The Truth About Going (Very) Blonde

kim kardashian blonde hair

Yesterday, you more than likely witnessed the debut of some MAJOR hair color changes on two closely-watched celebrities. I know it’s no big secret that people go blonde every day. At one time (albeit, a long time ago), I made a living off of it. But it’s a proven fact that the minute someone high profile debuts a creative hairstyle or color change that’s outside of their usual look, trend “forecasts” get turned on their heads.

Here we go again!

jared leto blonde hair

What scares me about this level of high-lift blonde trend, is that many people flock to the nearest consumer-accessible beauty supply; loading up on plastic gloves, 40 volume developer, and whatever the best, most powerful powdered “bleach” is that the employee promises will get the job done at home. While I’m not here to discourage your wildest, blondest dreams—I am here to help you realize your expectations, and save you pain, potential scalp injury, heartache, time, and money. Here are some real, no BS truths about going very blonde.

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Give Your Skin the Celebrity Treatment at Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville lobby

Think that getting the red carpet treatment for your skincare needs is out of the question? I’ve got great news for you, it’s not! If you can make the trek to Kate Somerville’s incredible skincare clinic, it’s tucked away in an adorable, old-time Hollywood building with a lot of industry history behind it—just off of Melrose Place.

Can’t make it in to Kate Somerville? No worries! I’ve got some great Kate skincare recommendations for you, and they’ve made my skin a very happy camper since my visit over a week ago.

Kate Somerville treatment room

Kate Somerville Treatment Room

At first glance, the location is incredibly inviting and beautiful. I sincerely wish I could afford to hire their interior decorator! Everything is top-notch, no details were missed, and the textured wallpaper is to die for! Every wall has a texture that makes it seem like it belongs in the most lavish of celeb homes, as if it cost a fortune. (Except, you’re at Kate Somerville, and you’re about to get your skin pampered!)

I met with my skin therapist, Laura, and she told me that in her expert opinion, I was best a candidate for their DermaLucent™ Red Facial. With this being my first light therapy facial, I wasn’t sure what to expect—but please know I’m glad I went with her expertise, because I left extremely satisfied. I’m in my late 30’s, with some congested pores, lines that need firming, and could stand to have my collagen production levels shaken wide-awake.  [Read more…]

When in SoCal — Customized Facials at Beauty Collection

Beauty Collection Facials

A good facial is hard to find, and finding one in Los Angeles that’s not exorbitantly priced, is like finding a diamond in the rough. Tucked inside Beauty Collection in West Hollywood however, I found a great facial, and more!

I met with Carol Behrens, their skincare therapist on a sunny afternoon, and we discussed what my skincare woes are. I’m currently fitting in the “all of the above” category; I want a facial that focuses on preventative aging, adds hydration, decongests pores, and brightens my skin. It’s kind of a tall order to fit in a single session, but with Carol’s magic hands—I was sure we could make it happen.  [Read more…]

Meet L.A.’s Own Brow Diva Darling, Kelley Baker

Kelley Baker Brows

Recently, I experienced a twist of fate, one that will likely change my eyebrows for a very, very long time. I’ve been into threading for several years, due to a few bad waxing experiences. (Those gals weren’t doing such a great job, if you know what I mean.) But after being satisfied with threading for a while, the gals I once trusted began dropping off like flies.

It was impossible to get a consistent result—which drove me nuts because I’m pretty neurotic about my brows as it is. I also began to feel like I didn’t matter as a client anymore. My satisfaction wasn’t even an issue to the last person I saw. When I left her studio for the last time—I said THAT’S IT! No more giving my hard-earned money to people who don’t care about client service or the pride of their work.

not your its eyebrows

Yes, eyebrows matter!

I know you’re thinking—they’re just eyebrows Amber, no big deal! But brows are like art, just like the eyeshadow you wear, how you perfect your lashes with so many coats of your favorite mascara, or wearing your favorite lipstick. They’re crucial for facial recognition, and one of the first things you notice about someone when you meet. You know you’ve cringed when you’ve met a gorgeous gal with bad brows before (or a guy for that matter). Having the correct eyebrow shape performed by a TRUE brow expert will SERIOUSLY up your beauty game.  [Read more…]

Get the Perfect Pedicure for Summer-Ready Feet!

bellacures coffee scrub

I’m sure that by now you’ve pulled your flip-flops and sandals out of the back of your closet. Here in L.A., they don’t really get the chance to migrate back there, because I wear them almost year-round. For about two years, I’ve been visiting Bellacures regularly to keep my toes in tip-top shape. I frequent the Studio City location because it’s in my area, and have my fave mani and pedi gals there—but they currently have seven locations in Southern California, with a new location in Dallas, TX.

