Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

There are hundreds of colors and hues to choose from on the hair color spectrum. Every hair color is unique and suits people differently, so how do you know what works best for you? With all of the choices, it can be hard to settle on just one option, especially one that compliments your particular look. One pro tip to get you started is to match your hair color with your skin tone.

Determining Your Skin Tone

To start, there are three main skin tones: cool, warm and neutral. Unsure of what your skin tone is? No worries! Here are a few tips to help you out:

  1. Look for specific colors in your skin. If you check the colors in your wrist and see purple or blue veins, your skin is probably a cooler tone. If you see green veins, then you probably have got a warmer skin tone. You can also check by looking at your eyes. If you have gold specs, it can mean you have warm undertones, whereas blue specs can point to cooler tones.
  2. Determine what looks best on you. If springtime colors are more appealing on you, then you’re likely more prone to cooler and lighter hues. On the other hand, if autumn or winter colors look better with your skin, a warmer or richer hair color will most likely compliment you better.
  3. Follow the gold and silver jewelry rule. Gold jewelry typically pairs well with warm colors and silver jewelry often compliments cooler tones well.
  4. Go old school. When you truly can’t decide, sticking with your natural hair color, or a variation of it, will generally be what looks best on you. If you were a towhead as a kid, it’ll probably still look good on you now!


Keep it Cool

If you’ve got a cooler undertone, then you would look good with a darker, cool brunette hair color. Beige and neutral undertones would also compliment you nicely. Colored highlights pair best if you are fair-skinned. The reason being that you typically don’t want to have a stark contrast between your skin and hair. For example, if you have a fair or pink undertone, you wouldn’t want an ashy hair color because it could make you look even more pink.

Does your skin look similar to Lupita Nyong’o or Nicole Kidman? Then, cool is your skin tone!


Neutral Playing Field

While all tones are gorgeous, people with neutral skin tones are special because they can pull off either warm or cool hair colors. This lucky bunch has a variety of colors to choose from, but that can the choices even more difficult to determine. For instance, going strawberry blonde is an option if you’re looking for a red shade, but a cool black can also go well with neutral tones. Both of these colors can be either dramatic or soothing depending on your complexion and the exact look you want. Good examples of those with neutral skin tones would be Jennifer Anniston or Kerry Washington.


Warm it Up

 Finally, for those if you who have warmer undertones, a more drastic contrast looks great with your skin type. Brunettes should go for a cooler brown, richer, chocolate brown, or gold. If you’re a blonde with warm undertones, then stick with the richer, darker shades. Balayage can be a great compliment with this tone too! Pull inspiration from celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian.

These are just a few tips and tricks to help determine the best hair color for you. If you are still struggling to decide what will work best, scrolling through photos on Pinterest can help inspire you, but the best option is to ask your hair stylist. It can be overwhelming to figure out the right color when you factor in all of your physical attributes and lifestyle choices, but our stylists are here to give you a professional opinion of what colors to avoid and what colors will look best on you. Contact us today to book a color consultation!


A huge thank you to our Level 3 Elite stylist, Kate McAlister, for these awesome hair tips. Follow her work on Instagram at @katemcalisterhair.

10 Ways to Survive a UV 10

10 Ways to Survive a UV 10

The brutal South Carolina heat has officially made itself right at home. At least you can start working on your summer tan, right? Shall we break out the baby oil and sun reflectors? Not so fast.


The stronger the sun’s UV index, the stronger the effect it has on your skin. You may be thinking, “Well, isn’t that a good thing? Stronger sun effects mean a faster farewell to pasty winter coloring!” That may be true—at the expense of potential sun spots, sunburn, sun poisoning, and not to mention premature wrinkling.


That being said, the Ivy team would like to present (drumroll, please)…


Ivy’s 10 ways to survive a UV 10:


  1. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Ever heard of the saying, “The simplest answer is often the correct one?” The easiest way to avoid harmful sun exposure is to avoid sun exposure in general. Typically, these hours are when the sun’s rays are strongest.


  1. Avoid tanning beds. Okay, so we’re not exactly giving you a lot of opportunities to get bronzed, but trust us, tanning beds are a no! Not only do they contribute to intense premature aging and leathery skin texture, but they increase the risk of developing melanoma by 75%. Plus, self-tanning lotion has come a long way – we’re thoroughly impressed.


  1. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go outside. This gives the sunscreen a chance to soak in, bind, and act as a sturdy layer of defense for your skin.


  1. Reapply every two hours. Some people make the mistake of applying sunscreen once and thinking they’re good to go for the rest of the day. Specialists recommend reapplying the same amount every two hours.



