June 17, 2018 – Blonder Now (OOTD #304)

I did it guys! I’m blonde again!

If you’ve been following my hair color adventures, you’ll know that I very recently got a haircut. While I loved the new cut, the color needed a little work still in order to get it to the point that I wanted, so I had to go back to get it touched up.

It took a few days to get booked at the salon again, but I finally did, a little over a week after I first got it done, and let me say — I am very happy with the results!

I’ve been blonde before (see example A and example B), so I guess this isn’t the most radical change I’ve ever done, but I’m nonetheless very excited to be blonde again. It’ll take a little getting used to, especially with figuring out the best wash cycle so as not to dry it out badly, but now that I have nearly 2 years of blondness under my belt, I’m hoping it’ll turn out better this time (read: won’t wind up with my hair getting so damaged that I have to chop it all off)

If you’ve ever done a drastic hair change, you’ll know that sometimes, it can be a little off-putting to see your reflection for the first few times, especially if you’re not expecting it.

Nothing like a few fleeting moments of dissociation to go with a new hairdo, right?

You’ll notice that, once again, it is summer and I am clearly dressed for fall weather. I really tried to just let myself go with the white sundress, but I can’t help it — I love layering, and I love having my arms covered, even in warmer months. I don’t really get it, since I’m happy to leave my legs bare, but for some reason, I’m just a big fan of long sleeves.

Was a turtleneck and a jacket a little excessive? Maybe. But does layering those two pieces along with my sundress make the whole outfit a lot more interesting than if I had just done the plain white dress? You betcha.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: thrifted

Dress: American Eagle

June 8, 2018 – Haircuts and Habaneros (OOTD #300)

For those of you folks at home keeping score — this is Mexican restaurant #3 that’s serving as a background for OOTD photography. For the first two, check them out here and here.

You might remember that I’ve been considering changing up my hair for a while now, and I’ve finally gone off and done it! I’m back to blonde!

…ish. Actually, my hair isn’t quite finished its transition yet, but I liked this outfit so much, I wanted to photograph it anyway, even with my hair left in an incomplete state. Plus, I was outside a Mexican restaurant, and it seems like I have to take pictures every time I go to one of those anymore (hence the habaneros part of the title — okay, a bit of a stretch, I know).

Besides, it won’t be another week until I can get into the salon again, and I didn’t want to lay off from blogs for a whole week just because my hair wasn’t quite the color I wanted. I’ll just have to tolerate being a redhead for a little.

As you might have caught a few paragraphs back, I’m aiming for blonde here. I’ve been blonde before (for two years actually), which was the hair color I began this blog with,  though I’ve transitioned through a couple of different hair colors over the last year, ranging from grey to brunette to purple to pink. Through all of those colors, though, I felt a longing to go back to blonde — I don’t know, I just feel like it’s the best hair color for me.

The annoying thing about blonde, though, is that my natural hair color — jet black — is about as far away from blonde as any color can be. Thus, it takes a ton of bleach and 40-vol developer to lift it to even a honey color, which, as anyone who’s dabbled in chemical coloring will tell you, is super damaging. That’s actually the original reason why I had to chop my hair off and lay off the bleach for a few months — as you can see here, after two years of bleaching it blonde, it was stringy and terrible-looking. Let’s just say it was so bad, that when I went to a cornfield at a farm with my dad, I had a hard time distinguishing between my hair and the broken, dead corn stalks.

This time, though, my plan is to have my roots blended into the lightened areas in such a way that I’m able to go longer spans of time without bleaching it, and thus avoid the terrible damage I wound up with last time.

We’ll see how it turns out though. Like I said, it’ll be another week until I can get in and have it bleached a second time, hopefully in order to lighten it up to an actual blonde. Fingers crossed it doesn’t fall off and I don’t have to shave my head! Though that probably wound’t be so bad — I’d be willing to try shaving my head at some point in my life for the hell of it.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: H&M

Jacket: H&M

Skirt: Zara

REVIEW: The Body Shop Body Yogurt in Mango

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

At this point, it looks like I’m getting Influenster products to review fairly consistently now every month. I don’t want to jinx it in case I don’t end up maintaining that streak, but I’ve been getting a new VoxBox basically once a month since my first one back in February.

