What I Brought Home From My Vacation

My Christmas vacation this year consisted of a trip back to southern California, where the sun shined unbelievably for the full nine days that we were there.  What a beautiful time it was.  I had flapjacks with Dad, went on a traditional shopping excursion with Mom, laughed my butt off with my family as we celebrated Christmas, stood basking in the warmth of Laguna Beach, saw so many friends that I love, managed to squeeze in quality time with a few of them, and just had an all-around great time being around people and places that I’ve missed.

But of course, me being me, I couldn’t resist listing what I got out of this trip that pertains to the nature of this blog.  Namely, what beauty experiences did I walk away with during my time in the Golden state?

A new appreciation for flying

This trip involved my first flying experience in over four years.  While the flight into California was ridiculously turbulent (as in the-captain-issued-a-preemptive-apology kind of tubulent), the flight back was actually quite pleasant.  I enjoyed a couple issues of Elle and InStyle, a Korean serum mask, and a very small glass of Bailey’s just for fun.

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Adding the tiniest bit of luxury to my flight almost made it feel like a borderline chic experience.  Hey, when you’re flying second class and your knees are touching the awkward, hungover twenty-one-year-old’s knees next to you, you kinda have to make it work, even if it means that twenty-one-year-old almost jumping out of his chair at the sight of you wearing a creepy Hannibal mask next to him.

A serious Sephora haul

Now that you’ve heard me complain a couple times about how dry my skin is over here, you’ll be glad to know that my mom-in-law came through with two products that I’m so excited for, and a couple that I picked up myself thanks to a generous gift card from my mom.

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I’d wanted to try an oil cleanser since my skin starting drying out over here, and my mom-in-law came through for me with this one.  I received Erborian’s Solid Oil Cleanser as one of my gifts.  Out of curiosity, I took home a sample of this from Sephora and it is some dreamy stuff, let me tell you.  It smells so fresh and relaxing, with a spa-like green tea fragrance.  The unique consistency is that of a thick, stiff goop, but take a minute or two to really massage it into your dry skin.  It is delicious.

According to the Korean double-cleanse method, you’re then supposed to follow an oil cleanser with a foaming cleanser (though I’m sure the oil cleanser is probably enough for most people).  I’ll be using Ole Henriksen’s Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser (once I finish what I currently have), which also smells relaxing and calming.  I’ve been so into finding scents that lift my spirits lately.  Doing little things like enjoying a smell, or listening to soothing sounds, treating yourself to a coffee, or doing a relaxing yoga session in your apartment are things I used to right off as sad, temporary attempts at trying to avoid reality and ignore life’s troubles.  Now I realize they’re just ways of enjoying your freaking life.  And another small way of enjoying life- dry shampoo.  The highly reputable Living Proof formula was also a Christmas gift, and it’s especially helpful for managing the new hairy addition to my forehead I came home with (see below).

My own Sephora picks include Alterna’s Caviar Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, Shiseido Ultimate Power Infusing Concentrate, and Origins A Perfect World SPF25 Age-Defense moisturizer.  I’ve used all three of these items before and I enjoy each of them.  After running out of my fourth bottle of Rahua shampoo, I’m choosing to give it a break and focus on intense moisture throughout the winter with my hair, especially as I grow it out.  The Alterna is great for that.  Concerning the Shiseido, I have said that I like Caudalie’s Vinosource serum better and I believe I still do.  However, Caudalie is good for intense moisture but it doesn’t necessarily help with other areas of concern like spots, etc.  The Shiseido is a little more geared toward all areas, so I’m going to see how well it multitasks.  And the Origins moisturizer is a nice one that I’ve been using for a while now.  I’ll stick with it.

My only bummer was having my new bottle of Fresh Seaberry Restorative Body Cream, a gift from my sis-in-law, detained by TSA because the bottle was too big.  Poop.  Once again Mom saves the day by sticking around just long enough at the airport for my husband to run it back to her so she can ship it out.

A super-dark manicure

Ever since growing my nails back, man, I am addicted to painting them.  I do darks, nudes, or a true red.  For my manicure that I got with my mama (thanks, Mom!!), I chose OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark, a cult fave, for New Year’s and to go with my mostly basic wardrobe that I’d packed for the trip.  It’s a really deep purple that is barely distinguishable from black, but that’s why I like it.  Once you catch the color in the right light, you see the eggplant hue shining through.  It can work as an interesting accessory (and yes, I consider painted nails an accessory).

