Thursday, April 24, 2008

EYELASH SURGERY - SHOULD YOU DO IT?


Photo taken from msnbc.com
Yes it's true, over the past year or two, eyelash surgery has gotten a little press. NOT ENOUGH unfortunately, to make people actually want to do it. First of all, I personally don't want needles weaving in and out of my eyelids. I can't imagine the pain that might be involved not to mention it just sounds unfavorable.

The main reason I might encourage eyelash transplant surgery is for people whose lashes have been damaged to trauma, medications, or other incidents, or possibly premature/permanent fall-out of the lashes. Here is why (for cosmetic reasons) I would NOT recommend it.

1 - Lashes are taken from your head hair & sewn into the lash bed. The hair of your head is programmed to continue growing, so it means routine maintenance for those lashes. Otherwise they'll end up looking like curtains. Secondly, if you have curly hair, you'll end up with elephant looking eyelashes hanging down over those peepers.

2 - Eyelash transplant surgery can't really be customized. As a spokesperson for the eyelash extension industry, I know that I personally have over 200 options in colors, lenghts, thicknesses to choose from when I design someone's eyelash set. I can use thick lashes, I can use thin lashes; I can decide how long a lash needs to be and where it needs to be placed. With lash transplants, you can't really control how they grow, their shape, nor their design. Furthermore, it's like going to your heart surgeon and asking him to style your hair for the day. From a creative standpoint, it's simply not the same.

3 - Certified, and highly skilled lash technicians are creative, they have flair, and usually apply 60, 80 to 100 lashes PER EYE. Lash transplants usually include 30-40 or 50 hair folicles removed from the back of the head for both eyes. That's only 15-25 lashes per eye. NOT WORTH IT IN MY BOOK.

4 - EXPENSE. Eyelash transplants average about $3,000 per eye.

I had a client who had the transplant surgery, and the doctor only applied about 20 lashes per eye. Not to mention she naturally has baby fine (CURLY) hair so the surgery looked nothing but ridiculous. I told her, "Gina, I do a minimum of 60 lashes per eye when I apply a set of lashes - not to mention, they are beautifully designed ranging from short lashes to longer lashes."

To sum it all up, the expense, the pain, the lack of beauty, design and flair, are all reasons I personally recommend NOT having the lash surgery done. But what do I know. I have only applied a few thousand sets of lashes in my day.

Enjoy,

Billy Lowe

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chill Out LA


Spas, Salons and Yoga - OH MY!


Yes, it's Hollywood. We live in a world where there's a spa, a salon or a yoga studio on every corner with each one offering a plethora of services, treatments, gift cards, memberships, you name it. But whether you're a local, a new-comer, or a visitor, how do you choose which one is right for you? Enter Chill Out LA - a phenomenal website featuring articles, reviews, testimonials and more on local services here in Hollywood-Land.


Started by Erin Mahoney Harris, chilloutla.com has thousands of viewers every month, and hosts a variety of spas, salons, and yoga studios throughout Los Angeles, complete with maps, brief descriptions, special offers, etc. What's more, is that the website offers a fantastic keyword search option that will help narrow down your searches, and help you find the ideal location that fits your needs.
With so many search engines to choose from, why not save time, energy and effort in finding the perfect spa, yoga studio or salon in Los Angeles. While you're busy with the kids or at work, Erin is pounding the pavement to give you the inside scoop of fantastic services and destinations throughout the Los Angeles area. Way to go Erin.
As always,
Hairstylist & Beauty Expert

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

FAB OR NOT? What makes a great haircut?

Billy Lowe styles the Shanghai Ladies for a Hennessey Liquors special event.


Over the years, I've heard so many clients say different things when describing what they are looking for.



  • I WANT A GREAT HAIRCUT.
  • LOOK AT THIS PICTURE, I WANT MY HAIR LIKE THIS.
  • I WANT TO LOOK LIKE HEATHER LOCKLEAR
Great. Let's get started. I have 3 questions for you.

