New year, new hair color! Seem familiar?
I’m back to being brunette! Nobody saw this coming, but I’ve actually been meaning to remove this blotchy un-maintained red for a while now. It has only been a month and a half since my last dye job, but around Christmas time, I noticed that the ends of my hair were starting to get brassy, and that the whole color was starting to become annoyingly uneven.
I remember talking to Crissey last December about switching back to brown simply because I was running out of red hair color treatment (bought in Japan last October) to maintain the red, and she was like “NOOO!”. Totally the reaction of everyone when I told them the red will have to retire prematurely.
My recent trip in Taipei gave me enough time to ponder about the transition, especially because I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy process at all. Red is one of the hardest colors to work with because not only does it fade easily (red-red or red-violet usually turns brown-red after some time), but it also refuses to die (brown-red still has red).
My mom has been constantly going to the Louis Phillip Kee near where we live, and I absolutely adore what they’ve been doing to her hair! Before we left for Taiwan, she had a haircut and a Keratin treatment because her thin, wavy hair (I got my hair genes from my dad) was starting to become unruly. She’s been having these treatments in different salons for years now, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it done in a very natural way, one that doesn’t make it seem like your hair was relaxed/rebonded. Her hairstylist performed the treatment to remove frizz, but not volume. The ends of my hair have been very hard to tolerate recently, so I figured I should have this treatment done on my own hair as well.
By the time I got back to Manila, I was very much convinced to take the plunge and spend the whole afternoon at the salon!
Good thing it looked great. And smelled great. A towel and robe were put on my shoulders and they smelled so good I kept sniffing them for a good minute or two, lol.
Silly, pouty face for the girl with the messed-up hair color. It should look a lot healthier than this if I style it properly and use argan oil, leave-on conditioner, etc. but for blog purposes, here’s the most honest photo I can show you guys of my completely un-styled hair.
Later, you can compare this mess of a photo to the last few photos in this post.
First step was to remove the red. And boy, was it a complete pain in the ass to remove.
They used some sort of blonde cream dye (the lightest they could find) and a color stripper to somehow mimic the effect of bleach. I was completely against bleaching my hair again, so they scrambled their brains out trying to figure out ways how to lighten and neutralize my hair without going through the easiest (but worst) route.
Tadah! Me, if I ever decided to go orange. Unfortunately, it is not a flattering color on me.
Things were slowly looking up, however. Orange is one step away from red!
Time for my final color! If you ask me what my exact hair color is, it’s somewhat like Schwarzkopf Igora 12-11 mixed with two darker ash shades which I have no idea about so I’ll stop talking now before I eat my own words.
Ariel (my mom’s hairstylist whom I specifically requested and trusted to supervise this whole dark red to ash brown shenanigan) did his magic and voila, the perfect shade of ash brown. He was so overjoyed with the result that he had to jot the formula down on a piece of paper so he can recreate this glorious color on other people’s hair! Time to go to Louis Phillip Kee along Libis/C5, everyone!
After dyeing, I went for a quick Keratin treatment where they combed Keratin on my hair, wrapped my hair with plastic, let the Keratin settle for about 15 minutes, and straightened my hair with a flat iron.
I requested them to not straighten my hair too much because my hair is already straight, and I just wanted the unnecessary frizz to disappear. It should stay extra straight for 4 months if you don’t wash your hair until the third day after the treatment, but… I really, really need to wash my hair tomorrow (2nd day) so… I don’t know, lol. We’ll see.
(I have a shoot tomorrow which will probably require me to curl my hair. And curling hair with irons right after the treatment and before the first wash is a huge no-no.)
Well, the frizz is gone, and that’s what matters! Feels so much healthier now too.
Compare this photo with the pouty face one a few paragraphs back. Huge difference, right?
Thanks to Louis Phillip Kee for this successful transformation! I really missed being brunette! I feel like this is more my element, as much as I loved sporting cutesy blonde and edgy red hair.
Thanks to Ariel (on the left) and his team for being patient enough to work on my hair for 5 whole hours! I could see that they were also contented with their work (they took so many pictures of my hair and couldn’t stop styling it as I was posing for selfies in the mirror) which made it all the more meaningful for everybody! Team spirit!
