coloring had helped, and the conditioner itself didn't seem to slip off my hair.  It was still a different consistency than dye alone, but much better than my previous mix.  I put on a shower cap, sat under my bonnet dryer for 25 minutes, then left it on for about five hours.  All in all, it turned out much better than the first attempt.  It's no where near a pastel, but this is probably the lightest shade my hair has been without counting the in between bleaching!

These pictures are the next day, the first in indirect light.  It looks much warmer here, in direct light it looks more cool.

These next few were in direct sunlight.

The next few are sort of 'close ups' where you can see the reddish pieces, which had been black a few weeks prior.  I knew they were no where near light enough for the purple.  Pardon the fact that I look a bit zombified here.

Over the next month, I plan to carefully brush on a bit more bleach on the red strands and see if I can get them to lighten up a bit more but not damage them.  If I can, I'll make them purple, shade depending on where and how much lighter.  If I can't, the inch or so closest to my scalp will stay this current color and below that will go back to black, and as it grows it'll gradually become part of the purple with more and more black getting snipped off during trims.  

I also plan to add some darker purple from about halfway down to the ends, to freshen that up as well.  And then I still have to color all the regrowth in the black areas, which hasn't been done since March.  

Thanks for looking.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hair Change of Plan and a Fail

Nothing to disclose, I purchased products mentioned.

Remember how I wanted to darken my purple?  Well, that plan took a sharp turn after everyone I know decided to love the "I'm only halfway done I still have to dye it" hair, despite the multiple colors.   In my younger days I'd make a decision and stick with it, but as I get older and trying to teach my son that the world will not end if things don't go as planned, I though, what the hell.

I googled and read a lot of different tips about pastels and light colors.   I knew the top part of my hair still wasn't light enough for pastel, but I though I could mix up a lighter shade of purple and wanted to see what would happen.  I used about 10 parts conditioner to 2 parts dye, using Manic Panic's Violet Night.  I used Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil sulfate free conditioner, which in hindsight wasn't the best choice, but more on that in a minute.

Here was my starting point

Here's the dye mix, and yes, I mixed it a bit more thoroughly before I applied it.

I applied this to the lighter areas, mainly on the top and about to the tops of my ears.   The dye seemed to slip down, the consistency was different than without the conditioner.  I had to really work it into my hair, and was not at all confident that anything would happen.  I put on a shower cap, sat under the bonnet dryer for about 30 minutes, then left it on for about four to four & a half hours before rinsing.

I let it air dry and took these pictures that evening after my hair was dry.  First was indirect sunlight.

This one was in direct sun.

You can see the dye is very light, certain areas it's no more than a tinge.  You can also see the reddish pieces of hair, those had been black not long ago and that's about as light as they're going to get at this point.   I had included a lot more of the hair that was underneath the original purple on the last couple of bleaches, since it seemed every time I redid the black it overtook more of the purple.  More on that another day as well.

So what went wrong?  Well, multiple things really.  First, pastels / very light shades aren't as easy as dark ones.  Hair really needs to be bleached far more than mine was, which I knew from the start.  It has to be bleached more evenly, because uneven patches will stick out like a sore thumb.

I'd read several tips to avoid any product with keratin, and duh, the Marc Anthony conditioner contained keratin.  Because I'd done so much to my hair over recent weeks, I'd gone a bit overboard with the pampering, and I think my hair was over conditioned / over proteined.   Usually I wash with a clarifying shampoo - Malibu Undoo Goo - the day before coloring and don't use any conditioner, but I had washed after bleaching and used an intensive moisturizer for dry / damaged hair.  Good for my hair, not good for color.

I definitely respect those of you who achieve pastel shades, because it's a lot more work than dark ones.   This was definitely a good learning experience, and I'm glad I tried.  But now, what do I want to do from here?

It seems I've turned this into another ridiculously long hair story, but at least this one doesn't end with me losing 8-10 inches of hair and having the rest multiple shades of orange and fried!  More to come, it's a work in progress.  Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recolor - Fix & Maybe Darker Purple

Nothing to disclose, I purchased all products mentioned.

I'd done a bunch of stuff to my hair 2 weeks ago - removed a little black, removed some of the purple, bleached a bit, and reapplied Manic Panic Violet Night.  I do love this color, but keep thinking I want to go darker purple again, and there were bits of brown poking through, which I really didn't like.

