Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hair adventures! ♡

A chronicle of the states of my hair since my experience with self-bleaching it 3 years ago...definitely don't try this, it's damaging! Though my hair has mostly recovered now, (and I miss the color), I probably won't try bleaching by myself anymore ^^ Don't judge! I was young and stupid and...adventurous? (・x・)

One day during summer break in June 2010, I decided to try bleaching my hair. What better time to try than when in university? High school had restrictions on hair dyeing, while after graduating job interviewers won't take you seriously, so university is the best time. Salon bleaching was very expensive and at that time they didn't really have that  "creamy" color I wanted, so I figured, I'll just do it myself. 

So I went to the pharmacy and bought 2-3 boxes of Palty bleach (it had Tsubasa on it! I had long, thick hair so I needed more boxes) and bleached my hair at home. The result was the center picture...kind patchy and orange. After a week to recover, I dyed over it with 2 boxes of a dark blonde color from Schwarzkopf, and it became a "creamy" gingerish blonde, yay! ♥ This was summer 2010, the first summer after starting university, when we went on a trip to Europe - Italy, Monaco, southern France and Spain, fun times!

Okay, so while in Rome, we saw this dye in a grocery that looked really nice, and we bought it. The logo looked exactly like Schwarzkopf, though it was called Testanerra instead. But the dye was awesome, I loved the dark brown color! ♥ The amazing thing was, it's a 10-minute dye, you just leave it in for 10 minutes then wash it off, but the color was great. Though as the days progressed the color faded and faded. A few days later in Firenze, it faded to a creamy orange brown? And a few more days later, it was an ashy yellow brown in Marseille. Loved this color though! ♡

From that week on, I loved my hair color everyday! ♡
(Don't mind Monaco, the camera's vignette made it more orange)

It kinda stayed that same color thereafter, though roots started to grow out. By end August 2010, the roots were getting too long, so I bleached my whole head again...with 3 boxes of Gatsby Men's Bleach :x It was stronger than the Palty bleach. This time, after bleaching it came out more yellow/platinum instead of orange like the first time. Though this was when I started to realize that bleaching was really troublesome to maintain. But my hair was still soft after the bleaching, so I didn't feel the damaging effects (grave mistake!!).

A few days after (recovery time), I dyed over it with a dark blond from Schwarzkopf, and the resulting color was like the first 2 pics, and it stayed that color. My hair was becoming as dry as grass though...Then in mid-October I went to a salon to dye it darker cos I was tired of bleaching to maintain the color, because after bleaching I'd still need to dye over with a darkening color, otherwise it would be that weird, uneven, bleached color. At the JYJ concert! ♡

By end November it kinda faded to a dark brown, though I like this color! ♥ Self-bleached my whole head again in mid-December? And dyed over with a mixture of the 3 boxes below. The Igora was bought in Bangkok in July (stopped over on the way back from Europe, kept it ever since) and the Blythe dyes were from Gmarket.

The result was a super nice ashy green brown (no photo)...that faded to the middle pic after a week. I didn't touch my hair anymore for a while because the bleaching+dying totally killed my hair...With a severe loss of elasticity, my hair was like cotton. When wet, it broke whenever there was a slight tug. Normal hair has elasticity, but mine had none, and was so brittle that it just broke. Terrible experience because the drain would be covered with my hair after every shower, so I was kinda scared, no more bleach!

Went to a salon and dyed it dark in the end of March 2011 because of the roots, but a week after the color started to fade. And only the ends faded! Because my hair had been bleached a few times already, it's hard for it to retain dark colors, so whatever color it gets dyed, the color will fade away to an orangey blonde.  The difference between the first two pictures? All due to fading only! Which I totally didn't mind...except maybe the pudding hair that resulted^^ (Pudding hair = dark top, light ends)

Dyed a dark ashy brown in early June 2011 (I really liked this color!), 
but like always it ended up fading, which I didn't really mind... 

 ...then it faded even more. Still didn't mind... (In the last photo my hair is curled)

...and then it faded even more! But I actually liked the faded color! You can see that my ends are always lighter than the roots...because of the previous times bleaching. My hair gained back elasticity so by now it wasn't cottony anymore, yay!