So, here’s the best shot I got of them, which also happens to be the best shot I got of an extremely fancy-pants bathroom at the Montage in Laguna.  Two for one.

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BANGS

Because I knew I’d be able to book an appointment with Justin at Salon 9, I had to take the opportunity.  I’ve been rocking a mid-length, rather grown out ombre’d lob since summer, and I figured I could go for a couple small-ish changes.  We darkened things a bit and went for a richer brunette while still leaving some shimmering highlights within the length.  The real addition here though, is the new arrival of bangs.  Whew.  I had forgotten what a commitment they are, but I really want to make them work this time.  I mean, really.  I want long hair down to my chest like I had before, but now with long bangs.  I want bangs to be part of my integral look for a while, so I’m in it for the long haul.  And don’t make fun of my robe or slight-smeared eyeliner here.  I’m wearing MAC’s kohl liner in Smolder, which I consider my Jack Sparrow liner because it always smears and you just have to roll with it.  A pirate’s life for me.

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What this has meant so far is styling them every day, somehow.  I can’t get away with just throwing everything up in a bun and leaving the bangs scraggly and bent out of shape after getting out of bed; they have to be styled.  I mean, there’s looking French, and then there’s looking hungover-French.  Bangs cowlicked up past your forehead can put you in hungover-French territory, so styling them is a necessity.  Sometimes this means just tweaking with a flat-iron, sometimes it means wetting and washing them and starting all over.  It’s very difficult not to fuss with them throughout the day, but you have to remember that their shape doesn’t need to be perfect.  Gone are the days when bangs needed to be precisely uniform and round brushed, so the look still isn’t as high-maintenance as it might’ve been, say, seven years ago.  You can get away with a much more laissez-faire feel now, but you still need to make sure things look cohesive.

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For me personally, I think bangs are a good exercise in self-maintenance and forming a consistent routine of trying.  I very much look forward to the care and keeping of them.  Cheers to caring more in 2016!  xo, MR

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Short and Back Again: A Hair Addict’s Tale

And if you don’t get the Tolkien reference in the title, I can’t help you with life.

If you have known me personally, you have known that I have been on nothing short of a hair quest, a hair saga, a hair journey to the Misty Mountains and back again, since about 2010.  It has been bizarre, to say the least.  I have reached the heights of beach waved, ombre’d glory, only to somehow look in the mirror on some depressed afternoon a month later and not like what I see.  For no good reason.

That’s what’s been bizarre about it.  I’ve been chasing down something with my hair for years, and yet when I look back at pictures from just two months prior I think Good God, Lemon!  Why did you ever complain?!  And yet, there’s still that hair moment that I haven’t landed on.  And it’s strange because I truly feel that I’ve had so many great hair moments!  I don’t know what I’m waiting for.  Maybe the cause is ungratefulness.  Maybe it’s comparison.  Maybe the dissatisfaction comes from an itch for change that doesn’t actually need to be scratched.  I think if I could sum up my hair chronicles in a song it would probably be U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.  It’s been DRAMA, guys.  I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls …

But anyhow, Bono and I digress.

So let me just recount my hair journey from the past six months.  That’s it.  And that’s probably all you can handle; you would hate me otherwise.  I can go on and on about my own hair chronicles.  Trust me- my friends know it.  It’s one of my more narcissistic habits that I’m ashamed of until I get started (and then I can’t stop).  But then again, I could go on and on about your hair too, probably.  Man, I reeeeally wanna braid someone’s hair right now.

In January of 2015, I had long, brown hair.  I would put it in ponytails.  I would curl it.  I would put it up in topknots.  I will never again complain about long hair simply for the fact that you can do so much with it.  I miss sleek, long ponytails that feel very fashion forward.  I miss pretending to be a Victoria’s Secret model (a nice little game to play with yourself).  But as is common, I had an itch for change.  Pinterest, friends’ haircuts, and trends will do that to you.  And sure enough, in either late January, Justin Kamm cut my hair into a lob and lightened it up as well.  I keep trying to make a permanent mental note that I ultimately don’t feel like myself with completely dark hair, but about every 16 months or so, I forget and then return to my senses a few months later.  It’s not that I hate it or think it’s a bad look; I just think the lighter bits are more flattering.

