Nothing like a good hair day for a pick me up, right? For a while now I’ve always loved getting balayage done for my hair – since I heat-style it a lot, the balayage really makes my curls and hairstyles pop and make it more dimensional. When I heard of N15 Salon from a fellow blogger, I cannot wait to try them out because they specialize in asian hair. My first time there, senior stylist JunJi took care of my split ends and freshened up my old balayage. Then came spring and I really wanted to go a bit lighter so I booked another appointment!

My hair right when I went there. You can totally tell my roots are totally outgrown, the ends are super brassy and the super contrast of the top vs bottom. JunJi taking the pic for me in the mirror, hi! :D
The first step is to touchup my roots – JunJi applying a medium brown base all over my roots

After touching up my roots and a super luxurious wash

Getting pampered with a blow-out!

After the roots are touched up, the next step is to create some highlights. Because  I wanted the gradual balayage effect, the highlights were placed high up on my head but not touching the roots so they will blend better even when my hair grows.

Ta-da!!! Finished! Just kidding haha this is what my hair looked like after the highlights are put in – now it’s time for toning! The toner is applied then rinsed off at the sink, which results in….

This. Can I get a OMG. My black roots are gone, the base color is now a lovely cappucino brown, with dark blonde highlights evenly at the top and gradually blending in to ombre blonde ends.

This is the finished look after curls by Mari. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, I can never round brush my hair at home and even when I try my hardest my curls never end up looking so perfect! 

My hair seriously feels super silky and not at all damaged after all of that. All the staff at N15 salon really cares about your hair and they will try to minimize the amount of bleach but at the same time maximize the effects it will have on your hair. Before this I’ve always thought balayage = killing my hair. But after my exprience at N15, I’ve really come to realize that you can still have healthy hair AND beautiful highlights.

I mean take a look at the before and after. My hair seems even more healthy and silky after a balayage refresh! It blends so much better with my roots and the ends are a gorgeous blond color minus the brassiness! 

Oh hai! Just flaunting my new hair and curls. See how the different highlights add so much more dimension to the curls? N15 salon also uses top notch hair products (shampoo, conditioner, color, toner, etc) so you can rest assured knowing the best products are being used on your hair and everything is done to minimize damage while maximizing beauty.

The staff is all super nice and friendly, and will actually LISTEN to what you want as opposed to doing what THEY feel like (ring a bell?)

All in all, I cannot be happier with my balayage experience at N15 Salon. I promise if you’re looking for quality salon you will not be disappointed. They’re located at

N15 Hair Salon

831 Bay St, Toronto,

Ontario

Canada

When you do go, remember to book in advance since they are almost fully booked everyday! (That’s how popular they are)

Also quote me or show them my picture to get a special discount! 

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! What can be more romantic than a little self-loving this valentine’s day? Since being a mommy I find that I hardly have time to dedicate to just ME anymore, and I am definitely in need of a little pampering session! These Vichy masks are the perfect presents to myself and since I got it I cannot wait to try them out!

Vichy masks review by Kerina Mango

 

I’ve used many different types of face masks, including sheet masks, mud masks and peel masks. These masks retail for $34 each, and can last you a long time if you treat yourself weekly! Here are my thoughts on each of the Vichy masks:

Vichy masks review by Kerina Mango

 

The Vichy Masque Argile Purifiant Pores, or the Pore Purifying Clay Mask contains Kaolin and Bentonite Clay, which are pore-cleansing properties to help draw out impurities from your pores. Although Vichy states that it can be used for all skin types, I find that clay masks in particular does WONDERS for oily or combination skin. My all time favorite clay mask is the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, but I find that it tends to dry out VERY FAST on the skin, as well as the in the tub once it’s opened. The Vichy Clay Mask is thick and dries on my skin slower, so I have more time to spread the mask evenly around my face. It also doesn’t make my skin too tight and taut which is a plus. The clay mask works by extracting impurities from deep within the pores to the surface, and is trapped within the mask and gets washed off. I rinse it off after 10-15 minutes with warm water, and my face instantly feels cleaner and less oily. It doesn’t give off a squeaky clean feeling compared to the Kiehl’s mask, and my skin feels more hydrated afterwards. I recommend using this mask once or twice a week depending on your skin type. Combination skin people can also use this along the oily areas and T zone of your skin!

Vichy masks review by Kerina Mango

 

The Vichy Masque Mineral Desalterant, or Quenching Mineral Mask reminds me so much of the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask which is super huge in Asia. Just like the Laneige mask, you can choose to rinse off after a few minutes or let it sit in your skin overnight for that boost of hydration. It smells super calming with Jasmine and green tea, and I popped this in the fridge before using it so it’s extra cooling (which seals your pores!). I sometimes also use this mask after the Clay mask to replenish and hydrate my skin. I always wake up in the morning feeling super refreshed and my skin feels softer and less dry!

