Filed In: Zoya

My “mane” event with Schwarzkopf at Le Margot

Monday morning found me, as well as the breathtaking and über-fashionable Jessica of, about to enter Le Margo Coiffure, a jewel of a hair salon on trendy St-Denis Street in Montréal. Nervous? Check! Excited? Double check! I was fortunate enough to have been invited to attend a ‘hair event’ there, featuring products from the world famous hair care line, Schwarzkopf, of which I could not wait to experience for myself.  The salon itself was absolutely precious; small and intimate, and so completely unpretentious.

The Schwarzkopf brand originated about 111 years ago by chemist Hans Schwarzkopf in Berlin, Germany and began as a drugstore/perfumery, but quickly went on to specialize in haircare and hair colouring products, something that was beginning to emerge as a booming trend.  As the company has grown, so has their technology and today Schwarzkopf is considered a leader in the industry, catering not only to the average consumer but loved by professionals around the world and highly sought after at fashion and beauty shoots.

Arriving at Le Margot, I said goodbye to my long and starting-to-look-rather-scraggly hair and prepared for a ‘new’ me. It’s always with a small sense of fear that I approach any salon, especially for a cut with a total stranger (!), as hair stylists have been known to become somewhat scissor-happy at the sight of long hair.  I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case here.

After a detailed colour consultation with Anne Lemieux, Education Supervisor for Schwarzkopf (Québec) and my stylist, Emilie Séguin, where I was presented with two very interesting single process hair colouring options, I chose to try IGORA Color10 Speedlift+ (in #11-1 in Super Ash Blonde), a relatively new product and one that promised to deliver the blonde of my dreams in 10-15 minutes, versus their regular line that takes the standard 45 minutes to process. Anne herself took over the mixing and application, having made blonde hair her specialty over the years, and she expertly and quickly summed up what I desired and chose the proper shade.  As my shade is rather pale, she felt comfortable in pushing the time to 20 minutes, but no more than that, and I was off to be washed! After the shampoo, she then applied the BLONDME Blonde Brilliance Intense Treatment, which not only gave back much needed nourishment to my hair as it contains Keratin and Silk Powder, but added an incredible softness and shine to the finished look.

And now, for the scary part: the CUT.  Thankfully, Emilie, my stylist, seemed to quickly catch on to what I wanted: a change from my usual straight locks but nothing extravagant; some body, loose waves and plenty of bounce. I confess to still being skeptical that she would stick to rule of “no more than 2 inches off” the ends and while she possibly did cut slightly more, it actually felt good to get my mop cleaned up like that!

I forgot to tell Emilie to not use too many products in my hair, but once again, I was pleasantly surprised to note how minimal she was in that department; a touch of texturizing spray for the root area, and she was off, expertly wielding her blow dryer.

Using just a round brush and light spritzes of hair spray to the curled and dried sections, I began feeling a little jittery again when I noticed that I was starting to look like I had ‘Barbie’ hair, but Emilie quickly reassured me that I still had some finishing work to go. Actually, looking at that picture now (above), I sheepishly admit that I LIKE the curls; somewhat beauty-pageant-ish, no?! But so girly!

The final and completed look! The verdict? Absolute LOVE. I received the blonde colour I wanted, the body, the loose waves and look at that bounce! I was seriously beyond impressed…and thrilled with the result.

Jessica who usually highlights her hair, was not a candidate for the COLOR10 line of products, and seeing as how she had recently had her hair done while on a trip back to her hometown of Philly, was expertly advised by Nicholas Simo of Le Margot, to have some strategically placed highlights using the BLONDME Lightener and BLONDME Toner in 2 shades (Ice and Caramel), placed around her head to compliment the colour she already had.

And so the wrapping process begins…..

From this angle, she looks like she’s being gift-wrapped! Note how instead of the traditional foil squares, a thin styrofoam-like sheet was used for the highlights – how innovative!

Since Jessica’s procedure took a little longer and another group of invited guests were about to arrive, Emilie quickly lent a hand, but they were no less meticulous with her style, ensuring that her finished look would also be absolutely perfect.

Jessica with her utterly fabulous-looking hair and the man who created those wonderful highlights, Nicholas Simo.

