Posts Tagged ‘at home’

AT-HOME HIGHLIGHTS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

Last week, something fascinating happened; I learned that it IS possible for one to give themselves a mini highlight at home, both safely and beautifully. When I was about 14 I started highlighting all of my friends’ hair at home (oh yah… from a cap.) and somehow it always turned out great, so I suppose my initial confidence in this project sprouted from my experimental younger self mixed with my faith in Dana because she’s a smart girl. Now let me give you a little back story. I get asked about DIY highlights all the time and my reaction has always been the same: “JUST DO NOT.”, accompanied by a look that puts the fear of gawd into the person asking. But when Dana asked me if it was possible to add a little brightness around the front of her hair at home, as much as I wanted to put her on my schedule and offer to do it for her, something told me we should roll with this and turn this into a guide for those of you who really need it.

As a professional colorist, it used to be my NIGHTMARE to see people take bleach into their own hands at home. But in this day and age, I know people are going to do it anyway, so I figure if you’re audacious enough to try, the least I can do (as everyones digital big sister) is guide you through! All I ask is that you not try to do more than what’s easy and safe for you. I don’t recommend doing more than a little face frame highlight around the front because by doing more than that you could easily lose control and things could go very, very wrong. Okay… here we go.

To start, I’ll tell you the same thing I told Dana: please check all allergies (instructions to conduct an allergy test will be on the box), wear gloves, protective clothing and keep bleach off of your skin and away from your eyes throughout this process. Be an adult about this and don’t do things that are unsafe or unclear.

manic panic bleach kit the beauty department

First things first, you will need a bleach kit. I wanted to be as realistic as possible about this so instead of going to the professional beauty supply stores I normally go to, I took Dana to Sally’s Beauty Supply in LA because I know the majority of you will have a Sally’s and you don’t need a license to shop there.

We got THIS EXACT BLEACH KIT for $10. If that sells out, it’s also available RIGHT HERE for a couple dollars more. I’m sure there are other great at-home bleach kits, but I wanted to make sure we got one that is widely available! (bonus: this kit also comes with a pair of latex gloves!)

highlight brushes at home highlights

I think it’s important to have 2 brushes: one to apply the bleach and one to blend. Dana is going to use the application brush from the kit as well as a “spoolie” brush which is a small brush made for brows and lashes. It’s basically a disposable mascara wand. You can grab those at any beauty supply or if you don’t have that you can use an old toothbrush that you will then need to throw away.

at home highlights the beauty department

Next steps are going to be grabbing your SECTIONING CLIPS, putting on your PROTECTIVE CAPE, and clipping one side of your hair back. I encouraged Dana to part her hair where she normally would (she chose a subtle side part), and then push everything back on one side so she could focus on one side at a time. (By the way, it is SO fun and entertaining to watch and guide someone through this process!!)

thebeautydepartment.com at home highlights

Now you have to find the exact pieces you want to highlight! I asked Dana to look at her hair and find the key pieces that she thought would look best highlighted when her hair is styled. OHHHH! I should mention– I also asked her to do this on styled hair so she could see where the lighter pieces should fall with the way she normally wears it. I think that is very important! In the right photo above you can see the pieces she chose. I think each piece you choose should be no bigger than a regular shoe lace.

beauty dept at home highlights

Once you have your pieces out and the rest of your hair securely clipped out of the way, it’s time to mix your bleach! Follow every little tiny instruction on the box. I told Dana to mix half of the contents first and apply to one side, then go back and mix a fresh batch when she was ready to do the other side. Otherwise your bleach can oxidize and get weaker as it sits out.

diy highlight the beauty department

Time to applyyyyyy!! On the left you can see that she applied from the middle to ends. Do NOT even try to go higher than that, please. You’ll end up with problems. We want to keep this as easy and safe as possible, so pleeeeease don’t go up high with your bleach. Apply middle to ends on each thin section.

thebeautydepartment.com face frame highlights at home

Once you apply with your applicator brush from middle down, use your spoolie to soften the transition between the dark and light hair. You don’t want a harsh line where the bleach stops so lightly drag your spoolie up and down where your bleach stops and soften the look! Once you feel like you’re in a good place with your blending, put the colored strands in either saran wrap or HAIR COLOR FOILS to keep the color from drying out. (ps: I had Dana put one extra foil above that one just to be safe and keep it away from her eyes on the side that’s heavier. She’ll only need one foil on the less heavy side.)

