Fashion hair colors: color upkeep

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Fresh out of the salon, the highlights were subtle against my black hair.

Fresh out of the salon, the highlights were subtle against my black hair.

I had wanted to do something “drastic” with my hair color for quite some time but had never found the time to go to a salon. I’ve been dying my hair black since I was 13-years-old and have always wanted some purple or red to add some spice and pazazz. The problem? I didn’t trust myself enough to bleach my hair at home.

On May 7 this year I finally took the leap and went to the salon to get a fun color put in my hair.

To start, I would like to point out I take care of my hair. After nine years of dying my tresses black multiple times a year, I’ve learned a few things along the way. First, don’t wash your hair every day. This is a general trick used by people whether you’re trying to keep your dyed hair hydrated or your natural hair healthy. Second, my conditioner, Wen, helps keep my hair hydrated as well. Third, don’t dye it immediately. I usually let the roots, or my truth as I call it, come in a few inches before re-dying in order to avoid adding layer upon layer of dye to “fresh” hair. I don’t use any product in my hair either and can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had to use hair spray.

All of this has helped keep my hair from feeling like straw or even, in more drastic and pun-ny terms, dying.

I had just switched salons in March and liked my hairdresser. Because I had been growing out my roots (to the point of my hair looking like it had been dip-dyed) she asked me about my natural hair color and as she sheared off the old black I told her about my desire to put some blue highlights to stand out against my normal black. I was lucky because my hairdresser loved the challenge of “funky” colors, particularly the ombre hairstyles.

Here, two months later, two of the highlights are visible against my faded hair.

Here, two months later, two of the highlights are visible against my faded hair.

My present to myself after another semester of college down was getting teal peekaboo highlights. For anyone not familiar with peekaboo highlights, they are highlights between layers of your hair. They don’t sit on top but they’re not the bottom layer like what was so popular a few years ago. They literally are a peek of color.

After an hour of bleaching and re-dying I was walking out of the salon with dark teal/blue highlights peeking out of my black hair.

And here’s where the purpose of this blog post comes into play.

At the salon as my hairdresser was putting bleach into my hair, the receptionist came over with a clipboard, a pen and what looked like a release stating I understood by getting a fashion color the salon was not liable for the quick fade. I had already planned out how I would keep up with the color but, as explained to me by my hairdresser, many girls come in getting a fashion color thinking it will last for months without fading.

Wrong.

Fashion colors usually last a couple of shampoos and start fading quickly, kind of like a slippery slope of fade. Some ways you can avoid it are using cool water when washing your hair and a color save shampoo but in general you only have a few weeks with peak color. The salon had everyone who was getting a fashion color sign the release in order to prevent angry customers from threatening litigation over their hair.

Because they would likely be laughed out of any judge’s courtroom.

So from May 7 to today, July 22, I have still managed to keep my peekaboo’s in pretty good shape.

When I brush my hair back, the highlights are fully visible.

When I brush my hair back, the highlights are fully visible.

First of all, I kept my normal rule of not shampooing my hair everyday; your color can’t get up and walk away unless you give it the means to. Second, I bought Redken’s Color Extend Shampoo as soon as I left the salon. Third, I use started washing my hair with cool water but have gradually made it warmer. By no means is the water hot but it is basically lukewarm. Fourth, I don’t go into the sun as a general life-rule so I don’t have to worry about the sun naturally fading my hair.

And you know what? My highlights look great two months later.

I did buy a semi-permanent teal hair color to do touch-ups if necessary but I’ve been lucky enough in not even opening the bottle yet. I’m sure other colors fade faster no matter what precautions you take, like red for example, but I’ve been exceedingly lucky. Maybe it’s the formulas she used or maybe it’s just the color but my black dye has faded more than the teal.

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A letter to those who do not understand the “Harry Potter generation”

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The words that changed a generation.

Dear muggles, squibs, half-bloods, purebloods and everybody else who doesn’t know what I’m talking about:

I feel bad for you.

There are various reasons why you may have never watched a Harry Potter movie or read a Harry Potter book and for that I feel like you’ve lost out on a generation’s greatest icon. Maybe your parents wouldn’t let you watch it. Maybe you didn’t have an interest in the genre. Maybe you live under a rock. It could be anything but I want to let you know why it was a cultural phenomenon and such a huge part of the 2000s because I’m sure you’re scratching your head and asking why.

We grew up with Harry Potter, literally. For those kids who started reading the first book when it came out in 1997, chances are they were around the same age as the protagonist, Harry Potter, and when the next book came out they grew a year older with Harry. In the films, Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, starts off as a young boy and as every movie came out he was a bit older just as we were.

The first time they saw the Hogwarts, we saw it too.

The first time they saw the Hogwarts, we saw it too.

The same went for all the characters. As they aged, we did. As they struggled to make new friends, we did. As they went through their awkward phase, we did. As they found love, we did. As they fought their demons, we did. As they came of age, we did. Nearly every year since 1997 we had either a book or movie we looked forward to; the two exceptions are 2006 and 2008.

