From the diary of a hairstylist: by Crystal Casey

hampton roads
  • The price we pay.

    What you are about to read touches a very sensitive subject, a subject that 80% of couples fight ( & ultimately get divorced) over, a subject that people avoid & most times are in denial about. 

    Money.

    As a hairdresser one of the first questions I get asked is "How much will this cost?" if they don't ask it, then I do. The reason I ask "Whats your budget for this?" is not so I can take all that they have, its so I can work within the budget I am given. If my guest is showing me pictures of $250 hair & their budget is $175 then its my job to say "I'm sorry but for your budget, Im afraid thats not possible, instead we can do this or this." In some cases my guest will allow themselves a larger budget & sometimes we reach a compromise. 

    I know I am not a cheap stylist. I have done my research, I know what surrounding salons charge for similar services. When I first opened my salon I put myself at the lower end of the scale, but didn't cut myself short. As I furthered my education, grew my salon & became more "in demand" my prices went up. 

    But, what I really want to touch on today is for clients. 

    Let's start with price quotes. I really struggled with this when I first opened but, I have it down to fine science now. Pricing depends on many things, those things are:

    1. Length of hair & thickness.
    2. Previous services & your goal color.
    3. Treatments ( no GOOD stylist is going to let you leave with brittle hair).
    4. Amount of product used. 
    5. How long your appointment is going to take, time is money. 
    6. Technique used to achieve goal results.
    7. Is this considered a color correction?

    Giving price quotes via message or email is not my favorite thing to do. However, I will do it. I just make sure the quote covers lowest to highest & everything in between. 

    Next up, Color Corrections. Color corrections for me have a base price of $200 & go up from there. Usually its $100 an hour after the first hour, however...every circumstance is different. Hair is completely unpredictable things can go amazing & your black box hair color can lift to level 9 yellow no problem or I can color remove you twice & your hair reverts back to black....(that has happened to me it turned into a 12 hour correction)

    Specialty Colors: Ombre, Balayage, color melts, fashion color....pretty much everything that anyone ask for anymore is a specialty color. These are colors & techniques that need tremendous extended education. 

    Education is not cheap. My first year in business I took lots of independent classes & attended some hair shows where I was almost on education overload. I spent $5,000 in 8 months doing all of this. In the end it was totally worth it. I invested in myself & my profession & my clients could see the difference. I spent countless hours on periscope watching other stylist, learning from them, absorbing all the free education that was at my fingertips. 

    There will always be those people who respond with, "Wow, you're too expensive!"  Or "That's way too much, I can get a cut & color on my long, thick hair for $75!" (of course in a case like this I want to ask why they are looking for a different hairdresser then... haha) but, my response is usually "Good hair isn't cheap & cheap hair isn't good." 

    I don't really feel like I should ever have to explain WHY my prices are what they are but, I do hope this small break down will help some of your understand. 

    My salon expenses are about $2,231 a month. This includes my rent, my product, my phone, advertising cost (website, Facebook etc) this doesn't even begin to touch on the countless free photoshoots or color models I do to have material to advertise with or to get my name out there. 

    My personal expenses are about $2,863 a month, this includes my car, insurance, groceries, gym, cable, electric, rent, student loans etc. 

    Neither one of these totals reflects health inspections, license renewals, what I pay in taxes, new tools & equipment or holidays. 

    They also do not reflect the travel I do to educate, or the travel I do to go to hair shows/classes to learn.  new trends. These are bare minimum totals. 

    So my bare minimum monthly totals are around $5,094 give or take the time of year or any travel. 

    My tools range from $80- $1,500.

    Products, I spend about $350-$400 a month.

    When I expanded my salon it cost about $4,500

    Owning a business or even renting a booth is not cheap.Those stylist who are commission employees, they more than likely have money deducted for product & they do have to buy their own tools. 

    Please remember this the next time you want to tell me or another stylist that we are "too expensive" we have bills to pay just like you. This is our job, our career....this isn't a hobby & we aren't playing dress up just because we like pretty colors. Being a hairdresser is incredibly complex, its chemistry, its electricity, its geometry, its public speaking & its art. 

    Ps- for those of you worried about my spelling & grammar...I'm not. If you could read & understand this post, I did my job :)

  • Year in Review 2016

    Year in Review 2016

    2016 was a freaking amazing year for me! 

    It started with my first solo class in Las Cruces, New Mexico at my pal, Angela's studio! 

    ..........annnnnndddd then I got a finger tattoo to commemorate it! (( & finally got snapchat))

    Followed by.... our first Goonies event in Phoenix, Arizona! 

    We also got to experience the Grand Canyon together! 

    I LOVE this picture of Ashley & Kenny! 

    Got my bangs cut by the AMAZING Phillip Ring...if you're a hairdresser you understand! 

    and spend some time together creating amazing friendships....

    I participated in my first wedding event.......The Big Fake Wedding.

    Images by Melody Gilliakin Photography

    I went to Devine Intervention hosted by Ruby Devine & finally learned the proper way to create underlights & do the surging technique!

    Then came home & used both techniques to make this....

    I built some amazing working relationships with some of my favorite companies!

    I expanded my salon from 115 square feet to 237 square feet and built an amazing color bar. ((with the help of my dad, of course))

    Another amazing class at my friend, Ambers salon.... Shear Envy Tupelo!

    Premiere Orlando with my Goonies was nothing short of amazing & it was amazing seeing my pal Phil on the main stage! 

    I bought brand new 2017 Subaru WRX....

    Then took off to Atlanta, Georgia for our second Goonies class...

    September brought an amazing opportunity from my pals at Embee Meche, when they asked me to work on the stage at the Next Big Thing Booth at the BehindtheChair show in Ft.Lauderdale, Florida.

    I got to meet & do hair for another stylist I've watched for a while, the beautiful Taylor Rae.

    I got to celebrate my pals who were ONE SHOT finalist .....

