Many stylists speculate on how to re-create December cover girl Blake Lively's perfectly tousled tresses. But for the real step-by-steps, MC went straight to the source (Blake's colorist in Beverly Hills and her Gossip Girl on-set stylist) to find out how to get her covetable hair.
Hollywood has bred a fair share of iconic blondes — Harlow, Monroe, Aniston, and the newest must-have shade: the Lively. "Blake's color is what I call a blushed blonde with flicks of ivory, and apricot and soft honey beige undertones. It radiates warmth and brings a glow to her skin," says Lukaro salon co-owner Rona O'Connor, who's been in charge of the 22-year-old actress's blonde since she was a teenager (with traveling pants).
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When Lively made the move from Hollywood to Manhattan for her role as Serena Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl, O'Connor tweaked her hue to look more Uptown. "The New York Blonde is richer with more lowlights," O'Connor explains. "New York has more gray light than California. Blonde hair — especially if it's porous — absorbs this light, making it look dull and flat. Adding the warm apricot lowlights complements paler winter skin, and a gloss is essential to seal the hair and reflect shine."
To maintain Lively's signature Gossip Girl blonde, O'Connor lifts her base color one shade from her natural hue and does a gloss treatment every five to six weeks, paints in highlights every three months, and adds lowlights every three or four months. For the at-home colorist, O'Connor recommends attempting this look only if your natural hair is within two shade levels of Lively's. And beware if you don't see your natural tone on the side of the hair color box. You could end up too gold or orange after processing.
Rona O'Connor's recommendations:
If you have light to medium blonde hair: L'Oréal Superior Preference in 9G
If you have medium to dark blonde hair: Garnier Nutrisse in 92 Light Beige Blonde or Clairol Perfect 10 in 9G
If you have dark blonde hair: L'Oréal Superior Preference in 8G
If you need to warm up your faded highlights: Clairol Natural Instincts in Sunflower 04
Blake Lively's go-to hair gal is Jennifer Johnson, the lead stylist on Gossip Girl. Here, Johnson reveals how she creates Lively's sexy waves each day on set.
Step 1: Cleanup Crew
Shampoo with Kérastase Bain Satin 2. "I use the Kérastase mask on Blake twice a week. Her hair gets styled every day for the show, so it goes through a lot."
Step 2: Root Cause
While hair is still wet, spritz roots with David Babaii Bohemian Beach Spray. "This beach spray isn't sticky and gives Blake a lot of lift at her roots. Then I lift her hair up with a Mason Pearson brush and blow dry the roots to create volume."
Step 3: Make Waves
"After the hair is dry, I'll take random, one or two inch-wide sections of Blake's hair and wrap them around a curling iron. I hold the iron vertically and wrap the hair around it, leaving about half an inch out. On the sides of the head, I wrap the hair away from the face. In the back, I wrap it in different directions so the hair doesn't become one big curl."
Step 4: End Game
Rub a small amount of Kérastase Lait Nutri-Sculpt for Blow Dry Protection between palms and rake fingers through hair ends, starting from underneath and avoiding the root area. "Blake has a big old head of hair and I just use a pea size. If your ends are a little dry, this styling cream seals them and makes them look healthy."
Step 5: Bun Time
Using fingers instead of a brush or comb, pull hair back into a loose bun and secure with a large hairpin (elastics will create a dent). "Blake sits with the bun while she's getting her makeup done. These 30 minutes help the hair set and loosens the curling iron curls."
Step 6: Extra Volume
"After I take her hair out of the bun, I'll tease Blake's roots with the Mason Pearson. I lift the hair up and brush down once to add lift."