Where Are They Now: Caitlin Boland,Vidal Sassoon Basic Scholarship Spring -2016

Announcing the CND Master Scholarship Winners!

Beauty Changes Lives and CND are proud to announce the 2018 CND Master Summer 2018 Scholarship winners! Each winner will receive up to $1,000 toward tuition, open stock product, and/or travel for advanced nail education.

Alicia Thompson (@atna1ls) – A2 Nails

Shamica King – Girlfriends Nail Shoppe

Camille Cade (@chanailed) – San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology

Cerissa Jordan (@orlandonailtech)

Lindsey Zuehlke (@lzuehlke) – N’Dulge Salon and Spa

Sulema Avila (@yo_sma) – Aspirations Salon and Day Spa

Tiffany Whorton (@tiffanyhead2toe) – Bellus Academy/Paradise Point Resort and SpaL

Quatisha Allen (@yesme_tish) – Zen Nail Spa

Vonda Mitchell (@mitchellvonda) – Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa

Katelin Turcotte (@wildkardkaytet) – Body Pro Beauty & Aesthetics Academy Inc.

Where Are They Now: Mary Ecker, 2014 Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Advanced Scholarship Winner

As founder of Compassion Salon, hairstylist Mary Ecker brings the gifts of compassion and beauty to clients who cannot visit a salon due to a health or mobility issue. She spoke with Beauty Changes Lives about how winning the Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Changes Lives Advanced Scholarship in 2014 helped inspire her calling as a hairstylist and entrepreneur.

How did you find out about the Beauty Changes Lives scholarship?

I had heard about the Sassoon Academy’s advanced programs and planned to attend a haircutting course when my budget allowed. I saw an article about the scholarship in Behind The Chair and was inspired to share my story in an essay. Winning the scholarship not only improved my cutting skills, but it also gave me the strength to go forward with a new endeavor – Compassion Salon, which serves elderly, disabled or immobile people.

How does Compassion Salon fill a unique need?

After my mom passed away, I wanted to help people who were confined to a wheelchair, unable to drive or for some other reason could not get to a salon. Compassion Salon serves clients who are housebound and every beauty service is customized for the patient. For example, some patients need to have their hair cut while they are lying in bed or propped up in a certain position. Sometimes I have to stop a haircut so a patient can rest before resuming the cut. No service is ever rushed.  Often I can’t look over the client’s shoulder into a mirror as I would in a traditional salon. But the end result is the same – a client who enjoys some attention and the dignity and confidence that comes with a haircut or hair color.


How have clients responded to this service?

Four years after founding Compassion Salon, the business is continuing to grow and it has become an amazing adventure. I cut hair in client’s homes, nursing homes and hospices. Besides cutting their hair, I provide the little luxuries that come with a salon service – like a relaxing neck and scalp massage. But what’s really special is that while I am able to give so much to my clients, they have given me so much more in return. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

Can you share an inspiring story?

There are so many! Clients want to be treated like people, not patients. I visited a cancer patient who had fallen and broken her neck. As I styled her hair, we connected and talked like girlfriends. When she passed away four weeks later, her daughter sent me a note saying how much her mom had enjoyed  the attention and pampering.  I also visited a hospice where a gentleman acted very irate and made me wait a long time, before saying “I’m just a grumpy old man.” I said, “No, you’re just someone who doesn’t’ feel very well.” His demeanor changed because all of the sudden someone was seeing him as a person with dignity. He gave me such a heartfelt hug after the service.

How has beauty and receiving the scholarship changed your life?

Beauty, has certainly changed and enriched my life in ways that I never expected. My clients’ smiles and gratitude mean the world to me. I am so grateful for the scholarship. Not only did it improve my cutting skills, but the fact that my essay won, gave me the confidence to launch Compassionate Salon.

Where Are They Now: Kathy Xiong, CosmoProf Scholarship Winner

Where Are They Now: Kathy Xiong

“I want to change lives and help people transform.”

We caught up with Kathy Xiong, Cosmoprof Spring 2017 Scholarship Winner, to see what she’s up to and how her career in the Beauty Industry is going.

Would you please describe your career today?

Since graduating Paul Mitchell the School-Fresno, I’ve become a hairstylist and makeup artist at Salon Posh in Fresno. Soon, I will be offering lash extensions to my clientele. I strive to raise awareness of beauty careers in the Asian American community and I’m a huge advocate of supporting local beauty and local artists.

What do you mean by local beauty?

I believe I have a responsibility to put my skills and my education out there and help those in my community .The Asian American culture hasn’t always viewed beauty as a career. I’d like to turn that perception around and get this culture to see beauty as a career that can lead to a “Crazy Rich Asians” kind of lifestyle. In the meantime, I love helping local artists, musicians and up and coming talent in the community get their start.

