Sebastian What’s Next Awards: Part I

Hello everyone! I am home from Los Angeles, and, as many of you know, I won the New Talent Category at the What’s Next Awards. I have so much to say about this weekend, I wanted to divide it up into a few different posts. Of hundreds of entries, four New Talent and four Professional finalists from all over the United States and Canada were flown to Los Angeles for a hair-packed weekend. My husband, Richard, was able to make it out and keep me company.

The first night we had a cocktail reception on the hotel’s rooftop garden. Hair dressers, especially successful hair dressers, are so much fun. Such an eclectic, creative and charismatic bunch, and so incredibly approachable. Some of the Sebastian Global Artists were there, as well as a lot of the Sebastian educators, some of the folks from the business side of the brand and, of course, the other finalists. I learned a lot the first night about the brand and the beauty industry, and just generally had a fabulous time. And it certainly didn’t hurt that my stylist friend, Elysia, lent me a killer dress, completely perfect for a rooftop in LA.


I also met the other finalists, and the more I look back on it, I couldn’t have spent the weekend with a better bunch of people. There was a lot of camaraderie from the very beginning. We were competitive, but we were friends. People lent tools and supplies freely, gave advice and honest opinions gently, and we talked (and laughed) openly. I hadn’t ever experienced something quite like the What’s Next Awards before, but the comparable experiences I’ve had were extremely intense weekends where at the end of everything, you have these intense moments with other people and then you know at the end that you will probably never see them again. The absence of that feeling was (is) one of the best parts of the trip. The idea that whatever “What’s Next” in my life, it will probably lead me back to some of the funniest, most original and most genuine people I’ve ever met.

Day 2 was a full day of practicing on our model and then meeting with wardrobe stylists and makeup artists to complete our look. It was very cool to see everything come together. Practicing was stressful because I am much more stubborn than I realized, determined to do things the hardest way possible and not use hair extensions at all. I was battling with a snake braid most of the day, a very tiny snake braid, which seems foolish for a runway show, but I am extremely detail oriented and also knew that the judges would be able to see all the detail up close before the show. For those that don’t know about snake braids, they are three strand braids where one strand does not move, so you run out of hair on the outer strands very quickly. Once braided the hair on two of the strands has compressed to a third or a quarter of the length. So when going around the whole head with a snake braid you need to add in more hair after every three inches or so. This problem was compounded by the fact that, like most women, her hair was shorter in the front than in the back. In the end I found that I needed to weave long strands underneath her hair to meet up with the snake braid where it ran out and then begin again a few times. At her forehead I used an extension tool to pull the braids into each other, which was quite a task. In the end I had a seemingly seamless snake braid.

More on the style and the rest of the event on Friday!


Nigel’s Beauty Emporium in North Hollywood

Had a great day in Los Angeles yesterday! Woke up in a charming hostel after six hours of sleep and we hit the town running. We bused out to North Hollywood, had some delicious breakfast at Eats and hit up Nigel’s Beauty Emporium and a bustling farmer’s market.

Nigel’s Beauty Emporium was great! I had heard a bit about the store and was excited about their pro discount program. The staff was so helpful! For those that don’t know about Nigel’s it is like a Sephora (minus the expensive atmosphere) containing all the best makeup, skincare and hair brands for film/photo work. It was cool to play with some Face Atelier products, which normally have to ship from Canada, which is a pain. I was very happy to ask questions with the girl there about which products are best for which situations. I came away with a few brushes, a few shade of Amazing concealer, some illuminaters from Face Atelier, and another shade of lip tar. Reviews to come!

As an added bonus a lady on the wouldn’t stop staring at me and when I caught her she complimented my hair. She slowly made her way towards me and asked where I had my hair done. I was proud to say, “Pittsburgh, PA.”

Also, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has a pretty sweet Kubrick exhibit how and some awesome large scale pieces in their contemporary art building!

Sebastian What’s Next Competition

Hello! It has been awhile since my last post, mainly because I have been extremely busy in the salon! But I have a lot to tell you all about the first part of my year so keep your ears perked up.

Most importantly, I am working on becoming a finalist in Sebastian’s What’s Next Competition! It has been causing me a lot of stress because a small part of the final score involves getting votes and the page is coded in such a way that you can’t vote from certain devices, which I know is hurting my ability to get votes. I have this fear welling in me that I just won’t get enough votes and that will be the difference between becoming a finalist or not becoming one.

I know how style judging is subjective to a degree, but I KNOW my look is very different than a lot of the other styles and I KNOW that the look, while very odd in some ways, is not so advante garde that they couldn’t use it alongside their commercial work. I tried to stay true to Sebastian’s aesthetic, the theme “Nightshade Masquerade,” and Sebastian’s current shine kick. I worked with Mark Brosius and model Lexii Nichole for this style and they both did a fabulous job. My work is notably different in both silhouette and detail from that of my competition.

In short, I believe I have what it takes to get into the top four. I really do.

Making the top four would mean that Sebastian would fly me to LA to compete on stage against the other finalists. That in itself would be an incredible achievement and I would get to meet with and get a mentor from the Sebastian style team. If I were to win that, I would get a photoshoot in LA with the style team and win sponsorship to NAHA, which is one of my next goals, and I would be flown to New York Fashion Week to help style there. It would give me a chance to see a whole other side of hair.

Please, friends and followers, please vote for me! To see my look and vote click here.