Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Dream Team ...

Update, May 2010: J-D and Ronnie now work their magic from Joseph Michael's.

Y'all know how much I love J-D, my hair architect.

But now I have yet another reason to love Dennis Bartolomei (the salon): Ronnie. Or is it Ronny? Roni? Ronie? Ronee? Damn, I should have asked. I'll get that detail later. But for now, what you need to know, not necessarily in this order is a) he's stunning, I mean, like, so attractive it's almost distracting. (I wonder if Dennis hires his staff from some salon genius academy/modeling agency. J-D is total model material, too.) And b) He's a brilliant make-up artist.

Sadly, I forgot to snap a picture of him and J-D before I left the salon (I just texted J-D and told him I need a picture of the two of them, which I will post as soon as it arrives), but R is absolutely, 100%, without question the male version of Linda Evangelista. Really. But the best part is that, just like J-D, he's the sweetest thing, so adorable, so fun. If I used phrases like, "We are so BFFs!", I'd say, "We are so BFFs!" But I don't speak that way so I won't. But R is so being invited to my birthday lunch this year.

So J-D and R, together, are my dream team. I adore them.

I was in dire need of a visit to J-D because my roots were showing in a big way, and by roots I mean "more grey hair than my psyche can handle." So this morning, I washed my hair but didn't bother to style it. Just gathered it in a twist at the base of my neck and headed for the salon.

In a chair, he took it out of its elastic, then immediately took out his scissors and started cutting.

"Wow, no foreplay," I said.

But he wanted to get a jump on the cut. He pulled out an awkward layer and said, "I mean, what is this doing here?"

"I don't know," I said. "You put it there."

Snip, snip, snip. Assess. Snip, snip, snip. He was like Edward Scissorhands. My head was like a hedge.

Within seconds, my hair was already falling better.

Hair architect, people. Hair. Architect. Or, as I dubbed him today, The Hair Whisperer. "I listen to the hair," he says. "It tells me what to do."

He disappeared to mix my color and returned with two bowls and his color book, a binder in which he keeps his clients' color "recipes."

"I didn't write anything down for you the last time," he said. "I wrote 'Forgot.' " We both cracked up. A very useful entry, that. So later, he could remember that he forgot.

He glopped up my hair, folding in foils. When he was done, he sent me off to R for makeup.

"Can I do your eyebrows?" he asked.

"Do whatever you like," I said.

I'd never had my eyebrows shaped before. Not that I looked like Bert, but they certainly were in need of some shaping by the deft hand of someone wielding tweezers.

For those scoring at home, I was now sitting in a salon smock with two different colors on my hair, half of which was trapped in foil, having a man – albeit it a very pretty man – pull hair out of my face. And later, I got to pay a large sum of money for this privilege. Honestly, the things we women go through for you people.

Makeup-wise, it's an odd sensation – to me – to have someone applying stuff to my face, but he did a lovely job. Makeup never ceases to amaze me in its ability to transform. If you see someone famous without makeup and with, the difference is always so dramatic. They almost look like two different people.

My transformation was far more subtle. I looked in the mirror and said, "I'm going to look at condos this afternoon. This is totally wasted on looking at condos." But he didn't think so. And really, he has a point: Looking pretty doesn't have to be predicated on something "important." Pretty for pretty's sake is just fine.

Besides, he had nothing else to do at the moment.

J-D had told me during his initial cut that he knew exactly how he wanted to style my hair that day. "Like Fergie!", he said. It never fails to take me a moment when people mention Fergie to realize they're talking about the singer and not the Duchess of York. "She's on the cover of Glamour," he said. Later, he showed me the issue. Long. Wavy. OK. "But I don't know about the center part," I said.

"Oh, we won't do that," he said. Good. Center parts are still too Marcia Brady for my tastes.

So back in his chair, he continued cutting and then started styling. As he curled sections (to create waves, not curls), I said, "You know, my hair always looks great when I leave the salon, but an hour later, it's pretty much fallen out."

"It DOES?"

"Yeah."

At which point he picked up a can of stuff and started spraying my hair. Setting spray, it was. "Tell me if your hair still falls," he said. "I didn't know it was doing that. You should have said something."

"I figured the weight of my hair just pulled out the style," I said. My hair is getting really long. We joke that it looks like I have extensions.

Well, lemme tell you: This setting spray stuff is frickin' magic! Today was a very windy day in Chicago, and many hours later, my hair still retains a lot of the curl he put in 8 hours ago.

But back in the salon, after he was done with his curling iron, he started pinning up sections of my hair. "I don't know about the pinning," I said.

"It's Fergie," he said. "You're trashy and rock 'n' roll!" He kept pinning.

"Honey, I just don't like it," I said, which is the first time in 16 years I've uttered those words to him. So he took the pins out and fluffed it to let it fall around my face. Much better.

So this is my hair an hour or so after I left the salon, after walking a couple of miles in insane Chicago wind, which would normally destroy any style and/or volume in my hair. Also, note how the florescent light of the public bathroom at the Merchandise Mart makes my hair look quite blonde and somewhat green. Sexy! But then again, it's shot with a camera phone. What am I expecting? The cover of Vogue?

And this is my hair tonight, many, many hours after I left the salon. The picture is cropped thusly to avoid the "giant hand in the foreground" aspect of photographing oneself in a mirror. This photo provides a much truer picture of my current color.

When Brian and I were leaving Artopolis at the Mart this afternoon, we happened to be walking out the same set of doors at the same time as my friend Qusai, whom I haven't seen in several years. He looked over at me briefly but kept walking. Once we were outside, I said, "Qusai?" My voice clued him in. "Ohmygod!" he said. "I didn't recognize you! When did you go blonde?"

To which I thought, "I'm not blonde." But Brian says I am, too. To which I say, "Au contraire." This color isn't blonde. This is blonde.

And this post has gone on quite long enough.

I'll post a picture of R and J-D as soon as possible. I want to introduce you to my favorite boys. And I'll even let you book appointments with them. I won't hoard their talent.

Pretty for everyone!

5 Comments:

Blogger Jen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Your hair looks gorgeous! I love it.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, Jen! I LOVE J-D's work.

And it's cute that you reposted your comment to fix your typo. I would have done exactly the same thing!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

Actually, I would say your hair right now is what we call honey blonde. It's the hair colour my No. 2 Best Friend had before her grandmother in law went crazy with the highlights...I liked it better the way it was, but then I've always liked honey blonde hair.

Anyhow, it looks great, Beth!

3:20 PM  
Anonymous nat said...

You are a hot mama. I was just with J-D last Friday....missed you by a week.

9:47 AM  

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