And I love that, as Arie from The Bachelor might say. It feels good to break up my OOTD posts a little with the occasional beauty review — it keeps things from going stale.

Today, I’ll be reviewing for you The Body Shop Body Yogurt in the mango scent, which I received a few weeks back for free from Influenster for review purposes. I’ve been trying it out a little over the last few days, and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

Packaging-wise, it’s nothing to write home about. Perfectly serviceable, is probably all I have to say about it. It holds the product, the lid is easy to unscrew, and the vibrant orange color makes it stand out from a lot of the beige and cream colored lotions I already own.

What is definitely something to note, though, is the scent. Seriously, this stuff smells so good. It helps, of course, that I like sweet, fruity scents like mango — if you don’t like mango, you’re not going to like this because it literally smells just like a freshly cut mango. It’s so potent that I got a whiff of it when I first opened up the parcel it had been mailed in (not even the pretty box blue box it was packaged in — the regular cardboard parcel containing that box). My first thought was that maybe it had spilled, and the reason I could smell it without even opening the container was that some of it had leaked onto the cardboard.

Rest assured, though, there were no spills — the scent is just that strong. I’ve owned a lot of Bath and Body Works lotions in my time, thanks to plenty of birthday parties in the early 2010s where Bath and Body Works products and those little hand sanitizers were all the rage, and I don’t think any of them compare to the strength of the smell of this stuff.

As for the actual moisturizing properties, it’s a lot more average. As you can see from my photos, it’s a pretty goopy consistency, though still more solid than liquid. It’s pretty close to yogurt, which I guess is why it’s called Body Yogurt. It’s best used when the skin is still wet, such as right after a shower — but I’m pretty sure that’s true of most moisturizers. I found that it absorbed fairly quickly, though not super speedy, and left a slight residue that went away after a minute.

What was most disappointing to me, though, was that the scent didn’t also stick around. For as pretty and as potent as it smelled right out of the package, on the skin, it didn’t really hold up. I guess you could see that as a good or a bad thing — if you liked the scent, like me, you might be a bit disappointed, but if you weren’t interested in smelling like a mango smoothie all day, you might not have been bothered.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Strong, sweet scent
  • Nice, goopy texture
  • Absorbs into skin quickly

Cons:

  • Scent doesn’t last long
  • Moisturizing properties are nothing special

In the end, it was an alright product. I liked it just fine — probably even more than the Bath and Body Works scented body lotions, which I have to think would be their main competitors. It wasn’t perfect though, especially with the fact that the scent didn’t last super long and the moisturizing properties were only so-so. Give it a try if you want something that smells yummy right out of the package but doesn’t get in the way of wearing perfume on top and doesn’t smell too strong on the skin, but if you’re looking for something with a little more in terms of skin benefits, you may want to look elsewhere.

Have you tried The Body Shop’s Body Yogurts Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite moisturizers? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BareMinerals Bare Pro Concealer

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Look at me! Doing more beauty posts and using my blog as a platform for testing and reviews products!

The thing I love best about doing Influenster reviews is that I feel no pressure to have an opinion, one way or the other, about the products I receive. While I do try to always provide my own opinions and thoughts for the other complimentary products I’ve received for promotional purposes on this blog, it would be a lie to say I don’t still feel some pressure to emphasize the positives over the negatives. With Influenster, since the products are being sent to me via a third party rather than from the brand itself with the stipulation that my only role is to review the product, that pressure is gone.

This is my second Influenster VoxBox (the first one being the L’Oreal Color Crave Hair Makeup and Semi-Permanent Hair Color), and with my experience so far, I’d definitely be happy to get more of these in the mail. They come packaged so cutely in these colorful boxes, and they always provide helpful instructions for what to do once you’ve received the box. If you’d ever like for me to review Influenster as a service for bloggers on LEDJ, leave me a comment below and let me know!

