Time For a Touchup!

I really needed to touch up my regrowth. You can see it in my Christmas FOTN, but here's a close up.

 Takes a brave woman to post dirty hair and a naked face!

I mixed Wella Koleston 309/1 (which is their level 9 ash blonde) 1:1 with a 9% peroxide (30 Volume). I wanted to use a level 8 (one shade darker than the 9), but I had some leftover 9 at home and didn't want to go to the store!

I left the dye on for about 35 minutes, then rinsed, treated, blowdried and voila!

 Slightly brassy at the roots but I'm so pleased it lifted as well as it did!

The camera flash makes my hair look much lighter than it actually is, although it has lightened a bit from the last time

I used a bleach pre-lightener the last time I did my regrowth. So I was glad that the dye managed to lighten my hair enough on it's own because my hair has always been super stubborn when it comes to lightening. I didn't want to use bleach again because it takes more time since I have to lighten and then use a toner on top and, unlike bleach, dye won't lift over hair that has already been dyed so I don't have to worry about over lapping. And also I'm trying to grow my hair out so the less bleach the better!

I've washed it a couple times now and the brassiness has really gone down. PHEW. 

Any hair adventures for you kids this week?

Happy Holidays!! (and A LOT of Pictures!)

I know, I know. I'm late! Better late than never, right?

Quick note: Hello to all of my followers and thank you soo much for taking the time to follow me and leave comments. It totally makes my year to know that people are actually interested in reading what I have to say!

I was talking to my mom about how I was waiting till I got to 50 followers to hold a tiny giveaway, and she suggested I go ahead and do it anyway. I think she's right, so I wanted to ask you guys about that. I know that most of you aren't living in Dubai or the UAE, so I wanted to give away some products from here that might not be available (or easy to find) in the US or UK. Would you guys be interested in that? Or would you prefer if I stuck to international brands?

Ok so now onto my Christmas :)

My cat, Bowie, on Christmas morning.

 A stuffed reindeer that my mom made years ago!

 Some pine cones that we collected outside my grandparents' house in California, years and years ago!

My mom's Japanese Temari balls (She started making them this year and they are so pretty!!)

Update from my mom (I thought they were made out of the foam balls, but that just goes to prove how much attention I actually pay around the house!!): "Actually, I recycle plastic grocery bags, lol. Depending on the size of the finished ball, I use between 1-5 bags then I wrap it in leftover yarn from other projects. The finished wrap is just cheap everyday sewing thread. Some even use rice hulls. The actual design (embroidery) is pearl cotton and/or embroidery floss. Happy New Year!!"

Our tree on Christmas morning

Close up of the tree. A lot of the ornaments are hand made. Some were made by my mom, and some were made by me and my siblings when we were kids.

 I spy with my little eye...something beginning with B!

 Cinnamon rolls! Seriously one of my favorite things about Christmas! My mom only bakes them for Christmas.

COOKIES!!  We had so much food this year, it took us forever to finish it all! And we still have some cookies left!!

Well, that was my Christmas. I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas and if you don't celebrate it then I hope you had a wonderful and joyful weekend :) I really enjoyed my Christmas. My family and I had a bit of a rough time at the beginning of the month, and it was so nice just to have everyone around. It reminded me that no matter what happens, we can get through it as long as we have each other. And it made me realize that even though things might not go according to plan and sometimes things happen that you can't control, we are still truly blessed and very fortunate.

Here's to an awesome 2011 for all of us!

Quick Tip: Get Soft, Glowing Skin With Body Oil

If you are planning on showing off some skin this holiday season, you probably want to make sure it is ready for the spotlight. I like to use natural oils to make sure my skin looks glowy. Here's how I do that.

I use a gentle scrub in the shower and as soon as I turn off the water, I dab myself dry with a towel. Once I've gotten off all the excess moisture, I gently massage a little oil all over my body. I usually use organic coconut or grapeseed oil because they are quite light and work well with our humid climate.

Just leave the oil to sink in while you do your hair and makeup. By the time you're ready to get dressed, your skin should be soft and smooth to the touch, but not greasy. If you used a little too much oil, just dab it off with your towel. The oil will also help bring out your skin's natural glow so there's no need for body shimmer.

Another tip: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I love Patchouli!!) to your body oil for an extra boost.