  1. Use a SPF of 30 or higher. What does the number 30 even mean? It takes unprotected skin roughly 20 minutes to redden, whereas it would take approximately 30 times longer (10 hours) if skin is covered with SPF 30 lotion. Just remember—not all sunscreens are created equal.


  1. Look for “broad spectrum” on the lotion label. We know, we’re really harping on the sunscreen, but it’s easy to be enticed by good-smelling or well-marketed lotions. Unfortunately, not all lotions have broad spectrum protection, meaning they don’t protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Both types of rays play a key role in the development of skin cancer. Save yourself a trip to the drug store to pick up aloe or anti-aging cream by using a lotion that protects you from both kinds of rays.


Before we keep going, we realize we gave you a lot of provisions on sunscreen. If you’re unsure where to start your hunt for the perfect lotion, Aveda has an incredible SPF Protection daily lotion that’s both dermatologist tested and suitable for all skin types!


  1. Accessorize with protective sunglasses. Speaking of broad spectrum protection, the sun glasses you wear can not only complete your look but prevent your eyelids and physical eye from sun damage. While bigger is better when it comes to eye protection, if oversized, dramatic shades aren’t your thing, the most important quality of your glasses is that they have that UVA/UVB dual protection. Keep in mind polarized does not equal broad spectrum, nor do the darkness of your lenses have anything to do with the amount of protection you’re getting.


  1. Top off your look with a hat. Yes, the pun was totally intentional. Not only do hats protect your scalp, hair, and face from damaging sun rays, but they’re seriously in right now. Is your look beachy and feminine? Try a big floppy hat. Consider yourself more of a laid-back, cool girl? A baseball cap helps you stay looking sporty and your head feeling secure. Boho chic? Keep it Coachella with a trendy panama hat.


  1. Live it up in linens. Another hot trend (last pun, we promise!) is wearing long-sleeved linen shirts or full-length linen pants to keep your skin covered. Long sleeves in this heat?! Yes, we know it sounds a little counterintuitive, but linen is breathable and airy, so it’s likely to make you sweat less than denim shorts or a polyester tank. Linen is also made of natural fibers, so it’s highly absorbent of sweat and dries fast.


  1. Stay mindful of your exposure and learn about your specific risks. There are so many factors that can change the effect of the sun on your skin. Certain medicines, especially blood pressure medication, can cause increased sensitivity. Genetics and family history can play a role in the way your skin absorbs ultraviolet rays, as well. You should regularly see a dermatologist to learn about your individual risk factors, develop a summer exposure plan, and check the status of moles and sun spots.


Thanks so much to the very talented and resourceful Rosie Maederer for these pivotal summer health and beauty tips! Rosie is a Level 4 Master stylist at our Eastside location. Check out her latest work on Instagram!

Bringing the Heat: How to Properly Blow-Dry Your Hair

Bringing the Heat: How to Properly Blow-Dry Your Hair

Well, you know what they say: ‘April drizzles bring May frizzles.’ …That doesn’t sound right, does it? Then why is our hair frizzed-out and brittle when we blow-dry it? Our experts are here to give you advice to turn your hair from lackluster to luminous.

Let’s start at the beginning: you may be damaging your hair before you even plug in the blow-dryer. Your hair needs some TLC. Would you want to cuddle up with your standard bathroom towel? Embrace your hair gently by using a microfiber towel or use a cotton t-shirt as a thrifty substitute.

Additionally, don’t keep your hair wrapped in the ol’ towel & twist for 30 minutes while you decide what to wear or start your makeup routine. While it may seem like you’re allowing an extra 30 minutes for the towel to soak up some moisture, you’re actually preventing hair from air drying and locking a lot of wetness in your towel up-do. This keeps hair soggy up to the start of blow drying, which makes drying hair feel twice as long.

Another way to speed up the drying process is to use Aveda’s Speed of Light™. Not only does this spray make your hair smell fresh, but it can cut your blow-dry time in half. It’s also blended with coconut-derived conditioner elements to reduce breakage by 93 percent.

Other products should be tailored specifically to your hair’s needs and the desired end-product. Flat hair? Use Aveda’s volumizing tonic™paired with phomollient™style foam. Out of control fly-aways or frizziness? Introduce your hair to smooth infusion™. Trying to keep those curls? The be curly™style-prep will be your new best friend.

Your last step before it’s time to whip out the hair-dryer is to apply Aveda’s Damage Remedy™to protect your hair from heat as high as 450 degrees.

