My Epic Hair Transformation - Laurantaina x Dandy Hair Salon

I’ve been rocking my natural hair color for the last five years. In high school I dyed my hair black all the time, but I never did anything fun and colorful. A couple of weeks ago I took some photos of my friend, Amy, she had added a new pink stripe to her brown-green hair. We got the spontaneous idea I should try dying my hair too. Why not? It always grows back! Time for a change! In today’s post I’m sharing you the inspiration and transform process behind my hair transformation. Enjoy!

In collaboration with Dandy Hair Salon.

Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki

Finding the Right Salon

It took me some investigating who does the best vibrant color work in Helsinki. I did a few calls and browsed Instagram until I found Dandy. The website and work made a serious impact, if you check out the page you’ll see what I mean. Character, tip top quality, flamboyance. Just what I wanted. The salon was close-by, which was a cherry on the cake. I got to meet Sumi Moreno, one of Dandy’s founders and we booked an appointment.

What I love about Dandy Hair Salon is the style, character, color, je ne sais quoi - whatever you want to call it. I love whites and neutrals in interior, but I felt very comfortable sitting next to colorful painting, plants and the Yoga studio next door. There’s humour in the air when Dandy Stylists work on other clients: from kids with afro to older ladies with root or blonde touch-ups to guys who need an impeccable cut.

Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki
Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki
Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki
Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki

Inspiration for Blue Hair

I created a Pinterest board and saved images from anime characters to grunge goth singers who had blue hair or a stylish cut. In the end I left myself in Sumi’s hands. She suggested we would go with brights and deeper roots instead of the worn-in grunge or anime wig look.

Ready to Transform!

So I go in, my own hair all frizzy and unruly - in its natural color. I feel little shy, but Sumi’s fun personality lights up the room. She makes me coffee, always a plus, and we start the process!

First, Sumi used Pulp Riot’s bleach and oxidizer on my hair. Aluminum foil was used in her technique, the roots were left bare and the bleach worked quickly as my hair had its natural color. The roots were left bare while bleaching. After washing Sumi uses Pulp Riot’s Nightfall color on my roots and alternates with Pulp Riot Electric direct-dye. The base of these dyes is a very effective conditioner and looks its best when added to pre-lightened base. At the same time the color ‘closes’ the hair follicles for a vibrant, long-lasting hair color.

I sip my coffee while the dye works on my hair, listen the hair stylists cracking jokes and chill. There was a selection of new magazines, even a possibility to sit outside for a while, but I felt so peaceful and relaxed I mainly just sat there and checked my phone.

Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki

(I’ve always wanted a foil hat haha)

Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki
Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki

Idea for the cut was to preserve my classic bob-style while keep the nape of the neck and bangs very short. I really like short bangs as I think it “opens up” my face more, brings focus to my eyebrows and overall looks very modern. Sumi creates a bit comic-inspired look with very clear lines.

Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki
Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki

Here’s Sumi’s amazing work and my freshly blow-dried BLUE HAIR!!! The color and cut are so cool, I’m so happy and excited! Everyone has complimented my new look; one blogger even thought I had had a blue or purple hair before - it looked so good on me. I’ve got questions is it hard to do my makeup with blue hair, but not so far. I think blue brings out my eye color and especially red lipstick (such as Tom Ford’s Lips&Girls in Sonia) looks good with this look.

In the very first photo my hair a bit messy after sleeping, but you see the multi-tones of blue, light blue and a hint of turquoise better. Since my natural roots got colored pretty well, we didn’t need to dye the roots darker.

Epic Hair Transformation to Blue Bob | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog & Dandy Hair Salon Helsinki

Thank you Sumi & Dandy Hair!

What do you think about my transformation? Have you tried any fun hair colors? If you had to completely change your look, what would you choose?

Dandy Hair Salon has three locations in Helsinki. Find out prices, booking times and contact info on their website. I can highly, highly recommend Sumi or any other Dandies!

Check out Dandy on Instagram and Facebook as well.

xx Laura

Perfect Baby Pink Blush: Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush in 02 Chiyoko Review

Today I wanna chat you about Shiseido, a big Japanese cosmetic house that has several big brands under its umbrella: BareMinerals, NARS, Clé de Peau Beauté and tons of Japanese brands. Of course they’re also known for skincare and makeup under the name Shiseido. Today I have an interesting, unique *blush review for you. I also go down the memory lane when I lived in Japan and admired local cosmetic counters. Enjoy!

