Like a Mad Scientist… Kind Of?

I’m not really a qualified professional at anything (unless sitting on your ass for 95% of your life playing video games equates to ‘qualification’)… but that never stops me from trying to do things that should probably be best reserved for those with degrees, certificates, or classes and credits behind them.  Perhaps my worst offense to qualified ‘professionals’ is my die-hard devotion to do my own hair.  I know, madness, right?  Everyone has a hairdresser.  They are both your best friend and your worst enemy.  I, unfortunately, have yet to meet a hairdresser that achieves what I want (see: perfectionist) or will actually listen to me when I say something.  So, aside from the hair cut once or twice a year (the hair nazis are cringing right now)… I do pretty much everything else myself.

I know I mentioned before I was going to try the impossible–I was going to not only dye my hair but then highlight it… all on my own, without foil, without any prior skill or knowledge.  Foolish, maybe, but I prefer the term “adventurous”.  Like the time I had my husband (then fiance) bleach my hair for me.  Just a note to the ladies… don’t do this, not unless you suspect your husband is gay.  Men have no concept of “roots” and how they work.

I have naturally dirty blonde hair, it’s not so much brown as just… dirty.  I hate it.  My once golden locks now muddled by bastardized genetics.  Anyway, this is important because selecting the tone and darkness of dye depends on your “base” color.  My hair, at the time of dyeing it, was actually a terrible blonde/bronzey monstrosity.  Let’s just say that dyes don’t always mix well with your “base” color.  Lesson learned.

Anyway, I selected two widely available products.  I actually did this at the end of December, so I’m trying to remember.  I selected a darker than desired shade that would also blend in with my roots.  This is essentially what I request anytime I go to the hair stylist, because… my hair grows out like a week later and my roots tend to be darker than my natural shade.  Very annoying.

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For this, I selected Garnier 100% Color Dark Natural Blonde.

I love Garnier products, I stand by them 100%.  Their haircolor is especially amazing for not drying out or damaging your hair, too, especially if you have already overprocessed your hair like I tend to do with all my hair products and heat.  It also maintains its vibrancy for a considerable amount of time, much longer than other products I’ve tried.

Unfortunately, they were out of Garnier’s Color Breaks, so I had to select something else on the fly.  I think I used one of Clairol’s highlighting solutions, but I can’t find it on their site.  It had an annoying comb that was supposed to make it “effortless” all it made it was “full of tangles”!  I dropped the comb after only a few tries.

I dyed my hair all over first and followed the instructions the highlighting solution gave me.  After drying my hair, I immediately started highlighting.  As I mentioned, the comb was utterly useless.  I took relatively small sections of hair, coated them, ran it through and then twisted to ensure it didn’t get caught in the rest of my hair.  I let it all sit for the recommended amount of time…

What I ended up with were not the pencil thin highlights the box suggests.  In fact, I’m not even sure how someone could get those unless they spent hours getting pin-sized amounts of hair.  Remember, this is essentially bleach that you’re highlighting with and you don’t want to fry your hair (I know allll about this one…)… so that option really sucks.  It’s a good thing I like chunky highlights!

The end result was pleasing to me.  I managed to get everything even and while it wasn’t as light as I wanted, it still turned out rather well.  I’m very pale, so I have to be very careful when coloring my hair.  It’s amazingly easy for me to make myself look washed out with just a slight miscalculation of tone/etc.

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I can't take serious pictures. I must make silly faces.

I got incredibly lucky with the color selection on this one.  The two colors blended perfectly and so my highlights weren’t so much “in your face” as they were a subtle lightning factor to the overall coloring.  Needless to say, highlighting definitely brings something to the table when it comes to adding texture and variety.  I’ll continue to do it… and with my hair a bit darker now, I won’t have to worry about dyeing it every month or so.  Sitting here now, I can see my roots, but they’re not as “out there” as they would be with a lighter color.

The most important factor here is how much I spent.  I got, essentially, the same thing done (only lighter color) before my wedding and it cost me upwards of $80… and this wasn’t a salon, it was a freelancer.  If it had been a salon, you’re talking maybe $100.  I have incredibly thick and difficult hair.  How much did I spend all together on this?

Less than $20.

Living out on your own and discovering the true expense of things really opens your eyes.  I guffaw at all the times my parents threw $100+ dollars on average to get my hair done before.  This is so much cheaper!

