Get Gorgeous/ Hair
Kristin Booker • December 4, 2014

Adventures In Beauty: Shifting A Shade of Hair Color with Clairol Nice n’ Easy

I’m going to admit something that I don’t admit very often, which is that I get into style ruts just like everybody else. I’m locked into “go mode” so regularly now with working out and racing to events that I think I’ve sort of lost my game.

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Actually, I don’t think I’ve fallen into a fashion rut, I know I have. The person who suggested this concept wasn’t my mother, my boyfriend, or even my friends.

Nope, it was my dry cleaner. The dear man asked if something had happened and/or had I suddenly become a fitness instructor? “Not to pry, but you use to send over such pretty things, and now it’s the same stuff every week.”

Ouch. Oh New York, how I love to entertain your dry cleaners with my wardrobe choices. I don’t fault him. I have, however, stopped sending my underwear over there. Because, now I have questions.

The "before" photo. Yep, I'm in a little bit of a rut.

The “before” photo. Yep, I’m in a little bit of a rut.

Upon further inspection, I had indeed, fallen into a rut. Makeup bag? Untouched. Heels and pretty jewelry? Gathering dust in the corner. And then I spotted my poor hair, which pretty much gets the same “wet it and forget it” treatment. I don’t dress up for Lucky Guy (my boyfriend, for those who are new,) I don’t get my nails done anymore. What I do is work. I work a lot, and, like most busy people, I think about my looks last.

Which is no way to live, people.

But secretly, when I have looked at my hair, I’ve longed for a change, even just a little one, and since I’ve stopped relaxing my hair, I can play with my favorite beauty tool: hair color. I get a passion for the stuff honestly: Mom Booker has had almost every color hair in the book, and watching her regularly transform her look with magical boxes of home hair color put the bug in me pretty early. We’re a Clairol family. My mother has been using the brand since I was a small child, and continues to use it to this day. Which is why when the Clairol Nice n’ Easy folks asked me if I’d like to participate in their Shift A Shade (#ShiftaShade) campaign, I was ALL OVER IT. Had my dry cleaner called them? I mean, how did they know?

Me with James Corbett as he goes to town on my hair.

Me with James Corbett as he goes to town on my hair.

So, with the help of Clairol Color Director James Corbett of James Corbett Studio, it was decided that I would shift up a shade to discover a better (but natural-looking) version of myself. I love how Clairol Nice ‘n Easy complements the variations within the existing hair color for really natural-looking results, which adds confidence when shifting a shade. So, let’s start those baby steps toward the goal, which is Jennifer Lopez “bronde.” Her hair is like a shining beacon of hair fabulousness to me, shimmering and beckoning me into my future. Since my hair is medium-to-dark brown, we settled on shifting the base up one shade with Clairol Nice n’ Easy #114 Natural Light Ash Brown and applied highlights throughout with #9A Natural Ash Blonde. James mixed both boxes of color and we were off.

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Now, you’re saying, of course you got those results; you’re in a salon. Ah, but YOU can do this at home. The trick is to buy two boxes of hair and layer them with foils. Just sit down before you start coloring and cut about 30+ squares of foil about 7″x 7″, and make sure you have two small plastic bowls and two hair painting brushes. You can get all of this stuff at your local Sally Beauty Supply and the whole operation should still cost you less than professional hair color.

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When you’re ready to get to work, just start at the base and layer the darker one shade shift with the lighter highlight color. Be sure to place the highlighted foil under about an 1-2″-wide strip of hair where the sun would naturally brighten your hair (so, you know, skip the nape of your neck and behind your ears because, reality), then paint the hair color from the root through the ends, fold it to seal it, and move on. This is also a GENIUS time to phone a friend so they can do the back of your hair. Seriously, I’ve done my mom’s hair before. This foil thing isn’t hard when working with hair color this safe.

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See also: do not exceed processing time.

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After I sat for about 20 minutes, I was rinsed, conditioned….

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and blown out before I was given a fantastic hair cut (people, go see Samantha at James Corbett – WOW, what a great style!)…

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and set before a mirror to marvel at my hair.

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And there I was, just looking like a warmer, lighter version of myself. I love the results: they came out as a warmer, lighter brown with carmel and auburn highlights.

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Which leads me to the second tip: upgrade your makeup if you alter your hair color. For me, since my skin has gold undertones, lightening my hair gives me a chance to play with bolder makeup choices. My eyes really pop with darker shades now, and I’m a true sucker for a rocker black-lined eye with tons of lashes. Wow, here I am again in the mirror. This is more like it.

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Over the past week, I’ve felt amazing with this new hair color. I’ve experimented with makeup again, I even met my man in a dress for a date. It’s amazing what a little “shade shifting” will do for your confidence. I might even start doing outfit photos again.

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Are you like me and about a shade of hair color away from feeling like a new woman? Shift that shade, ladies. With Clairol, it’s Nice n’ Easy (ha! see what I did there?) as well as affordable and completely doable.

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Step out of that rut, gals. The time is now to see that brighter (or darker, you minx) side of yourself. Be beautiful.

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FTC Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign with Clairol Nice n’ Easy. The thoughts expressed within are strictly my own.

 All photos: Ashley Sears Photography

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