NYFW with Sebastian Professional

Hello! I’m chilling in Canada with Richard right now. We have put somewhere around 2,500 miles on the car in the last ten days between Dayton, Philly, NYC, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and now Toronto. Fall is just beginning and I am pretty cold! But last week in New York it still felt like summer.

First off, being in New York for New York Fashion Week has been a major dream/goal for me since I started doing hair a few weeks ago. I worked and even organized a few shows in Pittsburgh, but didn’t feel like I really had the right to say I had runway experience until it was in New York. And it just so happened that this year I would be in between jobs and cities during fashion week. I had nothing else to be doing, so I had no excuse not to try my hardest and email everyone who I thought might be helpful about getting to fashion week. And I did. And I went. ūüôā

I feel like once a stylist has done a few fashion weeks it just becomes a part of what they do, but I have to imagine that everyone remembers there first one. So I was beyond thrilled to help with such an incredible show. It was so surreal to be working on Christian Siriano’s styling team with so many top artists from Sebastian Professional.

Anthony Cole did an incredible job designing a very modern, lived in, yet glamorous look for Siriano’s gorgeous gowns. Really, the dresses were beyond beautiful and beyond time. They had flow, they had structure, just the right amount of sparkle and skin when you wanted it. I am just so thankful to have been able to be a part of such a gorgeous collection and to work beside such an incredible team: Anthony Cole, Omar Antonio, Marylle Koken, Diva Poulos, Luis Payne, Heather Rae, Celso Enrique, Sasha Zhogi and, of course, Christina McCarver. Thank you all so much for always being welcoming and wonderful.

Below are some photos, but there are better photos HERE.

Anthony Cole teaching us the style.


Marylle Koken behind the scenes


The lovely Heather Rae, my dear friend and the 2014 What’s Next Awards winner ūüôā







Me and Marylle!

Me and Omar!

PS more to come from that weekend, but check out #sebastiansavedmystyle on your social media for some fun pics from our event in the Meatpacking District a few days later!

Tips for Entering the What’s Next Awards

Hello Folks!

I just went through to scope out the competition for the What’s Next Awards, and there are some great entries! ¬†I really was expecting to see more, but I am sure they will start coming in faster as the deadline approaches. ¬†Some of the entries I saw were great, but could’ve benefited by a few small tweaks to the photography, wardrobe, makeup, etc. ¬†Below are some tips to keep in mind when you submit. ¬†I am not a judge so take my words with a grain of salt, but I did win this competition last year and I intend to enter this year. ¬†So why help others? ¬†Because it pushes me to get even better and because I want to be happy for and proud of whoever gets chosen for the finals =) ¬†It is a life changing competition, so style your heart out!


-Get a professional (or professional quality photographer)! ¬†Having a nice camera is not enough, you need the eye, the lighting skills… you need someone who can effectively showcase your work.

-Get a professional makeup artist. ¬†I do makeup for my own shoots but I don’t recommend this unless you have experience, even if you are quite good at doing your own makeup. ¬†Hygiene, product knowledge and a specific kit designed for print work can make a big difference. ¬†This year the makeup is very simple. ¬†Less heroin/rocker chic and more natural, editorial styles. ¬†There is more of a fashion feel to this collection.

-Get a model that fits your look. ¬†To be in line with this collection, the styles show a little more wardrobe so you want a fashion-worthy model. ¬†You want great bone structure so it doesn’t take away from your style.

-Wardrobe should be SIMPLE and probably black. Jewelry, if involved, should be understated and not distracting.

-This collection isn’t particularly colorful so you don’t need to highlight colors in the photography unless you are featuring creative cellophane placement.

-This collection is also less “busy” than other collections, there are no braids and if there were an unspoken word to define the collection I think it would be “movement.” ¬†Your style shouldn’t be a copy of the styles, but it should look like it would fit in next to the others.

-Have fun.  Be fearless.  =)

And check THIS out for more info!  Pay attention to what you will be judged on and be sure you use Sebastian products in creating your style!



Why Enter?