How did the Beauty Changes Lives scholarship help you?

I’d done hair for many years and thought I knew what I was doing. My husband said if I wanted to take my passion for hairstyling seriously, I needed to go to beauty school. The Beauty Changes Lives scholarship made that goal possible. I finished strong and was one of a few students to graduate with honors. I even took home third place in the Paul Mitchell Advanced Education Student Long Hairstyling competition.

How do you plan to pay your success forward?

I want to change lives and help people transform. I have so many dreams! Eventually, I’d like to go to Thailand or China on a “beauty mission” and provide services to help those who can’t afford some beauty services. And one day, I’d love to do more celebrity and red carpet work in the future.

Maybe you’ll provide hairstyling and makeup for a sequel to Crazy Rich Asians?

Absolutely! Always dream big and speak it into existence!

Where Are They Now: Tiffany Williams, 2-Time CND Scholarship Winner

Behind the Scenes at NYFW’s Tom Ford Show

6 Questions with Tiffany Williams

As New York Fashion Week kicked off, NAILS contributor and Beauty Changes Lives CND scholarship winner Tiffany William’ talent was on display at one of the world’s most high-profile fashion events. On September 5, Tiffany created nail looks for models walking the Tom Ford show. The event included the star power of several high-profile models such as Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Kaia Gerber as well as Hollywood A-listers including Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Cardi B and Hailee Steinfeild.  Following the show, NAILS caught up with Tiffany to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the experience.

How did you get the opportunity to work at the Tom Ford show?

(Tiffany) I was on Instagram and saw a post from @NailsbyMEI looking for nail techs at NYFW. I reached out right away, sent examples of my work and got a call back.

Can you describe the looks on the Tom Ford runway?

The women’s nails were short, oval and painted a dark, glossy black. Because Tom Ford doesn’t make a black polish, we used Esse. If a model’s nails were not long enough, we improvised and applied press-on nails. The male model’s nails were clipped super short, oiled and buffed to a high shine.

Describe the atmosphere back-stage at NYFW?

The music is high-energy and you can hear the crowd getting excited as the show draws closer. Everyone – hairstylists, makeup artists and nail techs – is working on the model at the same time. Unlike in a salon, there is a lot of stop and start. A model gets called to rehearsal and the nail tech needs to go find her model again to finish the nails before the show starts.

What was an amazing moment for you?

I heard someone say, ““Yes, the nails. Love the nails.”” I looked up and was eye-to-eye with Tom Ford! He was doing a walk-thru of everything before the show and he seemed really calm. He smiled at me – and I smiled right back!

What’s next on your agenda?

Earlier this year, I won a Beauty Changes Lives CND Master Scholarship. I’m looking forward to taking the Grant Master class when a class comes to the New York City area.

What words of advice do you offer for other nail techs?

Pursue opportunities and don’t be scared about what the response might be. Always be fearless!You can follow Tiffany on Instagram @glammetiff

Where Are They Now: Kamilah Dunbar, Vidal Sassoon 2016 Basic Scholarship Winner

“My braids are allowing me to make an impact from my own little corner of the world”

We caught up with Kamilah Dunbar, Vidal Sassoon 2016 Basic Scholarship Winner, to see what she’s up to and how her career in the Beauty Industry is going.

Tell me about your career today. My work on Instagram @MsHairandHumor has really opened up doors to work with photographers, beauty editors and even clients as a freelance hairstylist. I’ve carved out a niche in braids – and recently had a client travel all the way from Tennessee to New York just to have me do her hair!

What made your client travel hundreds of miles for a service? In the African American community, braids are a big deal. But there can be a lot of pain involved due to the tension on the hair. People can literally be brought to tears. My approach to braids takes the pain out of the process. Word is getting out! I recently did braids for a beauty editor at Essence magazine.

How do you keep learning and growing as an artist? Well, this weekend, I’m traveling to Las Vegas for an intensive wig seminar focused on ventilation. I don’t just want to sew wigs – I want to learn how to ventilate them and make them comfortable for clients. Again, it’s about taking the pain out of beauty!

How did winning a Beauty Changes Lives Change Your Life?

The Beauty Changes Lives Vidal Sassoon Scholarship has changed my life and my clients’ lives. Every day, I am able to change lives through hairstyling, using the education and skills I gained through beauty school. The most important part of my time working with a client focuses on education. I would not have been equipped with the knowledge to help my clients without my education. Beauty Changes Lives played a huge part in making that possible.Today, my braids are allowing me to make an impact – and change lives – from my own little corner of the world here in Brooklyn!

“It was the push I needed to validate my career.” Evan Erickson Interview