 

Vichy masks review by Kerina Mango

Lastly, the Vichy Masque Peel Double Eclat, or the Double Glow Peel Mask is my favorite! It smells like peaches and is so refreshing. It also contains AHA (similar to the Mizon AHA Peeling Serum, which is one of my favorite serums) which my skin just LOVES AHA for some reason. I live in the dry Canadian climate so my skin, while being super oily, is sometimes flaky around the cheeks. This mask gets rid of all the dry patches and the vitamin C brightens my complexion after a few uses. Love, LOVE this mask!

What are some of your favorite skin masks this season? Do share!

 

 

Hello lovelies!

Happy 2017! Wishing all of you the best of the best in this new year! For me, it’s to grow my beautiful baby boy Lucas (who is quite the little devil sometimes), grow my body and make it fit and strong, and grow my business (new year new clothes anyone?) I would also want to grow my hair! When I was pregnant I chopped off a bunch of my hair because it was getting too long and tangled (I blame it on the pregnancy hormones). Then of course I regretted it immediately. It didn’t help that the hubby’s world pretty much fell apart (to be fair he is my photographer so he deserves to have some emotions tied to my hair). So I made a promise to him that if I ever cut my hair again that he is allowed to slap me across the face. What do you mean domestic abuse.

I’m a pretty lazy efficient person so to me, the best of both worlds is to have semi-long hair myself, then add on hair extensions when I’m taking photos or going out for a bit more of the glam look. Since I have ombre balayaged hair with blond highlights, (thank you N15 Salon!) I like to have hair extensions with the same color palette. However, most hair extensions out there don’t offer highlighted packages, and if you want to achieve the look the best thing to do would be to take it to a hair salon to get the extensions colored/highlighted. BUT! A lot of extensions cannot be colored for reasons beyond my comprehension, so I’m gonna show you a super easy way to DIY your own highlights in your hair extensions.

 

First things first, all you need are 2 sets of hair extensions in the same length, but different colours. For me, I went with the Luxyhair Chestnut brown and Dirty blonde.

Remove the clips on one set of colours, and with fabric glue, carefully glue on strip of fabric band onto the other set of color.

Press firmly when done, and remember to leave it to dry for a good few hours before using it because you don’t want to pull out your own hair!

Repeat the same process for all the other corresponding hair wefts (the blonde 4-clip should adhere to the brown 4-clip, etc), until all your wefts are double-layered.

It should look something like this when you’re finished – look at all the high and lowlights peeking through!

That’s it! Isn’t that super easy? Now your hair extensions are highlighted, double layered (which means more hair and more volume!)

Enjoy your new hair extensions with highlights!

Baby Lucas says hi!

If you’re interested in buying Luxyhair extensions, don’t forget to use my code MANGO5 for a discount! :)

Hola my loves! I feel kinda bad for neglecting my blog for the longest hiatus but I am determined to update more frequently from now on! In case you don’t follow my Instagram (where all my life stories happen), I AM PREGNANT! And very much so at the moment since I am approaching 38 weeks O.O (quick lesson: 40 weeks is gestational duration but 37 weeks is full term which means baby could come any day now!)  Throughout the 9 months I’ve experienced some of the worst ups and downs of my life, emotions I never knew I can possibly have, and thoughts that I don’t dare tell anyone in case some people decide to throw me in jail..hahaha #jknotreally So I thought it would be nice to have a summarized version of my pregnancy experience here!

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I found out I was pregnant literally 5 days before my big beach trip to Dominican Republic and a huge house moving. Me and hubby were beyond excited (me more than him I think secretly lol) but when we actually did arrive at our all-inclusive resort all I could think about was all the cocktails that I can no longer have… *tear*

Coming back home to our new house, my symptoms started almost immediately and it was EXTREMELY difficult to cope with all the changes in our commute, lifestyle, unpacking for the house, AND physical/psychological changes that comes with pregnancy. They say first trimesters are the hardest and it cannot be more true! Every smell was nausea-inducing, I hated all foods, but yet was hungry enough every night to wake up from hunger (and anger)!

I tried to battle the nausea by using scents that I normally adore pre-pregnancy all over the house, but they slowly started to make me nauseous as well.. if there is one thing that I suggest you DO NOT DO in the first trimester, it’s to use all your favorite scents from pre-pregnancy. Your mind/body somehow associates scents with memories and experiences, so if your favorite scents end up making you nauseous, you will never be able to use it again even when you’re no longer pregnant.

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Once the second trimester hits, it’s HALLELUJAH time. I kid you not, some days I forget I was pregnant. Nothing was causing me to be nauseous, I can eat whatever I want, have endless amounts of energy, the best sleep in my life, and the best part? My bump wasn’t showing at all so I still fit into my clothes plus trick people once in a while. It’s fun! This is also when we got to find out the gender of the baby… (it’s a BOY!) and go on our trip to LA (bucket list item check!). Towards the end of the second trimester is when I really noticed a shift in our culture to place more of an emphasis on the baby as opposed to the mommy. Every site or forum I visited on tips on travelling while pregnant was giving advice on ensuring the safety, comfort of BABY as opposed to enjoyment for MOM. It’s like the mom just fades away when she has a baby, her health/happiness does not matter anymore as long as baby is healthy. As someone who has been spoiled and pretty self-preoccupied her whole life you can see why this was hard for me to accept.

