I am one of the luckiest people I know.
A few years ago, I was living vicariously through my children’s lives rather than taking action in my OWN life.
And now I get to live out my dreams! Seriously, everybody should be able to say that.

Alana rocking it as she always does. Can't tell you how grateful I am to my models!

Alana rocking it as she always does. Can’t tell you how grateful I am to my models! The male model was styled by Ramon Montalvo. Beautiful!

This past week I was lucky enough to participate in a creative photo-shoot at Maximus Spa and Salon in Carle Place, NY. I started working at Maximus , fresh out of Cosmetology School, a little over a year ago.  Since then, I have been aggressively and systematically learning everything I possibly can. I’m rather relentless and I can be incredibly hard on myself when I’m not progressing as quickly as I believe I should. So, when the opportunity for the assistants to create and execute their own ideas AND have them photographed… I began to PLAN.

And obsess.

Oh….I’m a neurotic planner.

I quickly came to realize, I had far too many ideas in this noggin of mine so instead of looking for one model, I asked two fabulous co-workers (Janine and Alana) to be my models. Sweet as they are beautiful, they were incredibly easy to work with and willing to vamp up the looks I wanted to create.

Prep work

Janine had more hair than you can possibly imagine! The concept of the night was “1940s”.  I love that time period but wanted to bring  a modern translation. I did a set, spraying each section with Chi Iron Guard, with a 3/4 inch marcel iron, one inch subsections, rolling down and the front section used a 1 1/4 inch marcel for volume to accomplish a smooth side victory roll. Once everything cooled, we released the curls, shook them out, did a light tease at the root, then “rouched” the hair by taking small pieces of the hair, holdin a small piece of the end of the curl and pushing and gathering upward to create a full undefined curl. The picture above is one of my co-workers and the owner of the salon helping mt get this done since. In all honesty, I think they were having fun. LOL!

My model, Janine, is on the right and the beautiful, Eleni, who is snapping the pic, was done by the very talented Ramon Montalvo.

My model, Janine, is on the left and the beautiful, Eleni, who is snapping the pic, was done by the very talented Ramon Montalvo.

My second look was Alana. She had recently cut her hair above the shoulder and dyed a panel on the side a bright red. He head is also shaved on one side of her head. I went into a little bit of a panic when she cut her hair because I had something in mind that need a few extra inches in top but I was not going to be detered! As Tim Gunn loves to say…”Make it work!”

She has incredibly dense hair, even with one side shaved off, so I sectioned off the top horse-shoe section for my victory roll. I added some extensions for length, from the nape , in one inch subsections, up to the occipital (that rounded area on the back of your head) I then, did a french braid, incorporating the extensions, from the side, around the back, then switched to a fishtail braid at the tail. I pulled it apart at the tail to create some volume. Finally, I gently molded and pinned the top into a modern day victory roll.

Alana rocking it!

The photographer was a great guy, incredibly professional. His name is Rich E. Miller and I would work with him any day of the week.  If you want to see some of his work, you can check him out on Google + here: Rich E. Miller page. I’m excited to see what he puts up (all the pictures on here are cell phones or quick shots by co-workers).  And if you are interested in seeing other styles that were done at the shoot, you can pop over here to see some behind the scene shots.

So…..the rest of the pics are of my evening working with the photographer. I have to admit, if I was to do it all over again, I think I would’ve worn something cuter and redid my makeup. LOL! I look washed out!

Janine was slipping on the marble...hey, we do what we have to do to get the shot. LOL

Janine was slipping on the marble…hey, we do what we have to do to get the shot. LOL

Big hair...don't care! Trying to create more volume.

Big hair…don’t care! Trying to create more volume.

Last, but not least, I want to thank Aida Vokshi, the INCREDIBLE make-up artist (and hair stylist!) for listening to me obsess over the look for my models and helping me come up with a concept for the makeup and executing it with precision. You are BRILLIANT! Also, Jaclyn Chan (aka Jackie) and Richard Calcasola for the support, gentle guidance and room that we needed to challenge ourselves. It was an incredible experience that I can’t wait to repeat.

