Clairol Nice ‘n Easy for a New Year Hair Refresh [Sponsored]

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clairol Nice ’N Easy. All opinions are 100% mine.

A review of Clairol Nice 'n Easy permanent hair color in Natural Light Ash Brown 116 by Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion blogFor those who have been reading Wardrobe Oxygen for a while, you know I dye my hair. While I was born with medium brown hair, I’ve been having fun with color since middle school. Black, red, blonde, pink, blue, and even some purple and red streaks. However the past few years I have liked my hair being a more natural shade; my birth haircolor only better… and without the grey. I got my first grey hair two months before I turned 29, and while I don’t have enough to rock a badass Bonnie Raitt streak, I have a few patches at the temples and along the hairline that I prefer to cover.

I’ve been getting my hair professionally colored for years, and between salon visits I’ve been using Clairol Natural Instincts. I’ve been scared to use permanent color for fear I’d do a bad job or it would look obviously dyed. I thought I’d lose my highlights and depth of color with a single-process permanent hair color. Clairol reached out and asked if I’d like to refresh my look for the new year with Nice ‘n Easy, their permanent hair color, informing me that Clairol Nice ‘n Easy provides the broadest selection of shades to achieve real, natural-looking results for color as real as you are. I’ve been using Clairol since middle school and know the brand has a wide range of product options and shades and has always offered easy-to-follow processes for at-home hair color results that look great. I like the idea of getting stellar results at home, and that this could be a wallet-friendly alternative to salon visits I decided to try it.

Nice ‘n Easy offers 8 weeks of permanent color with 100% coverage of greys. They have 45 shades ranging from the fairest blonde to a deep blue-black. Clairol provided me with a color consultant who examined my hair, asked my issues (stubborn greys, hair that gets dry in winter), asked me what I wished to achieve (my natural hair color, though a cooler tone and richer in color), and from that recommended color 6a/114 Natural Light Ash Brown.

I hadn’t colored my hair in a couple months and when the box of Nice ‘n Easy arrived in the mail I was ready to get to work! The box contains three bottles: 1) the color blend formula, 2) the color blend activator, and 3) the CC ColorSeal Conditioner, as well as gloves and very detailed instructions. However before I did the whole head, I did an allergy test. At least 48 hours before dying your hair, you should do a skin allergy test, even if you have used the product before. I recommend testing hair at the nape so it’s discreet. Better safe than sorry! Having no ill effects from the test, I colored my hair two days later.

Clairol provided me with a professional color cape; if you don’t have one I recommend wearing an old tee shirt and clipping a towel around your neck to catch any drips. I donned the gloves, poured bottle 1 into bottle 2, and shook until blended. I then separated my dry hair into small sections and applied the hair color, starting at the front and temples, where I have the most grey. I applied to my roots all over the head, and then worked to the ends of the strands, being sure to not rub the dye into my scalp. After all my hair was saturated and piled on top of my head, I wet an old towel and wiped up any drips or smears of hair color that got on my skin; I was impressed how easily it wiped off.

After 25 minutes, I wet my hair a bit to build a lather, then rinsed until all the dye came out and the color ran clear in the tub. I then opened bottle 3, the conditioning gloss, and added a third of it to my hair. I let the conditioner sit in my hair for a few minutes to really get its full effects, then rinsed it out completely. I truly see the color and condition of my hair, I dried it without adding any styling product.

A review of Clairol Nice 'n Easy permanent hair color in Natural Light Ash Brown 116 by Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion blogAnd this is the final result a day after coloring – shiny, soft, natural looking, multifacted with depth of color, no greys at all, and exactly how I want my hair to look. My hair feels in better condition now than it was before I colored it. I feel like me, except better. Fresh, polished, and ready to take on the new year.

I feel good recommending Clairol Nice ’N Easy as an easy and natural looking permanent hair color you can do in the comfort of your own home. To learn more about Nice ‘n Easy and other Clairol products, follow Clairol on Twitter or visit Clairol on YouTube where they have a bunch of helpful and informative videos!

