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Blurred Lines

George Papanikolas | August 24, 2015 | 12:24 PM
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Before using Matrix SOBLUR for highlights
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After using Matrix SOBLUR for highlights
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Before using Matrix SOBLUR for ombre
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After using Matrix SOBLUR for ombre
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Before using Matrix SOBLUR for roots
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After using Matrix SOBLUR for roots
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Before using Matrix SOBLUR for overall look
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After using Matrix SOBLUR for overall look
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The title of last summer’s hottest song is actually the key to this season’s hottest trend in haircolor. My celebrity clients are veering away from aggressive, high-contrast ombré color designs. However, they still like the natural effects of softly graduated color—deeper at the roots and gradually becoming lighter at the ends. Here are several ways that I deliver these effects in a modern, subtle, sophisticated way:

1. Minimize level variation. Between roots and ends, sections are only about one level apart, and within the same tonal family. This eliminates noticeable contrast.
2. Frame the face. Fine, babylight-type highlights positioned around the face and off of the part line will soften the overall color effect. These can be placed with foils.
3. Avoid hard lines. When highlighting, vary the starting point within each section, as well as the size and configuration of the highlight. To “blur” existing, stripy highlights, try a formula like Matrix SOBLUR Color Adjusters. They come in four color “filters” that lift up to one level, depositing a light veil of color to blur contrast.

4. Blend the zones. Whenever you’re shifting from one shade to the next on a strand, use a side-brush technique to marry the formulas seamlessly. I also use my signature “v-formation”—placing balayage highlights in a V-shape on the mid-lengths and ends—in order to prevent a chunky effect. Keep in mind that SOBLUR lifts the base up to one level, and tones to blend. So after highlighting, I apply SOBLUR at root area to gently lift the base and create a soft, blended effect. 

The blurred line approach is relevant for every shade. Combine complimentary tortoiseshell tones to update your brunettes. Add strawberry blonde lights to your redheads, and assess your blondes to determine if lowlights are called for to enhance an over-lightened effect and create subtle, realistic dimension.

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