Style Test Drive: Touched by a (Blow) Angel
If you need proof that at least one good thing came out of the recession, you just have to look at the recent trend of specialty salons cropping up in L.A.'s Westside. For the sake of being money savvy, more and more salons are offering less services and choosing to do just a few things very, very well.
The newest one is Blow Angels, a beauty salon that opened up last year on one of the most bustling blocks of Santa Monica Boulevard. They specialize in makeup, color maintenance and blowouts, a huge trend seen on celebs like Lauren Conrad and Angelina Jolie.
Best of all, their blowouts are now only $26, and makeup applications start at $29. That combined with the fact they try to have you in and out in under an hour, makes Blow Angels a quick one-stop shop for beauty needs. I decided to give this place a spin by getting one of their skilled makeup applications, which are great if you need to glam up for a special occasion on a budget.
I was first impressed by the cool décor of the salon. It looks small from outside but once you get in, you step into a pretty expansive space with blue and white Tiffany's-like accents. I was seen right away by their makeup artist, Dahlia Eshaghian. I wanted to know how I could infuse dashes of color into my smoky eye.
"A lot of people who like to do the smoky eye think that they always have to use black, but that doesn't have to be the case all the time. Some people want to be able to wear smoky eye during the day but don't know how since the black and silver is more nighttime," says Dahlia.
She suggests in order to transition into a smoky eye for daylight, you can add subtle shades of color to it.
"I like to use just a teeny tiny bit of color in the crease and then use some black and silver in the corner of your eyes to add a dramatic flair. Then when you're going out later, you can just put some more black on top of it without having to reapply everything. "
And with those wise tidbits of advice, she went on to give me a daytime-appropriate smoky eye starting off with dark blues in the creases and dashes of black in the corners of my eyes. She finished off my lashes with dramatic Buxom mascara, which can be bought at any Sephora. After she was finished with my eyes, she weighed in on the fierce debate between gel eye liners and pencil eye liners.
"Gel liner takes more time to master, but I feel it lasts longer than pencil eye liners. But of course, if you're going inside your waterline, it's best to use pencil eye liners since you definitely don't want to get gel into your eye."