    & of course spent some time with my friends & make some new ones!

    October was stellar!!! I accompanied Ruby & her mom to London, England....

    Where I attend my first international hair show & got to meet another fellow stylist Jaymz Marsters.

    who also turned Ruby into a fabulous rainbow...

    of course we did some sight seeing....

    Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)

    London Eye

    Westminster Abbey

    London Bridge

    We even took a day trip to Paris, France

    Eiffel Tour

    Arc de Triomphe

    the street of Paris

    Notre Dame is just as beautiful during the day....

    as it is at night....

    & we even did some shopping on the  Champs Elysees

    Halloween was fun as usual....

    Then it was off on the 2016 Hairstylist Education Cruise to teach with my Goonies...& have some fun!

    I got to snorkel with some fish...

    & parasail in Cozumel with my best pals..

    December brought a huge surprise!

    yep....thats me teaching at BTC .....this was printed in the last issue! 

    2016 was incredibly amazing for me. 

    I enjoy every single one of my clients 

    I am grateful for every single opportunity I am given 

    & I cant wait to see what 2017 brings!

  • Silver Fox....based on a true story.

    Silver Fox....based on a true story.

    Let's talk about the silver hair trend.....

    While silver/grey hair is beautiful (when done well) its damn near impossible to get unless, your hair is already platinum blonde. (this means WHITE! Like Kalessi white, SNOW WHITE, wedding gown WHITE) 

    On that note: To get white, its going to take many, MANY processes & lots of cash money unless, you're a natural blonde.

    Its on too rare of an occasion that I get emails saying 

    "how much would it cost to do this to my hair?"

    color by @bescene 

    Well first of all, what does your hair look like now? How many layers of salon or box color are on it? Just asking someone for a price and forcing a picture on them is kind of presumptuous not to mention rude. But thats a whole different blog post. 

    If your hair is ANY KIND of dark brown to black, all natural or not. (its usually not) 

    The awnser is NO

    NO you can not have that in one sitting

    NO you probably wont have that in the next year.

    NO I'm not going to fry your hair. 

    WHY?

    Well, I'm not Harry Potter & my color brush isn't a magic wand, thats why. 

    WHAT CAN YOU HAVE?

    Red or Orange. You choose. 

    So you're unhappy with my response? You decide to stylist hop? You decide to go to Sally's & try that really cool toner you saw in that YouTube video that uses DOUBLE 20 VOLUME?

     Let me show you what happens when you do that & DON'T do your research. 

    YES that is a bowl full of hair. NO it was not cut off, shaved off or by any other means purposely taken off.  It BROKE off. 

    All of the Olaplex in the world isn't going to save your hair when you have been to 3 different stylist before me & have no clue of your hair history, or leave out the parts where you used that Sally's toner.

    The hair in this bowl belongs to a client of mine, lets call her "Mrs.T" & before you get all bent out of shape she gave me discretion to write this blog & tell her story. 

    Mrs.T is Cuban. I know you might be thinking, what does that have to do with it? Well it has everything to do with it. She went to 3 different stylist asking for white/silver hair. Each stylist just did a full hilight. Now Mrs.T has literally 5 heads of the thickest hair you've ever seen, except just on her head. 

    So you can imagine how just a full hilight may have left her feeling....mmm....unfulfilled. So on to the next stylist she went....

    Again, another head of hilights, she's a bit lighter at this point....but it's still not enough so she headed to her 3rd stylist where she again received a full head of hilights. All the while using Wella's T-18 toner in between, which uses DOUBLE 20 VOLUME developer. Clients or future clients who are reading this, i STRONGLY advise NOT trying that at home. 

    Finally Mrs.T found me, when she got to me her hair was strong enough to handle one all over lightening session (with 3 different formulas of lightener) & a good ashy toner that came in the form of Redken Shades EQ, to get her as close to her goal as possible. All of her formulas included Olaplex & we did a stand alone treatment on her as well. 

    She loves it! "This is the closest to my goal I have gotten!" she exclaims.

    She leaves happy, Olaplex #3 in hand. 

    About 4 weeks go by & I get a message from Mrs.T. She still loves her hair, but she is seeing some warmth & was wondering if we could just hilight those out. 

    My first concern is for the integrity of her hair, we set an appointment & she comes in, her hair is actually in great shape! I go through & meticulously foil out any warm pieces I see being very careful not to touch ANY WHITE. I used 5 volume developer with my lightener & olaplex. 

    She lifts well, hair is still strong, I mix up her toner (add the Olaplex) & get to rinsing. I'm noticing a lot of hair in the sink, but think nothing of it because she has A LOT of hair which means, more than average hair loss. 

    Toned her with Schwarzcopf, absolute whites in Grey Lilac & Slate Grey with 10 volume & Olaplex. Max of 7 minutes this toner sits on her hair. 

    As I'm rinsing more & more hair is coming out. I won't lie this is where I started sweating a little bit. 

    I put Aquage equalizing detangler in her & GENTEELLY brush her hair out at the bowl with a wet brush. 

    Well, the hair keeps coming, so much so that it fills the bowl you see above. 

    I let Mrs.T know the WHOLE TIME what is happening, she's nervous.....I'm nervous. I smother her hair in a masque & send her on her way, no heat for that hair today. I advise her of the same and tell her Olaplex is going to be her best friend. 

    She sends me a text 2 days later. "Well, the verdict is in, do you want to see?"

    I literally cringe at what I'm about to see.

    HOOOOOOWWWWW??????

    She loves it!!! She said its definitely lighter (weigh wise) than it was before, but its just like it thinned it out a bit. 

    If ANY white girl had this happen to them, they would be rocking a pixie or may even be bald. 

    6 months goes by & she makes an appointment to come back in. All the white still referring people to me left & right. 

    This is what her hair looked like when she came back 6 months later....

    And this is what kind of breakage she had......

    Not just in that one spot, but in multiple places. 