NOTW: Glittery Holiday Nails

I attempted to wear fake nails again this weekend and failed (more on that later) So I decided that I would just cover my nails in glitter for the holidays.

Sparkles everywhere!!! (Literally)

Now you know why I insisted on making the fake nails work! My poor, tiny, bitten-down-to-the-cuticle nails :(
Another shot, minus the flash

 The stuff I used : LA Girl Flare Gold Glitter Polish (Forever 21), Elianto Metallic Gold Polish, Nail Glitter from Daiso, Sally Hansen 10 Day Top Coat (Discontinued, I think)

All I did was apply three coats of the gold polish and one coat of the glitter. When that was nearly dry, I used my finger to lightly dab the glitter onto my nails and sealed it with the top coat. I initially only did my ring fingers, then I decided to do my thumbs as well, and then I thought 'well, why stop there....'

As for my fakes....I GIVE UP. I tried some new ones over the weekend (Elegant Touch) and it started out alright, just a few of them had bubbles (not like the Kiss ones I used before) and there were no cracks in the nail. Then I get home and have a look...and I discover that not only do they all have GIANT bubbles, but the bubbles actually had little droplets (of water, I'm assuming, but maybe they were from the glue?) what the heck is that?? 

Seriously, what IS that??

I know my nails were 100% dry when I put the fakes on on, so I'm assuming that some water got under the nails when I washed my hands, or there is too much moisture in the air over here. I was like 'fine, I get it. The universe does not want me to wear press on nails'. So I give up. I'm just going to focus on not biting my nails, keep taking my vitamins and hope they grow out on their own. Any tips?

FOTN: All I Want For Christmas Is You

Last night was my friend's Christmas dinner/party. I haven't gotten glammed up in a while, so I was really excited to get dressed up. Here's my hair and makeup of the night:

Excuse that stray hair in my face!

Face: Sephora Primer, MAC Mineralize Satinfinish NC42, Bobbi Brown Corrector Dark Bisque, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit Honey, Nars Orgasm Blush

Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion, NYX Eyeshadow Highlight (all over lid to brow bone), NARS eye shadow duo Surabaya (the lighter shade, in the crease), MAC carbon (outer V), MAC fluidline Blacktrack, L'oreal  Lash Renewing Mascara, Scott Barnes Eye Ice - The camera didn't pick the glitter :( Brows - Daiso Brown Eyebrow Pencil

At the party, I applied red lipstick and tied the ribbon from my present around my hair :)

Lips: Clinique Red lipliner (can't see the name!), Clarins Lipstick #350

For my hair, I just blowdried it straight and then used my curling iron to curl big sections, from the mid length to the ends only. ~ oops! I forgot to mention that I teased it a little at the crown and then sprayed with a little hairspray :) ~

Did you guys go to any Christmas parties this weekend? I haven't even done my shopping yet!! Our Christmas tree is naked underneath! hehe

Love and kisses!

Hair of the Day: CurlieCues

I never really appreciated my natural hair texture until my 20s. It was never as straight as my mom's, never as curly as my dad's and growing up we had no idea what to do with it!

Then I went to beauty school and learnt to appreciate my hair a little more. It's very versatile. I can easily wear it really straight, or wear it big. And it can take a LOT of abuse!

Wearing it curly is a bit more difficult for me. My hair isn't really curly as much as it is textured and frizzy. If I let it airdry on it's own, it turns into a big frizzy mess, with hardly any curl pattern at all. So it takes a lot of coaxing and then I have to be careful because the curls loosen if I lay down on it or run my fingers through it (so high maintanence!! hehe) Also, as I'm sure you curly haired girls know, it's hard to wear curly hair when it's short because you just end up looking like a poodle!

I had my hair straightened last summer, so I had to wait for all of that to grow out and now it's longer so I'm a bit more comfortable wearing my natural texture. I'm really pleased with the growth so far and wanted to share some pictures it with you guys!

I washed and treated my hair last night and then applied some L'oreal serum and Umberto Giannini Curling product (can't remember the exact names) this is what it looked like in the morning.

 My bedhead

My hair is a big mix of textures. It ranges from small ringlets to big, loose waves, and there are even bits that refuse to have any sort of shape at all! 

Woah! Check out the frizz!! Oh well, I guess it just adds to the whole 'messy wild look'! 

