Ron King: Looking Sexy While Snowbound

by The Style King/Ron King on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Winter is in full effect. And according to my friends in NYC, the northeast, and other parts of the country, we are in a bit of a pickle with the weather. Over two feet of snow in some areas of the tri-state region and beyond has accumulated, yet nightlife shows no signs of slowing down. So, what’s an intrepid and fashionable gal to do when heading out in the snow? Below, my fave tips for keeping warm and looking good during snowstorm season to share with your clients:

Wear waterproof makeup. Simple, affordable options abound everywhere and this is perhaps the most important tip I can give. After all, snow is simply water in solid form. If you want your makeup to stay put, opt for waterproof eye and skin makeup especially. A large makeup store that carries a variety of brands might be a good place to start to find colors and formulas that work for you (try Sephora) and will stay put throughout the inevitable snowball fights.

You may also want to call attention to your lovely face with bright colors and dramatic looks which will punch up your look despite your dreary surroundings. Winter often means parched skin and sallow complexions, but it doesn’t have to. Been wanting to try out a dewy, pearlesent look? Now is the time. It will add punch to just about any drained and stressed face. Simply mix your favorite rich moisturizer with a liquid foundation or purchase a shimmery tinted moisturizer and cream blush to get the look. Likewise, a bright lip or dark eye will ensure you’ll look like a vivacious vixen. I like a classic red in a matte shade or coral for lips. Berry-stained lip gloss works too. For eyes, go for the drama with a gorgeous cat-eye effect in true black or smokey eyes in a shimmery gray.

As for your crowning glory, keep hair under wraps. Literally. Now is the time to don that cute hat you’ve been meaning to try out (I like fedoras and knit vintage-inspired caps) or the trendy braided hairstyles we’ve been seeing all over. Undone hairstyles with an edge work well, too, with inclement weather. Just make sure your artfully messy chignon looks messy all over and not like an intentional hot mess. Remember, hair product is your friend as well and so is having unwashed strands. They are easier to style updos with and look cute tucked underneath a cap, when you’re rocking your natural texture. If you hair is a little too greasy, go at it with some dry shampoo first before styling.

Lastly, you know the deal when it comes to dressing in the cold weather. Layer, layer, layer, but keep each layer of clothing thin but warm, so you don’t appear bulky. Sleek cardigans, funky hoodies and vintage long-sleeved sequined tops are all good options for tops. If you’re going for a dressier look, try a thin, nice quality turtleneck underneath a dress (very Vera Wang) but keep the length short so the outfit isn’t frumpy and dumpy. Opaque tights, colorful and textured leggings, skinny jeans, jeggings or a long, knit maxi dress a la the ’90s paired with a leather bomber jacket and some flat, chunky boots (very My So-Called Life) are all chic ideas. And don’t forget to stay warm!

Ron King: Is a Pixie Cut Right for Your Client?

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, January 3rd, 2011

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

A bevy of tinseltown beauties has recently chopped off their locks and now look impossibly soignee and chic (Ashlee Simpson, Hayden Pannetierre, Jessica Lowndes, just to name a few), but is this cropped look a ‘do for everyone? I say it depends on the person’s style, confidence level, age, personality, hair type, face and body shape. There is a short cut that will suit nearly everybody…It’s just a matter of cutting and styling it in a way that is flattering to the wearer.

For a true pixie style, it helps to have petite, delicate facial features and a heaping dose of confidence since your face will be front and center. Crops can look good on those with more rounded or angular features as well. Simply ask for longer layers and maybe err on the side of a short bob with side bangs (same if you’re on the taller or plus size side because it can look disproportionate). Attitude is key with the pixie and it should match your style and personality as well. Teens and ladies in their twenties/thirties look best in a Mia Farrow-esque ‘do, which makes them appear fresh and stylish. On the other hand, women on the more mature side do best with bobs or shoulder length hair usually because it lends an air of youthfulness to the face and very short hair can look severe on mature faces. At the same time, going too long with your length when you’re a woman of a certain age can make you look older as well. It’s best to hit that mid-length sweet spot.

