I Want Her Hair Color!
Light: Beach-Goddess Blonde
Celeb inspiration: Reese Witherspoon
"This beachy shade is usually a summery look, so part of its appeal in fall is that it's unexpected," says colorist Lorri Goddard of L.A.'s Prive Salon, who created the Oscar winner's pretty tone.
Colorist crib sheet: This look is most realistic for hair that's naturally medium to dark blonde (brunettes and redheads--only if you're willing to make a major financial and time commitment, says Goddard). Lift the base to a cool, buttery blonde, and place a handful of very pale, almost vanilla highlights where the sun hits--around the face, in the part, and at the nape of your neck--from roots to ends. Streaks should be a random mix of thick (think fettuccine noodle) and thin (like vermicelli).
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Celeb inspiration: Nicole Richie
Like the moniker Brangelina, "bronde" weds two beautiful things: "It's the perfect mix of blonde highlights on a warm, rich base," says colorist Kyle White, of the Oscar Blandi salon in New York City, who coined the term. It's a natural-looking way for deep brunettes to brighten up without bleaching out.
Colorist crib sheet: "If you're a brunette, the key to this look is lightening your base to a warm camel color before adding streaks," says George Papanikolas, the New York--and L.A.--based colorist who created the Fashion Star judge's hue. Then, starting at the roots, add 1/8-inch-thick golden-blonde highlights, spaced about 1/4 inch apart; they should widen a bit toward the ends. (With a base so much lighter than your roots, there's going to be a strong regrowth line, so prepare to retouch just your roots every four to six weeks.)
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Medium: Peachy Blonde
Celeb inspiration: Blake Lively
"Much like a gold-flecked blush, this hue adds luminosity to your complexion," says Blake's colorist Rona O'Connor, of Lukaro Salon in Beverly Hills.
Colorist crib sheet: "Instead of adding lots of highlights, I create Blake's multidimensional effect by mixing amber honey and rose-gold tones into the golden-blonde base color," says O'Connor. Her signature base mixture, which she applies all over the head, is 50 percent golden, 25 percent amber honey, and 25 percent apricot. Depending on your skin tone, your base level--in colorist speak--should be 8 (warm honey), 9 (golden apricot), or 10 (lightest golden ivory). Then cover the tips with golden ivory, if needed. For added dimension, weave in warm honeyed-copper lowlights; O'Connor applies them on about 30 percent of the underside of hair, from the middle back of the head downward.
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Celeb inspiration: Lauren Conrad (A)
"Dip-dyed neon pink is striking, but because it's also such a girlie shade, it doesn't look too eccentric," says Los Angeles--based colorist Kristin Ess, who dyed Lauren's ponytail in her kitchen sink. It's gorg on blondes and brunettes alike.
Colorist crib sheet: Ess added two quarter-size dabs of Special Effects Atomic Pink semipermanent color ($14, punk.com) in three bowls, containing 1/2 cup, 1 cup, and 1 1/2 cups of water. She dipped about five inches of Lauren's pony into the lightest pink bowl for a minute, then wrung out the moisture. She held just two or three inches in the second bowl, squeezed again, and finally dunked only the tips into the third.
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Peekaboo Jewel Tones
Celeb inspiration: Selena Gomez (B)
"Blue and purple streaks through the ends of dark hair are so rich--they complement the deepness of your color," says colorist Sulekha Hilton of L.A.'s Sally Hershberger Salon, who colors the teen queen's hair.
Colorist crib sheet: Paint cobalt blue and purple streaks, one to two inches thick, from roots to ends--one on each side of the nape on hair's underside, one above each ear, two under the crown, and two face-framing layers so you have a total of eight streaks (four of each color), says Hilton.
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Celeb inspiration: Jaime King (C)
Is it possible for blondes to have any more fun? Why, yes. "Pastel blue adds luminescence," says Hilton.
Colorist crib sheet: Jaime whipped up this look herself, but Hilton suggests asking for pale robin's-egg blue starting four inches from the roots, all around your head. Then paint on two-inch-thick streaks of a cobalt blue, from roots to ends, along underlayers of hair--two right behind your ears, two above your ears, and two at the nape of your neck. The cobalt blue will peek through the robin's-egg layers when the hair moves.
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Celeb inspiration: Rachel Bilson, Jessica Biel
"The harsh contrast between very dark roots and blonde ends is passe," says colorist Denis De Souza, of the Andy Lecompte Salon in Beverly Hills, who created Rachel's shade. "This new version of ombre is softer, more blended than before. It's about pretty tips that look lightened from the sun, as if you've just taken a month-long Brazilian vacation."
Colorist crib sheet: Use foils to create thin, 1/4-inch-wide highlights (one or two shades lighter than your base color) on the top, front, and sides of your head, starting a couple of inches from the roots. Space them 1 1/2 inches apart, leaving two to four inches of the ends out. (The length should be randomly varied to prevent a harsh, unnatural-looking line of demarcation.) Paint the ends an intense golden-honey shade all around the head.
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Celeb inspiration: Christina Hendricks
Christina's curves aren't her only feature that's reminiscent of Old Hollywood. "Her shocking red hair recalls glamour girl Rita Hayworth," says Christopher Pierce, of the Andy Lecompte Salon in Beverly Hills, who colors the Mad Men siren's locks. A shade this vivid looks best with fair, rosy skin and light eyes.
Colorist crib sheet: Spend 10 minutes dying the roots a single-process cool red and 20 minutes coloring the rest. "Your ends are old and need more time to absorb color," says Pierce. "Sallow-looking, barely red ends ruin the effect." If you are starting as a brunette, your colorist will need to lift out your color before depositing the crimson, so expect to go blonde before going red--a process that works best in two salon sessions.
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Celeb inspiration: Amy Adams
Pierce describes Amy's shade as "a sophisticated nutty cinnamon"--um, could that sound any more appealing? We want.
Colorist crib sheet: "Red is the brightest shade in the color spectrum, so when it fades it's like a lightbulb dimming . . . you notice it faster than you do with blonde or brown," says Pierce. "The goal is to keep your red as vibrant as possible. Highlights work against this by lightening the overall look." What you want is a single-process warm orange-red. Instead of highlights, have your colorist create shimmering depth by spiking the base-color formula with lush golden undertones.
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Celeb inspiration: Mila Kunis, Minka Kelly
Bronzy metallic highlights create a sparkly, almost 3-D effect.
Colorist crib sheet: "Use a demipermanent chrome formula," says Papanikolas, who works with Mila. "Because chrome hair color is ammonia-free, it leaves hair more reflective and shiny, which adds a metallic finish." Brunettes look most natural with streaks within two shades of their base color. The balayage technique--in which the highlights are painted directly onto the hair rather than applied with foils--gives the most precise results here; streaks should be very fine and spaced two inches apart all around the head, starting at the roots, where you part your hair. Thick streaks can look brassy on brown hair, so keep the intensity only at the ends.
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