Christmas Time is Here!

Today is the three year anniversary party for my business Two Beauties Skincare & Makeup Artistry. My official opening date is November 1, 2016 but because Christmas is my favorite holiday I made it a tradition to celebrate in December during my favorite night in old town Eureka. Every first Saturday of the month businesses in the historic old town section of Eureka stay open late for shopping, snacks, and art displays. When I moved to northern California and first started going to “Arts Alive” nights I always looked forward to the Christmas edition of this tradition.

Downtown is decorated, it’s cold out, and that special holiday spirit is in the air. I’d walk around in awe of how beautiful Eureka and it’s small businesses are – all lit up and glowing. The street lights shining through the mist and fog rolling in from the water. Like a glimpse into the past – what shopping for Christmas must have looked like before malls and the internet. Buying presents from people you know, watching them gift wrap your trinkets, knowing you’re supporting community. I love how many people come together to support our little town and it’s traditions. Back then I never would’ve dreamed I’d have a store front on second street, that I’d be a small business owner and a real part of this tradition. And what a journey it’s been already.

Today, as I prepare for my one big party a year – a way to celebrate my wonderful clients, our beautiful small town, and the magic of Christmas, I decided to show you how I decorate. At work and at home. For those of you that know me personally, maybe you’ve seen my shop and my home and can use this blog post for decorating and shopping inspiration. I’ll share the local vendors I used for my beautiful Christmas Arts Alive display at work, and then show you how I set up my house to reflect my love of the holidays. For those of you that may not know me, or have never visited my studio, I hope that this post is a way for you to get to know me better – an inside look at the things that make me happy.

While I’m aware that “things” are not what the holidays are about, I do recognize that I am very connected to the environments that I create for myself, and the feelings they evoke. When I take the time to create spaces that look and feel magical, that helps me to feel happy and content to just be and exist in the moment. Last night I locked up at work, about an hour and a half later than usual at the end of an eleven hour day, and I took the time to stand on the quiet sidewalk outside my front window and just look. Cardboard boxes full of décor in hand, I just let myself stand there and feel gratitude for what we’ve made. Local businesses are truly a creation of an entire community.

And I had a thought. As the years go by and I learn, grow, and get to know myself better, I realize that Christmas is my favorite holiday because of the magic that is easier to see. I’ve always been someone who notices the whimsical in the ordinary, the reality in the imaginary and the fairy-tale in every day circumstances. I’m given two ordinary options, and often times I’d rather create a third more extraordinary one for myself. I know Santa Claus isn’t real, but really, isn’t he? And why not believe? I’d lost that part of myself for a while – the part that insisted on believing – and lately I’ve been recovering it. Bit by bit. Because being solidly grounded in logic is good, but when that’s all you see, life becomes boring and soulless. And after all, reality is subjective anyway.

And so I’ve discovered that Christmas is that time of year when almost everyone is willing to recognize and believe a little more in magic. The trick is to learn to see that magic around us every single day of the year, because I know it’s there, somewhere.

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Work Display Vendors:

Photography: The Studio by Kimberly Ann

http://www.photosbykimberlyann.com/contact.html

Hair: Trimmed & Pinned Hair Studio

https://m.facebook.com/Trimmedpinnedhairstudio/

Wardrobe: Shipwreck Boutique

https://m.facebook.com/shipwreckeureka/

Florals: Flora Organica Designs

https://www.floraorganicadesigns.com

Display Stand & Sign: Barri Jean Designs

https://www.barrijeandesigns.com

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Notable Etsy Shops For Holiday Home Decor:

CreateYourOwnGift https://www.etsy.com/shop/CreateYourOwnGift

MyRusticHomeBoutique https://www.etsy.com/shop/MyRusticHomeBoutique

StardustBySeiko https://www.etsy.com/shop/StardustBySeiko

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My Favorite Local Shops For Holiday Decor:

Ferndale Emporium http://www.ferndale-emporium.com

The Farmer’s Daughter https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Home-Decor/The-Farmers-Daughter-110728025661214/

