Regular readers might have spotted that I never write the makeover feature in beijingkids magazine. While I’m happy to write about education, parenting, and food, having at least some measure of familiarity with them, the world of blusher and balayage is a closed book to me.
So when I was approached to be made over myself by Blow+Bar, I was a little anxious. I’ve never been one for sitting around in salons. A quick trim so I don’t resemble a yeti too much, black jeans and a t-shirt, preferably advertising an obscure British indie band, and I’m good to go. However a recent birthday left me feeling old and haggard, so when my colleague Pauline put me forward, I agreed to give it a go.
First, of course, there was the “before” photo. I turned up to Blow+Bar in Sanlitun and was welcomed with a glass of bubbly (this was not special treatment, all their customers get a complimentary drink.) I was photographed, and we talked about the makeover. Ashley was keen to remove my beard, but I was determined to keep it. Anything else though was fair game, I told her.
So the next day I arrived at Blow+Bar’s new Shunyi branch, to meet my stylist, who coincidentally also called Andy. He put highlights in my hair to match my beard (once salt-and-pepper, now just salt).This was an unusual experience for me, to sit with silver foil in my hair, but having my hair washed was relaxing. Andy also trimmed my beard.
When my wife came home, I was waiting with my phone recording to capture her astonished reaction. She bustled past me, putting down bags and talking about her day. When she looked up at me, she said:
“What’s going on? Why are you filming me?”
“Nice haircut Dad,” said our 11 year old as he came in behind her.
For the “after” picture I returned to the Sanlitun branch. My TV guilty pleasure is America’s Next Top Model, but I will have more sympathy for the contestants in future after trying to stand as I was told, and turn, and smile on demand. If the “after” picture is not Vogue material, blame the subject, not the photographer.
And now I discover I have accidentally entered a competition: the best makeover wins a gift certificate for Blow+Bar. I had no idea that I would be competing with the glamorous youngsters who were also part of the promotion, but friends have been sharing the link and soliciting votes. There’s even been support from strangers, from people who find it amusing that I might get RMB 6000 worth of beard combing.
It’s all very strange. But overall being pampered by Blow+Bar was a very pleasant experience, so if anyone feels like voting for me, go ahead. Perhaps my destiny is to be the Boaty McBoatface of Beijing makeovers.
Photo: Andrew Killeen