Wine & Food Tasting Charity Auction

This past Thursday evening we attended the 12th Annual Wine & Food Tasting Charity Auction which was held at BMW of Darien.  The silent auction proceeds go to benefit The Depot, The Darien Chamber of Commerce and The Darien Arts Center.

There were fabulous items to bid on, such as a Mini Home Makeover from Kirby & Company, classes from The Bar Method, a beautiful suede fringe wrap from Helen Ainson and a Full Spa Day with lunch from our Salon & Spa. There was literally something for everyone!  Experiences to remember; including tickets to the 2017 PGA Championship with three nights in a 4 star hotel and breakfast and a rental car!  Or how about tickets for 4 to Cats on Broadway, a limousine ride to the show and a $100 gift card to dine!  For the wine lover, many selections of wines or scotch.  Need some painting done?  They auctioned off a painter for a day, which is the perfect way to spruce up for the holidays!

Let us not forget the food!  There were delicious selections from The Goose, Sono Baking Company, Whole Foods, Atria of Darien, Palmer’s Darien and many more!  A raw bar was a delightful addition this year and was hopping all night long!  Of course, a great selection of white and red wines complimented all the delicious bites!  It was a great way to discover a new favorite wine and mingle with local businesses, clients and friends.

We were happy to be Connoisseur Sponsors of this fabulous event and hope to see you there next year!  Here are a few photos of the wonderful evening!  Enjoy xoxo








Tips To Mastering The Smokey Eye

With the holidays fast approaching, invitations to cocktail parties, dinner parties, galas and more will be on all of our calendars.  While the perfect outfit and accessories are totally a must, so is great hair and makeup in order to complete a fabulous look that has a few heads turning this season!

At the beginning of this month, we were invited to The Darien Community Association’s first luncheon of the season, which included a fashion show and our makeup artist extraordinaire, Dee Stefanou, demonstrating how to create the perfect smokey eye.

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Contrary to what one may think, there is much more to creating the smokey eye look than a load of dark shadow!  As with everything, the more you practice, the better you will become at mastering the oh so sought after sultry, smokey eye!  Tips to remember:

  • Layer, layer, layer!  Build the color on your eye starting with a lighter color and adding deeper color as you go.
  • Don’t forget those lashes.  Long, lush lashes are a must for added oomph! Try a lash conditioner that nourishes, strengthens and grows your lashes (we love RevitaLash Advanced which is available in our salon) to beautiful lengths or eyelash extensions which will totally have you hooked after one time!
  • Blend and then blend some more!  Good brushes are a must to blend your shadows and smudge your liner perfectly.
  • Don’t over tweeze your eyebrows.  Part of the sexy look of a smoky eye includes brows that frame your beautiful peepers with groomed but not over manicured brows.  Fuller brows also look more youthful (added bonus!)
  • Darker shadow should go just above the upper eyelid crease to add depth, especially important for deep set eyes that need that added dimension.
  • Light, medium, dark.  Use three similar toned shadows.  A light shade, a medium and then a dark matte shadow.  Start with the lightest shade under the brow bone then add the medium shade across the top lid to the crease, finally the darkest color a bit above the crease, concentrating especially on the outer edge and blend up and out to “lift the eye”.
  • Smokey eyes can be created with blacks, charcoal, brown, plums and more.  Find what looks best on you.
  • Use an eyeliner and smudge slightly with a brush.
  • Line your waterline for added drama.
  • Nude lipstick always look fab with a dark, dramatic eye but for an even more daring look, try a bright shade lipstick in fuchsia or other shade that compliments your complexion and coloring.

Need a lesson?  Give us a call and schedule a makeup lesson with Dee.  She can show you step by step how to create a fabulous smokey eye!




Fashion and Beauty for The Generations

The Darien Community Association held it’s first luncheon of the season and kicked it off with a “Fashion Show for the Generations” this past Tuesday, October 4th.  The fashion show featured clothing and accessories from The Darien Sports Shop and 10 beautiful models showed off two outfits each to a group of almost 100 ladies.

We were thrilled to provide hair and makeup for the models prior (and touch ups during!) to the fashion show.  A big thanks to Ourania, Natalya, Tina, Ali and Miro for coming in early and doing an absolutely beautiful job in styling all of the models hair.  Netta, Jessie and Dee provided gorgeous makeup applications on the ladies so needless to say, the models all looked amazing!