Golden Gait Mercantile https://www.goldengaitmercantile.com

Land of Lovely https://landoflovely.com

Pierson’s https://www.thebighammer.com

Sekoya Botanicals https://sekoyabotanicals.com

Main Street Gift Co https://www.mainstreetgiftco.net

We also do a fair amount of holiday decor shopping at Michaels, and at a store called Paddington Station in Ashland, Oregon. https://paddingtonstationashland.com

3 Lessons From My Husband

Today is my husband’s birthday. I’m up at 5am to write while Kanan sleeps so we’ll have the day to spend together once he wakes up. I know that I haven’t given much history about our relationship, and rarely divulge details about his life specifically, focusing mainly on relevant information for our topic at hand. So today, in an attempt to shine light on the person that my husband is, I’m going to share three big lessons that my husband has taught me about life in our last (almost) six years together.

If there’s one thing about Kanan’s personality that has always perplexed and fascinated me, it’s his ability to consistently be one step ahead of the rest of us when it comes to matters of “zen.” I use that term loosely and metaphorically to mean calm, collected, and unchanged by his surroundings. When we first met I mistook his disinterest in most things as aloofness, dismissiveness, and an overall indifference or dispassion, but I know now that my husband cares more deeply than anyone I’ve met, he’s just remarkably good at choosing what few things he cares about.

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Lesson #1: “Structure Your Life Differently.”

If I had a dollar for every time this phrase exited my husband’s mouth or came through to me via text message, I’d be rich, and I wouldn’t need to structure my life differently.

Over the years Kanan has seen me grow from a mid-twenties employee with undefined dreams to an early thirties small business owner with fairly clear goals for our future.

I’ve discovered that when I have an end goal in mind I will work relentlessly toward it regardless of the time and energy that it takes to get there, even if it means depleting every resource I have in the process. Sometimes this takes years to complete. Sometimes the “end goal” is so obscure and far off in the distance that it’s almost impossible for anyone else to see, let alone support. But I see it.

Kanan may not notice what I’m able to predict. He observes my chaotic life, chalk full of work and stress. I see myself lay one more brick down each day I wake up with intention. It may not look like much now, but someday I’ll build my castle, revel in it, then move on to something new. I thrive on accomplishment and projects. I find happiness in the process of building, not necessarily the “finished” result – consequently this means I’m never really done and I’m almost never satisfied.

He watches me struggle and sometimes doesn’t realize that I share his same vision. Laying a brick a day will get us there, I promise, but you need to trust me. A decade later, and the foundation is complete. Still a lot of castle to build, but it’s got something solid to stand on. Structuring your life differently takes time. Great things aren’t built overnight. Strategies take trial and error to perfect; systems take years to run smoothly. I’d work seven days a week, and teeter on the precipice of burnout – he’d say “structure your life differently.” I’d be at the end of my rope spending every “personal” moment on my phone working. What should I do? Structure my life differently. To him, its easy. A simple answer to any of those parts of my life I am not satisfied with.

His point: When I’m “done” I’m never done. So I may as well create a life I love to live in the process of building. Structure my life differently. 

It’s not that I didn’t understand this concept before – I feel like I have quite a clear understanding of what it takes to create a life you actually want, basically full of work I enjoy, people I enjoy, and activities that give me joy, purpose, and meaning. But for me it will take years to even define what that looks like, and I imagine it will be fluid and constantly in flux. But I feel like when he emphasizes that point to me, it’s his subtle and effective way to reiterate that I am the creator of my life and I do have the power to change it, and make it however I dream. It’s up to me, and he knows I can do it. After all, if I’m not happy with something in my life, all I need to do is do it differently.

Lesson #2: Leveling up is hard, but a great partnership will force you to level up constantly, and forever.

I resist what my husband tells me to do. My husband resists what I tell him to do. Together we end up stubbornly encouraging each other to become better people.

What I’ve discovered is that my husband and I chose each other for big reasons, and each one of us has greatly valuable qualities to bring to our table. So when we resist each other because of our strength and stubbornness, eventually one of us will rise to join the other. And when we really clash, it’s because one of us just hasn’t quite figured out how to get up to that next level yet. But with enough encouragement, we will.

