I think everyone should go blonde at least once. Whether or not blondes have more fun is a moot point compared to all the extra attention—an experience worth experiencing. But while going blonde the first time feels like stepping into a foreign land where the shampoo’s always purple and the drinks are always free, going blonde a second time is more like an icy cold rinse. You know the discomfort you’re getting yourself into (long, expensive salon sessions and frizz), but it’s worth it, for the extra shimmer.
I knew I’d never go pure white platinum again, like I did my first time around. I actually didn’t think I’d ever go blonde again, until I saw Margot Robbie on the cover of August’s Vogue. Her hair color was… well, I wasn’t totally sure how to describe it. Bronde? Sandy? Golden? It was perfect. So while everyone around me started creeping deeper and redder for fall, I quietly nursed an obsession: on commutes I saved photos of Sharon Tate, Peggy Lipton, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Uma Thurman. Early in the morning, before my alarm started buzzing, I screenshotted Olsens, Hailey Bieber, Magdalena Frackowiak, and Facebook photos of dirty blonde girls from my highschool. I zoomed in on Lily-Rose Depp. I paused on one surprisingly compelling shot of Dylan Sprouse. None of them were not the same shade of blonde, and none of them quite reflected Robbie’s hue either. But something about them was similar? I couldn’t quite place it, but had faith that a professional could. After I had amassed my dossier, I reached out to colorist Lucille Javier.
I met Lucille when she worked at Sally Hershberger, an old-school editor watering bowl. After cutting her teeth there under notorious blonde-maker Aura Friedman, Lucille took her 15 years of experience to Mark Ryan Salon, a brand new Chelsea space with big, sunny windows and luxe teak accents. I showed up at my appointment with way too many images. (Showing one reference picture to your colorist = helpful, 20 pictures = muddling.) But Lucille was up for the challenge. The through line, it seemed, was that everyone I saved was just… a natural blonde. Their hair already grew out of their heads pretty light, and instead of being bright, beachy, and streaky, it was even and a little bit anemic. In other words, not what most people asked for from their colorist. Which isn’t to say it couldn’t be replicated. Lucille just took an extra second to think before mixing up a concoction.
The next few hours were a chemically-scented blur. As I dug into my bag of pre-packed snacks, slammed on my laptop keyboard, and slurped up iced coffee, Lucille slapped acrid white paste on my hair confidently and quickly. An Edward Scissorhands of bleach! Midway through, after giving my stinging scalp a rinse and satisfying scrub, Lucille showed me what’s essentially a colorist’s underpainting. My hair was not Khaleesi white—actually, it was a little orange, which she explained was kind of the point. She knew if she bleached me further, she’d just have to add in warm tones later; instead, she left some warmth from the bleaching process and worked with it as a base. And that helped her maintain my hair’s integrity, too. If she had left the bleach on for longer, damage was inevitable, and my hair would veer more punk than towhead. Natural hair is glossy; frizzled bleached hair is not.
The next step was adding dimension. Instead of using highlights, Lucille did it with glosses. The tone itself was something she called “wheat.” It was buttery but muted, warm but not brassy, and the exact same contrast level as my skin tone. This was surprisingly flattering: far from washing me out, it made my blue-and-yellow eyes instantly brighter and replaced the redness in my skin with a creamy, milky glow. My roots and ends ended up being slightly darker than the swath of hair from temple to temple, which sounds a bit funny until you remember that’s exactly where the sun hits. And though I’m not sure if anyone would believe I’m a natural blonde, no one would question how perfectly normal it is against my complexion. It doesn’t look like any of the photos I had saved, but it does for me what those shades did for them.
Is that all there is to an autumn blonde, then? Shine, warmth, embracing a little neither-here-nor-thereness. After I posted a photo, my Instagram DMs blew up with messages from women saying that whatever this tone is, it’s making them consider a dunk in bleach for the very first time.
Which brings me back to my original point: you’ve got to go blonde at some point in your life. Season be damned; now’s as good a time as ever.
