Hair Color, Style Help & More - une femme d'un certain âge

Thursday Miscellany: Hair, Getting Style Help & More

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age with a pixie cut.

I debated on whether to post a photo of my recent hair update, as the color isn’t quite where I want it to be. Yet. (Though I’m happy with the shorter cut.) But hey, sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned, and that’s a part of our style journey too.

Earrings (similar) | Tee | Necklace

Back when I was growing it out, we’d gone from a single process color to a slightly darker base with highlights to give it a bit more dimension and volume. This time around I wanted to warm up the base color, but the existing cooler tones were tenacious. It took two applications of color to get it warmed up just this much. This color will get lighter and softer over the next week or so, and then in a few weeks we’ll be able to brighten it up a bit more, either with highlights or going a level lighter. I’m aiming for a light golden-honey shade.

To head off the inevitable 😉question of why I don’t “ditch the dye” and just go grey, the answer is that I’m not yet grey. I have some grey at the temples, but otherwise my natural (dark ashy blonde) color is still predominant. It always felt drab to me, so I started coloring my hair in my 20’s, long before any grey hairs made an appearance. I still consider professional hair color a worthwhile investment of both time and money. YMMV.

Personal Style: DIY?

Susan B. draped in warm colors during color analysis. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve received some feedback (both here and on other social media) in response to my color and style analysis posts to the effect of:

  • Most women already know what their best colors and styles are
  • I couldn’t limit myself to just a few colors or styles
  • You don’t need strangers to tell you what looks good, just look in the mirror

Let me first say this: if you have always had a good sense of what styles and colors work for you, that’s awesome! Brava!! 👏 I’ve always been envious of those women who seem to have an innate and strong sense of personal style.

But not all of us have that aptitude, or at least the confidence in it. I was taught from an early age to view my body shape as “wrong” and something to be hidden or camouflaged. It warped how I see myself, and my ability to judge whether something looks “good” or not. A fresh pair (or three) of (expert) eyes helped me to see beyond the often conflicting “rules for figure flattery.” And that I can wear certain cuts and details I’d always believed were “off limits” for me.

And while some may see rigidity in working from a specific color palette or style type framework, I’m finding it freeing. We all learn and process information differently. I have an analytical brain that loves to understand why something works or doesn’t. I can use that as a springboard to create and hone my personal style.

And yes, I still believe in the concept of “tools, not rules.” Use what works for you, leave what doesn’t. And keep in mind that someone else’s process may differ from your own. 😉

Dans le jardin

Polka dot gardening gloves and small pruning shears.

I set out this week to prune/deadhead my lavender bushes. They’ve really taken off in the front yard especially. Using the pruning shears above, I was able to finish two of the 10 bushes in about an hour. That was about all I could manage before my hand and wrist got sore. I don’t want to give myself carpal tunnel, so am not going to push it. So this is going to take a while. For those of you who are gardeners…how do you prune your lavender (or other sturdy bushes), and are there other more effective tools you’d recommend?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Vildy
    July 25, 2019 / 3:40 am

    I once read an exercise where a person writes down everything they “know” about themselves – I’m a good driver. I have two left feet. – and then could probably think back to where a person in authority or admired once pronounced this about them. A parent, a cool older brother, a teacher… And then the ones you now disagree with, you refute. I think you’ve hit upon the very best way to refute the earlier criticism you received that has befuddled you. You now have other voices telling you very different and exciting things about yourself. It’s a total win in my eyes.

  2. Jill
    July 25, 2019 / 4:01 am

    I love the cut, color, and glasses! It is amazing how vibrant and alive you look!! The thing I love most about this process is that you are reinforcing the idea that we all benefit from new ideas/change.

    I had not of heard of a style analysis and am finding it so interesting. Is it possible for someone to be a more classic style for work and something else for weekends such as gamine or sporty? I feel like this fits me where I am in my life. This is so fun to see your transformation!!

