Sunday, January 31, 2016

~Beauty Review: Palty Mecha Flash Sparkling Blonde Bleach (BONUS: Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde/Silver)~

Hello everyone!! I am sosoososoooOSOOOOO sorry for being inconsistent with my blogging once again T___T LOLOL One of my 2016 goals was to improve on that and so far...yeah I have not been keeping up with any of my 2016 goals so far HA. Well Jan. was a trial run month so Feb. is going to be better right?! xD Excuses excuses. Anyways, I've had this review queued up for quite a long while now and I FINALLY had time to finish it! Hoorayyy!!

I started this post back in December before the New Year ^.^ I thought it would be a good idea to start fresh for 2016 and so I decided to tweak my hair style a bit! If you follow me on Pinterest you might have seen my hair inspo board before :3 I LOVE pastel/unicorn/mermaid/fairy hair and I thought now would be a good time to try it out~ I've also been considering bringing my bangs back but this time with a straight across fringe as opposed to my usual side swept bangs :D For now I'm keeping my hair long but I'm SUUUUPER tempted to get a cute puffy bob ^__^ What do you guys think? Should I go short for 2016? LOL

Part of my hair transformation involved getting that pretty pastel look but I wasn't sure I wanted to take on the challenge of maintaining a full head of pastel hair! If you've looked into going from naturally dark hair to very light blonde you know there is a lot of maintenance involved like deep conditioning and root touch ups *__* I don't think I have the time or funds to keep all of my hair looking that nice, especially once I get back to Uni for winter quarter! So I decided to just bleach the under-layer of my hair to get that "secret magical hair color" look! And of course the first step to going pastel is to bleach the hair :D So without further ado, the review!

For me bleaching/dyeing my hair at home isn't very difficult to do and I've done it *pretty* successfully many times before. The most difficult part is probably getting the timing and application consistent. Sometimes I apply too much in one area or I don't leave enough for the rest of my hair, or I'll leave a certain section in for too long and others not enough so I have light strands and dark strands T___T Luckily even if I mess it up this time it won't be too noticeable since it's only the under layer!

Here is the bleach I used:

Palty is an Asian hair dye brand and (personally) I've found it to be more effective on my hair compared to Western brand hair dyes like Garnier and L'OREAL.

It comes with things like gloves, a hair cap, and all the things you need to mix together to complete the bleach.

It even has instructions in multiple languages! Including English :3 YAY!

*** Pro-tip! I ~highly~ suggest you bleach your hair on a day when you haven't washed it so you have plenty of natural oils in your hair to help protect it from damage a bit! ***

Even without instructions it's a rather simple procedure: Usually you just mix 1+2 together for these Palty dyes. The bleach kit has an extra powder that comes with it so make sure you mix the powder with the watery looking stuff in the bottle first, shake very well, THEN add 2 to the whole thing and shake to mix well again! Then just add on the brush nozzle and start applying! Once you mix everything together use it right away to avoid overreaction of the chemicals in the bleach~ Always be careful when handling harmful chemicals like these!!!

Theres a hole you can punch in the box to put the main bottle into to keep it stable while you pour everything in! Nice!
Even though the tube says '2' on it, make sure you read the directions and put the powder right into the bottle before squeezing in the stuff in the tube! I did this incorrectly the first time T__T LOL

There's a bit on the cap of the tube that will help you puncture a hole in the tube~

Following the specific instructions in the manual (which are quite tedious so you ought to follow them carefully haha) mix everything together (in the proper order) attach the brush nozzle and ta-da!

It's ready!

For my half and half hair dye style I tied up the top half of my hair to get it outta the way. Before doing that I parted my hair straight down the center because after bleaching my hair I wanted to cut my bangs ^.^

When I bleach my hair I use a white shirt :3 
Here are some close ups of my hair before bleaching:

Most of my hair is this color! This is the top layer of my hair that I'm not going to focus on bleaching.