Is your client scared of losing all her length at once? I suggest gradually taking her shorter (from long to medium length to a bob to a pixie cut) so the shock won’t be as sudden and you can get an idea of what she will look like without taking too much off at once. Play with color as well when you take the short hair plunge. Just like with adjusting hair and makeup styles and colors when you make a change in your appearance, you should take your time with your client’s color. This can also ease growing pains if your client doesn’t like the cut and is a nice way to make short hair more playful and fun.

Ron King: Braids Are Hot in 2011

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, December 20th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Plaited locks are making the rounds again, this time in a spin on fun, ’60s-style hairtstyles. Gwen Stefani wore a very “braid-y” look to a recent 2011 runway show and received a lot of press for it. The scene-stealing style in question was an almost lionesque mane of swooped back braids and knots that culminated in a high, messy chic bun in the back. Woven into her strands were colorful peices of string, which added her signature funk to the ‘do. I recommend using a lot of product to get this look and to rough it up a bit to get that great texture Gwen has. Finish off the look with very polished makeup, as Gwen did, so the messy hair looks intentional and stylish instead of just plain crazy sloppy (and maybe save the bright stands for a special occasion).

Braided Models

Photo from Ron King’s blog.

The models at the LAMB fashion show for spring/summer 2011 were similarly styled with a multi-ethnic braided style that has the same coquettish appeal, thanks to the style’s masculine/femme dichotomy (part pompadour and/or clipped back in front with a braided pony). Hairdresser Danilo also used L’Oreal Professional products to achieve the braided ponytail look. To get a subtler take on Gwen’s colorful strands, he incorporated one of my fave products, Inoa color, to give highlights and dimension to the hair.

The hairstyles at the Joanna Mastroianni Spring 2011 show were also fun and were styled by yours truly! I wanted to do a futuristic spin on a retro style, namely the perky high ponytail of the mod era, but brought it up to date by adding height and texture and loosely braiding the tail. It was a flirty look that was created by flat ironing the hair and then pulling it into a high ponytail, which was braided loosely. It was then twisted into a figure eight and then pinned under. I used L’Oréal Professionnel Texture Expert Lumi Controle and #2 hairspray. A similarly vintage-inspired face was shown at the show as well. This style is a bit more tame than Gwen’s, but still captures the retro slash modern braided look, and therefore is great for the more conservatively trendy. Pair it with sleekly stylish clothes like Mastroianni’s and you’re all set for the coming seasons.

Layered Cuts: Yes or No?

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, December 6th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Layering hair can be a beautiful thing. Not only are layers stylish and versatile, but they also add body and volume to blah hairstyles… But not everyone is cut out for wearing layered locks. It takes a very specific hair type and personality to pull it off and some people might be better suited to wearing a blunt cut. Not sure whether to layer on certain clients?

Take into stock individual hair texture, thickness and density first. Most manes can be classified as straight, wavy and curly with some variation. Thickness obviously refers to the width of each individual strand of hair, while density covers how much hair is actually on your head. The two don’t always correlate… A person can have thin hair but a lot of it, for example.

As a general rule, follow these guidelines. Curly hair should never be cut blunt. This will create the dreaded pyramid cut, with lots of fluff and volume at the bottom. Instead, cut well-blended, gradual layers so the effect is not so harsh. It’s also better to keep curly locks shoulder length and shorter, particularly with thin or sparse hair (so it doesn’t appear stringy) and because it’s more up to date. This will also give more options if the client wants looser curls or to style hair straight.

Wavy hair looks nice with layers as well, but does not need an as intense of a layering technique. A few long, face-framing layers in front should do the trick for fine or medium-thick hair or a not-so-dense mane. Have thicker, wavy hair? Try a similar effect but have your stylist cut longer, face framing layers all around the head.

