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Lori Freese - Publisher Dish-Houston, Lifestyle Expert 







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Beauty is skin deep they say but honestly it is so much more! Here on the Beauty DISH we will share tips for great skin, hair, make-up, nails... you name it, we DISH on it!


Entries in salon (7)



By DISH Contributor Nick Brines, Owner, Azur Salon and Azur West

All of the elements that make for a perfect summer day — saltwater, chlorine, surf-side breezes and the warming rays of the sun — will reek havoc on your tresses.  Follow these tips from our stylists to maintain your gorgeous hair all summer long:

1. Use Hair Moisturizing Products! The heat of the sun along with salt, chlorine or sand will open up your hair cuticle, stripping it of natural oils. (And, use a good conditioner every time you shampoo, too.)

2.  Shield your Hair Color! Just like you wouldn’t go out in the sun without SPF, don’t let your hair be exposed without a UV protection for your hair. Wrap your hair with scarf, use a hat, or try a UV protectant specially formulated for your hair.

3.  Keep your Hair Saturated!  Before you dive into a pool or the sea, drench your hair with clean water first. Your hair will soak that in instead of absorbing damaging chlorine or salt.

4.  Use the Sun to Your Advantage! Try coating your hair with a deep conditioning masque before lying out in the sun. All of the “good for you” ingredients will soak into your hair as the heat helps the products to penetrate deeper into the cortex of the hair fibers than they normally would.

5.  Put Down the Heating Tools!  With all the sun exposure you are getting, minimize your use of dryers and irons. You know your hair won’t hold up in Houston’s humidity anyway, so use a great styling product and let your hair dry naturally. How about a great curl-enhancing spray for a sexy beachy look. Or, some great accessories for a casual summer ‘do.

6.  Humidity-Proof Your Hair! Try a demi-permanent treatment, such as the Brazilian Blowout or a Keratin treatment, to keep your hair from getting frizzy or unmanageable in the humidity or when you sweat. There are also great shampoos, conditioners and styling products that have anti-humectant properties to get you through those swampy days. 

Going on a great beach vacation? Planning on spending a lot of time at the pool? Need help keeping your hair healthy looking as the weather heats up? Come see us at Azur Salon or Azur West! We'll show you the correct products for your hair type, and help you find the perfect color, shape and style to keep you cool and looking fantastic.


Time to Winterize Your Skin Care Regime??

Zoey has been working on her craft for almost 10 years so sitting with her and talking about her passion - skin care - was an educational process that I wasn't expecting. I have been playing in beauty for many MANY years so to learn new things is very refreshing. Here is what Zoey at the Rice Village location of True Beauty had to say about Winterizing your skin care regime.

She starts with what seems basic but has to much wisdom to it. Regardless of how long you've been playing in skin care, preparing skin for winter is something you should see your specialist about first. Get analyzed for any climate change you encounter because you will need different skin care, even when you're just traveling because the climate will be different.  

Some folks who are in busy and needone stop shop product she suggests SPF. The Sun's rays are still very active during the winter months and you can still get burned, sun damage and wrinkles and skin cancer.

Zoey prefers separate moisturizer and SPF because the SPF product alone is usually more effective and a combo product. You won't use enough of the moisturizer to get the amount of SPF that your skin will need to be effective. Glow therapeutics has a great one that is 40 SPF and not heavy. Ultra Tint from Dermologica that is a 30 SPF if you like the combo product. It matches most skin shades but it isan SPF first so it is effective but you will still have to use a moisturizer during the colder months.

Remember, there is a huge difference between oil and water. Whentalking hydration they're talking water for the skin. Here in Houston we have humidity so a hydrating serum is prob best if you are, in fact, dehydrated which is the case for most people. If you are not drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water a day then you will be dehydrated and it will show up in your skin. If you are on certain kinds medications or hormones they will make your skin dry. IF you are truly DRY then you can add an oil to your skin that translates into a heavier moisturizer. If you are dehydrated from not drinking enough water and add a heavier moisturizer then you will break out more. You're simply confusing your skin. Water is self binding to it takes water from you to attract water to itself and hydrate your skin.

Again, before you decide what you need for yourself, treat yourself to a FREE consultation with Zoey so you don't cause breakouts or waste money on products that aren't right for your skin. You can have beautiful skin while being budget conscious.

It boils down to this, yes, you will have to move to a slightly heavier moisturizer for the winter months, just like changing your wardrobe but which one is something you should discuss with Zoey!

