DEBBY, DARLING!

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

Last week I had the pleasure of working with one of my absolute favorite clients, Debby Ryan, before she was whisked off to the Elton John Oscar Party. Debby is so much fun and loves to play around with various looks. She was wearing a beautiful black + white gown by Lublu and her stylist put some major jewels on her ears, so we needed to come up with a look that would compliment both of those things. We both thought it would be fun to do something we haven’t done before. Something soft and romantic, but still a little bit edgy. (The real inspiration: I I got to listen to her new music from her upcoming album and really wanted to translate that vibe into her look.) Debby has lots of layers and this particular look works really well on hair that is super layered. Here’s how we did it…

  1. Create a deep side part using a tail comb.
  2. Do an inside out braid on the side with less hair. Stop behind the ear.
  3. Clip it temporarily with a small claw clip.
  4. I know this sounds crazy, but scrunch a little mousse into the middle and ends of dry hair.
  5. Take the blow dryer to it for a few seconds. The heat will soften up the mousse. The reason I do this is because I don’t want the bobby pins slipping but I also don’t want to douse it in hairspray. Heat-softened mousse still feels light and provides the extra hold.
  6. Separate the hair on the heavier side. Everything from in front of the ear stays out, everything else goes back.
  7. Roll all of the hair in back until it starts to coil into a bun shape. (Leave those front sections out.) Allow the hairs that fall out to stay out! You want it to be a bit disheveled!
  8. Pin as you go using large bobby pins.
  9. Once you’ve secured the bun, go back to the side braid. Gently pull it apart to mess it up a little. Pull out some of the pieces around your face to soften the look.
  10. Wrap the tail of the braid around the bun and pin it under.
  11. Give the heavier side a little bump or two with the flat iron, or you can do it with your curling iron if you’re not great with flat iron waves yet.
  12. Remove the excess weight on the heavier side. I like to take pieces from down near the ear and twist them back.
  13. Pin them into the bun. Continue to do so until you think you have the right amount left out.

This is what it looks like from the other side. If you try this look, make sure to tag us (and tag Debby for that matter!) @thebeautydept and @whoisdebbyanyway. We would LOVE to see!

 

TBD + LONDON LUXE

in partnership with Vidal Sassoon Pro Series // London Luxe

Adding vibrant, rich colors to your hair is always insane amounts of fun and we’re no strangers to experimenting with pretty colors around here. Not all of us can pull off our favorite shade of purple or blue all-over due to school or work, but there’s always a solution! Recently we reunited with our friends at Vidal Sassoon Pro Series and they’re launching some bold new boxes of at-home that include shades like “Midnight Muse Blue“, “London Lilac” + “Runway Red“. Um, yes please. We took a lil note from the always on-point, Kylie Jenner, and decided to play up the idea of having some hidden hues underneath. We thought it would be fun to do a tutorial on getting that look because let’s face it, while we encourage everyone to be as BOLD as possible, you could hide this at even the most conservative 9 to 5! Here’s how we did it…

 

  1. Clip all of your hair up into a bun. Put a cape or old (or dark) towel over your shoulders. Add a berrier of petroleum jelly around your lower hairline to keep your skin from staining.
  2. Create a triangle section in the back of your head as you see in photo number 2. It’s easiest if you part the hair down the center from your front hairline all the way to the nape of your neck. Then go back and take a half triangle from each side of the part as you see above.
  3. Always, always, always wear your protective gloves while using hair color! Inside the box you’ll find professional gloves, not those janky cheap ones that fall apart.
  4. Take out all of the Vidal Sassoon Pro Series color contents from the box. There will be containers labeled 1, 2 + 3.
  5. Take the #1 tube and mix it into the #2 bottle. Empty the entire tube into the bottle!
  6. Now shake, shake, shake!
  7. Grab a hand mirror or a compact so that you can see the back (if you’re not having someone help you, which could be both fun AND smart)!
  8. Put some color at the root of your triangle section and start combing it in with a plastic comb. Using a comb makes it easy to get the triangle section right. It doesn’t have to be perfect but the cleaner the better in our opinion.
  9. Once you get the root, pour some of the color on the middle and ends.
  10. Work it through with your fingers.
  11. It was really fun to watch it change from a pinkish/magenta hue to lilac. We have a feeling this will fade very nicely over time and just keep getting prettier! Once it’s ready, shampoo the color out. Lean over the sink and turn your head if possible to avoid getting color elsewhere. That’s what we did and it seemed to work really well. Run the #3 tube through the hair for extra shimmer + major shine.
  12. Blow dry or air dry your hair, as you please. You won’t see the color when your hair is down or in a low pony or bun, but once you put it up high, you get the full effect. We love adding some sweet accessories to this, as you can tell.