Keep in mind, bleach works very differently than hair color. Hair color stops, bleach does not. You will need to check your hair from time to time inside the foil/saran wrap to see how light it’s getting. Since this is a 30 volume bleach, it moves quickly and you should keep an eye on it. Don’t try to make the pieces platinum, use your best judgement and follow the instructions. You just want a subtle highlight.

at home highlight tutorial the beauty department 1

Dana has very dark, very coarse, strong hair. I felt it was safe for her to section, mix more bleach and apply the second side while the first side was processing in the foil. But if you have dry, damaged hair, previously bleached hair or light hair naturally you should do one side at a time, start to finish because you may need to take side 1 off sooner than you think.

the beauty dept diy highlights

Keep an eye on both sides as they process. One will be lighter than the other as you go because you applied one side first. Do not apply heat when doing this at home. Things can get too out of control too quickly! Slow and steady definitely wins the race! In total Dana kept her foils on for 20 minutes per side but her hair is super dark and very strong. I would say the average is going to be 15 minutes give or take. Remember: Dana’s first side was put on 10 minutes before the other side so that time counts as processing time! In other words, her first side will be ready 1o minutes before the second side.

toning at home highlights the beauty department

When the hair is ready, you’ll rinse, shampoo and tone. For this Dana shampooed with THIS, then applied THIS TONER, then THIS CONDITIONER. What tone you like is really based on your own personal taste. When you go into your beauty supply, talk to someone who works there about what tones you like and tell them you’re looking for a toner rather than a permanent color. Toner is like a sheer-colored top coat for the hair. It can cut out yellow, add warmth, add pink tones, whatever you want. So since I don’t know what you’re going for, it’s best to get advised by someone who works there. If you’re not sure what tones you love, check my tone guides here: ASHY, NEUTRAL, GOLD WARM TONES, HINT OF REDRED. With Dana, she wanted to make it more neutral so she used an ash toner. She applied it and left it on for 6 minutes and rinsed when it looked ready. Remember to keep the rest of your hair clipped back and away from all this color. Only apply the toner to those few pieces you’ve lightened, otherwise it can mess with your hair color and it can create extra unnecessary work for your salon colorist if you apply all over.

at home hair color highlights kristin ess

This was the final result once the hair was dried and waved. I think she did an EPIC job, especially for never coloring her hair own or anyone else’s hair ever before. She slayed the game and I was like a proud mom when all was said and done. Too bad she doesn’t want to do hair! Ha.

You may ask why this is neccessary. I think we all have very different lives and different priorites and before anyone slams the idea of me sharing this info with the general public, we need to remember that we’re not all the same. This world is big and we don’t all have access to a great colorist, not all of us have money to spend in the salon and frankly some just don’t have the time. But we have access to information by the click of a button and that’s what this is. That being said, would you have the courage to brighten a couple little strands at home?

MULTI MASKING 101

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

Most of us have combination skin. Our T-zone needs deep pore cleaning, our undereyes need instant oxygen and our cheeks need brightening or energizing! Or you chin could be chronically dry but your forehead is oily and tends to break out. There are endless combinations! Which is why multi-masking is so genius! Access your current skin situation (mine changes each season) and apply masks accordingly. Here’s how I broke it up for Rachel above:

T-ZONE:

Rachel’s T-Zone is naturally more oily than the rest of her face so the pores in that area get congested and clogged more easily.

CHEEK:

Like most of us, her cheek area has some dark spots and dry spots. So I switched to a multi-tasking mask that really energizes the area.

CHIN:

The chin is a very fickle area that needs its own separate assessment too! One day it becomes dry and scaly and lasts that way for a month, then it breaks out with dermatitis and little small bumps like a rash! So I took a moment to look and feel Rachel’s and determined it was a little on the oilier side, so I applied the same purifying mask that I used on her T-zone.

UNDEREYE:

The under-eye area is the thinnest and most fragile skin on your face so you have to treat it delicately. It’s also the tattle tale that shows the most signs of being tired (dark circles and bags). So I personally like using adding O2 to the area for an instant pick me up. Then I typically cover any uncovered areas with it as well.

You don’t have to do three different masks like I did… you can just do 2 or you can do 4! Just feel around with your fingers and determine which areas are dry, which are dull, which are oily and apply accordingly. I think you’ll be much happier with the results than just using one mask.

THE NEW FACE TECHNOLOGY

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

Because makeup looks much better on a smooth and clear surface, I spend a lot of time researching anything and everything that I can get my hands on in the world of skincare. And I mean everything! After trying it all, the biggest advances I’ve found so far are these. Why? Because how many times have you had an amazing facial and wished you could do the same at home? When you do something weekly instead of monthly in the case of microdermabrasion, or nightly instead of monthly in the case of blue or red LED light therapy, the results are exponentially bigger! Not to mention the money you save. Let’s walk through each one:

AT-HOME MICRODERMABRASION

  • This handheld device ($138, used on Rachel above) is my favorite because it comes with four interchangeable diamond tips (delicate, standard, firm and bold) that really tackle fine lines and wrinkles and exfoliate off dead skin cells. I’ve also heard good things about this one ($199) but haven’t personally tried it.
  • To use it, gently pull the skin so it’s taut then trace the device over it in lines and patterns illustrated in the booklet.
  • I use mine once a week and can really see the cell turnover and feel the baby soft skin.
  • I notice my serums and creams absorb better when the skin has been exfoliated.
  • If you aren’t ready to invest in the real thing yet, try this at-home system ($15.99) that really helps boost circulation while it exfoliates.
  • If you aren’t feeling handhelds and want a really powerful microscrub that won’t damage your skin, this one ($$) and this one ($) are my favorites.