Louis Phillip Kee Premier Salon can be found at The Fort (856-3388), Midori (553-4551) C5/Libis/Acropolis (638-4001) and Banawe (288-9758). You can set up an appointment or inquire about specific locations and prices by calling them. They’ll gladly be of service!
100 was the original image count for this post, but I didn’t want your browsers to die so I did my best to bring it down to 80. Still a lot, but Chicago is too beautiful not to share. This post includes mostly the touristy places that you can visit in the city, as well as a good look at Chicago’s marvelous architecture.
My mom and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago the morning before meeting up with my brother who came all the way from Wyoming. We did this on purpose as he absolutely hates museums (he likened a sculpture at Musée d’Orsay to a piece of ginger, lol) and would rather spend time immersing himself in the city in other ways like food trips and visits to wherever’s hip and cool.
In my case, hip and cool means going to museums to check out famous works and just appreciating the skills of the artists who made them. I blame the art student in me for all the spazzing that ensued whenever I encountered something that I used to just read about! I thought I already died when I visited Paris (omg, that was 2 years ago already) but museums in the US are also really good! The Frick Collection in New York is my new favorite, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Just wait for my New York travel diaries!
Bernat Martorell’s Saint George Killing the Dragon. One of my favorites in the whole museum.
Major Yoshitaka Amano vibes. I wonder if Amano was inspired by Martorell in any way.
El Greco’s The Assumption of the Virgin on the left!
Grant Wood’s American Gothic.
Marc Chagall’s America Windows.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge.
Vincent van Gogh’s self-portrait. Selfie-ing before it was cool.
Georges-Pierre Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
2 from Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s Rinaldo and Armida series.
The Art Institute of Chicago includes famous artists such as Picasso, Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Manet, etc.
But there’s also a Modern Wing where they feature special exhibitions, photography, film, video and new media exhibits, among others.
Shomei Tomatsu’s Island Life spoke to me strongly that I recommend everyone to see it, or at least research about it on the Internet if you can’t visit Chicago any time soon.
I spent a good half hour looking at his photographs, and could have easily spent another half day just ogling at his work if I only had unlimited time.
Issey Miyake IN-EI collection, a collaboration with Artemide.
Scholten & Baijings Colour Installation. It would be so cute if you had these in your house.
One of Hamanishi Katsunori’s mezzotints. Surprisingly there were so many Japanese artists featured in the museum!
One of the two lion statues by Edward Kemeys.
The Art Institute from across the street.
After meeting up with my brother Calel, we headed straight to Navy Pier…
…which was super surreal because it was closed? Somebody didn’t give us a memo that no one was going to be there that day!
Looked like a ghost town - gloomy weather, lack of people, zombie figures hanging from rooftops (Damn it - Halloween made it so much worse) and everything.
Encountered some street art on the long, creepy walk back to civilization.
Had these delicious desserts at Seasons 52 because Joe’s across the street was full! Made us totally forget about Zombieland, err, Navy Pier.
The next day, we went to The Field Museum where we found…
Sue, one of the largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex set of skeletons ever found! It is 90% complete, and its real head is so heavy they couldn’t hang it along with the rest of the body. The real head can be found on the second floor, in a glass case.
Sue’s real teeth.
Kids amazed/shocked at Sue’s massive size.
The Field Museum had a lot of these skeletons, but these two were my top picks besides Sue. Straight out of an RPG.
Walked to the Shedd Aquarium shortly after going through all the exhibits at The Field Museum…
…and found ourselves back home for a while.
Mysterious fathoms below.
Don’t even bother watching the aquatic show if you have no plans of working at the Shedd Aquarium, lol. This view is so much better.
Oh hey there, little fella!
After all the walking we did that day, we went back to the Magnificent Mile for early supper!
The Purple Pig is a must-try in Chicago! Loved every single thing that we ordered, dessert included!
THAT ROASTED BONE MARROW.
The following morning, my mom and brother accompanied me to Urban Outfitters which is pretty much one of my necessary shopping stops whenever I go to the US. Got cute boots for myself and some books for the boyfriend.
Found ourselves at Mariano Park after shopping!
And had to have my photo taken in this spot because I matched the flowers and Corner Bakery Cafe’s red with black and white stripes exterior.
My heart jumps when I notice these little details.