    • July 25, 2019 / 8:44 am

      I’ve read that while lots of people are strictly one style type, many others are a combination of two types. Also, I think most of the readers of this blog are from the era when the guardrails for what was considered “work appropriate” were pretty narrow and we accepted that look as necessary, consequently many lean towards classic looks for work then let themselves go more adventurous in their private time. But the rules for work are much looser now. And I think that if the style types from Red Leopard don’t seem to match you exactly, you can make up your own. You don’t need a name, just think of 4, 5, 6 adjectives that fit how you want to be perceived then evaluate any clothing choices regarding how they support that perception.

      • July 25, 2019 / 11:07 am

        Love this. I’ve always worked in arts and communications, so the guardrails were far more subtle, but they did exist. We could work in jeans or gypsy skirts, but anything “quétaine” (Québecois for ringard, tacky in English) was a no-no.

  3. Lee Ann
    July 25, 2019 / 4:59 am

    Love your cut and color! I wish I could go that short (tried it once, but my hair just stood straight up!). I’m with you regarding color … I have that “wet cardboard color” blonde AT THE BACK of my head, but all the hair from my ears forward is grey. I want to stop coloring my hair, but it would just look awful for the next couple of years. Although I have debated going the new “grey dye” that all the younger set is wearing??? And I’m with you regarding fashion style …I can love someone else’s look, but I can’t quite get it right on myself. Just wanted to say thank you, because I am totally trying to emulate your fashion sense. I love what you wear and the WAY you wear everything. I’m learning from you! (I’m also paying attention to sales more; I realized the two or three really nice women’s clothing stores here at home have their semi-annual sales in June and July … and we’re talking BIG discounts! … so I’m going to start saving my fashion $$ for these times of year.)

    • RoseAG
      July 25, 2019 / 9:52 am

      I’m growing my colored hair out, it’s a light brown, and talked with my stylist about grey color. She advised against it saying that you have to bleach it out to get there and that the grey color doesn’t hold very well so you end up with yellowy bleached hair that needs frequent maintenance. The colorist who does a lot of that on Instagram never shows women 8 weeks after they spent the day in his shop getting their long locks died grey.
      Considering that she was advising me against something that would line her pocket I decided whe was probably right, and dropped that idea. I can do shorter hair so I’m trimming every 8 weeks and will do a edgy chop when I get a few more months grown out.

      • Elizabeth
        July 25, 2019 / 11:28 am

        I’ve had that “grey dye” color hair – entirely naturally! – since my mid-20s. For years I got compliments, I’m sure mainly because of the contrast between a younger face and silver hair, and whenever I brought up coloring it my stylist would protest that I shouldn’t in part because it was the one shade that couldn’t be realistically achieved with hair color and I “should revel in it.” Now that I’m nearing 60, there’s no contrast between face-age and hair-age for me, and every other 20-something is paying a small fortune for the same hair I’ve been growing for years! Too funny.

        My current problem is that my hair has gotten a bit thinner as I’ve aged. I love short cuts and don’t love long grey hair – at least on me – but shorter hair lets a bit too much of my scalp show. I badly need a haircut but I’m not sure what to do. Advice?

        • cafelatte
          August 2, 2019 / 12:21 pm

          There are some excellent hair-regrowing/hair strengthening products on the market. Aveda makes a line of them- I use only the serum, not the shampoo and conditioner. It does work, takes about a month to get going. My stylist told me today that there’s a new high-end cream cleaner in her product line (Alterna) that helps with aging/dry/grey hair. I plan to try that when I run out of my current shampoo/conditioner (it replaces both).

  4. E E Deere
    July 25, 2019 / 5:54 am

    Susan, I am delighted and appreciative that you have tapped into resources like Red Leopard and a hairdresser to explore and add color. I would do the same. Everyone has different perceptions of color: I know that I look better in cool tones, but that doesn’t mean I can choose the right shade of clothing (especially on a computer screen) or hair color.
    And I am hopeless with hair, plus no one can get a 360 degree view of their own head. Why not get some input?
    I really appreciate your consistent and informative posts. Such great content. And it looks like you are enjoying the ride. You’ve always looked great, it’s nice to see the refinements you are doing now, and it helps me sort out my own direction.