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But then, on Friday, April 3rd, I decided to go for the most drastic haircut I’ve ever had.  By that point I’d known for about one month that we would be moving to Chicagoland, and something in me just needed to go for it.  I had always wished that I could see what my hair would look like short, but fear always kept me from making the chop.  I’d been comfortable and at ease with my long-ish hair that I’d had all my life, but I sort of came to the realization that it’s just hair (and not my identity), and it can grow back.  Moreover, I felt that if I can make the push out to the Midwest, I can also make the push to cut my hair.  It was time to face the unknown.

And so, once again, Justin worked his magic.

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The cut was a bit of a shock for me.  I was in foreign territory.  I know it’s not the shortest cut you’ve ever seen (obvi), but it’s a funny thing when you suddenly become conscious of just how much you’ve been hiding behind your hair your whole life.  When you feel that breeze on your bare neck and reach back only to find nothing to sweep over your shoulder, you feel vulnerable and exposed.  It’s just your face sticking out there!  No long princess curls or beachy waves to toss around and taut as your pride and joy; no feeling of safety that Oh, I don’t feel confident about my face today, but at least I’ve got my long hair.  Nope.  And even while the cut may be a lovely expression in itself, when people look at you, they’re really not seeing all your hair like before (or at least that’s how we tend to perceive these things on ourselves).  There’s some hair, but what the eye now sees from the clavicle and up is pretty much just your face.

And with that, I found that when you cut your hair short, you really have to own it.  Like, you have to own the crap out of short hair.  You have to own it like it’s your job and like it’s the best haircut people have ever seen, even on days when you’re feeling unsure and you actually have no idea what other people are thinking.  You have to be intentional about it and go with it when it’s messy and when it’s styled.  In the weeks following the cut, there were moments when I felt so cool and so French in a way I’d never felt with long hair.  And then there were days when I sensed people were trying to backhandedly tell me that my hair was the most unprofessional, unkempt mess they’d ever seen.  And you know what happens when you own it both days, either way?  You love it.  You really, really love it.

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Once the cut started growing out a bit, it really hit the sweet spot. It gained a little more bounce and I started finding my own way around it.  With short hair you discover that just the smallest changes make a big impact- tucking it behind the ear on one side, a change in part, flipping it all the way over the opposite side a’ la Riawna Capri and all the bajillions of LA-based platinum blonde mid-lengthers that she inspired with Julianne Hough (and yes, if you’re from LA and you’ve gone white-platinum mid-length and flipped your hair to one side, you can thank Riawna Capri for that – not kidding).

But sure as the sun rises, I came to find that the longer my hair grew, the more excited I would get about styling it.  I think I just love the process of growing it out and playing with it.  Even in writing this, I’m coming to find that when it comes to hair I sort of live for the journey.  In most things, I actually do try to live for the destination as I believe that a journey doesn’t amount to much without a meaningful endpoint, but with hair, I’m different.  With hair, it’s all about the cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimb.

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However, with the impending move, I knew that I’d need to stop by Salon 9 one final time for updated color.  I wanted to add more blonde, and in preparation for growing it out long I also wanted to even out the a-line so the back wasn’t too much shorter than the front.  And with that …

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Blonder, a little more even, and ready to grow through autumn.  I loved the texture of this cut and I can only hope that it isn’t lost in the growth or by some poor hair stylist who gives me a trim out here and hacks it into oblivion.  That being said, I do have a couple helpers that have been upping my texture and styling game lately.

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I’ve been using Bumble and bumble’s Thickening DrySpun Finish for a long time now.  It does basically the same thing as Oribe’s Dry Texture but costs half the price.  The scent is amazing (and I know, Oribe’s is amazing too) and it works as a hybrid of dry shampoo, hair spray, and volumizer.  I love it.  Their Don’t Blow It creme is pretty good for me these days, too.  It apparently doesn’t work well on hair that’s already curly or frizzy, but it’s pretty good for my natural texture.  A little scrunching helps, and my natural wave is enhanced without the frizz (or ANY effort).  And the R&Co Jackpot styling creme is what I use for smooth looks right now.  I bought this half-used bottle from a hairstylist at Salon 9 for five bucks.  I use it on blowouts or when I’m sleeking back my hair, but it’s also good for men’s styles.  Just be careful- the scent is nice but powerful, and too much can be a bit overwhelming.  I also continue to use Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist, but you’ve heard me blab about that on here before.

