So, what exactly is balayage and why do we love it so much?

So, what exactly is balayage and why do we love it so much?


Make an appointment with your stylist now

Balayage has been around for a while, but this timeless technique is creeping its way back into being one of the most popular hair colour requests in salons today. We’ve spoken to the experts to get some professional insight into the booming hair trend, balayage.

What is balayage?

Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint. ‘It’s a freehand hair colouring technique that gives a really blended natural look with no harsh or obvious regrowth lines,’ advises royal and celebrity hairdresser, Richard Ward.

Balayage allows for a sun-kissed natural looking hair colour, similar to what nature gives us as children, with softer, less noticeable re-growth. The principal idea being less is more when creating a natural, multi-tonal finish. The technique uses patches of light and shade to create multiple dimensions to the colour.

It’s a great method if you want to refresh your colour but don’t want to go for a bold colour overhaul.

Chrissy Teigan balayage

How is balayage applied?

Balayage is painted on the surface of the hair strand and not saturated through the section until the very tips. This ensures a smooth, blended stroke of colour. It can also be called a freehand technique because no foil or meche are used to create the highlights.

How long does it take to do balayage?

The depth of balayage can vary so much from a ‘few small highlights that will only take a matter of minutes to a full on, triple process look that can take up to 3 hours,’ says Josh Wood, founder of Josh Wood Atelier and Redken Global Colour Creative Director. Though it can take quite a long time to do a multi-tonal, layered balayage compared to regular colour the benefit of the application means you will be able to leave longer between your next colour appointment. If you want a few balayage babylights this may take as little as 45 minutes.

What sets it apart from traditional hair colouring?

Balayage is quite different to traditional highlights because no foil is used and the colour is painted on freehand. The finished result is ‘less uniform than typical highlights’ says Richard Ward. If you’ve ever been worried about having stripey colour after a visit to the hairdressers, balayage is a sure way to avoid that harsh contrast between colours – especially if you’re going blonder.

The colour created is totally bespoke to you and can even be placed in a way to compliment or distract attention away from certain features on the face.

Are you using the right shampoo for your hair? This quick quiz will tell you…

What’s making it so popular recently?

Ten years ago balayage wasn’t the colouring phenomenon it is today, it’s quite a specific method of colouring that hasn’t been widely taught in the UK until recently. Balayage ‘is especially popular with celebrities and is a classic look for the red carpet’ says Richard Ward. After spotting it on celebrities like Gisele, Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba, there has been a surge in interest for the technique as people are requesting the look.

Some celebrities who love balayage include Olivia Palermo, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Amber Heard.

Jessica Alba balayage

Does it require a lot of maintenance?

‘Typically balayage requires far less maintenance than traditional colour because it grows out beautifully and there are no strong regrowth lines,’ says Richard Ward. It also means you can wait for longer between appointments so it’s ‘the perfect technique for a modern, busy woman.’

‘If you want to make your balayage last as long as possible, opt for a babylight – it’s the most subtle type of colour you can go for’ advises Josh Wood. Investing in some good quality colour care styling products is also advisable to keep your colour looking fresh for longer.

If your colour turns brassy after a while you can ‘refresh it without going for a full top up with a toner or gloss to give your shine back.’ says Wood.

Jennifer Lopez balayage

Is it suitable for all hair types/lengths?

It works on both light and dark hair depending on how much lighter you want to go and all hair textures. Whether it’s straight, wavy or curly the colour will still work well and look great.

‘Balayage works on all hair lengths apart from on very short or cropped hair,’ advises international hair colourist Jack Howard.

The technique is particularly popular amongst celebrities with long, textured hair as it creates a beautiful, beachy style.

Gisele Bundchen balayage

 

How long does balayage last?

One of the biggest perks of balayage is that “it doesn’t require as much upkeep as traditional colour” advises Josh Wood. The blended finish means you can leave longer between your salon appointments, depending on the style of balayage you go for you can leave up to 4 months between top-ups.

What’s the difference between ombre and balayage?

Balayage is a totally blended hair look, there are no lines or blocks of colour and the graduation between shades is much more subtle. Some lengths of the hair are kept darker for a seamless colour finish.

Ombre hair has a more defined contrast between the roots and tips of the hair with colour starting mid-way down the strands. Ombre colour ‘is a more noticeable, statement look compared to Balayage,’ says Richard Ward. Want to know more? Check out our round-up if want to find out more about ombre.

Does balayage work on grey hair?

Balayage works for all colours but ‘the only thing is it won’t cover grey hair,’ advises Josh Wood, ‘it will only help blend in the grey to disguise it so if you want full coverage for greys it might not be the right choice for you.’

What makes it timeless?

Balayage creates a totally bespoke, personalised colour finish. Healthy, natural looking hair will always be ‘in’ which is why the technique has remained popular for so many years. Depending on what you’re looking for the finish can be subtle or quite bold. It’s the ability to completely tailor the colour effect that makes this such a popular colour choice.