Now, it may be time to have a sit-down performance review with your blow dryer. When is the last time she had adequate cleaning? Hair dryers are supposed to be de-linted regularly. Dust, dirt, and other unidentified elements may be clogging your dryer. Another performance metric to inspect is the amount of control you have over her. Did she come sufficiently prepared with diffusers or nozzles? Those resources are essential in targeting certain areas and preventing hair from turning into a fluff ball. Is she too intense, causing singing? Is she too meek, barely blowing enough heat to dry nail polish? You need a competent blow dryer that will provide stability and specialized control over your hair, and you need to take care of that equipment.

Up next is an evaluation of your hair brush to determine its compatibility with your hair type. For ladies with coarse hair who desire smoothness, a boar bristle brush, like a Mason Pearson, is the way to go. The bristles are strong enough to smooth out any curl or kink, but gentle enough that they won’t rip your hair. Curly-haired women should use pick-combs in combination with your dryer’s diffuser attachment. Using a round brush while drying hair can add volume and bounciness.

Address the front of your hair first, especially if you have cowlicks, baby hairs, or wispies that dry faster. Continuously brush hair while you’re drying so you retain control. To adequately style and directly dry all of your hair, use alligator or crab claw clips to section it off. When you aren’t working on a particular section, clip it up and away from the current section. Using a large hand mirror can help you get an idea of what the back of your hair looks like and where you’ve missed.

Once the dryers off, preserve your hard work with a hairspray that matches the moisture level of your environment. If your hair holds style particularly well, try air control™ for a light, airy spray. If your hair has a tendency to fall, or you’ll be facing the relentless Carolina summer humidity, we recommend control force™. Not only is control force good for 18-hour humidity defense, but it works on all hair types.

Feeling a little more adventurous? Talk to your Ivy stylist about Velcro or hot rollers. Our hair gurus will point you in the direction that best suit your style!

Shout out to Rosie Maederer, our Eastside Master stylist, for helping us do the perfect at-home blowout! Be sure to follow her on Instagram at @rosie_avedagirl_.

Promparing: Connecting the Elements to Complete Your Perfect Prom Look

Promparing: Connecting the Elements to Complete Your Perfect Prom Look

Hopefully the warming weather is pulling you out of those second-semester blues toward the warmth of the blue spring sky. If you’re anything like us, the budding roses and lilies may have you starting to think about corsages and boutonnieres. Spring has sprung, and it’s officially #promszn, ladies.

Not only is prom a chance to dance with your best friends, take a limo ride, and take pictures to preserve memories, but an opportunity to express yourself with a look that makes you feel more confident than Beyoncé performing at the Super Bowl.

The most important advice for a flawless prom look is to keep your look cohesive. Different hairstyles pair better with different looks. Prom hairstyle trends have shifted away from the tight, ringlet curls that tend to look stiff and rigid, regardless of the way it’s arranged. These days, we aim for a windswept, natural, “I woke up like this” look.

When in doubt, braids can add flair to your go-to hairdo. As Ivy’s most requested look, we’ve re-invented the typical braid with our braid and bun bar. Our “Braid Baristas” are pros at integrating the trendiest braids into any style. Here’s some inspiration for a prom look that will have your friends calling you #goals.


Perfect Princess

Does your dress make you feel like the fairest of them all? Ballgowns and A-line dresses pair well with a classic up-do, especially a high bun. A sleek signet is perfect for ladies that prefer a low bun. You will look regal, elegant, and fairytale ready.


Finish your look with soft, delicate eye makeup, perhaps with a touch of shimmer. Go with a glossy pink lip and shoes with a subtle sparkle. Iridescent earrings will have you beaming.


Boho Beauty

Bohemian style is whimsical and enchanting. The defining characteristics of boho hair are mystical effortless. This style is perfectly achieved by integrating braids, braids, and more braids. Fishtail, rope twist, Dutch, and pull-through braids all contribute to the free spirit vibe that is quintessential to bohemian style. You can incorporate multiple braids into your ‘do, and even mix and match braid styles.


When doing a boho up-do, remember to keep the volume high and the hair tousled. You can make your braids appear looser by pancaking the braid (gently pulling the braided pieces apart, giving the appearance of a fuller braid.)

This look can be enhanced even further by adding hair accessories, such as small flowers or a leafy appliqué. For makeup, go with neutral shadow shades, a nude, glossy lip, and illuminated cheekbones. Finish with strappy heels or sandals and plenty of rings.


Classic & Quintessential

If your style is more simple-yet-striking, you have a lot of room to play around when it comes to accessorizing. A classic side-swept bun or braid is always an option. Signets can bring out a classy, Kate Middleton vibe. Loose, romantic curls never go out of style. Some of our most popular requests are half-up, half-down variations and waterfall braids that are minimalistic but stunning.


