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Passing the Torch

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By: Kelly Taggart
Hair: Nick Flier
Make up: Nicole Flier
Photos: Allen Carrasco

Nick Flier, the proud owner of Nicholas Ross Salon in Laguna Niguel, California, has remained passionate about hair for over 30 years. He is a hair color and cutting expert with an eye for detail and an obsession for absolute perfection. Nicole, Nick’s eldest daughter and a fresh face on the beauty scene, has recently joined the salon. A hair cut, color and make up specialist, Nicole is pleased to work alongside of her dad in their thriving family business.

“My dad is my mentor and I have always looked up to him. He is truly a great educator and is always teaching me new techniques. Someday I hope to be as busy as he is and eventually own the salon myself. I’d love to carry on the passion and knowledge he has instilled within me.”

Although they both have a strong dynamic and ooze energy, Nick is quick to point out that Nicole is much more balanced than he is. When asked about their working relationship, they literally finish each other’s sentences. Nick says that he loves working with his talented daughter, boasting just how easy she is to get along with, as Nicole pipes in claiming that she keeps Nick in line and on schedule. It’s all done with a wink and a smile, while both continue working hard to make the ladies (and yes, a few men) of the O.C. look fabulously hip.

Teaching and Learning

According to this seasoned salon professional, what makes an awesome salon owner and educator is the ability and fortitude to give back to assistants and peers, and in his case, his bloodline. As a mentor, Nick knows that he is not complete until the next generation learns and understands all that he knows. Nick reveals, “It has been great training Nicole, who is very motivated. To see someone go from zero to hero is really quite rewarding in and of itself, but to have your own flesh and blood really stretch her wings and take off, is beyond words.” Nick also feels that assistants and a great assistant program are so very important to a successful and forward-thinking salon. It shows that building up the youth is essential and respected while the benefits for the salon are tenfold. Nick knows that a good assistant is worth their weight in gold, as they relieve the hairdresser of various tasks and help keep them on time and able to cater to clients better. “At our salon,” states Nick, “we try and keep ahead of the game. Education is so important for hairdressers at all levels, as it motivates and keeps skills sharp and current. At the end of the day it is not about who you think you are, it’s all about what you can do behind the chair. You do have to have great customer service, but you really have to know how to cut hair well. People may think you are the nicest person in the world, but no matter how much they like you, they will go somewhere else if they think you don’t have the talent.“ Nick continues, “In my opinion, the best hairdressers are those that know how to find where the weight is in a haircut and take it out, which takes a good eye and really great finger control. It’s also important to put the right hair cut on the right person and to understand their face and head shape as well as lifestyle. We must make sure that all clients know how to work with their hair when they leave the salon. If they can’t recreate the style at home, we’ve failed them as hairdressers.”

“I truly love doing hair and make up and I see it as a craft or art form much like my dad does. It’s great to put so much into a project and watch the results before your eyes.I especially love to see clients smile when they are happy with my work. It’s just such a great feeling.”

Makeover Magic

This father/ daughter duo team up for a makeover on Chris, a long-time client and friend who loves to change up her look. Nick produced a fabulous new hairstyle while Nicole finished with make up worthy of a night on the town. For the cut, Nick opted to take an already great look and make it even better, helping Chris evolve from one short style into another with minimal effort on her part. He chose to keep the asymmetric quality of the cut, which works to expose Chris’ face and balance her features. He took the length shorter around the edges and re moved much of the weight internally, but decided to leave a heavy and disconnected teardrop shape on top for emphasis and styling versatility. A handful of lighter beige-brown foils were placed through the already blonde hair to break up the solid lightness, add dimension and to allow it to move with the texture of the new cut. Instead of skimming the placement of the foils for a more solid line of color, Nick went for a more natural looking result by weaving sections in and out. This sort of placement is more sporadic and less perfectly placed, leaving a born-with-it appeal to the final color. In these foils, Nick applied ENJOY Hairdresser Power Hair Color 7B with Demi Gel Developer from roots to ends and processed for 15 minutes under low heat to speed the process. The foils were removed and then ENJOY Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo and Hydrating Conditioner were used before towel-drying the hair and working in a small amount of ENJOY Leave-In Conditioner. To finish the style, Nick rough-dried the hair while moving it around with his fingers in the opposite direction as he wanted the style to eventually lay. After much of the moisture was removed, a round brush was introduced to add lift and volume. He rolled sections of hair around the brush, turning it a few times. This was done to add control and create a slight bend, especially on the heavy side. Nick misted the dry hair with ENJOY Shine Spray to add a little protection before flat ironing for control. ENJOY Shine Spray and Dry Wax were mixed together and worked through the hair, finger-styling the bits and pieces into place. To finish off the bold new look, a fine mist of ENJOY Hair Spray provided the perfect amount of hold.

Making Up


Nicole stepped in and created a make up look for Chris that is perfect for evening. She started with a moisturizer to soften the skin and help the foundation to blend. A liquid foundation was applied next using a brush while blending in circular motions. Nicole points out how important it is to find a good match for the color and to apply below the neckline to avoid a demarcation line. She likes to provide fuller coverage for night make up, where she might use less foundation for a casual, more natural day look. To set the foundation and give a matte finish, loose powder is brushed on over the top. For the eyes, Nicole begins with a light color for the base and applies it up to the brow to provide a slight highlight. For Chris, she chose gold and coral eye shadow, which was brushed onto her eyelids. For a slight cat eye effect, dark brown eye shadow was mixed with a hint of black and brushed on to the triangle section at the outside corner of each eye. Next, dark brown liquid eyeliner was applied to the eyelid on both sides. Then a small brush was used to add dark brown eye shadow mixed with black right under the eye, which was lightly blended for a slightly smoky appeal. Mascara was used on the top and bottom lashes to add fullness and then a dark matte brown eye shadow filled in the eyebrows and completed the eyes. Nicole applied a pink-hued blush just under the cheekbone on either side and then added a shimmery white highlight on the top of the roundest part of the cheekbones. Using a slightly darker color, some contouring was done to the sides of Chris’ nose to help emphasize her features.

A natural rose lip pencil was used to outline the lips starting at the Cupid’s bow in the middle of the top lip and then following the line all the way around. Nicole notes that this line can be just slightly outside of the natural lip line to help lips look fuller. Lipstick was applied in a slightly lighter soft beige hue and then golden glitter lip-gloss was smoothed over the top to leave a hint of shimmer.


After with Nick & Nicole’s amazing skills!


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