Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

I Bleached My Hair And It Didn’t Fall Out

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

I am NOT a beauty or style blogger, but sometimes I do something and I want to talk about it so here I go.

I was chatting with my friend Amy about how I am old and boring and uncool (PSA: never watch the VMAs over the age of 25) and how I really needed a change. We have this chat a lot, and it usually ends up with one of us getting bangs. This time, I was complaining about how I really needed to get my hair done but couldn’t decide if what I needed was a color fix or if I should just do something fun like the pink I did a couple years ago. She mentioned bleach shampoo, which I had never heard of but from the name it seemed perfect.

Luckily, there’s an XOVain tutorial that was easy to follow and very thorough. My experience with coloring my own hair is limited. I’ve done lemon juice highlights from sitting in the sun, a couple of boxed dyes, plus the Manic Panic pink layer, but the rest of the time I either live with my natural color or use a salon. I had never even BEEN in a Sally Beauty Supply before, but I threw all 3 kids in the car to go stare at stuff in the hair dye aisle before settling on this:

bleach shampoo

I used L’oreal Quick Blue High Performance Powder Bleach, because the internet tutorial I found said blue bleach was better, plus the 1 oz package seemed easier than measuring. I used Blond Brilliance Creme Developer 5 Volume because I was really scared of frying my hair. I didn’t know much about developers besides they’re the thing you mix with the other thing when you buy a box of hair dye, so I took the internet’s advice and went with a super low level one – 5 barely does anything, 10 or 20 is average, 30 or 40 should probably be left to a professional. Since I’m naturally blond, it’s already pretty light from the summer, and my hairdresser once told me my hair “lifts really easily” I figured I’d start at the lowest and if it didn’t work I’d try again with a 10. The 5 turned out to be perfect.

I mixed the 1 oz of powder bleach with 1 oz of the developer and then a big squirt of the shampoo until it was a liquidy consistency that was easy to slop on my head. The shampoo made it a lot easier to spread around evenly than a box of hair dye and that one batch went a LONG way – I have a lot of hair and it covered all of it. I started at my roots in the front, since they were darkest and I wanted the front part to be lightest.

These pictures are: before, with wet hair, during with my sexy shower cap, right after in my bathroom’s yellow light and the next day in natural light.

iPhone Week 252

Here’s the official before and after no-make-up photos, taken by my 4-year-old:



Looking at the pictures the change is subtle, but in person it looks really natural – it isn’t uniformly platinum or brassy. I think the biggest change is on the top of my head and in the back where my dark blond is now medium-light blond. I was on 3rd day hair when I bleached it, so my roots were extra oily, but that seemed to protect them from damage. The ends are a liiiiiittle bit fried but I am 4 months overdue for a trim so I think ANY color would have done that.

I give the whole process an A+ and I plan to do it again when my roots grow out. Maybe I’ll use a 10 developer next time and see if I can gradually bring my hair back to my childhood towhead blond. I’m still debating a fun color, especially after seeing the amazing options at Sally Beauty Supply – lavender! mint! teal! bright blue! I still can’t decide if I’m too old for “fun” hair. I mean, I still think I’m fun, but I also like going to bed before 10 pm.

p.s. I also dyed my eyebrows (!!!!!!!) which is something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS but was too scared to try. It was a piece of cake and I feel like it makes a huge difference in my face. I used a semi-permanent color and developer and did it twice in a row – 15 minutes, then wiped it off, then another 10 minutes because I wasn’t sure it was dark enough. Literally no one as has “What did you do to your eyebrows?” but people have said “You look really nice today!” and my desire to take selfies has increased 300%.

OK, that was more than enough talk about beauty stuff for a long time. Back to my yoga pants and top knot I go!

Moringa Oil Review and Giveaway

Friday, July 27th, 2012

An extremely nice PR rep I’ve worked with in the past sent me an email waaaay back in May asking if I’d ever heard of Moringa Oil and would I be interested in trying some out? Oh and did she mention it’s great for sunburns? Since I knew we’d be spending a lot of our summer outside/at the beach/on a boat I said “No but yes and yes please!”

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into, but this is what I learned about Moringa Oil:

Because of its potent composition with high levels of oleic fatty acid, Moringa oil spreads easily on the skin, without causing greasiness or stickiness, and readily penetrates the top skin layer. This allows Moringa’s mixture of naturally occurring vitamins A, C, E and other beneficial compounds such as zeatin to permeate skin cells below to support new cell growth and faster repair.