After lunch, we went on an architectural boat tour. Don’t miss this if you’re in Chicago! It gives you a certain understanding why and how Chicagoans know their buildings by heart!
That’s the Trump Tower on the left and the Wrigley Building on the right.
Would you park your car here? Marina City by Bertrand Goldberg. Completed in the 1960s, it is supposedly the first building in the US to be constructed with tower cranes.
World of Whirlpool Design Center, formerly Chicago Traffic Court on the left with the clock tower.
Merchandise Mart. When it opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world. It is also one of the places mentioned in the Insurgent books!
333 West Wacker Drive on the right,
Harry Weese’s Chicago River Cottages
River Bank Lofts.
Erie On The Park on the left.
A. Montgomery Park.
180 North Wacker.
Kinzie Street railroad bridge, also known as the Carroll Avenue bridge, at one point the world’s longest and heaviest bascule bridge.
Civic Opera House, opened in 1929.
The Sears Tower covered by fog, lol. It’s so tall you can’t even see the top anymore. I was shaking at this point because the temperature dropped drastically and the tour was so much better from the deck than inside the boat!
River City, designed by the same architect who designed Marina City.
After the boat tour, my mom’s friend brought us to the Palmer House Hotel before heading to dinner. Can you believe that this hotel has been around since the 1870s? Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde are only two of the hotel’s most famous guests!
It is also the birthplace of the chocolate brownie! NOM <3
Louis Pierre Rigal’s ceiling paintings mostly on love and Greek romanticism.
Perfect place to do photoshoots!
Last memory of Chicago was a scrumptious dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe! The nice night view of Michigan Avenue was the cherry on top.
Watch out for my New York entry (or entries?) next! I only stayed for 3 days but managed to visit a lot of places that I wasn’t able to go to during my first trip last 2011!
More denim inspiration for those who need ideas on how to rock skinny jeans! I personally prefer to keep it clean and simple when I’m wearing jeans, so I tend to pair them with plain tops or classic patterns that are just as straightforward. Less is more!
It may be because after winter is spring and because I’ve been too fixated on black and red lately that I’m embracing anything that’s girly, pink and floral as early as now. I haven’t had a similar obsession with pink before, and I totally blame EMODA S/S 2014 pink gingham and florals for everything. I’m crossing my fingers my schedule will allow me to fly to Tokyo this spring so I can visit friends and shop ‘til I drop!
I saw this button-down and sweater during Mango’s End of Season sale and immediately knew that I had to wear them together like this. Not quite F/W, not quite S/S, but I guess this is what makes it all the more interesting-looking.
I queued this post so my blog won’t be dead while I’m in Taiwan. I hope you guys are having an awesome time back home!
Dumping all these outfits in here before the year ends. 2013 has been a great year for me, and it is probably one that I will never, ever forget. I think my style has changed drastically this year, especially after I got my hair cut and dyed a totally different style from what everyone has been used to all these years. Looking back, it was one of those many decisions that I need to put into my list of impulsive things I did that changed my life for the better.
Today also marks the last day of my 31 Days of Style with Candy! You might have noticed that I’ve been extra active on Lookbook this month and this was the reason why. It’s mostly a story about layering and wearing outerwear. I hope it won’t go away any time soon for those who still need inspiration for cold weather dressing in the next couple of months!
Speaking of Candy, I did a number of medium-length hair tutorials for them last November! I don’t think I’ve mentioned this here before but it’s better late than never, right? I noticed a lot of the girls who went to my book signing events also cut their hair to medium-length - you girls might want to check the videos out for a last minute New Year makeover!
I’ll be leaving for Taiwan soon so I’ll just be queuing posts again while I’m gone! Happy New Year!
First dibs on the new Shu Uemura for Spring 2014 called Bijoux Collection. I got “skin bijoux” stickers made with Swarovski Crystal Elements, “blunt bijoux” false eyelashes and “pink opal” matte lipstick! The lipstick has a pearly sheen to it that I can totally see myself wearing as soon as spring and summer kick in. It has a certain ’90s frosted quality which is a lot different from most lipsticks I own.
Next on my Bijoux Collection wishlist are the “rose quartz” blusher and “amber brown” eye shadow. Can’t wait for January 2014 for these to be available in all Shu Uemura stores!