Photo via ITG
Stepping in through the door at this undisclosed joint, we got some of Ventura’s finest: Gabe Thompson, Diego Todd and Charlie Van Lent
One step beyond the entrance, Toya’s hangin’ with sidekick Johnathan Flechas
Our guy Rye Beres and the old Lakai TM
Classic Grip’s Salomon Cardenas and Canada’s Bob LaSalle
Jalba and Ralba
Kiss, marry, kill
Kirby and Pedro have a…
Lotties Gang, Louie and Chris came out too
“Guys, the sandwiches here are psycho”
Oh yeah, we didn’t just come here to hang, there was business at hand! Everyone’s attention focused on the video, but Zach Sheats is looking like he knows something we don’t
Cool video, but wait, what are those blue things?
Boom! Mango and Nick’s sister Jackie Michel reveal the hardware
That’s right, Nick’s pro, son!
The Michels bring their own carrots to the bar
Jalba welcomes Nick to the pro roster
J-Lay cops a first edition and Kevin Shealy’s bus tub is probably the reason we don’t remember much
Illinois boy Cory Glick secured the package
Mango probably explaining the carrots
And then blessing a fan with his John Hancock. Who is the T-Funk of drinking?
WKND’s Zac Gracie treated Nick’s board like the back page of a yearbook—HAKAS
World Peath reunion. Las Vegas, stand up!
Looks like Toya just sold a house
Crowd surfing and getting covered in creative juice
Goodnight, Nick. This blog might be his only memory of the evening…
Ask your shop if they got the carrots. Congratulations, Nick, you’re pro as Frog. Everyone else, keep your eyes peeled for his new part
*Welcome to Our Favorite Products, a monthly feature in which ITG’s editors discuss our favorite products. They’re the best things we’ve tried all month long, reviewed, photographed, and anthropomorphized before we have the opportunity to get sick of them and move on to something new. This month, you’ll find a few running themes: there are 2 Victoria Beckham products, 4 products under 20 bucks, and at least 3 holy grails. From a mascara that hits every lash, to a serum that brings down mystery zits fast, to a sunscreen that you can pile on, find your next ultra satisfying purchase below. *
I… found my holy grail mascara this month: Victoria Beckham Future Lash. I love a really natural mascara that lengthens, defines, and separates my lashes. The goal is baby lashes: fluttery and soft. And I don’t want to have to use a makeup remover or makeup wipe to take it off. In the past I’ve loved using Lash Slick and Covergirl Clump Crusher, but Kackie’s Youtube video reviewing the best tubing mascaras sold me on trying something new. She deemed Victoria Beckham’s the best middle ground between volumizing and lengthening. The tube is glass, heavy, and luxe, and the brush itself is very small, thin, rounded, and precise: literally my dream applicator. The formula is black and matte, and, obviously, it’s tubing. All I have to do is apply warm water, and the lash tubes literally glide right off still in their pointy lash shapes. It will definitely flake if you rub your eyes, because the tubes break up, but if i don’t touch my eyes I completely forget it’s there. But it builds if you want to, is really lengthening, is slightly volumizing. 10/10.
—Sam Sonntag, Senior Design Manager
They say the eyes are the windows of the soul. If that’s the case, I want those babies bright and well lit! After the devastation of learning my favorite eye cream was being discontinued, I was on the hunt for the next best thing. That’s how I discovered The Inkey List’s Brighten-i Eye Cream. Standing in the Sephora, I was intrigued not only by the price ($10, it’s a steal y’all) but also the unique ingredient callouts. It combines skincare (an ingredient called Brightenyl that’s apparently four times more potent than Vitamin C) and cosmetic (microscopic peachy pearlescent pigments) components to target dark circles and brighten the under-eye area. I’ve been using it for about three weeks, and can literally see the difference in my undereye area. it’s just the best lightweight brightening eye cream! Plus it’s vegan, geared for all skin types, and comes with a metal applicator that glides on perfectly. What started as curiosity is now a guaranteed repurchase.
