By Camryn McLen
Arizona Fashion Week is in full swing, and its runway shows are taking place Nov. 3-5. Every season AZFW hosts a Media Day for the press and media to interact with the designers, models, hair stylists and makeup artists.
This year, AZFW offered complimentary hair and makeup services to the press and media at Ryan M Scottsdale, a luxury hair salon and an official partner of AZFW, on Oct. 22.
From the moment I arrived, everyone was extremely friendly. I was greeted by the sight of five to six makeup artists lined up in a row on one side of the salon, and a plethora of hairstylists at their respective stations.
Going into this experience, I was only prepared to have my makeup done because most of the time I often struggle to find salons that are able to accommodate textured or curly hair. As a result, I find myself having to search for specialized hair salons that are proficient in meeting the needs of my type of hair. With that being said, I had already styled my hair for the night.
However, I was pleasantly surprised when I was told there were a few stylists at the salon who were experienced with my hair type. Though some people may not find that to be a big deal, it made me feel more included and way more comfortable considering pretty much everyone around me had straight or wavy hair types.
I was quickly introduced to the stylist who was going to be doing my hair, Shay. From the moment she introduced herself, I knew I was in good hands and that I could trust her with my hair. Her enthusiasm about being able to style my hair definitely helped too.
Once she and I found a style we liked on Pinterest, she got to work. Though I’m used to it, my hair definitely took longer to do than the other clients in the salon, but it was worth every minute. She and I agreed on a half-braided style that would also showcase my curls, a look I had always wanted to try.
For a long time, I hated my curly hair, but over the past couple of years, I’ve learned to accept it and love it. Shay boosted my confidence for sure as she encouraged me to show off my curls whenever I could.
Before completely finishing my hair, I got my makeup done too.
The makeup artist I had was named Cassandra, who was also very sweet which was no surprise seeing how everyone else at the salon was.
I’m a very shy person most of the time, but Cassandra made me feel more at ease and it didn’t take long for us to start chatting about a number of things from skincare to her first time modeling for AZFW.
I’d only gotten my makeup done about three times before this experience, but needless to say, I knew that I wanted to get it done more often by the time she was finished. When I usually wear makeup it’s pretty basic, and I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to things like eyeshadow and eyeliner.
When Cassandra finished my makeup I couldn’t stop smiling and looking at it — which sounds conceited but I promise I wasn’t necessarily staring at myself, just the makeup.
I was also generously given a gift bag from the owners of Ryan M Scottsdale filled with goodies like shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion samples.
I felt like a 90s pop star by the time both my hair and makeup were finished, and it was finally time to head to Media Day at STK Steakhouse in Scottsdale.
AZFW’s Media Day was like a party. All the designers who planned on presenting during the runway shows were there along with a large number of models and local influencers. It was like a heaven for networking.
Being able to talk to a few of the designers, including a student designer who had won a scholarship for his collection, got me even more excited about the actual fashion shows. They all had unique concepts, one of them being an inclusive, sustainable handmade clothing that empower all body types called the Aesthetik by Stacy Williams.
The official AZFW runway shows take place from Nov. 3-5, in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa.