New year, new hair

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage styleI finally got my hair done again just a week before the Lunar New Year, and I’m so happy to go from cheap to chic!

My last hair dye job was in August 2016 and while the colour was glorious at the start, it faded fairly quickly despite the fact that I was only washing my hair 2-3 times each week. I ended up having to tolerate a cheap brassy tone for the longest time, because getting a hair appointment once every 3 months just for the colour isn’t quite the lifestyle that I want.

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

I am hoping that my new hair colour will last longer this time. My scalp has been slowly adjusting to the reduced frequency of hair washing, and I am now down to washing my hair 1-2 times only each week. (Hooray to less waster usage, less shampoo usage, and less time spent in the shower!)

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

On top of that, I am also using a colour shampoo once a week which will hopefully help to retain the vibrancy of my current dye job. As I said before, bleaching my hair and getting a balayage at a proper salon is definitely one of the best things I have done to my hair. My bleached locks is less slippery to work with when I put them in foam rollers. Also, curls show up so much better with the colour!

I haven’t quite decided on a go-to colour yet. I am not sure if I will ever have one. There’s a good chance that I will do pink again once my hair is long enough for the ends to be easily hidden in a bun for when I go to work. But for now, I’m just gonna stick with ash grey for at least the next 6 months or so. Let’s see if it works out! x

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style



The girl with sunlight in her hair

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dyeThe last time I bleached (almost half of) my hair was about 4 years ago. I loved it, I had to cut it, and I have always missed it… until now.

Back then, I was just a student in my last year of uni. A roommate I was living with kindly offered to bleach my hair for me. My hair was almost up to my waist; I had nothing to lose.

gwenstella balayage ombre asian hair

Circa August 2012. (Note the thrifted vintage woollen jumper and glasses – I was a hipster)

gwenstella balayage ombre asian hair

Circa August 2012. (Yes, definitely digging the hipster grandpa style with my other thrifted vintage oversized knitted jumper and laced-up brogues)

Circa September 2012

Circa September 2012

Circa March 2013

Circa March 2013.

gwenstella ombre dip dye pink hair manic panic pretty flamingo

Circa May 2013.

It was done on a cold winter afternoon, with just a single box of blonde hair dye/bleach, a plastic comb and some aluminium foil. The wait was long, and the smell of hydrogen peroxide was strong. I didn’t know what to expect. But the result was nothing short of exciting. I was a true rebel! Bleached ends! My life was full possibilities!

Unsurprisingly, a couple of weeks later, I bought my first bottle of Manic Panic colour in the loveliest shade of pink – Pretty Flamingo. I became a unicorn…

As it usually goes, another life happened after uni, and I shed my unicorn mane.

Since then, I have always dreamt about colouring my hair again. I decided to get a balayage done on my hair after seeing a photo of Alexa Chung on Pinterest one day. Many of the trendy hair colour salons that I enquired quoted approximately $200-300++ for the colour treatment, and I decided that it was too costly for me. (I mean, I’d rather buy a rare 1950s Hawaiian dress with matching bolero with that kind of money.)

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

Wearing: Green gold glitter crop top (second-hand via Carousell app), high-waisted denim shorts (purchased in Sydney over 3 years ago), beaded gold bag (second-hand via Carousell app), laced-up flats (via online shopping market)

But the universe had other plans (or rather, Google was good at their algorithms). I came across Ivy Rupef’s page on Instagram (@ivyrupefhair) by chance one day. The price that was quoted seemed so much more affordable, so I contacted her immediately for an appointment. Ivy was very knowledgeable in the area of hair colouring and very professional. The entire process took around 2.5 hours and cost me only $148 for my shoulder-length hair. The result is absolutely fantastic! I have gotten so many compliments on it and I’m just so in love with how it looks. How is it that it took me so long to get this done?

My hair is bright again and so are my days. x


1960s style pixie cut

1960s style pixie cut

Every once in a while, I feel the desperate need for a change in my hairstyle. Back when I was in uni, I grew my hair long for over 2 years with the grand plan of bleaching the tips and dyeing them a funky colour. I did it and loved it. Then I started work and hiding my wild roots proved to be pretty cumbersome. So, I chopped the coloured tips.

Last year, I grew weary of the hot, humid weather of Singapore and the constant need to tie my hair up at work. So, I chopped it to a little bob that was just above the shoulder.

Then my hair grew long and I was enjoying doing vintage long hairstyles on weekends. But the longer it grew, the more tiresome it became when tying it up for work. I often ended up with a slight headache at the end of the day for some reason.

I finally decided to get a pixie cut when I found myself being mesmerised by Viv Maguire’s style on Love Child (an Australian drama series set in the 1969). I thought doing vintage style with a pixie cut would be something new and fun, so I decided to try it out!

Now, I trawl Pinterest and the rest of the Internet on a regular basis for photos of Jean Seberg, Twiggy, and Edie Sedgwick. These style icons from the swinging 1960s are my inspirations.

Twiggy and her eye make-up:


I have only given Twiggy’s eye make-up a try (just for fun) once. The additional eyeliner along the upper sockets of the eye doesn’t work the same way for my eyes (for obvious reasons), but I think I am going to give it another go just to see how I could tweak it and make it more suitable for myself.

Jean Seberg and her casual 1960s style:


I haven’t personally watched Breathless, but this iconic t-shirt has definitely taken my breath away! I have some ideas brewing in my head for recreating this t-shirt. I can’t wait to recreate this classic, casual look.

Edie Sedgwick and her statement earrings:


I have a whole bunch of dangly statement earrings kept away in a jewellery box for the longest time. To me, dangly statement earrings have always been so pretty to look at but so tricky to wear. But looking at Edie Sedgwick’s photos just make me think, “whatever!” These black ornate statement pieces are stunning, and I think maybe I will try to recreate them too.

1960s style pixie cut

How about you? Do you have any style muse? Do you also consider hairstyle when searching for vintage style inspiration?

x G

The enduring style of the short bob

I’ve been wanting to get a hair cut for the longest time. I was sick of my long hair and I wanted a change. But I was hesitant because styling vintage short hair seems very tricky (think pin curls and all). Then I did some research via the good ol’ Internet and it struck me… There’s a hairstyle that’s perfect for modern and mid-century looks. Behold – the short bob.













Bonus! The presence of a short bob persists even until the 1970s! I am starting to believe that the short bob is perhaps the most enduring hairstyle of all time. But hey, you know, vintage style is enduring.

And  here’s what happened when I set my hair wet on foam curlers overnight, with style inspiration from girls’ fashion from 1950s…

1950s inspired short bob style with vintage plastic hair clip

Is it time for your haircut?

(Sewing pattern scans from here, here, here, here, here, here)

A trip back to Sydney and my new Bettie Page bang

Bettie Page bang!

I was back in Sydney about 2 weeks ago for my graduation ceremony. To be honest, the ceremony was just a big excuse for me to get back to Sydney to do all the things I love again. 

And now I’m just going to let the photos do all the talking.

All set and ready to go
First night: Rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly dancing at Rocklily, The Star. 
Second day: Matching bag and shoes on graduation day
“Hahahaha! I graduated!” 
Pre-loved clothing store near uni. This is the kind of shopping that I like.
Third day: Bettie Page bang haircut at Sterling Hairdressing Parlour and milkshake at Jazz City Milkbar. Yes, that’s THE place to  go for milkshakes.
Third night: Wanda Jackson at The Factory Theatre. Old is gold.
Fourth day: Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

Fifth and final day: Sailor Jerry at the airport. Of course I bought a bottle. I would have bought more if I could!

Time flies by when you’re having fun. Before I knew it, I was back in Sydney and back to work. But I’m already starting to think about my next trip to Sydney and possibly Melbourne…

Pretty Flamingo

Wearing: Handmade Floral Bib necklace (seen here) and new shoes from Rubi

This is the official photo of me with pink hair. That’s right. It’s pink. Read my lips, PINK. Spring has arrived in Sydney. The flowers have bloomed, and so has my hair. Ugh, I love this look so much more than the previous ombre look. I endeavour to maintain this look for as long as possible. 


Yes, I need to maintain this look because the pink dye I used is a semi-permanent dye. But it’s really quick and easy to apply, so I don’t think that this is going to be an issue. 

Name of the dye: Pretty Flamingo


BEAUTY: Ombre Hair (Like a ray of sunshine)

// Green woollen jumper, thrifted (and rather itchy) / Black dress with tiny polka dots, Valleygirl, $15 //

I have mixed feelings about my DIY ombre hair. I am not sure if I actually like it or not. To make matters worse, I have received quite a bit of negative comments from my friends. Honestly, I do not care about what they think. Well, I did, initially. But then I decided that it didn’t matter because this is what I have been wanting to do and now that I have done it, I am glad that I did. Have I just made this sound awfully complicated?

