Salon’s are opening back up. What you need to know/ask before going in.

carlos west vibe
Before and After. Hair by Carlos Lopez at West Vibe, NYC

It’s the moment most of us have been waiting for. After 3+ months, we can finally say goodbye to our gray hairs, our split ends and remember what we looked like in the old normal. For us in NYC, this was the week! I went to see Carlos Lopez at West Vibe, a gem in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC. He took me from Quarantine Lara to pre-Quarantine Lara in a few hours. Just look at that before and after, I’m literally a new woman. I will not miss my DIY hair cuts.

For anyone looking to book an appointment here are a few tips.

  1. Do a virtual consultation, less is more when it comes to the amount of time you spend in salon.
  2. Ask if they accept Venmo for tips.
  3. Make sure a full PPE staff uniform will be worn at the salon you go to.
  4. Try to get the first appointment of the day, less bodies before you = less risk. That’s one of my general hacks, but you can also ask for a less busy time but it’s good to have an understanding of what you’re walking into — how many active stations does the salon have, how many booking they are taking at a time…
  5. Make sure the salon is offering plexiglass dividers or some type of separation policy.
  6. Make sure to read/ask their policies in advance of going in and what you need to know.
  7. I don’t recommend considering any salon that isn’t requiring/enforcing masks and taking all guests temperatures upon arrival.
  8. Make sure each station and tools will be sterilized in between each and every client.
  9. Lastly, wear a disposable or mask you don’t mind ruining a bit if you’re doing color. It’s inevitable you might get a little dye on it if you’re getting your hair colored.

For anyone wanting to visit my colorist, ask for Carlos Lopez at West Vibe, 451 West 46th Street btw 9th and 10th ave. Set up a virtual consultation in advance!

NewBeauty TestTube: The Must Have Beauty Subscription Box – July Edition

The NewBeauty July TestTube box is here and I’m so excited to share it with you! As some of you know I recently joined the NewBeauty team as a Guest Editor, and have been helping curate their beauty subscription service, TestTube. TestTube is the original, editor curated beauty box and features 8 full + travel size beauty products valued at $180+ for $29.95! The July box is epic and valued at $267!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s what’s in the July TestTube:

  1. Commodity EDP 10ml (deluxe size) – $26
  2. Grande Cosmetics GrandeGLOW Plumping Liquid Highlighter (full size) – $25
  3. Hanhoo Beauty Fix Collagen + Vitamin C Dietary Supplement (2 packs) – $3/each
  4. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (full size) – $20
  5. Luminess Crème Confession Lipstick (full size) – $24
  6. Neuma reNeu Scalp Therapy (full size) – $26
  7. Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment (full size) – $122
  8. 10 Free Chemistry Prep with Peptides Clear Base Coat (full size) – $18 + BONUS: Free $18 Top Coat or Nail Color

Total Value$267

20% of all proceeds from the July TestTube for new orders will be donated to The Loveland Foundation.

TestTube comes out every other month (6 tubes/year). Each box is $29.95 + shipping (or you can subscribe for 1 year for $149.75).

This Too Shall Pass x Pretty Connected Mask Chain Strap Collaboration

Meet the limited edition Spicy Christians This Too Shall Pass Face Mask x Pretty Connected Mask Chain collaboration, brought to you by two small but mighty female entrepreneurs.

Emmy nominated producer + founder of Spicy Christians, Yazmin Ramos

I’m so excited to announce I’m partnering with my friend Yazmin Ramos, Emmy nominated producer of The Wendy Williams Show and founder of Spicy Christians Clothing Brand. We’ll be collaborating to sell her “This Too Shall Pass” Face Mask with my Pretty Connected Mask Chain. 15% of all net proceeds from my site will be donated to Black Girl Ventures, which creates access to capital for black/brown women founders. Supporting small business’ is something important to both of us and as two female founders who have had to face a lot of obstacles we want to give back and create more opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Yazmin has been an amazing supporter of Pretty Connected accessories line, putting my multi-use chains on The Wendy Williams show several times. Last year, when she decided to launch her clothing line she asked if I would help mentor her on the ins and outs of starting an online store. We sat for hours going through Shopify and tips and tricks when it came to packaging, inventory and setting up a shop. She is one of the most ambitious women and quickest learners I’ve ever met.

This is not Yazmin and my first collaboration. I co-founded the non-profit, Share Your Beauty, which collects new beauty products from brands, magazines, editors, influencers and beyond and distributes them to women shelters and other organizations in need. Yazmin launched the non-profit, Polished Angels, which hosts regular beauty events at nursing homes and offers complimentary manicure, hair and beauty services to spread joy to the elderly. On several accounts, I had my program donate beauty products and raffle items for her events and have volunteered with her to paint nails for the elderly.

Finding new ways to work together and to be in a network of women who are committed to positivity, friendship and doing good in the world is probably one of my biggest joys.

You can shop the the limited edition This Too Shall Pass Face Mask x Pretty Connected Mask Chain ($40-$45): HERE

You can also head to spicychristians.com for more of her collection!

Meet my Muse: Makeda of Glamazon Diaries rocking our Mask Chain!

Makeda Saggau-Sackey of Glamazon Diaries rocking our Lara Mini Chain Mask Strap

Meet my friend Makeda Saggau-Sackey, or glamazondiaries.com. She’s one of the most amazing creators and photographers, and a longtime friend to me and my brand. We’ve hosted events together, done the Women’s March and countless collaborations. She was one of the first influencers to support my Pretty Connected accessories line, rocking both my chain straps and boss rings when we first launched and so graciously agreed to be one of my models for my mask chains. She has incredible style and is a great Instagram follow @glamazondiaries. She wrote this great post introducing herself.

We’ve been through a lot in our almost 10 years as friends and more so then “ally’s”, a word that is being used a lot, we’re family. Our support has always been a two way street and when I think of words like equality, that a great way to look at our friendship, as equals. We’ve created opportunities for each other, supported each other and her wins are my wins and vice versa. We are stronger together.