Category Archives: Lifestyle

A Parisian Salon Experience Part ONE

As a beauty professional I have been lucky enough to travel all over the United States and some parts of Canada. If time allows, I try to book a service in the best salon I can find in that particular city. I feel it is important as a service provider to experience what my clients experience. Being the client equips me with a different perspective and allows me to provide the most memorable salon visit. I love serving my clients! They deserve my absolute best 100% of the time!

My most recent trip was to Paris. This was my first time overseas and I truly had no idea what to expect. I had about 6 weeks to learn French which resulted in Bonjour, Bonsoir, and Merci Beaucoup. Due to my lack of the spoken language I became mute when meeting my cab driver. I literally forgot English and just used hand gestures. I’m sure I gave him a good laugh. Despite my poor French all of the Parisians I met were extremely kind and helpful! Thank god!

With the help of my amazing travel agency, “Limitless Planet” I was booked for a blowout & meeting with the owner at “L’ Appartement De Christophe-Nicolas Biot Trandline” before arriving in France.

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The discovery of the salon occurred while scrolling through Instagram. Immediately I was drawn to the beauty of the salon’s architecture and vintage design. I could not wait to meet the person responsible for this inspiring space!

Upon my arrival I was greeted by a lovely woman by the name of Roxana. After taking my coat she guided me to a beautiful office where Christophe was working behind the scenes of his highly successful salon. It didn’t take long for Christophe to realize I only spoke English. I immediately felt terrible that I couldn’t communicate. Christophe was very polite about it and simply requested that Roxana be available to translate.

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Although an ocean and a language separate us, I was pleased to discover Christophe and I shared many of the same beliefs when it came to the beauty industry. The salon was designed as an art gallery home to hairstylists, colorists, estheticians,  massage therapists, dermatologists and even Tibetan masseurs. They cater to everyone from the average Parisian to celebrities. In such a beautiful space I wondered what the requirements would be to be a part of the Trandline team. His answer was simple and perfect in every way. To be a part of the Trandline team one must be a hard worker, this is someone who is not concerned with how early or how late they will be working. One must also bleed creativity and passion because without these traits the finished result would just be mediocre. So for all the emerging stylists out there reading this, never think you don’t have the “experience” to work in a salon as high end as this. It simply takes hardwork, passion, and ambition to make the cut. Everyone starts somewhere.

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After our conversation Roxana took me on a tour of the salon and spa. She even shared their private styling room where Kim Kardashian had her hair styled the day before. The private styling room also had a private entrance for those high profile clients. I think my favorite feature of the entire salon was the variety of shampoo bowls. One style rotated up to the styling chair while the others were attached to reclining massage chairs.

Before handing me off to Vanessa who would be shampooing me, Roxana went through a series of questions on an iPad that would help determine the right products for my shampoo experience. This form of consultation is done with each client before any hair service.

Now, about the shampoo experience…it was perfect. I melted into a reclining shampoo chair until I was literally laying down. Vanessa manipulated my scalp working away every last bit of tension I had. This is where things got even better. While my conditioner was on she applied a damp hot towel around my hairline and at the base of my neck. I felt so pampered!

For my blow out or shampoo and brushing as the French call it, I was seated in front of a gigantic floor length mirror next to a gorgeous window overlooking the city street below. The natural light flooding in made me relaxed and thankful to be there in that very moment. Moise was my stylist. He was sophisticated, confident, and tailored. He was patient with my lack of French phrases as well. Due to the language barrier I did what all girls do, pulled out my Pinterest hair board! When I shared the image with him I could tell he loved it and we were good to go. It was so nice to sit back and let someone else take care of me for once! Moise used a ceramic round brush to wave my hair and finished with a bit of hair spray to froth it up. It was exactly what I wanted!

Of course I didn’t leave empty handed! On my way out I had the chance to play with the Terry makeup line. I love makeup lines that are actually created by makeup artists. They just get it. I picked up a eye primer, concealer, and lip cream all infused with my favorite plumping ingredient, Hyaluronic Acid.

    Viola! The finished result of my first Parisian Hair Salon experience.
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If you’re ever in Paris this is a must experience salon! To learn more about Christophe-Nicolas Biot and his salon visit their

website http://www.lappartementdechristophenicolasbiot.com

or follow them on Instagram @cnbiot_trandline

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Growing is Learning to juggle.

The past year has been quite a blur for me. I hired my first ever beauty assistant, bought a house, adopted a dog, started dating a great guy, took on a new role as a social media manager with Product Club in addition to teaching nationally, did some TV appearances as a Beauty Expert, all while running both my hair & makeup business and managing Thirteenth and Washington! Phew! I’m exhausted just typing all that!IMG_2755IMG_5403IMG_2514

With all that change there comes a learning curve. I call it “learning how to juggle”. I have had moments where I just wanted to quit everything but also moments of pure gratitude. For me doing hair behind the chair is just a very small piece to my big dream puzzle. I see so many people in all industries not just hair, literally going to “work” and then going “home”. That is honestly a nightmare.

I truly believe in order to live the life you want and have the experiences you want to have you must learn to juggle to keep it interesting. Do a lot of different things that challenge you and put you out of your comfort zone. It’s the only way to grow at a steady pace. Those folks going to work and going home have many plateaus and unfortunately for some their plateau is their whole life.

