For those of you new to the blog, I welcome you to the series of Lifestyle Lashes where we are celebrating Women, Beauty and the things that bring us all together. Today, I'd love to introduce you to Ellen Tolibas, Private Pilates Instructor and teacher at MNT Studio in San Francisco.
Ellen embodies the visual of being beautiful both inside and out! Inwardly she is kind, passionate and her body is strong and powerful while outwardly her beauty is effortless, refreshing and topped off with her killer Eyelash Extensions. Those Eyelash Extensions? "Are an integral part of my lifestyle" says Ellen. "My Eyelashes have been an iconic statement in my look that is both athletic and girly. I feel pretty and feminine without makeup and covered in sweat, just as much as I do dolled up and Styled out."
"I love my lashes most for the way they make me feel like a new woman every time I get a fill. There’s just something about doing a special gesture for yourself that leaves you feeling fabulous."- Ellen
I've know Ellen for years, both as a client of hers and as her Eyelash Extension Specialist but as much as I know about Ellen, I wondered how she chose Pilates as a profession admit what inspired her to become a female entrepreneur in the field?
"My Pilates journey is very special to me. It began through my passion for dance and high intensity training. Over the past 13 years of practice and subsequent 7 years of teaching, I have evolved my personal Pilates teaching style to be very athletic, fluid and functional. I decided to open my own studio for Private Pilates two years ago to embrace that teaching style and that coupled with teaching at MNT Studio have been the most fulfilling and inspiring profession I could have imagined."
One of the things that makes Ellen special is the connection she builds with her clients. Pilates is a very vulnerable and humbling experience- take it from me!- With Ellen, I personally feel like she makes me WANT to succeed. Ellen feels that too, "Pilates is a whole body practice, focusing on breath to connect deeper, mindfulness to move more intelligently, and working from the deep core to find balance and stability. I love working with clients to identify, set and achieve health and wellness goals." -Ellen
We all have that moment, that time in our lives where we decide- the time is now. Now I will choose to be healthy! For those of you that are on the cusp, not sure if you're ready to take the leap and move to that healthier lifestyle Ellen has a gentle word of advice for you... " Set a small goal, one at a time. Just commit to something."
When it comes to those goals? She gets it in EVERY way and what it means to incorporate wellness and a lifestyle choice. A true testament to that is her desire to work and be a part of MNT. MNT is a movement in its own right, owned and operated by entrepreneur Elaine Hayes. MNTSTUDIO stands for "Move, Nourish, Transform" and brings its members classes that both connect and inspire. Located in the Soma district of San Francisco, it boasts a comfortable modern feel to welcome its guests and provides a community of trainers, instructors and educators to help transform their lives.
Visit Ellen @etolibas and @MNTSTUDIO and let her help you take that leap!
Eyelash Extensions: Artisan Eyelashes
In this installment of LifeStyle Lashes, i'm so excited to introduce Shirin! The fabulously smart, fun and oh-so-knowledgeable Founder of PlanetRidiculous Inc., A Dog Lifestyle service that was born from her love of fur babies and the skill it takes to win over some of the sassiest personalities! We sat down with Shirin to hear how she got into Dog Training ( and walking) and where the road has taken her...
"I grew up with a wildlife biologist in a family of animal lovers. When I went to college, I immediately applied my experience to helping animal rescues. It was initially just something I did on the side of my academic career, but there was a vast and overwhelming need for volunteers. In particular, people that could handle the tougher cases. I started training to become a professional handler and began specializing in rehabilitation."
What was so evident to me while walking and talking at Chrissy Field was how incredibly responsive the dogs were to her. Her comfort level and understanding of their behavior was on full display. With one pup on leash and one, more seasoned with her, off leash, Shirin was relaxed and at ease. She explained that her decision to take the road less traveled and work full time with animals was a no- brainer!
"I didn't want to stop helping animals so I took a break from school to start my own business. I absolutely loved it. Being a business owner is no small feat, however it gave me a way to help rescues (dogs in particular) and be my own boss. I have now been doing this for over 10 years and I can say I have learned so much more than I could have ever expected."
The other thing that I couldn't help but notice about Shirin? Her beautiful eyelash extensions. In her words...
"I am a Persian girl. I go out and I get dirty in nature all day but I still want my feminine side to shine through the grit and the sporty outfit. Make up usually doesn't stand up to the test of a day in the life of a girl that is surrounded by dogs and trees. However, these lashes do!!! I can say I am so grateful because even if I get covered in sand or my shoes are soaked from the beach or I have dog slobber on my work out pants, my lashes are still shining bright and engaging a very deep love I have for my feminine side. I feel confident that I am able to express my feminine side everyday no matter how the day turns out. My lashes always look amazing, when I wake up, when I am working, when I am meeting up with friends, when I am going to an event... I am a lashes forever kinda girl."
I asked Shirin what was the thing she loved MOST about eyelash extensions?
"I love absolutely everything about having eyelash extensions. I always have effortlessly gorgeous lashes. They make my eyes stand out even when I am just out of the shower. I feel like the lashes do all the work when I take pictures with friends. There have been many times when I am chatting with my friends and they will just zone out on my lashes saying, "I am sorry--I am trying to listen but your lashes are so mesmerizing, I can't focus on anything else!"