The inner part of my hair is much darker and thicker than the outer layer. 
Brush your hair throughly before you bleach so you don't run into any tangles during application :3

I applied in chunks or sections of my hair and after each chunk I wrapped it in pre torn strips of (cheap) aluminum foil to help the bleach marinate into my hair lolol.

Section hair off into chunks~ My hair looks a weird grey-ish color here probably because of the lighting and how greasy my hair is at this point lol.

To avoid one side of my head from being lighter than the other I alternated sides. I did the front left section then the front right section, then the second left section, then the second right section etc. As opposed to doing the whole left section first then the whole right section. Make sense? LOL

I started the bleach pretty far up my hair even though most of the top part wouldn't be seen because it's an underneath style. I just started near the roots so I could be somewhat consistent hahaha.

Every once in a while I would open up the foil and tug on my hair to check the integrity of my hair while bleaching. If you have thicker hair like I do you might be able to get away with leaving the bleach in for a bit longer without completely frying it! You just having to keep checking on various sections every 5-10 minutes past the instructed time to make sure it isn't melting. One sign you know it's starting to melt is if the tips of your hair break off easily and in chunks when you tug at it. So if you're going past the time on the box make sure you do this little test!

This is what I looked like after bleaching the whole underside. You can kinda see in this pic how I parted my hair straight down the middle so I had an even distribution on each underside. If your part is uneven you don't have to part straight down the middle, just pin the top half up. 
After about an hour and twenty minutes my hair looked like this:

You can see the granules of the powder that didn't dissolve well because I didn't mix the bleach properly lolol whoops.
Compared to this:

(BEFORE shot of my hair)
Here's what it looked like after washing and using some of the Clairol Shimmer Lights Blonde/Silver shampoo (which I bought from Beauty Works):

The shampoo looks super cool *__* But I don't really like the smell >.< It's really strong haha

Definitely lighter! Yay! But not exactly as light as I wanted it 3: 

Here's a pic of the shampoo.
And here's what it looked like once it was dry!

That night after blow drying

The next day

In natural light~

Bathroom lighting and after a couple days! It was pretty light! 

Tbh this was still a bit too brassy for me and OF COURSE I thought it was a greeeeaaat idea to bleach my hair twice in one week >.< So the next weekend I used my backup box (I bought two because my hair is long and thick and I was worried I would run out) and bleached by hair once again  doing this exact same process leaving it in for about an hour and ten minutes. THEN. RIGHT. AFTER. I decided it would also be a good idea to deep condition and color my hair violet at the same time :DDDD Deep conditioning idea=good. Coloring right after bleaching=??. SO that also means I neglected to take pictures of my hair right after bleaching a second time. It was still yellowy and brassy, but lighter!

After my first bleaching section I decided to cut my bangs to get a straight across fringe look. I just looked up a tutorial on YouTube and used this and this tutorial (twist cut) for guidance and just went for it LOLOLL. I really hated the look the first time I did it and I immediately regretted it a lot hahaha. But the next day I decided it was very different and I liked it! I let the bangs grow out for a week and then trimmed it so it was straighter and more even. It's still not even on the sides but once they get a bit longer I'll be able to shape them a bit more properly. I really love my bangs now *__* I use this tutorial as a reference for styling my bangs :3 So don't be afraid to try a hairstyle you've been wanting to try for a while! Ange convinced me to go for the bangs by reminding me "hair grows back!"~

I bleached and cut my hair at the very end of December and colored it the first week of January ^__^
Here's the progression of my hair from when I first colored it with a mixture of one part Punky Colour Violet to two parts Pantene (white) conditioner:

See how choppy and awful my bangs were the first time I cut them? >.< This was the very next day after I colored my hair.