Bellacures Pedi Cool pedicure

Before a recent trip, I stopped by to experience their signature Pedi-Cool Therapeutic Pedicure. What a treat! An upgrade from their basic pedicure, the Pedi-Cool service adds a hot epsom salt soak, peppermint and eucalyptus cooling gel, and a coffee-salt/sugar scrub to an already wonderful Bellacures pedicure service. Between the cooling tingle of the peppermint gel, and the scrumptious scent of the smoothing coffee scrub, my legs and feet felt energized and rejuvenated. Even more so after the grapeseed oil and butter cream moisturizing foot massage! My feet were all set for cute, summery shoes. [Read more…]

Dermalogica BioActive Peel Review

dermalogica bioactive peel 1Several weeks ago, I popped into Dermalogica on Montana (Santa Monica, CA) to check out their latest skincare service, the BioActive Peel. I truly believe that aside from sunscreen, regular exfoliation is one of the most beneficial steps in a skincare regimen.

BioActive is Dermalogica’s first ever chemical peel, and it addresses uneven texture, acneic inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines with minimal redness—unlike most traditional chemical peels. This bi-phasic peel uses salicylic acid, lactic acid and TCA for results you can see and feel immediately following the service.

I’m all about instant gratification, and the BioActive Peel gives me just that. This is a professional strength product, so you’ll have to get this done at one of Dermalogica’s concepts spaces or a Dermalogica certified spa. [Read more…]

What’s Hot Now: Covet These New Products & Tools from Drybar

When Drybar founder and long-time professional hairstylist, Alli Webb opened her first location—she probably had no idea what she was in for. The Drybar concept was easy—no cuts, no color—just blowouts, at an insanely affordable price. Her popular concept has grown at a fever pitch, with new locations popping up all over the United States, in a very short window of time due to client demand. I am one of those insane Drybar clients, I frequent the one in my neighborhood whenever I need a guaranteed great hair day. There’s nowhere else locally that I can go to get a great blowout, watch a chick-flick, and have a drink for $35!

Taking her great blowout concept even further, Alli has recently released a line of take-home products to ensure the great blowouts continue, even when you can’t make it into the salon. She dedicated a considerable amount of time developing the line.

“After trying nearly every product line out there,” says Webb, “I just couldn’t find what we were looking for to meet our very specific and rigorous demands. So I partnered with some of the best labs in the world to create exactly what we needed at Drybar.”

So without further ado—meet a few of the brand new (and what you should covet) products and tools from Drybar! You’ll find them at Sephora, and for take-home retail at Drybar locations nationwide.

Happy Hour Blowout Shampoo & Weightless Conditioner

Start your blowout off super fresh and clean with this paraben and sulfate-free, residue removing Happy Hour Shampoo. It lathers very generously, and leaves hair feeling light and bouncy. The Happy Hour Weightless Conditioner is the perfect partner in crime, with a detangling formula and the perfect amount of moisture that won’t get in the way of a fresh and bouncy ‘do. –$23 each [Read more…]

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…]

Out & About in Los Angeles: Save 50% on L.A.’s BEST Mobile Spray Tanning Service, Born To Glow!

The best mobile spray tan in Southern California is at your fingertips!

As I sit here, looking out of my office window this afternoon, Los Angeles is a bright and sunny 70 degrees. We don’t get much of a true “winter” here, which usually comes in the form of just a few chilly, rainy days for the entire season. As Los Angelenos, we’re spoiled with beautiful weather almost year-round; as such, we can wear short sleeves in December (like I am right now), and a spray tan is seemingly always in style! One of the perks of living in Southern California, right?

Which brings me to tell you about my recent experience with a mobile spray tanning service, Born To Glow. Founder Jennifer Lee is an incredible spray tan expert, who brings the service to you! Jennifer was in and out of my home in just 30 minutes, and I was left with the best spray tan of my life. Aside from being mobile, Jennifer custom blends your solution, so you receive only the color you desire. I like a light-to-medium shade, and she really delivered on her promise! (It lasted over a week and faded beautifully.) And unlike any other tanning service I’ve ever had, Jennifer uses the most revolutionary equipment in tanning technology today, for a unique “heated” spray tan.

As the warm solution is disbursed and sprayed on the skin, you can hardly feel the mist. So those shivers and goosebumps you get from cold tanning solution hitting your skin? Totally non-existent with Born To Glow! (Goosebumps don’t exactly make the best canvas for great tanning results.)

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