I’m excited to continue my growth process and see where the road leads me, but for now, I’m trying to enjoy my just-above-shoulder length.  Cheers to enjoying what you have!  xo, MR

Old Reliables

I’ve been wearing some ugly clothes lately.  Mom jeans (hear me, they were literally labeled as mom jeans), Birkenstocks (the originals), and tapered track pants with mules.  There’s something freeing about forcing yourself to try and make good out of something known as “ugly” by conventional standards.  It’s a good challenge in personal creativity, and you sort of give up on how others feel about what you’re wearing.

One trend I haven’t been dabbling in, however, would be the return of overalls.  And by gosh by golly, even Olivia Palermo’s been wearing those and Lord knows how I drool over her!  I don’t know, I think it has to do with the fact that they bring back old memories of the cool girls in middle school who would wear their overalls (which were nothing short of a staple back in the day) with … tube tops.  Yep.  Hot pink tube top, overalls from some place now deceased like Anchor blue, top it off with an Etnies skater jacket, and you’re good to go.  Did we want to be Fred Durst video girls or farmers?  We didn’t know, but we had to have the best of both worlds or God strike us dead!

So, I’ll try a trend here and there (or in my case, more like here, there, and everywhere), but I’d say I’ve now managed to round up my set of old wardrobe reliables that I’ll probably keep in rotation until I die or my then-20-year-old child tells me it’s time to stop.  Such items include leather jackets, striped tees, a lot of denim, and a pair of leopard print pumps.

Now what, may I ask, would be the beauty equivalent of these items?

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I’ve mentioned all of these items in previous posts, but if I’m buying them multiple times then they’re worth mentioning again.

I’ve used Bumble&bumble’s Prep Spray for years as a detangler once I hop out of the shower after washing my hair.  Speaking of washing my hair, it’s very likely that I’ve also just used Davines’ Momo conditioner for dry hair.  The scent (sort of gummy and cotton-y, yet addicting), the texture, and the long-term effectiveness of this balm have managed to give it a top space at an extremely long list of conditioners that I’ve tried.  I try to focus more on moisture with my wash as opposed to “damage repair” or protein (which I do every so often), because it can lead to more breakage as I’ve previously discussed.

So anyhow, after washing, I give a few sprays of Prep directly into my roots, sort of massage my scalp a bit, and then gently comb through with (only!) a wide-tooth comb.  I appreciate Prep for the vitamins and, again, the detangling qualities, but I don’t think it really serves a styling purpose.  That’s fine with me considering I tend to let me hair air-dry completely most of the time before laying any heat on it.

I keep a couple shampoos in rotation, but Rahua has been in my shower for two-and-a-half years now.  It is completely free of detergents and soap, is safe for color-treated hair, and has an almost wholly natural ingredients list.  It is not particularly cheap, but I love it so much.  My hair is noticeably less dry after using it, thanks to the lack of ingredients in drugstore shampoo that ironically do more harm than good for dry hair.  I love it, and it gives me an excuse to go to Bloomingdale’s.

Once my hair is dry and I decide to break out the hot tools, I spray a liberal amount of Sally Hershberger’s Hyper Hydration Super Keratin Spray on each section.  It works as a heat protectant, but also serves as an argan oil spray to smooth for blowouts.  The scent is phenomenal, and I love spraying it all over my hair once I’ve twisted it up in a bun at the beach, just to keep it hydrated.  The more concentrated versions of argan oil tend to be too heavy for me, unless I’m going for a pin-straight, shiney look.

And finally, once my hair is taken care of I move on to face and body.  I’ve often sung the praises of Desert Essence’s Tea Tree Oil Deodorant for the fact that it has no aluminum (which means it’s not an antiperspirant, and yes, your body can acclimate to this as all bodies once did a few decades ago), and it contains no propylene glycol.  Tom’s of Maine’s natural deodorant worked for a couple years before I found myself with red, peeling, burning rashes in both of my armpits that would not stop itching.  I discovered this to be the fault of propylene glycol.  Desert Essence is pretty much all oil, and yes, I do not go through my day sweat-free when I wear this stuff but you’re seriously not supposed to go through any day sweat-free.  Bad.

Once I’ve moisturized with some kind of somethin’ (still trying to nail down a favorite), I’ll move on to my precious BB cream from Boscia.  I loooooove this stuff like no other.  This will sound hilarious, but I cannot believe how good my skin looks after putting just a dab of this on!  I like to mix it with some kind of face lotion because it isn’t super spreadable, but I love how even and luminous it makes my skin.  There is a lighter version, a bronze version, and it contains SPF 27.  I recommend this one to anyone with a face.  Anyone.

