Slash your beauty budget, The hair issue

Currently I am a"Dream Blonde"I was born a beauty addict; I’m convinced it led to my career as professional beauty maven. Growing up, I devoured not only beauty products, but beauty books. I read them all. In the not too distant past, celebrities used to sell beauty books instead of product lines. I preferred the books. I particularly liked tomes that dripped with glamour by old-time movie stars. They seemed to have an endless supply of tips and tricks gleaned from the best movie studio make-up artists and hair dressers. Styles change over time, but it’s amazing how useful all I learned from ZsaZsa Gabor and Sophia Loren and many others still is today.
Sophia Loren stated in her beauty book that any beauty worthy of the name should know how to take care of her skin and nails, and be able to keep her hair flawlessly coloured. I agree.
Don’t wrong. I adore and depend on my talented beauty-makers. There is no way my skin would look as it does without the ministrations of my fabulous cosmetic acupuncturist Fang Wang. Nor would I like to be without my talented stylist, Ebony. Every time I move I go through the challenge of finding a new hair stylist. Sometimes it can be a painful drama.
I’m a big advocate of sticking to a beauty budget. I always have been, even before the current recession. I like my hair to look perfect and rootless, so I hit the salon every six weeks. I like it to move and swing, so I need a stylist at a price that I can afford. I can always tell when a woman is over her head with her stylist. She lets her hair go too long between appointments. I don’t get it. It’s better to go to someone you can afford so your hair can look fab all the time than to go to a fancy salon you can’t afford.
We all have different needs. Girls with manes of glorious curls may visit the salon only four times a year. They swear a talented curl-cutter is hard to find and worth a splurge. At only four times a year, if it’s in your budget and works for you, go for it.
But even on my six-week rotation, I still do my own between-appointment touch-ups. I used to buy professional colour supplies from the beauty supply store, but now the at-home products are so good, I just stop by the drugstore. My stylists know I will be regularly touching-up my tresses. None of the good ones have had an issue with it. Most of them have offered tips. If your stylist reacts negatively against a little home touch-up, dump them. Lately, one even reads of stylists recommending home hair colour to their wealthy clients when asked. Celebrity stylists such as Frederic Fekkai and Oscar Blandi among others even offer their own home hair colouring products. The days of home hair colour snobbism is over!
Knowing how to do my own hair has also let me keep it shiny and pristine while traveling. It has allowed me to stay on a budget too. I have neither the cash nor patience for a salon visit every two weeks. This way I spend an hour at home, instead of the languishing at the salon. I read or work during the 20 minutes of “processing”. Then I just dry my freshly-glossed locks, and I am good to go. Touch-ups are so simple that I have coloured my hair in hotel rooms before events. I didn’t leave a single stain. The alternative would have been trying out a strange salon and stylist.
Darlings, this is not some arcane beauty editor talent. Recently one of our contributors noticed that her professionally-coloured and highlighted hair was in desperate need of a touch-up. She had been away from home for months. She needed to attend a few formal functions with her executive husband. Obviously, she had to look stunning and flawless. She had never coloured her own hair. Simultaneously while chatting on Skype, we used the L’Oreal Paris online computer to select her perfect shade and product. The computer suggested L’Oreal Superior Preference. Thanks to the numbering system, she could buy it easily in a foreign country. She followed the directions and my tips. She says will definitely be colouring again. Her hair looked and felt sensational. She loved its texture and fullness, as well as the rich brunette colour. She also liked the $8 price tag.
L’Oreal Paris has new collection of Decadent Chocolate shades in Superior Preference that look gorgeous on brunettes.
West coast editor, Alice Farnsworth has been visiting me in Atlanta. Ever since she permed her hair, she has not been able to find the right ahde of hair colour. She also found it really hard to cover her grey. Alice is not alone; many readers complain about this problem. So while she was here, we used the Clairol online computer to find her ideal shade. To her surprise, we settled on a medium golden blond called Beeline Honey in the Perfect 10 Nice N’ EasyAlice had been using a light brown and it was too dark for her, but she really is not a blond. Perfect 10 is a high-gloss permanent colour that works in just 10 minutes. It smells fabulous. Alice liked that it had two applicator tips — a comb for her hair and a regular nozzle for her hair line. It made application a snap. Her hair came out shiny, manageable, and free of all grey. The colour choice was sensational too, just what she had been looking for!
Over the years, I have used all types of hair colour. In Moscow, I brought my own to my stylists, until I worked for Russian Vogue.
I have tried a variety of blonds. I have yet to find one I don’t like. Currently, I am hooked on L’Oreal Paris Superior Preference Dream Blonde. It is the crème de la crème of home colour, at $15. But it leaves hair silky and without a trace of brassiness. I use only half a box at a time, so I splurge.
The online computers offered by Clairol and L’Oreal Paris can help you choose your shade and products. They are like having a staff of stylists to help and are better than the panel on the box. They offer different options as well as give professional tips. Both companies have help lines with live experts too. 
There are products to gloss your hair, cover grey, highlight, or keep your salon colour fresh between visits. The number of women who colour at home is growing.  Recently, The New York Times reported this: “Asked how the economy had changed their spending habits, 15 percent of 1,000 American women who have their hair colored professionally said they now color it at home, according to a recent survey by Mintel, a market research firm. Another company, Information Resources, said dollar sales of a popular Clairol product, Root Touch-up, shot up 20 percent over the last year.”
Darlings, home hair colour is fast, fabulous and practically foolproof. It is also a great way to stretch your budget. If you choose not to colour and can rock a silver fox do, that’s gorgeous too. It seems the recession is here to stay for a while, but that does not mean your beauty regime has to suffer. Darlings, as I always tell you, it has never been easier or more economical to be beautiful.

