Archive for the ‘Fun with L’Oreal’ Category

LP in Sin City

March 27th, 2012

That’s right, Team L’Oreal Professionnel was at it again, in Las Vegas.  This go around though, was quite different.

Beginning at the end: I find myself writing this in my hotel room as part of the processing needed to truly digest the past few days;  an all encompassing new direction that the company is taking in it’s quest to set a new STANDARD and COMMIT to the hairdressing community – a FOUNDATION built 1909 by Eugene Schueller.

We closed with a toast, a symbol of an end and beginning that will be repeated from this point forward.  We were introduced, and soon will you, to iNOA ODS2.  Yes, the (r)evolution continues with iNOA and innovation.  This beautiful color system is now easier, faster, better!  Color that is more present.  Color that is more conditioning.  Color that is leading the way in creating beautiful hair.  I can’t wait to share this with everyone!

James Morrison popped in to share his undying passion for education.  The newest member of this growing family is at the core of why I do what I do.  He, along with the incomparable Diane Gentellalli, directly influenced me at an early age in my career to share with others what I love to do.  James’ love of hair and sharing is all too evident, as is his mastery of the message, and LP is all the richer for his presence.  If you know me, then you know I love The Finish.  So, to geek out on blow-styling a doll head like we did today with Morrison’s class made this confessed geek extremely happy.

The brilliant marketing department shared all the great toys to come.  Not just products mind you, but the multi-faceted ways in which LP will reach the consumer and support the hairdresser.  To have a 24/7 networking system for education brings new meaning to the word support.  This marketing team has accomplished with the launch if iNOA what no marketing team has, and yet they improve to create tools and initiatives unparalleled in the beauty industry.  Mad props here!

Beauty was front and center in the morning with the creative collections and inspirations at the hand of a talented team.  From balayage to classic painting and design,  our inspirations began with the Haute Couture standard set by Odile Gilbert.  A true master of beauty, Odile created the spirit for a truly beautiful collection: Somptueux. Huge props to the talented artists and wonderful models; there is no better word than – beautiful.

An incredible presentation meant to enlighten, elevate and set a foundation for us was given by Blair Singer.  This is what will set LP Education  apart: the tools to present, engage and inspire others; through the constant refinement of our presentation skills.  Much was gained and still more to learn, and one of the most important takeaways this weekend had to offer.

Kicking off the weekend was a message delivered by 2 incredible women:  Barbara De Laere and Suzanne Sturm; a vision of a strong future path rooted in the beginnings of L’Oreal and pushing ever forward on the strength of education.  The Haute Couture presentation set a standard of unequaled craftsmanship, while marketing showed why LP is the preeminent brand in the public’s mind.  This vision, and the path set forth, will give hairdressers everywhere the tools to be their best!

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Discover Dia in 2012

January 26th, 2012

A new year is upon us and with it, a short (very short) effort will be made to reflect on last year’s events…

…That was great!  Now, on with the new.

What’s on the plate for 2012?  First up – DiaRichesse and DiaLight.  That’s right, the world of color as we know it is once again changing, and L’Oreal Professionnel is leading the way.  Our improved and new (sic) lineup of demi-permanents will enhance the creative skills of the professional and offer incredibly beautiful hair to the public.  Imagine being able to darken hair up to 4 levels in one fell swoop!  ”Hey Blondie.  Wanna go brunette?  DONE!”  Or how about adding pop to previous color, or toning those highlights?  EASY!  With our DiaRichesse Alkaline technology we can cover up to 70% grey hair, add a little bump to your new growth, or create a grand tonal change.  Our new DiaLight Acid technology opens so many new doors to creativity that you will have to experience it for yourself.  The sheer simplicity and beauty is astounding!

And let’s talk the services offered; whether you are GREY INCOGNITO, REFLECTS REVEALED or BACK TO ME – your natural tones have never looked better.  But what if you suffer from REFLECT ADDICTION or need a COLOR WAKE UP?  Don’t worry, we have the right prescription.  And if you woke up screaming TONE MY HIGHLIGHTS or think yourself a hollywood diva and need that PHOTO GLOSS, your hair will never look better (or brighter!).  But what of that dull finish you see after a re-texturing service?  The SHAPE AND COLOR service will ease your mind and enhance your beauty.