Contact Jack Howard via twitter @jackhoward_srh

Contact Richard Ward via twitter @richardwardhair

Contact Josh Wood via twitter @joshwoodcolour

Save

The post So, what exactly is balayage and why do we love it so much? appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best hair straighteners for just about any type of hair

The best hair straighteners for just about any type of hair


Want frizz free, super sleek hair? You’re in need of the best straighteners that money can buy

Best Hair Straighteners 2017

If you battle frizz on a daily basis, the best hair straighteners is absolutely essential to your beauty arsenal – along with one of the best hair dryers and a hair serum, of course. The perfect pair of straightening irons will transform your hair from frizzy to super sleek, über curly to poker straight, in a matter of minutes.

No doubt you’re here because your current pair of straighteners are knackered, or you’re fairly new to the hair iron game and want to treat yourself to the best hair straighteners the market. Or, you want to put your curling tongs to bed and switch your signature style up for a straighter look.

So how do you pick the perfect pair for your hair type? Fortunately we’ve got the intel on the greatest straighteners currently on the UK market. Since we know electricals can get a little pricey, it’s worth giving our Black Friday beauty deals roundup a look for some bargains. And if you want to try an alternative to a pair of the best hair straighteners, read on for other straightening treatments below.

The best hair straightener brush

DAFNI Go Straight Brush, £99.95, John Lewis

Best Hair Straighteners DAFNI Go Straight Brush

These days, quite a women prefer to use a heated ceramic hair straightening brush over a classic pair of the best straighteners. These do exactly what they say on the tin, straightening your hair into the glossy, smooth locks of your dreams with just a few strokes of a brush.

We love DAFNI’s Go Straight Hair Straightening Brush, which heats up to a hair-safer temperature of 185 degrees and leaves your tresses super glossy and sleek after using.

The most practical advantage of hair straightening brushes? As well as being easier to use, by using a brush you’re far less likely to burn yourself (because how many of us have grabbed the wrong bit of our straighteners/clamped down on our ear before?)

Buy Now

The best hair straighteners for curly hair

ghd V Gold Max Styler, £135, Fabled

best hair straighteners ghd V Gold Max Admittedly we’re stating the obvious here – but straightening curls takes a lot more time and effort than transforming slight waves into poker straight hair.

The keys to turning curly hair into poker straight perfection are 1) section, section, section, and 2) choose a pair with wide flat iron. Hair straightening heroes ghd offer both thin and wide versions of their classic styler, the latter of which is perfect for flattening out super curly sections one by one. Slow and steady does it.

Buy Now

The best hair straightener cream

Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry, £23, Fabled

best hair straighteners 2017

Before you tackle your mane with the straighteners, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a smooth, frizz-free base when you dry your hair. Bumble and Bumble’s blow dry cream specifically designed for straight hair is a winner here, smoothing and sleek-ing out your hair with a heat activated formula that loosens hair’s natural curve. It’s an essential first step if poker straight hair is your goal.

Buy Now

Paul Mitchell Straight Works, £19.25, HQhair

best hair straighteners Paul Mitchell

Another hero formula favoured by bloggers and beauty journalists alike (but that won’t break the bank) is Paul Mitchell’s Straight Works, which adds illuminating shine to your hair while smoothing out its waves and curls. The salon level treatment gel will leave you with the lustrous straight locks of your dreams, and its also paraben-free and vegan haircare.

Buy Now

What is permanent hair straightening?

Of course, if you want a longer-term solution than just plugging in your ghds every day, there are other ways to straighten your hair.

Permanent hair straightening is a salvation for those with even the most rebellious curls, kinks and frizz – but how much maintenance is really involved, and how long do the results last? Mathew Soobroy, Senior Manager & Smoothing Expert at Charles Worthington, advised us on how it works.

Permanent hair straightening products

L’Oréal Professionnel X-Tenso Moisturist Hair Straightener Set, £44, Amazon

best hair straighteners 2018 LOreal X-TensoThe professional straightening service works by applying product to the hair (Matthew uses L’Oréal Professionnel X-Tenso Moisturist), followed by a straightening process which locks the formula into the hair molecule. The result is healthier looking, straight hair.

It lasts for up to 60 days, but depends on the texture of the hair, the natural curl and how quickly your hair grows. You can also choose the degree of straightness you desire, from just eliminating frizz to completely straightening out curls using different strengths of solution and adjusting processing timing.

It’s therefore suitable for all hair types – from thin and straight to natural thick curls. Your natural curls will come back over time once the straightening procedure has grown out of the hair.

Buy Now

Ready to trade in your old straighteners for a shiny new pair?

Scroll through our round up of the very best pairs of straighteners money can buy.

The post The best hair straighteners for just about any type of hair appeared first on Marie Claire.