Top stylist Christopher Martin gives tips for foolproof home hair colouring

Christopher MartinThe recession has made the highest maintenance ladies reassess their beauty regimes. Suddenly home hair colouring is cool. So if you have been using home hair colour secretly. Or if you have been suffering with lackluster or graying locks because you dreaded salon prices, but were afraid to yourself. Maybe you need you need to trim your budget and cut costly salon bills? Or perhaps you have been guilty of my pet peeve, stretching out your time between appointments and letting your poor hair get root and ratty. There are so many good reasons to try home hair colour now–so don’t miss a word of this interview. Be sure to read all of this issue for our recessionista tips.

Christopher Martin is a top Toronto stylist and colour consultant with Clairol.
DD: How do you choose the right shade of hair colour?
CM: In general woman should stick with something close to their own shade; staying within one or two shades of their current colour. This is a standard hair colour rule that will help reduce undesirable results. If you’re after a more drastic change you really need to consider skin tone and eye colour.
DD: What is the difference between semi-permanent colour and permanent hair colour? Which is better?
CM: Both are great. Demi-permanent and permanent hair colour are great tools, they just serve different needs. Permanent is best for resistant grey hairs or if you have more than 50 per cent greys. If your main objective is to cover only a few greys, use a demi-permanent. Using a demi will alleviate the need to colour as often because there is less noticeable root re-growth. This is also a great option because demis usually contain less or no ammonia. However, new technology found in permanent formulas such as Perfect 10 can be quite mild while still providing great coverage. The colour deposits in P10 are so gentle that it creates a softer lift in the applied colour.
DD:  Some grey is impossible to cover. What is the solution to this problem?
CM: The best first step is to always start colouring where you have the most grey; usually around the hairline and at the hair’s natural part. This will allow the colour to saturate that hair while you apply the colour throughout. With Perfect 10 you might want to leave it on resistant greys for up to 10 minutes longer.

DD: Does colouring damage hair?
CM: Not necessarily. The real damage arises from over-processing. Often women apply full colour too regularly, which can lead to colour overlap. Generally, women should apply colour to their roots and on their ends to refresh their look. You don’t need to apply full colour every time you want to refresh your look, just target your colouring to the needed areas.

DD: Can colouring your hair make it look or feel thicker?
CM: Yes it certainly can! This is especially true when covering greys. By colouring your hair you are actually adding pigment, filling in and fattening up the cuticle of the hair so it appears thicker and feels smoother.