Any mainstays in your own repertoire?  Holler at me; I’m always curious to know what others can’t live without, whether it’s a tube top or a good nail polish remover.  xo, MR

Vacation all I ever wanted.

I’ve just returned from a near-perfect vacation.  What I love is the fact that I barely had to travel to really feel a sense of escape for this getaway- I live in Orange County, and we traveled no more than three hours at a time for a four-day trip to Santa Barbara.

The first 48 hours consisted of beach camping at the El Capitan State Beach with my husband’s college students, and then it was a stay in town on State Street for our anniversary (with just the two of us … don’t worry).  One of the week’s most glorious moments consisted of our day on the shore with the college group.  It had been foggy and gloomy for the previous twelve hours on the campgrounds, and we feared that our time on the beach later that day might bring more of the same.  Don’t get me wrong- I think dreary beaches are actually gorgeous.  However, I’d packed my swimsuit (and not my coffee mug and blankie) and it had just been so, so long since I’d had one of those quintessential California beach lay-outs.  Well, maybe that’s a lie.  I had gone to the beach near home by myself one week earlier, but unbeknownst to me I had only enough quarters for an hour!  *sobs* Help me I’m poooooor!!!!  So needless to say, I was ready for the kind of sunshine that doesn’t fool around, and I was ready to plant my patooty in the sand and not budge for a good while.

And, come one-o-clock in the afternoon, that’s exactly what we got.  The skies didn’t have anything to offer but pure, unmitigated supply of Sweet D for a good five hours, and I was in heaven.  But let me ask you something … What is heaven without hair color to go with it?  Tell me!  TELL ME!

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I only wish I’d gotten a picture of the out-of-control awesome braid my friend Jourdan whipped my hair into for our beach day, but alas, I was too distracted pretending to be a mermaid.  Thanks Jourdan!  I was only too excited to play around with my hair this week because the color had just been refreshed in the most delightful of ways thanks to my trusted stylist Justin at Salon 9.  And I’m at the point where I can conclusively say that I do indeed prefer my hair with some lightness to it.  It’s just happier.

But regarding this image specifically, here are my locks as they were after I had them blown out at the 1329 Salon and Spa on State Street.  I have this vacation tradition that I started during my honeymoon that involves hunting down a random salon and having either a pedicure or my hair blown out.  I just love meeting different stylists and checking out how different salons do their thing.  I remember the salon I stopped by on my honeymoon was super swanky and only used Kerastase products, and the staff had recently styled hair for New York Fashion Week as a team.  But then, on a different occasion, I stopped by somewhere a little out of my way for a blow-out around Christmas and the salon I happened upon was really old.  The product selection was a little piecemeal, the floors were checkered black-and-white, they had oldies playing on a radio, and I honestly couldn’t understand what my sweet stylist was saying half the time.  But I walked out with the most incredible blow-out!  You just never know what you’ll find.  And that’s the fun of it.

1329 Salon is only two months old, and my stylist, Jenna, had only been there for about five weeks (and they’re looking to hire four more stylists, so if you’re licensed in the SB area, here’s your chair!).  I’d been walking up and down State Street doing some shopping and I literally just walked through the door and asked if anyone could take a walk-in client for a blow-out.  Jenna used a flat-iron to create loose waves in my hair, and she tried to tutor me as best as she could so that I could mimic the technique myself (and we used my favoritest picture EVER of Jessica Biel for inspiration).  Jenna got me blushing though when she kept going on about my new precious highlights.  That’s always a major win for both you and your colorist:  when another stylist takes a moment to look through your whole head of hair while saying “Oh yeah.  Oh yeah.  These are great.”  *happy squeals*  So needless to say (because the shameless selfie says it all), I was more than happy with my experience.  Cheers, Jenna!  I hope you read this!

So, I’m home now.  And my vacation is now nothing more than memories and Instagram files.  But part of me feels like I get to keep vacation with me in the form of my hair as it is now (I know, that sounds creepy like I constantly have something hidden in my hair … Don’t worry, the most you’ll find is probably some bobby pins or a bird).  And tell me, who doesn’t want vacation hair?!  xo, MR

Ode to Salon 9 feat. Justin Kamm. And no, this is not a song I wrote.

This post has been a long time coming. I mean a loooooong time coming. In fact, I’d argue that it probably should’ve been one of the first posts I’ve ever published. I’ve talked about my hair stylist and the salon I go to quite a few times, but let’s face it- I owe a lot to Justin Kamm and his home base at Salon 9.

