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Articles > Tracey Cunningham Answers Your Burning “Blur” Questions!
November 3, 2014

Tracey Cunningham Answers Your Burning “Blur” Questions!

A little bit like balayage, a little bit like ómbre, and jam-packed with artistic possibilities. The new “Blur” coloring technique is quickly gaining popularity, and Redken Celebrity Colorist, Tracey Cunningham, is here to give you all the details!

 

Follow Tracey on Instagram for even more of her incredible celebrity formulas using Redken!

 

1. How would you describe the Blur technique?  What is the finished result?
Redken’s new Blur technique, created with their exclusive Blur Brush, allows the colorist to create a blended shading effect whether horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Blur ultimately creates a customized color with distinct shades in-between both blurred tones, ranging from subtle to dramatic.

 

2. How does it differ from balayage or ombre?
Blur allows for more creativity – you can be trendy or natural by blurring the two colors together. Blur is a reinvention of the ombre and balayage looks but the technique gives the hair a more multi-dimensional finish with a glossy, vibrant luxurious look.

 

3. What are some best practices/tips for mastering the technique?
What is so great about the Blur technique is that it really encourages imagination; there is no true right or wrong! The actual process is quite simple, just apply one shade to the top third of a section and a second shade to the bottom third. Use your Blur Brush to blend the top color down and the bottom shade up so the shades meet and blur in the center. You could take it one step further and place one shade on one side of the section and a different shade on the far side, then blur that in-between section together.

 

4. What’s the deal with the brush?  It looks like it’s an important part of this technique! Is it mandatory for creating the look or can you use other tint brushes or tools?
For the best results, I definitely suggest using the Redken Blur Brush as it helps to distribute formulas evenly and create a gentle transition from one shade to the next. The Blur Brush is a custom-designed brush with bristles that are actual haircolor brush bristles with a handle that was designed for easy grip, allowing for a more seamless application. The density and thickness of the bristles create that sturdiness needed for the smudging effect of Blur. Standard haircolor brushes are too soft and flexible.

 

5. Which celebrities are currently sporting a “Blur?”
Nicole Richie and Rihanna both recently flaunted a Pastel Blur, while January Jones and Sienna Miller have both created statement hair reminiscent of Metallic Blur.

 

6. Of those celebrities, can you share the formulas and application?
You can refer to question #8 for formulas to replicate the Pastel and Metallic Blur looks, but if you want to recreate Dakota Johnson’s or Charlize Theron’s look, here’s what I did:

 

Dakota Johnson’s Bronzed Brunette

 

 

FORMULA:
NATURAL LEVEL 6, DARK BLONDE

 

Highlight Formula 1
1 scoop Flash Lift Maximum Lightening Powder Lightener

1 oz. Pro-oxide Cream Developer 20 vol.

 

Blur Glaze Formula – Zone 1
1 oz. Shades EQ Gloss 09N Café Au Lait

1 oz. Shades EQ Gloss 09B Sterling
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

Blur Glaze Formula – Zone 2
3 oz. Shades EQ Gloss Crystal Clear

1 drop Shades EQ Gloss 01B Onyx
3 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

How to: Apply Formula 1 and 2, leaving a small section between the left side and the right side. Using Redken’s Blur Brush, blur the two colors together to create a third.

 

Charlize Theron’s Platinum Pixie

 

 

FORMULA:
NATURAL LEVEL 7, MEDIUM BLONDE

 

Highlight Formula 1
1 scoop Flash Lift Maximum Lightening Powder
1 oz. Pro-oxide (Cream Developer 20 vol.)

 

Highlight Formula 2
1 oz. Color Fusion Extra Lift EL-LN
2 oz. Pro-oxide (Cream Developer) 40 vol.

 

Blur Glaze Formula 1
1 oz. Shades EQ Gloss Crystal Clear
1 oz. Shades EQ Gloss 09G Vanilla Crème
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

Blur Glaze Formula 2
1 oz. Shades EQ Gloss Crystal Clear
1 oz. Shades EQ Gloss 09NB Irish Cream
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

How to: Apply Formula 1 and 2, leaving a small section between the left side and the right side. Using Redken’s Blur Brush, blur the two colors together to create a third.

 

7. Is Blur only for prelightened hair or can it be done on any other or all base shades?
It’s always best to choose a haircolor that best matches the skintone, but Blur can be done on most base shades. Redken created two specific formulas, Metallic Blur and Pastel Blur, to guide the process depending on natural level and the overall desired look. Metallic Blur, suggested for Natural Level 4 or Medium Brown, creates a natural shimmering finish by blurring luxe bronze and gold tones together. Pastel Blur, suggested for Natural Level 7 or Medium Blonde, blends apricot and raspberry shades together.

 

8. If it’s universal, please share a few possible Blur designs (color formulas and application strategies) for:

 

    a. A medium level blonde

 

PASTEL BLUR
Shades of apricot and raspberry blurred together on a cool platinum blonde.

Natural Level 7, Medium Blonde with Highlights

 

PRE-LIGHTEN BASE FORMULA
2 scoops Flash Lift Maximum Power Lightening Powder
2 oz. 20 vol. Pro-Oxide Cream Developer

 

ZONE 2 FORMULA
2 scoops Flash Lift Maximum Power Lightening Powder
2 oz. 30 vol. Pro-Oxide Cream Developer

GLAZE FORMULA – TONE
(optional step to even out levels of hair after pre-lightening)
2 oz. 09N Café Au Lait Shades EQ Gloss
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

BLUR FORMULA 1
2 oz. 09V Platinum Ice Shades EQ Gloss
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

BLUR FORMULA 2
1 ½ oz. 09RB Blush Shades EQ Gloss
½ oz. 09AA Papaya Shades EQ Gloss
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution (option to add Crystal Clear to dilute)

 

    b. A medium level brunette/brown

 

METALLIC BLUR
Luxe bronze and gold tones blurred together for a natural shimmering finish.
Natural Level 4, Medium Brown

 

BASE FORMULA (OPTIONAL)
2 oz. 5NW (5.03) Chromatics
2 oz. 20 vol. Chromatics Oil in Cream Developer
Natural Levels 4 – 5

 

HIGHLIGHT FORMULA
2 scoops Flash Lift Maximum Power Lightening Powder
2 oz. 30 vol. Pro-Oxide Cream Developer

 

BLUR FORMULA 1
2 oz. 06Gi Tenerife Shades EQ Gloss
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

BLUR FORMULA 2
1 oz. 08WG Golden Apricot Shades EQ Gloss
1 oz. Clear Shades EQ Gloss
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

GLAZE FORMULA
1 ½ oz. 09Gi Hamptons Shades EQ Gloss
½ oz. Clear Shades EQ Gloss
2 oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution

 

9. Any good retouching tips for this technique?
I always recommend finishing a color service or refreshing in between services with Shades EQ Gloss. It is an extra layer of shine and pigment to add shine and life to all color. It’s also important to have the right shampoo to counteract color fade and color age. I love Redken’s Color Extend and the Color Extend Magnetics line which gently cleanses the hair without removing pigment and helps to maintain color.

 

Get even more great information about this technique HERE!

 

Can’t get enough of this technique? Watch below and see fellow Redken Artist, Justin Isaac, demonstrate his own interpretation!