  1. How much time do you have in the morning?
  2. What do you do for a living, in your spare time, etc?
  3. Did you know that magazine photo you're looking at is 5 hour hair prep and hundreds of photos just to get that one perfect shot?
Finding a style that's right for you is so much more than face shape or looking at photos. It's really understanding what you're willing to commit to, how much time you have, and a true understanding of your lifestyle. I can give an A-line bob to every client that walks in the door if they want, but if they don't know how to recreate the style at home, or if they simply don't take the time to do so, they'll become frustrated with the cut, they won't keep the style up, and they simply won't look and feel their best on a day to day basis.

When I first meet with a client my first question is "What do you do for a living?" Not that I care about their profession, but it helps me understand their needs. If a mother has 3 children and a full time job, I know that a cut and style needs to suit her lifestyle on a daily basis and not one that requires hot rollers every day. So here are a few tips for you in finding that perfect style.
  1. Identify how much time you really have to work with and how much you're ready to commit to.
  2. Ask your hairstylist to prescribe the same products and tools that he/she uses so you can re-create the look at home for yourself
  3. Be realistic about cuts and shapes. It's true that some cuts aren't right for everyone.
  4. Notice people in a restaurant, or a mall, or social outings and if you see someone's haircut that you like, feel free to ask them how it works for them, and whether or not it's easy to manage.
I hope these tips help you on your journey in beauty. Thanks for reading, and here's to your perfect cut & style.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Traveling made easy!


Spring has sprung, sprouted, sprooted and it feels like it's completely over here in Southern California. Yesterday temperatures reached close to 100 degrees and I must have had 4 servings of ice cream (amidst my daily shopping). Nonetheless, the beaches were jammed with volleyball players, bikers, roller bladers, and thousands of people eager to get some Vitamin D.


As spring break and summer are here and right around the corner, travelers everywhere are making their plans for their vacations. Everyday, everywhere, there will be thousands of travelers who over pack, over stuff, and sit their fannies on those poor little suitcases just to squeeze everything in. One less beauty product please.


This year, keep it simple. Here are my summertime travel tips.


1 - Your favorite pair of pants in Nebraska may not look so hot in Miami. Think about where you're headed. If it's Miami, California, keep it light, keep it breezy, but yes, do bring a light jacket. If it's New York, think chic and sophisticated, yet bring some comfy attire there as well. Pack garments that you can easily mix and match as well for a larger variety with fewer items packed.

2 - Team pack. With your beauty products, there's no sense in 5 girlfriends all bringing a hair dryer. Share the load and make it easier on everyone.

3 - Ask your hairstylist for travel kits of your favorite products. Chances are, they have them or can get them. Don't rely on hotel products to give you great results. Bad hair days will look exactly so in those fabulous vacation photos you want to take.

4 - Pack in travel sized containers. If your hairstylist does not have travel sized products, go to your local drug store or supermarket, and buy small 1 and 2 oz empty plastic bottles so you can fill from home. It's a cinch. Just remember to put everything in a clear baggie for the airports.

5 - Keep a few personals with you on the plane. How many times have you heard nightmares of luggage being lost and Vern is then without a pair of panties or contact lenses? Keep the bare essentials with you just in case. You just never know when you might need them (especially on those lay over flights where it seems everything gets lost).

That's it for now. Enjoy the tips, have a great summer, and remember to PACK YOUR SUNSCREEN and SUN PROTECTORS for both hair & skin.


Enjoy,


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

SHUT UP AND BLOW!!!


"But I can't fix my hair like you do!!!!!"


How many times have you said that famous line to your hairstylist? The cut or color are complete, and you sit in the chair underneath the 75 pound cape of truth and watch carefully as your hairstylist selects product by product, to prep your hair for styling. Each section is carefully combed through, separated, and the hair looks like beautiful pieces of clay being molded in the potter's hand.


There are indeed a few differences in your doing it, and the stylist doing it. The biggest difference is body mechanics. Your hairstylist is able to move your head, swivel the chair, and can reach as close or as far as he/she needs to to get the perfect bend on your hair. So here's a couple of quick tips.