Another tip for younger, more beautiful and radiant skin: Don't over exfoliate!!                                        If you exfoliate too much you will end up with either thicker skin or thinner skin which leads to more pigment damage, capillary damage and environmental damage. So a chemical peel or lasers treatment would be better for you rather than a microderm for instance.  A professional won't necessarily give you what you ask for, they will educate you and guide you to what is best for your skin over all so be ready for that when you make your appointment.

Zoey has been a skin share specialist since 2005 and has her international accreditation meaning she can work in 34 countries. She had to learn more advanced physiology and deeper knowledge of the skin to receive this accreditation. Making people feelgood about themselves is her motivation. She has always loved skin care and had a deep love for skin care products since she was a little girl. She knew there was something special going on when she realised she was cconstantly buying the latest and greatest and like all of us, the gift with purchase was the best part! BUT rarely was it what was best for her skin so the free product and waste of money became tiresome. It took her a while to realize that if wasn't the product that made you beautiful it was the skin under it so she started researching and learning.

The thing about great skin care is there is the process of elimination. Even the best skin care specialist may recommend something that isn't quite right for your skin so it is trial and error. Just like working out or finding the right diet for yourself.


* Hydrodynamic from Murad is gives moisturizer without being too heavy or causing out break for folks who still have oil. Great for the Houston climate.

* Ahava extreme day cream with Dead Sea salts so your body only absorbs what it needs. It creates the balance. It will leach and return moisture to skin as it needs it. And the product smells soooooooo good!

* Glow serum or the Deremologica Cyto Lluxe or Multi Vitamin Power (DISH Endorsed) 
The serum is like your vitamin so you will still need a moisturizer.

* Eye Cream: Dermologica Age Reversal has caffiene and light defuses! Plus it was Retinol so it exfoliates, the peptides and cermamides hydrate from the inside out.

*Glow Cyto Luxe Eye Cream is recommended but if you're a bit oily that is not the one for you.

Zoey would love to guide you and help you with your skin. She feels education is the best she can do for anyone. Make your appointment for a FREE 15 minute consultation and bring the bag of products you use! Together, you can decide if it needs tweaking or not. 713-526-2553


Need Volume or Length? Think Extensions!

by Katie Sullivan, Stylist, Azur West

Want a quick, easy and beautiful way to add tons of beautiful volume to your head of hair? Looking to add instant length? Have you considered hair extensions?



I personally avoided hair extensions for a long time. And probably for the same reason you and many of our salon's clients had. The application process can be very damaging to your existing hair, and the hair quality was chemically over processed or unrealistic. My salon, Azur West, did tons of trials and research over several years and made a conscious decision to not offer this service until they found a solution that matched the luxury and high performance of the other services and products for which our salon is known. I am very happy to report that we have now found the perfect hair extensions!  Ron King Invisi-Tab hair extensions are a new brand on the market, with the very best in hair quality and application system. Don't believe me? Come by my salon and let me show you myself.

Austin, Texas-based hair guru Ron King is a national educator for hair color and cutting with several celebrity clients on his roster. He developed these extensions after sourcing a fantastic collection and resource for 100% European hair. The hair is virgin, unprocessed hair that most closely matches the majority of our clients' hair texture. It is incredibly soft and is heat-friendly for styling tools such as flat irons, blow dryers or curling rods. The hair can be styled, highlighted or colored just like your own hair.

Ron King was able to secure an exclusive arrangement, so this type of hair is hard to come by, and distribution is extremely limited. Because of this, he has hand selected just a few salons across the country to partner that will have access to this hair. I'm very excited that my salon, Azur West, was chosen to be the first (and only!) hair salon in Houston to feature these extensions.  

Other than the hair itself, the application process is revolutionary. Ron King worked with a friend in the medical industry to create the "Invisi-Tab" system, using medical grade adhesive that appears seamless, offers great flexibility and does not require excessive amounts of care. You won't even feel them in your head. Trust me, I wear them myself.

I personally have found clients who are growing their hair out love these extensions to help with that awkward “in between” stage as their hair is growing. Even better, I prefer to use them to add tons of body and volume for a gorgeous head of hair.  Even just adding as few as two to four extensions makes a big difference in the volume of your hair, and makes the cost affordable compared to other solutions on the market. I have even used the extensions to add highlights or lowlights to a client's current hair so they could avoid doing a chemical process to their own "real" hair. There are so many great ways to use these extensions.

Call Azur West at 713.400.2987 for a complimentary hair extensions consultation. I would love to show you how these extensions can make you look like the supermodel you deserve to be!


