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Summer has finally arrived. It's time to put that freshly buffed beach bod on display and get some payback on those hard hours in a darkened gym. It's also the time when many of us are looking to complement a newly toned, holiday-ready look with some lighter, sun-kissed blonde tones running through our hair.
That's all very well for those who begin to bronze whilst they're crossing the airport tarmac, but what about the many of us who can't spread out by the pool without lathering on the factor 50? No matter how fit and fabulous you're looking, the summertime fear of every porcelain-skinned English rose waking up on the sun lounger the colour of smoked salmon is in the back of our minds.
So, this summer keep well protected, preserve your softer skin tone, and complement it with one of the blonde hues we recommend for partnering a pale complexion - you might need to stay in the shade, but you certainly won't get lost in the shadows.
She may look like she'd burn under a 60w lightbulb, but that doesn't stop Hollywood starlet Emma Stone from being a babe who's happy to hang at Malibu beach. Take a look at her buttermilk skin and you'd lay bets on her being a natural redhead, although she's actually a blonde - nevertheless her signature style hinges around looking stunning as either.
Emma oscillates between rich red and platinum looks with equally dazzling effect, but we think she rarely looks better than when channelling both: as a strawberry blonde. This graded-out look, working from a rich auburn at the crown through honey tones to almost platinum ends on a shoulder-length cut, offers a more contrasted take on her regular strawberry blonde look. It's a perfect summertime option for lighter skinned ladies.
Blake Lively also knows exactly how to offset her pearly complexion to maximum advantage, and we're loving the butter-and-honey shaded waves she's been sporting recently. Not only does this sensuous look channel full-on 1950's cover-girl glamour, you know it's going to deliver the same wow-factor whether accompanying a sexy one-piece swimsuit or a slinky evening dress.
There's some real warmth underlying in both these looks, which just goes to show that those with fairer skin don't always have to opt for the ever-popular blonde tones for a successful match. However, fair-skinned model-of-the-moment Poppy Delevingne has recently demonstrated just why a switch in this direction delivers serious attitude and impact: she recently ditched her trademark golden blonde locks for a brighter, whiter, platinum-blonde tone. So it appears the trend for ash-white and silvery shades is still going strong. To really carry any of these silvery shades, having a cooler, fair skin tone is a must as they can otherwise bring out an unattractive yellowness in the pigmentation of warmer looking skin.
We're big fans of Poppy's colour, but we especially like her when the platinum look is blended back into a rich corn-colour at the tips. Poppy's also working the trend for exposing longer lengths of her darker natural root colour, and going back to darker warm shades at the ends of her tresses helps to create a casual yet neatly balanced look.
Forget about the winter fixation with flat monochromes while the sun's riding high in the sky, summer hair is all about complementing contrast. As we've already mentioned there's a definite trend for being an up-front dyed blonde: by wearing your darker roots loud and proud, and the most accentuated expression of this is distilled into this season's fashion for 'bronde' shading.
As you've guessed, 'bronde' is the synthesis of blonde and brunette: it's a look that's getting bigger and bigger throughout summer, and one that can work just as well on fairer skin as olive and tanned. Illustrating the point to perfection is Poppy's equally translucent supermodel sister Cara: her warm caramel highlights, complemented by darker blonde lights applied to sections below, have created a glossy, natural looking mane that adds real vitality to her paler skin.
If you're feeling inspired by these four strong styles then do bare in mind they rely on subtle contrast, and a range of complementary lights. Consequently, these aren't looks we'd advise trying to emulate at home with off-the-shelf dye kits. Visit a qualified expert for advice: we take consultation seriously at The Chapel, and one of our many qualified colour experts will be delighted to discuss just what will work to bring out the very best in your peachy porcelain skin this summer.