DD: Is there an easy way to get the look of highlights at home?
CM: Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Frost & Tip is a great product to achieve natural-looking highlights. Just pull out a few sections of hair around the hair line to really lift the colour around the face. There’s also Highlights from Nice ‘N Easy that lets you personalize your colour. It comes with a comb for really easy and fool-proof application.
DD: Can you go blond at home? How do you safely do this and how light can you go?
CM: Women can certainly lighten at home, but over time. Even salon colour takes multiple applications to lighten hair drastically. I would suggest lightening the hair by one or two shades every four to six weeks to ensure you don’t end up with unwanted results. Remember, when colouring your hair you must be realistic with the colour expectation. If you’re a dark brunette you can’t expect to go platinum blond overnight.

DD: How often should you and can you colour your hair?
CM: The general rule of thumb is to colour every four to six weeks, but the best route is to just upkeep roots and maybe the tips. Applying full cover is a common mistake made with at-home hair colour, but it’s also something I see coming out of salons!  Women most likely apply full colour, without damaging the hair, on the second or third term of colour application. You would start with the roots; let it sit for a bit and then bring the colour though the entire head of hair. You want to avoid overlapping layers of full colour to avoid the “wig” look for dark hair or the over-processed “fried” look for blondes.
DD:  Is there any way to colour your hair and keep it shiny?
CM: Clairol Nice ‘N Easy ColorSeal Weekly Conditioning Gloss, which can be found in all boxes of Clairol hair colour products, serves as a great conditioning system, but can also be used as a treatment. Every couple of weeks, apply a heavy dose, let it sit for about 10 minutes while applying some heat with your blow-dryer, then wash it out. ColorSeal Weekly Conditioning Gloss locks in the colour, and you won’t believe how healthy- looking and shiny your hair will be!
DD:  Do different hair types — Caucasians, Asians, and Blacks — react differently to hair colour?
CM: The focus should not necessarily be on the ethnicity of the woman colouring her hair, but the processing that has already been done to it. Certain cultures are more likely to use different processes like Henna, chemical straighteners, perms, or previous colour. Previously-treated hair must be highly monitored because the hair cuticles often absorb the colour much faster or the chemicals already in the hair and could react to the elements of the new colour being introduced — so it can be a bit tricky! If you’re dealing with virgin hair, there’s no need to worry! Follow the standard rules and you’ll be fine; stick within one or two shades of your current colour and colour every four to six weeks with a focus on the roots.

DD: What do you do if it you make a mistake colouring you hair? Can you fix it? What should you do?
CM: Hair colour “mistakes” can usually be corrected by adding colour to compensate. For example, if your blonde turns out too “green,” try adding a colour with warmth — something with a red base. If your colour turns out too red, apply a colour with an ash base – this is usually stated right in the name of the product. If you’ve gone too dark and the heavy pigment are weighing down your colour, try using a light golden brown to warm up your hue.

Revitalize your hair!

Melodie RodgersContributor Melodie Rodgers has been trying out the latest hair care products from Roots of Nature Remedies. Top trends in black hair styles in include blond highlights or all-over lightening a la Beyonce, or a natural look that uses gentle hair pressing. Both looks demand nourishing hair care to maintain the hair health and soft silky locks.

Here is Melodie’s Review:
Are you ready to revitalize your hair and scalp? Roots of Nature Remedies’ new Reconstructing Deep Treatmentblends the best of shea butter and green tea, which will soothe your scalp and fortify your hair with Vitamin E and loads of antioxidants.
For extra protection and healing during the summer months, the shea butter and green tea in Roots of Nature Remedies’ new Stimulating Scalp Oilwillreplenish the moisture in your scalp and heal your hair from root to tip.
Together, the Reconstructing Deep Treatment and Stimulating Scalp Oil will provide an optimum blend of natural support towardsyour path to healthy and beautifully growing hair. And there is a great printable coupon on the site for a discount. 

Hot hair care and colour trends


Redken Color ExtendOne thing all hair stylists agree on is that proper care is essential to keep your freshly coloured tresses looking fabulous. In the past I have been impressed by Redken’s Fifth Avenue Extreme Anti-Snap to prevent breakage, which it actually does! I also was thrilled by Real Control Thermal Resist Hair Repair which resuscitates dead, dry hair.