Lastly, straight hair is the hair type that looks best in blunt, or all one length hairstyles. In fact, fine, straight is ideal for a sharp and mod bob with clean lines. This will beef up the texture instead of cutting into it. For straight and thick hair, a one-length style will work but make sure to keep the mane on the longer side so it gets weighed down and some of the volume gets flattened out. For hair with a slight wave, play up that texture; layers might be a good option as long as hair is not too thin.

Also, take stock of how much time the client is willing to put into their style. If they’re going for an edgy, rocker look with layers, make sure they have the time and desire to keep it looking good and that it matches their overall style.

Fall Fashion with Flair

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, September 13th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Summer is coming to a close and many of us are scrambling to get our fall wardrobe together and come up with other approaches to autumnal dressing aside from layering. There are other ways to jazz up your clothes for the cooler weather, however, and the simplest way is to play with color, both traditional and more trendy shades. Since the runways for Fall 2010 were filled with classic, feminine silhouettes and styles in mostly solid tones, use a versatile palette of colors to play up these looks. Using your hair and skin coloring is a good way to gage what shades were made for a person with your unique complexion. Below, I’ve suggested some general guidelines for different coloring types. Share these with your clients!

Generally, redheads, though blessed with gorgeous hair color, face the most difficult challenges in determining what colors to wear. Common wisdom says redheads can’t wear pink or green or purple, but that is simply not true. Witness Molly RIngwald in, ahem, “Pretty in Pink” or any red carpet shot of class act and style renegade Julianne Moore, who wears both green and purple frequently, for example. Since having red hair is such a vibrant trait, it goes perfectly with fall’s neutrals, especially grays and blacks in that it offsets them and adds some vibrancy. I would stay away from chocolate browns and camel colors, unless you have a deep auburn shade of color, because it won’t play up your color as much. Blues and greens of every stripes as well as deep purple also work great for you because they have cool undertones usually which counteracts the pinkish coloring most redheads have. A great vintage-inspired swing coat in any of these shades is trendy for fall and will play up the retro appeal of red hair.

Brunettes, on the other hand, are such a varied group in terms of coloring that it’s best to classify them as having cool undertones or warm before following any hard and fast style rules. Don’t know how to figure out your undertones? Simply place something gold and then silver next to your face. Whatever color seems to go with your coloring more determines your undertones. If it’s silver, you’re cool and if it’s gold, you guessed it, you’re warm! Cooler toned brunettes, like redheads, are best in blacks, grays, blues, greens and some purples. Warm brunettes sparkle in tawnier colors like camel, beige, mustard, chocolate brown, cream and reds/oranges. I like brunettes in mod, belted sheath dresses in whatever color flatters them the most. This is a nod to the ’60s style shapes that are everywhere and play up the classic vibe of brown hair.

Lastly, blondes do have more fun, but only when they know what they’re doing in terms of coloring. Like brunette beauties, blondes are a diverse group with many different complexions. Use the same technique to figure out if you have cool or warm undertones. Cool blondes are great in grays, black, true white, and pale blues and greens. Since there is low contrast between blondes’ coloring and hair generally, you need to create contrast with clothing for a more attractive look. Warm blondes do best in deep, honied shades from the brown and beige family but can also flirt with deep blues, greens and purples. I love a Hitchcock ice queen look for blondes in fall. Demure separates like knee length skirts and tights with a blouse are perfect for ringing in the fall.

Ron King: Is Gray the New Black?

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, August 30th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

There’s been something underfoot with manicure colors this summer…. The boring neutrals and vampy, dark purple/black shades of nail lacquer we saw last year have gone the way of square-shaped nails, and all but disappeared from the hands of discerning fashionistas the world over.

griege nails

In their place? A new shade called “greige,” a combination of gray and beige, as the name implies, that is totally chic and acts as its own kind of neutral. Less dated and expected than creams and pale pinks, but not as drastic as the sultry dark shades we’ve also been seeing, it’s nearly the perfect nail polish color. The shade looks great on most skin tones and with a variety of looks (just look at the celebs sporting the nail polish shade, from Karen O to Megan Fox, for evidence)… It adds sophistication to a more edgy ensemble and makes the classic shapes and colors we’ve seen on the runways for Fall 2010 more fun and trendy. It’s also an inexpensive way to perk up your style and update older looks.