Hi Friends!  I am currently staring right down the nose at my NAHA shoot.  This Saturday I will be heading out to Ohio to hopefully get some killer photos for the North American Hair Awards.  This will be my first time submitting to NAHA and I must admit that I am pretty stressed out.

First off, I have been working a lot on my video for a scholarship competition for the Vidal Sassoon Academy (google Beauty Changes Lives if you don’t know about this!) and that has been incredibly enjoyable but pretty time consuming. ¬†And it has required more teamwork than I am used to, which is fine except for finding time to meet and get footage, etc. etc. ¬†Secondly, I am also starting to lay the mental groundwork for my creations on stage at Intercoiffure in just a few weeks. ¬†On top of that What’s Next Awards just launched their competition so of course my head is spinning thinking about the Alter Ego collection.

Lastly, my NAHA visions came to me in a series of dreams and I am having great difficulty implementing my designs. ¬†And yet, the desired styles are small (though detailed)… but will they be BIG enough for NAHA? ¬†Truly, if I can get across what I’m thinking, I don’t know if NAHA will even like it because I have really never seen anything quite like some of these concepts…. ¬†And yet the visual interest and impressiveness (if I can achieve it) will be so subtle. ¬†I always wonder if I waste my time with some of the little things I obsess over.

So, I am writing this fairly lengthy post to tell you and remind myself why competitions are worth the stress!  Here are some of the main reasons it is worth it to enter:

1) ¬†Exposure. ¬†This is not even necessarily about your talent being exposed to the world but about YOU as an artist exposing the world to YOURSELF. ¬†I entered a few competitions with no success before winning the What’s Next Awards. ¬†Honestly, as long as I was satisfied with my own work I didn’t mind not winning. ¬†My first contest was in beauty school and I went all out and it taught me a lot about organizing shoots, working with photographers and models and also about turning my inspiration into a style and finding inspiration everywhere, which are skills that are applicable to salon work, and really everything else. ¬†You learn to activate your brain!

2) ¬†Seriously, What do you have to lose? ¬†This is huge to my life philosophy. ¬†I pretty much just do things unless there is a probably chance of a bad outcome. ¬†When it comes to contests, what is there to lose? ¬†Most are free or can be done on a budget. ¬†I tend to not talk about my work as much as I’m told I should, but when clients hear about “extracurriculars” it boosts their love and they are more likely to refer clients, tip better, come more often, etc., which I would bet would more than make up for any entry fee. ¬†Losing a hair competition is not a big deal. ¬†Most people lose. ¬†And it isn’t always a matter of talent, it is a matter taste and what the judges are looking for. ¬†

3) And if you are worried about wasting your time, seriously, what else are you doing with your time? ¬†Many of the most successful people I know have no time and yet still always find time. ¬†My mentor for the year, Anthony Cress, always finds time to chat with me if I need it and I’ll tell you, this is a busy man! ¬†Works six days in the salon, plays in a band, runs a flourishing beard and mustache club, wins NAHA and places as a semi-finalist in Trendvision and STILL has time to deal with me. ¬†Trust me, you are not too busy to enter a competition! ¬†I mean, obviously you have to really enjoy hair to enjoy doing it and thinking about it when you aren’t at work, but really I think “extra-curricular” hair activities make doing hair in the salon more enjoyable. ¬†It has a way of refreshing your love for hair!

4) You could win. ¬†Hey, it’s possible! ¬†You could! ¬†And the more contests you enter and the more you learn and grow from each one, the better chance you have of becoming a winner one day. ¬†Honestly, entering the What’s Next Awards last year was a great source of stress, and part of that was because I had this huge, aching feeling that if I gave it my all that the What’s Next Awards would change my life. ¬†If I could just create my vision everything would change for me. ¬†And it truly has! ¬†I have received so much warmth and support from Sebastian and so many opportunities I never would have imagined. ¬†So much more than just the award on my mantle.

5) Join the conversation. ¬†Do you ever feel like something is missing, like there is something to add to the world of hair? ¬†Competitions are a great way to join an international artistic dialogue. ¬†Show the world what you’ve got. ¬†And be proud of it.

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!


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.