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FASHION FRIDAY: Derby Beauty Tips and Tricks from Primp Style Lounge

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FASHION FRIDAY: Derby Beauty Tips and Tricks from Primp Style Lounge

Kentucky Derby Day is, from a fashion standpoint, the most important day of many Kentucky ladies' year. The perfect Derby ensemble takes planning: the hat has to complement the dress, as Hat Girls Kate and Rachel reminded us last week, and the hair and makeup have to complement the hat. I sat down with Shannon Kessler, the founder of Primp Style Lounge, Louisville's premier blow dry lounge, and Cathy Shircliff, the Sales and Marketing Director for Shircliff Publishing (who also served as our model for this blog post!), to talk Derby Day beauty.

Heather C. Watson: What suggestions do you have for Derby Day beauty? 
Shannon Kessler: Derby weather is unpredictable. Don’t overglam it; you could very easily wind up with raccoon eyes. Rather, take your normal look and glam it up. Enhance your daily routine, because you’ll be taking lots of pictures!

As for hair, the hat or head piece determines the hairstyle. If you’re doing a fascinator, think of your hairstyle as a trusty sidekick. Beachy waves are always a great option. If you’re wearing a big hat, let that remain a focal point. Choose a low, messy side bun, or a boho chic side braid, which can be worn up or down.

The most important tip for hair is to use the right product! You wouldn’t put the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven without seasoning it, would you? Use a memory locking product to season the hair. If you’re using the right product, you can go from Oaks to Derby without a new blowout. At Primp, we use Eufora products to properly prep your hair for a blowout that lasts several days. We do most of the prep work while the hair is still wet, and finish with hairspray once it’s dry for a finished look. 

HCW: What beauty trends are you seeing for spring and Derby season? 

SK: We're seeing a movement toward natural and texturized hair, not something that looks too polished or overly “done.” The look is more boho, so you don't seem so finished and fussy for the track.


As for makeup, start with a natural glow; you can transition to a more polished look for evening galas. Some of the trends we’re seeing this year are lips in soft yet bright pink shades; a lot of pink lips with smoky, neutral eyes.

HCW: What beauty tips would you provide for ladies who want to look their best on Derby Day?

SK: Set your makeup with a primer or a finishing spray for all day coverage. Of course, use waterproof mascara. For lips, use a locking color or stain so you aren’t constantly having to stop and reapply. Having a great lip gloss on hand is always a great idea!

Use the right products to prep hair, but having a 2oz hairspray on hand (if your bag allows) never hurts! Keep bobby pins in your bag! You never know when you’ll ned to secure your hat or your hair (or even your dress!) Always take a stack of band-aids; even if you don’t need them, there may be out-of-towners around who didn’t know to come prepared!


Shannon adjusts Cathy's fascinator.

Cathy Shircliff: What happens when clients come in with ideas that won’t work for them?

SK: I stress that shorter hair needs to stay down working with a full style; lots of volume. This style highlights the hair that you have – it simply won’t go into a ponytail or a low, messy bun. Often, clients come in with looks from Pinterest that are hard to replicate – their hair is often different in structure or texture from the hair used in the photo. I’ve learned to say with brides “Tell me what you like about that photo” so that we can incorporate elements into a look that works for them. For Derby, we stress making sure that the client’s hat or fascinator works with her hair type; a lot of times, short or fine hair can’t be revived for an evening look if it’s been under a heavy hat or fascinator all day.

Heather and Shannon talk beauty.

Call Primp Style Lounge or visit their website today to book an appointment! Derby weekend appointments are nearly all booked up at Primp's St. Matthews Lounge, but the Middletown Lounge may still have some availability. Special thanks to Shannon Kessler and Samantha Stewart for providing Cathy's look, and to Merci Boutique for loaning gorgeous hats for the photo shoot!


{This post also appears on HerKentucky.com.}


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