Getting Real: Rebecca Broyer Tries Bright Hair Streaks Wednesday 10 October, 2012

Organic chemistry professor Rebecca Broyer ditches her natural beauty for something a little more fiery: (temporary) bright-coral streaks.

Welcome to “Getting Real,” a new series all about approaching beauty trends with a real-world perspective. Who better to ask to take on the freshest looks than real women (or “girls,” as I like to call them—who says we need to grow up!)? This is an ongoing series for Fear No Beauty, and the aim is to bring real girls out of their beauty comfort zone, and introduce them to trends and products they might not normally try. Plus, it’s fun to see how they fare!


Meet Rebecca Broyer, a born-and-bred California girl and beauty purist: organic chemistry professor at USC by day; snowboarder, skateboarder and surfer by night (and early morning, depending on her whim). Her hyper-active lifestyle leaves little time for primping in front of a mirror, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her way around beauty products that look like they’re “barely there.”

I put Rebecca to the test by challenging her to go against her natural-beauty bent with a haircolor trend that is both bold and beautiful: rainbow-bright streaks. And rather than do a few hidden panels, we went hog wild by covering her natural highlights with the red. Bam!

 Rebecca-Jumping  Rebecca-Before

(Before the test: Can you tell Rebecca is a ball of energy? I got her to stand still for a shot or two.)

Her background: “I’m a college professor, and the work environment is casual—you can wear whatever you want. It just depends on how I’m feeling: Sometimes I wear a pencil skirt and button-up shirt; other days, I wear sandals, skinny jeans and a sweater. No matter what I wear at work, though, I don’t like to show too much skin. After work is a different story.”


Her beauty routine: “I wake up very early and shower, wash my hair with Biolage, and put on moisturizer (One Love Organics Youth Preserving Serum) and Fresh Black Tea Eye Cream—that’s all. I don’t blow-dry my hair in the morning because I’m lazy. My hair looks fine how it is when it air-dries; I’m lucky because it dries straight. The only time I blow-dry my hair straight is if I’m just hanging out in Santa Monica (where she lives), because it’s humid and my hair will get a little frizzy.

“I have to put on moisturizer; I don’t like how my skin feels if I skip it, so I make sure to do this every day—no matter what. I don’t wear makeup normally; I don’t really like the look of a lot of makeup. I prefer a natural look. It breaks down to this: I take around three showers a day, and it’s not practical to put on makeup three times s day. I like to lead an active lifestyle, and that requires many showers.

“Even though I don’t use a lot of makeup, I do have my core: NARS Bronzer in Laguna, and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. I love Laura Mercier; it’s light, yet it blends uneven skin tones. I also use Benefit Mascara They’re Real because it’s not all clumpy and adds great definition. Sometimes I put on eyeliner (Laura Mercier Blue Marine Tight Line Cake Eyeliner) just along the top, using the tight-line technique (put it on under the eyelashes with a flat brush, not on top of the lash line).

Chapstick or Vaseline: These are mainly what I wear on my lips, but I lose lip products all the time. Kiehl’s and Fresh have great moisturizing lip products.”

Her beauty mantra: Fresh-faced and effortless.

Her beauty fears: I’m not really afraid of any of it; I’m just not a total fan of what it looks like on me. I would, however, try anything.


(First, Rebecca determines where her natural highlights are so she can guide the color…)


(…then, she starts painting in Sultra Color Hair Mascara on the highlights…)


(…and quickly realizes she needs gloves, as the color is extremely wet and is getting all over her hands…)


(Rebecca then blow-dries the color to help speed up the drying process. “The color gets a little crispy, so you have to brush through it with a comb to soften it,” she says.)


(She then goes in for the curls, using her heat mitt to make sure she doesn’t burn herself.)

Tackling the trend: I thought this was fun. The hair mascara is easy to use, but it goes on a little bit heavy and wet. I find it a little bit tricky to control around the roots, but I think that is expected. Besides the roots, I can easily concentrate the color where I want it; I selected my natural highlights as a guide of where to place the color. It did dry a little bit crunchy and clumpy, but it wasn’t unreasonable. Once you brush through, that feeling instantly goes away. But if you were just to allow it to dry and not brush through…that I wouldn’t recommend. Also, after painting on just one streak, I quickly realized that I needed gloves. It can get messy—fast. (Rebecca was easily able to remove any color from her skin.)


Yay or nay: Yeah, I would do it again—maybe when I’m feeling adventurous or want to turn some heads. I think it’s a fun look, especially because it was easy to apply and the whole process didn’t take too long. It’s a cute way to change up your look for an event or occasion; I like that it washes out fairly easily. I will say: It did get it on my brush and comb, but it came right off after I soaked them both in warm soapy water. If I wasn’t going running, I’d probably keep the color in for another day!

Fear No Beauty Scale (1 to 10, 10 being easiest): It’s a 5 in terms of how easy it is to do; maybe a 9 for how bold it actually is as a look. I think the product is well-done. I can’t think of how you can make this product better for what it is. Maybe the formula shouldn’t be as wet, but that’s probably the consistency it needs to be able to spread over the hair evenly. The wand was the right size—larger so it can go through long stretches of hair—and easy to maneuver. No complaints. (PS: Rebecca checked back a few days later, noting, “The color didn’t wash out completely the first day, so just be forewarned.” It tends to cling to more porous, lighter hair.)

Product used: Sultra Color Hair Mascara in Capri Coral

Why you too should have no fear: Temporary haircolor: What’s not to like about its impermanence? Rather than commit to pink or blue streaks, you can paint them in on a whim and then say sayonara the moment you bore of them. What’s awesome about this trend is that it allows you to become an artist for the day (or two), with your hair as the canvas. Self-expression in a wand! If you’re concerned about the color not washing out on the first attempt, try applying a hair oil or silicone-based product on your hair before painting on the color to help close up any overly-thirsty hair cuticles. This should aid with the removal.

Would you try rainbow-bright streaks? Do you think Rebecca aced it?

Karie L. Frost Signature

(Photos by Karie L. Frost/


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