Part of that was from adding in more hair that used to be black, part was that underneath it all (from about the top of my cheekbones down) was only ever bleached to a level 7, and with this lighter purple it really should've been a bit lighter to start.  So shame on me, I should've just done it right the first time, instead of worrying about pushing it and ending up right back here two weeks later.

I didn't bother with a color remover, you can all gasp over that.  I went straight for the bleach, using Prism Lites Violet mixed with 20 volume developer.  I put it on for 20 minutes and washed thoroughly.

I did a second round of the same bleach mix, left it on for 20 minutes once again, hard to really tell because these two were both outside pics but it was overcast, so not very bright.  

My hair is still pretty damp below, so it still looks a bit dark, but at least the sun was out.

I'm not sure what's more shocking in these pictures, the light hair or the pink shirt!

I had an odd almost ombre sort of color left in my hair, ranging from blonde, orangeish, pinkish, and purples of various shades, darker towards the ends.  These pictures were taken the next day, in direct sunlight.

I realized that my hair has grown quite a bit because it was hard for me to take photos that show as much of my hair as possible so you can see the color from root to end.

There's a bit more to this story, but it's still in the works so more later.  Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather Collection Swatches

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the product shown.

I picked up the five LE shades in the Harmon section of Bed Bath and Beyond, $5.79 each.  The display only has slots for two of each shade, so you have to grab these fast.  (6/12 Update: these shades are permanent, not limited editions!)

I applied the shadows with a wet/dry shadow brush on bare skin.  It's overcast and supposed to rain for the next few days, but I wanted to share these with you so you can keep in mind which shades you want if you find them.  First two are outside, no flash.

Here's an inside no flash

I'd read that these were all matte shades, but Chocolate Suede is not really matte.  When I ran the brush across the cream, I could see a reddish cast to it.  When I applied it to my arm, I could see a reddish - golden - coppery slight shimmer to it.  It's actually quite pretty, and "leather" really does fit this shade;  I was surprised since I thought it would be matte.   #260 Matte Brown  was part of the Fall 2013 collection (along with Just Beige and Nude Pink) so it's nice that it's different.  #400 Rich Mahogany  from the Fall 2012 collection is much more shimmery, and the shimmer in that was more multi color than Chocolate Suede as well.  Matte Dramatic Black also differs from the Dare to Go Nude collection's  Stroke of Midnight,  which had blueish silvery shimmer to it.

I hope you've found the photos helpful, and thanks for looking.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fyrinnae Blush Swatches - Charm, Bewitching, Temptation, Mesmerize, Seduce, Royalty

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the products.

I couldn't resist ordering a full size Royalty blush from Fyrinnae.  I added minis of five other shades, Charm, Bewitching, Temptation, Mesmerize, and Seduce.  Problem is, I don't wear powder blush, only cream.  I figure I'll just mix them up with something liquid (moisturizer, oil, etc) and enjoy.

I used a dampened wet/dry shadow brush to apply the blush to bare skin.  I used dry fluffy shadow brushes to apply it next to the wet swatch.  I only have two blush brushes, and without washing each brush there could be cross contamination / inaccurate swatches, plus then drying each brush enough to get a dry swatch,  so I settled on the shadow brushes.  I did wet swatches to show you how deep the color can be, particularly for anyone who plans to mix it and use more as a cream, plus dry I was afraid the lighter shades might not be as obvious on my arm.  I know it sounds a little kooky but I thought it made sense.

All photos taken outside, first in direct light, second more indirect light.

Fyrinnae's color descriptions:

Charm - vibrant cool pink with the slightest touch of shimmer.  Intense color saturation. Lip safe.
Bewitching - light lilac mauve shade with a slight pink shimmer.  Lip and eye safe.
Temptation - deep plum with just a hint of shimmer.  Lip and eye safe.
Mesmerize - medium berry magenta shade with no brown tones. Intense color saturation. Lip safe.
Seduce - lilac shade that can be rubbed down to a cool mauve if desired. Very slight sheen. Lip and eye safe.
Royalty - vibrant violet blush which doesn't blend down to a warm shade.  It will rub down to a blue-violet hue, but with gentle blending or heavier application will remain more purple. Nearly matte, deeper and cooler than Seduce.  Often requested shade, new in 5/14.  Lip and eye safe.