This happens in small ways, like snoozing my alarm. I used to be that person. Snooze the alarm every single day for however long it takes to get out of bed in the morning. Kanan explicitly hated this behavior because it disrupts his sleep, and we had many arguments about it, until stubbornly and angrily I made it a point to get out of bed immediately, every single day as soon as my alarm went off. Annoyed and stubborn, I now am a more productive person who loves the morning and looks forward to quiet time alone with my coffee, my books, and my computer. Why would I want to waste that wonderful peaceful time snoozing?

This also happens in big ways, like eating more plant foods, a significant and long-term lifestyle change. Over the years Kanan has resisted my dietary choices being “pushed on him” and has explicitly made it clear to not tell him what to eat. It turns out, the squeaky vegan wheel gets the grease. When I see my husband packing his mostly (if not entirely) raw, plant based lunches for work everyday, coming home for his post-work kale, ginger, celery smoothie it does two things. It instantly makes me happy that we’re headed down this healthy, long path together, but also makes me realize that I can do better too. I don’t eat kale everyday; there’s always room to improve and grow.

When my husband and I seem to disagree, I now try to step back and look for the lesson inside the clashing of two stubborn individuals. We both want what’s best for us, so who needs the boost up to the next rung? The other one of us will be more that happy to provide it.

Lesson #3: Protect Your Time.

This last lesson I’ll share with you wraps back around to the initial idea of my husband as the “zen master.” Kanan is not a meditation expert. He doesn’t do yoga. He’s certainly not Buddhist. He has fairly liberal beliefs but is in no way carefree or someone I’d call a free spirit. He has not reached enlightenment. Nor is he wearing a poncho and selling beads in the park. My point: he’s neither a true zen master, or a wannabe zen master. He’s just himself.

He is an adamant nonconformist in his own way. He’s so punk rock about his time that it fascinates me and encourages me on my digital minimalism journey. Simply put, Kanan understands with no degree of uncertainty that his time is his own, and he is allowed to selfishly protect it. He can exist amongst the chaos and remain himself, a calm center.

Social media? Not worth the time or energy. Texting? Only if absolutely necessary, or to appease his text-happy wife. Facetime is a solid no. Calling is a sometimes and only for the most important in his life. He refuses to make plans if he even has an inkling he may not want to participate in something or may want to just relax and do what he wants. He doesn’t feel the need to answer to anyone about how he spends his personal time, and most of the time that philosophy does apply to me. And while this can frustrate me sometimes as his behavior can appear to be noncommittal or selfish (which it is), he generally encourages me to live the same way. Selfishly with my time, even when it pertains to matters involving him.

This has taught me that being selfish with my time is okay, and that respecting each other’s time is important. It’s taught me not to dole it out indiscriminately, and to really decide if something or someone is worth letting into my life and space. My husband is basically a minimalist at heart, and someone so confident in himself that he can live his life from his own center, allowing in only the things that mean most to him. That is a skill most of us have to actively cultivate with things like exercise, meditation, learning – strategies. I joke that Kanan has had it figured out since I met him. I thought he was antisocial and afraid to commit. It turns out he just wanted to make sure I was someone he wanted to give his most precious resource to before he decided to marry me. What a way to live.

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Wedding Photos:

https://www.hennygraphy.com

“Draining The Shallows” Digital Minimalism Diaries Part 3

What does “Deep Work” Mean to Me?

My whole life I’ve been naturally drawn to produce what Cal Newport describes as “Deep Work.” I picture myself as a ten year old writing stories in one of the many outdoor “forts” my sister and I would build. Sometimes I’d spend what felt like hours alone, riding my bike down our long dirt road to sit on the “big rock” and write down my thoughts and observations – a backpack full of books in tow, and a heavy imagination to compliment the scenery. Nature and quiet time were easy to find, but so were the other kids on my street, who, when I was ready to socialize seemed to always be available.

We grew up in a town where solitude was plentiful – I refer to solitude in the way that Newport does, as being alone with your thoughts, but not necessarily alone physically. Think: In the grocery store check out line without your phone. Not alone, but alone in your head – solitude. My home town is excessively rural, secluded, and a few years behind whatever technology or trends are happening on the outside. Thinking of the hundreds of days I spent riding my mountain bike up over the hills to spend hours with friends makes my heart fill with gratitude. Idle time was seen by many of our parents as time for trouble, but we rarely found any. What we did find was a childhood and adolescence spent “hanging out” with each other before the internet meant much, and long before cell phones were common, let alone in any of our own hands. 