Balayage: The Hot Highlighting Trend

by Jennifer Stepp, Color Director, Azur West

Celebrities are wearing it. You can’t be a Victoria’s Secret model without it. And now, women in Houston are asking for it by name. What is it? Balayage! The Balayage (pronounced bah-lee-AHZGE) technique of highlighting hair has been around since the 1980's, but it went underground for quite awhile. But as the old saying goes, “what goes around comes around” and Balayage is back as strong as ever. 

Supermodel Gisele shows how Balayage Highlights Balayage is a hair coloring technique designed to create natural-looking highlights with a soft grow out. A French word meaning "to sweep", Balayage involves custom hand-painting the highlights to your hair by individually selecting each strand and then softly "sweeping" with a special hair color brush to give a perfectly natural sun-kissed look. The highlights are concentrated primarily on the mid-section and ends of the hair. However, unlike the Ombré technique, the color is also swept up to the roots in a soft, dissipated fashion. This creates a darker root area, but a very beautiful and natural grow out. Balayage is certainly an art form and takes a lot of practice. Unless you are with the right stylist, it can be a very difficult look to achieve.

I like to compare the Balayage look to the way a child has that natural, gorgeous blonde color they achieve so easily by playing in the sun. So many of my clients tell me they wish they could return to that "natural" blonde of their youth. Unfortunately, time takes its toll on us in many ways and hair color is one as it grows darker with age.  With Balayage, it looks like you spent the summer at the beach or as if you just came back from a really great vacation.  Also, Balayage clients won’t get noticeable and obvious roots (or "new growth" as we prefer to call it at Azur West!), meaning they get more wear out of their highlights investment. It’s a great alternative to regular foil highlights.

My fellow hair stylists at Azur West and I are experts at the Balayage techniques, and we are ready to consult with you to see if Balayage highlights are the right choice for the look you are trying to achieve. Want to experience Balayage for yourself? Call Azur West at 713.400.2987 for a complimentary hair color consultation with me or any of my fellow stylists to learn more!

(Remember to mention you are a reader of Dish Houston when booking any color, cutting or styling appointment at Azur West and receive a complimentary Shu Uemura Art of Hair treatment ceremony, a $45 value

Is Your Color as Good as Angelina's? 

By Jennifer Stepp, Color Director, Azur West
While you might think that dryness and damage are just the inevitable effects of professional hair color, Azur West now offers an innovation that changes everything you thought you knew about hair color with INOA. The name INOA stands for Innovation No Ammonia. INOA gives you beautiful, rich color, without wreaking havoc on your precious locks. INOA, by L'Oréal, worked for over a decade with a team of more than 300 scientists to invent a new way of coloring hair, the first such innovation in hair color in over 50 years. With over 22 patents on this technology, L'Oreal has partnered with a limited number of select salons throughout the U.S. to offer this exquisite brand. And you can find it right here in Houston at the INOA Color Bar inside of Azur West, a Shu Uemura Art of Hair salon. 

As a professional colorist, here are my top five reasons I know you’ll fall in love with INOA:
  • INOA is odorless: One of the most prominent disadvantages to other types of professional hair color is the strong chemical odor. If you are an experienced color client, you have no doubt experienced the strong fumes coming from hair color. Any woman with hair color knows what it is like to get a whiff and have stinging, irritated and watery eyes. INOA color makes those chemical fumes a thing of the past, as it is completely odorless. Ask to stick your nose up to a bowl the next time I apply this to your hair. You won't believe it!

  • INOA contains no ammonia: Ammonia is the ingredient found in hair color that causes major damage to your hair and scalp. Ammonia is an alkaline agent typically added to hair color in order to lift your hair and distribute color. But, as a side effect, it also leaves your hair strands dry and swollen with breakage on the ends. Ammonia is also often responsible for causing your scalp to become red, itchy and irritated. INOA hair color is so innovative that it uses a totally different color delivery system, called ODS Technology, thus saving your hair from the terrible and frizzy results other color systems are known for.

  • ODS Technology: INOA uses a new breakthrough technology known as the oil delivery system (ODS) to distribute color perfectly. If you want the best for your hair, INOA is your hair color. Compared to other permanent colors, INOA provides up to 2x more lipid protection to every strand of your hair. The result is a bold, shiny and lustrous texture that leaves your hair feeling like silk. It's like getting a free hair treatment with your color treatment! After 7-8 applications of INOA over time, it takes your hair back to that beautiful virgin hair texture that we all desire.

  • Better results: My fellow stylists at Azur West and I are able to offer you color that is better matched to our color swatches, avoiding any surprises with the final result. In addition to better color consistency, your hair will be improved with each application of INOA. In the past, your hair became more damaged with every coloring process. INOA reverses that trend and takes your hair to new levels of health while providing superior scalp comfort.

