Sneak Peek: Garnier Color Styler

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Have you ever wanted to play with a bold hair color, but didn’t want to bleach your hair first or commit to maintaining it? Garnier is hoping to change that by making the decision easier for you later this summer with their latest innovation, Color Styler.

Color Styler utilizes a unique, patented “color coat” technology in the formula, in which polymers and clay envelop bold color pigments in a water-based formula that coats the hair strand. This is totally different than hair color, or even hair chalk—and it washes out in 2-3 shampoos, depending on the condition of your hair (and presumably the shampoo you use).   [Read more…]

Giada De Laurentiis Debuts Her Vegas Restaurant, and Her New Clairol Natural Instincts Shade

Giada De Laurentiis clairol natural instincts amber shimmer the cromwell las vegas opening

Last week, Giada De Laurentiis opened her fantastic new Las Vegas restaurant, Giada to much fanfare. Clairol was so kind to host me for the occasion, and I was there to join in on the festivities, enjoy incredible food (more on that later!), speak with Giada one-on-one about her beauty routine, and get the scoop on her new Clairol Natural Instincts hair color.

Last summer when I checked-in with Giada, she had Natural Instincts in Hot Cocoa as her signature shade—which inspired my own personal hair color change for the trip! With Hot Cocoa as the base, I had my colorist foil in some highlights for a summer look, and to make it my own. As a former colorist myself—Natural Instincts is one of my first choices for an affordable at-home hair color solution—because it’s ammonia-free, covers my grey, and processes in a much shorter period of time than most others I’ve tried—just 10 minutes! Since it’s a demi-permanent, the color fades gradually after about 28 washes for me, but still on-tone, and lacks a hard line of demarcation. (The after-color conditioning treatment that’s included is one of my faves too.)

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Clairol Natural Instincts in Hot Cocoa 

Giada told me her new shade is Amber Shimmer, what a coincidence! It’s almost like we made a swap—I change to her former signature shade, and she changes to a shade with my name in it. It’s clear, Giada and I are obviously meant to be BFFs.  [Read more…]

What’s New: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Mousse Absolue Automatic Reusable Hair Color

Loreal Paris Superior Preference Mousse Absolue hair color

I’ve been working in the beauty industry in some capacity since 2001, and about four of those years were spent working behind the chair as a hairstylist and colorist. Never, ever in those 13 years, did I think I’d see something like this on the at-home hair color market—L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Mousse Absolue Automatic Reusable Hair Color.

Automatic? Reusable? Huh?

Yep. 10 years in the making, L’Oréal Paris married advanced Japanese technology, and decades of hair color science to create this DIY color experience that’s unlike anything else you can find at the drugstore.  [Read more…]

Giada De Laurentiis Dishes Up One of Her Beauty Secrets


Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Giada De Laurentiis, and she dished on one of her favorite beauty secrets—it’s a very easy one, at that. This culinary queen and Food Network star tells me it’s simple…coconut oil!

coconutFor years, I was anti-coconut everything. I didn’t like it, not in cookies—anything. The minute someone said coconut, I said no…I don’t like it. About a year ago, I did a photo shoot and my hair was really dry from a lot of blow outs, the flat iron, and a lot of travel. The person that was doing my hair recommended that I try some coconut oil. I went to the store and got some, and took a little on my hands and through the ends of my hair.

Once I started doing that pretty often, it worked. Then, I started using it as an ingredient in salad dressings, as a cuticle oil, on my lips, and anywhere my skin gets dry. It’s just a great, natural all-in-one ingredient that can be used for so many things!  [Read more…]

Is Ombre Out, Or In? Color Expert, Marie Robinson Shows Us a New Way to Ombre!

marie robinsonIs ombre out, or in?

In the past few months, I’ve asked industry hair pros all across the board, the burning question—is ombre haircolor out? Believe it or not, their answers have been a resounding “NO!”

It seems that ombre has started to be represented in new variations, much unlike the original ombre we all spent a small fortune to achieve. Reverse ombre is becoming very popular instead! Traditional ombre meant that your roots were dark, and your hair got lighter as it neared the ends. One of the newest trends is the exact opposite! For the reverse ombre technique, your roots and mid-shaft of your hair should be slightly lighter than your ends. We’re not talking a skunk look here—we’re talking two tones that complement each other and are closer in the color spectrum, yet still a beautiful, noticeable contrast. Think—medium golden brown, graduating to dark brown. I’ve seen this out and about, and it actually looks striking.

