Saturday, December 8, 2012

My first giveaway! Courtesy of FIRMOO!

Who doesn't love free stuff? And free FABULOUS stuff? Don't get me started. A few months back sent me a pair of the most adorbs (non-prescrip, tee hee) glasses and now it's time to spread the love to you guys! 
Photo courtesy
Whether you want a pair of hipster Zooey Deschanel frames like mine...
or a pair of wire framed glasses, Firmoo has you and your peepers covered. 

So here's the deal! The first 25 people who leave a comment below get $20 to spend at
Firmoo! No strings, no nonsense, just $20 to spend on glasses (designer eyeglasses are excluded). Oh, and they have frames starting at $15! But HURRY! You only have until 12/25 to use the voucher code. 

Get to commenting NOW! 


Melissa, The Shop Therapist

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DIY: Pastel extensions (aka My Little Pony hair)

Ok so now that I'm almost fully healed from my FRI (see previous post) and the job and stuff is settling down, it's time to get back to the 'ole blog! Since my FRI left me MIA, I feel like I owe you buttons something big. So here it is: How to make pastel hair extensions (aka My Little Pony hair).
I always wanted pink hair but going to Catholic school then having internships and a job throughout college put the kibosh on that dream. Little Sis, however, got to have the pink, purple, and blue hair (still jealous). But now thanks to Etsy, YouTube, Pinterest, and Sally's, I now have a rainbow of clip in hair!

Before I get started, I have to preface this DIY by saying I'm not a hair stylist and honestly I still have no idea how to dye hair 100% properly. This was trial and error on hair no longer attached to anyone's head.

Ok, so here's what you'll need:

- 100% REAL human hair extensions -- Get the lightest blonde you can find. The lighter the hair, the easier your life will be. BTW -- Fake hair won't take any color (not even Rit dye). And I used 1" wide individual extensions but you could just as easily use wider extensions with more clips. 
- Colors! I used Ion Color Brilliance magenta, purple, orange, aqua, and sky blue
- Plastic bowls -- enough for 1 per color (I used old Tupperware)
- Hair color tint brushes -- one per color
- Shampoo
- A lot of white conditioner
- Rubber/plastic gloves
- Foil and scotch tape


- Dawn dish soap (the original blue)
- Bleach and developer (talk to a pro about what exactly to buy and ALWAYS do a strand test when messing with bleach!!)
- A mini clothesline to dry your extensions

1. The first thing you need to do is shampoo and condition the extensions. The hair is coated in silicone when you first get it so you need to wash that off so the hair will take the color. 

And don't do what I did: 

Washing the extensions in one clump created a wet rats nest. Solution? Use a rubberband to keep the extensions together. You'll end up with fewer tangles and snarls ("snarls" copyright my Granny). 

Lay out the hair on a towel. DO NOT brush/comb until they are 100% dry. If you aren't patient you'll pull out hair and make the snarls worse. 

2. Once your extensions are dry and brushed, you can start prepping the fun stuff! 

I put down a few strips of aluminum foil and taped them down so there wasn't any scooting around. I also set up a separate "workstation" for my bleaching experiment. More on that later. 

3. Onto the colors! I started with pink because it's my favorite color. First, I followed the instructions a few YouTube video blogs and filled a plastic container with white (Tresseme) conditioner with a dot of pink dye to get a nice pastel pink. Well, no dice. When I did a strand test the hair didn't take any of the color. This trick may with with another brand of hair dye but not with Ion's color. 

*Note: I didn't buy special hair dye bowls from Sally's because a) I'm cheap, b) I probably wouldn't use them again, and c) I was working with small amounts of hair dye. 

So here's what I did: I put on my gloves and I mixed approx. 1 tablespoon of dye with 2 tablespoons of conditioner plus a little developer (full disclosure: I have no idea what developer is or does. Honestly I don't think I needed it in my mixture). I mixed it all up with my mini tint brushes then applied the color to one of the extensions. I set the timer for 5 minutes then rinsed out the hair. 

My silly (yet amazingly helpful!) kitchen hair extension clothesline ;)
Here are the optional steps!

4. After hanging up the hair to dry, I thought the color was too bright. Stop here if you like the jewel-tones. I think the extensions look like candy ribbons ;)

With some research, I discovered that Dawn original blue dish soap will fade color. After washing the strands with Dawn and conditioning with Tresseme, the color faded nicely -- Not quite pastel but the color was gorgeous. 

Over the next few days I kept dying my 20 clip in extensions a variety of colors then washing and re-dying the ends of extensions for a more fun/funky effect. 

To get an ombre effect, I applied color to an extension then quickly washed the color out. After the hair dried, I added more color to 3/4 of the extension. Washed and dried the hair. I repeated these steps until I had the right amount of color-fade effect. Doing a rainbow strand was basically the same thing. 

5. I went to another beauty supply store (an independent store near my house that's always a disaster and the owner is rude and not willing to help anyone with anything. But I was desperate.) Anyhoozelbeez, I bought a packet of bleach and some developer. This is clearly where I'm an amateur. The super sweet girl I got the extensions from told me that I shouldn't bleach the extensions but I've never been one for rules so I did a strand test and everything turned out fine. 

I'm not going to give much advice on this so don't blame me if your hair ends up a mess if you go for the bleach! One thing I will tell you is that this is where you need to wear your gloves. 

On a few extensions, I bleached out highlights, tips, and random strands. Like all bleached hair, it now has a slightly different texture but it's still pretty and shiny! 

Here's my final product! If you're a licensed hair stylist, I apologize for my terrible explanations (and probably terrible techniques) but it all turned out beautifully! I wore these to my friend/coworker's wedding and it was a hit :) I can't believe I haven't done this sooner! I may switch out the beige clips for dark brown ones and dye the top inch or two of each extension to blend better with my hair but for now, they're still super cute and fun! 

I'd post more pics of my hair at the wedding but I over-curled it and it looked like Helena Bonham-Carter's crazy American cousin. Here's a teeny peek at my unfortunate curls:
Combing out this mess took some elbow grease.  At least Linds's wedding was beautiful!
Feel free to ask questions in the comments section! I'll try my best to answer your questions! 
My dog loves them too ;)