Credit: Supplied 

Ian Michael Black is a busy man – hardly surprising, given that he is the brains behind the beauty world’s latest hair trend. Aveda’s Global Artistic Director for Hair Color, Black is all about shades and shading, using quality, contrasting Aveda colours to frame the face and accentuate individual features. Welcome to the highly personalised world of eclipting™.

“Eclipting™ is an innovative hair colour technique that takes into account facial features in order to contour hair colour around the face to bring out the guest’s best features,” says Black. “Eclipting™ hair colour service keeps hair darker around the face to create a frame, while a dusting of fine weave foils on the top creates a seamless blend of colour and style. Since every individual is unique, the eclipting™ technique may involve an opposite light and dark approach.” 

It makes perfect sense, given the recent make-up craze: “Using make-up to contour the face has been trending for quite some time now,” says Black.

“Highlighting and shadowing facial features with hair colour contouring is the next step in accentuating natural beauty. And who doesn’t want to do that?”

Who indeed. The face-flattering technique already has fans around the globe, including local beauty Bianca Cheah, founder of leading digital lifestyle publication Sporteluxe.com. Cheah’s latest look is the result of her long, dark locks being transformed using layers of light and dark Aveda colour. The resulting shades and highlights were decided in consultation with her stylist to ensure this desired effect.

Credit: Supplied

“I always recommend that before any eclipting™ hair colour service, every guest should ask their stylist for a complete analysis of their hair colour desires,” says Black, “measured against their eyebrow, eye colour, facial features and skin tone – all with the goal of delivering gorgeous hair colour that will make the guest look their best.”

That “best look” may be based on a desire to highlight the eyes, narrow the face or emphasise the cheekbones. As Black says, the colour contrasting that follows depends on the client’s individual features, which means that no two looks will ever be the same.

Credit: Supplied

For Cheah, the goal was to make her features pop. “I wanted the eclipting™ treatment to accentuate my facial features,” she says. “Everything was lightened at first so they had something to work with, and then it was all about toning, darkening the roots, and going lighter at some points, like the ends. It was about contouring the hair.”  

To show off the eyes, darker shades of Aveda’s Full Spectrum Hair Colors – up to 99 per cent naturally derived*– will be layered under the fringe; to make the face look thinner, the dark hues might be extended down the sides to create the illusion of cheek contouring, minus the make-up. The technique can also be used to offset the density of hair, according to Black. “If it’s thin, for example, layering a deeper colour underneath can create the illusion of fullness.”

A combination of foils and free-hand painting is used to achieve the desired result, with portions of hair twisted before colour application to eliminate harsh lines of demarcation during the grow-out period. 

Unlike balayage, the eclipting™ approach to hair colour is flattering for any face shape and, according to Black, works regardless of the length or texture of tresses, and regardless of whether guests are looking for a big change – perhaps a bold extreme colour – or something subtler, where the base colour is their own. 


Accent streaks can also vary from mild to wild, maintained using Aveda’s gentle plant-based Color Conserve range of shampoo, conditioner, colour protection and treatment – designed to extend the vibrancy of the new hair hue and protect it from the damaging effects of sun, water and environmental stresses. 

An Aveda brand ambassador, Cheah can’t help but love her new look. “A change is as good as a holiday,” she says.

“With the eclipting™ service, I’m using Aveda hair colour to … bring out what’s beautiful about the individual,” says Black. It doesn’t get more vivid than that.

To find an Aveda location, visit aveda.com.au or call 1800 292 069.