Well, there's my hair! It's always been a bit of a challenge, but I've finally made peace with it and now I finally really appreciate it! I don't wear it like this very often, but I think I'm going to start to. I'm hoping I can get some good length on it before next summer!

Thanks for reading!

PS I'm wearing Stila's Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer here. I'm not sure I like it very much, it makes my face quite shiny.

Review: NYX Smokey Eye Kit

NYX Smokey Look Kit. Available at Centerpoint stores, 49 dhs

 (obviously pre-swatched. I couldn't wait to try it out!)

Nyx Says:
For that perfect smokey look. All-in-one convenience case for easy and beautiful makeup application whether at home or jet-setting across the world! 9 eyeshadows, 2 colors. Comes with applicators, mirror, and step-by-step instructions. 

With Flash

I say:
I really like this kit. I had read about it online before and, as a fan of Nyx eyeshadows, I was really excited to find it stocked in Dubai. Like most Nyx shadows, these ones are strongly pigmented, smooth to apply and easily blendable.

The kit is really small, it could literally fit in the palm of your hand. This makes it perfect for travelling, keeping in your desk drawer at work, or just keeping in your purse. For the price, you could actually buy a few and just keep them everywhere! I wouldn't really recommend just shoving it in your purse every day though, because the lip color drawer seems like it might not stand up to lots of abuse and might come loose. If you do store it in your purse, you may want to keep the box to protect the palette.

I like the fact that the shades work really well with each other. It takes a lot of the guess-work out of a look, especially helpful if you're heading out straight from work or are on holiday.

The only things I am not really a fan of are the lip colors. The peachy shade is a pretty, shimmmery nude color on me, but on my strongly pigmented lips, the pink one looks a little too did-you-just-eat-a-powdered-doughnut-y. However, I think they would both work on someone with lighter skin and less pigmented lips.

All in all, I'm really pleased with this kit and I think it would make an excellent addition to any makeup kit. It's a great way to introduce yourself to Nyx products and a great starter kit if you are just getting into smokey looks.

DIY Project: Anthropologie Inspired Lace Earrings

I have had an incredibly tough week. I've been trying to keep my self busy and take my mind off of things that have happened by working on a couple of diy projects. Here's the first one. I hope you guys like it!

I absolutely fell in LOVE with these lace earrings from Anthropologie.com:

Anthropologie's Laced Snowflake Earrings

I am a huge fan of lace and these looked pretty easy to recreate, so I gave it a shot. Lace is one of my favorite fabrics ever, and I'm even more obsessed with black lace (and pretty much always have some lying around) 

Here's how I did it. 

I used: black lace fabric, scissors, clear nail polish, chain, silver jewelry rings, my jewelry pliers

 I cut out the shape I wanted and coated both sides with clear nail polish to stiffen it. I made sure to get the edges, too, so it doesn't fray.

 Using the pliers, I opened the rings and poked them through the lace, on each side. Then I attached the chains to the rings and joined them together with the earring hooks.
The finished earrings. Please excuse my naked face and messy hair.

So that was it! They were sooo easy to make and I'm actually really pleased with the way they turned out. Sorry for the crappy picture quality, I used my phone. 

Emma Stone Goes Blonde!!

Emma Stone debuted her newly lightened locks at last night's Trevor Live event in Hollywood.

Emma has also had some new bangs cut in

Emma and  her 'Easy A'  costar, Dan Byrd from Cougar Town 

Emma as a redhead

Emma has mentioned that she is a natural blonde, but she just looks so stunning as a redhead. This was reportedly done in preparation for her role Gwen Stacy in the new Spiderman movie.

I have the hugest girl crush on Emma and she can basically do no wrong in my eyes, but....I'm not 100% sure if I love this as much as the deep red hair.

Oh, I totally forgot to add in this video from Easy A:

Love it! I giggled so much when I saw this!

What do you guys think of Emma's new do?

Review: Kiss Feather Light Nail Kit

 The kit includes 24 nails in 12 sizes, glue and a small orange wood stick.

Bowie jumped on the table and tried to get in on the action, too.

I'm not going to write this as a proper review as I haven't actually been able to properly wear the nails. I put them on and had to remove them within ten minutes because there were giant air bubbles and they cracked!

I was sooo excited to try these out and prepped my nails. I chose the correct fitting nails, and then trimmed and filed mine and wiped them clean with acetone.