—Berto Morales-Brown, gTeam Editor
I’m a big fan of Japanese sunscreens, and more specifically Rohto’s. I’ve tried a lot of them before (they’re all great) but last time I was at oo35mm in Chinatown I picked up The Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Essence Gold SPF 50+. It checked all my boxes: powerful UV filters (the ones you can’t find in the USA), high UVA/B protection, no added fragrance, with a non-drying, non-greasy finish. It’s a dreamy lotion-gel that spreads easily and, despite a little alcohol in the formula, doesn’t dehydrate my oily, acne-prone skin. Actually, feels hydrating—it leaves a lightweight sheen that helps me embrace a little glow. I can apply it liberally, as all sunscreens should be applied, using the two-finger rule because it leaves no white cast on my medium skin tone and costs less than $15. Seriously, it’s a great bang for your buck—I can even cut the tube open to get all the product out once it’s nearing its end. It’s the first chemical sunscreen I’ve tried that doesn’t irritate my eyes. Moving forward, I will always have a backup bottle on my top shelf.
—Tiffany Pham, Analyst, Global Supply Management
Lightweight facial oils are the workhorse of transitional skincare. The weather in New York has been a mixed bag, but an oil? Good for all of it. On t-shirt days I’ll press it into damp skin for a sheer sheen of moisture; if I’m layering a sweater and soft blazer on my body, I’ll layer my oil on top of a cream for extra insulation on my face. The one I’ve been returning to over and over lately is this one, from Le Prunier. Mostly because it’s so neutral. Every other oil I have right now has some active element (enzymes, retinoids, bakuchiol) which is cool but less versatile. What is inside is plum seed oil. Nothing else! It’s naturally high in protective antioxidants, and even though it’s full of nourishing fatty acids, it also has a really low comedogenicity rating. (Read: it’s unlikely to clog your pores.) If anything, though, buy this oil because it smells like straight up marzipan. Did you know plums and almonds are closely related? Each time I apply, I make sure to take a long, calming inhale in my palms. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve figured out how to work it into my routine so often.
Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel took two hours to get rid of a bout of cystic acne I’d been dealing with for months. Seriously. Months! These nightmare pimples dominated my summer: I tried everything, including steroid shots from my dermatologist, and nothing worked to bring them down. A week ago I bought this tube from my local pharmacy in total desperation. The maximum strength packaging had “stubborn acne” written on it and promised to “reduce size and redness in just 2 hours”. But even though we’re talking 10-percent benzoyl peroxide here, it doesn’t feel like a max strength acne gel at all. It’s creamy and soothing, and the 1oz squeeze tube has so much more product than you’ll ever need. I applied a thin layer (anything more than that is too drying and/or results in a white crustiness that’s difficult to rub off) and waited. I have NO IDEA why this worked and other products didn’t. None. I have stared at the ingredients over and over again trying to figure it out, and honestly just think Neutrogena may have made a deal with the devil. After two applications, I looked in the mirror expecting to see more acne and I saw my skin again instead. I cried.
—Melodie Bonnano, gTeam Editor
Ouai x Byredo’s latest collab is as fantastic as I expected. Technically you’re purchasing Byredo’s iconic Mojave Ghost fragrance for 26 bucks. A mega steal! Though this sandalwood-scented leave-in is more than just a pretty face. I’m picky about products, constantly reading ingredients, and I was hesitant to swap Ouai’s into my well-established hair routine. (I’m a loyalist!) Unlike the leave-in conditioners I’d been using in my (2c/3a) curly hair, this one comes in a spray bottle, which… actually makes styling easier. I spray all over, then use a detangling flexi brush for better distribution. It’s also SLS/SLES and cruelty-free, and contains vitamin E, which leaves my hair soft and manageable. And I’ve been getting so many compliments! This is the best leave-in conditioner for those who care about scent AND style.
—Adamarie Laboy, UX Researcher
I love a facial mist in the middle of the workday. After a long stretch of meetings, I’ll reset with a little spritz and feel ready to go again. Am I saying I’ve found bugs in my code because I took a second to spray my face and take a breath? I’m not not saying that! My current favorite is the Youth to the People Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist. I have sensitive skin, so I love that this spray is gentle and includes soothing ingredients to reduce redness. But it’s also powerful in that it gives me real hydration from the shea butter and hyaluronic acid. It’s honestly amazing that they pack that stuff in, because the mist itself is super fine and settles really gently on my skin. I love it! In fact, I think it’s about time for another spray right now!