The best mascara formulas to lengthen, curl and volumise

The best mascara formulas to lengthen, curl and volumise


When it comes to mascara, these are the best in the business…

best mascara
REX/Shutterstock

Ah, mascara. Without a doubt the one item we’d hail as a ‘can’t-live-without’ in a beauty version of Desert Island Discs. There’s just something about giving your lashes a bit of oomph with the best mascara that no other cosmetic can quite match (not even your best liquid eyeliner).

Whether you’ve got stubborn, straight lashes, unbearably short ones, or you just want to add a bit of volume to your eyelashes, we’ve tried and tested a job lot of the best mascara formulas and narrowed it down to a few choice buys every woman should have in her beauty arsenal.

Most recently, Glossier launched their first mascara, which is exactly as fabulous as it sounds.

Walk this way for a tour through the best mascaras on the market, old and new, for just about every lash type, and keep your eye out for our Prix Beauty Award winner. We’re sure you’ll leave here with a new beauty best friend…

Best waterproof mascara

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, £18, Fabled

best mascara Clinique High Impact Waterproof MascaraClinique’s waterproof mascara accompanies many to weddings, funerals and other important occasions during which crying might occur – because it just will not budge until you take to it with a good eye make-up remover. It has staying power we can only liken to that of a determined customer who camps outside department stores ahead of the Boxing Day sales. Adding just the right amount of length and volume, sensitive-eyed girls will also love it for smudge-free days. One of the best waterproof mascaras you’ll ever try.

Buy Now

Best mascara for length

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara, £23, Fabled

best mascara Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

When it comes to the best mascara for a lengthening job, this is a super pigmented game-changer. The thicker brush combs through your lashes to build the length volume of each, unlike a lot of volumising mascaras which clump lashes together for a bolder lash look. The result? Spidery, jet black lashes that are the best finishing touch to any eye make-up look – but especially a smokey eye.

Buy Now

Best mascara for volume

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, £19, Selfridgesbest mascara Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

A mascara called ‘Better Than Sex’ has got a lot to answer for and, fortunately for Too Faced, this one does. We’re talking standout lashes that are both thick and lengthy. What’s more, the helix-shaped wand is great at reaching into those tiny inner corner lashes and bumping up the outer ones. Great for nights out with your best eyeshadow, but is it really better than sex? We’ll let you decide on that one…

Buy Now

Best mascara for short lashes

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes , £23, charlottetilbury.com

best mascara Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara

Fed up of using several different mascaras to lengthen, volumise, and darken respectively, Charlotte Tilbury wanted to bring an ‘all in one’ mascara to the masses. And, being Charlotte Tilbury, she did exactly that. The cleverly designed brush catches hold of even the shortest, finest lashes, pushing them up and outwards to enhance your eyes to the max. When it comes to the best mascara for short lashes, always go for Full Fat.

Buy Now

Best mascara for straight lashes

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, £18.50, Fabled

best mascara Benefit Roller Lash

When Benefit announced they were creating a new mascara, nobody believed it was possible for them to top their best seller, They’re Real. But oh, how we ate our words. Benefit created a groundbreaking brush which hooks onto your lashes (don’t panic, it doesn’t hurt) to ensure they meet their maximum curl and length potential. It’ll coax even the stubbornest straight lashes into a lifting curl that makes your eyes pop. Frankly we wouldn’t be without it.

Buy Now

Best mascara for sensitive eyes

No7 Extreme Lash Sensitive Eyes Mascara, £13, Boots

best mascara No7

It is a truth universally acknowledged that sensitive eyes water and, unfortunately, streaming eyes lead to under-eye smudge for mascara users. Homegrown brand No 7 tends to go in hand with sensitive skin sufferers, and their mascara is the solution to many a weepy-eyed girl’s woes thanks to its uber gentle formula. Plus who doesn’t love a high street price point, really?

Buy Now

Best mascara for length and volume

Dior DiorShow Mascara, £25.50, John Lewis

best mascara Dior DiorShow MascaraLegendary make-up artist Pat McGrath helped create this punch-packing mascara little over ten years ago during fashion week, where she resorted to applying it with a toothbrush on models for proper fluttery lashes. And so it was that DiorShow, the inky-black mascara of dreams, was born. It’s about as close as you’ll get to dramatic lashes without buying a pair of falsies (and a hell of a lot easier to apply, too), so it’s really no wonder that it’s such a crowd-pleaser.

Buy Now

Best smudge-proof mascara

Blinc Tubing Mascara, £22.20, blincinc.com

best mascara Blinc Mascara

Not all mascara formulas are created equal. As well as your traditional, run-of-the-mill fibre mascara there are also tubing formulas, which are a whole different ball game. The slogan says it all: ‘Stop painting your lashes… Tube them.’

Buy Now

Check out a few more of our fave lash-enhancers, from budget to bank-breaking (but worth it), below.

Your eyes will never have looked better.

The post The best mascara formulas to lengthen, curl and volumise appeared first on Marie Claire.