    She had been taking great care of it, using Olaplex, good shampoo & conditioner & NO HEAT. 

    We were Finally able to get her what she wanted. A grey to silver melt. 

    I used Schwarzcopf absolute whites in Slate Grey & Grey Lilac with 10 volume developer melted into Kenra Charcoal on some strands & Paul Mitchell Pop XG Steel & Joico Titanium on other strands. All formulas included Olaplex. 

    The outcome was stunning. 

    Moral of the story?? 

    RESEARCH any and all hairdressers in your area when asking for a specialty color.

    LISTEN to what they are telling you, often times these kinds of colors are a process.

    DON'T throw a fit when you can't have what you want....thats bad form. We are the licensed professionals & I promise we know what we are doing. 

    DON'T believe everything you see on YouTube. 

    Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CryistalChaos to see all kinds of fun hair art. 

  • Opa.....Hola...OLAPLEX!

    Opa.....Hola...OLAPLEX!

    OLAPLEX

    What is this stuff??

    Olaplex is a bond multiplier. Your hair is made up of thousands of bonds that are damaged & break everyday. Yes, just brushing your hair can break bonds. Olaplex restores those bonds by linking the broken ones back together. Making hair stronger and healthier.

    Olaplex extends the life of color by 2 weeks, allows the stylist (me) to push hair further to get lighter, brighter blondes. Olaplex allows for brighter fashion colors such as neon greens, yellows & blues or more vibrant purples, pinks & magentas. 

    Olaplex can also be used as a stand alone treatment to stregenthen hair that has been previously damaged by other stylist or at home. But color is not the only thing we do that damages our hair. Flat ironing, blow drying, washing with bad shampoo, over exposure to pool chemicals & the sun & yes even brushing can damage your hair. Olaplex repairs from the inside out. 

    Olaplex is not a deep conditioning treatment or a band aid for the hair. If you lack moisture or protein, those things will still need to be added back into the hair. This also does not mean you can go back and forth between blonde and black.There is only so much the hair can take. Olaplex is a tool for stylist, not a cure for bad decisions. :)

    High Voltage Hair has been carrying Olaplaex for months now & I have been loving the outcome! Be sure to ask me about it at your next color reservation! 

    How it works: Olaplex is mixed into your lightener or color. Simple as that. At the shampoo bowl after color is rinsed Olaplaex step 2 is applied for 10 mins. Then we style as usual. No super extensive process.

    This is what your hair looks like with lightener before adding Olaplaex & this is what it looks like with Olaplex. Big difference huh? 

  • Prom/Ring Dance Hair & Makeup Package is still in full effect!

    Prom/Ring Dance Hair & Makeup Package is still in full effect!

    It's that time of year! Let the Ring Dances & Proms begin! Soon after that comes Graduation! How time flies right? This year Dhalia Edwards & I have put together a pretty sweet Hair & Makeup Package for all you lovely ladies out there. I love collaborating with local vendors like Dhalia & making you lovely ladies feel awesome on one of the most important nights of your life as you leave the teenage years behind & head into the adult world. But, dont be scared it's fun I promise! 

    Prom or Ring Dance Hair & Makeup 

    For only $125

    Get a basic down style & makeup application for only $125. Makeup will be provided by Dhalia Edwards. Upgrade your hairstyle to an up style for just $20 more & receive a free Paul Mitchell Stay Strong mini hairspray to keep your hair going strong all night long. 

    We will also travel on location for parties of 3 or more. 
    Please contact Dhalia or Crystal to make your reservation! 

  • DIY: Black & White Striped Walls

    DIY: Black & White Striped Walls

    So when I started collecting decor for my new studio, I knew I wanted to keep it 100% consistent with my branding. As you can see all of my cards, service menus, & now, thanks to April at Paper Dolls Designs, even my bridal menus are black & white striped. 

    I orignally was going to go with removeable wall paper. Since it is the buildings policy that we not paint any dark colors on the walls, painting the stripes myself was out of the question. So I rememebered seeing something on Pinterest about removeable wall paper. After going back to review the measurements each peice came in I realized that at $35 a pop I would end up spending a FORTUNE! The orignal blog I had read, the lady had gotten the removeable wallpaper for free from the company to write a review. So, boo to that. & forget REAL wallpaper that shit will NEVER come down. 

    So here I am racking my brain thinking about ways to get black & white stripes at a price I could afford. All of sudden my neighbor offered me the BEST solution I could think of. 

    KITCHEN CABINET KICKBOARDS.

    DUH! Now the only problem was that they are about $7-$8 PER 8 foot board at any Home Depot or Lowes. Then I got the bright idea (ok my mom got the bright idea) to check Home Emporium. BOOM. Found them for $3.99 a board! Unfinished, pine & ready to be painted. All together I ended up spending $94 for my black & white striped wall. $24 for a gallon of white paint, $10 for a pint of black paint $60 for 17 kickboards (i somehow got one for free). AND I have perfectly straight stripes. Something that is seemingly IMPOSSIBLE with paint. And after covering my entire stylist station and shampoo area with black contact paper......I think Ill pass on the removeable wallpaper. 

    BEFORE

    AFTER

    (yes that entire shampoo area is covered in contact paper)

    Studio Photos by Chelsea Anderson Photography

  • VENDOR PROFESSIONALISM: THE ART OF TAGGING

    I'm gonna be really honest, shit is about to get real...if you cant appreciate brutal honesty, now is the time to avert your eyes. 

    Ladies & gentleman, technology is upon us. It is real. It is here & its not going anywhere. 

    Online marketing is the biggest marketing tool out there right now. Social media, SEO, websites, goggle, etc. 