*Blush gifted for consideration. All thoughts are honest and my own.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Me, Shiseido and Love for Blush

You may have guessed, I love Japanese makeup. When living in Japan I remember strolling by the Shiseido counter for countless of times, swatching the smooth, pigmented eyeshadows. Those eyeshadow trios weren’t necessarily very expensive in Japan, but I was a poor exchange student and mostly used Shiseido’s Japan exclusive drug store brands. I also struggled to select which palette I wanted. These palettes have been discontinued a while ago, but I still hold on to my limited edition trio of purple, orange and pink (although no longer wear it).

What I don’t mention too often is my other obsession.. blush. Blush and foundation might be just my two favorite makeup items. I especially love pale, baby pink blushes with blue undertones and I am constantly on the hunt for the best one. I think I found the one from RMK some years ago, but of course they discontinued it.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush

This blush formula is described as air-whipped cream blush that turns into a long-lasting, breathable powder matte finish. From what I understood the shades are named after inspiring Japanese women. The product comes in a square glass jar, black matte cap with the name ‘Shiseido’ and a protective cap in between. Available in 8 shades ranging from light peaches to reds and fuchsia. 5g for $29. Made in the USA.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush

I’m partial to brush application when it comes to any makeup, maybe except cream highlighters. Usually I like to grab a stippling brush to buff and blend any creams after initial application, but Shiseido’s Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush has an airy, mousse-like texture that does feel powdery at the same time. I find the best way to apply this blush is to dab on with my ring finger; if I get it too close to my eye I use a clean finger to swipe. I’ve also used a damp BeautyBlender to smooth and blend any lines if I’ve gone too heavy with my application.

The Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush in 02 Chiyoko is quite pigmented and a little goes a long way. I’ve worn this blush a ton and I’ve still only touched what’s in the inner cap. I find the second cap with cream products always a bit annoying, but I guess it prevents the product from drying. Once the blush sets it feels creamy and soft on the cheeks, doesn’t slip or slide and has a lovely matte “powder” like finish.

The blush wears perfectly +8 hours. I usually do a couple of layers and finish with a touch of finishing powder (such as Hourglass Ambient or Lily Lolo).

02 Chiyoko swatches

Compared to ADDICTION, a perfect pale pink with almost purple hue, 02 Chiyoko has more warm undertones. There is no sheen or shimmer. Chiyoko’s finish is more powdery than Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Gracilis, which is a matte powder blush. I think that Chiyoko is more universally flattering as it has no icy undertones and should show up nicely on medium to dark skin tones.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts on Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush

I think that nowadays only a self-applying blush would blow me away, but Shiseido’s Minimalist WhippedPowder blush in 02 Chiyoko is very nice - both in texture and color. If I didn’t have so many blushes I would sprint to get more from Shiseido. I am considering Momoko, as it looked lovely in Shireen’s post. The lasting power is excellent; I often experience problems with cream blushes as they smear, move or they sheer away very quickly. Not with Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush. Only thing that bothers me is the inner cap, I never have a place to put it.. Anyway, I can highly recommend you go swatch this product! x

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products

Have you paid attention if your household supplies are good for your skin or eco safe? I talk a lot about skincare on my blog and today I’d like to expand the chat to products that also affect our skin wellbeing. When I lived in Japan I didn’t only suffer from adult acne, but I got a nasty skin reaction probably related to my laundry routine. Since then I’ve tried to be conscious about my household cleaners and laundry detergents, creating an eco friendly home at the same time. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk (*) have been gifted for consideration.
This post contains affiliate links to support the blog.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My Background and Itchy Skin

About 5 years ago when I lived in Japan I didn’t have my own washing machine. I used a local coin laundry (very common in Japan) to wash my clothes, sheets and towels. The washing machines were set to wash everything in 40° and they did gather dust which nobody else seemed wipe off. I used local, pretty general laundry detergents and after a while I started to get very itchy skin. I doubt this was a reaction to water or any personal cosmetic product (such as body lotion) that I used. There was no visible reactions such as rash, but I felt very uncomfortable. After returning to Finland my skin calmed, but I wanted to avoid getting the same odd reaction. I was already a vegetarian and wanted to live an environment friendly life, so started to investigate eco detergents and soaps.