Let’s leave it to Marie Robinson, the Clairol Color Director to make the reverse ombre process a little less daunting! Here, Marie demonstrates how you can achieve the new take on ombre in the comfort of your own home.

Beauty Quickies: Roux Color Refresh Mask

Beauty Quickies is a series where I showcase a great product that I haven’t had the opportunity to write a comprehensive review for. These products pass my standards, and I hope you enjoy getting these beauty product stats at-a-glance!

3 Minutes, 3 Benefits!

Roux Color Refresh Mask is a hair mask that is designed to keep haircolor looking its best in-between hair colorings and salon appointments. It helps increase color retention, and gives remarkable shine, while keeping your dye jobs on-tone. It only takes three minutes to use, but should be used solely on colored hair. This isn’t the kind of product that will work to actually color your hair with, but it actually deposits low pH direct dyes to existing haircolor (not your hair’s natural color). For gals with gorgeous natural hair color, this isn’t for you. This is for the rest of us who rely on the bottle! You know how about two weeks after you color your hair, it starts to look a little drab? That’s where Roux Color Refresh Mask kicks in. (Results last 2-5 shampoos.)

It comes in eight color-preserving shades, is ammonia-free (YAY!), and has a pleasant flower-fruit fragrance. It can be purchased exclusively at Sally Beauty Supply for $4.99. This is a single-use packet, but if you have short to short-medium hair, you might be able to get two uses out of a packet.

Meet the Experts: 5 Quick Questions with Celebrity Colorist, Sherry Ratay

Last month, I met with renowned colorist and stylist to the stars, Sherry Ratay. When she’s not training beauty industry professionals, she’s delivering truly transformative haircolor via her well-respected method, the Ratay Way. Not only are celebs like Ashley Benson, Audrina Patridge, and Lacey Chabert fans of Sherry’s work—I am too! After she added gorgeous coppery shades to my own locks for added dimension, I had the chance to get the scoop from this seasoned industry veteran. 

Find out what celebrity styles her clients request most, what to look for in a new hairstylist, and if ombre is really out!

Amber: We all know that looking for a new stylist/colorist can be a stressful task, and more often than not—we don’t quite get the look we were going for when trying someone new. When a client is looking for a new colorist/stylist, what are the key things she should look for in selecting the most qualified person for the job? Any specific questions she should ask about their education or experience before getting in their chair?

Sherry: To begin with, always schedule a consultation on a separate day, never see the colorist the same day of your consultation. And always do your homework before you step into a salon, and if your research and your first impression do not meet—then leave. Always ask for the colorist’s professional recommendation. Listen to their chosen words, and if you do not 100% understand what they recommend—keep asking! [Read more…]

Support Breast Cancer Awareness in October With Pink Hair for Hope

This month, you can support breast cancer awareness in a unique and fun way, at participating local hair salons with SHE by SO.CAP.USA hair extensions. In participating salons across the country, those who donate $10 or more to Pink Hair For Hope, will receive a pink SHE by SO.CAP.USA hair extension, and 100% of net proceeds from campaign go to the American Cancer Society.

To date, the Pink Hair For Hope campaign has brought together more than 500 salons and raised over 2.3 million dollars for research to fight breast cancer. SHE by SO.CAP.USA also has hair replacement options to provide patients with an alternative to wigs in order to replace hair loss due to chemotherapy. Visit for more details, or call 1-855-LUV-PHFH for a participating salon near you.

 I chose two pink shades to wear together!

Meet the Next Generation of Haircolor: Redken Chromatics

Last month, I had a visit with my amazing stylist/colorist/and all-around fantastic person, Andi Scarbrough, at Byu-ti Hair Therapy in Santa Monica. She’s been coloring my hair for over a year now—and most recently, she used a new kind of professional permanent haircolor from Redken that absolutely KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF. I’m telling you about this because I not only hope you’ll love my favorite L.A. salon as much as I do, but I wanted you to know there is hope out there in haircolor land—and it’s called Chromatics. As a former colorist, I wish this was around when I was working behind the chair!

This new generation of haircolor is ammonia-free, gives 100% grey coverage (I can testify to this!), and is super dimensional. You know how sometimes, you get your color retouched, and it looks flat? Redken Chromatics is a totally different ballgame! It’s pretty unique, in that it has what’s called an oil-based delivery system with protective and fortifying protein technology. This leaves your hair looking and feeling conditioned; while being odorless, virtually stainless, and more comfortable on the scalp. I can’t tell you how strong the urge usually is to itch my scalp while traditional permanent color is developing. With Chromatics, that urge was notably lessened.  [Read more…]