Tuesday, September 29, 2015

my pink hair holy grail

I've been dying my hair pink on and off since 2011 and even though it is, hands down, my favorite hue for my hair I've always found it tricky to get the exact shade I want. Ideally I want a muted pink that isn't super neon. And in a perfect world it would be a light Crayola carnation pink, not orange-y or coral-ish.

This has always been tricky because my hair grows out of my scalp a medium-dark brown color and I need to bleach it yellow before I can even start thinking about pink. No matter how much I bleach it (and trust me, my hair has seen WAY TOO MUCH bleach) even at its lightest it is still a bright buttery yellow. That base has always worked really well for me, but my hair does tend to come out slightly neon (at least before it starts to fade) and often a tad bit orange.

Enter: Toner. Which always reminds me of this:

But in this case I'm talking about hair dye, not printer ink.

I discovered recently that you can tone your hair after you've bleached it to cancel out the brassy tones leaving you with a white-ish platinum blonde. Now this is probably old news to a lot of people but I had never tried it before last week. I needed to touch up my roots and color anyway so I decided to give this a try.

First I did a bleach bath, which is supposed to be a gentler way of bleaching your hair. If you're interested just look on youtube, there are a ton of tutorials for it and that helped me a lot. I bought one of those bleach kits from Sally's and just mixed it 1:1 with Redken All Soft shampoo. It lifted my roots and got rid of any remaining color on my hair but my scalp wasn't burning and my hair didn't seem fried when I was done. Woo hoo!

Next I applied Wella toner mixed with developer and watched the brassiness disappear from my head right before my eyes. It was like magic!! I used pink Overtone conditioner and it left my locks the most pretty pastel pink you've ever seen. I was honestly obsessed with how this looked when I was all done. I decided to add more pink the next day (this dye mixed with a TON of conditioner) and now it's the majestic muted pastel pink I've been dreaming about for years. I'm not sure what the upkeep will look like yet since this was the first time I used toner but honestly I love it so much that even if I had to do weekly maintenance I'd be okay with it.

It goes without saying, but this is just my own experience with hair dye and bleach and stuff and I'm not a professional so don't listen to me unless you're dangerous and like living life on the edge.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

passport picture perfect

I just got a fresh new haircut and touched up my roots, and my makeup was looking less horrible than usual today so it seemed like the perfect time to get my new passport photo taken. The one that I've been living with for ten years was literally the most horrible photo of me ever, I'm not even kidding. I had the worst haircut of my life at the time and I somehow managed, at 18, to look like I was at least 45. And not even a young and fresh 45, it was a "life hasn't been kind to her" 45.

I think I'm going to do a post about hair coloring next because I recently discovered the secret to the shade of pink that I've wanted since I first started experimenting with this color in 2011. It's always been more orange or more neon than I originally hoped for but this time I finally nailed it. Yay!

dress (old, worn as a top, and designed by me!) - dahlia | skirt - forever 21
shoes - bait footwear, of course | belt - from another dress

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Shop my closet update

I haven't done a closet sale in over a year, for obvious reasons, so I have accumulated a ton of stuff that needs to go. This picture is maybe 1/3 of what I'm selling, it's seriously a lot. Mostly dresses with some purses, a few shoes and even a pair of cat earmuffs* thrown in for good measure.

I'll be doing the shop my closet sale on instagram tomorrow at @scathinglybrilliantcloset. I'll be posting an exact time on instagram (I'll post it on the closet sale account and my main account, @kategabrielle) a few hours beforehand (as well as some rules for how the sale will work, shipping prices, etc.) to give everyone a head's up. I will be shipping internationally so if you're not in the US feel free to follow!

*These are earmuffs that look like cats, not earmuffs that you put on your cat's head, just to clarify ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My first custom Funko Pops - The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

man from uncle funko

I've become slightly obsessed with collecting Funko Pops over the last year or so. I check their blog for new releases and if I fall in love with a movie I immediately hop on Amazon to see if there are any Pop Vinyls to make my love more official. I'm really bummed that they don't have the license for Jurassic Park or Jurassic World, I mean I *NEED* an Ian Malcolm pop vinyl. It is essential to life. And while I didn't expect them to release Pops for The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I was aching for a set of MFU dolls nonetheless.

A lot of people customize Funkos (they even sell a set of plain white ones that you can paint and sculpt yourself!) so I decided to try my hand at it, too! I read up on how this works and watched a ton of tutorials first, but I was still really nervous about trying it (I'll explain why in a second)

custom funko

I really want to make a Gaby doll, too, but for now I just did Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin. For Gaby I think I'd have to actually sculpt hair and an outfit since I can't find any existing dolls that resemble her in any way.

