Make me over The healthy hair guide
Post-flood, this was one much-needed makeover
The ultimate test of a man’s emotional intelligence: how he treats his mother and whether he notices you’ve done something to your hair.
Hairdresser and make-up artist Alex P.F. Jackson’s attention to both counts make him an (off-limits) God’s gift to women.
After offering me a glass of water from fine glassware on a silver saucer, Alex tells me he is fourth-generation Northern Rivers.
“There are a few bridges named after my family, so I guess I’m a local,” he says of his recent decision to return home and take over The Boys salon in Lismore.
Alex bridges the divide between his burgeoning local client base and his experimental fashion-focused work – often dashing to Sydney for a shoot with private clients for the weekend.
The only thing that will make him clear his busy schedule is his mother.
Speaking about ageing mothers, Alex had his work cut out for him with my makeover. Years of dying my greying dark-brown hair with black home colourant had taken its toll.
I used to be a preener, but over the last year a work-from-home lifestyle change had given me the excuse to let myself go.
Then on March 31, like so many Lismore residents, the river completely inundated my home with Cyclone
Debbie. I nearly lost everything.
I had spent most of April in muddy hiking boots reclaiming my home and my life. Like the dried mud, the ‘swamp monster’ look just kind of stuck.
I didn’t even notice that my make-up bag had been washed away in the flood until a month after the event and I hadn’t thought I was worth replacing it for. Alex to the rescue.
He got to work on big burlesque style curls and the look was transforming.
He then sat me down at his special make-up chair which utilised newly-installed Hollywood style dressing room lighting – perfect for precision make-up.
In the make-up department, Alex had a knack of building drama with subtle strokes. There were no extreme cat-wing eyeliner techniques or harsh teenage eyebrows to be seen.
He used fine single eyelash extensions to great effect, and so much better than the full-lash kind which always make me look like an older Liza Minnelli.
In a couple of hours (so efficient) he had transformed me from swamp monster to siren.
I was all dolled up with nowhere to go, but my new glamorous look did amuse my children (apparently I looked like Katy Perry).
As for Alex, he had a plane to catch to see a fabulously stylish Sydney client.
Not before checking in on his mum, of course.