How to: DIY Ombre Hair at Home–no Bleach

How I get my DIY Ombre Hair starting with Asian-black roots to blond ends at home–without bleach.

DIY Ombre Hair

I never caught onto the platinum blond trend that looks so great on some Asian skin tones, but I could never quite picture on my own head. I always thought they looked amazing on other girls, and I would always be super jealous that I couldn’t pull off the look. My tan was just too splotchy for it, and I felt like the blond would highlight every dark flaw my mother was always pointing out about my skin tone. Then when ombre became super trendy, I thought maybe this was how I could go blond, and not have to commit to it at the same time, so I decided to try my hand at DIY Ombre Hair.

Before I splurged on this trend that I wasn’t sure I really wanted to spend hundreds of dollars on, I wanted to try it myself. At Target one night, I happened to spot this L’Oreal Feria Ombre hair kit. I looove L’Oreal. It is my go-to drugstore brand for dupes when I want to try a new product without spending my entire month’s beauty budget on one item. L’Oreal always works for me–everything from their mascara to liquid eyeliner to foundation. So when I saw the DIY Ombre Hair kit, I didn’t think twice, and snatched it right up.

The thing about dying organically black Asian hair is that nothing works except bleach. I didn’t want to bleach my hair, and though I read that this hair kit has some bleach in it, as long as I didn’t have to worry about bleaching my strands directly, I was okay with that. (Plus I was too lazy to figure out how to actually bleach it and then still have to apply color–really, the whole process boggles my mind.)

I didn’t think the ombre hair kit would work, but the worst that could have happened was that my hair didn’t change colors at all. Seriously, I’ve tried some “blond” kits that did absolutely nothing. So I wasn’t expecting much with this. Much to my surprise, the first experiment went so well that I decided I wanted to go even lighter! And I love it.

Disclaimer: If you have never gone blond, at first, you will be shocked. And then you’ll get used to it. And then you’ll want more.

Now, onto the DIY Ombre Hair.

The kit comes with:

  • Shimmering Conditioning Permanent Color Gel
  • Developing Cream
  • Shimmer Bleach Powder
  • Conditioner
  • Panted Brush

Hair Dye Kit

This “patented brush” at first sounds really pretentious. Like, what’s so special about a brush? Well, if you’ve dyed your hair at home before without one of these, you’ll know and truly appreciate the difference. It’s so much easier to apply the hair dye to your strands evenly with this thing.

Hair Dye Brush

Mix the shimmering powder into the developing cream bottle, cap and shake. Then squeeze in the gel color treatment (in the tube), cap and shake. Then when you’re all shaken up, snip the tip of the pointy cap (really take a pair of scissors to it. The perforated twist-off part will produce a tiny, frustrating hole that will have you squeezing the bottle with so much power, you might hurt yourself).

Hair Dye Formula snipped

I tied my hair up into four ponytails according to my layers and the style I wanted my DIY ombre hair to be, which was a gradual color change from layer to layer. You might want a gradual color change from top to bottom through the whole mass of your hair, but I like my layered color look. It’s really up to you, but if you want my look, split your hair into four different pony tails before you start applying.

Hair Tied Up in 4 Sections

Then squeeze a moderate amount onto the brush and start applying to your hair.

Dye on Brush

I began with the ends of my hair and moved up to my roots, starting with the bottom layer. I would recommend waiting about five minutes before moving onto the next layer, but I went ahead and started on the next layer immediately. The result was still a gradual change. With each layer, I always applied to the ends of my hair and moved up to my roots.

When my bottom layers were saturated with hair dye, I used the excess and brushed the brush lightly through my top layers and bangs. I did not soak my hair with the dye on my top layers because I wanted them to remain black.

Then I got rid of the smelly chemical things, and threw all my hair kit away (I debated washing and saving the brush, but it was too messy to bother with), and found a book to read for forty-five minutes. The results vary for some–and the instructions recommend testing a strand for twenty five minutes, and then leaving it on in increments of 5 until you achieve the desired color, up to forty-five minutes. But since I knew my hair was resistant to lightening, I did the full forty-five minutes.

