Beauty Convos with Gad #3: What Are We Going to Take Forward After The Crisis?

I had the privilege of catching up with my good friend and beauty stylist to the stars, Gad Cohen.  I totally scrapped my intended “look” for the chat (a groovy headscarf) and played up the moment.  A few hours prior to our chat, I decided to wash my hair and then ran into a meeting that lasted much longer than anticipated.  I was left with only a few minutes to prep.  So I leaned into it.  I didn’t blow dry my hair but, instead, worked with the au natural waviness and fullness.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because it became the theme of our discussion: embracing the NOW.

Gad and I kicked off our chat discussing the New York Times article: What Is Beauty Now by Mara Altman.  Altman shares a number of different opinions around our responses to the beauty constraints during this crisis, and what’s going to happen when it’s all over.  She describes the sheer panic people are experiencing over their gray hairs and how they are jumping out of their seats in anticipation of salons opening up.  While others, she writes, are embracing their new-found liberation from beauty maintenance.  When it comes to the moment we can go back to normal living, the article shares the concern that beauty brands will shame us into trying to get plucked, primped and preened by pointing out how we’ve all gone to pot. But the article raises the opinions of others — like that of Gad — that we will be a lot more empathetic and embracing of others’  appearances.  And that we will all come out better from this experience.

I tend towards the “glass half full side of things” and agree with the last sentiment.  Given that Gad is part of the beauty industry that Altman refers to, I asked him if he agrees that people will be convinced that they will be crappy about themselves and succumb to the beauty industry’s call for transformation.  He said absolutely no.  First, he believes people will reject that type of marketing and even rebel against it.  Second, he, himself, looks forward to playing with the changes that we are all experiencing — the gray strands, the longer hair, the grown out eyebrows.  The opposite of using shame, he will greet people’s evolving beauty with love, excitement and creativity. 

This discussion led us to anticipate what’s going to change for HIM when people start coming back to his atelier.  Will he be doing anything differently given what he’s learned from this crisis? Of course he will continue to do what he’s always been doing, that is, truly understand his clients — their personalities, lifestyles, aspirations and dreams — in order to create the best styles for them.  But he believes that we will all be much more focused on the NOW, i.e., how we are feeling at that moment.  In the past, we may have asked our stylists for looks that will work in different future scenarios.  We would think about what will grow out well in the long run or what has versatility.  But our sense of the future is so unsure now.  Who would have expected to be stuck working from home for months on end?  Who would have thought travel was off limits?  Who would have thought we wouldn’t be socializing or that our major source of connection would be a small screen?  We are not saying that we won’t be planning for days ahead but we will have a greater appreciation for the NOW — what we need, feel, want, expect in this moment.

Boy, am I looking forward to that NOW moment

Week in Review: 12/4-12/10


This week on Beautyskew:

Where does our sense of style actually originate from? Weekend Observations: Where Does You Sense of Style Come From?

Gorgeous photos of fashion items made out of food!  Pic of the Week: Edible High Fashion

Week two of Karen’s quest to lose weight  30in30 Week 2: Beat It!

Sure, everyone needs a bit of research to guide us but true creativity comes mostly from inspiration, not data (At least Mike McCue thinks so!) Favoring Creative Inspiration Over the Big R

More great beauty news that we had to share More to Love: Additions to the Reading Listm thi

Stay warm this weekend!

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Weekend Observations: Where Does Your Sense of Style Come From?

Individual Sense of Style

Sitting among 4 older boys playing a game of Monopoly is my daughter Laila.  She is decked out in blue footsie pj’s and a Yankees hat, rim facing the side.  While I’m used to her tomboy fashion sense, I still marvel at how un-girly her style is given how much I loved dressing up Barbies and fantasizing about being a glamazon when I was her age.

Everyone’s response to my concern for Laila’s style is:  “What do you expect, she has 2, very boyish older brothers!”   Or “She’ll grow out of it as she matures.”  Yeah, yeah, I get this but I know plenty of people who aren’t influenced by their siblings’ style at all.

So what’s at the root of our “senses of style” anyway?  The notion of an individual sense of style is bandied about all the time in fashion and beauty mags.  “Dress to match your style”, or “How to express your style in the workplace”, or “Don’t squelch your sense of style”, blah, blah, blah.  But where or how does our sense of style form in the first place? Is it related to our body types, i.e., I have broad shoulders so I might as well embrace a more masculine look, or I have a tiny waist so I’m a fifties chick all the way….?

Or does it have to do with upbringing?  My mom isn’t a particularly frilly dresser and neither am I.  But then again, my sister is pretty preppy and I’m more rocker chick.  Does some synapses form prenatally that are predisposed to Helmut Lang versus Tory Burch?

Maybe a few brain scans, infant observations and cognitive test are in order?  Ha, ha.

But seriously, does anyone have an explanation?


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