  5. Susan D.
    July 25, 2019 / 6:21 am

    I am finding your experience with Red Leopard to a lot of fun to experience vicariously. I am so glad that you are doing this. And no, we don’t all know what looks best on us–either color wise or styles.

    • Alexis I
      July 25, 2019 / 8:23 am

      I enjoy reading about your experiences in style and I thought that your color analysis with Red Leopard was fascinating. I would like to get a color analysis and I would welcome hearing what a professional would say about which colors look good on me!

  6. stephanie ashworth
    July 25, 2019 / 7:02 am

    Absolutely keep in mind that someone else’s process might not be your own. I couldn’t agree more. I am thrilled you found the Red Leopard and had the courage to put yourself in their hands. The results speak for themselves and are so inspirational. You look younger and more vibrant. I am definitely booking with them for my Spring 2020 trip to London. I’m just wondering if I can wait that long. It looks like such a fabulous experience.

  7. Lorraine Matthews
    July 25, 2019 / 7:17 am

    What a great experience you had with Red Leopard and the results are stunning.and your photos glow with confidence.
    To trim lavender I use hand shears or a small, electric, cable-free trimmer. Both are much quicker and easier on the hands and wrists.

  8. Jane2
    July 25, 2019 / 7:57 am

    Love the cut! And dye your hair til you’re 90 if you want – to each her own.

    • July 25, 2019 / 11:12 am

      The only problem is that dye, and especially stripping colour, can be very hard on hair. But pseu will certainly be grey by then. We should celebrate the fact that more and more people live to such an age in decent physical and mental condition!

      • Téa
        July 25, 2019 / 12:52 pm

        “Knowledge is power”. That’s what spurred me on to have my colors analyzed 5 years ago – I had a closet full of beautiful clothes that did not work together for ME! Now I know what my BEST colors are and my wardrobe is a cohesive and coordinate joy to dress from ! What a great gift to me, myself and I !! Love your tune up story and reading All about it! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Pam
    July 25, 2019 / 8:13 am

    I’m also analytical, so I can relate to your appreciation for your color and style analysis. I’m learning a lot from your experience, so thanks for sharing. And I appreciate your sharing when your hair didn’t turn out quite as anticipated. That’s all a part of life, isn’t it? And if it always looked great, we wouldn’t appreciate our “good hair days” nearly as much!

  10. July 25, 2019 / 8:14 am

    That top picture is awesome. All of it just says a vibrant and confident you! I love the hair color with your glasses. I loved having my colors done…it was a confirmation of some things I knew and also opened a new door or two. We can always grow from learning new things! You look wonderful.

  11. Jen
    July 25, 2019 / 8:23 am

    Even if you have a good sense of style and what looks good on you, sometime you still get in a fashion/color rut. I think it’s great to go through an exercise like Red Leopard color analysis just to shake things up or refresh your memory. Your posts have encouraged me to rethink some color choices I have made more recently. I also suffer from the dirty blonds and have dyed my fine hair for a very long time as it really makes everything more lively and adds some body to my hair.

  12. Teresa Landers
    July 25, 2019 / 8:23 am

    Great cut! Color will evolve from good to great

  13. Lee Rosenthall
    July 25, 2019 / 8:25 am

    Brava! I am stunned with how much HAPPIER you look in that photo at the top. And, yes, younger, but looking “younger” shouldn’t always be the priority. Let the naysayers nay, and do what works for you, Susan. If everybody knew what colors and styles were most flattering to them, we would be subjected to multi-million-dollar news anchors wearing the absolute WORST colors and styles for their coloring and frames every morning and evening.

    Personally, I think black is unflattering to at least 50% of the US population, whether it’s “high contrast” or “low contrast.” Of course, it’s not going anywhere, but why anybody should feel obligated to wear it is beyond me. I wear it because I look good in it, but if I didn’t, I’d never buy another black garment as long as I live.

    • Lee Rosenthall
      July 25, 2019 / 8:28 am

      Sorry, that should have said “wouldn’t be subjected”!