If you have darker hair this color looks beautiful. And if you want that extra pop, go into the salon and ask your colorist to have this section subtly pre-lightened. That’s what we did for the photo below. It didn’t need much, and you definitely don’t need to bleach it out to blonde, but for the color to be bold you’ll want to take the extra step.

Overall, we’re in love with the color and we’ve never seen anything like London Lilac on the shelves before. Our favorite thing was that the hair feels glossy + soft. If you try out the Vidal Sassoon Pro Series London Luxe colors, we would LOVE to see it! Tag us in your photo @thebeautydept on instagram, please!

But more importantly, Vidal Sassoon Pro Series is holding an AMAZING color contest for this launch which you should look at right HERE. Wanna go to London? Want $4,000? Um, WE DO TOO.

VINTAGE CURL TUTORIAL

PHOTOS/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

A couple months ago I was asked to join 4 gorgeous + very talented ladies at a photoshoot for The Hollywood Reporter’s amazing new site, Pret-a-Reporter, which we love. I was terrified AND excited as I don’t usually sit in front of the camera! I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of gal. But when they told me about the concept I wanted to be a part of it. They asked each of us to channel an Old Hollywood Starlet and told us the headline of the article was going to be “Digital Starlets”. That was really exciting, but THEN the news got better. They told me that I got to channel Rita Hayworth. Melt. My. Heart. She’s always been my number one. The shoot was loads of fun and we’re beyond grateful that they included The Beauty Department in this story. You can view the images with all the other lovely ladies right here. I also thought it would be fun to do a tutorial on how I did my hair  for the shoot, so here we go!

  1. Shampoo + lightly condition. Don’t use a heavy conditioner or mask before attempting this hairstyle as it might weigh the curls down.
  2. Have you invested in a new mousse yet? It’s back and better than ever. There are lots of new mousses on the shelves that are soft and pliable, not crunchy.
  3. Work some through the root first and then down toward the ends. I gave it a nice brushing once the mousse was in to ensure even distribution. You DON’T want mousse clumps.
  4. Rough dry the hair using a flat brush. I have strong natural waves, borderlining on curly. You don’t need it to be smooth. In fact, I like mine to be a little puffy and frizzy because I feel like it holds the curl better in the long run. If you straighten it first it might fall flat quickly.

Try a section first so you understand how your hair will react to the curl. I did one here so you can see what the hair should do. Curl, cool, brush, bounce! That’s what you want.

  1. I start at the top and work my way down with the curling iron. I like to make sure the top and the middle get just as much heat as the ends so they don’t fall flat. I used a 5/8″ iron for this whole set. Seems small, but trust me you don’t want to use anything larger than 3/4″ for the curl or it will end up more like Veronica Lake Waves, which are great, but not the point.
  2. Let the curl cool until the hair feels cold. When you do your whole head, you’ll want to pin each curl and let it cool, but for this one I didn’t pin it.
  3. Brush out the curl until you see the pattern form.
  4. It should spring up and start to look like this. Once you get the hang of it, you’re ready to curl the whole head.

When I started to fall in love with vintage vibe hair, I started buying a lot of these old books with written tutorials. I tried to make you one below so you could see the pattern I used for this set.

  1. Create a side part on whichever side you prefer. This looks best with a side part rather than a middle part in my opinion. Curl the heaviest side first. Start at the top and pin the curls into place in the pattern above. Work your way to the bottom.
  2. The front pieces are the most important because they’re going to define the shape more than anything so be very precise with the front curls.
  3. Work your way around to the other side. You want to curl everything down and toward the face.
  4. Put your makeup on and get dressed while your curls cool. The colder the better.
  5. Now brush out the whole head. Keep brushing until you start to see the pattern form. Once you do, start adding hairspray. You can either tuck the hair behind your ear or you can twist it and pin it like I did using a large bobby pin. Totally up to you!

Pret-a-Reporter is also doing a sweepstakes which you should check out HERE!

Thank you to our friends at Pret-a-Reporter for partnering with us on this post and including us in the story!