    With that being said, wether it is a styled shoot, a real wedding or a paid gig. Once those images are released of course you want to show off your work. Who doesn't? BUT, it is completely UNACCEPTABLE to NOT tag a vendor because they are "competing business" If thats how you feel you shouldn't be working with them in the first place. Or because you're too lazy, no one is ever looking for that quality. It is completely UNACCEPTABLE to LINK a vendor or just simply type their name out in the comments section of the photo. Vendors who participate & promote you & refer you should never be seen as an after thought in the comments section. EVER. Or left out because you want people to focus on your business & not theirs. They put their time & money into this shoot or job just like you did. When you work a wedding or other event it is a chance to network with other vendors, tagging is a way for you & them to get thier name out there & seen on other businesses pages. Tagging=networking, wether you know it or not. 

    The life of a freelance vendor is not an easy one. It takes YEARS to build a name from scratch, I myself am only on year 5 (ok, 4.75 but, i like to round up 2014 is almost over) & I've barley scratched the surface. 

    If I tag & promote you & you cant or wont do the same for me....then Im sorry, but I cant work with you or promote you/refer you anymore. #sorryimnotsorry 

    Excuses: they are just that. Excuses. "Oh Facebook wouldn't let me tag your business page" So....you just didn't do it at all?? "oh it would only let me tag you from my personal page" Soo, you just tagged my personal page but didn't tell anyone WHY??? So now I am just a random tag on someones wedding photo...for all they know I could be the bride!!"Oh it wouldn't let me tag you from my phone"  Well then maybe you need to have some patience & wait until you get home to an actual computer before you start posting pictures that many other vendors were involved in. Because I'm pretty sure you didn't shoot that picture, cull all the images, edit the photo, make the floral arrangements, do the makeup, do the hair, make the dress, borrow the dress, plan the event, make the jewelry, build the building, set that place setting, make the cake etc. Because if you did...well damn

    So when you post that image (or blog) & tag only the people you know personally & talk about your work. You look like a jerk. You just left out like 6 other people who worked their asses off to do their job. If you cant figure out how to tag people, well you better learn. YouTube it. Ask someone. Read a forum. SOMETHING

    The first couple of times its whatever, I'll go in there & tag my business myself, but after time number two....Its plain disrespectful & outright RUDE. Oh, & if you are going to mention someone & you "cant tag them" maybe you should make sure their business name is correct?

    Example: I have been tagged as Crystal Casey of High Voltage Hair. High Voltage. Crystal of High Voltage. WRONG!!

    I am High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey. THAT is how you tag me on Facebook, that is the name on my business cards & my website. 

    If you don't care enough to actually look at the business card I gave you, or to even make sure you are getting my business name correct, well I guess when I tag you I should half ass your name too? NEGATIVE. Im not that person, I make sure that I tag every single vendor involved & if something is wrong & I cant tag the person. I double check to see if they even have a Facebook to tag (because who doesn't right?) or I let them know they are untag-able. 

    Your business page has settings.

    Its called tagging/posting ability. Mine is on, if you feel like yours might not be. Check it out. 

    BUT, this doesn't even matter if someone just does not give you credit. 

    Take this image for example: Now, take away the makeup (by Beauty+Baubles: Jenn Brousch) the flowers (by Studio Posy) the hair (by High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey) the beautiful bridal gown (from Maya Couture) the venue (Monticello Arcade) & Michelle Amarillo's sweet planning skills (from Michelle Amarillo Event Planning) What are you left with???

    THIS is what you're left with...

    You're left with just a normal looking couple & as cute as Trish & Caleb may be...which image do you prefer? The professional image (by Debbie Laughlin Photography) or the one that looks like a random stranger took it on the beach??

    THIS is what a styling team & full vendor list can do for images. So when you post an image from an event or styled shoot etc. that you were involved in, remember YOU & your specialty didn't make that picture all that it is. EVERYONE INVOLVED DID.

    So please, credit everyone, tag everyone. Give credit where credit is due. Don't be an ass hole. Everyone works hard & deserves credit for their work. 

    Look for Part II: Vendor Professionalism: The art of fairness, next week! 

  • Hayley Paige: Paloma Gown

    Hayley Paige: Paloma Gown

    Every wedding dress has a designer behind it & every wedding dress has a name. Each dress is like a little baby to the designer. Its a completed master piece, a work of art on display. 

    I have worked with many wedding dresses on stylized shoots & at real weddings in the past years. 

    Hayley Paige is by far one of my favorite designers. Her dresses are fun, a little funky yet, still femine & glamourous. Her dresses are unique & can be picked out of a lot of wedding gowns easily. 

    On the moroccan styled shoot I worked at the end of July we used the Paloma gown by Hayley Paige. A favorite of brides & vendors this season. With the statement balero that accompanies the wedding dress how could it not be??

    After styled shoots we always give credit & tag all those involved, including the designers & where the dresses come from. 

    Well this particular shoot.....Miss Hayley Paige herself took notice after seeing it shared on Pure English Couture Bridal's facebook page.....

    & then on the High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey facebook page.

    To be noticed by a designer of this magnitude is a great honor. Its an amazing feeling to all involved. Miss Paige even took it one step further & shared our masterpiece on her own Instagram page, which is an even bigger honor & more amazing feeling. Its almost unreal. 

    I have another styled shoot coming up this fall that will include another new & amazing dress from Hayley Paige so stay tuned! 

    Big shout out & thank you to Stephanie Michelle for letting me be a part of this awesome shoot. 

    Hayley Paige Paloma Gown from Pure English Couture Bridal 

    All photos by Stephanie Michelle

    Makeup by Rachel Reid Makeup Artistry 

    Flowers by Mary's Flower Works

  • Moroccan Styled Shoot

    Moroccan Styled Shoot

    Last month I was asked to participate in a Moroccan Styled Photo Shoot. Of course I said YES! I was thrilled to be working with such a stellar team. Here a few of the images in all their glory. I cant wait for the rest! 

    Photographer: Stephanie Michelle

    Concept/Styling: Heart's Content Events

    Flowers: Mary's Flower Works

    Decor/Rentals: The Unearthed

    (FUN FACT: one of the owners of The Unearthed is Ashley from Luke & Ashley Photography!)