End-March 2012 I went to a salon to cut off quite a bit (damaged dry bottom half due to the bleaching) and dyed it darker. Hair grew out a bit by June 2012 (photo taken in Seoul!), though by July 2012 (in Kyoto!) the color faded to a reddish brown. Red is not a good color on me, that's why I don't like reddish browns :(

Cannot remember what I did to my hair anymore, though I think I trimmed a bit and the bangs? Think I dyed it too cos the color looks more even/roots not showing hahaha. But now the color stays cos most of the bleached portion has grown out/been cut off.

Quite sure I went to the salon to dye it in the first pic, because it looks like an "after-salon" photo^^ Now the color stays though I kinda miss my fade-y hair. A few days after the middle pic I dyed my hair (13 Feb 2013). Haven't dyed it till now, so in the last pic I'm covering the top of my head because of the roots^^

Moral of the story: If you want to try bleaching, go to a salon or you might end up killing your hair like I did^^ But it was a fun experience and I really liked my "fading hair color". It's like a magic color that changed over time. Anyway, now my hair is normal, hurray. But now that I've graduated, no more colorful hair adventures! T_____T 

I've wanted to try ombre pink/purple or blue/green, though I don't think I'd have the guts to to it!^^ One thing I would never do though is short, short hair, because when I was younger my parents made me have really short hair, so short that people always thought I was a little boy :( They dressed me in shorts/pants too instead of dresses... I didn't get to start growing my hair past my chin until I was 15. So...I'd never cut my hair short. I actually thought the March 2012 one was kinda short for my liking, even my friends were shocked by the length when they saw pictures^^ Short hair does look great on some people, but it's just not for me (*´д`*)

So what are some of the drastic/ crazy/ fun things you've done to or want to try on your hair? 
Let me know! ♡

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shibuya Girls Runway ♥

The Shibuya Girls Runway was a fashion show featuring the Spring/Summer 2013 collections of Dip Drops, rosebullet and LOVE BOAT, organized by Onward Kashiyama. The host for the evening and his very...interesting costume.

Shibuya Girls Runway, featuring Dip Drops, rosebullet and LOVE BOAT. 

Show started with Dip Drops. Lots of denim in their collection.

Followed by LOVE BOAT. Love the mix of black x striking florals!

More from LOVE BOAT.

Finished off with rosebullet. Love all the feminine colors and details!
The sleeves, the cut, the materials...♡

 More from rosebullet.

My favorite outfit from the entire show, the final one by rosebullet!
There were more outfits, but I couldn't capture them all/ some were blur... 

From the catalog, some items from Dip Drop's new collection, lots of pretty pastels, florals and denim~

The theme of rosebullet's Spring/Summer 2013 collection is "Dreamy Marble Land".
Like Dip Drops, it also features lots of lovely pastels, florals and denim!

Door gifts for the event, came in the envelope on the left. Two mousepads, one pretty pastel one from Dip Drops and another from rosebullet.

LOVE BOAT just recently launched in Singapore, while rosebullet and Dip Drops have been around for awhile. LOVE BOAT is a Shibuya 109 brand! It's great that more 109 brands are coming to Singapore, like EMODA, Spiral Girl and Peak&Pine, though none of my favorite brands are here yet! Hope that maybe one day Liz Lisa, oneway, Lip Service, rienda or Egoist will come to these shores too...

Monday, May 13, 2013

[CLOSED] COLORS Giveaway ♬

Color-themed giveaway ♪(*´ω`*) ♬
Because colorful things make me happy, this time round I'm holding a color-themed giveaway to celebrate graduation and entering a new stage in life ♡

Friday, May 10, 2013

V 10 Plus, the World's 1st Skin Supplement Concept

I first came to know of V 10 Plus a few years ago, after seeing some colorful bottles on a Japanese friend's vanity desk. At that time I didn't know what they were, but the cute little colorful bottles were just so pretty, and that image of colorful vials have since stayed imprinted in my head^^ Never knew that the company's headquarters are actually in Singapore!

The whole range of V 10 Plus serums, very colorful! Evokes a sense of happiness, like when you see a rainbow~ Last month, they had a bloggers event at Spa Symphony, where they gave an introduction to the brand and explained their concept/philosophy: "Beautiful skin = clean, bright, shining skin even without makeup."