Once the lunch and fashion show were over, our talented Dee had a volunteer from the audience serve as her model to demonstrate how to achieve “The Perfect Smokey Eye”, as well as giving great makeup tips to all the ladies.  Dee took questions from the audience on her recommendations for makeup, the benefits of eyelash extensions and lots more!

Model, Jennifer, gets gorgeous with Dee’s makeup skills! Dee uses contour to emphasize her cheekbones, a coral/brown blush, a few individual false lashes and earth toned lipstick.
Netta performs her magic on one of the models, Laura. She applies smokey grey/blue shadow and a teal colored eye pencil in the waterline and on top to bring out her beautiful eyes.


Another model, Stephanie is made up and ready for her fashion catwalk! Gorgeous fuchsia lipstick just “pops”! Dee emphasized her coloring with a smokey black eyeliner, grey and brownish/plum shadow and a beautiful blush in “Hush Pink”.
Vicki gets glam with one of our pros, Jessie. Jessie emphasized her warm coloring with eyeshadows in the brown family, mascara and a warm russet lipstick.
Backstage touch ups! Dee gives Stephanie and extra coat of lipstick before going down the runway!
Lovely volunteer from the audience, Melanie is Dee’s model to demonstrate how to achieve the perfect smokey eye! Dee discusses makeup tips on how to best apply foundation and concealer, the proper way to put on blush and lots more insider tips!
Melanie and her beautiful mom — all smiles!
Dee (center) and all the models!
Gorgeous ladies with Dee wearing their outfits they modeled.

Personal Image Sessions – STAR

We wanted to share with you the wonderful time we had over the past 4 weeks in treating some lovely young ladies from STAR to Personal Image Sessions.  These sessions were scheduled for 4 Mondays and included haircuts and styling, facial treatments, manicures, and professional makeup applications.  Upon completion of the sessions, the ladies received goodie bags with makeup and beauty samples, so they can pamper themselves at home!

We have a STAR client, Denise Sapione employed with us and believe so much in this amazing organization.  We are so happy to support STAR each year at their fundraising events, as giving back is a very high priority for us!  We were inspired to do something special for the ladies because of Denise.  She is so affected by her work here.  She loves it and we love her. We know that Denise loves to look good, as it gives her confidence.  Our own Kellyann Marlow was the coordinator of the beauty retreats, and STAR is very close to her heart, as she is the sister of a STAR client, Casey Smith.

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a non-for-profit organization which serves individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families.

We would like to throw it out there:  how can you give back?  Giving back, paying it forward, performing random acts of kindness — it’s what truly matters.  In a world with much sadness and hurt, we say “throw kindness around like confetti!”

Have a fabulous day! xoxo

Kellyann (2nd from left), Dee (center) and Maria (2nd in on right) pictured with the lovely ladies from STAR.
Kellyann (center) with STAR gals.
Maria (center) with STAR gals.
Dee (center) with two STAR gals.




Step by Step Makeup for Day and Evening

Yesterday we were part of an event hosted by KVO Collections which featured women owned businesses for an afternoon of food, fun, shopping and beauty.

Our very own Dee spent the afternoon transforming ladies at the event from plain (yet beautiful!) to wow with her simple steps for easy daytime makeup (and then her steps to go into evening!).

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Here are Dee’s steps for a gorgeous daytime look:

  • Apply concealer to tone down redness and hide any imperfections. Remember to blend, blend blend!
  • Apply foundation in a light downward direction (in the direction of the tiny little hairs each of us has on our face) with a dry makeup sponge. Using a sponge allows for more natural looking coverage, allows for better blending and a softer look in general.
Makeup sponges are a must for perfectly blended foundation!
  • Now go back over some areas with concealer, such as the inner eye area and under the eye.
  • Take a neutral shadow highlighter and blend under the brow bone.
  • Define brows with a pencil or powder.  Fill in sparse areas and define the arch of the brow to really frame the face and make your eyes pop!
Dee works her magic on Caroline, one of her eyelash extension clients (we love these lashes!!) — Here Dee is defining her brows with a pencil a bit darker than her own natural brow.
  • Use a dark shadow (Dee used a dark gray here) in the crease.  This is especially important for deep set eyes to pull the eye forward.  Blend the darker shadow a bit above the crease for deep set eyes.
Dee’s color arsenal filled with stunning shades for lips and eyes!
Not sure what color shadow is best for your coloring? Ask Dee! She can steer you in the right direction so the shadow you use will make your peepers pop!
  • Next, use a liner inside the waterline on lower lid.  Dee used a dark blue/gray liner to bring out Caroline’s beautiful teal blue/gray eyes.
  • Define the lip line to prevent lipstick from bleeding with a lip liner in a color close to the lipstick you will use.
  • Fill in lips with lipstick.  Here, Dee used a matte fuchsia colored lipstick on Caroline.  Dark colors are big for fall 2016 — ranging from reds to burgundy to deep fuchsia!
  • Dee finishes off the look with a bit of bronzer for an all over glow, and then a sweep of blush in hibiscus to give some beautiful color to her cheeks.
  • No need for mascara, as Caroline has eyelash extensions so she can skip that step!  (No extensions?  curl lashes and apply mascara, allowing to dry between coats).
Beautiful Caroline, ready for the day in just a few minutes! Who says gorgeous has to take a lot of time?!

There is your perfect daytime look, done with a light hand, and taking little time!  Now you can head off to the office or out for a day running errands with the kids!  Want to transform this daytime look to night time?  Here are Dee’s tips for going from day to evening in a snap! 

  • Don’t take off your daytime makeup!  That’s correct, you heard right!  Makeup over makeup actually looks better, as it blends with your natural oils. And not only does it blend better but it also gives you that dewy look we are all after!
  • To refresh existing makeup, gently blot a toner (on a cotton ball) on your face.  Dee uses Rosewater Mineral Toner by Skincare Essential (available in the salon) to refresh the base.
  • Re-apply dark shadow in crease.
  • Add a liquid or pencil liner from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner.  Keep the line thin at the inner corner and gradually allow it to get thicker towards the outer corner.  This will give you that sexy cat eye look.
  • Re-apply liner inside waterline on lower lid.
  • Add more mascara or individual false lashes (if you don’t have eyelash extensions) for extra drama.
  • Next, take a shimmer stick  (which are really hot right now) and sweep on top of cheekbones for that JLo look!  We have three available – one in champagne shimmer, icy mauve shimmer or bronze shimmer.
  • Evening is the perfect time to “play” with your makeup.  Add a shimmery shadow for some sparkle.  Teal, blue, champagne, green, purple shimmer shadows add the “wow factor” to your look!
  • Eyes aren’t the only place to add some sparkle!  Lips in matte plum or purple look beautiful when a shimmer gloss is added to the middle of the upper and lower lip!

Want a makeup lesson with our makeup pro, Dee?  Schedule a one hour session and get ready for the compliments!  Let Dee teach you one-on-one!  1 hour makeup lesson – $110.


Our Passion for The Beauty Business

We were recently featured in New Canaan, Darien & Rowayton Magazine’s September/October issue as one of the Faces of Darien.  We would like to share the gist of that write up with you, as it will give you great insight as to our passion for this business!

We have such a passion for our business, and always strive to give our clients the very best!  With that said, as our 5th Anniversary approaches (November it’s official), Andrew and I want to thank each and every one of you, our fabulous clients, for choosing us to pamper you!   We truly appreciate you and value your business!  We would also like to thank our wonderful, professional, and dedicated staff for your talents, and shared passion for the beauty profession!

Andrew and I wish you all a fabulous weekend and Happy Autumn!

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Photo: New Canaan/Darien and Rowayton Magazine – September/October Issue

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7 Hairstyles That Take Years Off

What do some of Hollywood’s most glamorous women over 40 have in common?  They know the power of a great hairstyle, as well as the importance of keeping their locks shiny and soft through diligent care!  If you are looking for a change, perhaps you may want to try out adding bangs to your cut for instant face framing, as well as adding a more youthful appearance by softening your look, and concealing any forehead frown lines!  Adding a few strategically placed layers can also give your look a lift, and don’t forget about finding the color that works right for your skin tone.  After all, you can have the perfect cut but without the right color it will not flatter you, the way it should and could!

Here are 7 hairstyles from famous ladies who know the power of great hair!