Sitting alongside the Kern River watching tourists go by on river rafts, walking circles around the high school football field talking, getting to know my future best friend, cleaning the hotel pool area in the early morning at my high school job. Thinking about being outside in the warm summer air, just me, the smell of chlorine, and the sound of the birds at 7am sometimes leads me to think that maybe we have gotten so far away from analog behaviors, solitude, and personal connection that we are suffering – mentally and physically. But how do we go back to that feeling – the one that we seem to find whenever our minds are left to fend for themselves?

Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive abilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate. 

My intention is not to emphasize an unrealistically ideal society pre-modern technology and to suffocate you with nostalgic tales from my childhood. What I do mean to do is evoke that sense of calm in you that I believe comes from the fulfillment and mental rewards we reap from the combination of experiencing a balance and abundance of solitude and personal one-on-one connections with other people.

I find myself researching Digital Minimalism, efficiency and effectiveness in my business and personal life, and my own cognitive potential, realizing that not only are those topics interconnected on many levels, but in my opinion, crucially dependent on one another for their success. As a society we’ve strayed away from meaningful connections and failed to give ourselves and others the permission to spend significant time on work that captures our undivided attention. The result: Our lives are spent toiling away on work that does not fulfill us, and on media platforms that do not produce the amount of value they’ve promised for the time we’re haphazardly giving away. If Instagram was charging you per minute to use their service, how much would it be worth to you? As it turns out, “liking” your friend’s post does cost us something huge: time. The only resource we cannot replenish. When it comes to our time, we should be counting our pennies, but instead we all spend like we have millions in the bank.

Personally, I enjoy and find fulfillment in one-on-one time spend with other people, and time spent alone, producing what I consider to be my “deep work” which usually has something to do with writing. The problem that I’ve encountered, and that has become glaringly obvious to me recently, is that I’ve positioned myself in a career where my personal connections are bountiful and meaningful, I’ve etched out time in my schedule to produce high-quality work, and I’m maintaining a blog and four social media accounts. And it’s too much. I did not replace personal connection with online or shallow connections, I merely added them all in, on top of the heavy client load and the real brick-and-mortar business location I currently run. Shocking fact: I have only had a personal Instagram account for three years. What value is it really producing? Not much.

For those of you unfamiliar with the day-to-day operations of a full time esthetician, my schedule looks like this: From around 8am to 7pm three days a week I book back to back clients during all of these hours for a minimum of thirty minutes and a maximum of three hour long appointments. During this time I will render any combination of skincare and makeup services, typically in a private room behind closed doors, in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. This means that on any given client work day I will have an average of around ten one-on-one conversations. Many of my clients are friends, almost every single one has been coming to see me for several years. So we know each other and our talks are meaningful and rarely surface level. For roughly 33 hours per week I am in an intense state of concentration and attentiveness. I am producing quality work which requires practice and skill, providing a quality environment that requires thought, intention, and execution, and I am cultivating meaningful personal connections and conversation, which requires my full and undivided attention.

In addition to these client hours, I have event hours which typically include several weddings a month where my ability to concentrate and produce quality work in intensely distracting and high-stress environments is vital. And lastly, office hours which I’ve widdled down to two efficient hours per week doing paperwork and making phone calls – another task that requires my undivided attention to complete, lest I digress to completing these tasks haphazardly throughout my week, distracting me from client work.

I believe that I have cultivated the ability to work deeply and to socialize deeply because my career depends on it. And at this point in our history those skills are becoming increasingly more rare, and therefore, more valuable. The problem: I concentrate deeply for roughly 40-45 hours per week in a very social environment and then go home and try to socialize online, or text/email/call back any clients who are trying to contact myself or my business. My energy is so depleted by that point that I have basically none remaining for myself, my husband, or my personal relationships outside of work and social media. Perhaps I am not becoming more anti social, but rather, more intolerant of allowing my time to be monopolized by anything that produces shallow or ambiguous value.