    Invations & Paper: Park Bench Paperie

    Makeup: Rachel Reid Makeup Artistry

    Hair: High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey

    Dress: Hayley Paige gown from Pure English Bridal Couture

    Cake/Bakery: E and E Special Events

    Calligraphy: Costal Calligraphy

    Models: Meghan Goldberg (bride), West Boyd (groom), Angel Liliana (bridesmaid)

    Have you ever seen a more amazing flower crown!??!?!

  • Kim Porter Cosmetics: Product Review

    Its no secret that Kim Porter from Makeup by Kim Porter & I work together quite often. I get the chance to glance inside her kit & get a front row seat to her fabulous makeup line Kim Porter Cosmetics. Recently we had a bride who wore bright red lipstick on her wedding day & she spoke of the "Lip Lock" Kim had used on her. She raved about how her lipstick stayed all night & didnt even come off on her wine glass! I immediately knew I had to own this "Lip Lock". Two days later I drove out to The Makeup Studio & picked up my very own Lip Lock

    Review: I LOVE IT! I wear it over pretty much every lipstick color. I wouldnt recommend applying it to glosses, colored glosses or "glass lipsticks" as the Lip Lock sort of turns your selected shade a little bit matte. You will feel a slight tingle when you apply it, don't worry, that means its working. When I apply Lip Lock over my reds I dont have to touch them up AT ALL. Give Kim a shout at kim@themakeupstudiovb.com to make your appointment & get your very own Lip Lock. Dont live in the area? Thats ok! She will ship it to you! 

    Look for Kims work on the cover The Wedding Planner Magazine of Hampton Roads

  • Blonde instant gratification

    Ok, so tonights blog is kind of two topics rolled into one. 

    First lets start with instant gratification. When did our generation become so impatient? We'd rather have instant gratification rather than quality. If it's quality you want...why not wait for it?? If someone is booked weeks even months in advance, wether it be a a tattoo artist,make up artist, hairstylist or nail tech. That means they are GOOD & they are booked up for a reason & you obviously wanted to book with them for that same reason. So don't be impatient & box color your hair or go to someone else with less talent & end up with a horrible tattoo, a nail fungus or make up 3 shades darker than your face to quench your instant gratification. Just wait.

    With that being said-Lets talk about being blonde

    If you have box colored your hair & then decide you want be blonde (or have a super blonde ombre) Then I would hope that you decide to take the professional route and see a stylist for this, for the sake of your hairs integrity. Even if you get your hair professional done but have been dark for an extended period of time, going from dark to blonde is defintely something that should be done by a master colorist or a stylist who specailizes in color & blonding. DO.YOUR.RESEARCH. If your natural color is dark, then yes there will be some upkeep. Every 4-6 weeks your roots will need to be touched up & after extensive lightening to your hair, you may have to lose some legenth. So a haircut during each step of your lightening journey is reccommended to keep from having to cut of inches upon inches once its all done.

    OMBRE is defintely a skilled color technique. Again, DO.YOUR.RESEARCH. Look online, talk to friends, read reviews & check out portfolios. Once you find someone you like, if you have questions....ASK! If they arent available within a week of your final decision on wanting blonde ombre, just wait. Ask to be put on their waiting list in case someone cancels an appointment & let them know your schedule. I've had too many clients come to me with a bad ombre job just bc they wanted it when they wanted it. 

    The above also applies to Balayage. Balayage is the french word for "hand painting". Balayage hilights are also a specality technique & all of the above mentioned applies to this skill. 

    Last but not least- YOU WILL NOT BE BLONDE FROM DARK OVER NIGHT. It is not realistic to expect to have platinum blonde hair in your first appointment after having black box color on your hair. Or any box color on your hair for that matter. Becoming blonde is a process, your hair must go through many stages of lift before you can get to your desired color. Also, though it is our job to get your there, it is also our job to keep the health of your hair in tact & any good stylist will tell you during consultation that there are no promises made & that it will be a process. If they dont, then they are completely unrealistic as you or inexperienced & you should RUN. Ombre is no exception to this rule, actually when it comes to ombre, I as a stylist, am more concerned with the health of the hair since most of the lightening will be taking place on the ends of the hair. The most processed & oldest parts of your hair. In most cases these ends are already damaged by heat & previous color. 

    So please keep all of this in mind when making decisons on blonding your hair. Be realistic & be patient. For yourself, for your stylist, for your wallet & most of all for your hair. 

    This is Erin, I have been doing her hair for a year and a half. Erin sets up her appointments like clock work & uses professional, salon quality products on her hair. This is the perfect example of what Balayage Ombre can look like when done properly on top of professional color. 

    This is Nicole. When she came to me she told me she wanted to be "Gwen Stefani" blonde. She said she understood that she would have to cut most of her hair of because there was previous box color on her ends. We cut her into a bob, and this is her hair after he second process of lightening. 

    This is Mary & this has been our journey so far. When her stylist moved away mary came to me we took her from red to dark, dark brown. Then from dark brown to blonde. This is before, 1st appointment & 2nd appointment. By the end of her next appointment she should be fully blonde. 

    Can you believe these are the same person?? Yep ombre over box black hair color and by the second process we had her to a beautiful honey blonde. 

  • Makeup by Kim Porter, a new perspective on vanity.

    "Makeup is self confidence applied directly to the face."

    -Coco Chanel

    Makeup, along with hair, is a very personal thing for us women. It is as Coco Chanel said "self confidence applied directly to the face". It makes us feel good to dress up, do our hair & make up & go out after a hard week. Whether "out" is out to the bar, to a BBQ with family & friends or just to dinner with the hubby/boyfriend.