Next Time, I Promise We’ll Be Perfect

Things have been getting increasingly hectic around here… last Saturday (13th) we went to the Relay that my mother-in-law was in charge of for this area.  She has several others, but this is the biggest one.  It went really well, I took many pictures, but unfortunately?  I had the camera on the wrong setting, so they all came out like crap.  Sigh.  I also realized that my fiance has been in remission from leukemia (he was two when it all began) as long as I’ve been alive, pretty much.  He’s a twenty-three year survivor and I just happen to also be twenty-three!  Go figure.

Thursday and Friday were mostly spent at the ACS office with my mother-in-law.  We bounced between the office, collecting money, getting my dress altered (and fiance’s pants tailored), and trying to pick up the last-minute necessities.  Fiance and I went to Victoria’s Secret yesterday to pick up a sticky bra only to see they were out of my size.  We have to check back sometime this week.   Ordering it online and getting it here in time would cost us $20 worth of shipping — no thanks!  I was also crushed to find my desired wedding night attire was nearly $90… I wish they’d point out when things are “100% silk”.  Gah.

Also, because a certain someone (read: fiance) made me wait, I can no longer get my desired hair pieces.  They were the beautiful silk flowers.  I have no idea what to get now.  I haven’t really liked anything and I’ve looked for replacements for awhile… sigh.  Then, to top it off, he broke my $70 Wacom Tablet pen.  The expenses are just racking up and I am feeling extremely overwhelmed by it all.  The sticky bra itself is a necessity, due to the fact I seem to have, um, ‘grown’ since the purchasing of the dress over a year ago.  So, yeah, I need a backless bra to wear it.  Unfortunately, the bra is also$70… so no tablet pen for me anytime soon.  It’s just a good damn thing I got the dress a size too big to begin with or else we’d really be in trouble.

We still don’t have someone to marry us, which is a big problem.  I really, really would prefer someone from an actual church as opposed to a notary.  A preacher/pastor/whatever his church calls them from my fiance’s old church is looking for us, trying to find someone down there we can afford.  We had one in mind, but apparently, he doesn’t marry “tourists”.  My fiance’s family has been going down there for twelve years.  They own properties.  We are not a part of the rich people machine ruining your island.  How incredibly rude.

I also finally got my hair professionally colored.  It isn’t the perfect color I had somehow managed to achieve with a random selection of Walmart color… but it’s good enough and it looks natural.  Fiance got his hair cut, but he should’ve have scheduled for highlights, too.  These pictures are forever, damn it!

I guess I should also mention that the cats have been extremely upset that I wasn’t with them all day Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.  Fiance got home before us on Friday and told me Loki was crawling all over him, meowing.  Poor baby.

The kitten is getting increasingly bigger!  It’s really shocking… he’s growing so quickly.  He used to fit under my neck, now he pulls a Loki and sprawls out over my chest.

Loki gets along better with the kitten now that he knows it won’t replace him.  He still gets a bit too rough when they play, but as the kitten grows, it’ll become less of an issue.  It’s definitely a lot better than when we first found the poor, starving little bugger!

My fiance is in love with the fact that our camera takes video, so he captured their initial meeting with it.

He also has fun recording them while they play.  Loki likes sniffing the camera, but Puff?  He attacks it!  Which is hilarious.

It’s hard to believe we only have one weekend left before we go to Key West… and next weekend, the in-laws will be gone on some trip my father-in-law has to take for his job.  I just hope I can get everything done in time.

“Do you know the lead singer of ‘She & Him?'”

I had the weirdest thing happen to me yesterday at work.  Picture it: I am in my uniform (yes, we have to wear a uniform!)… my blue shirt with horrible, orange-gold accents on the sleeve and collar hem, my totally stylish matching blue visor, my khaki pants, and an apron.  Stylin’, right?  Anyway, I had a fellow mall employee walk up, and before she ordered, ask me if I knew the girl from ‘She & Him’.  I asked ‘what girl?’ while my insides immediately named the woman, but I refused to believe it.  So she went off and listed a bunch of thing the actress has been in.  I can’t take it anymore and I say:

Zooey Deschanel?”

She responds, excitedly, “yes!  Her!  Well, you look like her.” She notes my puzzled expression, “Really.  Have you seen her?  You do.”