TBDTheFutureofSkincare2

ANTI-ACNE LED LIGHTS

  • Since LED lights have been used on skin (blue lights for anti-acne and red lights for anti-aging) for over a decade now, there have been enough studies done that show they really do work. Earlier this year I created tutorials on blue-light handhelds and red-light handhelds, and now I’m excited to share my latest discovery, LED masks! So you don’t have to hold something up to your skin. I’ve had both kind of facials, one where the facialist placed a red light mask over my face and left the room for 20 minutes and another where she traced a red light handheld all over my skin for twenty minutes. Both times I left with amazing results!
  • I used this anti-acne light therapy mask ($29.99) on Rachel above because it’s affordable (comes with a 30-use cartridge) and I love there’s a slit for your eyes to stay open and stay connected on your phone the whole time! If acne isn’t an issue for you but you want to fight fine lines and wrinkles, try the anti-aging light therapy mask ($29.99). This one doesn’t have the eye slit so that you can use that time to disconnect from the world instead.
  • Either with a handheld LED device or a mask, trace it over skin or wear it until they automatically shut off.
  • I’ve used my anti-acne mask nightly for 30 days to give it a fair chance and my skin started clearing up after 3 days! I feel like it really calmed everything down so much. Now I wear it every other night or so but it’s up to you!
  • Before you ask about the lips sticker above, I put it there (it came with lots of fun stickers to decorate it with) but you don’t have to!

TBDTheFutureofSkincare3

BEAUTY POWDER

  • Remember our series with Dr. Jessica Wu about how much what we eat affects our skin, hair and nails? It’s half of the battle! But unfortunately I have the taste buds of a six year old (don’t ask!) and don’t like a lot of vegetables and can always taste them when I try to disguise them in juices! So beauty powders are a must for me and have come a long way.
  • This iconic one ($$$) shown above is my personal favorite because it has peptides, collagen, hyaluronic acid and lipids in it that are proven to make hair shinier, nails stronger and skin more hydrated. I noticed a difference in my skin in three weeks when people started complimenting me how glowy it was. This is a more budget-friendly option ($) but I can’t vouch for the results (let me know if you try it and see a difference).
  • I mix the powder with 4-8 ounces of Whole 5 Puree anti-oxidant juice but you can use whichever is your favorite.
  • I drink a glass daily and actually look forward to it!

ACNE FIGHTER

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

TUTORIAL + PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

A couple months ago we shared how to fight wrinkles with our Red Light LED Therapy Tutorial. We got so many requests for the blue version in the comments that I researched, polled  my colleagues, asked my dermatologist and found the three that we found work the best. Here’s why a blue light LED at-home handheld device is the bomb to fight acne:

  1. It helps kill bacteria that causes many of your breakouts.
  2. It helps clear up existing acne.
  3. It helps prevent future blemishes.
  4. It calms the inflammation and gets your skin to mellow out.
  5. It’s safe for sensitive skin!
  6. Because it’s not a cream/toner/lotion, you don’t have to worry about it drying out your skin, irritating it or having a reaction from it. But you can use a Blue Light LED device in conjunction with your favorite acne skincare.

TBD FAVES:

  • Brook is using the Pulsaderm Blue above because its head covers a big area at once and it really calms my flare ups helping my skin clear up.
  • We also like the Revive LED Therapy because it made a dramatic difference in my cousin’s skin and it’s on sale right now!
  • Lastly, the Tanda Zap is awesome for when a big blemish has parked itself on your face because it targets it not only with a blue LED light but also with sonic vibration and a light warming to get it to chill out fast.

STEPS:

  1. After washing your face, pat it dry. Put on the safety googles that come with the handheld device (I didn’t photograph her wearing them because it crushed my flow!) or place moistened cotton pads over each eye, but then you need to meditate or talk on the phone as you won’t be able to see instead of what you can do in step 2!
  2. Sit down to watch TV or YouTube or while sitting at your desk or on your laptop, hold the device over each affected area for 3 minutes.
  3. Repeat daily and you’ll start to notice a difference within one week! My chin has been a nightmare this winter with acne and a rash-like dermatitus redness thing that’s way harsh, Tai! But 5 days with my Pulsaderm handheld and it calmed down and cleared up.