Living: Va-va-Vanessa – Canadian Vanessa Gauthier glams up at Evolve

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Vanessa Gauthier moved with her family to Beijing 15 months ago. She is a stay-at-home-mother, homeroom parent at Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), and a member of Charity Link. Gauthier lives in Liangmaqiao, together with her husband Daniel Nadeau, head of IT section at the Canadian Embassy, daughter
Amelia (age 8), and son Griffin (age 6) who both attend WAB.

beijingkids couldn’t have picked a more convenient location for Gauthier’s makeover; Evolve, the new salon at the Kempinski Center is directly across the street from where she lives. Today Gauthier is in the capable hands of Master Stylist Kristoffer Liu who trained first as a makeup artist in Sweden, then as a hairdresser in London, before coming to Beijing. After working at several salons, he founded Evolve just last month.

The cut consultation is straightforward: both Gauthier and Liu agree on a layered bob, “I’m open to going as short as Kris likes,” says Gauthier. Color is a little more complicated. Gauthier explains she twice suffered an allergic reaction to her usual brown hair dye last summer. Traditional hair color causes her painful scalp inflammation. “I had to switch to natural dye, so I began using henna,” she explains. Gauthier doesn’t enjoy her current shade: in sunlight its red tones are brighter than the deep chocolate brown she prefers. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to process salon color after a henna application, because other dyes can’t easily penetrate through its coating on the follicle. Liu instead aims to temporarily tone the color. “Blue is orange’s opposite on the color spectrum so it will calm down the henna,” he says. Gauthier loves the more natural dark-brown Liu achieves today, however temporarily. “It looks more like me,” she says.

Get the Look:
1. Liu blends a blue based toner and applies it to Gauthier’s hair. He follows the color with a treatment to add hydration and shine and seal in the color.

2. Liu lops 4cm off the ends of Gauthier’s hair, layers her bob, thinning and shaping her side-swept fringe. He advises Gauthier to push her hair toward her part as she blow-dries it to gain volume, and to apply product to the ends only.

3. Liu brushes on a blend of three shades of foundation to match Gauthier’s skin. “I keep a light touch with product,” he says, “You shouldn’t cover the face, only put it where it needs to go.” He sweeps on translucent powder, before applying a pale silver shade to the inner eye and brown bone. He layers champagne gold, medium brown, and dark brown shadow over the lid, crease, and lash line, lines the eye in black, and finishes with a coat of mascara. He then lines the lips and slicks on a blend of two glosses.

Product List
• MAC Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation in NC15 and NC30
• MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation in NC25
• Guerlain Meteorite Pearls Illuminating Powder Pure Radiance 03
• Shu Uemura Glitter Beige #821, Matte Dark Brown #896,
  and Matte Medium Brown #863
• Benefit Waterproof liner in Black
• Benefit They’re Real mascara in Black
• Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 05 and 06

Daily 10am-8pm. Shop 6, Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, Liangmaqiao Road 50, Chaoyang District (8451 1877)

This article originally appeared on page 20-21 of the beijingkids November 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on To find out how you can get your own copy, email

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