I have been equally bowled over by their New Color Extend line. It’s a collection of products — Shampoo, Conditioner, Rich Recovery, Total Recharge, and Shine Enrich — to keep colour fresh and fade-free.
Color Extend uses “micronet” technology to lock in colour and prevent fading. It has cranberry oil for conditioning and shine. Total Recharge, my favourite new must-have item, also has a UVA/UVB shield. 
Brent HardgraveI asked top Redken stylist, Brent Hardgrave of Salon 124, to give me an update on trends and treatments.
DD: What are the current trends for blondes, brunettes and red heads?
BH: Think of classic, rich and sustainable colors:
For blondes: Wheat tones, closer to lightest brown.  They are easier to maintain and grow out.
For brunettes: Deeper and darker. Rich and full of shine with hints of cinnamon and paprika. 
For the Reds:  Remember Irish Setters? Reflective and silky.
DD: Can hair colour actually moisturize your hair and make it more manageable or does it always have to be damaging?
BH: Hair color can be a great tool to repair the outside condition of hair. Resurfacing the damaged cuticle of your hair is like repaving a street full of potholes. Redken Shades EQ is the ultimate "road crew" for your damaged frayed strands. Shades EQ will add depth and even tones, and smooth the tattered outside cuticle. It can actually bring a high shine back to depleted hair. It is my Number One tool for color!  Redken Shades EQ is the hair colour that thinks it’s a conditioner!
DD: Is there way to have colour done so it can grow our naturally, if you are on a tight budget due to the current economy?
BH: Once again, the winner is Redken Shades EQ! I love to call it "Color without Commitment"! It can give a boost, like a new shade of lipstick for your hair!  It’s affordable and predictable with long-lasting tone and shine. Highlights still look multi-chromatic as they grow out. It’s a "back to natural" color process done in the salon only, and worth every last penny!
DD: How important is at home maintenance to keep salon colour perfect? Are their any new products techniques that can help?
BH: Even when you buy a more economical car, you still want to use good oil to make it last! The same goes for hair color maintenance. Spending just a little more on a Color Extending hair care regime can make all the difference in the longevity of your investment. Redken Color Extend is the perfect answer! Let your stylist help you out by recommending the right products for your hair. There really is a difference between the Good Stuff and the grocery store stuff. The testament to this is in the mileage you get on your gorgeous color!
DD: Can you explain the new blonde Glam Colour Enhancers. Is it a glaze? Roots?
BH: These are awesome!  They give you longer, crisper and richer blondes! There are two yummy shades. Rich Vanilla balances out tired warmer blondes.  It adds depth and richness along with high reflectivity. I am mostly brunette, with random slices of blonde; and I love what it does for my brown hair too! Perfect Platinum adds the ice to cool off unwanted warmth in blondes. This will keep your blonde crisp and gleamy until your next visit to your colorist! Now you have the control all in your shower to keep your blonde right where you like it! It is a deposit-only product, a color enhanced conditioner. It does not lift or lighten the roots!
I have recently switched to Redken Salon and have been amazed at how soft and delicious my hair is after it is coloured. I had never used a Redken salon before. I switched to use a particular stylist, who I felt would take good care of my hair. The colour really does condition. The color is also dreamy and not all brassy. On side note, Ebony my stylist is fabulous and never gives me grief over my DIY habits.