To make my custom dolls I bought Fry from Futurama to use for Illya's body, Andrew Clark from The Breakfast Club to use for Illya's head, Agent Smith from The Matrix for Napoleon's body, and Superman for Napoleon's head. That last one was a no-brainer since Henry Cavill plays both Superman and Napoleon Solo!

custom funko

Okay, now this is the part that I was really nervous about. You need to put the dolls in BOILING WATER. It sounds scary, right? I was positive I was going to melt them, but it actually works! I put water on the stove and brought it to a boil. Then I held one doll at a time in the water (you really only need to submerge it up to the neck) with a pair of tongs. After about 1-2 minutes you can take it out, let it cool just enough that you don't burn yourself when you touch it, and wiggle the head off the body. If it's being resistant you can put it back in the water for a few seconds to loosen the glue again. I made two sets of these dolls, so I had to remove 8 heads from bodies (now there's a sentence I didn't think I'd ever be typing...) and almost all of them came off pretty easily.

custom funko

After they've cooled down a little you can pop the heads onto the new bodies. What worked best for me was putting the head upside down on the floor (or a table) and then pushing the body into it with a lot of force. I read in a lot of tutorials that people will glue the head back on with super glue, but I had such a hard time removing the heads and replacing them that I figured I didn't need to reinforce it, these heads are definitely staying on.

Napoleon was good to go without any extra customization. Technically he doesn't wear a black suit in the movie (at least not that I recall) but I thought it looked like him enough without having to paint the suit grey or blue. What can I say, I'm not a perfectionist. Illya definitely needed painting though.

The first time I painted Illya I didn't put the head back on until I had finished painting, but I found the second time around it was much easier to attach the head first. I was able to hold the head while I painted the body, for one thing. And also I didn't have to worry about messing up my paint job during the head-re-attaching process.

custom funko

The last step was painting Illya's body. I painted over the white shirt and gave him a black turtleneck. Then I painted the jacket brown, the pants dark grey, and the shoes black. Lastly I added a small scar next to his right eye.

custom man from uncle funko

I'm really happy with how they turned out! I probably should have stopped there *but* I made this set for a friend and I felt like I should probably put them back in their original boxes before I mailed them. And then I thought I should probably customize the names on the boxes. One thing led to another and I ended up designing entirely new packaging. Between you and me, I was supposed to be working on tax stuff and that's basically a guarantee that I'm going to create a project to procrastinate as long as possible. Honestly writing this post is just another way for me to put off working on tax stuff. I just really don't want to do it, okay.

But look how pretty the boxes turned out!

man from u.n.c.l.e. funko

custom funko box man from uncle

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The FBI's most unwanted

Today is the anniversary of The X-Files pilot, so I themed my outfit around my X-Files brooch. I have a jam-packed day today (I have no idea how I'm even managing to find time to type this!) but I'm definitely going to re-watch the pilot before I hit the hay tonight. It's been a tradition for a few years now and I can't miss it! :)

I know I've been going on about my camera too much but would you believe that it's super dark and rainy outside today? You would never know from the pictures!! I'm sure everyone who has a DSLR is rolling their eyes like "noob @_@" but it's so exciting. I always thought I could only take pictures if the sun was out but these came out even better than some of the ones I've shot on sunny days!! It's pretty exciting stuff.

Friday, September 4, 2015

good things

I've been having a lot of crummy days lately, so I'm just trying to concentrate on the good stuff. This is my fourth year keeping a good things jar (I blogged about it before here) and the jar is practically overflowing already, and I still have four months left to go. I keep looking at it to remind myself that bad days don't add up to bad weeks or years. I've made a ton of great memories this year, and that should definitely outweigh all the crappyness.

dress - modcloth | shirt - forever 21 | shoes - bait footwear

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

beachy keen

I'm still getting the hang of using my camera (these all came out way too bright and you could see me holding the remote in almost every photo) but I still think they're 100% better than the iphone pictures I was taking before.

I went to the beach for dinner last night and decided to wear two of the beachiest items in my closet. I got this dress on clearance from modcloth a couple years ago and I still think it's one of the most clever pieces of clothing I own. I don't know if you can tell too much from my pictures but the yellow half of the dress is a photo print of people lounging on a beach and the blue half is ocean, with a few people swimming in it. I like that it's kind of subtle and abstract from a distance (not just like an all-over novelty print of fish or something, although I'd obviously also be into that too.) And then there's my shell bag! It holds practically nothing, but for dinner down the shore what more do you need than a credit card and cell phone?

dress - modcloth | bag - asos (similar) | shoes - bait footwear