Anyway, the product I got from Influenster this time around was a little stick concealer from BareMinerals from their Bare Pro line, which claims to have 16 hour coverage. I received color 05, which seemed like a pretty good fit for my light-medium skin with neutral undertones.

Now to be honest with you, I don’t typically wear concealer. I much prefer to simply use a BB cream all over my skin, and then dab it on in a little more concentration on problem areas. If I do wear concealer, it’s probably because I’m running late to class and I don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, and I just want to cover up some pimples. Very rarely do I ever do concealer and BB cream/foundation — only special occasions.

So the look I’m sporting here is, in truth, more makeup than I typically wear. I have on both a very light coverage BB cream and the concealer over top of a couple of pimples and scars scars I have on my temples and cheeks, as well as a little discoloration beside my nose. Otherwise, I don’t really have any huge problem areas right now (bless), so I didn’t need to wear it anywhere else.

I was pleasantly surprised with the blendability of the concealer, as its texture is harder and more chalky than some of the other stick concealers I’ve used, like the Revlon Photoready concealer. A few dabs with my ring finger, and it smoothed right in.

I think a large part of the easy blending is just how well this product matched my skin — I don’t typically find products that match me perfectly, as things tend to either look too pink or too yellow, but this concealer really fit my neutral undertones. Especially since I didn’t get to test this product in the store and selected it based off of some sample images I saw on the Internet, I got pretty lucky.

As for its claims of 16 hour wear, I did not get to test this, and I honestly don’t really care to. Who wears makeup for 16 hours straight? It’s not something that’s currently a part of my lifestyle, so whether it wears for 16 hours or not is truthfully not important to me as a consumer. Its staying power did seem pretty solid though for the full 12ish hours that I wore it — nothing spectacular or life-changing, but still serviceable.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Perfect color match (for me, an Asian with light-medium, neutral undertone skin wearing 05)
  • Blends easily
  • Paraben, sulfate and phthalate-free
  • Wears well (for an average 12-ish hour day)

Cons:

  • Costly at $25
  • Still not completely “all-natural” — though what really is?
  • Average to above-average quality

In the end, I liked the product. It’s no Holy Grail for me, but I found it delightfully average, and even a little above average in terms of color matching. Is it worth it for the $25 price tag, when you could get another perfectly serviceable drugstore concealer (Revlon Photoready and the Sonia Kashuk quads are two of my favorites) for half the price? That I guess depends on your views of BareMinerals’ ingredients — they do claim that this concealer is paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free, and that its natural ingredients (though not all natural — there are definitely some chemical-y ingredients that I have never heard of on the label) “nourish” the skin, so if that’s something you care about, maybe it’s worth it for you.

Have you tried the BareMinerals Bare Pro Concealer? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite concealers? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: Clairol Color Crave Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Orchid

To read part one of my Clairol Color Crave review, click here!

Welp, I’ve gone and done it – I’ve dyed my hair purple.

My best friend has declared that I look like a high school band kid, but she usually has some complaint to make whenever I change my hair. I think if it were up to her, I would have maintained the platinum blonde hair, but with the texture of my non-bleach-damaged hair forever. Wouldn’t that be nice.

The reality is that I can’t be spending hundreds of dollars a month to have my hair chemically altered every month, so I have to make do with what I have. What I had was a short, slowly-growing-out brunette pixie cut that left me feeling a bit unsatisfied with how average it was. What I wanted was something practical and affordable that could change up my hair a little and remedy my sense of monotony.

That’s where Clairol comes in. In my latest Influenster VoxBox, I was sent their Semi-Permeant Hair Color in Orchid. While I hadn’t necessarily been thinking of dyeing my hair purple beforehand, I decided to go for it when the opportunity arose.

I have a lot of experience (well, not A LOT – not as much as some people, but more I think than the average 19 year-old) with various hair dyes. I started by getting my first set of highlights way back in sixth grade, before progressing to all-over color my freshman year of high school, then bleach blonde by junior year, then a semi-permanent grey and finally a brunette pixie cut just this year. My hair’s been every shade of brown under the sun, as well as jet black, blonde, platinum, grey, orange (on accident), and now, purple.