The CEO and founder of V 10 Plus, Ms Akiko Yokota was speaking to introduce the brand and their products. You'll never guess her age, her skin looks so good! The 10 points the brand emphasizes on are:
★ No parabens
★ No artificial coloring
★ No mineral oil
★ No chemical fragrance
★ Water-based
★ Customized serums for 10 skin problems
★ Visible results in just 10 days
★ Dermatologist-tested
★ Color therapy from colorful bottles
★ Made in Japan 

About the color therapy point, I think color therapy actually works, or at least to me! In daily life, I enjoy making my possessions/surroundings colorful and pretty, because that makes me happier...for some reason. I'm a very visual person, when I do note-taking I need to have colorful headlines or different colors to highlight different things, or I won't pay much attention to it! Colorful or aesthetically pleasing things make me happy and give me a greater sense of well-being ♥

V 10 Plus stands for Variety 10 Plus, because there are 10 varieties of serums, which are can be supplements to any skincare regime. There are 10 varieties of serums in the product lineup: 
♥ PYCNOGENOL (red) - for anti-oxidation. Contains pine bark extract from Bordeaux.
♥ AMINO (orange) - for treating dryness and roughness. Contains 8 amino acids.
♥ VITAMIN C (yellow) - for pimples and pores
♥ COLLAGEN (light green) - for wrinkles and elasticity. Contains marine collagen from sea bream scale.
♥ CERAMIDE (dark green) - for dry and sensitive skin. Contains vegetable ceramide from rice polishings.
♥ LICORICE (dark blue) - for irritation and inflammation. Contains licorice from a pea family plant.
♥ HYALURONIC ACID (light blue) - for hydration. Contains sodium hyaluronate.
♥ PLACENTA (purple) - for whitening
♥ VITAMIN A (pink) - for eye area
♥ BIO CELL (peach) - for DNA repair. Contains 8 active ingredients, 2 of which are Nobel Prize ingredients (EGF and Fullerene).

A "Consultation Sheet" to identify your skin concerns and to determine which serum is most suitable for you.

V 10 Plus' #1 bestselling serum, the Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It's non-sticky and is very easily absorbed into the skin, leaving it hydrated. Comes in a squeeze-dropper bottle, and you only need three drops for each use. I must say that I like this product, it really rehydrated some dry patches on my cheeks. After it's absorbed into the skin, the next step of skincare goes on with no problems either, so the whole supplement concept totally works. I use it in the morning before sunblock and BB cream/foundation.

I use very little skincare products, currently I only have a night routine - Lancôme's Advanced Génifique and Lancôme's Visionnaire. Every three days I'll do a sheet mask. Twice a week I'll do a wash-off clay mask (Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Ash). Sometimes I'll use SKII's Facial Treatment Essence as a toner, or soak a mask sheet with it and mask.

Directions: Before using any other skincare, apply three drops all over face and neck, morning and night.

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Lysolecithin, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Lactate.

Other products in their skincare lineup 
Back row: Brightening Cleanser, Okinawa Deep Sea Water Mask, Cleansing Ceramide Gel
Middle row: Water Base Peeling, 5 in 1 White Gel
Front row: Water Base Sun Block SPF 40/PA+++

There's also a Vitamin C Night Cream and Brightening Serum.

The Water Base Peeling is a peeling gel containing rice bran extracts and seaweed extracts to effectively remove dead skin cells without harsh scrubbing. It's suitable for all skin types, even acne-plagued and sensitive skin. Gets rid of dead skin quite effectively, revealing smooth and soft skin. And since it's water-based, there's no tight/stripped feeling.

However, the left side of my face broke out very horribly after using this, so I stopped using it. First time I've ever broken out from something, and I'm still waiting for the scars to disappear :/ It was fine for a friend with oily skin though, maybe it's too much for normal to dry skin?

Directions: Take an appropriate amount and spread onto cleansed and dry skin. Leave for 5 seconds. Gently massage with finger tips in circular motions. After a while, dead skin cells in the form of tiny flakes with appear. Rinse flakes off thoroughly with water.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Acrylates, Dicocodimonium chloride, Steartrimonium bromide, Algae extract, Rice bran extract, Butylene glycol, Isopropyl alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.

The event was held at Spa Symphony. Ceilings of the spa rooms. To create the feeling as if you're relaxing under trees, very pretty! 

If you're free, please help me like/vote for this picture on Facebook, and stand a chance to win mystery items from V 10 Plus~ ♡ 3 lucky voters will win a mystery gift.