      Oh, what I wouldn’t give for an edit button – even one with a ten-minute limit! 🙂

      • July 25, 2019 / 11:16 am

        I agree. I do horrific typos when I don’t have an edit button, and I translate and sub-edit/copy-edit for a living (well, also visual arts, but I don’t depend on that). I bless the Guardian blogs fo their preview feature.

  14. Mary
    July 25, 2019 / 8:25 am

    People are something else, aren’t they? Years ago I had a $300 color analysis that said I was a Tawny Autumn and opened up my eyes to a whole different range of colors. A(former) friend said “SHE could find a better way to spend $300.

    Not everyone has the knack. What’s the harm in having fresh, educated eyes look at you? I’m free to wear whatever colors I want, but can now see when they aren’t as flattering. I still wear lots of black—I just pair it with my autumn colors. Easy peasy. I am so enjoying your journey—you needed a boost and these changes look great on you! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Susan
    July 25, 2019 / 8:27 am

    Let me echo E.E. above. Each day your hunt inspires me. Whether it is your travels, favorite jewelry, tops, bottoms, sales – the ideas and explanations offer me vicarious pleasures. Your blog is like a conversation with a good friend. Thank you, Susan.

  16. Rhonda
    July 25, 2019 / 8:28 am

    I use my grass clippers with the long blades to trim my lavender bushes. That way I can grab a handful and snip… your new haircut!

    • Jen
      July 25, 2019 / 8:52 am

      Great idea!

  17. Laura
    July 25, 2019 / 8:32 am

    In my opinion, the tell-tale sign of being old is not grey hair or wrinkles, but having a mind closed to new ideas or experiences. I love that you were open to trying something new, open to considering others’ ideas and perceptions of you, and open to making some changes. Your new hair color is gorgeous and the pale aqua top makes you glow!!

  18. Stella Fitzhugh
    July 25, 2019 / 8:36 am

    Susan, this is the best photo of you ever! Incorporating the new style and color recommendations is SO working for you! I love, love, love the haircut – a totally literal translation of “gamine”, but also spot on for you. Brava! I, too, have always been fascinated by personal stylists; I had myself “typed” when Color Me Beautiful came out (they couldn’t decide if I were a Winter or Summer!) and then had a “Style Statement” done about 15 years ago (I was Sophisticated Harmony). Meyers-Briggs, etc. are all fascinating, yet what I find out is usually validation of what I already know and practice subconsciously. These just make me more intentional in my choices. If I were going to England, I’d definitely make an appointment with your friends. Wow! You’re looking terrific!

  19. Helen
    July 25, 2019 / 8:41 am

    Hi Susan- the change to the warmer honey color definately suits your skin tone much better I think. Also the shorter hairstyle is certainly more gamine. Altogether very attractive!

  20. Angelica
    July 25, 2019 / 8:41 am

    I don’t know what colour you wanted, but this is a warm and pleasant colour that suits you well and goes well with your glasses.

  21. Pamela
    July 25, 2019 / 8:44 am

    I have found that people who criticize do so as a result of some inadequacy or dissatisfaction within themselves. Trying to be our best selves, whether outwardly or inwardly, is always a win-win proposition for the person who undertakes the journey of self discovery and improvement. You look absolutely marvelous so don’t pay attention to the haters out there!

    • Kellee
      August 1, 2019 / 4:40 pm

      hear, hear!! I agree – haters gotta hate. I love your look and have been fascinated by the Red Leopard process.

  22. Mari L Dolby
    July 25, 2019 / 8:47 am

    Try Felco pruners instead of the ones you are using….ergonomically designed for heavy use gardeners 🙂

    • Donna
      July 25, 2019 / 9:09 am

      Yes, Felco are the ones to use. I have arthritis in my thumbs & they take on the task of strength & force: not you!

    • Diana
      July 25, 2019 / 10:37 am

      Another vote for Felco pruners . They are worth the extra money!