1 - Hair doesn't begin taking shape until it reaches 70-80-90% being dry. Don't even use a brush until the majority of the moisture is removed.

2 - The main point of focus of your hair is the face framing area. Spend most of your time there and maybe let the back air-dry. Put in a leave in serum, mousse, or texture paste in the back, smooth through the front, and finger style the front to blend in with the back. This will save you a HUGE amount of time.

3 - Use a metal or ceramic round brush for styling. I simply do not use boar or nylon bristles anymore because of static, and fraying. I get much better results with vented ceramic or metal round brushes. Because the center barrel is metal or ceramic, it heats up/gets warm, and acts like a polishing tool as you're styling.

4 - If you do need to dry the back, lean to the side for better body mechanics, and use a large flat brush in order to "flat dry" the back.

5 - For top head drying, reaching up can sometimes be achallenge (again - body mechanics). In this case, lean forward and direct everything forward and down when you style.

Voila! Quick, easy, blowing. Yes you can.

For more great styling tips, continue to scroll down. Or visit http://www.billylowe.com/ for a lot more great information.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hollywood Events


Billy Lowe styles hair for LG phone launch party.
Billy Lowe shown at LG Press Wall.
Yes it’s true; everything you ever heard about people crashing parties in Hollywood is really, really true. One would think that being the entertainment capital of the world that more would actually happen here. But truth be told, there seems to be more social goings on in Savannah, Georgia than there is in Hollywood, California. Trust me, I spent many summers there as a kid as my family owned homes there and we spent countless days going crabbing in the early mornings, and spending the rest of the day in the sun and sand. Nonetheless, Hollywood does have its fair share of nightlife, paparazzi, special events, and so on, just on a different scale.

A dear friend of mine is notorious for showing up at parties with no invitation in hand, no press badge, and no other form of admission that might let him in to the event. He just manages to show up and there he is, mingling and jingling with the best of them, walking up to celebrities and asking for photos, and getting their autographs on the back of his business cards.

I’ll never forget his appearance at a VIP event I was styling hair for. It was at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, honoring a few celebrities for their contributions to this charitable organization throwing the night’s festivities. I entered the parking structure with my two assistants and make-up artist, 4 bags and 2 rolling cases in tow. It takes quite a bit of time to get things from the car to the building, check in at the door, get your badges for security clearances, and get set up backstage. The evenings usually starts out fairly slow with one or two VIP’s trickling in for touch-ups, then somewhere 10 minutes before show time, there are15-20 people lining up wanting last minute fixes.

As I was carrying my things from the parking structure to the building on this windy Saturday evening, my friend Stan met me half way from the parking structure heading into the building and said “I’m your agent tonight.”

“Oh brother.” I thought as I was ending a phone call with one hand, juggling 2 bags with another, and trying to grab my photo ID for security check in at the door.

“What are you doing here?” I asked as my assistants started giggling to the thought of some strange person showing up calling himself my agent. They both know my agent very well as they’ve run things by his offices many times.

“Just tell the people at the door I’m your agent, or your publicist, or your media contact, or something. I just want to get into this party.” He continued.

I got to the desk to check in, spotted my name, my two assistants’ names, and my make-up artist’s name on the roster. 4 were clear. “He’s with me.” I told the people at the desk as I walked off and left Stan there to check in for himself. At that point I didn’t care if he got in or not.

30 minutes later the dressing rooms were we were set up. Make-up was ready, hair tools were turned on, hot and ready to go, and styling aids were there for use for last minute touch ups. About that time, I heard clinking glasses and laughter, and the sound of Stan’s voice resonating through the halls outside and I thought “It never fails; he always gets in.”

6 months later as Stan and I were having dinner in Beverly Hills, he proceeded to tell me about an Oscar party he went to. “How did you get into an Oscar party?” I asked him. “Oh it was easy!” he boasted as he had the biggest grin on his face. It was like watching an 8 year old boy that had just poured glue onto his friend’s seat in grade school. “I had a fake Oscar made, wore my tux, put on my specs, and entered with a few of the technical people that had won Oscars that night. I looked just like they did so it wasn’t even questioned.”