The first thing I noticed when I openeed the box was that there was nothing to mix – just the tube of dye. I don’t know if I’ve ever had any hair color products were no mixing was needed, so that was neat. In addition, the kit came with two pairs of protective gloves and a small brush.

As application goes, it was as easy as it gets – just squeeze the purple goop out of the tube, apply, and then rinse out. I guess it also helps that my hair is shorter now that it’s ever been, so I had no worries about making sure I got all my hair covered. I ended up using the whole bottle, though I probably didn’t really need to, with hair as short as mine. If you have long hair, I’d definitely buy two.

The directions said to leave the product in for 20 minutes, or 30 for a bolder look. Given the darkness of my hair (the root growth that is), I opted for 30 minutes.

To be honest, I probably could have left in in for shorter. The color didn’t really show up in my dark hair, and it showed up too dark in my bleached hair. Not that I really expected it to make much of a difference in my dark hair, because so little ever does, but I was hopeful for a little bit of a purple tinge.

(Me after applying and rinsing out for the first time)

That brings me to my biggest complaint about this product – it didn’t really come out as the same color on the box, at least for me. I think that’s partially due to the fact that part of my hair is bleached, which explains just how vibrant it came out, but even so, I don’t even think the color I got is even close to the color on the box. The girl on the box has a medium-tone red purple, while I what I got was a very dark (almost black!) blue purple.

On the plus side, I don’t mind a blue purple – it’s just not really what’s advertised here. If you have bleached hair and you use this product, I would definitely suggest leaving it in for much shorter than 30 minutes, maybe even 15, if you’re aiming for the orchid shade on the box. Another plus is that after three washes (one week approximately), this stuff is still just as vibrant as it was when I first put it in. It’s a semi-permanent dye, which means it should wash out in a few weeks, but I’m surprised it hasn’t at least started to fade for me.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Vibrant color payoff
  • Easy application
  • No mixing required
  • No fading (within first week)

Cons:

  • Color is more blue-toned than what box shows
  • Color comes out much darker on bleached hair
  • Color doesn’t show up at all on my dark hair

In the end, I like my purple hair. It’s not quite the medium lavender I was hoping for, but regardless, I’m happy with what I got. It’s more exciting than the brunette I had before, and that’s all I was really looking to get out of it. I would definitely recommend it for the easy application and vibrant color payoff, but I would just be careful with how long you leave it on in lightened hair, and don’t expect to get the same color as the girl on the box unless your hair is naturally her hair color to begin with. As for lasting power, it’s only my first week with this color, but it hasn’t yet faded, which seems to be a good sign.

Have you tried the Clairol Color Crave Semi-Permenant Collection? Or any other kind of semi-permanent dye? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Clairol Color Crave Hair Makeup in Rose Gold Review

Hair makeup? Is that what the big beauty brands are trying to cash in for as the next big hair trend?

These were the words I thought to myself when I opened my first Influenster VoxBox with products from Clairol’s new Color Crave series. I’ve lived through plenty of hair trends – the Kool-Aid dip dye color, ombré, pastel hues – but this whole hair makeup thing is new to me. Maybe it’s existed for a while, and I’m just too behind to know about it?

Or, alternatively, maybe it’s just an old product that’s been given a snazzy new name like “hair makeup” to try to appeal to a new crowd. That’s the mystery I intended to solve with my review of the Color Crave Hair Makeup – is this really something new, or is it just something old in new packaging?

A little background on my hair before I get much farther – I have naturally dark, thick, pin-straight Asian hair that had been bleached to obscurity before, just within the last month, being chopped off into a short pixie. My hair’s definitely beginning to get healthier, perhaps due to the ample amount of root growth I have, but the lighter brown bits are definitely more on the dry side.

After opening up the box, I was presented with a small 1.5 oz tube that resembled a bottle of lotion. Pop off the cap, and there’s a little sponge applicator that reminded me a lof of the old Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser foundation applicators. It’s kind of cute, but nothing special.