  23. Jen
    July 25, 2019 / 8:50 am

    Your post today was very helpful.
    I also had my colors done several years ago and have found it very helpful. I think it has saved me money in the long run. Some years the colors being pushed are not at all good for me so I simply wait for another season.
    I garden every day and my best advice for deadheading lavender is to do a little at a time. Gardening is a long race not a sprint.

  24. Anne
    July 25, 2019 / 8:50 am

    Susan, you look wonderful in your new colours; somehow even more vibrant and alive. I too am a recently discovered warm spring, and finding it a bit of a struggle to adapt to my new colours from a lifetime of black and grey. You are providing inspiration to give me the push I need. Have you discovered the name of the Jane Iredale lipstick yet? It looked good on you and I would like to find one for myself. I will continue to watch your transition into colour with interest.

  25. Pam
    July 25, 2019 / 8:53 am

    I work for a major women’s retailer. Often I deal with women who feel the need to apologize for their body shape and seek to replicate what worked for them 10-20 years ago. It is hard to force oneself to step outside the tried and true; friends and family also have a hard time seeing us differently (I know in fact, that I also fall into a style rut) I commend you for being open to new colors and shapes and to seeking an outside perspective.

  26. Belinda
    July 25, 2019 / 8:54 am

    Look back at the picture you posted on March 1st ( Spring Beauty Refresher) and today’s photo. OMG
    That’s all I have to say

  27. Susan
    July 25, 2019 / 9:00 am

    You look happier, more confident and younger with each new posting after your analysis. I am so happy for you!

  28. July 25, 2019 / 9:00 am

    Brilliant idea. The more you know the more you can give. Even if one is not interested in finding out colors etc. You as an influencer are giving people options. Not only do we get the results of all of your all your research, we get to see it in action. Love seeing the process and making me think about it more. So bravo to you and you go grey when it’s right for you.
    Lavender. we need to collaborate on this. I have tons of lavender bushes. I just tried one and brought the lavender into the house and have it in a vase. I’ll let you know if there’s an easy way of pruning. I don’t think so.

  29. Elizabeth
    July 25, 2019 / 9:01 am

    The new hair colour and the cut is very flattering on you Susan! Also very much enjoyed and support your soft rebuttal and explanation as to why you were keen to experience the colour draping, etc.
    I personally did a similar one years ago (Vancouver) and it reaffirmed what I was already comfortable wearing, along with a couple of surprises. A very positive experience.

    • Elaine
      July 30, 2019 / 8:13 am

      Elizabeth I’m wondering where you had your style and colour analysis in Vancouver? I live in the metro Vancouver area and would love to find somewhere to have this done. Thanks! Elaine

      • Elizabeth
        July 30, 2019 / 10:14 am

        Elaine, I had colour analysis done by ColourWorks many years ago. The company was out of West Vancouver, I believe it is no longer in business. Wish I could have provided you with a better response.

        • Elaine
          August 1, 2019 / 7:56 am

          Thank you for the reply, Elizabeth. I’ll continue my search. With everyone on this site asking about colour analysis I’m sure some information will pop up eventually. Cheers!

          • Susan B
            August 1, 2019 / 8:19 am

            And I’m still gathering information. Look for a post next week!

  30. Janelle
    July 25, 2019 / 9:17 am

    Love your new warm hair color Susan. It’s much more natural looking. I’m guessing you are looking at photos before your visit to Red Leopard and comparing them with your new colors and styling. I’ve only been following you for just a few months and I see a big difference. I had the opportunity to have my colors done many years ago and it’s served me well for 40 years. Kudos to you for having your color and style analysis done and sorry you had to defend the process. Love your site and look forward to seeing some outfits with your new colors and style!

  31. Anne
    July 25, 2019 / 9:23 am

    You have done excellent work on style and color! Un coup d’oeil at some of your earlier black-based ensembles reveals how much vibrancy you have added to your look. I do want to put in a quick plug for one particular black piece I saw in my look-back: the jacket on 6/10/19. It has such nice texture and gamine style that I think you could still work with it. I would also like to see you give a quick try to earrings other than round hoops to go with your new round glasses — perhaps a dangle or a teardrop. I love your blog and opinions.

