InspHAIRation 2015
Hairshow winners
InsphHAIRation is an annual hair show competition produced by the ultra talented Mike Kowalis, owner of Relik Salon.  Now in its second year, Renaissance is ecstatic to announce we won for the 2nd year in a row!!!  Our student and staff team worked countless hours to prepare to compete against 9 other elite salons and schools.
This is an amazing event to be a part of and provides our students with the opportunity to stretch their skills in diverse and creative directions.
Each year Mike selects a charity or organization to donate all the proceeds from the event.  This years recipient was the adorable and inspiring Brooklyn Trapp.  Brooklyn is a beautiful 9 year old girl battling a devastating cancer diagnosis with such courage, strength and conviction.  It was an honor to be a part of her night.
Learn more about InspHAIRation and the great causes it supports here:  InspHAIRation
Take a peek at all our looks…
Bearded Lady P. Doll M. Doll Lion Tamer V. Dummie Airelist Tent Circus Barker Clown Strong Man Vudu Dr.

The Beauty of “Doing Hair”


Staff Contributor:  Mandy Humphrey

Yes doing hair is FUN!!  It’s a great way to make a living, have your own schedule and mother’s you can even work from home.

The beauty industry is ever evolving and becoming burned out of doing the same thing day after day isn’t really a factor.  The possibilities are really endless when it comes to beauty.

However, “doing hair” is so much more than simply doing hair.  The beauty of creating beauty is that just that beautiful.

It’s making connections with new people you may have never met elsewhere.  It’s spending quality time one on one with another person learning more about them and using your skills to help them to feel their best.  It’s learning that you have a lot in common with a wide variety of people with all sorts of life experiences.

Soon these people become friends that you look forward to seeing every 4-6 weeks.  Friends that you know and care not only about them but their family, friends and pets.  Friends that you share important moments with.  Friends that you celebrate life’s highs and lows.  Friends that you help “do their hair” before an important event.  Friends that you cover their gray and let everyone else know that their beautiful color is “all natural”.  Friends, that when they are in the sun set of their lives, ask you to do their hair one last time and it’s the world’s biggest privilege to make them beautiful.

“Doing hair” is more than just that, it is an opportunity to love those you serve.

Deep Condition and Split End Treatment

Student Contributor:  Characa Waters

Do you feel like your damaged hair is preventing you from having a good hair day? Have you ever wondered what could be done to help repair the damage?  On any given day your hair is recovering from the use of hot tools, chemicals from coloring, hair products and don’t forget sun exposure. Here is the secret to restoring beautiful luxurious hair.. DEEP CONDITIONING.  Deep conditioning helps to prevent further hair damage, fights current damage and strengthens the hair from the inside out. Having a deep condition service is a great way to protect your hair and to help it remain healthy.

Deep conditioners are designed to help hydrate and replace missing protein that may be missing from chemically processing your hair,  heat exposure and even medications. (Who would’ve thought that something that was supposed to help you could damage your hair.)  Deep conditioners also help repair the hairs internal elasticity by restoring moisture balance.

Have you ever wondered how you could prevent split ends or help repair them before you take drastic measures and  just shave your head? By using a Thermo-Marine bonding system you can actually bind broken hair fibers together essentially mending split ends.   In combination with a Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex you can actually prevent future breakage by surrounding each strand with a protective coating!
When my client Valerie first came to me in February her hair was over processed and severely compromised. She came to me hoping to fix the brassy blonde and take out the Ariel red she currently had in her hair. I explained to her that before that was possible I wanted to help repair her hair  through deep conditioning treatments. I was so happy she agreed.  That very day we deep conditioned her hair and two days later we began the process of correcting her color.

