The ‘00s archive is open for inspo. Everyone’s renewed obsession with Gossip Girl has given us lots to trawl through. In particular, Upper East Side blonde, has emerged as the shade that never really fell off our radar, but lately, it’s climbed to the top of our mood board.
For examples, the first place to look to would be the queen bee of the Upper East Side, Blake Lively. Her hair (and style) is almost as famous as her socialite character, Serena van der Woodsen. Characterised by effortless swooshy volume, laidback loose S waves, boho glamour and gorgeous highlights (casually flipped over one shoulder), Serena (and Blake) helped cement Upper East Side blonde as a trademark for noughties It girls.
What is “Upper East Blonde”?
Upper East Blonde is inspired by the shade worn by the noughties socialites associated with the upmarket New York neighbourhood. Effectively, it sees a softer worn-in root, paired with bright, warm blondes for hair that looks quietly and self-assuredly expensive versus flashy. “It was the era that brought us balayage,” points out celebrity hair stylist and Living Proof Ambassador, Ursula Stephen, who counts Zendaya, Rihanna and Rita Ora as clients.
How to get “Upper East Blonde”?
The key is to make sure there’s no stark colour transition on the roots and that they blend seamlessly into a brighter hair colour. As for the tones they need to feel warm and luxurious (golds, honey, beige) vs too cold and clean. “We’ve moved away from ‘at the root bleach blonde’ to more paired back, old money honey shades applied more freely to keep it very upper east side,” Ursula says.
How to wear “Upper East Side Blonde”?
The 2023 rendition of Upper East Side blonde feels a little more grown-up and glossier, like the trad noughties colour has had a shiny top coat.
For more from GLAMOUR’s Beauty Editor, Elle Turner, follow her on Instagram @elleturneruk
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