For more information on V 10 Plus, check out their website or Facebook page.
Complete list of locations on where you can purchase their products internationally. 
V 10 Plus has won many awards in Asia and in Finland. Anyone from Finland seen this around or tried it before? Would love to know what you think! ♡

Monday, May 6, 2013

Japan trip articles

Managed to get copies of these and scanned them~ ♡
Two of my articles on trips to Japan!

  Page 1 || Page 2 
Interview on Chubu in JNTO's Japan Travel Magazine for Girls.

The first one is a travel magazine for girls distributed in February 2013 at the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) booth at NATAS, Singapore's largest travel fair. The article is based on an interview on my solo trip to Chubu/Hokuriku (Central Japan) in July 2011. Plane ticket sponsored by Singapore Airlines, Alpine Route ticket sponsored by Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. You can check out the in-depth entries and photos at my Chubu/Hokuriku page~ ♡ After the trip, Chubu/Hokuriku became one of my favorite places in Japan, so much that I just had to squeeze in Fukui when I planned another solo trip to Kansai in 2012 (^^)

  Page 1 || Page 2
Yokohama trip report in Campus Magazine, Issue #20.

Campus magazine is a magazine targeting tertiary students in Singapore. The feature is my report on the Yokohama trip in September 2012, sponsored by the Yokohama Convention & Visitor's Bureau. The report is a photo-diary style summary of popular places to visit. You can check out in-depth entries at my Yokohama page~ ♬ Yokohama is a gorgeous port city, and the night view/bay view is amazing!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ladurée Takashimaya Singapore

 I LOOOOOVE Ladurée's macarons, they're like a piece of heaven! 
My absolute favorite flavor is Rose Petal, it tastes so amazing. Ladurée's Rose Petal tastes like rose, not too artificial, not too sweet, and the filling is generous and flavorful, and texture is so smoooooth The macaron shells are crisp and even, and it's just such a joy to eat these. 

 The first time I had Ladurée was in 2010 in Monaco.
The four flavors I got then were Rose Petal, Vanilla, Coconut and Chocolate.

The fake stone wall outside the store, which is located on the second floor of Takashimaya.
Ever since I heard that Ladurée would be opening a store here, I just kept waiting...after a six-month wait, it finally opened in Takashimaya! They have this store, as well as a smaller takeaway counter on the first floor. The queues are awfully long at both branches, though they're in the same building...had to wait over half an hour from queuing to paying.

 A box of 6 is S$32, a box of 8 is S$38.
My box of 4 in Monaco was only 7,50euros!
All the boxes on the left are boxes you can choose from. 
The cylindrical boxes are for loose tea leaves, 125g.

Limited edition Singapore box, for 8 macarons. 

Trays and trays of wonderful, crisp macarons and their generous, thick, tasty fillings...
If you don't want a box, it's S$3.80 per macaron, which they'll give in a plastic.

I got a box of 6, because I wanted the long pink box that matched the box I got in Monaco, which was the green version. (Yes I've kept it all these years, I've even kept the paper bag from then!) I wanted Marron (chestnut), but the staff misheard it as Marie-Antoinette and gave me that instead (the blue one) -.- Disappointed because I don't like caramel :( I wanted my Marron! Green is Pistachio, white is Vanilla and pink is Rose Petal, my absolute favorite~ 

 Gorgeous green treasure chest-like box with gold filigrees and a tassel!
And gold-leaf macarons...

Spotted this bird box, it's so pretty!
But they didn't sell it :( 

 Everything is so pretty, I love the pastel colors of the boxes.

 Gift basket, all pink.
For now the store sells just the macarons, tea, chocolates, candles, shopping bags.
Hope they'll open a dine-in salon and sell their lovely pâtisseries...
Their tea salons in Tokyo are gorgeous!
And I wonder if the cosmetics line will come here some day, the cosmetics packaging is gorgeous too~

Anyway, Uniqlo launched a range of Ladurée tees, they're so adorable! 
There are 10 designs in all, and these 3 are my favorites~
Recognize the patisserie in the middle? It's a Saint-Honoré Rose, which I'm holding in the blogger profile pic^^ Though the one I'm holding is from Antoinette. The Laduree here currently doesn't sell pâtisseries :(