From the diary of a hairstylist: by Crystal Casey

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  • 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. 

  • Hairstylist & Wedding Hair Artist…here's the difference.

    Hairstylist & Wedding Hair Artist…here's the difference.

    Searching for a stylist on your wedding day can be stressful.

    A lot of women have a regular hairstylist that they visit to take care all of their cut & color needs. But when it comes to your wedding day, can they do what you want? Will they be available to leave the salon to come to your location to do your hair? How much experience do they have with making a timeline for a wedding party of 7+ girls? Can they do braids? How fast can they do an updo? Are they familiar with what styles that will look good from all angles and on camera?

    These are all major questions to be considered. While (in my opinion) hairstylist should be well rounded in ALL THINGS HAIR....most are not. Now a days it seems every hairstylist has ONE thing that they specialize in. Which can make it frustrating for you, the client, to have to find another stylist who specializes in what you're looking for.

    What do I specialize in?

    Blondes

    Red Heads

    Color Correction

    Hilights

    Hair cuts

    Extensions

    Updo's

    etc..

    Not to brag on myself but, excuse me while I tell you how awesome I am...

    I am, by all means, a hairstylist who is well rounded and highly educated in everything hair. I can take a brunette to platinum blonde, I can fix a wretched ombre, I can do a CORRECT OMBRE. Blonde to dimensional brunette? No problem. My red heads? ON POINT. Need an angled bob...I got this. I spend a lot of time educating myself & perfecting my skills. But, I am also a wedding hair artist. This means I specialize in wedding hair AND the day of preparation.

    Finding a wedding hair artist can be a bit frustrating. There are a lot of hairstylist out there that say they can do what you want but, when it comes down to it, its not at all what you were looking for. 

    So here are the top questions to ask a hairstylist you are looking at booking for your wedding day!

    1-Will you be available to come to my location on my wedding day? Will there be an extra charge for this?

    2-What is the average time you can do updo in? (If you want to use this person for your entire wedding party and its more than 5 girls make sure their time is under 50 mins or they bring an assistant)

    3-How long have you been doing weddings?

    4-Where can I go to see reviews from other brides?

    5-Do you offer bridal trials? When can I set mine up?

    6-Bring a picture and ask if they can do what you are showing them.

    7-Can you do different types of braids?

    8-Look around their website or Facebook page for recommendations(tags, photos etc) from other wedding professionals. If you don't see any, ask. 

    9-Will there be a travel fee for my location?

    10-What forms of payment do you accept?

    11-What is the booking policy? Minimum policy?

    Questions your hairstylist should be asking YOU:

    1-What is the location and time of your ceremony?

    2-How many people will be receiving hair services? How many of them are in the bridal party?

    3-Where is the prep location? What time will you be arriving there?

    4-Who is your photographer/ makeup artist? (I ask this because if I am familiar with these vendors I usually know how they work & can contact them to set up timelines. Especially the makeup artist, we usually work hand in hand)

    5-When would you like to come in for your bridal trial?

    6-Will you have any hair pieces/veil?

    7-Did you have a specific look in mind for your bridesmaids or are they choosing their own styles? (Generally I don't want anyones hair to resemble the bride)

    8-What time do you need to leave your prep location?

    9-When will your photographer/makeup artist be arriving?

    10-Will you be doing first look/wedding party photos before or after the ceremony?

    Most brides find out late in the game that they have to offer all of this info to their hired day of hairstylist, which causes an entire timeline change. Thus, showing the difference between a wedding hair artist & an in salon hairstylist. While there are some wedding hair artist who work in salons, they are very few and far between. 

    Also check out this blog by Makeup by Kim Porter: 10 reasons for hiring a Makeup Artist for your wedding day makeup.

    Photo Credit: Will King Photography

  • 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

  • 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