You see, it’s all so simple.  Whether a hairdresser or a client, your world just became more easy and pretty.

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Houston, we have liftoff

March 4th, 2011

No, I didn’t become the first hairdresser in space.  I did though, orbit the Earth on the spaceship LP.  Well, me and over 300 of my closest hair buddies.

Yes, L’Oreal Professionnel took all of us to the moon during our annual Sales, Education and Marketing event.  This was 5 days of learning, yearning and sharing.  From cocktails to reports on sales, both here at home as well as the world picture.  We were inspired by an Enigma, embraced change from within and were schooled on strictly business.  It was a powerful, empowering, exhilarating and exhaustingly good time.

A cocktail party was offered up by LP the evening of everyones arrival and it was a great icebreaker; getting to visit with friends from all over and meet new ones in the process, then a chat over dinner with a few more, allowing our minds to prepare for the coming days in an open and happy state.  Over the next two days we were presented with where we’ve been, where we are going, new tools to teach and be creative, as well as numerous calls to action.

In twenty-ten, LP became the fastest growing professional line on the market and the Number One brand in the company’s portfolio.  WOOT!  The jubilation and collective exhale felt great.  Our goal though, is to be Number One across the board…and achieve we will.  We owe much to the launch of iNOA, our ammonia-free permanent hair color.  It took the industry by storm and continues to grow, forging a paradigm shift and elevating the industry to new heights (I will speak more on iNOA at a later date).  We also though, owe a great deal to the amazing team amassed by LP; these are my brothers and sisters, working hard to elevate our industry with the best tools in the business – from the best team in the business!

Team breakouts during these few days included color swatch challenges and new product introductions, collection work and education gadget play (they gave us projectors!), but they also included HAA; Hairdressers Against Aids.  This is an amazing initiative that I will also soon speak at length on, but suffice it to say that Hairdressers Against Aids is a movement a longtime in coming.  I am proud to become a voice in the fight to end HIV/AIDS.

There are so many highlights at this event, that it is hard to say one was above all others, but our company dinner and collection presentation was certainly near the top.  How do you feed 400 hungry and slightly tipsy hairdressers?  LP does it well.  Great company and food, champagne flowing and for dessert – “Spring Illusion”.   Our spring/summer color and design collection created by Shelley Mohr, Jason Backe, Kristjun Holt and Joe DiMaggio.  Beautifully creative and thought provoking…it hits at the core of what my industry is all about – creating beauty.

Two other standout events were Strictly Business and Embracing Change.  Strictly Business is in essence, what our industry needs to survive.  Scratch that…ANY industry needs to survive.  Before the recession businesses ran high and wild, thinking their plan for success was strong.  Once the recession hit, it exposed the underbelly of deeply flawed planning countrywide.  Strictly Business is a comprehensive plan to teach tried and true business success models, and we at LP once again, lead the way with offering this program to our industry to partner and create success.

The other standout is Embracing Change.  Tanya Chernova is a bright and shining light of enthusiasm, empowerment and reaching ever upward.  Her program gives you the tools to understanding others, while discovering yourself.  LP brought Tanya to us so as to further enhance our tools in teaching and learning.  An accomplished business woman and coach, Tanya inspired us to truly work, create and be what we know we can be…

…and I was fortunate enough to have experienced her twice.  What an honor and what a goal; to do as she does is an opportunity I look forward to creating.

I mentioned it was hard to pinpoint that one thing rising above all others, but find it I did.  It was in the I am happily part of – Team NorCal.  Everyone from my region showed up for this incredible event, and I thank them for being the team of professionals they are.  I am proud to stand alongside them and look forward to sharing in their successes for many years to come.

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Yes Virginia, they cut hair in the great northwest too…

January 2nd, 2011

…and cut hair we did!