I suggest wearing this nail color again on a shortish, rounded nail and make sure your nails are well-groomed! The grayish beige tends to look sloppy on unkempt nails. The color has been popular since last spring, but is becoming more mainstream presently (for those who fear the trend is a bit risque for them). I recommend trying Chanel’s nail color #505 or Revlon’s Steel Etto for a more affordable option.

Ron King: Spicing up Short Hairstyles

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, August 23rd, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Every summer (AKA party season), I get an influx of short-haired women asking for ways to style their crops for parties or black tie events, instead of just doing it as they normally would. Short hair is sexy, sassy and all the rage right now, yet many people don’t know it can also be versatile. Simply glance at a fashion magazine and see a bevy of bobbed and cropped beauties making the look work on the red carpet for inspiration. Stars like Carey Mulligan with her Mia Farrow-esque look, beautiful and elegant Halle Berry and unpredictable Kelly Osbourne have all explored hairstyling options which make their short ‘dos festive and so can you.

Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan

The tried and true idea is to add hair accessories. Sparkly and vintage-inspired pins, combs and barrettes are all adorable but may be best saved for those on the younger side. Try piling 2-3 decorative bobby pins on one side of the head and play around with positioning for a more modern, mature look. Headbands of every size and type are a great option as well. Funky ladies like Kelly Osbourne go for a not so subtle look of oversized bow headbands and bright colors. This is also a fun going out style but is not for the faint of heart. It helps to have a similarly unique hairstyle/color and clothing style to pull it off. For a more sophisticated look, opt for a simple black or solid colored headband. Chunky bands work better the older you are. For this style, I recommend adding a little volume at the crown after the headband, for a more fun and fashion forward style.

Another option is to change up color, part or texture. Does your client have stick-straight hair but want to dazzle during a night out? Curl hair with a curling iron or create some texture with a texturizing spray and a blow dryer. If hair is naturally wavy and you want to switch it up, simply section your hair and blow dry then go over it with a flat iron for a smooth finish. For a more long-term solution for boring short hair, add some color and shine with a glaze. On crops, I prefer solid but dimensional color rather than highlights. They are too much coupled with the short hair … and if all else fails, you can always throw in some extensions!

Ron King: Why So Blue?

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, August 9th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Rococo Nail Polish

By now, you’ve probably heard that the color turquoise is big for this summer. But the bright color isn’t just limited to wearing ethnic jewelry and bright little dresses. For summer 2010, it’s all about blue shades on your nails as well. I know this may be a controversial trend. I realize that it might be interpreted as a bit too bold or juvenile for some of your clients, but it adds a fun, whimsical touch to any outfit and practically screams summer. If your clients are searching high and low for that perfect nail shade, suggest shades of blue. The key to making it look modern is to keep your nails short and rounded and perfectly groomed. This is not a punk look, per se. It can actually be fashionable and polished and be worn to work or for more formal events.

Another key thing to remember when trying this trend is to either go for a pale, milky shade of pastel blue a la Hard Candy nail polish circa 1996, or keep it in the metallic and royal blue family. To me, the pastel tone is a younger, sweeter look while the deeper shades of blue are a bit more sophisticated.

I like Milani for inexpensive nail polish and Rococo, Dior or B. Free for a more luxurious choice. Katy Perry, Lauren Conrad, La Lohan and Ke$ha all rock blue shades of nail polish and have even helped bring the trend to the mainstream. Now it’s your clients’ turn!

Check out last year’s predictions about the hot color for 2010 here

The Bigger, the Better

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, August 2nd, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

Having big features is not usually considered a good thing, especially not when it comes to body parts… But there is one facial feature where bigger is always better. I’m talking about having huge, expressive, doe eyes. Not only will having larger peepers (or the allusion of it) make you seem more attractive, younger and rested, it’s also just a plain cute look. If you’ve ever seen a picture of Twiggy, you’ll realize that much of her appeal had to do with her huge, adorable and blue eyes framed by spidery, black lashes.

