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Craving some sun-kissed highlights in your dark brunette hair? Stars like Kim Kardashian and Monica Cruz have lightened up with beautiful results, and you can, too. The best part is that you won't have to spend a pretty penny at a salon like they did: There are at-home highlighting kits that can give you exceptional results. Choose a color kit that's top-rated or recommended by a beauty expert to get the best value and results.
L'Oreal Paris Touch-On Highlighter
The L'Oreal Paris Touch-On Highlighter kit was the winner of Allure magazine's Best of Beauty in 2010 and 2011. There are four shades to choose from. Experts swear by the special applicator, a thimblelike cap on your finger with bristles to comb the dye through strands. Rita Hazan told Allure that it's much more accurate than the brushes or combs that highlighters are normally applied with. Dark brunettes should opt for the Creamy Caramel or Toasted Almonds shades.
Revlon Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit
Revlon's Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit has only one shade for dark brunettes: Honey. It looks risky on the box because the model's hair has near-blonde highlights, but this kit has been rated 4.3 stars of 5 collectively in 300 Makeup Alley reviews. The application process for Frost & Glow takes longer because the kit includes a cap to pull individual strands through, but it's practically foolproof. Invite a friend over -- you'll need extra hands to get the back sections of your hair through the cap.
Clairol Frost and Tip Maximum Blonde
For bombshell blonde streaks, this is one kit specifically advertised for adding very light highlights to dark brown hair. InStyle rated it 2009's best at-home highlight kit, and reviews on Amazon gave it 4.5 stars of 5. The reviews were positive for dark-to-blonde highlights without brassiness; but just to be safe, buy a toner in advance. It's always riskier when going from dark brown to blonde because you can't predict how your tresses will react to bleach.
L'Oréal Paris Excellence Cremelights
For subtle highlights, or if your hair is already damaged from one too many dye jobs, L'Oréal Paris Excellence Cremelights is your best pick. Its ammonia-free formula is creamy and full of moisturizers to pamper tresses in distress. Rated four stars on Sally Beauty's review panel, Colorist Anthony Palermo told InStyle that it's a great choice for shade-on-shade highlights. You'll look like a natural beauty with different coordinating shades in your hair, plus you'll experience less frizz and dryness.