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Kim Peiffer
Jun 16, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

Back in January, we were going gaga over the hair color trend that was saturating the tresses of Hollywood’s finest. But with winter long gone, is the popular color technique known as écaille (the French word for tortoiseshell) still the color du jour?

“It is still definitely one of the hottest hair color trends of the year,” Clairol Color Director James Corbett tells InStyle. “But now it’s got a summer boost. The contrast is a little bit more this season: the blonde colors are a little bit brighter, and the caramels are little bit deeper. The colors are richer and more luscious. It’s the same concept, but brighter than it was in winter.”

Phew, because whether it's Blake Lively or Jessica Alba, we’re still head-over-heels for this blended look consisting of golden highlights paired with rich caramel tones.

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“People are wanting to see chunkier pieces without the cheesy looks of the '80s," explains Corbett, who adds that the technique is a variation of the insanely popular ombré trend of the past few years. “You used to see the hard line of the definition between the light and the dark. Now, less is more.”

To achieve the look, have your colorist focus on a few bolder, face-framing pieces in the front, complemented by softer, lighter painted pieces all around. “Ask for someone who’s proficient in hair painting,” he says of choosing a colorist. “It’s a newer concept and you’re not going to achieve the same results with traditional foil highlights as you do with hair painting.”

You can also replicate this look sans a salon with an at-home painting kit, such as the Clairol Hairpainting Nice ‘n Easy Blonde Highlights Kit ($12.99, ulta.com). And remember to start small—whether you’re going to a salon or trying it at home. It’s a lot easier to add more color in gradually than to remove what you’ve already done.

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