Ok, to put it simply, there are times when I love my new ombre hair and there are times when I am unhappy about it. Mostly, I am unhappy when I see another Asian with the same hair on the streets. I wanted ombre hair because I wanted a different/unique look. But I guess that’s silly of me because ombre hair is all the rage at the moment. I should have known better. So, rather than creating a signature look, my ombre hair has, to some extent, reinforced my status of a quintessential Asian in Sydney. 

The hair dye

Less than 5 minutes after washing it out

Regardless, I just want to show everyone here my new hair. Oh, and today is one of the days that I am loving my new hair. xx

Happy – for now

Pretty in Pink

Yes, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 80’s cult classic by John Hughes. But this post is not about all the pretty clothes worn by Andie (Molly Ringwald), the boyish good looks of Blane (young Andrew McCarthy) or the unforgettable dance moves by the Duck Man (Jon Cryer). Maybe I can talk about all that in another post in the future. But for now, I am just going to talk about how I’ve been rather ‘inspired’ by the colour pink lately. Yes, for some reason, the colour pink has creeped into my life…

Lip Smacker Balm (Cotton Candy flavour). I am lip balm junkie because my lips are always dry, regardless of the season. I feel like licking my lips all the time with this, because it’s just too tasty. It comes with a lip gloss too (in the background), and that tastes like … glucose. HAHA. BUT! It’s not very moisturising and there’s no SPF value. I am not likely to get a Lip Smacker product again…

Rimmel Nail Polish, $2.33, on sale. I don’t usually buy nail polish by big brands like Sally Hansen/Maybelline/Rimmel/OPI, but this was on sale and the price was close to the usual cheap $2 ones that I get from the pharmacy. 🙂

Kids watch, $5, on sale. A good pair of watch for uni. Also, a great addition to any arm party!

Friendship bracelet, DIY. Ok, this is not EXACTLY a bracelet, because it’s too short to be one. Well, it might still become one if I attach a long chain or something. I did this on a whim and I haven’t really decided what I want to do with it. I may make it into something else! (i.e. NOT a bracelet)
Pink denim, $14.95, on sale. I can’t believe how cheap this pair of denim is. I can’t believe that they fit me well! I have never really found a good pair of jeans that fit me well because I have bottom-heavy. I wouldn’t say that this pair of jeans fit me perfectly, but it’s good enough! More importantly, I uploaded this picture on the Westfield shopping page on Facebook and won a $50 gift card! Oh yeah oh yeah~ Lucky~ P.S.: Westfield is a chain of shopping malls in Australia
Salmon skirt, $14.95. I bought this salmon skirt using the $50 gift card. It sits about 1 inch below the waist and does not fit snugly. I wish it sat right on the waist instead. I’ll see how it goes. I can always alter it if I want to! 🙂

And…. last but not least… a set of pink velvet tracksuit. Judge me for all you like, but I think this set of tracksuit is AWESOME. I couldn’t help it. The jacket and pants were just $3.50 each (i.e. $7 in total). There were pink, sapphire blue and black. Black is boring. Blue is not my colour. So… I opted for pink. All I need now is a chihuahua in my arms… (P.S.: Of course I’m not going running in this tracksuit. I don’t go running at all…)

Oh oh!!! And also, I have been working on something… Here’s a sneak preview… It’s still not complete. Hopefully I’ll be able to write a post about it soon! 😀

That’s the end of the pink vomit post. So, what colour has been inspiring you lately?

BEAUTY: bowed down

Doing nail art is fast becoming a quick and easy for me to relax and de-stress. With a bottle of nail polish at an affordable $2 and a mere 5-minute walk from home, I am not surprised that this is the second bottle of nail polish that I’ve bought in a short span of 2 weeks. 

I need help.

Nude nail polish
Clear nail polish
Permanent market

1. Apply appropriate layers of nude nail polish.
2. Draw cute little bows using permanent marker. Wait for it to dry.
3. Apply a layer of clear nail polish to seal the ink from the marker.

Oh wait. There’s just one problem: I can’t draw neat little bows on the nails on my right hand. >_<