Most of us dreamed of receiving a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, sitting in front of the student body in the Great Hall as the Sorting Hat told us what house we would be in and most of us hoped we would be in any house but Slytherin. We dreamed of watching Professor Sprout pulling up Mandrakes and Professor Flitwick teaching us the “swish and flick” movement as we cast spells. We wanted so badly for Madam Hooch’s yellow eyes to watch over us as we rode a broom for the first time and Madam Pomfrey to mend a sprain obtained during Quidditch practice. We vowed to stay out of the Dark Forrest and out of the third floor corridor because we could get killed or worse…expelled.

Harry getting his wand at Ollivander's.

Harry getting his wand at Ollivander’s.

I still dream of getting to go to Diagon Alley and getting Mr. Ollivander to help me find my wand, getting fit for robes at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, getting my books from Flourish and Blotts, getting my first cauldron from Potage’s Cauldron Shop and finally getting my own owl at Eeylops Owl Emporium.

The worst part of Harry Potter for most of us was walking out of the theatre after watching “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and realizing there was nothing after to come. No more books and no more movies. It was literally like a huge part of your youth had shut the door on us as reality rained down.

Granted, in the time since the final movie was released J.K. Rowling, the author of the series, has teased a possible continuation of the series and put never before read details of the Dursley family on Pottermore. There is hope for the future.

To all those who turn their nose up at the Harry Potter series and all it’s fans, you’re basically turning your nose up at a generation of kids who wanted to be accepted and wanted to have the same courage as The Boy Who Lived.

Neville Longbottom getting a Remebrall from his grandmother so he wouldn't forget anything.

Neville Longbottom getting a Remebrall from his grandmother so he wouldn’t forget anything.

Shall I get you a Remembrall to remind you of that?

Sincerely,

The girl still waiting for her letter from Hogwarts

Confessions of a make-up hoarder: Nyx Cosmetics

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Being a college student sucks for your bank account and being a make-up hoarder sucks for your already sad wallet.

I piled my Nyx collection into my sink. Please note: I can think of at least three things missing seeing as I've misplaced them but there could be more I'm forgetting.

I piled my Nyx collection into my sink. Please note: I can think of at least three things missing seeing as I’ve misplaced them but there could be more I’m forgetting.

I blame “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for two things; making me experiment with my face and my love of Nyx Cosmetics. In high school, I was never big into putting a lot of make-up on my face and stuck to eyeliner only. Sometimes I would branch out to lipstick and eyeshadow but both would end up smudging something fierce and making me look like I faced a hurricane head-on and lost.

Once college started, I found myself looking more into different primers for eyeshadow and ended up with a Sephora Beauty Insider membership due to the amount of money I was spending on two items at a time. My favorite was Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance Primer and Sephora Collection eyeliners. I was very into Kat Von D’s eyeshadow palettes but being a college student meant I had to plan when I would buy anything seeing as the cheapest item I would purchase was $20 if it was on sale.

DSC_0855College students don’t have that type of cash to toss around when one cheap version of a textbook costs $250.

In a neighboring town to my own, an Ulta Beauty was built and I consider it my make-up savior. In one section of their store was a Nyx display and, remembering the early days of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and the make-up provided to the competing queens, I made my first Nyx purchases because my rationale said, “if they’re drag queen approved then they have to be worth it.”

I haven’t looked back and I think my abandoned Sephora account is covered in dust and cobwebs.

Let’s break this down: a sale item at Sephora for $20 or at least five to ten regular priced items from Nyx for $20. Usually with cheaper brands you get what you pay for and what you’re paying for is a weak pigment and a smudge if you breathe wrong.

DSC_0845Complete opposite with Nyx.

I haven’t had a problem with the brand as of yet. I love the matte lipsticks and lip crèmes the most because of the wide variety of shades and the amount of time they last without a lip primer. I will say I managed to eat an entire meal while out with my mother and didn’t have the embarrassment of my lipstick wearing down to a line around my mouth. Instead, I had slight feathering around the corners but my purple lips were intact.

Speaking of lipstick, I’ve found my favorite shade and it may be my favorite until I leave this realm. The not-so-great part is many people really like this shade. “Siren,” a matte lipstick, has been worn nearly every day by me and when the tube started to get to a low point, I went to order more online but it was sold out. Yes, I panicked but calmed when I remembered I could just go buy it in-store. Nope, sold out there too. When it was finally back in stock I bought two tubes just in case. They currently reside nestled in my overstock case still nestled safely in their plastic wrapping.

DSC_0853For the most part, I keep the style of make-up I apply the same: darker color into the crease, lighter on the lid and a light shimmer to highlight below the arch on my eyebrow. I’m usually always wearing a dark lip, either “Siren” or the Simply Vamp Lip Cream in “Enamored.” My favorite palette is probably Love in Florence in “Prima Donna” and I have yet to try the Hot Singles eyeshadows ut have been eyeballing a few shades.

I would like to point out I’m not as bad as what I am making myself seem. I don’t sneak off to buy a new palette, though if I’m near a Nyx display chances are I will go home with something, and I don’t have make-up stashed around my house because I’ve run out of places to put them.

Admittedly there are times when I’ve stumbled out of bed early in order to at very least draw my eyebrows on, I’ve stared into the mirror and asked myself, “am I high maintenance?”

Answer: Nope, just determined.

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