Sombré (subtle ombré) is now here, and being courted and wooed by everyone from salon hairstylists to celebrities.
A coloring technique that allows for a softer and more natural progression of color than the original trendsetter, sombré hair resembles more the natural color changes in a horse’s mane rather than the the jolt of color in a parakeet feather. The end result is very pleasing on the eyes, and not jarring in a neon billboard kind of way.
George Papanikolas, Matrix Celebrity Stylist and Colorist, who has given the sombré look to Jenna Tatum and Minka Kelley, among others says that although sombré looks more natural it requires some serious maintenance because of the delicate highlights at the roots that gradually fade to lighter brighter ends. It tends to grow out softly though, and needs to be retouched every 12-14 weeks.
But, he adds, sombré is more gentle on the hair because hair does not have to be lightened or processed heavily to achieve the look, which causes less damage and requires fewer treatments and conditioning. Papanikolas adds that the ideal sombré has “soft delicate highlights at the root area that gradually get lighter at the ends. All the ends of the hair should not look dip dyed.”
None of that harsh, spiky streaks of color that we had initially with ombré,despite Lindsay Lohan’s colorful version. Previously, there would be the great divide: your natural color, and suddenly ombre, as though gradual fading did not matter. But with the new trend, a gradual fade is truly key.
Of course, great sombré looks, such as the kinds worn by Kim Kardashian or Jessica Biel, require careful maintenance, and they tend to work best on straight or wavy hair. Papanikolas advises that hair moisturizers (hair masques, like Leonor Greyl’s Masque Quintessence, which we’re crazy about) is the key to maintaining the rich color process.
Get the Look at Home
And yes, there is a way to get the look at home. L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Ombré Touch ($12.99) just launched and aims to give you that subtle effect, with streaks of light that don’t look forced. The kit contains an Expert Touch Applicator, a plastic brush with fine teeth that easily fits onto a finger tip so you can brush the color into your hair. The Luminous Lightening System contains a Lifting Powder, a lifting Crème, and a Crème Develope, which when used together creates a sophisticated and subtle sombré effect.
The new Christo salon in New York City salon is more spacious than three city apartments put together.
While the soft-spoken owner has always had a thing for hair (“hair is your most important accessory” is his mantra), his vision for the brand extends beyond hair to include a mani/pedi service area, an area for facials, a room for beauty medicine consultations, and an area for getting hair colored with the most vibrant pigments available today (a hat tip to Wella color products).
Recently, I had the opportunity to get one of the salon’s signature treatment, the Pomegranate Mani/Pedi given by the lovely Sylvia, a Guatemalan by birth and New York City resident for many decades. For $65, the treatment includes a good soak in lukewarm water, a natural and slightly fragrant (read: not overpowering) pomegranate scrub, hand selected by Ms. Sylvia, and three carefully-applied coats of a nail lacquer that you will select, admire, and pass off to expert hands for application.
The signature service is a very laid-back and pleasant experience at the back of the long room, in an area where you don’t need to whisper.
I was offered everything from water to Starbucks coffee (Sylvia even found a charger to juice up my battery-failing iPhone), so this treatment definitely has perks. Everyone at Christo’s is like your neighbor: friendly and chatty with lovely personalities.
I chose the brick-red shade of Clambake from essie, new for summer 2014, and was so pleased to see my finger and toenails turn a nice hot-coal color. Sylvia scrubbed my heels clean and cradled my sore feet in hot, thick towels, and performed similar magic on my tired arms. In less than an hour—after many sips of piping-hot coffee—I felt somewhat human, by beauty standards.
The Pomegranate mani/pedi is not the only offering, of course. Sylvia tells me that the Shellac treatment ($45 for mani) is very popular, and results last for more than two weeks. This is a delightful treat for the summer, and one that’s worth the togs.
To book, visit www. Christonyc.com, or call (212) 997-8800.
If the idea of owning limited-edition exclusives from premier brands appeals to you, then try your hand at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, which is sort of a virtual pilgrimage for any lover of beauty.
From covetable brands like Bobbi Brown to staples like Clarisonic, there are steals that even the most ardent coupon-clipper will applaud. Here are some of our favorite steals and deals:
Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Color Set ($85): Normally priced at $205, this color set gives you 12 swell eye shadows, a full size gel eyeliner, and smokey eye mascara. With nude makeup a perennial favorite, the trick is knowing which brand to splurge on, and we say Bobbi’s is worth it because of the staying power, quality pigments, and range of finishes (matte, shimmery, sparkly).
butter London 10 Piece Set ($49): This set, valued at $104 includes a gamut of solid and metallic shades from Brick Lane (an orange brick shade) to Petrol (an oil-slick-like overcoat) as well as a base and top coat.
Clarisonic Mia 2 St. Tropez Bikini Set ($159): Valued at $231, this set includes a travel bag, the Mia 2, a sensitive brush head replacement, and a refreshing gel cleanser.
La Mer The Refreshing Collection ($295): This set, valued at $386 contains a soft cream, regenerating serum, eye balm, and hydrating facial application, all in a beautiful floral bag.
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Home & Away Travel Set ($75): This set is perfect for the jetsetter, and includes a 32 oz. jumbo plus a 2.5 travel size. There is also an Ultimate Hydration Set for parched skins ($85).
There are many more such gems: shop the website until August 3!