Spoiled Pretty’s Interview With Jason Backe, Celebrity Hair Colorist

A few weeks ago, I spent the evening with Jason Backe, Clairol Color Director. We watched the Grammy arrivals and discussed hair color trends…and in the midst of an interview, Jason convinced me to go darker. I had such a ball with Jason that it hurt me to leave. I could have gossiped with him all day and night. Jason is fantastically charming and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of hair color. So if you color your hair – or you’re thinking about making a shade change, the following interview is a MUST READ. Enjoy!

When did your interest in hair color begin?
“I’ve been coloring hair pretty much for my entire life. I did everything when I was a kid – from putting Kool Aid in my sister’s hair to using Clorox to try and get her hair to be blonder; it got it blonde but it broke. So I’ve been coloring hair for my whole life. I would play with at-home hair color with my mom and do single-process application on her. But when I got a little older – after high school and into college – I really didn’t play with beauty stuff at all. I didn’t really get back into it until I’d been in college for four years and I had switched my major like twenty-seven times (and switched schools three times). I just never felt successful in that learning style; no matter how hard I would try, it always seemed that I was just getting C’s. So I decided to do something a little more hands-on, that would inspire the more creative part of myself. And that’s when I went to beauty school.”

What was your biggest break as a professional hair colorist?
“My first feeling that I had achieved something was when I was in Allure’s directory, the first time. Every time I’ve been in Allure’s directory has been amazing…such a huge compliment. But the first time felt like I had really arrived as a New York City hair colorist. Other breaks include starting to color celebrities – that was really great. But my hugest victory is my role as spokesperson for Clairol. I feel so proud to have that on my resume. It’s one thing to work for a brand where you feel like you’re selling snake oil – and it’s another thing to work for a brand that I really identify with. I love working with Clairol; it’s amazing that I can give my professional experience to women at home so that they can feel sexy, confident and special – just like the girls that see me in the salon do.”

What is your main philosophy about hair color?
“I like hair color to help women express themselves. So if she is breaking up and needs a ‘break over,’ I think that hair color is a great way to give that to her. If she wants to celebrate a new career move or a promotion, hair color is a great way to do that. For me, a client’s hair color isn’t about me demonstrating how creative I am. The way that I’m creative is being able to listen to what women are telling me, hear what they like and don’t like, and then use all of my resources and skills to bring out the prettiest them that I can.”

What do you love most about your job?
“I love making the girls look pretty. I think it’s the most amazing thing when a woman steps off of the elevator into the salon and she is feeling and looking tired… and I can put a little sparkle into her life that makes her feel good.”

Who are your favorite celebrities to work on?
“I think that I attract the kind of girls that I’m like. I’m just a regular kind of guy, so I attract girls that are just regular kind of girls. I love working with Annie Hathaway. She’s just a good person. She’s got a great family, she’s a real down-to-earth person, and she’s got good common sense.”

“I love Lake Bell because she’s the quintessential New York girl to me. She’s creative and takes chances, she doesn’t care what people think, and she’s funny. And I love Elettra Wiedemann Rossellini. She doesn’t have to say a word…she just walks into a room and she’s devastating. And, at the same time, she’s one of the smartest people that I know. I mean, what was God thinking giving all of that to one girl? She’s so well-rounded and so of the world, that she’s comfortable to be around.”

What tips do you have for women choosing a hair color shade?
“The first thing is to trust your intuition because you know what looks pretty on you. The second rule is to think about what kind of maintenance you want to have. Because the farther you stray from your natural hair color, the more maintenance you’re going to have. If you’re the kind of girl who wants to color her hair every two weeks, then go crazy. If you’re the kind of girl who wants to color her hair every eight to twelve weeks, don’t go so crazy. If you’re the kind of girl who’s coloring your hair at home, the rule is to stay within 2 levels of your natural color; so two levels lighter or two levels darker. That way, you’ll be sure to stay within the range for successful, salon-looking haircolor.”

What hair color products and tools can you not live without?
“I can’t live without bleach because I think that bleach is the greatest tool that a colorist has, because it’s so versatile in what it can do. I also think that of any tool or product, it’s one of the most widely misused so it can cause the most damage – which is why it gets such a bad rep.”

Can anyone be a blonde?
“Yes. There are general guidelines for going blonde. If you have a lot of pink in your complexion, it’s better to be a cool blonde. If you have a medium complexion with brown eyes, you can pull off a really golden blonde. Then again, if you have an olive or darker complexion, it’s better to go back to the cool or neutral blonde. But I think that anyone can be a blonde.”

“I color this model’s hair…her name is Rila. She is the BAE – blondest Asian ever, and it’s devastating. It’s so beautiful on her. I think of Mary J. Blige who is also a devastating blonde. I think of Claudia Schiffer, who is very fair and she’s a gorgeous blonde. So I think that finding the right shade is the key. I always use Lindsay Lohan as a great example. I didn’t turn her blonde, but I watched the whole process. And, at first, it wasn’t pretty. But by the time she was on the cover of Vanity Fair, it was gorgeous.”

Any other hair color tips?
“If you color your hair at home, save the side of the package with the hair color name on it…and then you can write notes on it. Things like ‘I wish I would have chosen something with more gold’ or ‘next time, choose something that’s less red.’ And keep that, so the next you go to the store to buy haircolor, you have some sort of reference of what you did last time. That’s why I don’t understand colorist in the salon who don’t keep a record. It’s like every time a client comes in, it’s like the first time. I don’t understand it. But I’m a Capricorn, so I can’t help it.”