The directions on the side of the box say to shake the tube, press the sponge applicator until the color begins to appear, rub onto the desired portions of hair, and then blow dry to “lock in” the color, and so that’s what I did. Minus the blow dry part – I actually don’t have a blow dryer in my dorm, and I was a little to embarrassed to stick my head under the hand dryer. Instead, I let the product air dry (which it definitely needed, as this product is 100% a liquid, with all of the wet, runny properties of liquid) into my strands.

Here were the results (with no styling) immediately after applying:

What the directions don’t say is just how messy this product is. Don’t expect to be able to apply this in white clothing and get away unscathed. In the case of my color, Rose Gold, I found my issue wasn’t so much the color rubbing off into my hands or my clothes, but the glitter. This is a picture of my hands just after application:

Speaking of glitter, this is definitely a shimmery product. In a way though, I found that that worked to its advantage. In the dark portions of my hair, the pinkish color didn’t much show up (not that I expected it to – nothing ever shows up in my pitch black hair) but the shimmer really did.

As for the color payoff on my bleached ends, I was pleasantly surprised. The pink really was very visible, which is more than I can say of any hair chalk or other wash-out temporary color I’ve used in my entire life. And it doesn’t take much product to get it to show up either – one swipe with the sponge applicator rubbed in a little with my fingers, and I got the color seen here.

On a more negative note, though, due to the liquid-y paint-like consistency of this product, I found that it dried strangely in my hair, leaving it stiff and product-y. I wasn’t really able to leave my hair unstyled after application – I had to twist it into braids in order to hide the stiffness of my hair. That did make for some very pretty peek-a-boo color, and some festival-inspired boho glitter braids, but not really something I could personally see myself wearing every day.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Good color payoff, especially on lighter hair
  • Glitter shows up even on dark hair
  • Easy application
  • Lasts all day
  • Washes out after one use

Cons:

  • VERY messy
  • VERY glittery
  • Leaves hair stiff and product-y
  • Glitter rubs off even after it’s dried

In the end, I have to admit I had a lot of fun with the Clairol Color Crave Hair Makeup. It wasn’t anything revolutionary, but it also wasn’t just a repackaged version of the hair chalk I played with in sixth grade – this really is something new. It’s messy, too glittery, and impractical for everyday wear, but I can definitely see it being with a try for a music festival or a summer concert, where you’re looking for something fun to try with your hair without being permanent. Don’t expect it to work very well on black hair, don’t expect it to stay very long, and don’t expect miracles, and you should be able to have a little fun with this product, and that I think is the way it’s supposed to be used anyway.

Have you tried the Clairol Color Crave Hair Makeup? Or any other kind of hair makeup? Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

January 27, 2018 – All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go (OOTD #212)

You think I’m kidding? No – I really did get all dressed up here just so I could take some pictures and then sit in my dorm room the rest of the day trying to convince myself to do homework.

It started off with a very productive morning – I got up at 9:30 (which is fairly early for me for a weekend), then, I worked out and took a much needed shower. At that point, 11:00, I proceeded to spend an obscenely long amount of time on my makeup simply because I could and I was feeling it that morning. Most days, I roll out of bed ten minutes before class is due to start so I barely have time to draw on some eyebrows before I rush out the door, so getting to spend some quality time on my makeup is a luxury.

After making myself look pretty for nothing and no one in particular, I tackled the challenge of trying to find some good lighting and a decent background in my dorm room to snap some selfies. The end result, which I’m pretty proud of, bar the bunk bed background, you can see below.

By afternoon, though, all of my motivational energy from the morning was drained, and I was left with nothing but a dull sense that I probably ought to get some work done and the even stronger sense that I had no desire to get work done whatsoever. As I result, I wound up sitting around in my room for most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing.

In fairness, I did have a rather eventful evening the day prior. My friend, Michaela, and I decided to go to the Max Schneider concert on campus, which, while not as exciting to me as the Wombats, who were there the week before, was still pretty fun.