Earlier this year I scampered up to Portland and Seattle for L’Oreal, to share the passion I have for the cut and was privileged to meet and work with some wonderfully talented designers.   Jody and Richelle, comrades in L’Oreal, were my booking agents, handlers and women of wisdom – teaching me ropes I was to soon grab hold of (that is another story, saved for later).  I visited five salons on this three day trip; all of them passionate, talented and involved in the learning experience.  Not meaning to give short shrift, and desiring to honor all for their hospitality and commitment, I list them now:  Tres Bon was first up and a great way to begin my trip.  Teal, followed by Pigment, began day 2, while Teze and Paule Attar rounded out my travels.

Tres Bon, located in Portland, has an energetic and young staff eager to learn.  Many of the staff are in the early years of their career and are looking for that much needed education and direction to grow.  Many of my peers have recently had the pleasure to further Tres Bon’s knowledge and creativity and, knowing how well L’Oreal supports their salon family, Tres Bon will continue to grow.

It isn’t often one gets to step into a space wherein one of your team members, designers of the highest caliber, works.  I had the chance to do this twice in one day.

The following morning I had the privilege of visiting Teal Salon.  This urban setting houses upscale service and talent, mentored by Deannalyn and Ryan, L’Oreal Portfolio Artists and incredible talents to boot!  Teal too, has a young staff and their talents are growing at a rapid pace due to the strong educational structure put forth by the Teal’s.  Presenting education in front of such talent is an experience rarely shared, but one I will always cherish and seek.  I cannot speak enough about Teal and my reverence for them, so I will ask you to see for yourself.  After all, they aren’t called the coolest salon for nothing.  Again I say, a privilege it was to share among talents I revere.  That evening I would have the further honor of Joining Ryan, Deannalyn and Tuesday, their daughter, in breaking bread and talking on our favorite subject.  Something about serious conversation regarding hair just turns me on to no end.  Thank you for such fine food, wine and company.

After leaving Teal Salon, I ventured to downtown Portland and Pigment.  Tina Helmer has put together an incredible team in a front-and-center location, challenging the downtown trollers to find a better place for their style.  Bradford Vinson anchors the color department, as well as being an incredible Portfolio Artist, and was only too kind to partake in my design class (he would also join me for the last day of my trip to Seattle).  When next in Portland, visit Pigment and checkout the beautiful window displays (Tina, you are good) and talented staff.

The next day Bradford and I drove to Seattle and it’s outlying areas.  Bradford went to Tacoma and I was carted to Teze Salon in Puyallup.  They were in the throws of a move to their new location, but were eager to learn and share.  Imagine my excitement at having over a dozen wonderful designers fully engaged, hairs flying and all!  A truly wonderful experience and I look forward to seeing Teze Salon’s new digs soon.

Last, but certainly not least, Paule Attar Salon and Day Spa. This presentation was a collections class given by Bradford and myself.  He of color, I of design.  We had the opportunity to show our work on two models, and one of them was Paule herself.  I love this place and Paule Attar especially, having had the privilege of showcasing uphair styling there in the past.  Someday soon, I plan to visit the spa section of this fabulous place…pampering the priority.

Again, this was all achieved; five presentations in three days, and my time north, though quick, was incredible.  Honored to share always, especially in front of such talent, and even more so when those talents are L’Oreal peers.

Thank you everyone, for such hospitality.

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Spring/Summer 2010 Summit

January 27th, 2010

Follow me, walking backwards:   It begins with some jazz in the background, sleeping dogs surrounding me, it’s raining outside and I’m still wiped out from the midnight landing after a six hour flight I waited five hours for to actually get off the ground.  Are you with me so far?

Why is it that a supershuttle ride from SOHO to Newark Airport takes 20 minutes, while the reverse takes over an hour?  I’m just sayin’!  Anyway, I missed the wrap session at our summit to catch that shuttle which, given that I saw Noah building his ark while buckets of water crashed all around us and umbrellas flew by without their owners , picked me up at 3pm – only to deposit me at the airport where I promptly began the 5 hour exploration of my exhaustion.   That said, to all my L’Oreal teammates I didn’t get to say goodbye to; there you go and all the love I have to spare.

Two days of practicing and sharing in the newest of collections soon to a salon near you.  Jo Blackwell and Suzi Bond created the BEAUTIFUL colors while Michael McCune and Kristjun Holt knocked out the OH-SO-TIGHT designs.

