Celebrity Colorists Share Tips for Red Carpet-Worthy Color


While Olivia Munn and Kristen Bell strolled the SAG Awards red carpet on Sunday evening, their powerhouse glam team watched from the sidelines. Between makeup, hair and styling, it takes a village to pull off award show glam, but their efforts don't go unnoticed. 

Even further behind the scenes, there's Tracey Cunningham and Cassondra Kaeding—the all-star colorists responsible for keeping Bell and Munn's haircolor in tip-top shape. We chatted with Cunningham and Kaeding to get their tips for red carpet-worthy color. 

Kristen Bell & Tracey Cunningham 

"I’m all about natural-looking haircolor. To achieve that, I start with babylights to keep the highlights super fine and less apparent," Cunningham says. "For Kristen’s look, a root shadow helps to blend in the highlights with her natural color and also helps to minimize the line of demarcation." To avoid brassiness, Cunningham aims to find balance between the balance warm and cool tones. "I love Shades EQ to help me achieve that," she says.


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  • Highlight Formula:
    • All-over foil highlight with Redken Flash Lift  and 40 Vol Pro-Oxide developer
  •  Root Shadow
    • Gloss Zone 1 with Shades EQ Gloss 1oz 09N + 1 oz 09NB  + 2 oz Processing Solution
    • Process for 5 minutes, then shampoo and condition with Redken Color Extend Magnetics

Olivia Munn & Cassondra Kaeding

"For Olivia, she has a naturally rich brunette base, so I first enhance that with a Shades EQ gloss from her roots to mid-lengths," says Kaeding. "Then to add dimension, I’ll balayage in some highlights with Redken Free Hand Lightener and 30 Vol from her mid-lengths to ends. Olivia’s hair lifts beautifully, so I usually don’t have to gloss over the highlights for any additional toning."

If a client is naturally brunette but wants to add dimension, Kaeding's favorite trick is to balayage in some highlights and add heat to selective areas. "This will help create variation in the lift and tone, thus adding more dimension to the final look," she says. For clients who prefer a monochromatic brunette look, Kaeding's favorite overall gloss formula is Redken Shades EQ 7NB (3/4 oz) + 7N (1/4 oz) + 8C (1/8 oz). "It’s the perfect balance of cool and warm tones," she says.