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Jamie Lee Curtis at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Avatar" held at the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States on December 16, 2009. Copyright 2009 by Adam Gold/iPhoto
Jamie Lee Curtis — Photo Credit: popularimages – deposit photos


Jane Fonda at the Los Angeles premiere of "This Is Where I Leave You" held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on September 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: PopularImages
Jane Fonda — Photo Credit: popular images — deposit photos


Helen Mirren — Photo credit: Jean_Nelson – Deposit Photos


LOS ANGELES - MAR 11: Michelle Pfeiffer at the Television Academy's 23rd Hall Of Fame Induction Gala at Beverly Wilshire Hotel on March 11, 2014 in Beverly Hills, CA
Michelle Pfeiffer – Photo Credit: Jean_Nelson – Deposit Photos


Robin Wright at the Netflix "House of Cards" Season 2 Special Screening, DGA, Los Angeles, CA 02-13-14
Robin Wright – Photo credit: s_bukley – Deposit Photos


LOS ANGELES - MAR 3: Yolanda Foster at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party at the West Hollywood Park on March 3, 2014 in West Hollywood, CA
Mom to “it-girls”, Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid, Yolanda Hadid – Photo Credit: Jean_Nelson – Deposit Photos


Kris Jenner at the Cosmopolitan's 50th Birthday Celebration held at the Ysabel in West Hollywood, USA on October 12, 2015.
Kris Jenner – Photo credit: popularimages – deposit photos

Beauty While You Sleep: What Your Skin Does at Night

You can buy all the makeup in the world,  but there is nothing like beautiful skin that glows from within!  The skin on your face is the canvas on which you apply your beauty products, so making sure that canvas looks it’s best is key!

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We all can relate to the effects of poor sleep on our skin.  Lack of sleep, not going into a deep sleep, or drinking alcohol, can leave you with dehydrated skin, dark circles and puffy eyes.  Yikes!  So what exactly does your skin do while you sleep?  Read on….

First, it is not just the length of sleep, but whether or not you are going into a deep sleep.  During a deep sleep your body is able to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol.  Cortisol is a hormone we produce to deal with stress, or the fight or flight response to danger.  Turning this hormone off at night is so important, as too much cortisol causes inflammation and is bad for your skin, and your health!  It is during deep REM sleep (rapid eye movement) that your skin’s cells regenerate and turn over.  Melatonin, another natural hormone produced in our bodies is higher at night, but as we age it diminishes.  Taking a melatonin supplement 30 minutes prior to bed can help increase the length and depth of your restorative sleep (Note:  always check with your doctor before taking any new supplement).

While you are getting your Zzzzzzz, your skin is fighting and destroying harmful free radicals and boosting collagen.  Free radicals have been linked to aging skin, and we are bombarded by them each and every day. They are in the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Environmental toxins from air pollution or chemicals such as pesticides can wreak havoc on your skin.  Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and going into a deep and restful sleep will work wonders for your skin.

Your bedtime skin care routine is super important, as your skin works hard to repair itself at night. Using a good night cream that contains hyaluronic acid will hydrate skin and lock in moisture.  Serums that contain vitamin C helps to stimulate collagen production.  It also helps prevent oxidation, and therefore slows down the visible appearance of aging. Retinoids (or Retin A), a derivative of vitamin A, has been shown to even out skin and promote collagen production as well.  Retinoids should be used at night and sunscreen should always be worn during the day, as retinoids can make skin more sensitive to the sun’s harmful rays.

Lastly, don’t forget to pay attention to the delicate skin under your eyes. The skin here is much thinner and more fragile, so signs of aging tend to show here first.  Combat it with a high quality eye cream that you gently pat on before heading off for your beauty slumber!  Our estheticians are pros, and can help you choose the right products for your skin.  We are proud to carry three amazing skincare lines from Environ, SkinCeuticals and Sothy’s from Paris.  All of these lines contain high quality ingredients, peptides, and vitamins, to help you achieve beautiful skin!

Love your skin by scheduling a professional facial and speaking to your esthetician about your at-home skincare routine.  Your skin will thank you!


6 Fall Beauty Trends to Try Now

In a matter of weeks, fall will be arriving, and with it comes so many fabulous things to look forward to!  There are lots of great fall outings and activities like going apple picking in a lovely orchard, toasting pumpkin seeds after carving your pumpkins, autumn entertaining with delicious comfort food, and last, but definitely not least, fall fashion and beauty, which always gets us excited!  Time to try out new fashion trends, and we of course, absolutely love new trends in beauty and hair!