Our coming collection (see blog title) is called “LOGBOOK”, referring to the escapism and desire to remove ourselves from so much of what this recent past and present have been giving us.  What with recession, wars, job losses, a failing political system and now a horrendous earthquake – we look to escape and forget.  This collection, inspired by the runways, evokes the desire to explore, getaway and enjoy by creating the world we truly want to have; one of recline and repose, of exploration and adventure…and always of looking good!  The color schemes evoke sunrises and sunsets, the undulating waters we love to wade in and the ease and simplicity of life when experiencing such events.  The design element is destination based, the places you will find those experiences.  Rio, Ibiza, Sedona (can we all go…now!) – all have the freedom of movement and relaxed structure representative of vacations.  Put them together, pack your bags and kiss the world goodbye.

We spent two days working on the collection; practicing what we preach and preaching what we practice.  Time now to practice more; preparing for the moment we, as L’Oreal artists, are sent out to share with our fellow designers and clients alike.  On a personal note: feel free to ask me about the collection as I will most assuredly begin planting the seeds of change for the coming sunshine.

My Saturday began with the earlybird special, a 7:30 flight to New York.  For those of you having traveled west to east, you know it’s an all day affair.  Upon arrival I made my way to the Four Points Sheraton in SOHO – quaint and cozy, where all of us hairdressers stayed for our summit.  I also met up with the team of talent that helped knock out an incredible photoshoot that night.  And my room doubled as the photo studio – an incredibly cozy affair, given that New Yorkers seem to never travel alone.  At it’s peak the room had THIRTEEN bodies, piles of clothing and luggage, and beauty equipment galore.  Good thing the average height was around 5’5″, even while including our 5’10″ beautiful model, Libby and my ever so grandly statured roommate, Laurant (he was so great and patient while we invaded his space).

The photo team consisted of the aforementioned Libby, the fashion styles of Liz Wachstein, incredible makeup of Jensee Etania, the creative eye of Nora Kobrenik and my new and dear friend, the ever so talented Shana Schnur, behind camera.  This incredible team and their support crew (did I mention New Yorkers travel in packs) so capably translated my vision – and added theirs for the better, in creating such beautiful imagery.  I cannot wait to share these images with you all!  Soon, I will post them everywhere and for everyone to see.  For now though, a sneak peek.  

Well, that was my weekend…three days full of hair and of little sleep.  Creativity busting from it’s seams.  A truly wonderful time was had and I send my heartfelt thanks to everyone for making it so special.

Beautiful is what you are!

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Pre-summit Portland

January 21st, 2010

Portland, Oregon and Jody Lampi were the gracious hosts of this Spring/Summer sneak-peek and educational, held for the first line of offense in L’Oreal’s quest for hair world dominance.  And both hosts were front, center and on top of their game.

I arrived direct from San Diego in the wee hours of the night to find my roommate had yet to arrive (or so I thought – the hotel not being too keen on organizational skills).  Unpack, brush the tooth and off to bed it was for me; the next morning, and over the coming days, I will be with peers as we further hone our skills and soak in the new collection: LOGBOOK.  More to come with regards to this newest of collections after the coming weekend’s beauty summit.  Oh yes, we hairdressers (at least us L’Oreal acolytes) partake in summits.

This gathering of the hands was spread over three days and attended by brothers and sisters in hair from parts west and northwest.  Dawn Mink, the trainers trainer, shared with us the latest techniques, in both color and design, of the coming season.  It may be raining and raining and raining, but we were thinking spring and summer and vacation. Whether refined or the adventurous type, this collection travels well (I just love these little collection hints…don’t you)!

An adventure of an other type was presented by our resident foodie – Vivian Grimaldo, and she did not disappoint.  Vivian was in charge of our menu and took on this task with serious gusto.  We went Peruvian, Thai and the kitchen sink, eating to our hearts content, and discovered new flavors and dishes and a Portland I had not known before.  The food was INCREDIBLE!  I tip my hat to 50 Plates, Pok Pok and, last but not least, Andina (a must visit again, when next northbound).  Thank you, Vivian and thank you, Portland for a happy belly (and a special thanks to Viv for a delectable birthday dinner at Andina).