—Courtney Bohrer, Senior Engineer
Against all odds, it’s been a banner year for lip products. My latest obsession is this gloss from Victoria Beckham Beauty. There are two kinds of glosses in my book—cushiony, thick-as-nail-gels glosses, and thin, super glossy, lip oil-adjacent ones. VB’s sits in the latter camp, although I’m partial to either kind, depending on the day. The thing about Posh Gloss is that it’s perfect in every way. It’s not sticky at all, instead feeling more balm-like than anything. But you wouldn’t know it by the way it wears—glassy, crystal clear, ultra glossy shine. It’s also super comfortable and everything I would love in a gloss anyway, but somehow better. If VB doesn’t come back with a few tint variations of this gloss, I will riot.
—Ashley Weatherford, Senior Editor
I’m queen of the frizz, as evidenced by the crown of two-to-three inch broken hairs that sits atop my head. The situation is this: 2b waves in some places, 3a curls in others, very fine and tangly all over. Curly products I’ve tried in the past have weighed my hair down or mysteriously stopped working after a month (my research tells me this might be due to silicones creating a coating on curls that makes them feel soft, but doesn’t actually let moisture in). I’ve never been loyal to a shampoo and conditioner before, but I’m happy to report that I’ve officially made my first repurchase of Bread Beauty’s Hair Wash (they call it a co-wash meats gentle cleanser) and Hair Mask (I use it as conditioner in the shower). They’re both silicone-free and sulfate-free, the shampoo lathers the slightest bit and smells like fruit loops, the conditioner has the texture of thick buttercream icing and smells like bread. It’s packaged in a piping bag-type thing that really makes you feel like you’re decorating your head like a cake, and sometimes I slick my hair back into a bun and sneakily wear it all day.
—Amanda Keffer, Senior Copywriter
Photo via ITG
Andres Bill’s “Be Water” Video
Flowing through Southern California’s alleys and well-trafficked avenues, Andres’ crew hits huge taildrops and ditch dives with their own rhythm.
Pretty’s “ATL to SF” Video
Shareef Grady and ATL’s Pretty squad bounce from the South to get some at Clipper. Come for the stoke—stay for the roasts.
Adam Robo’s “Mint Condition” Video
Shareef Grady, Austin Thongvivong, Justin Hearn and their bi-coastal crew pulverize Portland and Atlanta with heavy clips and good vibes.
Jourdynn Sherman’s “Worldformation” Video
This stacked pack of ATL locals beats the streets with a non-stop barrage of fast flip tricks and some good old-fashioned mischief. More of this, please.
Naquan Rollings’ “Buss” Video
Ishod, Shareef, Christian, Dritsas, Billy, Ish and more heavy hitters bust in the bowls and avenues of NYC. If the mission was destruction, consider it complete.
“Phelper’s 9 Lives” Comix by Neckface
Jake Phelps swerved the Grim Reaper for decades. His near-death experiences only made him stronger. In a twisted tribute that Jake would have loved, Neckface celebrates some of Phelper’s brushes with death.
T-Eddy Awards 2020
Last year was the worst, which means we’ve got an extra-stacked pack of T-Eddys for the skate world’s gaffes and god-awful moments. Plenty of praise in there, too! Don’t get pissed if you made the list.
Neckface: People I’ve Known
For years, Neckface’s identity was shrouded in mystery. At some point the mask slipped a bit and now he weaves in and out of the spotlight as he pleases. Neck has stories for days.
My War: Beagle
Beagle’s trick curse was lifted with his epic ender from Baker 4, but it sure as hell didn’t come easy. A real skate filmer doesn’t just document the battles, he fights them, too.
My War: Sammy Baca
Baca got broke off going big for Baker 4, but no words can describe his dedication quite like this video. Twenty-seven bus trips from Vegas paid off in the end.