To add an edge, try a smoky eye or a more dramatic winged eye. If you do a lighter eye, go with a bolder lipstick to add some punch to a traditional look. Big earrings or a chunky necklace can also help make the outfit pop.


Dramatic & Daring

Edgy, unconventional, and fashion-forward dresses are expressive and radiant your confidence. Be careful not to overdo it, though! This kind of dress goes best with sleek and simple hair. Get your Ariana Grande on with a tight high pony, or channel your inner Zendaya to pull off a slicked back low ponytail at the nape of your neck. If you want to spice your hair up just a tad, you can tease part of your hair, or braid the hair after you tie it up. Get your hairspray ready; bye-bye wispies!


Dark yet simple makeup will complement your outfit without competing with it. Shimmery, small earrings will accentuate your face without detracting from the dress.



Call Ivy to set up an appointment for your prom needs! Whether your taste is fresh and unique or traditional and tender, we have stylists that will help you feel like the belle of the ball.

Special thanks to our Eastside Master stylist, Rosie Maederer, for these style tips!

What Not to Wear (& Do): Beauty Edition

What Not to Wear (& Do): Beauty Edition

We’ve all seen true tough love as the fashion critics of TLC’s What Not to Wear throw out a client’s out-of-style wardrobe, but where are the Stacy Londons and Clinton Kellys for the hair and makeup-challenged? While we won’t come to your house and critically analyze your beauty products, we want to give a quick session in Beauty 101by revealing the crucial “what-nots” of makeup and hair styling.


1. Don’t overheat your hair: As you break out the curling iron, wand, or straightener, make sure you set the heat only as high as necessary to achieve your look. If your style tool of choice doesn’t have a temperature selection option, it may be time to upgrade. Heat poses a serious threat to your hair’s health, potentially causing split ends and breakage.

Be sure to use a heat protectant to prep hair before you start using styling tools, even if you’re just doing second-day hair touch-ups. If you have questions about which brands are trustworthy or what temperature setting is right for you, consult your stylist. Turn up the heat with your look, not your styling tools.


2. Don’t fight your hair’s natural texture: You may be used to checking the weather to determine today’s outfit, but it’s time to get in the habit of noting the day’s precipitation and humidity percentages. If it’s going to rain all day or you know your curls won’t hold in the moist heat, don’t worry about using heated tools that day. Not only is it a waste of time, but also an increased amount of heat damage. Rainy days are a great opportunity to rock natural your waves and curls—#IWokeUpLikeThis.


3. Don’t overdo your ‘do: Maybe you rock a high bun, or your go-to style is a low pony. Even though it may require going out of your comfort zone, it may be in your hair’s best interest if you switch up your pony position throughout the week. A hair tie around the same area of hair day after day can cause breakage and crimping.


4. Don’t conceal your natural beauty: Concealer can be tricky. The right concealer for your skin tone should be a shade lighter than your foundation, in order to give your eyes that fresh, well-rested look. If you have naturally puffier or dark under-eyes (or you’re recovering from a rough, sleepless night,) you may be tempted to pile on the concealer, but often times, less is more. You don’t want to look like you got a suntan while wearing goggles. Blend concealer well and consider using powder to seamlessly combine concealer and foundation.


5. Don’t overstate your brows: As pretty as they look on Instagram models, dark, squared, and sharp brows don’t work for most of us. If you want your eyebrows to be “on fleek,” keep it simple. Choose a color that’s similar to your natural brow hue or even a shade lighter. Try to softly line the outer edges of your eyebrow and taper the ends off gradually. Use light, short strokes that follow your natural eyebrow pattern to fill in.

Try AVEDA’s *NEW* brow definers, with a unique offset pencil that allows for both a point and filling-in (and there’s a spoolie on the other end to boot)!


6. Don’t overline your lips: A lot of Insta-MUAs overline their lips to get a plumper, Angelina-Jolie-esque pout. Caution: Don’t try this at home, ladies. Lipliner can help to better define your natural lip shape and provide a foundation for lipstick or gloss, but when used in excess, it can start to look like you did your lip makeup in the dark.

If you do choose to line your lips, use soft, short strokes with a sharp pencil on the natural edges and blend lightly inward, toward the center of your lips. Trust us: overlining may look genuine and effortless on Instagram, but we can tell in person.



If you’re struggling with finding your look or mastering your beauty technique, schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable stylists today. Thanks to our talented stylist, Karla, for these tips and tricks! Follow her on Instagram at