Improvement to bangs! And in this pic I tucked in my hair because I was imagining how cute it would be if I got a bob *__*LOL

At this point the color was starting to fade quite a bit and I was getting a sort of pinky-orange color! This was after about 2.5-3 weeks! And I wash my hair with shampoo pretty much everyday. Terrible I know lol. 
Ana's birthday celebration day!! My hair was almost completely faded of pink at this point but it was still slightly noticeable in some areas in natural lighting.
This dumb pose I did in the bathroom at school was about a week ago I think? LOL You can see the pink is allll gone and I kept this brassy mess for about a week until I couldn't stand it anymore hahaha~

And just yesterday I changed up the color again because the pink faded into a pinky/orange color that was cool for a while but I just got tired of it pretty easily >.< This time it was one part Manic Panic Siren Song (green) to two parts Pantene conditioner:

There were some sections that were left uncolored because I ran out *__* This is in natural sunlight. 
I'm surprised at how cool it ended up being! I left this on for about an hour and a half. I reallllyyyy hope it lasts because it's awesome and I feel like a forest fairy/mermaid!! 

I'm definitely buying more of this color so I can touch up as it fades lolol~

I used the entire bottle of MP because I have so much hair lolol >___< And you really want to coat your hair evenly all over and do it nicely by section so you don't get parts that are still uncolored like I do LOL. I'm kinda bad at this, can you tell?

Palty is good for lightening your hair to an extent, you're still definitely going to get the yellowy tone if you're going from dark brown or black like I did though 3: I might try going even lighter actually because even with the toning shampoo I'm not getting the light color I want >:( It's light enough to be able to see any sort of color buuuuuut I really want pastel *__* So I might try the Quick Blue stuff or use the Manic Panic bleach kit or something with more bleaching power >__<

Surprisingly I didn't have a *ton* of damage to my hair! I haven't encountered a bunch of split ends and my hair didn't melt or flake off, but of course it depends on the thickness and strength of your hair! If you have fine hair, bleaching twice so soon is definitely not a great idea. My hair is quite thick and strong so I think that's probably why it held up to the bleaching so well.

As for the Shimmer Lights shampoo, I'm not the biggest fan. At first I thought it was actually darkening my hair a bit? It was weird. After the second bleach and color I tried to use it again and it kind of worked but not that well. It's ok once in a while to get a bit of brassiness but not a ton. Not sure what other toners to try, anyone have any suggestions? :D

Hope you all enjoyed this longish review! :D I might be starting a Friday Favorites segment in the next coming weeks so look forward to it! Thanks for always being lovely and awesome readers <3 I truly appreciate it!!~

xoxo Abby

Sunday, January 3, 2016

~Skincare Review: Garnier Micellar Face Cleansing Water (Long post!)~

Hello all and welcome to the first skincare review of the year! Yippie! What better way to start off a new year than feeling refreshed right? Haha it's actually pure coincidence I finished this post just in time for this week's blog post and it happens to be one related to freshness like the new year ^.^ Today I'll be doing a sort of "drugstore" brand skincare review! From what I've seen in other reviews by cool bloggers, drugstore brand items are things you can find in your local Target or Fred Meyers (where I found today's item) and tend to be under $20 (aka budget friendly! Yay!).

Where are my YouTube addicts at??? Has anyone else seen the Garnier Micellar Water commercials that pop up right before you watch a beauty tutorial or something? That's where I first saw this item! I've seen cleansing waters like the Holika Holika Soda Pore Cleansing Water that do wonders with cleaning makeup off the face, but this was my first time seeing micelles being mentioned in a cleanser :0 Micelles are basically charged particles of molecules that form in solutions. These particular ones are made of fatty acids that apparently lift the dirt, oils, makeup, and everything else that gets on your face throughout the day, off your skin and help it feel refreshed without stripping the moisture from your skin! Wow! So how effective is it actually? For the purpose of this review I tested the strength of the cleansing water in three situations: light makeup (for my good skin days heehee), medium coverage makeup (my usual go to makeup routine), dense makeup (multiple layers of product caked on throughout the day).

Let's get started!

Sidenote: The bottle is a cute pink but the bottle is some thin plastic! I don't know what happened but somehow the bottle cracked and it's not leaking a TON but I taped it so I don't lose so much product 3:

There were two options available at Fred Meyers: all-in-1 (pink), and for waterproof makeup (blue). As you can see here I purchased the regular kind, partially because I just wanted to try it out first and partially because I don't own waterproof makeup! Shocking I know >.< Lol

Swipe on my face and I'm done?? Sounds too good to be true!
I love anything that claims it will make my life easier! And this cleansing water is supposed to be the only thing you need to clean all your makeup off~ No cleansing wipes or makeup removing face washes needed! Was I convinced by the claims of this miracle cleanser?