  32. mary
    July 25, 2019 / 9:23 am

    I agree completely with the comments posted in support of trying new tools.
    Most of us get stuck in a rut – whether in how we dress, style our hair or
    our home environments. As a interior designer, I am always pushing people to
    lighten up their home environments, delete the items that are cluttering their lives
    whether it is old rules or someone else’s (typically what you grew up with).

    I have a ? – where did you get the sweater you are wearing in the stay in touch box? I love that pine color but find it hard to resource.

    • July 25, 2019 / 11:25 am

      I do hope you are not one of those interior designers who want people to get rid of their home libraries. Yes, cull them often, but they are a huge part of my life. Many were gifts from the author. I love forest green, but alas it is hard to find.

  33. Diana
    July 25, 2019 / 9:24 am

    You are sparkling in the new photo! I agree, you look very alive and happy. Love it.

  34. Monica R
    July 25, 2019 / 9:31 am

    Love the new cut and color, they look fabulous on you. And allow me to remind everyone who needs it: how I or you or anyone else spends their money is really no one else’s business. I’m enjoying living vicariously through your Red Leopard experience. 🙂

  35. MARLA
    July 25, 2019 / 9:38 am

    Tools not rules. ANEN! I had a color key business and all those I keyed loved it! For myself I buy what appeals to my sense of style always with the knowledge that certain colors are indeed my best!
    I signed on to your blog a couple of years ago to see photos of older women well dressed and looking terrific. Mission accomplished Kiddo! Congratulations you look great in all of your photos! I do love the aqua on you

  36. July 25, 2019 / 9:45 am

    Great cut and color….love the short look. I find with fine hair that a pixie cut works best for me, too! I color my own….would love to go “good grey” like I see on some women. That is NOT my hair…so glad to see someone else is in the same boat. Enjoy your new look!

  37. Marla
    July 25, 2019 / 10:10 am

    Love your hair and glasses, Susan. The “right” colors make your eyes shine! Count me in on being open to new ideas and style guidance. Staying in a rut is what ages us….

  38. Gale
    July 25, 2019 / 10:11 am

    I love the hair cut! It looks fabulous on you!

  39. Becky
    July 25, 2019 / 10:17 am

    Excellent cut – I like it!

  40. Kelly Novak Montano
    July 25, 2019 / 10:40 am

    Love the color, I think as we get older we need a little warmth so to speak around our face….especially if we have lighter skin coloring. Keeps us from looking washed out. This color is very nice for you. You could put some platinum highlights to brighten it up but the base is very complimenting….

  41. Elizabeth
    July 25, 2019 / 10:42 am

    Susan, what a wonderful new look! You are a true “gamine” who can wear a pixie cut and bold, but softer frame, glasses. Yes, go with a lighter blond. WOW! Do I need an up-dated look after seeing your transformation. I know what you mean about being told about your body shape when young and very impressionable. I was always “tall” and thin when a kid & strangers (never my friends or teachers) were always saying that I’d be a giant as an adult. So I slouched and my posture today ( only am 5’4″ ) is awful. My mother was too polite to tell these people to mind their own business. You are beautiful and a great inspiration to your readers.

  42. July 25, 2019 / 10:49 am

    Buy yourself a good pair of electric shears or at the very least long bladed loppers. It is a terrible job and I readily admit my gardener usually does mine as I have probably over 100 in my yard! Be sure to prune twice a year here in California or they will get woody and have to be replaced. Note to self practice what you preach!

  43. Sandy
    July 25, 2019 / 11:17 am

    Oh, I’d LOVE to have a color/style analysis done. I’m sure I’m a WINTER, but it would be so great to confirm that as I’m older. It’s freeing to know your colors – not at all limiting. WRT the pruning – I use hedge clippers. It’s quick, easy and I just rake up the clippings. (When I say, “I” you know I mean my husband – right?)