Rich in over 90 nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, amino acids, iron, calcium and anti-oxidants, Moringa oleifera is the most nutrient dense plant yet discovered. The health and beauty applications of Moringa oleifera, the “Miracle Tree,” extend from supporting increased energy, auto-immune health, focus and emotional balance, to reparation of skin elasticity, minimizing wrinkles and making hair more manageable.

Hey, that sounds pretty good. When I got my sample I decided to try it out on as much of me as possible. I got a bottle of plain Moringa Oil to use for beauty type stuff, but not for eating – although they do make capsules if you wanted to try it as a supplement. I already mentioned that I’ve been using it in my hair as a de-frizzer and to soften the dry ends, but here’s my full report:

The oil is a tiny bit thicker than other body oil products I’ve used, so it’s easy to pour a little into my hand and spread it on my whatever bit of me needs oiling. It absorbs well – not instantly, but it doesn’t leave me greasy and unable to get dressed for hours (although I wouldn’t put on a silk dress for a couple minutes – if I owned any silk dresses). I’ve tried it on all my rough spots and it smooths them out nicely all day. It doesn’t have a strong scent, which means it doesn’t make me smell like a a coconut or a flower and I can still wear my own perfume if I want to.

As for sunburns, so far this summer I’ve managed to mostly avoid them (yah for diligent sunscreen applications!) but I have been using Moringa Oil on my skin after long days outside. My tan looks really great and the pinkness from just a liiiiiitle too much sun always fades quickly (something it doesn’t usually do, thanks to extremely Scandinavian genes). The one painful burn I got was on my upper thigh – the kind of spot that NEVER sees the sun unless you’re sitting at just the wrong angle for too long. I put Moringa Oil on it before bed and in the morning it was much less red. I reapplied and the burn faded within 24 hours. I never peeled. I used it on Evan when he got too much sun too (no matter how diligent I am with his sunscreen he always seems to get a little pink). He never complained of pain or itching, the red always faded very fast, and he didn’t whine at all when I made him hold still so I could apply it.

I have a small bottle I’ve been using fairly often since May, but it’s still half full. A little goes a long way, like with most oils. Besides the basic oil I used, they also offer a spa collection with scents like chocolate and lavender which sounds amazing. Check out their website for tons of great information.

Are you intrigued? Do you love kind of hippie, natural beauty stuff as much as I do? Would you be interested in trying out Moringa Oil for yourself? Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a bottle!

I’m going to be out of town (for YOU KNOW WHAT) next week, so I’ll make this short and sweet. One comment per person, giveaway ends Sunday night 7/29 at 5 pm. Winner will be chosen using Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was given a bottle of Moringa Oil to try so I could write an honest review. No other compensation was received and there are no hidden catches.

4 Weird Things I Put In My Hair

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

1. Honey & olive oil hair mask. You can follow the link, but the entire recipe is: honey, olive oil, mix, put on hair. Miranda and Krystal talked me into this and after I got it onto my head I panicked and wondered if I had made a huge mistake (I’ve made a huge mistake). But! It worked! It all washed out easily in just one shampoo and my hair looked really good and felt really soft. If (when) I do it again I’m going to dampen and comb out my hair well first and then spread the mask on with my hands. I didn’t do my roots, since those tend to be oily on their own but if your hair was dry you absolutely could.

2. Coconut oil. I’m not even going to bother talking about WHY I would suddenly start using coconut oil for everything, since apparently I am the last person on the planet to discover its awesomeness, but it was great for my hair. It took a little longer to wash out that the mask, but I just wore my hair in a bun for a day between shampoos and now it’s REALLY soft.

3. Lemon Juice. Well, actually lemon juice, water and hydrogen peroxide, aka DIY Sun-In. I tried to buy ACTUAL Sun-In but my Target didn’t have it anymore (because it’s 2012, Suzanne, not 1999). Truthfully, my homemade version works even better on my hair and gives me fantastic, natural-looking highlights. I wouldn’t recommend it on anyone with hair that tends to look orangey in the sun unless you want Bozo the clown streaks. The hydrogen peroxide will lighten your hair even without sitting in the sun (gradually but permanently) but the lemon works best if you’re going to sit by the pool for a while. For natural(ish) blondes the results look way more expensive than the pennies it costs to make.

4. Moringa oil. I was sent a bottle to review (and I’ll have a giveaway soon!) as a treatment for sunburns, among other things. I figured if it helped repair the sunburn I am DEFINITELY going to get this weekend that would be more than enough, but in the mean time the website convinced me to try it on other stuff. I like it on my hair as a treatment for frizz and for the days after I’ve fried it with chlorine and sun and lemon juice. I can smooth a tiiiiiny bit on my hands and then over my ponytail to help it looks polished and fancy as opposed to “frazzled mom hair”. I would definitely recommend it to anyone whose hair is thicker/coarser/less oily than mine as an everyday product.