I wasn’t really familiar with any of his work before we went, but I wound up really liking some of his stuff, for pop music at least. He was an excellent entertainer with a ton of energy, and you couldn’t help but feel his enthusiasm for what he was doing, which was really neat to see. Plus, we arrived early enough that we were able to stand right up next to the barricade, which was an experience I’d never had at a concert before – but one that I’d love to have again, especially if it was for a band that I was really into.

All that excitement though completely wore me out, and now I’ve caught a cold. Since starting university, I swear I’ve gotten sick more times within just two semester than I ever was during the entirety of high school. I also just ran out of NyQuil, so I’ve been trying to cure the virus with cough drops and allergy nose squirts alone. I don’t think it’s working.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Missguided

Review: Alya Skin Australian Pink Clay Mask

It’s been a long day.

And by a long day, I mean it’s actually been quite a nice day – it’s just had a lot of things to do in it. I started out frantically finishing up packing to head back to school before flying from Lexington to South Bend – in a private plane I might add, but more on that when I post the OOTD from today later this week – and finally making it back to school by early evening in time to get dinner with my friends and then unpack.

It’s days like these when I like to pamper myself a little – you know, to reward myself on a job well done of not messing anything up horrifically and actually getting a fair amount of productive “adulting” in. Those days don’t come by often.

Recently, my friends at Alya Skin sent me their Australian Pink Clay Mask to review, so it seemed like the perfect time to crack it open and give it a shot.

The first thing I noticed about the product was its nice packaging – a simple matte pink box, inside of which was a simple pink jar. Was it anything spectacular or artistic? No, but it was very fashionable, like something I wouldn’t mind having sat out on my bathroom counter. Minimalistic.

The mask itself was very standard mud mask fair – apply to cleansed skin, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse off with a damp cloth.

Alya Skin claims that their Australian Pink Clay mask helps with removing pigmentation clusters from skin’s surface, stimulating regeneration of skin cells, and drawing out and removing pollutants and toxins from skin. Did it live up to those claims?

(After application: no face makeup, some eye makeup)

To be honest, I’m not sure. I can say, though, that after one use, my skin felt smoother, softer, and more refreshed. I’m no facial mask expert – I’m don’t understand the chemistry of skin or the science behind skin care  – but I can speak to my own experience, and my experience was positive. I liked the rose scent, I liked the pearly pink texture, I liked that the product is vegan, gluten free, and not tested on animals.

(After application: full makeup)

In the end, I got everything I was looking for out of the Alya Skin Australian Pink Clay mask – some relaxation, a calming scent, and the satisfaction of knowing I was doing something good for my skin after having fallen asleep with makeup on a few too many times over winter break. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a simple way to pamper themselves every now and then, and to anyone looking for a quick way to even out their skin’s texture and tone.

You can check out the product over on Alya Skin’s website here, if it looks like something you might be interested in purchasing. Use code lensembledujour for 10% off at checkout!

Disclaimer: This post includes products that were sent complimentary to review and affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

November 3, 2017 – In Which Dental Hygiene Is My Aesthetic: Bianco Smile Whitening Powder Review (and OOTD #151)

Today’s post will be a little different than usual – in addition to my typical OOTD discussion and sarcastic humor, I’ve got a review for you too!

The lovely folks at Bianco Smile were kind enough to send me a package with their Activated Charcoal Whitening Powder to try and review, and I was just so excited about the fact that someone on the Internet noticed me, that I couldn’t say no. Admittedly, I’m no teeth expert – in fact, the last time I went to the dentist, I got rather passionately criticized for not flossing. But I suppose that’s why there’s a several billion dollar dental hygiene industry out there – because idiots like me don’t care for their teeth like they ought to, and then need to buy things to try to fix them.

The product came packaged in a cute little black box with the instructions labeled on all four sides – 1)Dip ya brush, 2) Scrub ’em, 3) (Smile). I rather a fan of the simple, all-black look; it was very fashionable, like something I wouldn’t mind having sat out on my bathroom counter.