Then I rinsed, rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed some more. I used the shampoo/conditioner they provided, which is actually a very rich, moisturizing formula, about three times, and then kept rinsing.

Rinse, rinse, and repeat.

Usually it takes me like a week to wash out the hair dye smell from my hair, but Husband and I went to the sauna that day and I showered about six times (no lies). The smell was gone by the time we got home. Do you need another excuse to spend a whole day at a spa?

And here’s what it looked like.

DIY Asian Black Blonde Ombre Hair

Asian Black Blonde Ombre Hair

Asian Black Blonde Ombre Hair DIY

You can see that my top layers and roots remained black.

What do you guys think of this ombre hair color trend? Cute? Or too much like you ran out of hair dye? Haha. I think it’s the perfect way to go drastic without making a huge commitment, which is perfect for a commitment-phobe like me. I hope you guys try this DIY Ombre Hair! It’s easier than you think, and you’ll love the way it freshens and brightens up your face, hair and overall appearance. Let me know how it goes!

Updates and the Usual Excuses

Bumbling Panda Arts & Crafts Updates

Obligatory Bumbling Panda Arts & Craft Updates

AKA, why I’ve been MIA for like 6 months

HNG, yes I know I’ve gone missing for so long–and I’m super sorry! Life has really gotten in the way, and I know a lot of people say that but I’ve totally switched careers and moved forty miles from home since the last time I posted on here. It’s been quite the adventure.

A few months ago, I decided it was time to take back control of my life, quit my job, and do something I went to school for: publications. When I got offered a job in Pasadena, we knew that our lives would be turned upside down. I love Long Beach, but the commute was too long, and I simply knew it was time to make a change.

So Husband and I packed up our bags, hired movers (best decision ever!) and did the one thing I never thought I’d do again: Move back to Los Angeles.

*Cue dramatic death music*

Just kidding. It’s not that bad up here. It’s actually pretty cool. Since I’ve moved back, we’ve gone hiking, visited Universal Studios, and met some cool people. I even attended a book club, something that’s been on my bucket list for most of my life! (Will tell you guys all about it in a different post.) We also visited a Korean sauna (an interesting experience, more to come!), have eaten more frozen yogurt in one month than we have all year, and discovered some pretty nice torta places.

The point of this Bumbling Panda Arts & Crafts update is to let you all know that now that things have settled down, I’m back for good! I have some interesting L.A. reviews for you all, some DIY beauty (make your own body butter anyone?), and fashion posts. Stick around and stay tuned! I’m excited to be blogging again.

Hour by Hour Review of NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream


For the sake of science, I present to you my hour by hour review of Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream

I wore this lipstick and then took pictures pretty much all day. You know. For research.

But seriously, it was super fun to do this hour-by-hour review of Nyx Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream.

First off, the color I’m wearing is Montecarlo, a deep blue-based red color that I believe will look good on any skintone. It’s difficult for me to find a lipstick that won’t wash me out and won’t make my teeth look like it’s been bathed in coffee (which it has been every morning for the past 15 years of my life). This blue-based red lipstick is perfect because it makes my teeth look whiter and really brightens up my face.

I also have this Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Istanbul, which I’m still not sure looks good on me, but you can take a look here yonder. I honestly think maybe it’s time to accept that pink isn’t the color for me, at least not on my lips. Since I have a darker undertone, I’ve discovered that darker lipstick shades brighten up my face while paler versions wash me out. Weird how that works.

You can see how much red lipstick brightens up my face while pale pink…doesn’t.

So on to the review. This is what it looked like almost immediately after application.


It goes on butter smooth, and has a floral scent to it that I really love. Most girls have said they don’t like the smell, but if you don’t, it goes away after the lipstick dries and then you don’t even notice it anymore.

I love that it has lipstick qualities but goes on like a gloss. The wand makes it super easy to create a precise line, and I honestly hate lipliners so there ya have it. This thing was made for me.

After application, I would recommend waiting at least one hour before eating or drinking anything so it has proper time to set and dry. It will glide on a little glossy, and be totally not matte, but don’t worry. It will mattify once it sets, and you’ll look absolutely gorgeous, dahlin’.