The Dream Team (from left to right): Yzabelle Sicotte (hairstylist, Le margot), Ivana Mariani (publicist, Langton Communications), Anne Lemieux (Education Supervisor, Schwarzkopf Professional), Kim Prévost (Brand Manager, Schwarzkopf Professional), Martine Poitras (hairstylist and owner, Le Margot), myself, and Steve Montminy (Technical Advisor, Schwarzkopf Professional).

Here I am with Ivana Mariani (on the right) of Langton Communications, who invited me to this incredible event and who deserves a huge THANK YOU for being such an amazing supporter of all my efforts.

Three Blondes (from left to right): Ivana Mariani, Myself and Anne Lemieux.

Posing with my talented and fun stylist, Emilie Séguin.

Who better to share this experience with, than a fashion blogger who also happens to be a beauty lover….not to mention so stunningly gorgeous!

At the end of our experience, we were presented with these lovely and seriously generous gift bags, filled with various full size products from the Schwarzkopf line. I can now further explore the range at my own leisure and continue the experience that was begun at Le Margot.

What an absolutely wonderful experience and a day I will cherish for a long time to come, as I was pampered, well-fed, and treated with such personalized care as never before.  The highlight for me was many sided; meeting Ivana with who I’ve had many conversations but never met face to face, being selected to attend this event (again, by Ivana!), having such an in-depth consultation to fully determine my needs, getting to experience such high end professional products and finally leaving with a really “HOT” hairstyle…..I guess you could say that the entire experience was one big highlight for me!  I wish to thank Martine Poitras of Le Margot and her team for hosting this event at her wonderful salon (514-844-4790,, Anne Lemieux, Kim Prévost, and Steve Montminy of Schwarzkopf Professional for generously providing their time and experience and finally, a huge shout-out to Ivana Mariani and Langton Communications for creatively setting everything up.

*Image of Schwarzkopf storefront courtesy of HairFinder

Earth Day nail look: OPI’s Blue Shatter (swatch & review)

In honour and celebration of Earth Day (which, incidentally, should be celebrated each and every single day in my opinion…but I digress!) I bring you my take on our incredible planet’s signature look: blue & green.  Following on the heels of the super successful Black Shatter, OPI is launching several more hues in the shatter family – Blue, Navy and Turquoise Shatter. Red and White Shatter respectively, will be available as part of the continuing collections of the Serena Williams Grand Slam Duos (reviews coming soon!). Today’s look was created with ‘Blue Shatter’ – a shimmery cerulean blue, and Zoya’s ‘Ivanka’ – an intense emerald green foil shade.  Swatches are with OPI’s Natural Nails base coat, three coats of the base lacquer, one coat of Shatter and OPI’s Start to Finish top coat.

‘Ivanka’ – an insanely vivid and jewel-like green hue, was originally released last year as part of Zoya’s Sparkle Collection.  This is one of those polishes that has a bit of everything; shimmer, glass flecks, a foil-like shine and a touch of duochrome as well. Like crushed emeralds covering your nails, it defies you to not stare at it, much like the lush greenery that covers our beautiful earth and equally impressive.  Over that, I layered one thin coat of ‘Blue Shatter’ – an azure blue shade with a subtle silvery shimmer in its base, bringing to mind our endless skies and life-giving oceans.  As with all shatter polishes, you need to apply it over a completely dry base colour and I used three different methods here:

  • pinkie & ring fingers – applied vertically, much like regular polish
  • middle finger – applied across the nail in a horizontal manner
  • index finer – applied across the nail in a diagonal pattern

Personally, I think the horizontal layering gave the most ‘earth-like’ effect (middle finger), but I absolutely love this combo, no matter how it’s applied! ‘Ivanka’ is somewhat sheer and worn alone you would definitely need three coats for full opacity, but you can definitely get away with two coats if it’s to be layered.  Unlike ‘Black Shatter’ which was slightly thick, ‘Blue Shatter’ has an easier and thinner consistency and shatters in a beautiful array of patterns. The shimmery finish is a wonderful bonus as well!

Final thoughts: By now, most of us have already tried some form of the new shatter polishes available out there, and I must say that ‘Blue Shatter’ is not only easy to use, but easy on the eyes as well.  It lends itself to so many colour combinations and you will only be limited by your imagination (and selection!). Available in May, it will be a limited edition effect polish, so get it while you can!


*Disclaimer: Some products provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

*Earth photo courtesy of Redwood Meadows