AT HOME ROOT TOUCH UP

PHOTOS/POST/DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

I’d like to handle this post with soft hands. Thursday I posted a teaser photo of this on Instagram. Got some heat right away. I’d like to avoid that here by saying up front– we’re not trying to put colorists (like myself) out of work, we’re not trying to get your clients to come in less frequently, and we’re certainly not encouraging people to start box dying their hair at home instead of going to a pro. In no way should any colorists feel threatened by this post. This is basic info that can be found on the internet already, not to mention most of it is inside of the box! This tutorial is not even 1/1000th of what a good colorist knows and it’s not going to give someone enough confidence to leave their stylist to start doing it at home. Please be open minded to the fact that some people cannot make it into a salon for many reasons– budget constraints, distance, their colorist cancels last minute before an important date and they can’t get in anywhere else, etc. In addition, I personally have a very soft spot for at-home box dye experimenting because my first box of “Cinnamon Stick” by Natural Instincts in the 90′s is what made me want to become a colorist in the first place. Experimenting and gaining knowledge is part of life, ladies and g’s.

That being said, let’s do it…

 

  1. Detangle your hair with a detangling brush.
  2. Drape yourself with a cape or an old towel around your neck.
  3. Determine where your regrowth (your roots) stops.
  4. Use a tail comb to accurately create 4 sections. When coloring your hair, it’s important to work in clean sections to avoid patches/missed spots.
  5. Your four sections should look like this.

 

  1. If you’re someone who does their own root color regularly, it’s a good idea to invest in a tint brush, color bowl and a small wire whisk. If you prefer to use the bottle from the box, you can definitely do that, but I feel like the brush/bowl method helps with accuracy.
  2. Use a wire whisk to mix your color & developer together until you see zero “chunks”. Or you can shake it up in the bottle and pour the contents into the bowl.
  3. This is a tint brush. You can pick one up at most beauty supplies. This one has rounded edges, which I prefer, but you don’t have to get that.
  4. Put protective gloves on before you start applying color.

*if your skin stains easily or if you’re using a dark/rich color, put a thin application of Vaseline around your hairline and on the tops of your ears to create a barrier.

NOW… this is where opinions will vary. From here on, this is my personal opinion which you can follow or not. This is how I like to color my own hair when I’m in a pinch or can’t find time to get it done by one of my pro friends. If you like to start at the bottom or do anything differently, by all means, go for it! The reason I like to start on top is because I want the color to look most perfect on top and in the front where it’s the most visible. Sometimes when you start on the bottom, the color gets less powerful (aka: oxidizes) by the time you get to the top. If the color is slightly less powerful by the time I get to the bottom, I’m okay with that, but not the other way around. I also find it easier to keep my sections organized when I start in front.

Warning: This application is NOT the same for bleach and in my opinion you should never try to bleach your hair at home. That’s next level and you should always leave that to a professional, no matter what.

 

  1. Apply a layer of color at the top center part.
  2. Using the tail of your tint brush, take a 1/4″ section and flip it up and over to the other side.
  3. Your sections should look like this. You should be able to see color through the other side. If you can’t see color through the section, it might be too big and you should take a smaller section to insure accuracy.
  4. When you paint each section, brush the color upward  when going above the part and then paint downward below the parting. This will help you make sure you don’t miss any spots.
  5. If you’re not quite sure that you go it all the way through, you can very lightly comb through to be sure. But again, you could just take smaller sections if you think you missed a spot.
  6. Once you finish the top/front sections, clip them together so they don’t get mixed into the back sections. Don’t clip where there’s color. Don’t twist the hair either. Just gather it all and gently place the clip below the color.
  7. The back sections can be tricky. I like to start at the top and do diagonal sections laying them forward as I go. If you look at photos 7 & 8 you’ll see the direction in which I work. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom.
  8. Check in the mirror behind you and make sure you get your hairline at the neck accurately. Nothing worse than putting your hair in a ponytail and having missed a spot.
  9. Go around the front hairline once more (especially if you have stubborn grays). Clean up your hairline so you don’t get a giant mark across your forehead.

 

I am obsessed with glosses. I put one on every client who gets a base color because I feel like it’s just not the same without a gloss. You may remember THIS POST about glazes, which you is the at-home version of a gloss. You can’t buy the type of glosses we use at the salon to use at home so if you’re looking for that kind of shine, book an appointment with your colorist. Otherwise you can glaze it up like this:

  1. After your hair color processes for the time suggested by the manufacturer it will stop. At that point,  you can clip up the top half of your hair. Don’t push it into the color on top of your head. Just set it up there lightly and clip.
  2. Apply glaze liberally until you get to the top. Let it sit for the suggested time, then rinse everything all together.

Optional: If you’re planning on pulling color through your ends instead of  doing a glaze, follow the timing instructions on the box. Every brand is different. This tutorial is specifically for touching up regrowth + glaze, not for doing a solid over-all color– you need a pro for that.