Royalty is gorgeous in person, I can't wait to wear it.  Fyrinnae's description of it rubbing down to blue-violet but heavier application remains more purple is completely accurate.  Love it, love it, love it.  Unfortunately with my rosacea I don't get to use blush as much as I'd like, it's always a case of trying to add a nice color without overdoing it or making the redness worse/more obvious, so these minis will last me a good long time. 

I hope you've found the photos helpful, and thanks for looking.   Now I'm looking forward to that new lip lustre!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Recolor with Manic Panic Violet Night

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the product discussed.

My last recolor was back on March 18 and I'd used a mix of shades in order to use up small amounts left in several different jars.  Although I do like the more magenta bits here and there, it's not quite what I want.

Here's my starting point, this photo taken May 21st.

I figured I'd better clean it all up, since I normally just reapply Manic Panic without removing it first, and there were layers of various purples in there.  At the very first layer was the Pravana Chromasilk Vivids Violet which tends to really stay in my hair.  I used some One n Only Color Fix on the last 6-8" two days prior which didn't do much of anything to remove the purple.  I used Prism Lites Violet bleach mixed with 20 volume developer and proceeded carefully, leaving it on for about 20 minutes.  The regrowth turned light quite quickly, some bits a much more pink shade, so keep in mind that the color I've ended up with is going to be different than had I bleached it all to a more even,  lighter level.

After removing / bleaching:

I have most of my hair pulled back into the shower cap, which was held on using large bobby pins.  I included more of the front of my hair than normal; usually I just take a section at the top that's maybe 1/4" to 1/2" on either side of the center part, this time I applied the bleach to the whole front and side areas.  About half the hair remained black, since the black didn't budge, but this was more to get the regrowth purple.

 The bits of brownish that you see between the lighter sections and the shower cap is *gasp* my real hair color.  I don't usually go so long between coloring because those lighter roots coming through the black are not pretty, but at least it takes a while to notice them, unlike when you have darker roots poking through lighter hair.

I applied the Violet Night, sat under my bonnet dryer for about 20 minutes, then left the color on for about 8 hours, keeping the plastic shower cap on.  I rinsed it all out and air dried.  The rest of the photos are from the next day.

Because I didn't start with evenly lightened hair, I ended up with varying shades, and you can see a brownish tinge where it wasn't light enough to start.  But I still love Violet Night.  It's a nice softer purple, not too blue, not too red, but still definitely purple.

I haven't recolored the black yet, but will get to that asap.   Now while I really do like Violet Night, I've been thinking about going darker overall, a darker purple that will blend into the black a bit more.  But then again, who knows what I'll end up doing!

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Removing a Little Black Dye

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the product discussed.

I wanted to see if I could remove some of the black dye on the last 6 to 8 inches of my hair.  We all know what a pain in the ass removing black is!   I knew from the start that not a lot would happen, and I also knew I didn't want to push it, as I didn't need a repeat of the Great Hair Disaster of Autumn 2011 (if you want to read it just search my blog for "a Very Long Hair Story" and you'll find my four part tale).

I use Pravana Chromasilk 1N Black for most of my hair.  Underneath that is Paul Mitchell 2N/3N (and some NN) mix that the stylist Sami I was going to used to help bring my hair back to life after the disaster.  (For the record, I loved Sami and her work!   But no longer working means no money for the salon, and back to coloring it on my own.)

I've used several different color removers over the years, this time went with One n Only Color Fix.  If you read online reviews, people go crazy telling you how awful the smell is.  Yeah, it's a strong smell, but it reminds me of the older style salons with little old ladies lined up for their perms.  The smell can linger in your hair for a day or two, but honestly, if you've colored/bleached/removed color from your hair before, less than pleasant smells are nothing new.   And I can't stress enough, you absolutely need to rinse your hair thoroughly when you use a remover.  I've had success with Color Oops, Color Fix, and Effasol.  Color B4 remover worked well but left my hair feeling gummy in a few spots.

I bought two boxes, since it's always good to have a spare, but only used one box.  I applied the remover to the last 6-8 inches of my hair, kept it on for about 20 minutes and rinsed.  Nothing noticeable.  I applied a second round, kept it in for 20 minutes, rinsed and washed and decided that was as far as I wanted to go.  A third round would've done more, but again, no need to push.  I applied  Phyrra's Pretty Little Elixir,  left it in about 6 hours, and rinsed.  No pictures from the "during" since the changes were very subtle and really only visible in the sunlight.  I didn't take a "before" picture either,  all the hair I worked on was solid black.