This last week she came in for a follow up deep treatment and during our consultation she asked,  “What can be done help the hair that was still breaking off  besides having to cut it all off?”. I recommended adding a Split End Repair treatment to her service that day and if she did her deep condition would be free! (On Thursdays, at Renaissance,  for every $10 you spend, you can upgrade your services and get either a brow wax, scalp treatment deep condition or basic manicure for free!!)
We started her service using TIGI Resurrection Shampoo (Urban Antidote #3) Using this shampoo is admitting your hair needs some major help.  Our goal was to bring the weak and brittle hair back to life. After I rinsed her hair out we used CatWalk by TIGI and Fashionista Violet Mask deep conditioner. I selected the violet mask  because its’ purple base  helps eliminate any unwanted tones that were remaining  from her previous color services. The Fashionista Violet Mask helped to restore the beautiful blonde tones back into her hair.  I focused the mask application from the mid shaft to ends of her hair  as they were more processed and feeling extra brittle and dry. I secured her hair in a processing cap and placed her under a heated dryer for 15 minutes. We rinsed her out and then we began her split end repair treatment
For the split end treatment I used the Brazilian Split End Repairing Treatment.  I applied the treatment on 1″ sections of hair focusing application on the bottom 3 inches of hair. I combed the treatment in section by section  and repeated the process up the head until I  had completed  my application to her entire head.   I then thoroughly combed through all of the hair in order to  ensure each strand was coated with the treatment and to guarantee efficient results. Next, I dried her hair with a round boar brush to smooth and polish her hair.  Finally, for the last step,  I used a flat iron to help lock in  and seal the Split End Repair into the hair.

Her results were gorgeous!   Silky, shiny, beautiful hair!


Rose Gold Hair Color Makeover

Student Contributor:  Amandha Triay

When I was younger I learned that I had a gift when it came to helping the people around me with transforming their looks. Whether it be simply changing the shape of their eyebrow or enhancing their haircolor, which to be honest at the time was box dye.. Either way, I knew I was destined to be a stylist. As a stylist you are able to help others and make them feel good about themselves. By attending Renaissance Academie that’s exactly what I’m doing. Improving my skills while helping my clients through their transformation journey.

Today, I had the pleasure of transforming a client whom is dear to my heart, my sister in law Sammie. She is a loving mother of an energetic little boy and is expecting a little girl. Like most mothers, Sammie finds herself very busy and failing to find time for herself. Seeing how hard she works for her family, I presented her with the opportunity to give her a much needed hair makeover. She agreed and here is how our process began:

First things first, we began with our client consultation. Together we reviewed Sammie’s her hair history. She is looking to achieve a platinum blonde look. She has previously colored her hair at home with a dark burgundy color made with argan oil that she purchased from Sally’s Beauty Supply. Sammie decided after six months of darkness and fading she would attempt to bleach it to a platinum blonde herself, which as you can imagine, didn’t go over so well.


Color Key Facts :

Natural Level: Level 6

Percentage of Gray: 0%

Existing Level: Natural level 6 [3in of re-growth]. On midshaft level 8 dark yellow and level 6 orange gold.

Target Level: Level 10 Platinum Blonde

DRP: Level 6 orange gold

NEI: Neutralizing

Here is the picture Sammie showed during her consultation:

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My process began with doing a full head bleach application using TIGI True Light White [advanced high performance lightener] with TIGI 20 Volume Developer. Mixing ration 1:1. I sectioned her hair  into a T-part, using 1/8″ partings, I applied the bleach to dry hair from the line of demarcation through the ends. I applied  to both sides of the hair to ensure even saturation. I began to process until the desired color was visible. After about 30 minutes of processing time and only a level of lift I placed a plastic cap on my clients hair and placed her under the heated hair dryer for 15 minutes. At this point Sammie’s hair seemed to stop lightening so I elected to wash out the lightener. At this point her hair had become lighter, but was still very mauve in tone.