I built the majority of my client base before I used social media much at all, and many of the most successful business people I know rarely use it. If they do, it is with intention to produce a specific value. The haphazard use of social media networking tools to produce a very abstract value is not serving me, or my business in real life. What does serve me and my clients is a thoughtful, professional environment, quality services and deep connections. In order for me to produce these things, I need solitude, and in order for me to feel content and happy I need to be “immersed in something challenging.” 

As Newport would say, it is time to “drain the shallows” to fill what room is left in my bucket with deep work.

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Luxe Headshots by The Studio by Kimberly Ann

http://www.photosbykimberlyann.com/contact.html

My Digital Minimalism Experiment Part 1: Why

I’m becoming a digital minimalist. Simply put, I’m doing this experiment because as a business owner my goal is to maximize my return on time invested. I want to get the maximum possible value out of the media and tech I use, while using the minimum possible amount of intentionally-spent time to achieve that. In my personal life, which is tied to my blog and my Real Life Vegan Wife social media accounts, I want to do the same thing, but with the goal of becoming more effective. I believe that when we step away from the constant distractions, deep, introspective thinking occurs and original work can be created. Better quality, thoughtful work.

Up front it’s an experiment but overall, it’s a lifestyle change.

I’ve been struggling with media and technology use since I opened my business, and to be honest, I hate it. My business inbox always has thousands of emails; my personal email is a joke, filled with junk I have yet to delete. I have messages on Instagram and Facebook that need to be returned, and when I look at my phone I get anxiety looking at the steady stream of texts coming in from clients, family, and friends. I leave messages unread so that I will remember to return them, and the little red numbers just add stress to my already full schedule. I am extremely grateful to have steady clientele, but the feeling of looming dread is a cloud hovering over me. The stress and anxiety caused by this constant state of needing to get back to someone is counterproductive to living a positive and effective life. The time I spend attending to this open stream of communication and NOT being an esthetician, makeup artist, or writer is astonishing and clearly not an efficient use of my time. And because the distractions are constant, flowing, and always accessible, it is almost impossible to sit quietly with my own thoughts for a time period long enough to produce something meaningful. There is a reason why I write at 5am.

But we feel trapped, right? At least I do. I know that many of us who grew up without social media and smart phones long for simpler times – quieter times. Nostalgia for the days spent in the college library doing research because that was the only access to the internet I had. Going on a weekend away and only thinking of responsibility after checking your answering machine when you return. Emailing someone for fun. Working during business hours. Using technology for it’s intended purpose, without being tied to communication 24/7.

But the thought of stepping away is terrifying, especially if you’re running any type of small business. You’ll miss important emails, client texts, forget to pay something – your opportunities for social networking will be diminished. You’ll be less visible, and therefore less successful because clients can’t find you, or talk to you as easily (so they’ll go with a different option), and other professionals can’t collaborate with you. And this simple assessment doesn’t even take into account how potential clients perceive you based on your social media presence, or lack thereof. As a small business owner we are very aware of the real implications of not being available. Losing potential clients, and missing out on opportunities that could help grow our careers are very real possibilities with huge life-altering consequences for our reputations and bank accounts. Without clients we don’t stay open.

I’ve lived in this stressful limbo for about three years now. Wearing all the hats of small-business-owner while also maintaining all my communication streams, website updates, and social media accounts. It’s exhausting, and takes up way too much time. I constantly feel like I’m failing at it. Maintaining and growing my blog and corresponding social media is currently enjoyable, but I want to keep it that way and be efficient with time spent. And I’m guilty of scrolling during the “free” moments. But for me it’s not as simple as quitting cold turkey, and I can’t maintain this lifestyle much longer. So what’s the solution? If we acknowledge that technology is neither inherently good or bad, but how we choose to use it is what matters, then how do we learn to exercise autonomy over our own attention?