BY the way, I’ll be posting a vlog about my experience on Youtube. If you haven’t subscribed  to my channel yet, please check it out!


A Glimpse Into My Thought Process….Don’t Be Scared.

make it happen

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my goals. I remember writing them down (I don’t remember where) plotting a course, and giving a timeline.  Of course, as the days and weeks go by and unexpected events happen (i.e. my broken foot), the specifics of what I’m doing starts to blur. I’m still vaguely working towards it for a long while, then I get lost. My daily routine to improve upon myself becomes a “when I remember” thing. Suddenly, I’m asking the old questions. Why can’t I get fit? Why am I not progressing in my hair cutting skills? Why can’t I catch up on my bills?….

Okay…am I making a big assumption here or is this common?

Now just for full disclosure…this pattern is a vast improvement over my “don’t make any goals because I’ll only disappoint myself” pattern. However, the new Danni, who is habitually reinventing herself, feels a need to improve on this. I actually had a sleepless night, tossing and turning as I tried to refocus what it is I REALLY wanted. I think I was trying to crystallize how much I WANT my goals in my head because if there isn’t a healthy desire for it, it ain’t happening! Not being at work, not being able to whip out an intense workout, being stuck in a chair doing a lot of nothing, these things have dulled the shine of my dreams. I’ve become complacent. Yuck.

I figured I’d share a little on how I get my mojo back and how my meandering thought process gets me there.

I start by really looking at the TOTAL PACKAGE of who I envision I want to be. I know I want to be fit and strong  (I won’t lie, mostly because I want to wear gorgeous clothing. LOL), incredibly skilled at my trade, be a trend-setter in my industry and make a lot of money doing it. I’m in an image driven industry but I do not feel compelled to be like everybody else. I want everybody else to look at what I do and want to follow me (oh my God, did I just say that out loud?! <snort>)

What KIND OF PERSON does that? Certainly, not the apathetic, lethargic person I’ve become these past 2 to 3 months. No, this person would be driven, passionate about what she wants, curious, determined, confident, unstoppable and…BANKABLE. These are all things that were NOT me. Mind you, there are few attributes that I DO have that I want to incorporate into this picture such as motivating, positive, up-lifting, fun and caring. These attributes are important. They are who I am and I can never change so I have to make them work into this picture of who I want to be (who I really am).

Okay, so I’ve identified where I’m at, what I want, what kind of person I’d have to be to get it…now what? I think I’d have to figure out  and, perhaps, visualize how that “go-to” person would approach her day to day. What are her daily practices? What kind of daily mini goals, short term and long term goals would she go for? How would she handle a day that was less than successful?  How does she view challenges? How does she present herself? What is going to inspire this person? There are many successful people to draw inspiration from if you are not sure. This is where writing is important. You sometimes have to lay it all out to get an idea of what this journey is going to look like. The more ideas and detail the better. Oh, and I don’t write what I’M willing to do. I write what this fabulous goal-orientated person would be willing to do. You see, I’m not that girl yet so I may censor myself.

Once I have everything written out, I evaluate it and make a map. You can’t get to a destination that you’ve never been to without a map! (or atleast a set of directions) Then I’m on my way!

Right now I’m about to enter the writing stage. I’ll let you know how it goes…should be rather extensive.

Here’s what I want to leave with you.

1) Just because you’ve never done something before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You are very possible.

2) A good plan will get you far. You may need to adjust and re-evaluate as time goes on but try not to “dumb down” your dreams. Regret is an awful thing and it is rare to hear someone regretted making their life more fulfilled.

3) I will always be cheering you on. I am always thrilled when someone steps out of their comfort level and have their eyes opened to their untapped potential!

You’ve got this….and so do I. 🙂

❤ Danni