The next morning I snapped a few pictures - it's hard to see, but in person it was easier to see that there was some lift, bits of reddish here and there.  Overall, still too dark to really see much, and I wasn't sure anything put over it would show much.  The bit of purple you see is from the front section that's always purple, btw.

outside with flash

outside no flash

I applied an entire tube of Pravana Chromasilk Vivids Violet to the area I'd lightened.  The Violet is a lovely shade, I'd been using it for the purple areas for a while before deciding I needed a bit more variety in the shade of purple.  But I do love it.  I left it in about 40 minutes, rinsed, and applied another round of the Pretty Little Elixir.  I left that in for hours (7 maybe?) before rinsing out.  Normally I use Joico K Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor after bleaching/removing color, but it's felt a bit heavy in my hair lately.  The Elixir feels much lighter and does a great job making my hair feel soft and look shiny.

The next morning I snapped a few more pictures.  Again, it's hard to see, but there's definitely a hint of purple in there.  I'd have liked a bit more, but am pleased overall.  No sense in destroying my hair, and I really don't want to have it cut short again.  The more obvious purple bit in the top right corner is from the front again, not part of what I removed & recolored.

outside with flash

outside no flash

Subtle, but again, I knew from the start that I wouldn't get much black out.  It's just enough to see a nice hint of purple on a sunny day, but inside, it looks plain black. 

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

the Balm Shady Lady Special Edition Swatches

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the product.

I bought the Balm's Shady Lady and Put a Lid on It primer in a little box set at Kohl's for $39.50.  There was no sample display and I was a little nervous the shades might be too warm, but I can definitely mix these with cooler shades and get a lot of use from this palette.

The palette.  I used the flash so you could see the shimmer in the shadows better.   In the top row of the palette, both Feisty Felicia and Caught in the Act Courtney are shadow/liners, and in the middle row, Insane Jane is also a shadow/liner.


I swatched from the bottom row up, probably would've made more sense to do it top to bottom.  I was trying to hurry to take advantage of some sunlight.

Shadows swatched with dampened wet/dry brush on bare skin.  They can be applied heavier for a deeper color as well.  First photo inside, no flash.

outside indirect light, no flash

outside bright sunshine, no flash

I hope you've found the swatches helpful, and thanks for looking.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Phyrra's Pretty Litttle Elixir

Nothing to disclose, I purchased the product.

I purchased my first bottle of Phyrra's Pretty Little Elixir a few months ago.   Here's the info from FutureDerm's website:

"Developed as a collaboration between award-winning cruelty-free blogger Phyrra of and FutureDerm Founder and CEO Nicki Zevola, Phyrra’s Pretty Little Elixir transforms chemically-treated hair from dry and dull to smooth and sexy. Phyrra’s Pretty Little Elixir has the right cocktail of ingredients to reduce the signs of external damage and return hair to its lustrous, soft state."

Ingredients: Aqua, Quaternium-91, Behentrimonium Chloride, Myristyl Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein PG-Propyl, Silanetriol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Natural Fragrance.

The first time I used it, I applied it more as a conditioner, to wet rather than damp hair, left it in about 10 minutes, and rinsed.  My hair felt really nice after.  The last two times I've used it, I followed the directions a little more closely and applied to damp hair, not wet.  I saturated my hair, then put on a plastic shower cap with a Turbie Twist towel over that, to help keep it all on my head.   I left it in for maybe 6 hours, simply because I got busy with household things and figured it wouldn't hurt to leave it in as long as possible.  I rinsed it all out using cool water, and my hair felt great.  Smells nice too, not too strong, not overpowering.  Sorry I'm the worst at describing scents.  I was very happy that it wasn't an apple scent, which I absolutely hate.

I recently decided to see if I could lift any of the black out of the last 8 inches or so,  and used almost half a bottle after that, to help bring back the softness my hair had prior to the attempted color removal.   I usually use Joico K Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor after bleaching the regrowth on the purple areas of my hair or doing stupid things like trying to remove the black dye, but the Joico can feel a bit heavy.  The Elixir feels much lighter and makes my hair feel really nice, better than after using the Joico.

I picked up two more bottles at Gloss48, since they were having a sale, I can't remember when but it took a while for them to ship.  I picked up two bottles directly from  FutureDerm  since they're currently on sale for $15.99.  Those two bottles arrived quickly!  I'm not sure how long they'll be on sale, but definitely worth grabbing a bottle or two.

Thanks for looking, and I hope you've found this helpful.