    With that being said I took some of makeups most asked questions & sent them to a professional makeup artist I work very closely with. Kim Porter of Makeup by Kim Porter. Kim has been doing makeup since 2001. Her work is literally EVERYWHERE! From Fox News & CNBC to being sprawled all over local photographers websites & facebook pages of weddings she has worked. Her logo is even gracing a race car!! How cool is that?! Kim has her own line of signature, high end, cosmetics called Kim Porter Cosmetics. This line includes flattering easy to use shades for all women. If you are unsure....don't worry Kim offers makeup lessons in her super cute studio space at The Brides Corner in Virginia Beach, Va. 

    I am ALWAYS excited to see Kim at a wedding! Shes one of the nicest women I have met & her work only makes mine look all the better ;) We will also be sharing an advertisement page in the next two volumes of the Hampton Roads Wedding Planner Magazine, so keep an eye out for that!

    These questions are for the everyday makeup user & brides. (which, let's face it, that covers everyone) If you still have further questions, feel free to contact Kim & set up a make up lesson!

    Enjoy!

    1-When seasons are transitioning from summer to fall, how do you ease from one foundation color to another without looking two toned?
    I mix my summer and winter foundation shades in between seasons.

    2-What is the shelf life of eye makeup?
    Powder eyeshadow is good for 2 years and mascara is good for 6 months. When my mascara starts to flake, I toss it, usually about every 2 months.

    3-What are you favorite upcoming trends for fall/winter brides?
    I love a dark lip for fall paired with a soft smokey eye.

    4-What do you say to all these Pinterest DIY skin remedies?
    I have never personally used any DIY skin remedies but take caution and read the reviews before trying. I read once a DIY mask actually removed the hair from a beauty bloggers eyebrows, so be careful!

    5-Whats your favorite makeup line?
    My favorite lines to work with are my signature line, Kim Porter Cosmetics, also Urban Decay, and Make Up For Ever.

    6-What are your favorite makeup dupes? (inexpensive instead of expensive)
    My favorite drugstore brands are Revlon (lipsticks), Maybelline (crème eyeshadows and gel liner), and L' Oreal (mascara).

    7-What are your favorite eyeliner/eyeshadow colors for each eye color?
    Brown eyes: are lucky they can wear any color but my favorite is a navy eyeliner or navy eyeshadow in the outer corner
    Blue eyes: copper and gold toned eyeshadows will make blue eyes pop
    Green eyes: purple and plum tones look best on green eyes

    8-How do you keep away that over powdered skin look?
    To avoid looking over powdered, use a colorless, translucent powder applied with a brush swept in a downward motion from forehead to chin.

    9-How would you treat oily skin during the day? or best makeup lines for oily skin?
    Start with clean skin, apply a primer, use all oil-free products, and apply a translucent or mineral powder to set makeup.

    10-How do I find the best false lash style for me? & what’s your favorite?
    I decide on which lashes to use by factoring in the size of the eye and the amount of drama I want for the look. I love Ardell lashes in #110 for natural lashes, Demi Wispies for more drama, and Babies for smaller eyes.

    11-What is your thought on black smokey eyes on someone’s wedding day?
    I think your wedding day makeup should reflect your personal style. If you are usually a "no makeup" kind of girl, you should avoid overly dramatic looks. If you are more adventurous with your makeup and your fiancé is used to seeing you in black smokey eyes, by all means!

    12-Whats your best puffy eye/dark circle under eye remedy?
    An eye gel kept in the refrigerator will depuff and a good concealer will diminish dark circles.

    13-Whats the best way to make thinner lips look fuller?
    Apply a little foundation over the lips, line just outside the natural lip line with a skin toned lip pencil, apply a lipstick in a light, neutral tone, and apply a gloss for fuller looking lips. Avoid dark or matte lipsticks for smaller lips.

    14-How do you recommend removing makeup before bed? (makeup wipes then washing..etc)
    Use an eye makeup remover, a face wash or makeup remover wipes, and rinse with water. Use a toner to remove any remaining impurities.

    15-Whats the best way to remove eyelash glue from your lashes/eyelids if washing doesn't remove it all?
    A good eye makeup remover should take off any remaining glue. Remember when taking off false lashes to pull up gently so not to lose any of your natural lashes.

    16-Whats your favorite lip exfoilant?
    A trick that's super easy and really works is to dampen a toothbrush and gently rub it over your lips, then apply Vaseline or Chapstick to keep them moisturized.

    17-What are you thoughts on lip stains? Favorite brands?
    <no answer… I‘m a lipstick girl!>

    18-Black & Brown mascara, how do you know which one is for you?
    I think most everyone can use black mascara, unless you are extremely fair with blonde lashes, then a brown mascara will look more natural.

    19-What are the top 5 reasons you'd give a bride for the importance of professional makeup on their wedding day?
    - Your makeup will be flawless and last all day and night!
    - You will be saving money by not buying a bunch of products just for one day.
    - A professional has the knowledge for things like contouring and how to make you look fabulous in person and in photographs.
    - A good makeup artist will come to the location of your choice and make the day run smooth and stress free.
    - You will feel pampered and be able to relax right before the festivities begin!

    20-What can a bride do to prepare her skin before her wedding day?
    Get a facial, moisturize so there are no dry patches, get enough sleep, and avoid over indulging in alcohol.

    21-Whats the best way to clean makeup brushes?
    Brushes for personal use, a baby shampoo works great.

    22-What are your favorites for serious contouring…? We are talking Kim K contouring?
    Contouring can be done using a darker foundation shade or by using a shimmer free bronzer. Blending is a must for serious contouring!!

    23-What are some quick easy makeup tips for moms with newborns?
    I suggest products that can be applied with out makeup brushes, like tinted moisturizers and crème blushes. Also, a good mascara, concealer, and lip gloss go along way to completing the look without much fuss.

    24-What are your thoughts on "cheap" makeup such as ELF & NYC?
    I think cheap products are okay but are hit or miss. Perfect things to pick up from these lines are lip glosses and blushes.