Recently I listened to “Cal Newport on Digital Minimalism: Why Focus is the New Superpower” on the Rich Roll Podcast. And then I did more research, and listened to him on other podcasts, and ordered his books Deep Work and Digital Minimalism, which I will read for part two of this series. I am completely hooked on his ideas – he’s a computer scientist explaining that we spend too much time with tech, and I can respect that. He posits that for the first time in history humans have completely eliminated solitude from our lives and that this state of constant communication and never-ending cognitive demands is impacting our work quality and creativity, but also our physical and mental health. I agree completely. We’re walking, talking balls of anxiety and stress who fill every moment we used to spend in our own heads coming up with our own ideas, with someone else’s thoughts instead. We’re constantly interrupted or distracted. We’ve banished solitude, and with it our peace, our time, and our potential to produce our best original work. We’re also using tech as an escape from reality, which doesn’t remedy any of our real problems, but instead distracts us from them.

Cal Newport’s solution is a “Digital Declutter,” which he likens to the idea of “Marie Kondo-ing your digital life.” A thirty-day time period in which you only use technology and media if absolutely necessary. Obviously this is a broad term with a lot of gray area for interpretation, so this is where his books come in, and I will report back with more information and my personal action plan. During those thirty days it is absolutely essential to the success of this project to do some real “soul searching” to determine your “why.” Without a set of guiding principles or a framework for self discovery or improvement, most people will either struggle to finish the thirty days at all, or will revert back to all their previous habits as soon as the declutter is over. Think of it as a lifestyle change instead of a crash diet. He argues that we should be spending this time getting back to those “analog activities” that make us happy. Do what our grandparents used to do for fun. Go on a hike. Build something. Read a book. Sit in the sun. Do a craft. Enjoy a dinner with friends. You get the idea. Find yourself in a world where your phone or computer is no longer a crutch – find solitude. Realize what truly makes you happy. Rediscover your own powerful and influential thoughts.

After the thirty days are up, decide what technology and media actually works for you, improves your life, and gives you value. Then add it back in if you want to. If you’re happier without it and have determined it’s value was perceived and not actually real, then don’t. Don’t keep anything that doesn’t “spark joy.”

My next step in this process is to read his books, and then report back to you about my own detailed thirty day digital declutter. And then in January, I’ll disappear.

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Headshot Photo: The Studio by Kimberly Ann

http://www.photosbykimberlyann.com/contact.html

320 2nd Street, Eureka CA

@thestudiobykimberlyann

Women In Business Series: Tanishia Boswell Co-Owner Trimmed & Pinned Hair Studio

Tanishia Boswell, and her sister Patricia Arneson are licensed Cosmetologists and Eureka, CA natives. Tanishia has worked as a professional stylist for ten years, and Patricia has been in the industry for eight. Together then run a salon called Trimmed & Pinned Hair Studio in Eureka CA with five professionals offering all hair services, makeup, eyelash extensions and nails.

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1) Explain what your business is and what your qualifications in the beauty industry are.

My sister Patricia and I co-own Trimmed & Pinned Hair Studio in Eureka, California. We offer hair, nail, makeup and lash services, and will be open for three years in July.

2) Do you use any cruelty-free or vegan hair products? Do you retail any cruelty-free options in your shop?

We offer many 100% vegan and cruelty-free products from the brands Pulp Riot, Pravana, and Pureology, all of which we retail and use for professional services. Patricia and myself use Pulp riot as our main color line.

3) Do you have inquiries from clients regarding accessibility to cruelty-free or vegan hair care?

I believe that because we live here in beautiful humboldt county, many people are interested in incorporating more vegan and cruelty-free products into their everyday lives. This includes beauty and personal care needs, so we are happy to offer services that cater to that lifestyle.

4) Do you believe that you can achieve the same professional color and style results with cruelty-free / vegan options?

Yes! Of course! If not better results! I have used Pravana as my color line for ten years and Pulp Riot for three years. I have dabbled in other color lines as well, but the longevity and vibrancy of these two brands is unbeatable! Both lines provide shampoo, conditioner and styling products for all your needs.

5) Is it difficult to replace your professional products with high quality cruelty-free alternatives?

Not at all. I’ve been using vegan and cruelty-free color lines for ten years, and have offered Pravana and Pureology retail hair-care products for that same amount of time. Those, and now our newest line, Pulp Riot are our most sought after products.