What weird beauty stuff (for your hair or any other bit) do you recommend?

Pink for Happiness

Monday, February 27th, 2012

When I wrote out my New Year goals, I made a corresponding list of rewards for reaching certain milestones. People do this all the time, often to great effect. Once you lose some weight you can buy new shoes! Get a manicure! Take a vacation! You deserve nice things because you’ve worked so hard! So for two months now I’ve been thinking about the new tattoo I’ll get or the new haircut I’ll splurge on or the new jeans I will buy. Eventually. Someday.

And in the meantime I’ve felt dumpy and boring and unattractive. It’s really too bad there’s a law that says being overweight means I can’t have nice things.


The idea that my pants size should prevent me from treating myself well is bullshit. Bullshit I say! It’s part of that terrible, dangerous idea that if only I weighed X all my problems would be solved. It’s putting my life on hold until I achieve some arbitrary ideal that matters exactly zero point zero percent to anyone. It didn’t work when I was 17, it didn’t work when I was 23, and it’s not going to work now when I’m 30. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to knock it off, but instead I will tell you:

You will never, ever get to a weight that will MAKE you happy. You can choose to be happy right now.

Reward yourself for surviving today. Buy new shoes because they make you smile. Buy new jeans because they make the ass you have look fantastic. Get a scoop of ice cream because ice cream is delicious. Book a massage because life is stressful and massages are awesome. Get a manicure because it makes you feel good about yourself and when you feel good about yourself you treat yourself better – both physically and mentally.

I’m not saying I’m quitting my diet. I’m not saying I don’t still want to be thinner. I’m not saying I won’t celebrate when I get to my milestones. But it’s so much easier to not eat my feelings when my feelings are happy, light and beautiful. Why not do something now that makes me feel good?

Pink hair. My 10th grade self just squeed with joy.

I am done waiting to be happy. I am doing nice things for myself today, right now. I don’t have to earn my happiness – I am choosing to love myself today.

MY Hair Smells Like Apples But YOU Can Win A $50 Gift Card!

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Despite my hair not being cut or colored professionally in the last zillion years, I have been enjoying my calm, flake-free scalp thanks to the shampoo and conditioner Head and Shoulders sent me to review back in the fall.

I’m really enjoying it, especially now, in this terrible below-freezing weather. It’s easy to resist the urge to scratch my head like a monkey in public when it doesn’t itch in the first place. And not worrying about flakes on my extremely glamorous winter uniform of black cardigan over nursing tank is a definitely plus.

Sadly my bottles were getting mighty empty (I suspect my husband has been enjoying a healthy, flake-free scalp from their HydraZinc formula as well,) so when BlogHer asked if I wanted to try a NEW Head & Shoulders shampoo and conditioner combo I jumped at the chance. Especially when I heard it was shampoo and conditioner with a fresh, naturally inspired green apple fragrance.

Personally, I would like if EVERYTHING in life came in a fresh, naturally inspired green apple fragrance. It’s clean and tangy and comforting, and just knowing my hair smells like apples makes me want to toss my hair around like a model.

Toss sniff toss sniff sniff toss.

I’ve been wearing it down more often just so I can smell it. The shampoo’s scent is definitely stronger than the conditioner’s-strong enough to have me taking hits straight from the bottle as a morning wake-up call – but they both smell delicious.

My husband accused me of wearing some sort of man-attracting perfume, even though I was wearing sweat pants and no makeup, so I would say it’s definitely not too floral or feminine to share with a dude.

Just like all the Head & Shoulders Scalp Care products I’ve tried it leaves my hair healthy and shiny. It’s even pH balanced and gentle enough for everyday use on color treated or permed hair, so even if I do get to the salon for that color I’ve had my eye on, I can keep using it.

I also love that the conditioner doesn’t weigh my hair down even when I use it all the way to my roots, so I can skip a day (or two) of hair washing and still look great.

And once again, BlogHer and Head & Shoulders want to give YOU a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card!

Just answer the following question in the comments to be entered for a chance to win:

What beauty routine do use when you get ready for a date night (and don’t tell me you never get to go on date nights anymore-let’s make 2012 the year we all eat at high-chair free restaurants and see R-rated movies in the theater)?


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

This sweepstakes runs from 1/30 – 2/28.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! And visit the Life Well Lived section on for more great tips on looking your best.

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