Tag: hair

Beauty Swellness: Moroccanoil Customizable Travel Kit

Moroccanoil travel kits


Perhaps the most difficult part about traveling with just a carry-on? Packing toiletries and cosmetics, who’s with me?? After all, there are the products I know and love, and yet they won’t all easily fit into my small luggage.

Which makes the news  of this limited-edition Moroccanoil Customizable Travel Kit particularly sweet. Select any four of the travel-friendly sized products (ranging in price from $9 to $17) pack them into the complimentary croc-embossed bag (well, first into your clear ziplock bag if you’re boarding a flight) and you’re all set for your next trip when it comes to caring for your hair with the smoothing and hydrating benefits oil argan oil. After all, when you’re in different environments, plus the dry air on planes, your hair can use the extra hydration from these antioxidant-rich products.


Leave a Comment May 23, 2014

Beauty Swellness: Ombre with Clairol Natural Instincts


In university, I had some pretty awful hair colour (and I’m too vain to show you those photos from university; they will most certainly not be making their way onto Instagram for #throwbackthursday!)

So when I was at a recent Clairol event at Hair on the Avenue learning from Luis Pacheco, Clairol consulting colourist, about different techniques for doing ombre yourself at home, it got me thinking about how much I wish I could try this look, but can’t with my black hair — my hair’s just black, after all, no colour will look right (or so I thought).

The Clairol peeps and Luis insisted this was not the case, so I took them up on the chance to have him work his hair-colouring magic. Luis and I had a consultation and, phew, he and I were on the same page (he was thinking Alexa Chung’s ombre, while I showed him SongofStyle‘s — so we were both thinking a more obvious ombre). Interestingly, before he started colouring, Luis pointed out how my hair already had a subtle natural ombre to it — you can see it in the “before” photo here, the pic on the left.

ombre with Clairol Natural Instincts before and after

(Before and after photos)

Since we were using semi-permanent colour and the ombre I wanted involved going up several shades of colour, Luis first used a Clairol pre-lightener. “If you want to go lighter than three shades, you have to prelighten and then put back the tone; so you’re removing natural pigment and then put back the demi-permanent,” says Luis. If I were to do a one-step DIY ombre at home, I would have to use a permanent hair colour (such as Perfect 10 or Colour Foam), which would bring my hair colour three colours lighter than what my natural pigment, he explained. The result on my dark hair would be quite subtle.

But I wasn’t going for subtle. As I was getting the prescription Clairol ombre with Luis with the prelightening step for an obvious ombre, he use a demi-permanent, ammonia-free Natural Instincts in Dark Blonde 9N, to add back the tone. Now this is the step I skipped back in university, and thus the raw, horrible hair colour I had back then. “You have a warm skin tone, so I used a neutral so to bring the tone down, but didn’t eliminate it completely. Had I used a  cool shade, it would not have been a good choice for your skin tone — a yellow would be too unnatural and brassy,” he says.

To create the subtle gradation of colour, btw, he backcombed half of the hair before applying the Natural Instincts. “That way when you comb back that hair, it softens it and creates that subtle gradation of tone.”

ombre hair with Luis Pacheco

(Here with the man of the hour, Clairol consulting colourist Luis Pacheco of Hair on the Avenue)

Now, you might be wondering “If general hair colour theory is to go no more then three shades from your colour, then how the heck does this ombre work on black hair?” Well, so as to keep it natural looking and not jeopardize the hair, a big reason this ombre works (given we went up about six levels) is because “we kept that darkness framing your face, and lifted colour just on the ends,” says Luis. “It’s not a hair treatment,” he admits — and he’s instructed me to condition my hair more often than I have been in order to help condition my hair given that with the prelightening we removed protein from my hair.

Ombre hair after a couple of weeks

(My hair a few weeks after my ombre appointment — must remember to refresh the colour with Natural Instincts next week!)

Also, since I shampoo my hair once a day or more often (yes, twice daily — on the days I run, I’m sometimes shampooing two times, once to get ready for the day and then another time after my run), he sent me home with a box of Natural Instincts Dark Blonde. Since the product is ammonia-free, it won’t affect my natural pigment, but will add the gloss and tone back to the ends, he explains.

The results? I love! A nice change after having not coloured my hair in years.

Are you a fan of ombre? Would you try it at home yourself?

2 Comments July 30, 2013

Beauty Swellness: Vidal Sassoon Pro Series at Martin Lim


Want the hair look from the Martin Lim runway at Montreal Fashion Week? Find out how Sassoon Creative Director and Sassoon Expert Lorraine McAndrew styled it over at The Kit.

1 Comment February 23, 2013

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