We gathered our fall fashion and beauty magazines and combed through them to find the 6 big fall beauty trends that you may want to give a whirl this coming season!  We will break them down and give you our take on these trends, and if you are a bit shy about trying them for yourself, give us a call, and schedule a makeup appointment, to get tips and tricks for achieving a great fall look for yourself!  Fall is a time of transition which takes us into the holiday and winter season, so sit back and let us fill you in!

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Red lips, in every shade and intensity were seen all over the runways for fall. Models at Prada paraded down the runway with gorgeous red lips. We love this trend and like to see the mouth stand out when going with a bold lip. Keep eyes and cheeks more subtle and let those red lips speak for themselves!
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Oh, who doesn’t like the drama of a bold eye with black eyeliner? It’s very glamorous ,but dramatic, bold liners should be saved more for evening. You can still wear black eyeliner during the day to work,  but keep it more simple and save the drama for date night!
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Okay, we love a bit of sparkle, but over the top glitter and sparkle can have you looking like a disco ball! This is one trend that is best kept very simple by using only a small (very sparingly) bit of sparkle. The whole lid – shown here is way TOO much! Use a bit just at the inner corner of the lid to open the eye. Any glitz is always best used for a night out or special occasion. Less is more with this one! Want lots of sparkle? Try this trend on your nails instead for a fun mani/pedi!  We love the look on the Tommy Hilfiger models which showed them sporting just a light touch of gold on the inner corner or on the brow bone. 
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Deep, dark lips are also another big lip trend this fall. We love the dark ruby lips shown on models at Max Mara and Louis Vuitton. Rihanna showed up to the VMA’s with dark ruby lips and totally pulled it off! Models at Dior and Marc Jacobs were seen on the runways with lips rimmed in black and filled in. This extreme look is better kept on the runway, where looks are pure fantasy! Experiment with shades, and perhaps try a lip stain in a deep ruby for a sheer look.
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Smokey eyes…. we love the look! Soft, smokey eyes are so very sexy and look especially great when you use rich browns, charcoal or even deep olive shadows and liners. Blend, blend, blend! You don’t want to see any harsh lines, so blending is key. Try a very, very soft smokey eye with light liner for day and then go bolder for evening. Good makeup brushes do the trick for blending shadows like a pro. Need a makeup lesson? We can show you how to get the look!
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Natural makeup with a fresh, dewy look and subtle highlights is another trend this coming season. There is a “no makeup” look storming through Hollywood recently, with Alecia Keys even showing up to the VMA’s with the look. We love the look seen on the models at the Ralph Lauren catwalk. Models had beautiful, fresh, radiant skin which just glowed! Key here is getting your skin in tip top shape! Exercise, drink lots of water, get facials, use quality skin care products and never leave the house without sunscreen on! Want to get glowing? Schedule an appointment for a fabulous, relaxing facial with our pros and talk to them about our amazing line of skincare products from Environ, SkinCeuticals and Sothys.


The Difference Between Foil Highlights and Balayage

Foil highlighting is a process mostly all women are familiar with, and perhaps, maybe you yourself, have gotten foils to go lighter and brighter! Foil highlighting involves working row by row in a linear fashion and painting on color from the root to the end and processing with foils.  The entire section of hair is coated evenly for a more uniform effect.  So let’s explore what the difference is between these traditional highlights and the technique of balayage……

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Balayage is a French word which actually means to sweep or paint (also called a “freehand” technique).  Unlike foils, this technique allows the color professional the ability to place the color exactly where it will light up and enhance your individual features and coloring.  The color is painted on by hand and the colorist can scatter them throughout for a truly “sunkissed” look, which in turn is also more organic looking.  Unlike foils, where hair is lightened from the roots to the ends, the balayage technique allows hair to be more muted at the root and then getting progressively lighter.

In a nutshell, here are the things you need to know about balayage:

  • Softer, more natural and organic looking
  • More control over where color is placed
  • Less noticeable roots as hair grows out
  • More time in between touch ups as roots show less.  With foils there is more of a straight line at the root as it grows.

Interested in trying out this technique?  Schedule an appointment with one of our talented color professionals, and start the new season with a new look!

A few examples of balayage from our pros…..

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Balayage – Credit: Natalya
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Balayage – Credit: Paula
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Foil at crown and balayage the rest — Credit: Kellyann