Beth Minardi: Rocking Those Fashion Colors Creatively

The color wheel certainly keeps turning!  Right now, there is so much focus on creating those hot, super fun fashion tones including pink, 

lavendar, peacock blue, bright green, tangerine orange  and steel gray.  Because of this, a number of color professionals are having fun experimenting with being able to create colors that weren't easily achieveable, and which almost no one requested in the past.  I think we have taken our cues from clothing colors and from what has been happening in the nail industry during the past 10 years. Twenty years ago, we almost never saw a person sporting blue fingernails, but now this color is considered to be rather mainstream.

I hate to be the person to rain on this interesting parade., but as I endeavor to elevate haircolor to an art form, I find it necessary to weigh in on matters of color choice and color suitability.  


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First:  A disclaimer.  As an licensed color expert, you have the freedom to select and create virtually any color you and your client desires. I suggest that wearing a super bright "fantasy" shade works best on a client who embraces the total look and whose skin tone and hair length and overall style all support wearing a color that is very, very far from "natural".  

I have a very difficult time when I am asked (and I have been), to place a giant pink streak in the hair of a woman with curly salt-and-pepper hair. This person wears no makeup, very conservative clothing, and "unfun" glasses but chooses to wear this tone as a badge of defiance., actually telling me that she wants to shock her friends and co-workers at the library. Now,  if she chose to support this "fun look" with a hairstyle, makeup and less "church lady" way of dressing, the fashion color would be supported by everything else this person is doing to present herself. 

I was recently delighted to be invited to create a COLOMBRE look for television. Our model's before and after photos are included

here. This woman has the correct hair length and style (fringe and styling by Stephen Wang) for a more daring look, and I analyzed her skintone to create pastel pink and soft ash "slashes,” wrapped on opposing angles, throughout the head.  Our super talented makeup

artist chose face, lip and eye colors selected to play up what we were doing with the hair.  I was delighted to transform the highlighted blonde into a super fashion forward "fantasy" blonde on blonde.

While there is no firm right or wrong in all of this, I think we can all agree that while color can be really fun, most of our clients want to look not only different, but also attractive. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I suggest that when creating unusual shades, you recommend the correct hair cut, style, and makeup tones that will truly make the expert color you create really shine.  

As I write this, I am aware that I may be creating controversy. As your friend, I hope you understand that I am sharing this with you and with your colorful success in mind!

More Later,

Beth Minardi

About: Beth Minardi has dedicated her professional life to the elevation of  salon haircolor to an art form.  For almost thirty years, she has worked both behind the chair as a star colorist, and has been instrumental in the development of several of the top color brands in use today.  Beth began her colorful career at Clairol, where she became director of education.  At Redken, she traveled, training thousands of color professionals, and penned the monthly Shades EQnewsletter. As an integral part of her current work at Joico, Beth created her own exclusive brand of professional Color:  Beth Minardi Signature Shades, a collection of 77 intermixable conditioning colors. With industry legend, Sam Brocato, she opened STUDIO B Hair, a salon oasis located on Manhattan's luxurious Upper East Side.  She continues to lecture and teach extensively.  Beth resides in New York City with her Poodle 'person,’ Mango.