Hair color update: Manic Panic Purple Haze + Fuschia Shock

Because I know you’re all dying to know what color my hair is now.

It’s actually an awful faded red already. The Manic Panic dye worked really well, but it was a real pain in the ass to do. They’re not joking when they say this stuff stains EVERYTHING, everywhere.

The worst part was washing it out in the kitchen sink with cold water. Our cold and hot water doesn’t mix very well, even when there’s only one faucet. There are really only two temperatures: magma hot and Arctic cold. Now imagine me leaning over the kitchen sink, sticking my head under freezing cold water. Both my head and my back were killing me. All in the name of vanity.

before manic panic

Here’s what my hair looked like before the Manic Panic colors. Faded red that I had periodically refreshed using Henné Colouring Cremes, as documented in this post. It currently looks much more faded and brassy. I hate it, but I’m waiting until I get back to Hawaii to color it again.

manic pani purple haze fuschia shock

I mixed Purple Haze and Fuschia Shock in a 50/50 ratio. By the way, fuchsia is spelled wrong, and I don’t blame them. For the longest time, I could never remember how to spell this word. I finally looked up the etymology of the word (because I’m a nerd like that), and it turns out the plant fuchsia was named in honor a German botanist by the name of Leonhard Fuchs (his surname in German means “fox”.) This makes the spelling of fuchsia so much easier to remember! Dropping some knowledge on y’all. Who said beauty blogs were totally vapid??

ANYWAY. I left the concoction on for about four hours before finally rinsing it out. It took forever and I was super cranky and cold afterward.

after manic panic purple haze fuschia shock

But here’s how it turned out! Pretty, no? It still looks red, and not purple, which is what I was going for. I should have bought a dark blue to throw in the mix as well. Every picture I took registered it as red. That Fuschia Shock really adds a lot of pink.

after manic panic purple haze fuschia shock 2

I’ve mentioned that my hair has already faded back into a gross brassy reddish brown. The color came out rather unevenly, which is to be expected since I can’t see the back of my head.

I want to buy Midnight Blue and add it with the remainder of Purple Haze and Fuschia Shock. My friend Krystal has agreed to help me to apply, so hopefully round two will come out more evenly. Since my stylist Mel already lightened my hair in a great ombré balayage, I want to take full advantage of it and keep coloring my hair until it’s time to cut it all off!

Red hair color upkeep with Henné Colouring Creams

henne colouring creams 2

When I left Hawaii five months ago, my hair was red. It’s a notoriously difficult color to upkeep, especially if you have to lift your natural color first (like I did); just blink at it the wrong way and it turns brassy. Without my beloved stylist, Mel, and unwilling to make the effort to find a stylist here in London, I turned to DIY to refresh my color during the six months I’m here.

I’d already had the idea of using henna to refresh the red: it’s well known for being a damage-free way to color your hair. It’s a plant based dye that sits on top of your cuticle instead of penetrating it. In other words, it stains your hair and blends in with your existing color versus going into the cuticle and replacing the color. Depending on which type of henna you use, it can last anywhere from two to six washes.

The one downside to pure powder or even brick type henna (a la LUSH), is that it gets really messy. We have a tiny bathroom with crappy lighting, so I didn’t want to take that chance and cause a huge disaster. After reading a few reviews on Amazon, I decided to go with these Henné Color Colouring Creams in three colors: Mahogany, Auburn, and Copper.

henne colouring creams

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Things I did while I was gone

  • Dyed my hair a red ombré/balayage

Instagram red hair

Picture is from my Instagram, taken by my stylist, Mel. I LOVE HIM. He’s amazing and I’m so proud of him for opening his own salon!! Check out his work on his Instagram.

This is the first time in over a decade that I’ve done such serious coloring on my hair. I previously had a peekaboo red at the nape of my neck, but as it started to grow out, I wanted to go for a full-on red ombré. I love how it turned out!

  • Bought a pair of boots on impulse

donald j pliner diem boots

These are Donald J Pliner “Diem,” and I found them on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. They’re a half size too big, but it was the last pair. I wore them out with thick socks, and I think with an insert it’ll be fine.

  • Bought a curling iron

toni & guy curling iron

I’ve never used a curling iron before. I already own two curling wands (the ones without a clamp). However, since I cut my hair short (ish), it’s hard for me to curl the bottom layers without getting dangerously close to giving myself a burn hickey. So I wanted to try a clamp style iron.

There was quite a learning curve with this! The first time I tried it, I completely screwed it up and my hair looked awful. I had to put it up in a bun while I went to work, and when I got home, I rinsed the style out. I looked up a few tutorials on good ol’ YouTube and tried again.

It came out way better the second time around, but I still very much prefer the wand. It’s way easier to maneuver and it’s pretty much idiot proof. Just wrap your hair around the barrel, hold for a few seconds, and let it go.

curled with iron and wand

Here, I curled it with the iron and it was mostly okay. I went back in with my tapered wand to smooth out some wonky bits, and give some curls more definition.

curling wand vs curling iron

Top: My old faithful, ISO Beauty tapered barrel curling wand.

Bottom: New kid on the block, Toni & Guy 1″ curling iron. I WILL master you, damnit!!

  • Got attacked by bugs.

The building I live in is pretty tall (40 stories), and pretty old (30+ years). This summer, they’re doing a massive resurfacing project for all the lanais (balconies), and they’ve removed our screen door. Now, all kinds of lovely bugs are flying right in our apartment, including a giant roach (it semi-attacked my sister in the bathroom and now we’re both suffering from mild anxiety that another one is lurking about).

But mainly, my sister and I were being eaten alive by mosquitoes. We’d wake up in the morning with 2-3 new bites each day. It’s just awful. I’ve tried spraying a lavender sleep mist around our sleeping area, but it wasn’t working.

