Cheap Dye Job

I’d been sporting highlighted locks since Spring, but I wasn’t particularly diligent with the upkeep.  The overgrown roots were becoming difficult to ignore, especially when I was posting pictures of myself everyday during the 30 for 30 Remix.

I started to consider taking matters into my own hands and dying my hair myself.  I was simply going darker, so how hard could it be?  And why not save a few bucks?  But then I remembered the less than successful at-home dye jobs of my past and resigned myself to shelling out the big bucks.  After all, you get what you pay for, right?

I was planning on having Tracy, the wonderful stylist who cut my hair a little while ago, revamp my color, but she had no open appointments that worked with my schedule in the foreseeable future.  She was very helpful in explaining what she would do to my hair:  use a semi permanent glaze that is a couple shades warmer than my natural hair color.  She explained that this would work for me even though my natural hair color has cool tones and my eyes are blue (a cool color), because I have warm tones in my skin.  With this information in mind, I took a gander over to the hair dye aisle at Target to see if there was anything that matched that description.  Turns out there was!

I found this semi-permanent gloss color by L’Oreal in medium-golden brown.  It seemed to fit the bill, but I had to weigh the pros and cons of taking such a risk.

Pros: Cost – $10 vs. $65 + tip; Convenience – no appointment necessary, and the box promised 10 minutes, which is way more appealing than sitting in a salon for an hour+; Semi-Permanent – equals less damaging and it’s NOT permanent!

Cons: I’m not a professional – I worried about the color being uneven, and had a scary vision of orange frazzled hair…

After standing in the aisle for a good 15 minutes, I took a deep breath and purchased the box. If it turned out to be a horrible mistake, I’d shamefully make an appointment right away and vow to never take such a risk again.  But, luckily, I have a positive outcome to report!

Before...

And after! (Please forgive the awful lighting and the blatant mirror self-portraits!)

It was a super easy process; I made sure all of my hair was drenched in the solution and waited 10 minutes.  After shampooing the dye out and conditioning my hair, I was anxious to get it dry to see the results as my hair didn’t appear to be much different while it was wet.

The dye did it’s job and looked pretty even to me (big sigh of relief!)  Some of the highlights show through as a lighter color, which was to be expected at home or at the salon.  It gives the overall look a “multifaceted” effect. I’ve had my hair dyed professionally many times, and I’d say that the results are comparable.  Lord knows I wouldn’t try bleaching my hair at home, but for a relatively subtle change like this, I would totally go this route again.

Got a self-dye success (or horror) story to share?  I’d love to hear it!  Leave a comment!

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A Clothing Swap Success Story

I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure how the clothing/accessories swap I hosted this past Monday night would turn out.  I had visions of everyone leaving empty handed, feeling as if they’d wasted an evening, and having to lamely remind everyone to look on the bright side – “hey, at least your closet is cleaned out!”  When I looked at my contributions, which consisted of things that I had zero desire to wear anymore, I couldn’t help but wonder who in the world would want to take any of it home?  Or would I find anything from another person’s reject pile to get excited about?  My worries were quickly put to rest.  Just take a look at what 13 stylish ladies brought to the table (and sofa, and arm chair, and floor…) Monday night:

Believe it or not, more things were brought into the mix after I snapped these pictures, but I was too busy “shopping” to capture them.  Needless to say, I scored tons of things I am ecstatic to add to my wardrobe: a purse, a pair of slacks, 3 dresses, 2 quarter sleeved length jackets, 2 scarves, several tops, several bangles, and 2 necklaces!  All for $FREE.99! (!!!)  A clothing swap is a frugalista’s dream, I tell you!

As the girls arrived and laid out their items I noticed several people eyeing a lot of the same things, and I started to kick myself for not coming up with any elaborate rules for swap decorum.  I’d read on another blog about a system that involved price level tokens to exchange for like-priced items, but that had confusion written all over it.  The idea of a “walk off” was suggested – the group would get to vote on who the item looked best on if 2+ ladies were vying for the same thing – but I figured we’d just put everything in a pile and have a free for all.  It worked out swimmingly, as there were plenty of fantastic finds to go around.  We didn’t have even a single “walk off”!  (though that would have been kind of fun…)

If you aren’t completely sold on the wonders of the clothing swap concept, check out my top 5 reasons why you should consider hosting or attending one.

#1: It’s an opportunity to gather your different groups of girlfriends.   I teamed up with a friend to host our little event. We both invited people from our respective groups of friends, and then a few of them brought along a friend – the more the merrier!  I really enjoyed meeting new people, including Cath and Lar of Asian Cajuns!  We finally met in person at the swap after messaging back and forth through our blogs.  You need to check out their blog if you haven’t already!