Day 1: Light makeup- Glossier Priming Moisturizer+Glossier Tinted Moisturizer (Dark)+L'OREAL BB Cream (Green)+Skinfood Peach Sake Silky Finish Powder.

I was rushing on this day so I went for light makeup ^>^ This is before cleansing!

These square cotton pads are kind of small :/ When I cleanse I usually use those Costco makeup wipes or just my cleansing oil. Will this be enough to clean my whole face?

Easy squeezy! You really don't need to completely soak the cotton pad  in order to get enough cleanser to wipe your face. 

Here you can see I over squeezed and soaked the pad a lil too much :0

The side of my face I'm pointing at no longer has any makeup!
I was surprised at how much makeup it got off after a few swipes! 
Then I grabbed another cotton pad with some of the cleanser and wiped the other side of my face (I knew one cotton pad wasn't enough to do my whole face T__T hahaha).

Whole face cleansed! (BONUS: Derpy face lolol)

This is from the other half of my face! I flipped over this cotton pad and swiped it over any areas I thought needed a little extra cleansing like around my nose and across my t-zone.

I was totally convinced that this was the best stuff on the first day I tried it! Whenever I used those Costco makeup wipes I felt like my face was stinging a bit and it caused a lot of redness and irritation, but it did the job so I just continued using them :/ This cleansing water doesn't leave any sort of irritation or redness, it doesn't have any harsh scents or perfumes, and it makes my skin feel moisturized and refreshed! Not tight or sticky or heavy! It's really like I just wiped off my makeup with magical water :3 BUT! I must say I wasn't convinced that this removed all my makeup! And it claims to be a one step, end of the road product that can save you time and money on your cleansing routine. I'm a firm believer in the multi step process though, so the next day I tried to see how many cotton pads it would take to remove all the makeup from my face!

Day 2: Medium coverage makeup (daily makeup)- Glossier Priming Moisturizer+[1 squeeze Calypso Magic Foundation+~7 drops Glossier Skin Tint (Dark) mixed together]+Skinfood Peach Sake Powder+Benefit They're Real! Mascara (current fave)

Before cleansing!

First cleanse! On one side of my face

Can you tell which side of my face has been cleansed in this photo? In this picture it is the right! IRL it is my left ^.^

On the left side of the photo (aka right side of my face!) with a new cotton pad.

Alright! So at this point my whole face has been cleansed with the micellar water at least once. Lazy pals (as I often am after a loooong day lol) might stop at this point and say "Cool! Face is clean! Makeup is off! I'm done cleaning my face!" and then go to sleep or something lol. OK I wouldn't actually do that (not these days at least haha) because I tend to shower right after cleansing, thus removing whatever my cleanser left behind. BUT! The point of this part of my experiment was to see how many swipes one would have to do to really get all the makeup out and have truly clean skin using only this one product!

So I continued swiping using new cotton pads when I felt like there was enough makeup on one:

WOAH there is still quite a bit of makeup left...better keep going!
My face after that second swipe that showed I still had a lot of makeup on my face! Yikes! Good thing I didn't go to bed straight away after that T__T I would've gotten lots of breakouts D:

Third swipe: Improving, but still pretty grimy xP
It's great that even after multiple swipes my face didn't feel irritated or sticky and gross or anything! That's a major plus for people with sensitive skin like me :3

Fourth swipe: This was the final swipe for me for this experiment because I was running out of cotton pads (should've bought more before attempting this lolol oh well) and because I knew I was going to follow up with cleansing oil and whatnot anyways so I didn't feel the need to keep going. 
So lets say it takes about 4-5 swipes to get all clean with this size of cotton pad and the cleansing water. I used both the front and back of each cleansing pad by the way :3 4-5 cotton pads isn't BAD but if you're really looking for a lazy person route to cleanse your face completely all at once, it might take some effort depending on how much makeup you have caked on!