Fond memories, inspired education and lasting friendships made for a great stay.  Thanks again, to each and all.

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4, 4 in 3

October 29th, 2009

What do those numbers stand for you ask?  Well, if you’ve been keeping up with Facebook you would know that it was my whirlwind hair tour; 4 events in 4 cities in 3 days!  I write this the morning after.  I simply must tell you all about the great events and, though these are all posted in my “Fun with L’Oreal” section, not all were related.  More on that as we move along.

My first stop was in Capitola at Rumours Salon.  Nice digs and a wonderful staff.  This class was all about Texturecutting and the new looks from our ROCK-n-FOLK Collection.  A look and learn component with three demo-cuts followed by a hands-on segment provided for much fun and creativity.  Everyone was incredibly engaged, keeping me on my toes with questions, and ready now to share with their clients.  After Rumours it was to the airport and beyond…

…well, to Las Vegas at least.  By the time I got to my hotel I had just enough time to tuck my self in for a long nap, needing to be ready for my new friends at Global House of Hair.  GHH is a gem waiting to be discovered.  The open floor design and modern, yet minimally applied style welcomes you and says, through no words, that you are in great hands.  GHH, having just opened this past May, was in need of support with regards to the various products at their fingertips.  A bit of group discussion followed by a hands-on transformation, provided, I hope, the tools and inspiration needed to elevate their game and help that gem to sparkle (plenty of sunshine there to let it gleam).  A tip of the hat to a wonderful salon and I wish you all the best!

(This is my third visit to Las Vegas and I have met such great stylists there, counting them as peers and friends)…

…and to the airport again.  This time, and later the same day, I was back at home and heading to my next event.  This presentation was at the LGBT Center in San Francisco for a presentation with my two friends and partners – Chris Scott and Antonia Russo.  Our presentation was on image building for career growth.  We focused on hair (yours truly), Makeup (Chris) and the ever important outfitting of oneself (Antonia).  The ladies in our audience were so wonderful, sharing as much their needs as they were eager to listen.  There was much to gain from this event and most of it was gained by me.  Thank you so much for allowing me (and us) to share with you in your lives.  I look forward visiting again soon.

After a much needed evening of a home cooked meal and relaxing with my bride, off to Menlo Park I went for a Transformation and product knowledge event at Studio 1258.  An evening event and a large, talented staff provided for some fun hair.  The Texture Expert products are new to the salon, so I really wanted them to get their hands dirty.  Much hair was moussed, gelled and sprayed on its way to looking beautiful and I thank everyone for their time and patience on what was undoubtedly, a long day for all.

Well, that’s about it for now.   Next stop…Seven Salon here I come!

beautiful is what you are

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TextureCutting at Square Salon

September 30th, 2009

I simply must mention Square Salon in Las Vegas, they are such an awesome team and I just love to visit.

This was my second visit there and it was a blast, my first being an uphair design class – getting our hands dirty with gobs of product and big, big, BIG hair with which to create shapes.  This new class involved a sharing of techniques and philosophies on the art of cut design.  I introduced the staff to TextureCutting through two looks from our fall/winter 2009 collection: Rock-n-Folk.  To be honest, this was an introduction to our approach to cutting, a more in depth view is a whole different program all together, and the staff stepped up!

They are an enthusiastic and dedicated bunch at Square, showing up in full force on a day off to spend a few hours sharing knowledge, and they know their craft.  Diving in to the cuts, they would share among each other, as much as sharing with me their thoughts and challenges.  More a family than a team, everyone at Square Salon looks to each other for support and guidance, knowing that nothing is accomplished alone.  When the salon benefits, so does the staff (for the salon IS the staff).  The newest members, Eden and Amanda, are in great hands to develop great hands and will surely grow to become wonderful designers in a family of talent…

…and I look forward to my next visit!

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“Undressed”

September 23rd, 2009

So, I haven’t been around in a bit and for good reason…B-U-S-Y!  It seems that my efforts to spend more time at home are ever thwarted by my desire to create beauty, whenever and wherever I am called.  And who am I kidding…I LOVE IT!