If the lipstick is allowed to dry properly, it doesn’t transfer and is totally kiss proof and husband tested. Also, it will last allllll day. No lies. Here’s the proof.


I wore this to watch The Jungle Book with husband, so I didn’t eat or drink anything during the three hours. It actually prevented me from dropping $20 on popcorn, which I always have at the movies. Not only did it make me feel gorgeous, this lipstick also had me saving money and eating less junk food. Win win.

Afterwards, we went to eat at a burger joint in Burbank. I had a salad and a shake, and let’s be honest, I’m not very careful when I eat. And I don’t feel like I should have to be because what is life if I can’t even eat like a pig in front of my own husband?

Anyway, here is what it looked like. You can see some minimal fading, but the color is still mostly there.


I reapplied and touched up a little after we ate, and then went about my day. I didn’t really care to touch it up after that because we didn’t eat again. This was the same day I made those DIY Citronella Bug Repellent Candles, so I was quite busy.

Before taking off my makeup and getting ready for bed, I took another look at the lipstick. And it was still looked as good as if I had just applied it!


One thing to note, however, is that after hours of wear, the lipstick does start to dry and flake off. Not a lot. Just a speck here and there. But this was after a whole day of wearing (10 hours!) so I think this lipstick stands up pretty well to any busy lifestyle.

My favorite thing about this NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is that I don’t have to worry about it transferring when I’m eating or drinking. I sip water and coffee all day. I hate seeing lipstick stains on cups, especially since I love wearing darker colors. This lip cream doesn’t leave a nasty residue, it lasts all day, and looks gorgeous on everyone. I’m not sure I’ll even buy another type of lipstick again. (But who are we kidding, amiright, makeup addicts?)

Best part? It’s only $6/tube. I’m heading back for all the other colors. Maybe I’ll see you there.

DIY Upcycled Ruffled Chiffon Shoes

Clogs with Yellow Ruffles - cover

So! I upcycled some shoes. Here’s what they looked like before:

shoes beforeBefore

And after:

Shoes 2

(Also, don’t you love my Kindle case? It’s adorable! I love it so much, and also I don’t feel so paranoid about leaving it on a desk when I go use the restroom at a cafe or something, since it looks like a notebook-ish. And did I mention it’s adorable?)

Ruffled Yellow Shoes

Yellow Ruffled Shoes


Ruffled Shoes with Blue DressClogs with Yellow Ruffles

A few weeks ago, Cat from Cut Out + Keep ~~ this really cool social networking site for crafters like moi, or should I say, US (I’m assuming, since you’re on my blog) ~~ asked me if I was interested in being a featured member on the site! Actually they asked me quite a while ago, but being the weirdo that I am, I totally didn’t notice until a few weeks ago. I thought I’d totally missed out when I responded, but nope! They were still willing to collaborate with me. So check out my featured member page, yo! **Brush dirt off shoulders.**

Also, go check out some of the other projects on Cut Out + Keep. People get so creative on there, and there are some projects I’ve stashed away for my weekends. I’m also fairly active on there when I can get a chance to post my projects on yet another site, so if you want to stalk me further, you can follow my profile.

Anyway though, Cat also asked if I’d like to upcycle some shoes from Lotta From Stockholm, and of course when I saw these adorable clogs, I knew I had to have them.

They’re even cuter in person–so cute that I felt a little bad gluing extra stuff on there. But too late! And I loved how these DIY Upcycled Ruffled Chiffon Shoes turned out. 🙂 They would make a really great statement piece to wear to a wedding, and are the perfect way to add bright colors to an otherwise basic outfit.

Here’s the tutorial if you want to make your own. The method is really simple and easy. The actual cutting, sewing, gluing takes about 30 minutes, but if you factor in drying time, they took about twelve hours to make. This depends on the glue you use, and I used E6000 so I let them dry overnight.

The shoes are also up on Cut Out + Keep, so don’t forget to go check out the website!