When she comes to the salon we have so much fun! There's something so special about the report we have with our clients; they're family and we are so lucky to share in their lives once a month! And Shirin feels the same way...
"I had tried several salons prior to finding Artisan. I was struggling to find a salon that was a good fit. A friend of mine with amazing lashes suggested Artisan. I will never go anywhere else. I work a lot and have a packed schedule. The consistency is perfect for me. If I am getting a fill, I know it will take an hour. It won't go over and the quality is exceptional every single time. I have never left dissatisfied because no matter who my technician is, I always get the same perfection. It's a lovely set up for the self-care I know I need. I get to come and lay on the most comfortable cloud while my lashes are being done. A lot of the time I chat but sometimes I sleep because it's so comfortable. I have been going there for quite some time now, so I feel very at home and like I am hanging out with friends. The women at Artisan are brilliant and I have so much fun chatting and laughing with them while they do my lashes. I also appreciate that they will let me be sleepy if I can't resist the level of comfort offered. I always feel refreshed and my lashes look exceptional. I leave there ready to take over the world, one bat of an eyelash at a time!"
We love you too girlfriend and we celebrate you... and your #lifestylelashes
Checkout Shirin and her sweet friends on Instagram @PlanetRidiculous !
The finale is here, lash lovers, and we can't wait to introduce you to the gorgeous and talented Charlotte Parsons- the makeup artist behind the effortless look on our ballerinas! Featured above is beautiful Jennifer Stahl, her makeup designed by Charlotte to accentuate her delicate facial features, natural grace and her bold eyelash extensions.
What was her inspiration for the overall makeup look for the dancers you ask? "My inspiration for the makeup was fall tones with a focus on fiery metallics. Cranberries, coppers, and antique gold hues add a more sultry and mysterious accent that complement dancers' naturally graceful demeanors."
One of the things that stood out for me as spectacular was Charlotte's ability to create a similar, yet distinctive look for each of the dancers. She explained, "I really wanted to keep the focus on the eyes for these looks, and had the goal of creating a more sultry and mysterious aesthetic." For me as an Eyelash Extension specialist, the focus is always the eye, so the fact that we were on the same page was ideal from the start!
"For each girl, I chose a metallic within the fall color palette that would contrast their eye-color, therefor making their eyes look more vibrant. Everyone's eye shape is different, so I customized the shadow application to suit each dancer's specific eye-structure keeping a lighter, more shimmery hue on their lids and blending out deeper, more metallic tones on their crease. For all three girls, I applied the shadow beyond the outside corner of their eyes and swept it up towards their temples to keep the looks dramatic yet cohesive."- Charlotte
And cohesive it was...
When our team got together to create the vision board for the shoot, the tones of the makeup meshing with the Gold leafing that Hairstylist Pam Genio-Bates was dreaming of were everything.
Charlotte's focus on the eye and the lashes is not a coincidence. She's an avid eyelash extension wearer and knows how to work with the lashes while using products that are compatible and easily removable.
When I asked her what Eyelash Extensions meant in her lifestyle, Charlotte said "To me they mean effortless, easy, reliable beauty. Lashes are a consistent, classic staple in any look I create. I change up my look a lot, depending on what I'm feeling inspired by. It doesn't matter whether I'm going for a more gothic dark green smokey eye or a classic 1950's wing liner or a modern natural no-makeup-makeup look, lashes are the one thing that stay consistent through the looks."
Those products I mentioned that Charlotte loves? She used a selection for this shoot! For all you makeup lovers out there, Charlotte has this for you, "To prep the skin, I used Kett cosmetics Kett cream foundation. For the eyes, a combination of Viseart's "Sultry Muse" Palette, Tarte's "Be A Mermaid and Make Waves" palette, and Morphe's "The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow" palette to get the perfect combination of shimmer. On lips: Viseart Lip Palette 02 "classic paris velvet" custom mixed for each girl. Lastly, for brows, I used the Kevyn Aucoin precision brow pencil to add depth and shape, then brushed brows up using Oribe rock hard gel to hold them in place to create a more modern take on the brow."
And with that, we thank you for joining us in this crazy beautiful project, stepping into a world of beauty in this industry that we love and celebrating what we call Lifestyle Lashes. #lifestylelashes
Lash lovers, join us for Part Two of our Ballerina feature where we highlight the beautiful Sasha De Sola ( above center) and the uber talented hairstylist Pam Genio-Bates of Patrick Evan Salon as she describes her inspiration for this shoot.
"When I think of Ballerinas, I think of shiny and sparkly! I initially wanted to adorn the hair with glitter, but had been using gold leafing in some art projects and thought it would be cool to use it on the hair!" said Pam. The look was that of fairytales... the dancers looked like they were wearing strategically placed gold crowns. Those crowns framing their stunning eyelashes, complimenting their soft, flowing hair and capturing light in the perfect way.
