I'll be honest with you -- I have seriously botched my hair color with at-home products. I've turned it green and I've turned it brassy gold, and I've definitely learned that hair color is something to leave to the pros. Most of the time.

With summer coming up, many of you will be heading to the salon to get some highlights, and chances are it won't be cheap. Personally, I love the look of subtle highlights, but I'm not into roots, and I hate having to spend $140 every six weeks. And so, I've found a great solution -- Clairol Natural Instincts semi-permanent hair color.

Natural Instincts has loads of shades and it's easy to find the right one for you -- their Find Your Shade function is excellent. It actually gave me the exact three colors I switch between (Amber Shimmer, Toasted Almond, and Navajo Bronze, depending on time of year and how light my highlights are). What makes this product even better is that it smells great, cleans up easily, only takes 10 minutes, and leaves my hair feeling really soft.

Of course, if you're preparing for an event and your hair has to be just right, see a professional or at least try the product out months beforehand to make sure you'll get the result you want. In my experience, though, Natural Instincts is a huge time saver, and, at under $10 a box, it's a big money saver, too!

Do you have an trick to extend time between visits to the salon? Do tell!