~~BONUS: While I was rubbing the makeup off my eyelids I felt a bit of the cleansing water seep into my eye. Usually when this happens with my cleansing oil or makeup wipe juice I freak out and wash it out quickly because it either clouds my eyesight and/or stings really badly t__t This time it got in my eye and I felt no irritation! I still rinsed it out of my left eye immediately anyways. Happened with my right eye as well! "No biggie" I thought, "I'll rinse it out when I get in the shower." *Forgets to rinse it out in the shower* The next day this happened:

My eye didn't hurt but it was super red! Red like I had just gone swimming in the pool without goggles red T__T I wondered why it was like this all day and the other eye was only a little little bit red and I thought I poked it or something, then I remembered I didn't wash this eye out! Long story short: If this stuff gets in your eye rinse it out! END BONUS~~

Day 3: Heavy Makeup- Glossier Priming Moisturizer+[Glossier Skin Tint (Dark)+Calypso Foundation]+Concealer+Estee Lauder eyeshadow primer+Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow+more Skin Tint & Foundation mixture+Revlon Eyeliner (black)+Skinfood Peach Sake Powder+more Chocolate Bar eyeshadow for highlight & contour (minimal sucky contouring lolol)+Benefit They're Real! Mascara+Ciate Velvety Matte Lip Tint (thanks Ange <3).

YUP. I looked cute that day. HA.

For this experiment I actually tried two different cleansers. I know it's kinda cheating and kinda confusing since I didn't mention that I was reviewing another product in this post beforehand, just bear with me, ok? LOL. My sister wanted me to try her new Snowflake Cleanser she got for Christmas from MemeBox because I told her I was doing my heavy makeup trial that day and this cleanser is supposed to be good for heavy makeup.

CUE DOUBLE REVIEW! Garnier Micellar Water / Nooni Snowflake Cleanser vs. Heavy Makeup!

++WARNING: I'm wearing a lot less in these next few photos than when I usually do pics of me cleansing but I knew I was gonna get messy with the snowflake cleanser so...yeah. This is how I usually cleanse anyways lolol. Sorry for all the skin peeps!++

Clearly uncomfortable in this pic lol. Makeup still somewhat decent after 8+ hours out of the house!

This side of my face is now cleansed with one cleansing pad (front and back used) with the Garnier Micellar water. Getting the mascara off is always a little tricky with eyeliner is fine. Multiple swipes help prevent the dreaded black under eye panda look!
SORRY for the sideways pic again! It flipped itself ok? It was originally right side up and went berserk. You know.

I didn't even use this much to cleanse one side of my face but it's so fun to just play with <3__<3

The Nooni Snowflake Cleanser was pretty interesting. When you think snowflake you might think cold and refreshing and maybe with a bit of grittiness like ice shards to exfoliate the dead skin away right? NOPE! This is like putting solid lard on your face. Sorry that's kind of gross haha. But it really is like putting straight up Crisco on your face, but with a nice light floral scent! If you have experiences with cleansing oils this is just like that but in a scoop-able solid form! It's quite nice to massage it into your face actually ^.^ The warmth and the smoothness of this product is totally opposite of what I thought it was going to be. Is this cleanser meant to be the opposite as a joke? Hahha.

Nice and smooth, see?
Seemingly gets the mascara and eyeliner off nice and easily! Good sign.

After rinsing it off! Very smooth and moisturizing! It felt like a face massage and I enjoyed it :3
Compare both sides: Both have the dreaded leftover mascara/eyeliner smudge that happens under your eye when you close your eyes to remove your makeup. You all know what I'm talking about right? Ok good lol. 
Then I swiped both sides with a cotton pad with the cleansing water to see how much makeup was left on each side of my face:

Swiping the side I cleaned with the Snowflake cleanser first.