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I still wanted to  make an effort to achieve my clients desired hair goal and do what I could to save her hair from further damage so we decided to reapply bleach only this time using a full head slicing placement method.  Slicing allowed me to bring a substantial amount of controlled lightener  throughout the entire head. I alternated my products with TIGI True Light White with TIGI 20 volume developer along with TIGI 10 volume developer mixed into a separate bowl. When slicing I took caution and took only  1/8″ into each foil this helped to confirm full saturation. I applied the bleach in a vertical, feather like movement to avoid horizontal striping and unwanted swelling [spotting].

For her remaining new growth  left out during the slicing method I did a paint between. Applying TIGI 100/88 High Lift Creme Emulsion mixed with TIGI 30 volume activator. Mixing ration for this is 1:1.5. This  lightened her  virgin roots beautifully as it counteracted any unwanted tones. I applied to both sides of the hair and any darkened areas.   Processing time is 35 minutes at room temperature, meaning, you do not need to use heat.

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I continued to check the lightening as the processed within the foils. At this point Sammie’s roots were lifting well, but not quiet the pale yellow [level 9/10] and the orange gold on her mid-shafts have gone from the mauve color to a pale pink. So there is some lifting, but the red just is not pulling out of her hair. Could the dye Sammie had mentioned she used, have actually been a stain..?

After checking her foils we used a balayage technique, to create natural looking highlights. Mixing another batch of TIGI True Light White with TIGI 10 volume developer. Letting it sit while the foils and High Lift process.


It became apparent that Sammie would not be leaving my chair with the platinum blonde hair that she had desired.   I informed her that she will have to leave today with a pastel color, which by the way,  everyone [even myself] are dying to have. Any further processing or any other application may compromise the health of her hair. At the conclusion of the service Sammie tells me that she is just happy and beyond happy to have her dark roots gone!

I checked her foils one last time and was happy to see the level 9 we were looking for.  Some  of the areas are as white as can be; however, there is still the pink tint in her mid-shaft. I washed her out with Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo to help reconstruct and repair her chemically treated hair and paired it with the Bed Head Colour Goddess Conditioner to help smooth down the hairs cuticle.  I was gentle in my massage of her head and hair as she had been through quite a journey.

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Sammie’s hair seems to be in really good condition,  given whats its been through in the last few hours. Before I blow dry it, I apply some of my favorite hair care products. Catwalk Blowout Balm to add gloss and smoothness, Catwalk Split-End Repair for added nourishment, and Catwalk Leave-In Conditioner, helping to deliver intense moisture to her dry frizzy prone hair. Together these products will leave her hair soft and smooth. It is best to work each product from the roots to ends of towel dried hair before combing through thoroughly.

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STYLIST TIP: I like to work the product into my hands to help massage it into the hair.

Finally, I begin to blow dry her hair, flat wrapping to remove 85% of the moisture, using my fingers to direct hair back and forth around her head. Next, I use my large TIGI Round Brush to bevel the clients hair. Working in 2″x 2″ sections 3 to 4 times each with maximum tension. Focus on the ends for shape and adding a cold shot to close the cuticle and lock the shape. To finalize her look we throw on some loose curls using a mixture of the TIGI Curling Wand and the TIGI Flat Iron and spraying Bed Heads Masterpiece Hair Spray to hold the style.

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The final result has become visible. We have ended up with a very beautiful rose gold ombre. Even though it wasn’t the final outcome my client was looking for, she is happy with her final hair transformation.

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Before Sammie leaves I advise her to return within the next few weeks to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to help restore moisture and prevent further damage.

On a final note, I would like to thank my instructor Mandy and fellow students Jesyka and Carolyn for helping through my clients hair transformation.