Not all of us have been blessed with big eyes, however, so below, I’ve compiled some tips and tricks to make your clients’ eyes large and in charge (I work with a lot of makeup artists in my salon and on shoots, so I’ve managed to pick up these hints up). Here we go…

-Put a shimmery, light-colored eye shadow on either side of the bridge of the nose as well as on the lids (apply lightly here). White or light colors in general make the allusion of more space between the eyes and bigger eyes overall. Just don’t go crazy with the white eye shadow. This is not 1976.

-Try a peach-toned liner on the inner rims of the lower lid instead of black, white or brown (this is not as harsh and unnatural). Then, apply a black/brown/gray liner a little underneath the rim and the peach liner.

-Apply a darker shadow in the crease of the eyelids. If your client’s eyes are close-set, try just putting the shadow on the outer part of her crease. If her eyes are far apart, do the opposite and apply shadow on the inner part of the crease. Does your client have well-proportioned eyes? You’re in luck. You can play around with your makeup to find the best application to enhance your orbs.
-Lastly, don’t forget the mascara!!! This is key to creating a lush, sexy eye. I like black and glossy mascara for night and a more opaque and natural shade for day. Curl your lashes and apply a few coats of mascara (just make sure it doesn’t look goopy). Two brands that are great are DiorShow mascara and, for the more budget-conscious, any Maybelline kind (can’t mess with the tried and true).

Ron King: Beauty That Goes the Distance

by The Style King/Ron King on Monday, July 26th, 2010

ron king

Ron King has worked as a hairstylist, transforming people’s appearances, for more than 20 years. With a growing celebrity clientele, King travels the world taking inspiration from different cultures and countries. Along the way, he has developed his own “easy wear” style philosophy which plays up a woman’s natural hair texture and pairs it with natural-looking makeup that’s easy to apply. This mantra led him to launch a signature line of cosmetics for women who want to look pulled together but who are are short on time. King has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including L’Oreal Professional, Ted Gibson, Eva Scrivo and Rick Wellman.

As salon owners and stylists, we want hair and beauty products that last a long time or at least have multiple uses … You know, things that give us the most bang for our buck and offer quick, easy, affordable solutions to beauty supply issues. Enter my many years of salon and stylist experience. As an entrepreneurial stylist, I know what it’s like to want to cut costs and only purchase products for your salon that are truly versatile. Below, I’ve put together a few quick tips of the trade to get the most use out of your beauty and hair stockroom.

1. Makeup artists, I can’t stress this enough. Good makeup is expensive but worth it. In that spirit, splurge on the best makeup you can get, but also find multiple uses for basic products. For example, when you are done with a tube of mascara, simply rinse the wand off, dry and use as a particularly helpful brow groomer. You can also mist it with water or spray and work on your client’s hairline to cancel out the frizzies and fuzzies that often sprout there with it. For bronzer that doesn’t match your client’s complexion or is simply too dark for a certain time of year, mix the remainder with some light moisturizer for a quick, dewy and universally flattering tinted moisturizer or use as a highlighter on the body.

2. Another quick tip: When you are nearly done with your good lipstick, but there is still a clump wedged in the tube, swipe a q-tip or lipstick brush with some lip gloss and use as a colored gloss on your clients’ lips.

3. We all drop powder compacts sometimes, whether they be finishing powder, blush or bronzer. Usually, these little suckers break into a million pieces and nice powder is wasted. Not so when you apply some rubbing alcohol to the rearranged powder compact and press it in to set. The alcohol reforms the powder and it will be ready to use again soon.

4. Finally, buy a conditioner for the salon that’s too rich or you just don’t like? Take it home and use as shaving cream when shaving your legs, ladies. At least, it’s not going to waste and you will have silky smooth stems. Also, if you’re a manicurist and your polishes are drying up and getting clumpy on you, just add a few drops of nail polish thinner and watch them regain their original consistency.

I hope these little hints serve you well in all your beauty endeavors!

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