  • Celebrity stylists use INOA: Hollywood’s leading ladies have to look good at all times, but especially in front of the camera. Celebrity stylists must bring the newest and most innovative color to their clients in order to make sure their hair looks nothing less than flawless. Ted Gibson, stylist to the stars and owner of Ted Gibson Salons along with Jason Backe, Master Colorist, of the Ted Gibson Salons in New York, D.C. and Fort Lauderdale switched to INOA and fell in love. As personal friends of ours at Azur West, we took their advice and followed their lead. “I’m really excited about being part of the latest revolutionary hair color technology in the world,” says Gibson. “My clients have been thrilled with INOA – the color process and the amazing results!” Hey, if it is good enough for Ted's clients such as Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon and Renée Zellweger, then it is good enough for me!

Angelina JolieINOA by L’Oréal has taken hair color to a completely new level. Come take a seat at our amazingly beautiful color bar at Azur West. We'll serve you a drink to relax while you watch one of our stylists or me formulate and mix your color. And, you won't be forced to sacrifice the health, softness and bounce of your hair. Let one of the professional stylists at Azur West show you the best your hair and color can be with INOA.

(Remember to mention you are a reader of Dish Houston when booking any color, cutting or styling appointment at Azur West and receive a complimentary Shu Uemura Art of Hair treatment ceremony, a $45 value!)

Damaged Hair? Try this Simple Test!

by Greg Decker, Azur West Creative Director

Here’s an easy test to determine how badly your hair is damaged: Take a strand and place it in a glass of water. The sooner it sinks, the less protein it has. This means your hair is more dehydrated and at risk for breakage. A great in-salon treatment with a home conditioning regimen are critical components to fixing damage from over-processed color, heating tools, chemical services and even the sun.

Prevent damage by treating your hair like your skin. Never go out in the sun without a sun protectant in your hair (or a great hat or scarf to keep away those harsh UV rays!). Don't rub your hair with a towel after getting out of the shower. Rather, press your hair and wrap it in an absorbent towel. Always use a heat protectant before pulling out the flat iron or blow dryer. Use a wide tooth comb in your hair when it is still wet before you begin your styling. And use the right products that don't contain too much alcohol or other irritants that can damage and dry the hair.

If you already have the damage, come see me at Azur West. I can hook you up with the very best solution to rebuild your hair to be silky, shiny and healthy! We can shore up the cuticle of your hair fibers by injecting moisture, shine and silkiness through a fantastic treatments and give you the best take-home products to fix most any problem: breakage, frizz, dryness, dull or limp hair. Our stylists are specialists in identifying and solving hair problems. Plus, we will help to avoid the damage in the first place. We can provide you with the best sun and heating protectants, and we use advanced color technology that will treat instead of damage your hair. We look forward to hosting you soon! 


Pampering Paradise

One day DISH went to an open house at a yoga salon. That is where we met this wonderful girl named Rachel. Rachel then emails us a few days later informing us that she had just started giving non-invasive facials at this locally owned Aveda concept salon called URUKU. This intrigued us seeing as how we adore being pampered, being clean AND aveda. We are even more intrigued when she tells us that she wants to give us a free one so she can build her client base. YES came flying out of our mouth before she could finish the sentence...not sure if you've picked up on this but anything FREE we LOVE! =)

So after being a bit difficult...completely on our bumbly accident...we set the appointment.

Rachel gives the most relaxing facial ever! She is a mother of 2 young children so her touch is soft and loving which is needed by an over worked, stressed out human. She massages your hands, feet and neck and shoulders while you are steaming and masking. It's just heaven! We came out of there feeling like a new human. Remember that yummy feeling when your mom lovingly tucked you in and patted your back to put you to sleep as a child??? IT'S THAT GOOD!!! We are going back without a doubt!

If that wasn't perfection enough...Rachel let the owner, Anthony Skoog, in on the information that DISH was in a crazy hurry that day and had 5 events that night so he offered to give DISH a blow out.

This is not your mother's blow out! Anthony started with having me pick an aromatherapy scent that best fit my needs...revitalization is what we chose. Then he gave us a treatment of deep breaths with the scent to restore and relax us...as if we weren't already jelly after Rachel's facial...then he proceeded to massage the DISH scalp and shoulders for 15 minutes. We then rolled over to the sink for a wash ...more massaging....and a deep conditioning treatment with a hot towel that made us ask if we could put a bed in the back room and move in. Anthony then proceeded to make the DISH hair look so think and beautiful! We got compliments all day! =)

THANK YOU RACHEL AND ANTHONY! You both have a new client!

CLICK HERE to make your appointment!