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Posted by 08.30.13

Twas the night before fashion week and with clothes strewn through the house, a fashionista was deciding between McQueen or Marras….

But away from such dilemmas, other fashionable folk will be hurtling towards A Night of Green Beauty at James Corbett Studio in Chelsea (5-9pm, Wednesday, September 4, 2013). Billed as New York Fashion Week’s first ever, all-organic beauty event, founders of such super green labels including La Bella Figura, One Love Organics, Dr Alkaitis, organic perfumers, Lurk, and Annee de Mamiel with her famous face-oils will be demonstrating their products.  Best of all (unlike at fashion week) everyone is welcome.

Corbett’s hairdressers will be on hand at the Tela Green Beauty Top Knot/Braid Bar, makeup artist Katey Denno will give mini-makeovers and New York Times heralded facialist, Joanna Vargas, will be sculpting visages. Not only will there be organic pressed juices from Pressed Juicery, organic wine will be served to give us strength for the week of shows ahead.

Now I do have a confession. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have been all that excited about this. See, when green beauty came along, I rolled my eyes and figured it would never take off because the products would be ineffectual. Those same eyes also glazed over when enthusiastic green beauty brand owners kept talking with disdain about chemicals being nasties. Lets get this straight: everything is a chemical; if something is made of matter it is a chemical. But as one who doesn’t revel in admitting she was wrong (“oh that internet, it’s just a fad no-one will ever put their credit card details into a computer,” she stated loftily sometime around the Millennium), I truly was not on the money about natural beauty products.

That was then. Because it is quite obvious that they work as well if not better than those devised of synthetic ingredients, in my humble experience. Think about it—if aspirin is derived from willow bark and can ease a headache, you can reason that naturally sourced  beauty products can be effectual on your skin. Indeed several years ago, I did a story on acne and saw a young woman’s “life ‘transform”—her words—when she changed from Accutane to Dr. Hauschka products and treatments.

It is a classic David and Goliath story; the smaller labels—such as those participating—aren’t the only ones taking notice, but big companies, too. Origins, for example, now places much more emphasis on the change that natural products can bring with the slogan “Powered by nature. Proven by science.”

I may have been wrong about being green—but one thing I know to be right. If you get down to James Corbett Studio on Wednesday, September 4, you will be setting Fashion Week off to a fabulous and green start (oh and James is the best colorist in New York—but you knew that anyway).

A Night of Green Beauty, September 4, 2013
James Corbett Studio
25 W 19th St (between 5th & 6th Avenue) New York, NY 10011  212-388-1296


Photo Credit: wellandgoodnyc.com


Posted by 09.11.12

Despite having had my hair primped and styled by many of the worlds’ top hairdressers and colorists, I had yet to meet ‘The One.’ But I have now, and I am going to come out and declare James Corbett as the best colorist, not only in New York, but “The World.”

With previous colorists, for some reason my hair color always turned into burned gold as they say in the industry. In other words it was ugly duckling yellow. But thankfully now I have found the man who “Gets My Hair.”

It all started at a friends’ birthday dinner one night in New York. I was seated next to James Corbett, we had a total laugh, and he invited me in to his studio.

After having had many free colorings, cuts and blow-outs during my career and many offers of more—I know, lucky me—I was so thrilled with what he did that I now pay to see James. In the world of beauty editors, this is un-heard of.

I bounce out of James’ salon with new confidence and his work gets more compliments than I have ever had. He simply has the best eye for color. And James has just opened a new studio and salon in Chelsea where clients can have a pedicure in the garden followed by one of those before and after hair experiences that you only see when the Today show takes a soccer mom off the street and turns her into Megan Fox. He’s even been known to make me up before an event.

James also recently picked up the pieces after a hair disaster. Tactfully not chastising me for my infidelity (“it was free,” I confessed as he graciously avoided rolling his eyes), he took one look at the patchy, yellow “Balayage,” a French technique of painting the hair color directly onto the hair, so minimizing all that foil action that takes so long, and declared, “On your hair Balayage is cheating. It would be fine for a touch-up, but you need highlights.”

Before - notice the yellow

After - a very happy customer

What is unique about James’s approach is that he doesn’t simply look at your hair color, but considers your skin tone and  heritage as well. Now given that I am of Irish, English, Welsh and Armenian extraction—no challenge there—he explained, “Like me you have a lot of red in your skin. If there is too much yellow in the hair color, it accentuates it.” He described a technique he calls sandwiching, “I use a light color for the roots and then a gentler color through the ends.” He then put in a darker color in between the foils to get rid of the crazy yellow base and then when this extravaganza was complete, an all over ashier toner. He only employs the best hair stylists—Gigi and Danielle—and Jefferson does an all out keratin straightening treatment and blowout. He has a fabulous range of skincare and organic make-up including the RMS line and my favorites, De Mamiel Face Oil and Beauty Teas.

James also runs Hair2Help, a charitable organization that arranges salon and spa days for cancer patients and their caregivers. “I’ve been doing it for two years because my father and step-father passed away from cancer and my mother has pre-leukemia. I realized that caregivers are often the forgotten people.”

Top colorist and great guy? Without a doubt. Get down to Chelsea for some Corbett magic. Prices range from $140 for a single process of color and $200 for highlights with James.

The James Corbett Studio, 25 W. 19th Street, New York, NY 10011, 212 388 1296 www.jamescorbettstudio.com.

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