    25-What steps do you take to ensure your brides makeup will last all day?
    I apply a primer, use only oil-free products, and set the makeup with a translucent powder. My biggest trick is to apply products in layers for a longer lasting application. For instance, applying a crème blush, setting with a translucent powder, and then applying a powder blush.


    26-Whats the importance of a make up trial for your brides?
    A trial is a great time to build your relationship with your makeup artist, finalize the look, and go over the details of the wedding day. Your makeup artist is the one person that will be in your face at the most crucial time of your day, you might want to make sure you like them!

    27-Can you get the same coverage with airbrush as you can with traditional foundation? 
    I believe that traditional looks more natural than airbrush and choose to only use traditional. I apply a matte, liquid foundation in a stippling motion with a sponge for the best coverage and a more natural looking application.

    28-Whats a good age to let your daughter start wearing makeup and what is good to start them off with?
    I think age 12 is a good age for a "Teen Makeup Lesson" to find out what to wear and what not to wear, or preferably how not to wear certain products. I think lip gloss and blush are acceptable and a little mascara on special occasions. I don't believe young girls should start wearing foundation until they have something to cover. If they have great skin, they should wait.

    29-For women with round faces and non-existent cheek bones, what tips would you give?
    Contouring with a bronzer in a 3 shape at the temple, just under the cheekbone, and the jaw line will add definitition. Also, applying blush from just above the apple of the cheek to the top of the ear will add depth to a round face.

    30-What does YOUR makeup routine include from wake up to bed time?
    Depends on the day! My minimum day makeup is concealer, crème blush, mascara and lip gloss. My night routine is eye makeup remover, face wipes to remove makeup, and a heavy duty nighttime moisturizer.

    31-How long have you been doing makeup & what made you decide it was for you?
    I have been doing makeup for 12 years. I began in the cosmetics industry at age 22, when I started working at Merle Norman Cosmetics. I fell in love with all things makeup, learned by working on the job, and lots of hands-on experience. After 2 years, the owner sold the shop and I started Makeup by Kim Porter.

    32-What do you love most about your job?
    I love being with a bride on her wedding day, the nerves and excitement, it's one of my favorite things. I also love teaching real women how to apply makeup, it helps build confidence, and gives them the knowledge to create their own personal makeup style.

    Photo credit- Andi & Zoe Photographers

    Hair by- High Voltage Hair

    Makeup- Makeup by Kim Porter

  • What makes a stylist good??

    In the last few weeks I have had a slew of clients sit in my chair & tell me how unhappy they were with their previous stylist. Wether it was the cut, color, service or attitude they received...all of the above was not up to par. 

    I take what I do very seriously. I LOVE what I do and I am thankful for every client that sits in my chair. In this economy I am lucky to have any. I have only been doing hair for 5 years but, in those 5 years I have learned the business of the industry inside & out. So when a client sits in my chair and tells me about how her previous stylist made her feel horrible for having long hair, or yelling at her over the phone for canceling a saturday appointment I get a little upset. 

    Yes, it brought these wonderful ladies to my chair. Yes, it was that stylist loss. But, in general it gives hairstylist a bad name. 

    If a client ask you for a certain color or cut, yes, it is your job as the stylist to give them your professional option on what color will and wont wash them out, on what cut will and wont flatter their face shape. But, if a client comes back to you and tells you that they don't like what you did and ask you to change it...you should change it...no questions asked. 

    I recently had a client tell me the last place she went the stylist moaned and groaned about how long and thick her hair was. About how they weren't charging her enough for the product and time it was taking this stylist to do her hair. See my client had a coupon for her service. The point of coupons are to drive more customers to your business and build a stylist book. If you complain about how you aren't getting paid enough to the person who is paying you...chances are...they wont be coming back. In turn you are losing money.

    Another client told me her stylist literally yelled at her over the phone for canceling her saturday appointment when the client had physical injury ON HER HEAD that was keeping her from her appointment. This particular girl was going lighter...you do not put lightener on an open wound...you don't put ANY hair chemical on an open wound...so what was her motive for yelling at her??

    These are the kinds of stylist that it amazes me that the have clients at all on their books.

    So really, what makes a stylist GOOD? 

    Sure her color application may be the BOMB. Sure her cuts may be like no other you have ever had. But, if her attitude SUCKS. Would you as a client stick around??

    It is a proven fact that clients will stick with stylist that make them feel good about themselves and do mediocre work, rather than a stylist who makes them feel bad about themselves or ignores them and does amazing work. Customer service is a huge part of being a stylist.

    Sooooo....

    Be courteous, be kind, smile, make your clients feel welcome and appreciated! If you want them to return treat them how you want to be treated! 

    Rant Complete.

  • Brunette Bombshell Jennifer!

    Jennifer may not be an old client of mine but she is an old friend. I have known Jennifer since...oh, I was 17.

    As she sat in my chair today she told me about a horrible experience she had with another stylist. See, Jen was pretty much pummeled to the ground outside a neighborhood bar causing her a trip to the ER and a cancelled hair appointment for the next day. Leaving her with a gnarly scar on her head and no stylist. Booooo!! 

    Life happens and every business owner/employee should understand that. It does not matter if your client is your friend or not. You are NEVER rude to your clients for canceling their appointments, especially if they tell you they have been in the ER all night! Just sayin...

    Anyways, this is what brought Jennifer to me. She said she had been searching for a new stylist and since we are friends on Facebook, she had seen all the pictures of my work I posted. She informed me that her hair had been through A TON of processing in the last few months and she was worried about keeping her legenth if she kept going with the lightener and she was right. Her ends (along with the rest of her hair) needed a complete make over....an up lift if you will. 

    When she originally made her appointment she let me know that she had wanted to go more ombre with her honey blonde hair and of course to have her regrowth touched up. She later told me she wanted to transform her look altogether. I was SO EXCITED! This is JUST what she (and her hair) needed!

    This is the inspiration picture that she sent me....