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And then third trimester come and it’s even MORE about acceptance. Hormones are on the rise again and causes all kinds of discomfort, many of which have no evolutionary basis or protective reason to exist in the first place. I mean fine – round ligament pain is TERRIBLE but at least it’s your body preparing itself for labor by loosening the joints so baby will come out easier. But nosebleeds and blocked nose at night? Blame the hormones. Why? No reason – mother nature just wants you to suffer on top of all the other discomforts. Also, say bye bye to putting on your own socks and/or sandals. Flip flops are the way to go! Towards the end, baby will be so big that he will push your other organs aside. Taking a full breath? What’s that? Eating a full meal? Wanna but can’t. I was lucky that I never got any swelling of the limbs or any rashes but my heart goes out to those of you who did! T.T I guess this is all mother nature’s way of telling us that we just have to accept the fact that our bodies right now do not belong to us. That it probably will be this way for a very a long time even after birth. And there is nothing we can do but to accept it.

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Thinking ahead to after baby mango’s arrival, me and the hubs have a pretty well established mental framework on how to raise him. Here are some points that I’ve pinned to my mental pinterest board:

  1. We think kids are too spoiled these days and we definitely do not want to be one of those. No helicopter parenting – we believe in both love AND discipline.
  2. We want him to be as independent as possible, and that starts at an early age. This means sleep training, giving him what he needs and not what he wants, and teach him the values of putting in work and effort in exchange for gratification.
  3. I have my own life too. I know this one is particularly difficult for moms to hear, but I do not want my life to revolve around my kids. They will be my priority, but that doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to pursue my own dreams, look a certain way, or live my life how I want. I am not an extension of my kid – I am my own unique individual.

Photo 2016-09-02, 10 30 20 PM

That being said, I CANNOT WAIT to start working out after delivery, and get my body to an even better state than it was pre-pregnancy. I cannot wait to travel again, to explore the world, to try new things, to go after my dreams. I know motherhood is very hard but there has to be a balance somehow, and I believe I will find that balance.

 

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This turned out to be a pretty long post! Thank you hubby for taking these amazing shots, for always being there for me even through the hormonal nights, and for believing in me. ILYSM!!! Please don’t forget the champagne on my delivery day. <3

Hi! I would like to share with you the best photoshoot locations in Los Angeles, according to me! Let’s get started right away :)

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THE pink wall, all bloggers’ dream come true. Located on Melrose Ave, it’s the Paul Smith store in West Hollywood. Come here in the mornings so it’s not too busy, and remember to shoot IN THE SHADE so there’s no HARSH SHADOWS! You’re welcome.

kerinamango_LA_bougainvillea

If you’re a huge fan of flowers, there’s a huge bougainvillea area near the CBS television station in West Hollywood, just circle around til you find the most vibrant, lush bloom of purple and magenta flowers! They look awesome with bokeh ;)

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Rodeo Drive! This one needs no explanation. Unless you’re super loaded and actually visiting to physically buy stuff, I suggest coming in before the stores open (around noon on weekends) and walk around, if you want to take pictures this is the perfect time to dodge all the tourists and mega rich, who I’m assuming will be annoyed that you’re in their way from Chanel to Prada.

Tip: Dress posh! Please don’t be in your sweatpants while doing a photoshoot here :)

For some reason Brandy Melville stores get LOADS of likes on all social media, so if you’re looking to boost your like counts, this is where you go. Snap a pic, boom, get on Explore. Any Brandy stores will do, just google it :)

Doesn’t this pic scream I HIKED ALL THE WAY UP TO THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN!? More like drive all the way up and walk 2 minutes. Want to take an epic picture with the Hollywood sign without parking at the bottom (they make you do that) and trek allllll the way up? Google: “Lake Hollywood Park”. They don’t want you to know about this because it contains private residences who may complain if crowds levels get out of hand. But now you know! Again, you’re welcome.

Santa Monica Pier! OK everyone should know about this one but just in case you live under a rock  don’t, It’s a small amusement park near the Santa Monica Beach. You can go on the ferris wheel, or eat snacks and play games. AND pose like a model on the beach.

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This is my hidden secret photoshoot location guys. Not to be smug or anything but I think I deserve props for being a daredevil on top of a valley!!! This is road 32, south of Thousand Oaks for those who are wondering, it’s a super windy path with TONS of amazing views – not that many people know about it!

To see more pictures and hidden photoshoot spots of my LA adventures, check out my

Instagram: @mangorabbitrabbit

Also add me on Snapchat to see more on-to-go adventures!

Snapchat: mangorabbit

Where is your wanderlust taking you this summer 2016? 

xoxo, Kerina