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In the summer of 2006, I needed a change. I’d been going to the same salon and same stylist as my mom for all my life. It hadn’t been bad, but I just felt like I wasn’t owning my hair. And perhaps I felt like I just wanted someone closer to my age managing it with me (not that this stylist was particularly old or anything, just a difference in generation). So a friend recommended Salon 9 to me, and she recommended the name of a female stylist there that she liked. I called, tried to book said stylist (and I’ve completely forgotten her name- she may not even be there any more), but she was unavailable. And so I was offered an appointment with Justin at the salon instead. BAM! Destiny.

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The salon changed locations from an awkwardly-located shopping strip near some train tracks to the incredible Old Town Orange area in Orange, California around over two years ago. I can’t emphasize how enviable Salon 9’s spot is compared to where they were, but what really blew my mind was that the salon moved just as I was, in fact, moving to Orange too. BAM! Destiny. It couldn’t have worked out better. I’ve also watched the salon transition from one that relied on Bumble&bumble products (overrated, in my opinion) to the lesser-known lines of Arrojo and Davines. I’ve loved that the salon has sort of gone off the beaten path recently and taken on these extremely effective product lines as their mainstays. I’d been reading about Davines in various magazines for some time but could never find their product anywhere. Now I know where to find the whole line, five minutes away from my home. I am all about the Oi Absolute Beautifying Oil (works better than MoroccanOil) and the Momo conditioner for dry hair these days. In the future summer days I’ll probably be looking into the SU Sun Oil when I want to condition it as I lay on the beach.

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For the past coming-on-seven years I’ve relied on Justin as my “hair mechanic”, as I call him to my friends. He fixes things. He improves things. He suggests things. He says when I don’t need things. He says when I do need things. He makes my hair such that I receive compliments from others. And the most awesome part of it is that he executes it all with precision and professionalism. I know that word ‘professionalism’ can seem a bit stuffy and distant, but I use it because Justin has continued to invest in his education and trade over the years. He instructs at workshops, attracts crowds at conventions, and is garnering more and more attention as his relationship with Davines has grown. He and a fellow hairstylist recently developed a start-up called LoveTHECraft, a creative space meant to encourage stylists to come together and share their visions, learn from one another, and be creative in a profession where it sometimes can be a lot more mundane than the average folk (like myself) would think. Oh, and he has a family. And he just Instagrammed a picture of his homemade stuffed portobello mushrooms. So basically, he isn’t any I-mindlessly-cut-your-hairs-and-then-I-go-home-and-derp-around stylist. He’s got serious chops, and if you’ve ever liked anything about my own hair whether in cut or color, you can credit that to Justin. Oh HAYYYY, Justin!

Salon 5

I know I spend money on makeup and skincare (though not as much as some of you may imagine), but there are ways that I can justify cutting corners and saving a buck in these areas. The same goes with clothes. However, I never have a problem forking out for the cash for my hair at this place. Ever. You wear you hair every day. It’s the accessory that you can’t take off and will still be there where you’re sixty, so invest in it. I will say, however, that what I’ve been consistently charged at Salon 9 for cut, color, and styling has been extremely reasonable when I’ve compared it to other rates. I don’t want to name an exact price because I don’t want to create particular expectations for other possible clients that may take in more expensive services, but let me insist that whenever I’ve revealed to my friends how much I pay for hair services, the most common reaction has been eyeballs popping out of their sockets followed by, “That’s reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally goooooooood”. I mean it. And I ask around to compare, too. I’ll put it to you this way: At a different salon, I got charged more for a blow-out than what I’ve been charged for a blow-out and color at Salon 9. And no, I didn’t get this blow-out done by Chris McMillan in Beverly Hills (and just so you know who he’s responsible for…). I got it done at a salon in the same city as Salon 9, which happened to be open on a day when Justin doesn’t work and I was feeling adventurous. It’s a high price that Frodo had to pay for adventuring off to Mordor, and it was a high price I paid for that little adventure of my own. Frodo and I should’ve known better.

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I can’t encourage you enough to visit this place in you’re in the Orange County area and if you’re interested in cultivating an awesome head of hair (or heck, get your butt out here even if you’re in Delaware … WORTH IT.). And of course, I also can’t encourage you enough to ask for Justin when you do visit. It pays off to invest in your local salons and invest in a stylist, because have no doubt- it is their job to make you look your best, it supports the free enterprise of individuals, and they invest in you. xo, MR