Basics of Contouring

Student Contributor:  Alexis Gillmore

Contouring has been made popular by celebrities who use contouring on a daily basis. Most of us have seen Kim Kardashian’s face being contoured and have seen the before and afters. Contouring can make someone that has a round face, seem to have a skinnier face. Someone who has a larger forehead, seem to have a smaller one. Contouring can add definition to cheekbones, jawline and nose. Contouring can be done in everyday makeup or more heavily for a fancy event. There are so many contouring options such as creams, sticks, or powders. There are contour palettes specifically with highlighters and shadowing shades. Countless pinterest pins, youtube videos and google images showing how to contour where and why to highlight and shadow.
 I will be doing a walk through on how to do a simple contour: The first step is to apply your primer, then your foundation and then concealer. be sure to apply the foundation onto your neck and blend it in so there is no line of demarcation. Next see what areas you would like to highlight and what areas you would like to diminish, or shadow. Areas that are highlighted will appear larger and more prominent. Areas that are shadowed will appear smaller and less prominent. The first layer of contouring can be done with powder or cream. If done with cream and then topped with powder then the contouring will last longer throughout the day. Generally highlighter can be placed on the bridge of the nose. along the apples of the cheeks, under the eyes and in the center of the forehead. this will enhance those areas on the face. you can also place highlighter along the upper lip right in the cupid’s bow. this will accentuate the lips and make them appear slightly larger.Shadowing can generally be placed on the outer edges of the forehead, along the sides of the nose, and in the hollows of the cheeks(to find the hollows you can make a fishy face and this will show you where your hollows are) or it can be placed underneath the bottom lip in the center to also enhance the lips and make them appear larger and fuller. Once you have applied the shadowing and highlighting then you can blend the lines out, so there are not lines of demarcation, using a clean brush or sponge. You want to blend the contouring without smudging it all together and ruining the contour. Once blended you can either go back over the shadowing and highlighting with the equivalent powders and then blend the powder out, or you can top it off with a translucent powder all over the face to ‘lock in’ the contour.
There are ways with contouring to help hide flaws in your face. For example if you have a larger forehead applying more shadowing on the outer edges of the forehead will make it appear smaller. Opposite of that if you have a smaller forehead you can apply more highlighter in the center of the forehead. To make the nose appear more narrow and straight apply shadow to the sides of the nose and highlighter down center.
Contouring is a great way to accentuate your best facial features and to complete a full face look for going out or just for everyday wear.
Alexis Blog
Model:  Ashlee Haws

Banishing Blemishes

Acne blemishes can be one of the most frustrating skin conditions.  There are many causes for acne including excess oil, blocked follicles, bacteria, inflammation, and the worst of all…hormones.  This doesn’t mean we are doomed.  We just have to make sure we are more diligent in our skin treatments and skin care regimen.   When I suffered from acne as a teenager, I did what most people do to treat my blemishes.  I over stripped my skin with cleansers, scrubs, harsh astringents, and did not moisturize.  Why would I? I had oily skin so I didn’t need to right?  Boy, was I wrong.   I’d like to share my advice that I’ve been fortunate to learn as an esthetician.

  1. Get a skin analysis. Not all acne is treated the same.  Getting a thorough skin history may help shed some light on any external causes.  This will also help determine what products are the best for your skin type.  Products and treatments used on a dry acne client will not necessarily help out someone who has an oily skin type.
  2. Make small lifestyle changes. Many lifestyle habits can contribute to acne.  Drinking more water will help flush out toxins and hydrate the skin. Wiping your phone off every few days.  Washing your pillowcases regularly.  Making sure you wash your makeup off at night.  All of these little things can help reduce buildup and bacteria on the skin.
  3. Consistency is key. We are a generation of people who want instant gratification.    I see many clients who buy that “miracle” product, use it for 3 days, then toss it when it doesn’t work or their skin gets worse.  When you’re dealing with acne, more times than not, the skin will get worse before it gets better.   The skin gets confused when you change products too much and you will not get the results you want.
  4. Choose professional product. Skin care products can be an investment but they provide better pay off than over-the-counter products. Professional products are formulated using pharmaceutical grade ingredients.  Cosmeceutical skin care also uses higher concentrations at a better quality.  Meaning you have to use less for great results.  OTC products also only treat the top of the skin and do not penetrate as deeply as professional products.
  5. Simplify your routine. You’re regimen doesn’t need to be an 8-step process.  Start off with a basic skin care regimen and then you can build from there to treat any other skin conditions.  Cleanse your skin morning and night.  Exfoliate your skin 2-3 times a week either using a granular scrub or enzyme mask.  Hydrate morning and night.  Especially important to those who were like me and felt moisturizer was too heavy.  There are many lightweight, oil-free products. Use SPF daily.