While “normal” laundry detergents are effective, they are often heavy on fragrance, cleaning agents and chemicals that prevent dirt from settling back or work well in harder water. I’m not going to list any “harmful” ingredients here as I couldn’t find too many reliable sources and this article is not about green washing. I want to share some options you can try, if you wish.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Soap Nuts | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skin Safe & Eco Friendly Way to Wash Clothes: Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are my favorite way to wash laundry, I’ve used them for about 5 years now. This may sound “too hippie” to some of you, but hear me out! Soap nuts are very simple, easy and wallet-friendly way to wash clothes efficiently. You take about 4 soap nut halves for one medium amount of laundry (check the instructions from your packaging), place them in a sock or a small cotton/muslin bag, close it, crush the soap nuts (I step on them) and put the soap nut bag with the laundry. You’re done. You may even reuse the nuts if your laundry isn’t very dirty.

Soap nuts contain an ingredient called saponin which is a powerful natural surfactant with foaming and cleaning properties. This works very well for clothes that are washed between 40°-60° celsius, removing dirt, oil and stains. Once the soap nuts soften or you’ve washed a couple of laundries with them you can compost the nuts! I know it’s possible to even make your own liquid soaps from soap nuts by cooking them, but I personally I’m lazy and reach for readily available products.

Mummi ja Minä | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Liquid Laundry Detergent and Laundry Vinegar

Since soap nuts work best in warm to hot water, I do have a regular laundry detergent for silk/wool. Lately I’ve washed sensitive materials such as linen and underwear with an eco safe laundry detergent called Mummi ja Minä*. These detergents are made in Finland and have a light fragrance, which has proven to be useful when washing workout clothes. They are rather expensive (~€12 for 500ml), one bottle equals about 16 washes. I only do laundry for 1 person, so these have lasted me a while – especially when I reserve the liquid for workout clothes and hand washes. My favorite is the laundry vinegar that makes my sheets soft and smell pleasant. I’m using it in the place of fabric softner.

The ingredients of the Peppermint Detergent* are only: Plant oil compound (Anionic surfactants) 5–10 %, alcohol <5 %, sea salt <5 %, peppermint essential oil 5 %. pH ~6. If you’re very sensitive to essential oils I might do a test wash first, but I don’t find the fragrance any way overpowering. The Laundy Vinegar (Peppermint)* has: vinegar >5%, essential oil < 5%, Natrium Benzoate (preservative), < 5% with pH ~3.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Other Cleaning Supplies

I do like to use Mummi ja Minä dishwashing liquid* as well thanks to the lovely bottle and nice, natural scent, but when I have very dirty dishes or perhaps grimy coffee pots I do reach for “regular” dishwashing liquid as it cuts oil better. With other eco cleaners I haven’t noticed much difference in efficacy vs regular ones.

I’ve purchased some eco conscious home cleaners by brands Lilly’s, Method and Ecover. Especially the Ecover Toilet Cleaner is very efficient and available at my super market. Otherwise I think I’ll dilute liquid home soaps myself in the future with Dr. Bronner’s.

Dr. Bronner's castile soaps* are very versatile and rather affordable, they can be diluted as hand soap, cleansing liquid, mopping, dishes, toilet cleaner, plant spray for bugs, even shampoo and brushing your teeth! Yup, lovely Mia told me she has tried.. and it tastes like soap. Dr. Bronner’s products are also biodegradable. The unscented castile soap* is one of the best for washing beauty sponges and puffs as it’s gentler than rubbing your sponges against a soap bar.

Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap* is nice for mopping when diluted in water, I got stains off my floors very efficiently. My new kitty, Haku, likes to carry his food around.. so it can get pretty messy, you know. The tea tree scent is fairly prominent while mopping, but does fade pretty quickly. I think I’ll purchase the eucalyptus scent for creating my own hand soap and kitchen spray.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What are the ways you’ve made your home more eco conscious and skin friendly? Have you heard about soap nuts before or gotten a skin reaction to a cleansing product? Let me know! x