One night, while unable to sleep because I couldn’t stop scratching three new bites on my legs, I got fed up and looked up solutions on Amazon. I settled on this essential oil blend by Plant Therapy called “Insect Shield.” It’s a mix of citronella, eucalyptus, cedarwood, lemongrass, lavender, may chang, tea tree, patchouli, and catnip. Basically, all the things that bugs supposedly hate.

plant therapy insect shield essential oil

I followed this recipe found on Wellness Mama for a homemade bug spray, and I used about 15 drops of this, and 5 drops of lavender. I didn’t have distilled water, so I just used boiled water. First impression: it smells really nice!

We’ve used it for two nights, and so far, no new bites. I hesitate to call it a success just yet, because it might be a fluke. But I’m hopeful. I also bought this little pod essential oil diffuser, and when it comes in, I’ll try it overnight as well. Cross your fingers for me!

  • Wore purple blush.

detrivore cosmetics blush endearment

I picked this little sample baggie of blush the last time I made an order from Shiro Cosmetics. I also bought a sample of the blue blush, Bluebeard, but I haven’t tried that one yet. I figured I could make purple work more easily than blue, ha.

Endearment is described as a matte greyed lavender.

fotd detrivore blush endearment

Like most loose powders, it’s messy to work with, especially out of a little plastic baggie. However, it’s surprisingly VERY flattering. I have a bit of natural redness in my cheeks, so it turned it a bit pinky. I was only wearing powder foundation in this picture. I want to try it again with a more full coverage foundation, to see if it’ll be more “greyed lavender.”

I’d be tempted to pick up a full sized jar, if my blush collection hadn’t already reached critical mass.

And there you have it. Shenanigans that I’ve been up to/got into/I actually don’t know how to use this phrase correctly – while I wasn’t here. Anything new to report on your end of the keyboard?

Let’s pretend this never happened

If this blog were a bona-fide operation with expectations like regular postings, I would be fired. It’s now been nearly two months since my last post, with nary a peep from me here, nor any of my other social media outlets.

However, despite whatever productive and positive qualities that I lack, I do still have a shred of self-preservation. And since I am the editor-in-chief of this train wreck, I can’t and won’t fire myself. So, I’m just going to resume posting as if I didn’t just drop off the internet for two months.

Things that happened while I was gone!

1. I’ve been promoted!

While I certainly don’t want to pursue retail management as a career, it’s a good step forward for me. At least I can prove that I’m able to step up the ladder. Anyway, until I figure out what the hell to do with my situation, it’s as good of a job as any, and at the very least, I have a wonderfully supportive group of co-workers, and I can honestly say that I like each and every one of them.

2. Our other location, at Pearlridge, has closed.

Which means we are no longer short-staffed! Hooray! And we’ve hired seasonal help! Double hooray! Which means I am finally back down to part-time hours, 20 hours a week! WHICH MEANS I CAN BLOG AGAIN, Y’ALL. WATCH OUT.

3. Albert has come and gone for his annual visit to Hawaii.

This time, we rented an AirBnB apartment in Waikiki for the two weeks he was here. It was amazing to have a place for ourselves, and even though I had to work while he was here, we still managed to spend quality time together, including trying a bunch of really fantastic restaurants. I plan on visiting him in London in April. Sigh.

4. I cut my hair again, and dyed the nape of it.

I was going for something like this:

Image from

However, it has since faded to a reddish, brassy brown. I need to touch it up again. Also, my bangs are wonky. My never-ending quest for fabulous hair continues.

5. I bought hairstyling products.

not your mothers dry shampoo beach babe shampoo conditioner sea salt spray it's a 10

Related to my quest for fabulous hair: my first foray into hairstyling products. I’m normally a wash-and-go kinda girl. I do own a curling iron and I love having loose curls/wavy hair/anything that isn’t my usual straight air-dried boring-ness. I’ve been looking for a new flat iron, though, to try flat iron waves. It looks easy enough. I could probably manage it. Right?

6. I bought shiny new things.

ipad mini 2 lorac pro palette

I’ve been hemming and hawing over both of these purchases for awhile. The iPad mini, I’ve asked my mom, sister, and Albert to chip in for it, as my Christmas/birthday gift. The LORAC Pro Palette was a reward for surviving Black Friday, ha. And to make myself feel better after Albert left. (Again with the retail therapy, Jen! CUT IT OUT.)

So, that’s what’s new with me, more or less. I’m happy to be blogging again. I actually took a ton of pictures for posts during my hiatus, so I really have no excuse to leave you guys hanging again.

Throwback Thursday: Long hair

before haircut july2014 front

So I never did get around to posting pictures of my haircut… that I had done in the beginning of JUNE. I suppose that makes this appropriate for my first ever Throwback Thursday post.

My hair was so long, I had trouble getting it all in frame. Ha.

Aww, but I do miss it. This was probably second (or third)-day hair, when it starts to curl a tiny bit. I also miss my long layers. I’m getting weirdly nostalgic about my long hair, even though it was a pain to wash and it was really hot and constantly in the way. I plan on cutting it a couple inches shorter the next time I go in.

before haircut july2014 back

From the back. See how the calendar says May??

I already posted a picture of what my hair looked like afterward, but here’s one from my stylist’s Instagram:

after haircut instagram

I’m due for a trim. My bangs are getting into my eyes, so I push them to the side, but they need a bit of shaping. I also want to soften the ends a bit. I love the blunt cut look, but I’ve since discovered that I am waaayyy too lazy to style it properly everyday.

In fact, I haven’t once used a flat iron on my hair since I got it cut like this. Oops. I’m more of a messy waves kind of girl, anyway.