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It’s important to take continuing education no matter what industry you are in. Davines has become one of my favorite brands to work with. They offer amazing classes that inspire as well as contest to push you to be your creative self. This past Fall I entered their Beauty Harvest contest because it looked fun! The idea was to create a look that incorporated the colors of Fall. So this was what I came up with…

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“Pumpkin Spice meets the Pink Lady Apple”

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ONE: This was SO much fun to do. It forced me to think of color in a different way. It made me better.

TWO: I freaking won 2nd place in a national contest! I literally did not expect to win anything! I was just excited to play around with some color and try something new. My grandpa always says, “You can’t win if you don’t play!” Those are words to live by.

If this past year taught me anything, it would be to keep on learning as much as my brain can handle! Which is a lot since my brain is huge. 😉

 

Natural Cosmetics in the Lou

Are you concerned about the ingredients in your skincare and makeup products? If so, you have to stop in Blissoma‘s first brick and mortar all natural cosmetic shop! The shop is located at 2730 LaSalle on Floral Row in  St. Louis, MO. This little gem has everything from all natural skincare and candles to nail polish and makeup!

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Not only does the shop contain beautiful products that are extremely gentle but the outside is also beautiful and inviting.

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When walking in you will be in awe of the historical charm complimented by organic decor elements.

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The staff is wonderful and knowledgeable! They were more than happy to answer any product ingredient questions I had.  Blissoma also plans to host beauty and natural health seminars in their super cute hands on center!

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When you think of all natural nail polish you might assume the color selection would be limited. With the Aila nail polish line the color spectrum is modern and fresh! I can’t wait to try the all natural nail polish remover!

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The color options for eyeshadows, lipsticks, and blushes were also equally impressive.

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By far one of the coolest things about this shop is the fact that all the Blissoma skincare products are created in house. You can see the products being mixed and packaged for shipment.

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Julie is the owner and one of the most genuine people I have ever met. She knows the ins and out of natures ingredients and is always excited to share her knowledge with anyone eager to learn. I have no doubt that her business will flourish at a rapid pace.

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I picked up a few goodies while touring the shop. Blissoma’s Free Gel Cleanser is my go to when it comes to washing my face. It not only leaves my skin feeling balanced but also removes my makeup. It even takes off my waterproof mascaras with minimal effort. I also scored this beautiful whipped foundation by Lauren Brooke. The formula glides on your skin leaving it even in tone and luminous. For my eyes I purchased a black mascara by Alima and two liquid liners in caramel & navy. The thought of all natural ingredients on my entire face gives me such peace of mind.

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As a little incentive for Blissoma’s new customers I have dropped off Complimentary Haircut certificates. Spend $75 and receive a complimentary cut with Amber Perry a $39 value or spend $125 to receive a complimentary haircut with (myself) Kristen Linares a $59 value, at our salon Thirteenth and Washington located in downtown St. Louis!

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This is the perfect time of year to treat yourself and your loved ones to quality products! #AlwaysSupportLocals

JORD raises the bar for natural fashion!

    As I opened this beautiful wood box I fell deeply in love with JORD. Everything about their timepieces says, attention to detail. Not only is this a beautiful accessory but that fact that each timepiece is one of a kind is just too cool!

 

I chose to wear the “ELY” series in natural green and maple. The wood is super smooth and comfortable to wear. I love that I finally know what time it is without looking at my iPhone. This series also has the date display which is super helpful!

  It was so fun to examine this watch. JORD was sure to add as much detail as possible. On the back of my watch is a beautiful engraving of the logo and  also the phrase “Born in St Louis”.  Supporting local businesses has always been wildly important to me.

  

  

  Wearing a wood watch has inspired my other fashion accessories. This set has been a favorite since receiving my new piece!

  From left to right: Sunglasses (Free People) JORD woodwatch (ELY series) Necklace with Amethyst stone (family heirloom) Footwear (Merona)

Want your own wood watch? Visit http://www.woodwatches.com/beautyandthebrain

My NOLA loves!

I enjoyed four wonderful days in the beautiful New Orleans during St. Patty’s day weekend…and I’m still alive to tell the tale! Here is a recap of my trip and all of the amazing places I experienced. NOLA isn’t just about the party…

THE HOTEL: MAGNOLIA MANSION

This place is a hidden gem! Right around the corner from the American Horror story “Coven” house, Magnolia Mansion will blow you away. It has insanely high ceilings, claw foot tubs, four post beds, and decor that will make you feel like royalty!

You absolutely must have Shea moisture bubble bath, Davines Nou Nou shampoo & conditioner travel packs, and Burt’s Bee’s cleansing cloths when bathing in this gorgeous tub!

THE PARTY SCENE: MAGAZINE STREET

Just a few blocks parallel from out hotel we stumbled upon a crazy St Patty’s day parade. Now typically when you think of NOLA parades you think of  beads galore. During St. Patty’s it’s beads plus cabbages, carrots, and even uncooked Ramen noodles! I literally was attacked by two uncooked packs of Ramen and it was hilarious.

EAT!!: From carousel spinning bars and awesome artwork, the ambiance of each restaurant was too cool!    

      
EXPLORE: EAGLERIDER SCOOTERS

The best way to see the city of New Orleans is definitely by scooter! Nina and I zipped around on these bad boys for two days. Reserve your scooter fun here!

   
 

I will def be back to New Orleans! The people, music, and historic culture are all so beautiful and inspiring!