Q&A with Ana Molinari
by Sue Cullen | photo by John Revisky
Great beauty does not emerge from a cookie cutter.
It captures the eye with its uniqueness and promise of being far more than skin deep. Ana Molinari has built a reputation for creating that kind of beauty through her modeling agency and at her Ana Molinari Salon Spas (941.365.1415 | anamolinari.com) in downtown Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch through a comprehensive approach to beauty inside and out.
What is the secret to creating a beautiful look?
I like natural beauty. That starts with silky, shiny hair, a great cut, and color that goes with a person’s eye color and skin tone. Most often there is a movie star they have always wanted to look like. But the key is that it has to look good on you, not what looks good on someone else. When we put people’s looks together for bridal or for everyday, it is the whole picture from great skin, makeup and hair to what clothes they wear.
A lot of celebrities seem to be cutting their hair shorter.
Shorter hair is what is coming, like in the ‘50s and ‘60s. A lot of actresses are wearing the beach look, which is above the shoulders with a natural looking curl and wispy ends. It’s casual and good for summer, but it is not as easy to achieve as it looks. Like every good style, it takes work and starts with a really great basic haircut. One of the big benefits of a shorter cut is that you can still have long hair with extensions. There are all kinds of extensions now and I like them, but I also think extensions can weigh your hair down. It’s better to put them in for a special occasion and then take them out after a while.
Many top stylists work at your salons and the emphasis is on teamwork. Why does that approach work?
I only hire people who love to do hair. When you love it, you do your best, and I know that person will do a great job for clients. Because they want to do the best job, they want to continue to keep learning. We all work well together and have a lot of love for each other, and that comes across to clients.
Beautiful and elaborate highlighting, sometimes with very bold and different hair colors, seems to be hot right now.
Many new techniques have been developed for color. Ombre hair color gradually blends one or more colors into another and can make a statement with very bold colors or be very subtle and natural. A balayage highlight sweeps color through the hair and creates a beautiful transition from darker to lighter shades. Regardless of technique, we always have to do the base color first, and the base color is the color you had when you were younger. It is the color you were naturally made for.
Color is very complex, and there are so many new things that have given us many options now. We have organic hair color and color with no ammonia that infuses the hair with oil right to the scalp. Also, if our clients are using a particular color up north and want to stay with that, we are able to accommodate them.
With your salons, you’ve chosen to go beyond hair and nails. Why?
Hair and nails are important, but good skin also is very important. Uneven skin coloration with too much pigment in some areas can be more aging than lines. Anyone at any age can have elegant skin, and we have many facials, including a variety of HydraFacials, to help achieve that. The place to start is with an exfoliating facial, and then we look at the skin to see what other treatments may be best for you. We also offer a variety of massages that are not just relaxing but can actually change your posture and your walk. To top off someone’s look, our boutique, La Femme Fatale, carries a lot of wonderful clothes, and we dress a lot of brides at La Mariée.
To keep up with current looks, what are some of the hot trends?
It is very different now compared with how it was years ago. Everyone decides for themselves what they like in hair length – long or short – and color. We start with a consultation because we need to understand what clients are looking for, what they like and don’t like, and we also need to explain what is achievable. The most important thing is to find what looks good on each individual.