If someone held a gun to my head and asked me what two people I would take on a desert island it would have to be my esthetician and hairstylist. (Ok, maybe a trainer if I get to pick three. )
Sorry family and friends, but girl wants to look good, always.
I think there is a reason we women bond with our beauty specialists, especially as we get older and maintenance is harder and more time consuming. It’s because going to these regular appointments refreshes and rejuvenates us emotionally as well as physically.
The spa table or stylist’s chair has some magical power to open you up. After all, who among us hasn’t told our life story to a hairstylist? And why wouldn’t you? There is a person standing as close to you as possible with your hair in their hands — if you get a bad haircut it’s like wearing an ugly dress every day for months until the hair grows out — you want that person to know you and you want to know them.
The same thing holds with an esthetician; a feeling of trust is essential. Once when I was going through a particularly broken hearted time in my life I cried while getting a facial the way I hadn’t been able to around my friends. The esthetician – who I had just met — told me it happens all the time. She told me she thought it was because being on the table with someone’s hands on your face, massaging your scalp and getting you to relax makes a person feel particularly open and vulnerable. She told me she viewed it as part of her job to help the client through that vulnerable moment and bring them out the other side to a little peace. You have to have a lot of faith and trust in the person leading you to that place of well-being.
That’s why I feel lucky to have two such women in my corner.
I met Heather Cha Hein (Instagram/Heatherchastyles) about 5 or more years ago when I walked into a salon near my house desperate for a cut and color. Like lots of busy women I had waited too long to make an appointment with my usual girl (Lauren Nave at Pacific Coast Styles in Long Beach, a great colorist, stylist and person in her own right) and could not get in. Like a lot of women I also get bored and change up my hair on a regular basis, so when I found Heather I was growing out a well-done, but ultimately for me, unfortunate, bowl cut (my own fault, I asked for it; don’t believe me? Look below ….) and required a master cutter and colorist to make it palatable for the remainder of the grow out. Heather saved my hair and my look that day, banishing the odd shape of the grown-out bowl cut and delivering a shiny, dark color I still wear to this day.
Honestly, it was the most fortuitous of meetings; I found not only a great stylist and colorist but a friend. At first blush, Heather, who looks likes the living embodiment of a comic book heroine character – tall, leggy, gorgeous with what my sister calls “video hair” — and I are an odd pair. After all, she is known for her long ombre styles and beautiful blonds — a task that requires a practiced eye for skin tone and technical skill — and I am a middle-aged woman with dark hair who never wears it below her shoulders. But she has given me the best haircuts of my life, from pixies to bobs to shags and back to pixies. The mark of a good haircut to me is the grow out and Heather’s cuts last six weeks or more.
Beyond that, she is a warm and caring person. We’ve been through a lot together including her marriage (I was honored to be the officiant at her wedding); the birth this year of her son and a couple of my mid-life career changes. Through it all she has been a pal and a supporter and a cheerleader.
But good hair is nothing if you don’t have good skin to go with it.
I have been going to Natalie Goode (Euphoria Health and Beauty Bar in Long Beach) for over a decade now. Not only does she keep my skin in tip-top shape with monthly facials and dermabrasion (damn you high-school-acne scars!) but she’s the only one who touches my brows (seriously, my brows are a work of art after she’s done with them). She also stocks the best organic and tech-y (my word for biomedical, science-based skincare products) lines available for your skin. But best of all she’s one of the coolest women on the planet; my visits with her fly by like lunch with an old friend.
Natalie not only gave me glowing skin for my wedding, she was a guest at my wedding. We shop via text together all the time and we laugh like sisters when I’m on her spa table. A month without my Nat appointment is a long month indeed.
No matter what they present on the outside once a woman passes a certain age she doubts her attractiveness; how can she not doubt herself in a culture that is redefining beauty and sex appeal in ever younger “it” girls and ads shouting “look younger” start popping up in your newsfeed the minute you turn 40.
As we get older, I think women find it harder to feel beautiful about themselves and having someone in their corner dedicated to restore that feeling is important, if that person is also a friend it’s a joy and that is worth whatever it costs.
I want this blog to become a place where women over a certain age can find that kind of comfort, as well as beauty tips, fashion and style and laughs. I hope you’ll join me …
Ciao for now…