Not your mother’s documentary

Deb WilliamsDeb Williams reports on a favourite pick from Toronto’s Hot Doc’s Film Festival, where a new style of documentary is gaining a wider audience:
The biographical documentary Sergio brims with action, drama, and emotion – and will appeal to a wide audience. This brilliant film follows the life of the charismatic Brazilian, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who joined the United Nations when he was just 21.
Inspired by Samantha Power’s book, Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and The Fight to Save the World, director Greg Barker shows how de Mello’s great leadership abilities allowed him to tactfully provide solutions in tense political situations.
Sergio Vieira de MelloHe went to some of the world’s most volatile countries — Bangladesh, Cambodia, and East Timor – and earned him a reputation as the U.N.’s go-to guy.  Sergio embarked on his last tour to Iraq after being heavily influenced by senior dignitaries such as Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair.
The world remembers images of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad devastated by a terrorist bomb in 2003. This was where Sergio spent the last few hours of his life, entombed in rubble. With finesse and realistic clarity, Barker keeps audiences riveted.
The documentary is a tribute not only to a great man, but to an international hero.
Parallel to the unfolding international drama, Barker closely follows Sergio’s personal life and his love for female companionship. Interviews with family, friends and co-workers reveal layers of a man whose ethics were built on the preservation and independence of every oppressed individual.
Sergio eloquently portrays the humility of a man who was instrumental in changing the world and understanding the complexities of human nature when faced with adversity. It is a true privilege to witness such a heartfelt story of a man who shows how one person can make a difference.
Deb will bring us more highlights from HotDocs.

Beauty on the go

Prosilk mini iron fits in a clutuchProSilk makes some of our favourite hair products. We think the ProSilk Gold Ceramic Hair Iron is one of the best. We adore ProSilk Hair Serum.  Now the  ProSilk Mini is just what we have been waiting for! It’s tiny — about six inches long. It is so small, it can slip into a hand bag, but it performs. It is ceramic and iconic, heats up fast and hot, and is super-easy to manipulate. It is perfect for travel on one-bag-limit grinch airlines and in cramped cruise quarters. I even took a wrinkle out of ribbon with it. But do not plan to iron your blouse with it; there are limits.

ProSilk Serum is a super hair smoother. It will seem to last forever, as only a drop or two will tame the wildest and frizziest hair. In a pinch you can use it on chapped hair or after you shave your legs to leave them sleekly smooth. or 866 434 8100 

Fabulous Father’s Day find!

A fun and chic baseball motifDarlings, you know we only make a few gift suggestions each holiday. We often feel barraged by gift guides and lists that are all too often full of dross! But when we find something truly fabulous we have to share.
I adore these ties from The Tie Bar. They have a slew of chic and fun patterns and designs. There are  bow-ties too, which are becoming the latest rage. The silk is heavy and lustrous, and they tie effortlessly. I usually buy designer ties, but I can’t resist these cute little numbers at just $15 USD each. They even have a tie-of-the-month club. How adorable is that? This is the perfect recessionista Father’s Day shopping site. It’s also a great place to shop for all the other Beau Brummels in your life too!



How to flutter your lashes like a star

 Anne  Gravel -Lash QueenThis morning I saw network news report on lash extensions; it’s story we brought you over year ago. Check our archive if  they interest you. Editor Anne Gravel is our staff expert on the subject. Fang Wang of Toronto does the most fabulous job on them. There are now so many places to get them in New York and Los Angeles that you can and should price shop! Atlanta has many experts too.

There is no doubt lashes are hot! I have tried extensions and they look fabulous. But darlings, except for the most special occasions, I am a mascara girl. I have tried them all.  And mascara can be pricey. So what is a recessionista beauty to do? Fear not. Two of my all-time favourite mascaras at any price can be found at the drugstore.
For thick, flirty, sooty lashes Cover Girl Lash Blast is fabulous. The big over-sized brush and thick formula will give you lashes to rival any thing you can find at pricey department store stores. You may need to take care to avoid clumps, but you will have vavaoom lashes.
L’Oreal Paris New DoubleExtend
Finally! Affordable tube mascara for under $15! I like this mascara better than many of the pricier tube mascaras I have tired. The combination of a nourishing basecoat and the lengthening gel “tube” coat results in long, elegant, clump-free lashes. Using a new technology of gel polymers, this mascara makes lashes look up to 80 percent longer; I think they look amazing!
Both of these mascaras are long-wearing, smear-free and easy to remove. How flirty-fabulous is that?
West Coast Editor Alice Farnsworth likes a lighter look in her mascara. She swears by Maybelline New York Great Lash, as do many beauty editors. Contributor Svitlana Nalywako demands a natural look in all things; she likes Maybelline New York Define-A-Lash.