Not bad! Most of what was left was from around my eye because I was careful not to accidentally get any of this cleanser in my eye :3
Aaand this is from the side I just used the micellar water on the first time. I'm not surprised this much is left though, especially after seeing the results of the day before's experiment as well as the increased amount of makeup I was wearing this day compared to that day before! Heavy makeup ought to take me 8-10 swipes to get fully clean!
My face after the whole ordeal haha~
I guess the Snowflake cleanser won this round! It seems a little sad and unfair seeing as this is a review dedicated to the micellar water but I gotta stay true, ya know? LOLOL. The Snowflake cleanser was actually pretty good for a preliminary cleanser without using anything before it. Usually with these oil type cleansers I would use something like the micellar water or a makeup wipe first. But this stuff got the job done pretty well on the first try without any help! And I didn't use that much, always a nice bonus when you're looking for a one go cleaning product ^>^

And so ended the micellar water trials...well the ones I documented for blogging anyways! Hahaha. I still use the water daily as a first step in my cleansing process. And it's done pretty well with all types of my makeup so far! The only thing I'd say it's not very good at removing is mascara, especially the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, it takes multiple swipes to get that stuff off properly >.<

It's notable to mention that one step cleansers are ideal for those want a quick first step to their cleansing routine or if you're looking to quickly cleanse your face without having to follow up with other face washes after a long day. Multi step cleansing routines are definitely something you ought to try if your current routine isn't working for you! Especially if it involves only soap and water. I know multi step routines aren't for everyone but this is a year to experiment with what your skin likes and doesn't like if you haven't tried any of these things yet~ Finding a good routine for your skin is worth it, who doesn't want happy, healthy, clean skin? And it's totally normal if your routine changes! My skin is drier in the winter and oilier in the summer so I adjust both my makeup and cleansing routine to accommodate for those changes :3

For this cleanser I wasn't looking for something that could completely remove all my makeup in one go because I generally leave a lot of time to cleanse my skin with a multi-step routine that I feel good about. I just wanted something that could replace my preliminary step, which is usually those cleansing wipes that irritate my skin 3: and help my cleansing oil a bit better! For these purposes I think this micellar water really did the trick! It's a great addition to my daily PM routine (which I will be blogging about in the near future hopefully!) and I have yet to find something that can top it (although I haven't been on the look out for any other cleansing waters in the first place lately haha, I just want to finish this one before I start trying others!).

I personally wouldn't use this to replace my entire cleansing routine however because as you saw from the second and third trials it can take awhile to get a good amount of makeup off your face with this product! I'm not sure how it would fare with other makeup brands though, perhaps the Western versus Asian makeup product ingredients are taken into account with the strength this cleansing water has? I don't have a lot of Western brand makeup products so it would be interesting to see if there is a difference!

Final Verdict:
Does it work?: Yep! To an extent though~ My recommendation is to use it as a first step in your daily routine and follow up with other cleansers for truly clean and refreshed skin.
Irritation?: I'm super glad I had no irritation of the face with this product! Just be careful around the eye area and rinse it out quickly with some cold water if any seeps in there and you should be fine ^.^
Would buy again?: Once I'm done with this cleansing water I plan on trying the Holika Holika Soda Pore Cleansing water (I originally wanted to try the HH one first but spotted the Garnier one and had to try it!) but if that one doesn't work out I'd definitely come back to this one!
Cost: I believe it was around $13 USD at my local Fred Meyers ^__^ Not bad! The material and packaging is kind of cheap and terrible for cracking right after I first bought it, but other than that it's easy to handle!

Overall 7/10: I'll use it now that I have it and I'm glad I have it, but it's not my "holy grail" of makeup removing products in terms of how much or how well it cleanses!

Major PROS: Simple concept, no smell, feels like water, doesn't leave me dry, comes in regular and for waterproof makeup.
Major CONS: Packaging sucks, takes quite a few swipes to get all the makeup off.

PHEW! That was a long post ^.^ I'm back to Uni this week but I prepared posts beforehand so look out for consistent weekly posting this month hopefully! (*crosses fingers I'm organized this month* hahaha).

How is everyone's January going so far? Mine has been refreshing C: Thanks for reading as always lovelies!

xoxo Abby