There it is in a nutshell.  Follow these steps to help banish blemishes for clear, radiant skin.   For a more personalized skin care regimen, come in for a free skin analysis when you mention this post.Image Skin Care Products

Shampoo Smart

Staff Contributor:  Carley Dudoich  (Renaissance Academie Educator)

  1. Shampoo the Scalp- The purpose of shampoo is to clean the hair and scalp. Sometimes when people wash their hair, they are not scrubbing shampoo at the scalp.  After time, your hair may feel greasy at the root, or have a build-up of product.  When you shampoo, use the pads of your fingers and give your scalp a good massage for a few minutes.


Make sure you don’t miss the crown and back of your head.

shampoo crown

It is also a good idea not to wash your hair every day.  It may take a few weeks to get used to shampooing every other day or every three days, but if your hair gets greasy, try using a dry shampoo to absorb the excess oils at the root.  We recommend using Rockaholic Dry Shampoo or BedHead Oh Beehive!

dry shampoo

  1. Conditioner- While shampoo is for cleaning, conditioner is for hydration and detangling. If your scalp tends to get oily, only use conditioner from the mid-shaft to the ends of your hair.  The ends are usually the driest and brittle part of your hair, so they need the extra moisture that conditioner will provide.


  1. Switching Shampoo- It is a good idea to have two different brands of shampoo in your shower. Your hair tends to develop a tolerance to one shampoo, so it is important to alternate between shampoos from time to time.
  2. Find the Right Shampoo for You- There are so many amazing shampoos out there that provide what YOU need. At Renaissance, we have a variety of shampoos to meet your needs.

Color Safe- If you color your hair and want your color to last, it is necessary to use a shampoo that is color-safe.  We recommend Bed Head Dumb Blonde and Colour Goddess.

color safe shampoo

Toning- For Blondes who’s color gets brassy over time, Tigi’s Fashionista Violet Shampoo will help counteract the yellow tones in your hair, leaving you with your perfect blonde.  For brunettes, they have a brown toning shampoo that will keep your color looking fresh.

toning shampoo

Repairing- If your hair is damaged and brittle, BedHead Resurrection shampoo helps strengthen your hair and provide intense hydration.

repairing shampoo

Volume- If you love volume, but need a little extra boost to get that height and fullness, try using a volumizing shampoo. We recommend Bed Head Epic Volume.


We carry all the products listed at Renaissance Academie.  Hope these tips are helpful! Happy Washing!

Trends for 2015

Staff Contributor:  Talia Malbica

Warning: Trending 2015

A new year always brings about new excitement. There’s a sense of passion about what the upcoming year holds. So what can we expect to see in the upcoming 2015 year? With New York Fashion Week coming up next month, we are bound to see some of the biggest designers showcase the colors and styles of what will be trending.

You can expect to see a lot of black and white. A staple and classy route for clothing, black and white patterns or solids is an essential piece in your wardrobe. B&W never goes out of style and will always be trending. If you aren’t the biggest fan of black and white alone together, you can always try a statement piece that incorporates a pop of color.

I have also noticed that menswear has started to sneak in to womenswear. I have come across several popular stores that are currently selling menswear style loafers for women. Tuxedo style blazers are also trending. I’m not sure the loafers are a trend that I could personally jump on, but I’m sure that accessorized right, they would be on point! (Check out the link below to see a pair of men’s inspired loafers from Forever 21).