6) Do you notice a shift in professional hair care offering more cruelty-free options to pros?

Yes! I feel like in the past three to five years so many companies have come out with vegan product lines. Many of them are sub-lines of the parent company, but unfortunately very few companies are 100% vegan.

7) Do the cruelty-free professional options cost more than traditional high-end hair colors, therefore causing an increase in price for client services?

Vegan products and services do tend to cost more in general. Although the up front cost of vegan hair color is more then non-vegan color, the longevity and vibrancy lasts exceptionally longer for our clients. This means we replace our pro supplies less often, and the client is ultimately happier with their results. Therefore, it’s a much better investment.

General Questions

8) What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

My mother has always told me to “Pick my battles.” This applies to spousal relationships, friends and family, and also applies greatly to my business. Not all battles are worth fighting over- if you truly love someone or what you’re doing, then don’t let the little things break that apart.

9) What has been the biggest challenge and the biggest reward of owning your own business?

Owning your own business is seriously the best and most stressful thing ever. Our biggest challenge was actually getting the salon up and running- acquiring all of our licensing, choosing product lines, and completing all the construction on our building was a stressful process. My sister and I did all of it in 30 days. We had to leave our previous job promptly, and our clients needed somewhere to go! I would say the most rewarding thing about owning our own business is all of our awesome clients, from the ones that followed us during our move to all the new ones we’ve met at our new location! All of us here at Trimmed & Pinned, whether we work here or come here for services, have become family and that is so rewarding.

10) What is one book that changed your life? Briefly describe why.

Okay, so I honestly don’t read a lot. I think the last books I read were the Harry Potter series. But I recently picked up the book Stay sexy, and don’t get murdered: A How to Guide by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the hosts of one of my favorite podcasts: My Favorite Murder. I just started the book so I can’t tell you if it changed my life but after listening to the podcast I know it’ll be a good one, written by two amazing female entrepreneurs.

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Visit Trimmed & Pinned At:

https://m.facebook.com/Trimmedpinnedhairstudio/

507 H Street, Eureka CA

707-273-5015

@trimmedpinnedhairstudio

My Top 10 “Holy Grail” Cruelty-Free Makeup Products

Glo Skin Beauty Moisturizing Tint SPF 30 $44

1) Glo Skin Beauty Moisturizing Tint SPF 30. This product is my go-to every single day whether I’m wearing full coverage makeup or not. It adds a sheer hint of color and moisture on days I’m not wearing any foundation, and provides an oil-free base that will help face makeup apply flawlessly and last when I am going for a more full-coverage look. Wearing SPF is a must, and this formula feels and smells amazing. If I were stranded on a desert island, THIS is the one product I’d take with me.

Use: Personal & Pro Kit

Shade I use: Light

Available: At Two Beauties, and at https://www.gloskinbeauty.com/moisturizing-tint-spf-30

Glo Skin Beauty Under Eye Concealer $32

2) Glo Skin Beauty Under Eye Concealer. This concealer offers a dual pot- one peach shade to color correct and one more neutral shade to blend and brighten. I apply this under my foundation using the Glo Dual Camouflage brush for full-coverage color correcting and concealing all over the face (not just under eyes). It can also be applied lightly for more sheer coverage on days I do not wear foundation. This product is easily blend-able, does not badly crease when blended and set, and can be used as an eyelid primer in a pinch.

Use: Personal & Pro Kit

Shade I use: Beige

Available: At Two Beauties, and at https://www.gloskinbeauty.com/under-eye-concealer#pdp-description

Glo Skin Beauty Satin Cream Foundation $50

3) Glo Skin Beauty Satin Cream Foundation: 1.4oz. I have been wearing this foundation for over a decade. This formula is full-coverage, has a satin semi-matte finish, and color corrects amazingly. I use a damp beauty blender to achieve an air brushed look, or the Glo Flat Top Kabuki brush if I need more coverage. All Glo foundations are talc-free, non-comedogenic, and contain green tea, and vitamins A, C, and E. The shade range is moderate, but from my experience fairly inclusive.