DIY Fit and Flare V Neck Dress

V Neck Fit and Flare DressDIY V Neck Fit and Flare DressYellow Fit and Flare DressDIY Fit and Flare V Neck DressFit and Flare V Neck DressV-Neck Fit and Flare Dress

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been sort of MIA over the past few weeks, but things have been crazy busy at work. It’s difficult enough trying to find time to breathe and sleep, much less to sew! Added to the fact that my right knee and left hip are killing me and I have a strong suspicion I’ve got IT Band syndrome. Anyway the point is that I’ve been really preoccupied.

Nevertheless, I’ve whipped up this adorable DIY Fit and Flare V Neck Dress. It’s got a ruched, pleated waistline, an a-line skirt, and a curved hem. What do all of those things do? Create a beautiful silhouette that looks good on anyone, if I do say so myself. 🙂

The Ibiza Stretchy Yersey Knit Mustard fabric is from (affiliate link) and for a knit, it was extremely easy to work with. It did roll a little at the edges, but as long as I pinned and worked efficiently, it was all good. Nothing like slippery chiffon or that lace fabric I worked with on my bodycon dress.

The best part about dresses is that you can dress them up with accessories or you can dress them down for a more casual look. I wore this on a Casual Friday to work, so I paired it with my gray anorak (I love anoraks) and sneakers. I personally think dresses with sneakers are an adorable combination. Since it’s still averaging 90 degrees, that’s all I’ve been wearing for the past weeks.

So head on over to YouTube, or scroll back up for the video tutorial on this DIY Fit and Flare V Neck Dress. I hope you guys enjoy it! Now that I hopefully won’t be so busy with work, I’m planning on launching another sewing tutorial again. I’ll keep you guys posted!

DIY Fall Cardigan

DIY Fall CardiganDIY Brown Fall Cardigan

DIY Brown CardiganBrown Cardigan for Fall DIY


Well, I guess denial time is over. It’s officially fall or winter or whatever it is nowadays what with global warming and all. Seriously, it’s still about 100 degrees outside, when am I going to get my cold weather? We can’t have a hot Christmas, guys. That’s just too weird.

But nevertheless, cardigan season will be cardigan season whether the weather really calls for it. Thus, I’ve made my favorite cocoon-cut in brown hacci sweater-like material. I love this DIY Fall Cardigan because it’s super super comfortable. The fabric is very lush. I got this as a 5-yard bolt for $5 from Wal-Mart back in Albuquerque. Man, I wish I could still get deals like that, but too bad so sad.

Anyway, about one yard was what this took, though I am a bit on the–ahem–short side. I love pairing it with florals and bright colors because it helps to balance out the hues. I’m thinking of keeping this one permanently in the office so I can just throw it on since it’s loose enough to go over most of my clothing.

Check out the tutorial below. I hope you guys like it–and make it!

DIY Kimono Sleeve Scoop Neck Dress

Scoop Sleeve Kimono Sleeve Dress DIY

Red Scoop Neck Dress DIY

Red Dress DIY and Blue Cardigan

Red Dress and Pointed Toe Flats

DIY Red Scoop Neck DressDIY Red Kimono Sleeve Dress

DIY Red Dress and Blue Cardigan OutfitDIY Red Scoop Neck Dress Bright

DIY Floral Print Red Kimono Sleeve DressRed Scoop Neck Kimono Sleeve Dress DIY

I feel incredibly Asian in this DIY Kimono Sleeve Scoop Neck Dress. The high bun, the red floral fabric, the kimono sleeves.

Every time I say something like that though, Husband is quick to point out that, duh, I am Asian. In essence, I should ALWAYS feel Asian.

Whatever though. You guys know what I’m talking about. Right?

So yes, I know the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series is over, but I can’t help it if I really love wearing and making dresses. Plus, this one turned out really cute, if I do say so myself. 🙂

I got the red floral print woven fabric at the L.A. Fashion District. Husband and I had errands to run up there, so I was like hey you know what’ll be fun? Walking around for hours in the hot sun surrounded by equally sweaty and annoyed people in the most crowded, overpopulated place in the country, shopping for fabric!

Haha, just kidding. We had a lot of fun though, and I found some things I really love, like the fabric to make this DIY Kimono Sleeve Scoop Neck Dress!

