This month’s Indulge mom is Australian Samantha Corset, an admissions and marketing executive at Beijing International Bilingual Academy (BIBA). That’s also where her husband Ben teaches PE and her oldest daughter Cléa (age 5) is enrolled in Grade 1. Youngest daughter Charlie (20 months) will start at BIBA next year, but for now she stays home with Ayi. Before relocating to Beijing two years ago, the Corsets lived in Switzerland for nine years.
When Corset meets TATA General Manager David Martinez, they begin conversing in French enthusiastically – and regrettably, too rapidly – for my ear. Switching back to English for my benefit, Martinez quizzes Corset about her hair and the ideas she has for her makeover. He assesses the fine texture and heavy weight of Corset’s locks, and correctly guesses that her wavy hair used to be straight before pregnancy. “Pregnancy often changes the texture of your hair,” he says. A surprised Corset confirms his assessment.
She explains that she has just been having trims for months and would like to keep as much length as possible. “It’s very heavy at the ends and quite flat on top,” Martinez says. “It needs more body, texture and dynamism. At the same time, we don’t want to get too crazy with the layers or thin it too much, because while you have thick hair, it’s also very fine, and it’s easy for that sort of hair to look frizzy, especially during a Beijing winter. The cut will really be about judicious shaping rather than changing the length.”
Martinez also advises her to warm up her color slightly from its current pale ash blond. Corset is happy to let TATA dictate the entire makeover, but cautions that she would prefer not to go too orange. Although the changes they agree to may not be dramatic, we think the final result is stunning. Wearing an heirloom family necklace passed down from her 90-year-old grandmother, Corset’s glamorous update brings tears to her eyes. “I’m not used to seeing myself like this,” she says.
• Foundation Lancôme Génifique
• Translucent powder L’Oreal Translucide in Silk Ivory
• Chanel Inimitable waterproof mascara in Black
• Mac lipstick in Cockney
• Other products used were a mix of local and Korean brands
Get the Look
1 Technical Manager Dahua Chan trims off a little more than an inch and shapes the front of Corset’s hair. After the color stage, he completes the cut by adding layers and thinning the ends slightly
2 Senior Technician Iron adds a mix of highlights and lowlights to create a warmer sun-kissed effect – slightly paler through the ends and designed for subtle re-growth.
3 Makeup artist June from XIXI Nails (which shares a building with TATA) follows Corset’s foundation with translucent powder, and then takes a dark brown powder to fill in her brows. As a natural blond, Corset is initially skeptical about the darker hue, but as the look evolves, the impact and focus created by a strong brow win her over. June builds a base of dark taupe-peach shadow along the lid and crease, and pearlescent pale peach on the brow, blending black eye shadow from the lash line and finishing with black mascara. With a dusting of candy-pink blush on the apples of her cheeks and a coat of red lipstick, Corset’s transformation is complete.
Daily 11am-9.30pm. Workers’ Stadium North Gate, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (8511 3880) 朝阳区工体北路工人体育场北门
XIXI Nails has the same address and opening hours as TATA, but is run as a separate business. To get in touch, call 6417 8802.
This article originally appeared on p20-21 in the January 2015 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.