Thursday, July 26, 2007

Like I Just Stepped Out Of A Salon ...

Update, May 2010: J-D now works his magic from Joseph Michael's.

As I wrote about a while back (In April?! Note to self: Never let nearly 15 weeks elapse between visits again! The roots, for the love of God, the roots!), J-D found a new home at a new salon - Dennis Bartolomei.

Today was my first appointment with him in the new space. It's beautiful. Look! J-D's chair is at the end, by the window seat:

This is the view from his chair, looking back toward reception:

And this is the view behind his chair:

By the way, the orange flowers are now white orchids. Much more Zen.

Anyhoo, I love going to see J-D because 1) I love J-D, and 2) Because he's a hair-architect genius. But most of all, I love going to see him because of 3.

Years and years (and years) ago when I first met him, before I'd had an appointment, I was left thinking, "Um. What's the big deal? You do hair."

Clearly, up until that moment, I had never had a proper hair experience. Because after my first visit, I got it: He doesn't just "do hair." He makes people feel good about themselves. And that is an enormous contribution to humanity. Seriously. It might sound overstated, but it's not. Today, more than ever, I am living proof.

While he was off mixing up a little more goo (apparently, a highlighter he was using is ammonia-free, which, apparently, is revolutionary; I wouldn't know, but he's very excited about it, so it must be a big deal for people who understand such things), Laurie (I'm hoping that's the right spelling; J-D, correct me if need be, please) wandered over to introduce herself. She shook my hand and held onto it and said, "You have beautiful eyes, but the way you're lining them, you look a little sad. I'd love to show you a few tricks."

Let the record show that this is my make-up regimen: A little pressed powder all over my face, a little eyeliner, some mascara, one swipe of lipstick. That's it. If it's a special occassion, I'll break out the eyeshadows, which are matte and hardly different than the color of my skin.

So later, when J-D had finished foiling and gooping my hair, Laurie came to fetch me and directed me to her stool. And she proceeded to brush and dab and blend around my left eye, all the while explaining what she was doing and what products she was using. "Take a look," she said. Ohmygod! It was like me, but better, which, the make-up-wearing crowd knows, is the point.

She kept at it. I think make-up artists can't help themselves. Just as I involuntarily edit everything I see, Laurie wasn't about to let an opportunity pass her by to educate a make-up misfit such as myself. She worked solely on the left half of my face, so I could see the difference.

Various salon staff popped by to watch her work. The first time I saw someone in my peripheral vision, I turned to them and said, "Oh, do you need me for something?" Maybe it was time to wash out my color? No, they just like to watch the transformations.

I was hoping Laurie was going to do the right side of my face. She did.

J-D came back as she was finishing up and clasped his hands, raising them to one cheek and shrugging his shoulders. It was such a cute, happy gesture. Like, "Oh! You're pretty!"

Laurie and I got along well. I pointed to the glass on her counter. "Is that scotch?"

"Yes, it is," she said.

"I love you," I said.

Turns out, it was an Arnold Palmer, and it's probably best for a woman wielding blush to stay sober, but I do believe she's the type who'd be even more fun with a scotch in her. Someday, I'll have to test that theory.

She released me back into J-D's hands, at which point he cut my hair and styled it in a typically fab J-D style. He was backbrushing part of it and it got rather enormous, but he tamed it all down with a comb.

"It's very Brigitte Bardot," I said.

He smiled and nodded. "That was my inspiration."

This is an incredibly poorly lit shot. I should have thought to use the camera phone at his station, not in the bathroom. But c'est la vie. (Pay no attention to the massive lines underneath my eyes. Damn overhead lights ...)

After settling up, I headed back to Laurie's area to thank her and ask about products. (Of course I was going to buy something. That's the point: She spends 10 minutes showing me what I can do, and I spend a lot of money buying the products to do it! But I spent it happily.) I'm truly a cosmetic Luddite. It's about time someone took me by the hand and said, "Let me help you." She also told me my brows need help. No kidding. I'm hardly Bert, but I almost never break out the tweezers. I figure their shape is good enough. But it can be better. So why not? That'll be Jess's task, on my next visit. Jess is the salon's make-up artist. Laurie is a "special treat," as one client referred to her.

This is another incredibly poorly lit shot. It was taken tonight, long after humidity had taken its toll on my hair and when my makeup was no longer fresh. But I swept my hair aside because the point is my face in this shot. Don't I look just like me? I love that. She didn't make me look like Tammy Faye. She just played up my eyes a bit, toned down the shine a bit, whipped on a little blush, and slicked some gloss over my lipstick, which, I'm proud to say, she gave a big thumbs up.

At least I can pick out a good lip color!

Between the hair and the makeup, I feel like a new person. There was a pronounced sass in my step as I walked out of the salon tonight.

In the past week, I've really dug in with a new commitment to diet and exercise (that's a whole other post for later), and with today's hair and makeup, I'm even more hell bent on getting the body to match.


Anonymous girlanddog said...

Wow, your eyes look great! I love your hair, how I wish I could have long hair like that...

8:32 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey, welcome back, girl!

And thanks. Yesterday, as J-D and I were talking before he got started, he asked about the length. I told him just to trim it a bit, that I like it long, and he nodded and said, "Yep. It looks like hair extensions, which is the look these days!"

I thought that was funny. I have "the look" without having to sew anything into my head!

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You look like a grown-up Hayley Mills.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

Ye gods, your post just reminded me that I need to get my hair cut! I'd just grow it out again, but my second best friend thinks I look better with it short (why do some women think men shouldn't have hair to the small of their back, I don't know...). Anyhow, your hair looks good.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth, its always a pleasure reading your stuff. And y9our hair is WOW, and although I haven't seen you in years, the make-up looked just a remember. Fresah and sassy. CA Kid.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Beth,

I just googled Dennis Bartolomei Salon to find out the location as J-D was just recommended to me and . . . I found your blog. Thanks for the write-up! Now not only do I have to get myself into J-D, I HAVE to get acquainted with Laurie! ;-) Awesome! Can't wait.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just have a review on dennis as a buisness person... dennis,, you hire a talented young man fresh in the buisness,, wine him, dine him, and when he gets hit by a car and has to stay off of his foot for a short while,, you fire him without explination ! you know how illegal that is,, and i hope you know his parents have the means to bury your little salon in legal fees ! how easy it is to forget how you started out when you get successful yourself ! i hope you sleep well my friend

10:02 PM  

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