:: Outfit Details ::
DIY Red Kimono Sleeve Dress (tutorial here)
Navy Blue Boyfriend Cardigan ($6 from this store in Long Beach)
Pointed Toe Flats ($12 from H&M)
Cross Over Body Clutch (Ross)

Check out the tutorial:

10 Dresses Week Ten! Blue Lace Bodycon Dress

Oh boy. This lace fabric was tough to work with. Even worse than chiffon, I think. It kept slipping and sliding and moving where I didn’t want it to.

I got both fabrics from Jo-Ann’s remnant’s section, and it was totally one of those moments where I was browsing and wasn’t really expecting to find anything. Then I grabbed a hold of both of these, and was like, hmmmm. I’ve always loved pairing dark blue with yellow (like I do in this cut-out outfit). So when I held these two fabrics up next to each other, an idea slowly formed, and this DIY Lace Bodycon Dress was born!

I can’t believe this is the last dress in the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing series. It seems like only a few weeks ago I was barely making the first dress. Oh well. I guess it’s only applicable since summer is over. Not that you would know it here in Southern California where it’s been averaging 100 degrees. I know I know. First world problems.

Even though the series is over, I’m planning on making more dresses, and I’ve already got some tutorials ready to go up. You guys should check back next Tuesday and stay tuned for more projects!

Also since summer is technically over (for the rest of the world, anyway) and cold season is here, I thought I’d start on a different series… A Sweater Weather Sewing Series?! Who knows. Maybe…

Week 9! DIY Empire Waist Little Black Dress


I like versatility in my clothing and accessories, because they’re great for combining and mixing and matching outfits. For someone who’s always on a budget, that’s a great feature for any item in my closet. So this DIY Empire Waist Little Black Dress was the perfect addition because it’s also a swimsuit coverup.

Then again, sometimes I’ll just throw on a cute dress over my bikini because it’s comfortable.

This dress is so easy to make also! I used the pink crocheted fabric from my swimsuit cover up/sweater dress (see–versatility) and it turned out to be the perfect combination. The black fabric is a swimsuit material that I picked up from the remnants section at Jo-Ann’s, but I wasn’t really in the mood to make a bikini when I’m already obsessed with buying them.

So you guys all get a dress tutorial instead!  

black with white

Click for the slip dress diy underneath!


swimsuit cover up black dress Head over to YouTube for the tutorial.

DIY Batman Pillow Plushie

DIY Batman Pillow Sewing TutorialDIY Batman Pillow Plushie

DIY Batman PillowBatman Pillow Tutorial

My husband and I are Superhero fanatics. My favorite Superhero is definitely Spiderman, but in honor of the new Superman vs. Batman movie, I decided to whip up this cute version of the usually somber Batman.

He still looks pretty mean in pillow format though. I guess there’s something about those sharp, piercing eyes and the straight, set mouth. I love that his cape billows out too, so if I really feel like playing around, I could just toss him across the room and pretend like he’s flying.

This post is a little late, seeing as the DIY Batman Pillow Plushie video went up on Sunday, but in honor of DIY Friday, here it is at last. It’s actually very simple to make, even though there are a lot of steps and little pieces of fleece involved. Any time I make a plushie pillow stuffed animal whatchamacallit, I am reminded of my days in Kindergarten when we would cut out little pieces of construction paper and glue them into a mosaic. I loved those arts and crafts projects. I miss being a kid, actually.

Come to think of it, I guess this means I haven’t grown up one bit, except instead of construction paper, I’m now using  fabric, and instead of glue, I’m using a sewing machine and thread.

I guess I can live with that.

Especially when it turned out so cute.

Here’s the tutorial if you want to make your own. I’m also planning to add it on Etsy if you’d rather purchase it instead. 🙂 Though they are made to order, so keep that in mind. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Of course, now that I’ve made Batman, I’ll have to whip up a Superman. He’ll be ready, hopefully, in time for next week’s DIY Friday. Have a great weekend guys, and don’t forget to come back on Tuesday for the next dress tutorial. 🙂