Ambiance Lookbook

Something really fun happened for me this summer that I completely neglected to share with you. As I stated in my Ireland Dream Getaway post, things have been a little crazy for me since this spring and I haven't been as focused as I'd like to be. I didn't want to let the opportunity to talk about this fun collaboration pass me by! It's not every day that one gets interviewed for a publication or has a talented professional take photos and make you look fancy pants.

As my regular readers are well aware I happen to do occasional collaborations with SLOmygosh (who happens to be under construction right now- she'll be back shortly!) and Ambiance- a local boutique. They tapped me to be a part of their lookbook, which is produced a few time a year. I have to admit, I thought it was to do hair for the models and it was only a day or so before the scheduled meet up that I found out that I was actually going to be interviewed about my fall hair predictions and have my photo taken. Put the brush down and the bobby pins away- grab a mirror and tweeze those brows, this was going to be serious!

Can I just say how fun it is to be interviewed by a friend? Especially one who won't judge you for being a dork when you answer your questions or for giggling the whole way through your photo shoot. I mean does Giselle giggle? I think not, but that is why she is the professional and I am not.

We got down to the nitty gritty and "interviewed" first. I put that in quotes cuz it really was just like shooting the breeze with a good friend who just happened to be in her office while we chatted- oh and taking notes too. Every good interview involves an intermission and our intermission involved a quick nip down to a favorite store for cookies, dill pickle flavored kettle chips and a sparkling beverage. 

When it came to the photo shoot portion I was super nervous. Should I have straightened my hair or left if wavy? Do I have chocolate on my teeth? Is this shirt too summery for a fall spread? I momentarily forgot that I was in the hands of a professional, I should never have been nervous- the pictures turned out great and even I wished that I had my hair!

*all lookbook photos copyright Coral Kessler

There is a really cool story behind this cover photo. Read it HERE

So what did I predict for fall? Read the interview below and find out:

Ambiance: Hi Leah! You've got 14 years of experience working as a stylist in SLO, you've seen it all. What are your hair trend predictions for Fall '13?

LG: Hair is anything goes right now! Which is so great. Pixies, chin length bobs, mid-lengths, lots of color experimenting. I'm seeing a big resurgence in texture and richness in color. Think Grace Codddington volume and Mila Kunis color. We'll continue to see waves, braids and ballerina buns- but they'll be undone, deconstructed and messier. 

Ambiance: What are your clients asking for as we transition into Fall?

LG: They're wanting to go darker, but not necessarily brown- my brunette clients are moving into deeper reds, and even the blondes are warming up with strawberry blonde and darker tones. One surprise I've seen recently has been the increase in mid-length cuts. The collarbone skimming cut was an undesirable length in the past, in favor of either distinctly long or short, but it's universally flattering and a great change for my clients who are tired of their long hair. I really like it. A lot of my clients are also growing out their bangs in favor of deep side parts, and I think we'll see more of that in the coming months. 

Ambiance: The big question..., is ombre hair still in?

LG: Haha! Yes, I'm still doing it- though in a more subtle and natural way. A good ombre is difficult and time consuming, but done right it can be very rewarding. Done poorly and it can just look like nasty roots. I'm really happy that the high- contrast ombre is over. I'm really excited about the more natural, sun-kissed version. 

Ambiance: Okay, your expert DOs and DON'Ts...

LG: DO use styling products. So many clients want looks that are within their reach, but aren't willing to use the products to get them there. Shine serum is incredibly versatile and can benefit almost anyone. DO deep condition and get a trim. It refreshes your cut and improves hair health- especially after a season of damaging beach days, chlorine, and sun. DON'T fight your hair. Drastically leaving your natural color or unrealistic looks for your hair texture are so damaging. Embrace your hair's natural capabilities. DON'T do a style just because it's trending- do what works for you, and be open to new things. 

Ambiance: What new hair color look are you most excited about?

LG: AVEDA'S PEACH COLOR! It's beautiful and a really wearable way to add fun color to your hair. It can fly under the radar as strawberry blonde, or really make a statement. I love that people are less conservative about experimenting with unconventional colors. For students, or clients in more traditional jobs- these colors can be hidden in really creative ways. 

Ambiance: Parting advice?

LG: Fall's season of change is an ideal time for a new look or a fresh start. Don't be afraid to take a risk. It's so rewarding to try something new with a client an so exciting when they see that they can pull it off! Changes both big and small can really make a difference and change the way you feel about yourself. Get out of your hair rut. Try peach!

**I took my own advice and added peach, and then a vibrant strawberry blonde a few days later. Embrace the Fall change my friends!! I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my day job. Thank you to Coral of SLOmygosh and to Ambiance for including me in such a fun project!!


Vibrant strawberry blonde. Just in time for Fall.


  1. Leah I love this post! The photos are just stunning. And my goodness I am loving the peach, I am going to be all about the peach!! Xx

    1. Yay!! I'm loving the peach too. I've been trying to talk everyone into it. :)


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