  44. Lyn
    July 25, 2019 / 11:17 am

    You have saved me some money! The details of your color analysis have been a great help to me even though we are different “seasons.” I was able to determine that I am a Summer who needs strong clear cool colors near my face. Now I understand why I was avoiding my lovely warm-pastel tops. They belong in your closet, not mine! Knowing this, I have already passed up several recent “bargains” that would have just added to the Unworn pile. (Now that I know WHY they will never work “someday”, it will be easier for me to let them go.)

  45. Donna
    July 25, 2019 / 11:26 am

    I love your new warmer color – and would advocate to continue in that direction with a few highlights. I think the warmer color really brings out the prettiness of your skin tone and doesn’t fight it. The lippy looks like it’s made especially for you and compliments your skin/hair -especially with the warmer tones. THanks for allowing us to watch your reinvention!

  46. July 25, 2019 / 11:34 am

    One of the only things I had problems with was the aqua top (I love that top in the green). Probably because someone said “baby pastel” and it reminded me of older women like us wearing babyish colours, but they are shopping at somewhere like Walmart with cheap, garish dye, not your lovely-quality top.

    This is of course also a geographic issue, as I discovered when studying in Italy. I could wear colours there I’d never have contemplated here. And your problems are drought and wildfires, not slush, freezing rain and COLD flooding.

    I found myself thinking I was looking particularly fetching in a black pima cotton top (almost boat-neck, 3/4 sleeves) but that was my colouring and I’d just treated my hair to a silver (slightly violet) mask.

  47. Cathy D.
    July 25, 2019 / 11:40 am

    Hope I can say this without offending you. You look so much better, and I always thought you looked good before. But now you glow! You look radiant, younger, healthy, happy… I could go on. Even though you think it’s not quite there yet, I love the color of your hair!

    I’m fairly confident that I’m wearing the right colors for me, but I’m looking forward to the list of color analysts in the USA that you mentioned earlier. I hope there’s a good one in New York City.

    Susan, thanks so much for this wonderful blog.

  48. Daniella
    July 25, 2019 / 11:51 am

    Good cut, aim for only one hair color process, though! It’s possible in the right hands. If necessary, shop for another colorist. In my case, I use one for color and another for the cut. It works very well.
    Continue having fun with your new palette. It will become more refined in time as you experiment with it around the seasons. It will become second nature before you know it.
    I see everything in color, I’m a watercolor artist and create jewelry for fun and profit, now that I have retired from my medical profession. I have always been an artist with an urge to create but very little time to do that! Finally, I can now fully utilize the other side of my brain that was on hold for a very long time.

  49. Rondi
    July 25, 2019 / 11:57 am

    Susan, you look great in today’s photo! So alive! I appreciated your comments concerning responses you have received from readers. Honestly, I have been surprised by some of the negative comments about your style and color redo. For those who don’t know a lot about color analysis I suggest researching it. It’s not restrictive. It’s actually liberating. For example, no one is saying you can’t wear blue. Color analysis guides you to your “best blues”. We have been influenced our whole lives about what to wear and how to wear our hair. Fashion magazines and celebrities have an influence as well as comments from family and friends. We don’t live in a vacuum so we are always influenced by those around us. So why not let a good consultant be an influence also? I have been coloring my hair for years because my natural color is pretty sad. Coloring your hair also adds volume and improves the texture . I don’t color my hair to avoid gray. I really don’t have that much gray and so I cannot “go gray”. Keep moving forward with your journey of self discovery. I love learning new things.

  50. Linda S
    July 25, 2019 / 11:59 am

    This new look so becomes you. And this from someone who thought your best color was forest green (jacket and scarf on a winter Paris trip). A vicarious adventure in color and style.

  51. Marcy
    July 25, 2019 / 12:01 pm

    Your new cut and color look FABULOUS on you! With the new “do”, the glasses, and the aqua top , your whole “Golden Gamine” look has come alive! Bah to the nay-sayers! If others don’t feel the need for something like Red Leopard, then by all means they should skip it, but your investment seems to have been very worthwhile for you. You have always looked great, but now you are simply glowing!