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Friday Favorite: Lambswool Shawl from High Style via Amazon

Wardrobe Oxygen Friday Favorite: Lambsool Shawl Pashmina from High Style via AmazonIf you read Wardrobe Oxygen you know I think a pashmina is a smart addition to any woman’s wardrobe. While relatively lightweight, it offers warmth and softness. Wear looped around your neck to add interest to your wardrobe, it can be used as a shawl with dresses and sleeveless outfits, be worn as a scarf with your winter coat, and even be a blanket on a flight. I bought my first cashmere pashmina on Bluefly in 1999; it was a gorgeous orchid color and felt so luxe. I wore it for many years until an oily salt scrub spilled on it (one of the risks of working for The Body Shop). I replaced it with one in aqua which was another fave; this one came from a Nordstrom clearance sale and was thicker and loftier than the one from Bluefly. It made me a Nordstrom pashmina convert. When that one got torn when getting caught in the wheel of my office desk, I replaced it with another Nordstrom clearance pashmina, this time in avocado green. I then also received an ivory pashmina from Pashmina International, but I’m too much of a slob to wear it all the time and it doesn’t go as well with my current personal style and color story.  I still have these two pashminas, and though my sister has the same avocado one and the color is uber versatile (and looks so good with navy and white stripes), it’s not a color that I adore. I missed that pretty orchid pashmina from my bachelorette days.

I checked out Nordstrom… nothing on sale that really appealed to me. And I started thinking I may want something thicker but there was no way I was going to or could spend $200 or more on a pashmina. So I headed to Amazon. Oh Amazon, the land of finding the most obscure and random item often for the best price. Sometimes Amazon can be overwhelming, but the more you search on it the better you get with filters, keywords, and finding what you’re looking for.

Wardrobe Oxygen Friday Favorite: Lambsool Shawl Pashmina from High Style via AmazonI started with 100% cashmere pashmina in the search field and as usual, found plenty of things that were NOT 100% cashmere. I right-clicked anything that looked promising, would read the reviews, and from there sometimes clicked recommended items in the carousels within that page. After reading many that were cashmere as being too thin, textured (not what I wanted), with pom-poms on the ends of the fringe (not my style), I found this one from High Style. While the description doesn’t say cashmere or pashmina, reviews said it was super soft and warm and nice and big. I liked the idea of having something thicker than my avocado pashmina, and I loved that 80% of the reviews were 5 stars, it was under $50 and had free Prime shipping and returns. All that, and it came in “Violet Tulip” which looked like a cool toned lavender similar to my first pashmina.

Two days later the shawl arrived folded nicely in a cello bag. I opened it… and fell in love. This is thick, but not stiff. It’s super soft and lofty, a traditional fringe, and uber cozy. Not a hint of itchiness, this feels as soft as my cashmere sweaters but felted and solid. And it is just as big as it looks on Amazon; a true shawl size.  This is an INCREDIBLE purchase and bargain. It just feels and looks so luxe. The pashmina shawl comes in 13 different colors, from basic black and rich navy to elegant neutrals like Double Cream and Beige to fun colors like my Violet Tulip, Blue Yonder, and Pink Lady.

This scarf was my jam the weekend of Winter Storm Jonas. With two feet of snow outside, I wrapped up in this shawl when curled on the couch watching Netflix. I looped it around my throat and wore with my hooded parka when venturing outside, and wore it over my shoulders when reading in bed. I know this shawl will be coming with me on all future vacations and will be as used and loved as my previous pashminas!

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What I Wore: More of a Good Thing

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a Banana Republic Issa dress and LOFT croco frame clutch Wardrobe Oxygen featuring an Issa from Banana Republic dress and red croco framed clutch bag IMG_2233 Wardrobe Oxygen wearing an orange and purple Issa for banana republic dressDress: Issa for Banana Republic (XL) (similar, plus option) | Bag: LOFT (very old – similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Earrings: Argento Vivo

I bought this Issa for Banana Republic dress many years ago when they had the collection and it has been by far one of my best purchases and completely worth paying full price.  The material, cut, pattern… I never tire or it.  Recently Adrien at Looks Good from the Back mentioned how she found an Issa dress on eBay and it inspired me to look for another dress from the Banana Republic Issa collection.  I didn’t want exactly the same, but a similar concept.  I found this one and it was sized by letters while my current dress is a 14.  I went with an XL figuring it’s easier to alter or cinch if too big rather than too small.  I like that it’s longer than my other dress, has fitted arms which looks more appropriate at the office, and has my favorite color of orange in the print.  Also the gently used eBay price was only a third of what I paid for my other Issa for Banana dress!

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