What did it take to bring her idea to life? Knowing all things lashes and none about hairstyling, I was blown away by how effortless Pam made it look! "I took Oribe Rock Hard Gel and used a color tint brush to paint it on the hair. While still wet, I placed pieces of gold leafing where I wanted, then set the entire section with Oribe Superfine Strong Hairspray". A true artist, Pam created a slightly different pattern on each dancer to create a cohesive and balanced look.
And that effortlessness I mentioned above, Pam embodies it to the core. She is breezy and light, always put together, yet not overdone. Knowing that Pam is an avid eyelash extension wearer, I asked her how that plays a role in her style. She said "Having lashes had tremendously helped my daily life. I wake up looking refreshed and it seriously cut down on my primping time. As a mom, any time saved getting ready is gold! I also don't feel as insecure going makeup-free now that I have lashes. It's that little boost for my self esteem!"
That cutting down of time is huge for Sasha too. She explains, "Eyelash extensions are incredible! It's so easy to get up and out of the house in no time but still feel like I'm put together. I have a hectic schedule so eyelash extensions have really helped simplify my life." Hectic, yes, but for Sasha "Dance and ballet have always been a source of pure freedom for me. I've always loved the aspect of performing and giving to people in that way, but over the years i've also learned to really appreciate the day to day ritualistic process of rehearsals."
That love of performing and intensive devotion to rehearsals shows tenfold when we see photos like this last one... possibly one of my favorite. A moment in time captured by the lens of Lorraine Gallego and the quick, perfect movements of Sasha and that freedom she felt.
Photographer: Lorraine Gallego
Ballerinas: Ludmila Bizalion, Sasha De Sola, Jennifer Stahl- Weitz
Hair: Pam Genio- Bates
Makeup: Charlotte Parsons
Artisan Stylists: Kate Scheid, Marissa Buffington, Melissa Isenburg
Director: Melissa Isenburg
In the world I live in day by day, creating beauty, making women more fabulous, it struck me- there is such a thing as “lifestyle lashes” and they should be celebrated.
What are “lifestyle lashes“ you ask? They are the eyelashes of the Everywoman. The eyelashes that give us more time in the morning, the eyelashes that open our tired eyes, the eyelashes that give us confidence to walk into that meeting and the eyelashes that make us feel more beautiful. When it comes down to it, there are as many types of beauty and styles of lashes as there are women.
In this next featured series, we are going to celebrate these women. We are going to showcase them and all their beauty, in their surroundings, doing what they do best. We will find out what beauty means to them and how eyelashes play an integral role in their... lifestyle.
We begin with three San Francisco Ballerinas, a hair and makeup team from Patrick Evan Salon to die for and a photographer with an eye for the unusual. My vision for this project was simple- to adorn the dancers with gorgeous sets of eyelash extensions and let them loose in the city. The results? Pure magic and more than I ever could have hoped for!
Lorraine Gallego, our photographer, suggested The Palace Hotel to compliment my ideas of Maiden Lane and Union Square- the center of all things Artisan. I asked her what her over all vision for the shoot was as far as light?
“I am always a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl! I like spontaneity in shoots and work best with a less fabricated idea in place. The shoot is always more organic and raw when you invoke an element of unknown into the mix! I work best with natural lighting and love shadow play on facial features! I like coming up with ideas that may seem weird at first but turn out beautifully in photos. For example: deciding at 10am to run to Forever 21 to get clothing I could cut up and use to place over the girls faces for some unique beauty shots? Seemed odd to do but worked out! Sometimes these ideas don’t work but it’s always great when they do!
And great it was! The fabric photos were eccentric and showcased the eyelash extensions beautifully. They were mysterious, seductive and completely spontaneous.
Although Lorraine couldn’t pick just ONE photo as a favorite from the shoot, one scene stuck out for her.
“I would have to say I am most proud of the images I took of Ludmila at the palace. I love portraiture most out of any facet of photography and capturing the beauty of someone’s personality or unique moment they share with me. At first I had asked her to lay on her stomach with an idea in mind and instead she just folded herself like a delicately crafted origami swan. The images from that moment out of any shots that day had to of been my favorites. They were genuine, natural, elegant and poised which could not have translated more perfectly through the lens.”
I completely agree! The photos @The Palace Hotel are breathtakingly dreamy, inspired and pure beauty.
It was the location favorite of Ludmila Bizalion as well.
She explained, “I mostly loved all the photos that we took on an urban scenario: the street pictures and the pictures at the Palace Hotel. I loved them because our eyelashes made us look stunning and it reminds us that beauty is everywhere around us, if you stop to look at it and appreciate it. Also, the fact that we are professional ballerinas doesn’t make us different than anyone else, we also go to the same places, do the same things as everyone else.”
Ludmila is exactly right, we are all beautiful in our own ways and we are so grateful every day to be able to contribute to that in our own special way. #lifestylelashes
Photo Credit: Lorraine Gallego
Hair: Pam Genio-Bates
Makeup: Charlotte Parsons
Artisan Stylists: Kate Scheid, Marissa Buffington, Melissa Isenburg
Creative Director: Melissa Isenburg