Articles > Balayage > Foilayage: 3 Mistakes and Solutions For Creating Smoky Tones
Last updated: February 05, 2020

Foilayage: 3 Mistakes and Solutions For Creating Smoky Tones

smoky ashy blonde balayage dvcolour
close formula

Foilayage And Toning Mistakes And Solutions

Are your Level 3 clients still begging for ultra-ashy blonde dimension? Then keep reading, because smoky color expert Diana Vivilecchia, aka @dvcolour from Mississauga, Ontario, is breaking down the top three mistakes you can make when lifting and toning hair to ashy tones—and how to fix them.

Products Used


Mistake #1: Over-Foiling

We know you’ve heard this, but it bears repeating: Light cannot truly pop without dark. “Dark shadows allow the light to appear ashier, lighter and brighter,” Diana says. “If you over-foil, especially fine hair, you will be left with a solid shade with no dimension.”


Solution: Assess the client’s hair and use a customized, thoughtful foiling process.

Diana uses foilayage and teasy lights techniques, alternating techniques depending on her desired finish. She paints Vs and Ws using Revlon Professional Blonderful in foils, altering where she paints highs and lows, to achieve different dimensional results.


Swipe through for examples of Diana’s work!


Mistake #2: Uneven sections, or sections that are too large.

The fastest way to blorange tones or splotchy hair? Uneven saturation. And THAT is a result of too little product and too-large sections.


Solution: Create thin, see-through sections, and make sure to fully saturate the hair with product.

The thinner and more see-through a section, the easier to saturate and achieve cleaner, brighter lift. Diana advises applying enough lightener so you can’t see the foil through the product. “Your section size depends on your texture and existing tone,” Diana said, so use your best judgment—this is not a one-size-fits-all process!


smoky ashy blonde balayage dvcolour


Mistake #3: Toning with same formula from roots to ends.

Applying an all-over toner has its place in the salon, but might leave you with unwanted results if you’ve achieved super-dimensional blonde. Incorporating more than one formula and applying different hues with intention allows you to not only customize your client’s hair, it also upgrades her service.



Solution: Formulate two or three tones to create additional shadow and depth.

Diana reaches for Revlon Professional Color Excel by Revlonissimo to formulate multiple tones because of its hypergloss finish, and she formulates with the Color Excel Ultra Soft Energizer (1.8%) to avoid shifting the base and exposing underlying pigment.


smoky ashy blonde balayage dvcolour


She applies toners on diagonal or vertical back sections for ultimate blend. For a super soft transition, alternate how far down you apply the base tone shade before merging into the Zone 2 shade. For example, Diana will alter between 4 to 6 inches.


Tap the beaker below for Diana’s three-zone toning formulas!

smoky ashy blonde balayage dvcolour
open color formula
close formula
  • Formula A (Zone 1):

    Revlon Professional Color Excel by Revlonissimo 5.1 + Color Excel 4.0 + Revlon Professional Color Excel by Revlonissimo Ultra Soft Energizer

  • Formula B (Zone 2):

    Color Excel 8.01 + Color Excel 8.2 + Color Excel 7.12 + Ultra Soft Energizer

  • Formula C (Zone 3):

    Color Excel 9.12 + Color Excel 9.2 + Color Excel 10.02 + Ultra Soft Energizer

More from
Revlon Professional