Balay…What? (Balayage, Defined)

What is Balayage, anyway?

balayageBalayage is a french color technique that comes out of the 70’s. Balayage means to sweep or to paint. The technique is created by hand painting decolorizer or color into the hair. This can be done on all lengths of hair, but it looks best on styles that fall below the shoulders. This technique can look soft and natural.  The draw to this color is that it is low maintenance. In this current day and time women are busy and want gorgeous hair that still looks good when they return to the salon. The goal is to keep the root/base deep and rich with color or come close to the natural color. The highlights should be randomly places into the color design so the grow out is subtle.

Below is a gallery of images from Tasha Torres and Jacquetta Sorensen, stylists at The Hive Style Collective in Exeter Ca.

Although the next image technically isn’t  Balayage, there was a bit of hand painting in this color process. The model already had a beautiful rich color. She only wanted to add a touch of radiant dimensional bronze tones for the summer. This technique only requires 12 color packets. I use TIGI Color Meches so I can paint the color where I want it in the packet. In the application I used lightener and color in the same packet of highlights to create a very random and soft effect. There was very little done to the hair but it created a high impact.

A lot of women want some change in their hair for the spring/summer. Let this be inspiration to try something subtle and beautiful during these sunny and shiny months, and enjoy a little sparkle in your life.

Time for Change

90% of the things we do in a day are habitual. Statistically we only use our conscious thinking to make 10% of our daily decisions.  This is why it is so hard to break a habit. I once heard someone say, “If nothing ever changes, then nothing ever changes”.  We can see our rut and hope for change, but it won’t get us very far. We have to consciously make a decision to do something new. This applies to every part of our lives, but for the sake of a light-hearted example, let’s apply it to hair.

Have you known anyone whose hairstyle never seems to change? Even if the length changes, the hairstyle still looks the same. This happens when they use the same tools, product, and technique to style. Getting a new cut is only the beginning to a new look. Learning to style in a new way is the rest of the story.

To put another twist on what I’m trying to say… The same old cut can look new and fresh with a new style regimen. Make sure your stylist is willing to share some style/tool/product  ideas with you. Below are some photos of three different models. Each of these looks were photographed on the same day, with hair and makeup changes.

Model 1
Model 2
Model 3
Sometime this week you should try something new. I mean it! This week, try…
…a braid,

…a new shade,


  …or a new part.

 Start the process of getting outside of your normal routine so you will be open when that perfect style suggestion or idea comes your way.

I often hear how people want a new look but are afraid to try something different. We all need to be reminded…”If nothing ever changes, then nothing ever changes”.

New Arrival! (Birchbox Review)

Just recently, I decided to try Birchbox.

If you don’t know what this is, it is a subscription box of custom selected product samples. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now. I jumped on board when the “Style Me Pretty” wedding box was announced.

I was so excited when it arrived. It was like Christmas in summer.


The packaging even felt like a gift. I like when attention is given to the details. I found a handful of sweet treasures in this pink box.

I’ve already used the waterproof makeup remover wipes from LA FRESH… Love them!! They are packed full of antioxidants and biodegradable. The wipes work well and leave my skin feeling silky soft with no irritation. The also smell wonderful will lavender oil.

I love love loved the hair tie. To see my tutorial on creating this beautiful look, go here: Low Bouffant Pony

Sweep the hair together, tilt the head forward, and wrap hair tie just lower than the base of the neck. Now grab a small section of hair from underneath the ponytail at the base of the neck and slide the whole ponytail on that strand. This should make a nice full bouffant style for your low pony.

Stay tuned for more reviews on these products!

P.S. I ordered one for my man. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Beauty of Balance

For this shoot, I had to work with a delicate balance between softness and strength, between classically preened and urban edgy, between feminine and androgyny.

The model is a pixie cut with a long fringe. The cut is styled with BedHead wax stick. The hair is tousled and left in its disheveled state. This sounds easy… and it should be; however it does require some bravery and a good sensibility for the beautiful balance. Simply said, you just have to know when it is or isn’t right.

Her makeup is also styled with a balance between natural and intense. What makes this makeup beautiful is the strong focus on one feature of her face. This makeup wouldn’t have the same impact if her lips and cheeks were as strong as her eyes. When you look at this image you can’t help but to be drawn into those eyes.

I think the challenge of a good artist is to understand when you haven’t pushed it enough, and to understand when you’ve pushed it too far.