Note to self – if I need to get in anywhere, make a fake Oscar, or make fake business cards and claim that I’m someone’s agent. Seems to work for Stan.


Have a great day.


Monday, April 07, 2008

The Amazing Ms. Catherine Townsend

I received a call from London last week for a client who wanted cut & color in my studio. The soft southern tones came across on my salon's caller ID from an overseas number which caught me a bit by surprise. Being a southerner myself, I couldn't quite place if it was a deep European accent, or truly a southern accent that I was hearing. Nonetheless I took the appointment and carried on with my day.

On the day of her appointment, and after 9 "how do I get there" phone calls, including one from her mother (yes from Georgia) - in walked one of the coolest clients I have just about ever spent time with. I usually begin my appointments listening to client concerns about how they style their hair, color they admire, previous color (or color mishaps) etc before I begin my thoughts. When we made a plan about our appointment together, I whipped up some highlights, prepared the foils, and began coloring away.

"So what do you do in London?" I asked.

"I'm a writer and a Journalist." she said. "I have a sex column called Sleeping Around."

RING RING RING,,,,,,,,,,,,SERVICE INTERRUPTED!!!!!!!

This caught my attention like the bells ringing for Pavlov's dog. We chatted and laughed for the next 2 hours as I was entertained to accounts of her work in London, her books, and her life after Georgia. We had so much to talk about; everything from sweet tea, leaving the south, moving far away, and wondering if we'd ever grace those southern sands again someday. What a blast and what a talent I found in Catherine Townsend.

To all of my adoring fans out there, this is one heck of a writer and you absolutely must have her books. You'll find some amazing accounts on her blog at www.sleeping-around.blogspot.com, and chances are, you'll relate to most of them.

Enjoy.

Billy Lowe

Should I tip my hairstylist?

There are several things to consider when it comes to tipping. It seems everywhere we turn there's a tip jar set aside for gratuities.  We tip waiters, we tip hotel staff, we tip the car wash attendees, we tip our pet sitters, and so on. Tipping in the United States has become an expected custom for just about every service out there, other than the bank teller or the Wal-Mart cashier.

In most salons across the country, it's important to remember that your salon professional isn't making 100% of the service fees. They average anywhere from 40-60% of the overall service ticket, and then make a small commission on retail sales. When you consider the amount of time your stylist spends with you (usually an hour or 2) for your services, and that they are only making about 50% on average for those services, tipping is a great way to say THANK YOU for your time, for your service, and for making me look so good. An occasional box of Godiva never hurt anything either.

How much do you tip you ask? 10-20% of your overall (before discounts) ticket fees is fairly standard for the beauty industry, regardless of services rendered (hair, waxing, nails, make-up). For example, if you have a cut & color and your ticket totals $125, then your tip would be $15-$25. Often it depends on where you are. That price of $125 may be high for some, and it may be low for some. I just used that number as an example. \

If you're feeling generous - tip away. The sky is the limit. You never know; it might just get you a complimentary deep conditioning treatment on the house next time. Take care of your beauty professionals. They stand on their feet all day, have coffee waiting for you, and hopefully greet you with a smile or a hug each time they see you. Tipping is just a nice way to say "I appreciate what you do for me."

A note to my salon professionals: I'm building you up here - please treat your clients like the A-listers that they are. Whether they walk the red carpet or not - every client longs to be treated like a celebrity. Show them how thankful you are that they are sitting in your chair.

Have a great day.

Billy Lowe

Sunday, April 06, 2008

How big is your 'BUT'?




No I'm not talking about your rear-end. I'm talking about those excuses that you keep telling yourself every day.

  • But I don't have time!
  • But I have to take care of the kids!
  • But I have to prepare dinner and then do the dishes!

Listen! You know you love it when you walk out of the salon looking and feeling like a million bucks. Why wouldn't you treat yourself to that same experience EVERY DAY? By taking just a few minutes each and every day to look good, and feel good, you'll love and appreciate yourself so much more. Those daily chores you keep telling yourself you "have to do" will actually be a lot more fun because throughout the day as you are doing your grocery shopping, or picking up the kids, or preparing a meal, you'll be getting compliments on how great you look, or how your skin is glowing, or that you have fabulous hair! Who wouldn't want to experience that every day?

At the top of every morning, I suggest giving yourself 10 minutes. Yes 10 (ten) minutes. Here's how to break it down in a few easy ways. Break it down however you'd like - with whatever time you have to work with.

2 minute hair: Either a quick ponytail (gathered at the nape and a side part at the front) or scrunch through the back and smooth out the front. Ultimately, it's the face framing area that really matters so let the back air-dry and spend your time perfecting the front area.

1 minute make-up: Lashes & gloss. It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be perfect or dramatic. This is quick and easy make-up, just enough to pep you up and get you on your way!!

3 minute make-up: Lashes, gloss, cheeks, and a quick powder.

5 minute make-up: Lashes, gloss, cheeks, powder, define the eyes & lips a little more.

Right now the most you've spent is 7 minutes on yourself - that leaves you 3 good minutes for a quick outfit.

Another great tip is that when you do your laundry, partner pieces and accessories together that you like to wear. Rather than shoving jeans in a drawer, put them on a hanger next to a top that you like and voila - the outfit is ready to go. A cute pair of shoes, a last minute hair/make-up check and you're on your way - looking and feeling much better than just running out the door frantic.

You are worth that extra 10 minutes, and you'll feel much better about yourself throughout the day, rather than constantly fighting fly-away hair, or trying to throw on last minute lipstick as you're braking the car so as not to hit the person in front of you.

Enjoy.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Breaking up is hard to do.

Over the years I've been asked my opinion so many times for magazines, news articles, and just casual chat with friends "How do I tell my hairstylist I'm moving on - or should I?"

ABSOLUTELY YOU SHOULD.

Imagine having a great friend that you meet for dinner the first Friday of every month. Next, imagine showing up for what you think is your regularly scheduled dinner, and not only does your friend not show up, they didn't call, they didn't text, and they didn't leave a message for you at the restaurant. How would you feel? Disappointed? Hurt? Let down? Upset? Of course you would. And you'd also wonder what you did wrong.

This is how hairstylists feel when a client goes M.I.A. We spend years developing and cultivating relationships; learning how much cream and sugar the 10am likes in her coffee, or what sort of chocolates to keep in the salon, or which fresh flowers would look good in the salon this season. It's more than just cutting and coloring hair. It's a passion, it's a flair, it's our creative genius, and so much more.

Before moving on to another hairstylist or salon professional, have a heart to heart with yours. Maybe something is missing because you never expressed what it is. If it's an easy fix like decor, product availability, schdeduling etc, perhaps your stylist would be open to suggestions to help enhance his/her business.

Don't get caught up in marketing sales schemes to lure you into another salon. If you do that, you'll get into a cycle of always looking for the next sales scheme - then nobody wins. And trust me- your hair will suffer the consequences because of your inconsistency.

Have a heart, be considerate, share your thoughts with your beauty professioanal. After all, we are good listeners aren't we?

Billy Lowe

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Way to Shop: AveYou makes it easy


With all the websites out there that offer beauty products, and page after page of uncertain navigation, what's a shopper to do in finding the right products when buying online? I've discovered AveYou.com.

This website makes shopping easy by listing its major vendors on the left-hand side such as Elchim or Jersey Girl), and displaying a few featured product lines on the main home page. Visually it's a simple site that offers quick and easy shopping, affordable shipping, and timely delivery of your items.

Enjoy your trip down the aisles of AveYou.com.
As always,

Welcome to LoweLights.com with Hollywood Hair Stylist Billy Lowe

Celebrity Hair Stylist Billy Lowe is a Los Anglees based hair stylist and the founder of Gloss & Toss hair products delivering the bes...