I love to wear booties. They can pull together any outfit. They can be worn super dressy or casual as well. My favorite way to wear booties is with a pair of skinny jeans with a basic tee and draped cardigan. I think it really dresses up the casualness of a basic tee and jeans combo. You can also take the booties/tee/skinnies and pair them with a big comfy coat, perfect for going out on the town in the dead of winter.




Cosmopolitan magazine came out with a list back in October 2014 of The 15 Biggest Trends of Spring 2015. Check out the link and see if you agree:

On the opposite end, Cosmopolitan also came out with a list of 21 Beauty Trends That Need To Die In 2015. Do you agree with any of these, or do you think we will still be seeing any of these in the near future?

I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us!






Renaissance Graduate Spotlight: David Dawson

David Dawson

David is such a dedicated and talented stylist.  He has worked diligently in order to hone his craft and become the amazing stylist he is today!!

“Before graduating Rennaissance in 2010 I had a spot ready for me at Shep Studio and began working there the day I graduated.
I began working for Shep as an assistant Washing hair, cleaning, sweeping, working a second job to bring in potential clients for me to cut on the days I wasn’t  assisting, almost being fired, etc.  It wasn’t easy but it was necessary if I wanted to “make it” as a stylist.
After a year and a half of cutting and coloring I made the decision that I would specialize and focus my attention and discipline on cutting, and it wasn’t until 2 years after graduating that I became a junior stylist at Shep Studio and stopped assisting.
From there I continue to build my clientele and it slowly morphed into a very steady stream of men wanting to get their hair cut by me.
I have established myself within the salon as a men’s specialist and have used that to help me become who I am today.  I am full time behind the chair during regular business hours and continue to work on the days that I don’t take clients. This is a lifestyle and career for me, not a job.
I have trained in California at Toni and Guy and In New York at V76. I have taken classes from our industries most talented individuals such as Gerard Scarpaci (Hairbrained Co-Founder and Arrojo educator) and DJ Muldoon (The Factory).  Monthly I take classes from mentors of mine or travel to take classes.  Education doesn’t stop after school or at least it shouldn’t.  I love learning and networking with other stylists and to me that is what is the driving factor for me. Having passion for this craft only gets you so far, but it’s desire that takes you places beyond the chair.”
Check out his skills!!
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Shimmer and Shine Holiday Makeup Blog Post


SKIN: Beginning with smooth canvas will improve the look of any makeup.  Cold winter weather can dull a bright complexion.  Prep skin with a granular scrub or enzyme mask to remove any dry, rough skin.  Use a tinted moisturizer or add a few drops of a hydrating serum or lotion to your liquid foundation.  Avoid  powder foundations to keep skin glowing and looking fresh.

SHIMMER: Add some shimmer to a “classic” look by using a silver eyeshadow with a bold cat eye liner.  Wash the shadow lightly over eye lid up to crease, blending in a “windshield wiper” technique from side to side.  Highlight under brow bone using a light, matte eyeshadow.  You want the silver shimmer to be the main attraction.  Use the same silver shadow and delicately add it as a highlight on the cheekbones.  Careful not to use too much or you’ll look like the Tin Man:)  Add drama to lips by using a vibrant red lipstick.

SHINE:  Using a gold eyeshadow for a smokey eye is a fun way to add drama without looking too heavy for winter.  Apply  a bronze eyeliner onto the top and bottom lash line.  Smudge gold shadow on top of liner and apply to eyelid up to crease.  Gently blend shadow up to the brow bone using what is left on the brush.  Do not add more shadow to brow bone.  You will want it to have a gradient look.  Add face bronzer to higher points of face (temples, cheekbones, bridge of nose, cupids bow and chin.)  For lips, use a nude liner or lipstick and add a high shine gloss with some glitter.

Using these simple tips to amp up your makeup will light up any holiday party.


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