Beg pardon?  I’m a natural blonde and while my current and almost natural color is truly radiant, it is hardly black or brown.  I don’t get it.  I asked the fiance and he just gave me a puzzled look until I told him she was the chick in ‘The Happening’.  He didn’t seem to agree.  At all.  I don’t think I do, either.  The woman in question is the following.  She’s been in a ton of things.  She’s also thirty.  I’m not sure whether to be flattered or just completely baffled.

I’m not sure I see it.  I mean, she’s got better features than I do.  Maybe it’s the eyes or something, I don’t know.  I recently had to color my hair, again, because I suffer from being a natural blonde with dark roots (and have throughout my life since puberty, sigh!) so coloring is necessary.  Otherwise I look like a meth addict, a hooker, or possibly, Courtney Love on a good day.  Anyway, it turned out to be really close to my natural color (sans dark roots) and it is glorious.  No, it is.  It’s shiny and beautiful.  I guess it’s true, using this same hair color stuff makes your hair awesome!  It’s been awesome lately.  I am in love with my own hair.  Anyway, it brings out my eyes and my pale complexion wonderfully.  I want this hair color forever!

So maybe that’s it.  The stuff I switched to using is Clairol’s Natural Instincts… which are amazing.  There is no funky smell, no nasty effect on the hair, in fact, it makes my hair feel healthier.  It’s shinier and really more willing to cooperate.  I love it.  It also only takes ten minutes, though I usually do twenty.  I got Sahara this time and while it did not come out at all as light as it did on the box, it almost resembles my hair color.  Plus, it doesn’t do the ‘all over’ one color.  It naturally seems to blend with whatever color your hair was before.  It’s very dynamic.  I love it!  I may just keep using this and stop getting my hair professionally done if she can’t achieve this same color.

Anyway, enough of that crap.  I FINALLY GOT WEDDING SHOES!  The torture is over, you have no idea how happy that makes me.  I was so sick of looking at ugly, ugly shoes.  I settled on a pair I found at Zappos.  Usually, I can’t get these type of sandals to fit me… but these?  Fit like a dream.  I am in love.  Hooray!

Fiance and I have also been working out butt off with Wiifit.  We bought it Easter weekend and it’s really, really helped.  My thighs are as tight as tree trunks and my abdomen is slowly going back to the days of my super, extreme pilates workouts!  Woohoo!  I am very excited about it.  As long as you treat it as an exercise instead of a game, it’s great.  I was pretty floored when it told me my BMI was a little below normal, though.  I weight about 135lbs right now, and I’m 5’7″.  Two years ago?  I weighed about 115lbs.  Apparently that was severely underweight, but I felt great.  But I also lost my boobs.  And that sucked.

My last day at work is also this Saturday.  Wow.  It’s been over a year and it’s finally over.

So far, May is going well.  A hell of a lot better than April.

Hairy Decisions

So, I’m bored with my hair. I’ve been bleaching/dyeing it myself for a year now. Last year at this time, my hair was bleached out with purple crazy streaks all over. That was the first and last time I ever let a professional do my hair. Why? Because it cost over 100 dollars. No thanks! After that, I switched to Manic Panic. I used their bleach kits and hair color (I adore their hair colors and it’s the longest lasting I’ve found.) The bleach kits are cheap and quick, but annoying. I can’t do it myself because I have very thick hair, so I have to enlist the fiancé‘s help. Yeah, a straight guy bleaching my hair, do you see where this is going? Needless to say, I always end up with spots I need to redo. I love him to death, but hairstylist is not a future occupation he should pursue.

My process went like this:

  1. Wash hair with PH friendly shampoo
  2. Apply the bleach after it dries completely
  3. Let the bleach sit for about an hour
  4. Check it, fix any spots, and then let sit for ten minutes
  5. Wash it out completely
  6. Dry it, again, and wait
  7. Apply virgin snow toner color, let sit for an hour
  8. Wash it out, dry hair
  9. Ponytail or clip up all the hair NOT turning blue on the top of my head
  10. Apply the blue and let it sit for anywhere to an hour to several
  11. Wash it out WITHOUT removing the ponytail
  12. Dry it, again, without removing ponytail
  13. Now, finally, remove ponytail and enjoy!

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