When word got around that The Teals and Jake Thompson were performing on main stage this year at the International Beauty Show in Las Vegas, we immediately packed our bags and purchased our tickets to head to Sin City. Not only were we able to continue our nerd-stalking towards the Main Stage performers, but also (bonus nerd stalking) with Passion Squared, Marco Pelusi, Sherri Ratay, and Paul DiGrigoli. This hair-venture is one we will never forget, and one that the memories will be re-visited over and over again.

Sharpie Markers, a tarp, safety pins, bra tape, and granola bars are a necessity for a main stage performance…apparently?  Prior to heading to the Convention Center, DeAnnalyn had us fufill a shopping list at Target.  Once we procured said items we ambushed The Teals backstage.


 Ryan modeling the beginnings of greatness…

DeAnnalyn is creating, what she refers to as The Fried Cheese Wig.

After a little wig making madness we scurried off to Ryan and DeAnnalyn’s class.  If you haven’t taken The Teal’s Long Hairdressing class, you’re missing out!  The Teals took styling back to the basics and broke down the entire concept of long hairdressing!    For instance Ryan talks about the chignon… “it’s just a freakin ponytail ladies and gentlemen.” -Ryan Teal.


DeAnnalyn joined Ryan on stage and the dynamic duo showed off their amazing styling skills, as the crowd “ooh-ed and aw-ed”.  Typically, classrooms are a ghost town at shows,  but this session was packed with stylists crowding around the stage to see every detail.  DeAnnalyn even scored an assistant for the class.  It was like a standing ovation before the demo was even over!

This is also the class where the new nerd word Hairdresser Constipation originated. You can thank Mr. Teal for that one.


We had the honor of joining The Teals, Paul DiGrigoli, Marco Pelusi, and Sherry Ratay as we all were on the panel for the Speed Networking workshop.  Being given the opportunity to speak with salon owners about their strengths and struggles, touched us in a way we never imagined.

After 3.5 hours of class, we were pooped!  The Teals asked us to join them and  gordon Miller, Nina Kovner, Sherri curtis, Jake Thompson and Amy Freudenberg at dinner.  How can you refuse an offer like that?

After several cocktails DeAnnalyn mentioned that she needed help with make up for tomorrow’s main stage performance…before she could even finish the sentence, I opened  up my (vodka tipsy) mouth…”I can totally help you out!”

**Let’s just note that, I am NOT a MAC makeup artist, nor do I make up besides on myself, but get some liquid courage in me and apparently I think I’m the woman for the job.

DeAnnalyn was so relieved that I volunteered my untrained make up skills.  I was totally fine with it until Erin leans over and whispers “You know your going to be doing make up with Sherri Curtis right?  I don’t even like wearing make up around her because she is so amazing.” (Thanks Erin) There was no way I could back out now, I couldn’t let D down.


Sherri Curtis (the make up genius) hard at work.

That night I tossed and turned with nightmares of blush compacts and eyeshadow pallets with little tiny arms and feet taunting me and throwing brushes at me.  I was literally dreading waking up to the next morning.

Regardless of my fear of waking up, I did.  It was show day! The Revolution of Avant Garde isn’t just meant to be any old Main Stage performance.  I don’t know about you hair nerds but I am fascinated by Avant Garde hair!  The way these hairdini’s come up with ways to make hair pieces is so out of the box and amazing, I can not wrap my head around the madness!

We  headed backstage to take a peep at what everyone was doing to prepare for the big show!


We browsed backstage and got a little tour de wigs from DeAnnalyn.  In the corner of my eye, I could see her, flawless makeup, make up brushes in hand…Sheri Curtis. I felt like running!  Sheri spotted me and asked me to start prepping the models with some moisturizer.  That was pretty simple.  Then I did some foundation, then false eyelashes (nothing too crazy). I was feeling confident with my eyelash applications, and prepping the model’s skin.

I finally took a deep breath, looked to see if Erin was watching (or laughing), and much to my suprise, I see Erin doing hair!


Not only was Erin doing hair, but she also helped prep some wigs.  Erin and I were both stepping out of our comfort zones…

After Erin’s hair trial period, The Teals kept her busy with some ‘arts and crafts’.  Erin assisted with the wig making process and colored some white hats black with her little sharpie friend.

Caption is courtesy of “I’d Cap That” app, available in your app store.

I thought I was doing a good job with my eyelashes and what not, until Sheri mentioned that she was running a little behind and asked if I could finish one of the models (then the panic attack came along).  As I finished the model, I gave myself a little pat on the back,  I didn’t think she looked too bad!

After the stress of backstage, Erin and I grabbed a refreshing bloody mary and headed out to do some more Nerd Stalking…

We of course had to stop by the Hattori Hanzo booth and snap a picture. ** Nerd note: these shears are the a stylist’s BEST friend.


Oh and who was this that these two little hair nerds ran into on-stage?  Why, Gerard Scarpaci of course!

Before we could head to main stage we snuck into a Passion Squared social media class.  I even picked up a few tips while sitting in on the class. Can you say inspirational?  Gordon and Nina are most definitely the epitome of Passion!  Our industry is going to be a more beautiful place now that we have Passion Squared in our lives!

Nina and Gordon couldn’t leave Las Vegas with out some Hair Nerd  swag!

It was five minutes before show time as we were saying our fare-wells to Nina and Gordon.  We practically ran across the Convention Center to make it to the stage before the show started.  Breathless, we arrived just in time!  The Teals, Jake Thompson, and the models were all on stage ready to go.  As Ryan introduced himself and cracked a few jokes, DeAnnalyn was busy putting her model’s wig together (this was also the same model that I did the complete make up on).  After she was finished, the model walked the runway, I looked up at the big screen as the video guy followed her down the runway.  To my horror, I noticed it looked like she didn’t have ANY eyebrows! I couldn’t believe I forgot to fill in her eyebrows!  Luckily the pro, Sheri Curtis caught it as well, because next time the model came out, she definitely had some eyebrows, and the show went on… It was so inspiring!  The crowd was just as amazed as we were!  The show was definitely worth the trip, not only did we get to enjoy it, but we were made a part of it backstage.

Here you will notice THE EYEBROWS… or lack there of.

Here we see what the tarp was purchased for.  Ryan’s painting hair extravaganza


This is the final product of the infamous “Fried Cheese Wig” that I have been drooling over ever since.

This whole weekend was definitely out of our comfort zone, as we are typically stalking people backstage not helping with models….  It was an incredible experience and makes us admire those we stalk even more!