#2: It’s an inexpensive girl’s night.  I brought a bottle of wine that I had hanging around the house and about $15 bucks worth of snacks from Trader Joes. Everyone brought a little somethin’ somethin’ and it turned out to be a nice spread.  Oh, and of course there’s all the FREE swag…

#3: You can explore a trend without buyers remorse.  Case in point, two girls tried on rompers and left with them in their possession.  They may not have taken them to the cash register had they been in a store, but if it fits, multiple girls tell you it looks cute on you and you don’t have to pay anything, why not take it home?  If you find that you never actually wear it, there is no guilt in taking it to Goodwill once and for all.

#4: It’s motivation to get your closet organized.  I was prepared to focus on this aspect if the swapping had turned out to be a dud, but luckily it was just another perk.  One of the ladies volunteered ahead of time to take everything left over to donate to a charity she is involved in, so nothing went back home to sit in the deep recesses of the closet for another year.

#5: It’s nice to see your clothes go to a new home.  Just because you don’t want something in your closet anymore doesn’t mean you want it to end up in a landfill.  This swap proved to me that one woman’s donation bag is truly another woman’s treasure trove.  I was genuinely happy that this dress I bought 2 years ago (and never wore) found a more appreciative home!

She even found matching shoes at the swap - total outfit score!

I’m excited to play around with my new-to-me-items and see how they fit in with my wardrobe.  Stay tuned for outfit posts!

New Do!

Hairdo, that is!  You may have noticed during my 30 for 30 Remix that I frequently wore my hair in a pony tail with my bangs pinned back.  A pony tail makes sense for the season, but truth be known, I was growing fatigued with my long hair, not to mention the process of growing out my bangs.  I started seriously thinking about changing up my tresses a little over a month ago, as my bangs were getting to a length that could be blended into a new style, but the drastic change I was considering was a little scary.

Over the last year I’ve used Scoutmob deals (50% off!) to pick a salon, which was just fine when I simply needed a basic trim.  But I knew I’d have to pay full price for something a little more complicated, as the old saying “you get what you pay for” definitely applies to salon services.  Yesterday I put my locks in the capable hands of Tracy of Tracy B. Hair Studio in Buckhead.  She came highly recommended by several girlfriends, and I was not disappointed (thank goodness!)  Tracy’s approachable and professional demeanor allowed me to relax a  little bit while she cut off several inches of my hair and shaped it into a sassy bob.  I could tell that she knew what she was doing and the result was exactly what I requested.  I’ve never had a regular stylist, but I do believe I have found one!

Taken with Photobooth on my Mac... will have to get someone to take pictures of the back soon!

I was afraid I would instantly regret chopping off so much length, but that hasn’t been the case so far.   I think I’ve already gotten used to running my fingers through my hair and stopping short.

I really cannot say enough about how great Tracy is.  She owns a tiny salon (only her and one other gal), which means I had to book my appointment over a month in advance, but she’s well worth the wait.  Plus it gave me time to really figure out what I wanted and summon the courage.

Do you have a regular stylist, or do you play the Scoutmob game like I used to?  Have you taken a hair risk recently or are you thinking about taking one?  Feel free to share your thoughts!

Clothing Swap Sneak Peek!

With my 30 for 30 Remix complete and a move on the horizon (more on that later), now is the perfect time to give the ol’ closet a good cleaning.  A lot of the clothes and accessories that I simply never wear anymore are in good condition and deserve a more appreciative home.  But instead of immediately hauling my two overflowing bags of threads to Goodwill, a friend and I are hosting a clothing & accessories swap next week!  I’m just about finished gathering my contributions, and here’s a sneak peek of the goods:

There's a couple dresses, skirts, pants, tons of tops and a few accessories (not pictured)

Have you ever heard of or been to a clothing swap?  They’re apparently all the rage these days with the economy being in a slump and all.  It’s basically a “girl’s night in” on crack; there will be wine, food, chit chat and completely guilt free “shopping”!  The idea is for everyone to walk away with some “new” items to add to their wardrobe without having to spend a penny.  Everything left over will be donated, which means more space in the closet.  Bi-winning!

What they say about one woman’s trash donation bag being another woman’s treasure is true.   I can’t wait to see what all of the stylish ladies attending are willing to trade!

If you’re local and want to join in on the fun, leave your email address in the comments section and I’ll send you the information!

Be Brutally Honest, Please!

My dilemma all started when I wandered over to Anthropologie.com for a little inspiration and this photo caught my eye:

I consider this to be a very daring outfit; the mixed patterns are so wrong that they’re (almost?) right.  Something about it speaks to me, but it may just be because it’s on the Anthropologie website (can they ever do wrong?).  Or maybe it’s because a model is wearing it on a beautifully styled set.  Nevertheless, it got me thinking about the blue floral skirt that was a part of my 30 for 30 Remix.  You may remember me mentioning that I feel in love with it when I saw the photo below on Fab’rik’s Facebook wall:

I didn’t buy the top above because I was worried I wouldn’t be confident enough to rock the two different patterns.  I’ve paired the skirt with two different solid colored tops so far, but tonight I was playing in my closet and put something together that I’m on the fence about.  I would seriously appreciate your opinion on whether or not this outfit should ever see the light of day.  Be a pal and tell me honestly what you think of this ensemble:

I was initially pleased with how this looked in the mirror.  Then I remembered the lesson I learned from the belted green shirt mistake: a picture never lies!  So I snapped these pictures and, quite frankly, I still kind of like it.  But it is way out of my comfort zone.  I may have been brainwashed by Anthropologie, so I ask, would you wear it?  Would you recommend I wear it in public?  Would you mock someone you saw wearing this out and about?  Let me know with a comment!

30 for 30 Remix: The End

top from Madewell, jeans from J Crew outlet, shoes from Anthropologie

necklace from Urban Outfitters, dress from Marshalls, shoes from Kohls

The above photos are from Thursday and Friday of last week and mark the end of my first 30 for 30 Remix!  It’s been fun, and I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.  I don’t know how I’ll cope with not having to awkwardly photograph my outfit come tomorrow morning.  🙂

Double Dose

Happy hump day, y’all!  This week is going by so quickly for me.  Only 3 more days left in my 30 for 30 challenge, and I need to get up to speed with yesterday’s and today’s outfit.  Here’s what I wore yesterday (Outfit #22):

I wanted to tuck the shirt in, but the pants are weird in that they do not have belt loops.  A tucked in shirt without a belt just doesn’t do it for me.  A great pair of slacks (with belt loops) is on my wish list for my August shopping trip.

And here’s what I’m wearing today (Outfit #23):


I had some trouble capturing my entire body this morning, but this is all about the clothes anyway, right?  I dig the yellow necklace with the hot pink blouse, and this was the first time I ever thought to wear them together.

Well, now that we’re all caught up, I’m off to enjoy an evening of free food and an outdoor screening of my favorite movie of all time, Singin’ in the Rain, courtesy of my awesome company.   Have a wonderful evening!

30 for 30 Remix: Outfit #21

I literally forgot that I owned this shirt.  I’m pretty sure I bought it at Ross for less than $10 about five years ago, and I’m fairly certain that this is the second time it has been worn.  It may not be super clear in the picture, but it has small pleats across the chest, which is why I picked it up in the first place.  It usually takes some sort of feminine detail to get me to buy a button down shirt.

shirt from Ross, skirt from Fab'rik, shoes from Marshalls

I’m really surprised that this shirt didn’t ended up in the donation bag a long time ago, as I never ever wore it.  It must have been hiding in the deep recesses of my closet just waiting for the perfect time to make itself useful.  Turns out that time is now, during my 30 for 30 Remix!  Rediscovering clothes is just as fun as shopping!  Well, sorta… 🙂

Friday Night (Outfit #20)

I’ve seen a lot of style bloggers wear a dress as a blouse with a skirt and wanted to see if I could pull it off.  Plus I was ready to get out of that stupid green shirt.  Here’s what I came up with for a Friday night outing:

dress from Fab'rik, belt from H&M, skirt from Madewell, shoes from Kohls, earrings & cuff from Heliotrope

Overall, I liked the look of this outfit, but it wasn’t exactly low maintenance; I had to keep tucking the dress in all night.  I’m not a huge fan of outfits that require a lot of fuss.  It might have held together better if the belt was thin enough to go through the belt loops on the skirt, so perhaps I’ll give it another shot sometime with a different belt.

I don’t have any other outfits to share from the weekend, as I pretty much lived in my Heliotrope duds (a special Heliotrope tee shirt and shorts, which I didn’t count in my Remix), and I ended up re-wearing a remix challenge outfit (this one) for Saturday night shenanigans.  I’m ready to start my last week of this remix!   Can you believe that July is almost over?  Just one more blazing hot month to survive!

What did you guys do this weekend?  I saw that there was a festival on Ponce… did you brave the heat to attend?

Laundry Day (Outfit #19)

The green shirt rears it’s ugly less-than-attractive head again.  This time without a belt, and with different shoes.  I wasn’t planning on wearing this shirt again ever, but I had slim pickings on Friday morning as a result of falling behind on my laundry.  It still isn’t my favorite shirt, and will go back into the donation pile soon, but it got me through another day of this challenge.