As the instructions suggest, powder itself is actually rather simple to use – simply dip your wet brush into the powder, and then scrub your teeth just as you would with toothpaste. And indeed, the experience was rather like just brushing my teeth as I would any regular day, the primary difference being the texture of the powder (for lack of a better word – powdery), and how I looked when using the product.

To be honest, you’re probably not going to look pretty while brushing your teeth – in fact, you’ll probably look like you’ve just eaten a bunch of blueberries and now their guts have coated your teeth – but that’s alright, because you’ll look pretty afterwards.

I’ve compiled here some photos of my teeth over the last few days using the product:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

The verdict: I rather liked this product! I really don’t know anything about charcoal whitening powders, so I can’t compare it to any other similar products, but for my first experience using a whitening charcoal powder, it was overall quite positive.

Perhaps I’m just seeing things, and perhaps it’s simply the result of wearing red lipstick in the final photo (which does tend to make your teeth look whiter), but I do believe my teeth looked a touch whiter after a few days of using the product. I definitely think I will continue to use it – maybe not every day, but perhaps in rotation with my regular toothpaste.

My only complaint is that it’s not exactly the cleanest product ever – there was definitely some black powder left over on the sink after I was done brushing, but it was super easy to wipe up and left no stain.

You can check out the product over on Bianco Smile’s website here, if it looks like something you might be interested in purchasing. Use code MEILIN20 for 20% off at checkout!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Dress: Pitaya

October 19, 2017 – My Inner Emo Kid (OOTD #139)

How many times have I described myself as something of an emo kid, here on this blog?

Plenty, it seems. And the thing is, I’m not even a proper emo kid – not at least, in the sense that emo kids existed in the early 2000s. I don’t even know if the “emo” subculture exists anymore; I’m pretty sure they were replaced by hipsters as the predominant “alternative” crowd sometime around 2012-2013.

When emo kids were a thing – say, back in 2006 – I was just eight years old, and Hot Topic was the scariest store in the mall to me. It played loud music, had scary masks in the window at Halloween, and had dim lighting that made the entrance look more like the entrance to a dungeon than a clothing store.

It wasn’t until I was about 14 that I actually started listening to some of the music that they played in Hot Topic and experimenting with an “edgier” dark style. It started with Fall Out Boy and some black sweaters, eventually evolving into My Chemical Romance and leather jackets, and finally, Bring Me the Horizon and Doc Martens. I never had a full-on emo phase – no fringe haircuts, studded belts, or rawr XD text messages (at least, when I was 14…I probably experimented with a “rawr XD” or an “lol so randomz” message when I was 11)  – but I did like to dress in all-black every once in a while.

The decision to dye my hair blonde when I was 17 actually came, in some part, from my love of My Chemical Romance music. I wanted to look like Gerard Way circa the Black Parade era (and also Elsa). I instead wound up with an orangey honey color – I didn’t wind up with truly white hair until about a year later, and even then, it was impossible to maintain, haha.

So impossible, that I decided the other day to chop it off. The ends were just looking too scraggly and awful – just have a look at my last blog with blonde hair if you don’t believe me. And since I was chopping it off, I figured I would go for another change while I was at it – dying it grey.

The dye I used, if you’re curious, is the Ion Semi-Permanent color in Titanium. It was quite easy, actually: all I did was whip up a 1:1 mixture of conditioner and dye and then paint it on my already bleached hair. I didn’t add any more bleach to my hair than what was already there, since I didn’t want to damage it further, so I’ve still got my black roots.

So, with my newly grey hair and my outfit that made me look like a Hot Topic model (well, a short Hot Topic model), I went out to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant with my family to celebrate my birthday. In actuality, my birthday’s not until November 1, but since I’m going to be back at school by then, my family wanted to celebrate it early.

I’m not sure exactly what my grandmother thought about going to lunch with her grey-haired, Doc Martens-wearing teenage granddaughter, but I don’t think she minded too much. And if she did, well it’s because *whiny voice* she just doesn’t understand, right?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Forever21

Jacket: Forever21

Boots: Doc Marten

Also, if you’re curious about how my father’s and my pumpkin display from this year turned out, here it is!