Use: Personal & Pro Kit *Great for Photography

Shade I use: Natural Fair

Available: At Two Beauties, and at https://www.gloskinbeauty.com/satin-cream-foundation#pdp-description

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder $39

4) Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder: 1oz. On days that I would like a full-coverage look I use this powder to set my foundation. It lasts all day and night, creating a more matte, but crease-free finish that photographs well. I apply it using a beauty blender, and then buff it out with the Glo Skin Beauty Pro Kabuki Brush for an airbrushed look.

Use: Personal & Pro Kit *Great for Photography

Shade I use: Translucent

Available: https://www.lauramercier.com/translucent-loose-setting-powder-prod12321001.html?cgid=cat310002&dwvar_prod12321001_color=Translucent

Glo Skin Beauty Brow Powder Duo $28

5) Glo Skin Beauty Brow Powder Duo. This brow powder is the most pigmented and long-lasting I’ve found. Etching brows out with this formula is effortless with the Glo Dual Brow Brush. I typically will fill my brows in with the lighter shade toward the center, and the darker shade toward the tail, then set with either the Glo Brow Gel in clear or the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel in auburn.

Use: Personal & Pro Kit

Shade I use: Brown

Available: At Two Beauties, and at https://www.gloskinbeauty.com/brow-powder-duo#pdp-description

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette $38
Too Faced Natural Face Palette $44

6) Too Faced Natural Collection. I know this is cheating, but this entire collection is now “holy grail” for me, so I picked out my two favorites to include here. These palettes come in beautiful hard-shell packaging with high quality mirrors. They are compact and easy to travel with- these are the two (and only) palettes I brought with me to do my wedding makeup and all my honeymoon looks. I love that you can create so many eye looks with a simple set of neutrals, some satin and some matte. And the face palette is my absolute favorite since it contains two highlights, a beautiful bronze/contour shade, and three blushes. The rest of the collection is also beautiful, and the pigment and blend-ability is highest-quality.

Use: Personal

Available: At https://www.toofaced.com/shop/face/face-palettes/natural-face-palette/70239.html?cgid=face-palettes#q=Natural%2B&start=1

https://www.toofaced.com/shop/eyes/eye-shadow-palettes/natural-eyes-palette/41040.html?cgid=eye-shadow-palettes#q=Natural%2B&start=1

Urban Decay Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Long-wear Liquid Eyeliner $22

7) Urban Decay Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner. This liquid eyeliner is the only one I’ve found with a traditional, precision brush tip that is deep black, dries down matte, and does not budge. It comes in a variety of colors, but I only use it in black for days when I do cat-eye liner. Unfortunately, it is currently on sale and the black is hard to find so I’m hoping they’re reformulating or repackaging and not discontinuing!

Use: Personal

Available: At https://www.urbandecay.com/razor-sharp-water-resistant-longwear-liquid-eyeliner-by-urban-decay/ud776.html

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick $18

8) Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick. This formulation is highly pigmented, and for me, lasts almost all day with no need to reapply. I love that there is a huge shade range with a large portion of nudes which are my go-to shades.

Use: Personal

Shades I love: Can’t Relate, Mannequin, Christmas Cookie

Available: At https://jeffreestarcosmetics.com/collections/velour-liquid-lipstick

Glo Skin Beauty Precision Lip Pencil $18

9) Glo Skin Beauty Precision Lip Pencil. These are just your standard lip pencils, but the formula is incredibly creamy and long-wearing. The shade range is minimal, but there is a tone for every look you’re creating.

Use: Personal & Pro Kit

Shades I love: Soulmate, Natural, Moxie

Available: At Two Beauties and https://www.gloskinbeauty.com/precision-lip-pencil

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water $32

10) Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water: 3.9oz. This is my personal favorite setting spray. I prefer a full-coverage, but very dewey look and this spray gives me that finish I’m looking for and pairs wonderfully with my Glo foundations.

Use: Personal

Available: At https://m.smashbox.com/product/6038/34189/face/primers/photo-finish-primer-water/set-refresh-spray

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*I do not recommend purchasing these products from third-party websites. Please purchase directly from the brand website, or from a licensed, authorized retailer.

My Business: http://www.twobeauties.org