My schedule with L’Oreal has been picking up steam, which is well by me, but I want to tell of two shows I recently had the pleasure of working; “Undressed SF” and “Undressed Seattle”.

These shows (and a third coming soon to Irvine – of which I am not a part of) are sponsored by MALY’S, a beauty supply house for the hairdresser, and they showcased about half a dozen manufacturers and their wares.  Really though, do we need to spend time on any other besides L’Oreal Professionnel?  These were shows – models, music, lights, camera and action!

First up…San Francisco.  The main artists for this show were Steven Cristobal and Kristjun Holt, and they were fantastic!  They are one half of the team that created our 2009-10 Fall/Winter Collection, Rock-n-Folk, and together they shared their vision – Steven on color and Kristjun on shape.

The Rock-n-Folk Collection is HOT!  It reaches back to move forward, showing off the history of hair in and through music, then updating and reinterpreting the looks for today’s fashions and habits.  Within the shape, we wanted to refine and heighten the designs created by those who, most often, cut their own hair, creating and enhancing their persona (as a stylist I can create the balance someone with kitchen shears can’t).  Color took on a whole new meaning and application.  Imagine simply grabbing a chunk of your hair and putting one color on it, while you apply a different and contrasting color on the rest of your hair.  That is essentially the attitude we wanted to convey with the collection, albeit in a much less hazardous, and much more controlled, atmosphere.  The patterns showed off the nuances of the haircuts, sometimes subtlety and other times aggressively.  All of the looks ROCKED (and folked, if that is your liking)!

The second show was in Seattle and once again featured Steven Cristobal, but the artist with him was Ryan Teal.  They also worked great as a team, but I must tell you that anyone teaming with Steven is on a great team.  He is a rock on stage; not a showman, just a solid teacher who’s lessons are succinct and work is effortless.  Both Steven and Ryan showed off some amazing talent and vision too!

Both of these events also featured an introduction to INOA, but I won’t go there just yet.  That topic will be presented in due time, so be patient and prepare yourself for the next revolution in hair color…you won’t want to be left behind.

These two events featured a great support team headed by our fearless leader, Maya Webb and featuring Dawn Mink, Heather, Jody, Richelle, Gustavo, Madelyn, myself and others along with our three wonderful models Kristin, Lauren and Nikita.  I can’t forget all the other models who waited patiently all day for their chance to shine.  They were terrific!

I look forward to these shows next year, but with me as a presenter…I love what I do!

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Design Summit – West

August 31st, 2009

…This past weekend the L’Oreal west coast education team came together for three days of learning and sharing our passion.  It was a weekend filled with cutting, cutting, new product launches and cutting…and it was fabulous!

We at L’Oreal are embarking on a new frontier; one that will see us grow to become a top design company as well as the leader in all things color.  My excitement lies in being part of the team bringing design to the forefront for, and with, L’Oreal.  Our TEXTUREcutting and mens HOMMEcutting (supporting our mens haircare line) are incredible systems of design and will further enhance the skills of designers everywhere.  I for one, am a better artist for the learning.

…Not directly related to L’Oreal, but exciting just the same, was my involvement in The Administrative Assistants of the 9th and 10th Curcuit Courts Seminar.  I teamed with makeup artist Chris Scott and image maker Antonia Russo in emparting our shared passion and knowledge of beauty tips and tricks to 160 attendees, hoping that they can go home and back to work with the added tools and confidence in creating self beauty.

Chris gave an incredible presentation on quick makeup tips when you are on a limited clock to get ready (and ladies, these tips are done at home, not while driving…despite what Chris says!).  Antonia was wonderful at showing everyone how to dress the part for work and going out; how to make something pop with just a bit of color and how to create that signature look.  For my part, I showed how to dress up a design with a couple simple tricks and explained the merits of using the right products for your hair and scalp.  I also touched on how to have a proper conversation with your designer (to get maximum benefit and attention).

These two events made for an incredible week!  One that has surely taught me as much, if not more, than I was able to give others.  I look forward to still more sharing and the doors to be opened from these experiences.

“Beautiful is what you are”

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