    Of course I loved it! It was a bold change for her, its a rich vibrant color and was just what her lifeless hair needed! 

    Of course none of you know what Jennifer looks like so let me paint a picture for you, She is tall and lean. Big brown eyes and olive skin...if I had to compare her to anyone it would be a mix of Jennifer Lopez & Kim Kardishan (she has her eyes). So of course darker hair looks absolutely AH-MAZING on her. 

    Since Jen's hair was so light I had to fill her hair first and boy was her hair thirsty. I used a new line of color by Beth Minardi. She is a state of the art stylist and educator for Joico. Now we all know I am a full on Paul Mitchell stylist, but lately I have been trying to educate myself on new brands and lines that are on the market. Some color lines do reds better, some do demi-permanant color better, and some do products better. I want to be able to offer the best of the best to my clients. 

    Any who, back to Jen....so I used Beth Minardi's semi permanent color in a level 7 (color called sunflower). After rinsing that out I used one of Wella's new Illumina Color in 5/7 (level 5 warm brown tone) for her all over color. Hilighting over color I used Paul Mitchell's Syncro Lift lightner for her hilights after rinsing I toned Jens hilights with her filler color. 

    Now onward to her haircut! Jen did not want to lose a lot of legenth since all of the previous processing had caused her to lose more than she cared to. I sprayed her damp hair with Joico's K-Pak liquid reconstructor then added some of Paul Mitchell's Full Circle Leave-in Conditioner & Super Skinny Relaxing Balm. Then I did a little snip snip off the legenth and full on reshaped her layers. I styled with the Paul Mitchell curl wand and WA-LA! She looked like a 40s glam star! 

    Heres what Jennifer came to me with....

    and HERE is what she left with!!

    Beautiful natural looking hilights and rich, lustrous color! 

    Whats Jen have to say about it...??

    I think she likes it! haha

  • Meet Ashleigh, my platinum blonde princess.

    Ok so, when Ashleigh fist came to me she found me working in a salon literally 3 seconds from where she lives. She had chin legenth hair that was a dark buttery blonde with hilights and a dark brown under section. 

    She was a month away from getting married & her ultimate goal was that platinum white blonde (still keeping the under section dark) but, she wanted to keep her hair healthy and let it GROW! So in order to avoid over processing her hair with lightener I tried a hi-lift formula & popped a few hilights over top of it.

    For those of you who don't know what hi-lift color is...it is color (instead of lightener) that will lift your natural hair up to 4 levels.

    It still left her hair too brassy but she was willing to give me another shot because, she's cool like that. She came back to me a month later to get her hair done for her wedding and she looked beautiful! While doing her hair we got to talking and turns out her fiancé was a guy I had known since I was 17! (I even dated his brother back in the day...small world)

    (look at those shoes!!!)

    I sent Ashleigh on her way looking beautiful as ever (as you can see above).  A few weeks later she found me on Facebook, friended me & asked me if I had any open appointments in the coming week. So we booked her a reservation and started working on getting her to that platinum blonde she wanted.

    We tried a variety of hi-lift formulas but each still left her hair too yellow. I tried using a toner after each new formula but, I still wasn't getting the results we were looking for. (Toners kick out unwanted colors such as yellow & orange) She stuck with me for a few months and finally, we decided to go ahead and go with lightner, it was the only option left. So with a little lightener and a toner we got the results we were looking for!! 

    Ashleigh was very adamant about keeping her hair healthy and letting it grow. So we got her on a good product prescription. Being blonde is not easy, the upkeep is very high matience & you have to give back what you take away from your hair. 

    Platinum is not an actual color it is hair that is void of all pigment & when you remove pigment you are also removing all the natural, good things your hair produces for itself. So keeping to a good, strong product prescription is very important.

    Ashleigh listened to everything I told her and did what she needed to do. Her hair is right where it needs to be and after a year of growing, it ended up at her shoulder blades....until today.

    Ashleigh made her appointment 2 weeks ago and told me then that she wanted to cut all of her hair off and go ALL BLONDE! As a stylist of course I was excited about this. We live for change. But, we also know that clients make rash decisions so I made sure this was exactly what she wanted to do....and it was...she does have a very coupious amount of hair so I can understand the matience of THICK, long hair. 

    She sent me a picture of a very dramatic, stacked bob. I of course LOVED it. So thats exactly what we did. 

    Now, our newest challenge is getting that under section to match the top. I did it before, so this should be super easy now that I have the perfect formula!

    Ashleigh has easily become one of my favorite clients and friends! We went through her husbands first deployment together and her going to realtor school. Their first outing after him returning home was a friends wedding. She came to me and said..."I want that retro pin-up style." Of course I was thrilled...."No problem" I said...and so it was done. :) 

    A stylist can only dream of all their clients being as laid back, mellow and AWESOME as Ashleigh. <3

  • Michael & Carina Photography: A Hampton Roads Wedding Planner Magazine shoot.

    A few months ago I had the pleasure of working with Michael & Carina Photography . They are a couple of crazy in love photogrpahers. So who else to photograph your wedding other than the people who understand it best?! Michael is from Virginia, US and Carina is from Munich, Germany. They spent many years as pen pals before meeting and moving to Germany together. These two have seen the world including places like: Rome, Italy, Paris, France & even the Pyramids. They are too fun to work with and really find the love in each & every photograph.

    When I met them they were shooting for their first ad in Hampton Roads Wedding Planner Magazine. I was on location at Lee Hall Mansion along with Kristine Marie Makeup Artistry. Hannah & Charles were our amazing models & wardrobe was provided by Bridal Boutique of Glouster. It was a crisp sunny day and I must say the pictures turned out just fabulously. Take a peek & If you are engaged be sure to check out all of these awesome vendors for your wedding day needs!

  • Styling Classes…Learn to do what I do for you!

    All the info you need is right here!! Make your reservations now!! Seating is limited!