Then I applied glue to the nail and my natural nail then pressed and held for 5-30 seconds (I tried it different ways with each nail to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Here you can kind of see the air bubbles and the cracks at the base of my ring finger.

 You can really see the cracks on my thumb

Apart from the cracks and the bubbles, I thought the length and color of the nails looked really natural. They looked more like a french manicure on long nails or gel extensions.  

I've worn cheapy false nails from Daiso (the Japanese hypermarket) before and never had this problem. I specifically wanted to try a 'bigger' nail brand because I wanted to wear them for longer (the longest I've left the other ones on was 2 days)

 I'm not sure if they cracked because the nails I chose were too small for my nail bed, or if I pressed too hard on them, or anything like that. They were a little hard to take off, too. I followed the instructions (trim and file then soak in acetone) and some of them just melted off, but some needed to be scraped off. I probably wouldn't have minded so much if I had worn them for longer than ten minutes.

I'm pretty sure that no one would have been able to tell unless I pointed out the flaws, but I get all paranoid about stuff like that! I did take this as an opportunity to have a play around with my new Konad Stamping Plate!!

My messy first attempts at Konading

I really wanted these to work out. I might actually do a little more research on the best application techniques and try again in a few days. 

Do any of you wear fake nails? Any tips? My natural nails just feel so boring and short now!!

Hope you guys are having a wonderful Sunday.

Love and kisses!

Time for A Trim

The last time I got a hair cut was in September, so I'm just about due for a trim. I'm trying to grow my hair out, so it's important that I get rid of any tiny split/damaged ends before they get worse and I end up having to get a lot of hair off.

I also had a bit of an overlap of last year's straightener and this summer's bleached highlights. I was waiting for my hair to grow out a bit before I trimmed that bit off. I'm a bit hesitant to head to the salon to get my hair done because a)I'm afraid they might cut off too much and b)I don't really want to pay just to have my ends dusted, when I can do it myself.

I first sectioned my hair into five sections. One at the back, one at the crown, one on each side and my bangs.  I find that with hair care in general, sectioning makes things so much easier.

My tools. I've had these scissors since beauty school!

Beware: My hair is really dirty and super messy in these next pictures!!

Before the trim, my ends are really uneven. (I also have a lot of little hair stuck on me because I'd already done the other side!)

 After the trim. My ends are still a little dry, but muuuch better and a lot more even than before!

If you're thinking of trimming your own hair, here's a video I came across on youtube. It's by BrittneyNGray, she has a really simple method of trimming your own hair. And how gorgeous is she??

Well, there ya have it. If there are any other 'self trimmers' out there, I'd love to hear some tips!

Love and kisses!

Nail Haul

I bought some stuff for my nails today.

I've started to bite them again (TERRIBLE!!) so I wanted to buy some fake ones to stick on to let my nails grow out a bit, and help me get over this phase. I've read some good review on Nailene and Broadway nails. I couldn't find either, so I bought these ones:

Kiss Featherlight Nail Kit, short. Dhs 39 at World Mart 

I bought these because I wanted really thin ones and also the back said "wear beyond 7 days is not recommended". I figured that meant they would last longer than the ones that said "will last up to 3 days!!". I also liked them because they weren't too long and I liked the pinkish toned nail bed.

Acetone, Dhs 4.95 at Worldmart

I also bought some pure acetone for when I want to remove them. I'm going to try and put them on tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to put up a review in about a week.

Konad Nail Art Image Plate, 35 dhs at kiosks in most major malls (this one is from Ibn Batutta)

I bought my very first Konad Nail Art products today!!! I'm sooo excited to try these out. I've really been loving animal print nails lately, but don't have the artistic abilities to do it myself, and I keep reading about these nail plates so I finally bought one for myself. Yayy!!!! (because I need a new obsession, right?) :)

Konad nail art stamp and scraper, 10 dhs

I bought the little stamp and scraping tool, as well. The kiosks that sell them also sell lots of other Konad products, like the polishes, little rhinestones and 3d nail art stickers. I didn't buy any polish because I already have some specific nail art polishes that I wanted to try first. 

If you're new to the world of nail art and Konad, here's a video that explains a bit about it:

Technically, I didn't buy any polish so this shouldn't count for my no-polish challenge! I also bought quite a bit of makeup this week, so I will post up some swatches and pictures soon.

Did you buy anything interesting this week?

Love and kisses!