What’s next for you?
“I love teaching and sharing information, so I hope what’s next for me is that my role with Clairol will continue to grow in that direction. I would love to be in more venues with more regular women – and be able to share insider tips with them. Whether that’s through the Internet, appearances in different cities, or television commercial…I think I would be great for commercials. Those are the things that I’m thinking about next.”

Interview pique your interest? Hungry for more hair color tips? Visit Jason’s blog, HUEman Behavior, over at DailyMakeover.com.

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This Week’s Ideeli Sales

Mark your calendar for this week’s amazing sales at ideeli.com


Marquis & Camus
Starts Tue 3/3
Prices Start at: $69 (save up to 72%)
Sometimes you have to look to the past for clues about the future, and when you get really lucky, you find treasures from yesterday that become part of who you are today. Enter Marquis & Camus, a jewelry collection that masterfully remixes vintage pieces with the finest modern materials to create a whole new take on timeless couture. This event is scheduled to start on Tuesday, March 3 at 11am for 1st Row members, noon for 2nd Row members. This event will run for 36 hours, or until it sells out.


Furla Handbags
Starts Tue 3/3
Prices Start at: $144 (save up to 59%)
The roaring ’20s brought a new lease on life and a fierce take on fashion to people around the world. Catching this creative momentum, Aldo and Margherita Furlanetto founded a small leather goods company in the stylish city of Bologna, a small company called Furla, whose buttery leather handbags would soon come to represent the ultimate in feminine luxury. This event is scheduled to start on Tuesday, March 3 at 11am for 1st Row members, noon for 2nd Row members. This event will run for 36 hours, or until it sells out.


Rinkel
Starts Wed 3/4
Prices Start at: $659 (save up to 61%)
Rinkel’s no-fear attitude led to a unique blend of classic and contemporary design elements, rekindling a love affair with high-drama style. Streamlined shapes in rich jewel-tones unite the collection; however, because, like fingerprints, every crocodile skin is unique, no two bags are exactly alike. And understanding the value of these beautiful creatures, Rinkel is registered with CITES, designating 5% of its annual sale earnings for the preservation of the species and its ecosystem in Columbia. Combining pure glamour with environmental responsibility, Rinkel celebrates bold beauty and gives a modern-day meaning to the term “crocodile rock.” This event is scheduled to start on Wednesday, March 4 at 11am for 1st Row members, noon for 2nd Row members. This event will run for 36 hours, or until it sells out.


Escada
Starts Thurs 3/5
Prices Start at: $489 (save up to 70%)
For spring Escada is serving up more of that fearless style straight to your wardrobe, each piece a winning combination of classic shapes and of-the-moment slickness. Intricate detailing combined with stunning prints and colors make for a show-stopping collection. Whether these designs show up on the red carpet or the city streets, there’s no denying– Escada’s fans are right on the money.This event is scheduled to start on Thursday, March 5 at 11am for 1st Row members, noon for 2nd Row members. This event will run for 36 hours, or until it sells out.


Becky Kelso
Starts Friday 3/6
Prices Start at: $277 (save up to: 51%)
Becky eschews current jewelry trends and opts to find inspiration in her own family jewels and in her travels to Morocco, Asia, and Turkey. Her timeless designs feature gems like topaz, citrine, opal, and amethyst, set in yellow gold and sterling silver to exude an antique, yet whimsical quality. This event is scheduled to start on Friday, March 6 at 11am for 1st Row members, noon for 2nd Row members. This event will run for 3 days, or until it sells out.

To join Ideeli (membership is free), visit ideeli.com and enter spoiledpretty as your invite code.

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Yesterday's Face Of The Day


I’ve received a few reader emails and comments asking what makeup I was wearing yesterday, when I taped my . Here’s the 411…

Face
* Make Up For Ever’s HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 173 (mixed with a dollop of MAC Strobe Liquid and applied with the beautyblender sponge)

* Hello Kitty Beauty Powder Blush in Tippy applied with EcoTools Blush Brush

Eyes

* (inner rims of the eye) and Anastasia Beverly Hills Shimmer Highlighter in Lace (inner corners of the eyes)
* Givenchy Prismissime – 21 Maharani Pinks applied to the eyelid (from upper lash line to above the crease), MAC Eye Shadow in Sumptuous Olive (from upper lash line to crease)
* Diorshow Iconic Mascara in Noir

Lips
* MAC Lip Pencil in Hodgepodge, topped with MAC Lustreglass in Spring Bean

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My Latest MAC Purchase: You’ll Be Green With Envy


Today, after attending the Cashman & Associates Girls’ Day Out event, Mama Spoiled Pretty and I headed over to Macy’s for some extra innings of shopping. Mom was kinda working my last nerve, shopping up a storm, then asking me (aka telling me) to carry her heavy bags. But then she spotted a $180 Michael Kors dress – in my size – for $9. Can you even believe? So all was forgiven and Philadelphia has since been re-named the City of Motherly Love. Anyway, despite saving $171 on the dress, it still wasn’t my most satisfying purchase of the day.

Before mom and I headed for the petites department, we stopped at the MAC counter and had a ball playing with the makeup. At first, mom was all, “What do you need more MAC makeup for?” Obviously, I did not inherit my product addiction from my mother. But after watching me get all done up, thanks to the talented and knowledgeable MAC makeup artist Jillian, she too was bitten by the MAC bug. Jillian gave her a very sophisticated smoky eye and mom ended up buying both of the shadows Jillian used – Nehru (muted bluish black) and Knight Divine (black w/ silver pearl).

For my fabulous purchase (you’re going to be green with envy), watch the video:

For more video product reviews and tips, click here for Spoiled Pretty TV.

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