Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've always felt that my true love was being a hairstylist, and I still feel that way. With my move to Miami (over a year ago), I found another love that equally satisfies me. It may not be as glamorous as creating a beautiful hairstyle in a fabulous location, and there's no money to be made (literally zero dollars). However, it makes my heart beat as it did on my first day of fashion week in NYC, as I watched Orlando demonstrate a master piece.

Here's another link to more of Orlando's work.

Let me share one of my latest loves: meet Casa Valentina. Casa Valentina is a non-profit organization that addresses the unique, gender-specific needs of young women transitioning from foster care to independent living. On my first month in Miami, I was lucky enough to meet Sheila Lehrman and her wonderful family. I mentioned to Sheila that I am interested in helping any group of women that needs my services and is open to a little beauty workshop.

Sheila said, "Wait, wait, wait! I know just the place!!!" When she described Casa Valentina to me, I knew I just had to go.

Over the year, I have been able to not only visit them in person, but also to have companies like Vitacare, and DaCuore donate products to Casa Valentina.

On my recent visit with girls, we focused on the theme that "Individuality is a woman's strongest asset." I asked each girl to tell me what her favorite color was. Some said black, like their skin; one girl said blue, like the ocean, which reminds her of her happiest times. They all stressed that they held those colors close to their hearts and would not change them for the world!

I quickly agreed - that's the same way I feel about my favorite color orange. It's my choice and I'm not changing it, no matter what someone else thinks! I asked the girls, if I told them to change their color to a color that I thought suited them, would they do it?

They said "No way."

I went on to explain that this was my point exactly: The way we look (hair, skin color, lips) and our tastes in fashion, are all parts of our individuality.

Every woman has the right to express herself, even with the smallest detail, in a way that sets her apart. At this point, I had their full attention. I asked them a very important question: Were they basing their individual tastes on what they saw on TV and in magazines?

The answer was a big YES! I quickly followed by asking, are their times they they would like to just Express themselves (through fashion and hair) in a way they feel at that very moment? Again the answer was a big YES! Well why don't you I asked?

I went on to urge these young women (as I do all young women) to find that something special that they love about themselves and own it, no matter what the media says. Women: You don't have be part of a large group, all looking the same. That goes for hairstyles, bags, shoes, and even lips! There are already too many Kim Kadashians walking around our streets. Don't get me wrong; as individuals, we have the right to follow a trend, too. Every woman can be brave and express herself with a certain color, hairstyle, retro or vintage clothing, or even just going all-natural with her hair and face

As we continued discussing the idea of individuality, the girls really started to understand my point. One girl had flaming red hair, which she loves! I loved the fact that it may have been inspired by Rihanna, but she was daring enough to make it even brighter and have it braided. She still made it her own.

The lesson with trends is to look at them, enjoy them, and know that they exist. Women: You can follow trends, but look around you and see how many others are wearing the same bag, shoes, jeans, big purse and hairstyle. Let's show our younger generation that one of the biggest gifts is "individuality."

As Madonna once said, "Express yourself!"

I wish you all true beauty and self love!!

The editing of this blog was done by Camile Lamb of the Perfect Words,Ink.


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