    You’ve inspired me to want to figure out my style personality. I know my colors- I’m a textbook Winter, but my style is kind of schizophrenic, and I struggle to be current but still look age-appropriate now that I’m in my 60s. If I find myself in London, I may just look up Red Leopard…

    As far as lavender, I wish I could get it to grow well enough to ever need pruning. 🙁

  52. Norma
    July 25, 2019 / 12:52 pm

    Lowe ( not big box Lowe’s) shears and pruners are made in Germany. We have orchards and use their products. I also use their pruners in my garden. We get them at our local farm supply. You can select for the type of pruning and also the size of your hand. While we have only had them for a year, they make the job much more enjoyable. Search for

  53. Denise
    July 25, 2019 / 1:01 pm

    The cut, color and glasses are perfection!! You look fab!

  54. Kelly
    July 25, 2019 / 1:25 pm

    I remember using Fanci-Full Mousse in Golden Spell years ago to warm up a too ashy highlight job. It’s temporary and washes out when you shampoo, but I’d probably run it by your stylist to be sure it’s ok to use with your color.

  55. Lily
    July 25, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    I self analyzed as a light summer. In my case it was obvious, very light and ash-y. A Google search for color swatch fans found fans of 35 colors for around $26. I plan to hit Goodwill for some tops in the recommended colors. Total cost for my experiment, around $200. Light summers get awful Disney princess colors. I am trying to keep an open mind.

  56. Pink Azalea
    July 25, 2019 / 2:24 pm

    I’ve always thought you had good taste and a good sense of style. Thanks for sharing the changes you are making. New information about color and style enables us to refine what we already know, adding more tools to help in making style decisions. I’ve learned so much from you – thanks!

  57. Rebecca
    July 25, 2019 / 3:17 pm

    The new haircut and all makes you look so much younger and fresh! Love the change.

  58. Eileen
    July 25, 2019 / 6:05 pm

    WOW, you look great! I am excited to see your journey! I love color analysis, always have, and I also feel it’s liberating. If there is a list of consultants coming , bring it on. I have looked on the AICI site, are there any other sites to investigate? Big thanks, this is fun!

  59. Cheryl
    July 30, 2019 / 7:44 am

    The way we cut down our large decorative grasses might work for your lavender. The key is to gather it all by tying it as a bunch then cutting it using electric hedge shears (aka a “hedgehog”). It is easiest done with two people. One to hold the bundle while the other cuts it. We are able to trim our grasses (all six) in about an hour. Tidying up is easy as once cut, it is already in a neat bundle.

  60. Ellen
    July 30, 2019 / 8:03 am

    I had color analysis done back in the 80’s and it was a game changer. Some of it was pretty stupid (get rid of all your gold jewelry…) but it changed the way I shopped and really helped me pinpoint what colors were the most flattering. I don’t look at it as a rigid thing. I adore white shirts and my analysis said to avoid white and black near my face but I find I can make white “just flattering enough”. Black I do sometimes and find the right scarf or jewelry can make it work. Kind of funny, sliver toned jewelry was what I was always attracted to and that IS what I most wear. Just couldn’t part with my 14K gold pieces!

  61. Claudia
    August 2, 2019 / 7:51 am

    HAhaha…. I mixed up reading comments between two posts and the discussion about hair cuts somehow turned into pruning shears and hedge clippers. What’s she doing to her hair NOW???I thought.

    • Susan B
      August 2, 2019 / 8:08 am


  62. Maggie
    June 28, 2020 / 9:20 am

    Tools make the difference and gloves save your hands. Buy the best quality garden pruner you can find. Depending on your hand size the Felco 2 for most people; the Felco 6 for smaller hands tested/rated by These will last for years and can be found in multiple sites. Don’t buy a cheaper version; that’s why your hand will hurt. They don’t cut as cleanly, easily nor consistently. Makes all the difference. Also a company run by women makes quality gloves based on women’s hands Women’s Work. Those are the only gardening gloves I order for myself and my husband. He doesn’t start outdoor work without them.

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