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Diary of a Beauty Editor: What Wella Master Color Expert Means to Me

Jamie Newman | March 9, 2017 | 8:22 AM
Victoria Thurman Hall and Lynette Tatum are the definition of #GirlBoss. They made this experience extra-special for everyone there. Bow down to these color queens.

Master Color Expert Phase Two culminates with a graduation ceremony and presentation of the graduates’ work. After all nine stylists in my class presented, I spoke about my experience as an “honorary” Master Color Expert. This is the speech I prepared.

I am not a Master Color Expert like my colleagues. I am not even a licensed cosmetologist. I am an editor at a beauty magazine—which serves this incredible industry.

Less than two years ago, I graduated from college with a journalism degree, totally panicked and uncertain of what path my life would take me on.

I was at the Wella Studio for Phase One of the Master Color Expert program in December, and returned for Phase Two this week (February 26-March 2, 2017). What started out simply as a work trip and an assignment for MODERN SALON for me to better my own color knowledge and skills for writing articles, as well as getting the word out about the Master Color Expert program, turned into something much bigger than that.

The final day with my Phase One group in December.
The final day with my Phase One group in December.

Being here for both phases one and two has not only been incredibly rewarding to me as a journalist, but as a human. I feel so lucky that all you creative, kind, amazing artists welcomed me with open arms into your world, and in the process became my friends.

One of the best gifts in life is to discover what you have a passion for and what drives you, and have that fire to fuel you through life. Not only have you all found that fire, you have become masters of that craft. You get to have a career in what you both love and excel in. How lucky is that?

My very first time touching a color tube, mixing bowl, scale and bottle of developer. Is it that obvious how nervous I am?
My very first time touching a color tube, mixing bowl, scale and bottle of developer. Is it that obvious how nervous I am?

Victoria [Thurman-Hall] and Lynette [Tatum]: You both are truly spectacular human beings. You both spoke to me off-the-record about how teaching and mentoring is both of your passions, and you constantly thank your students for making you proud, but I think I can speak on the behalf of all of us when I say we are all so grateful that the universe brought us together and introduced the two of you into our lives.

Victoria, after spending two whole weeks with you, I’ve discovered it’s really difficult to explain you to a person who doesn’t know you without them experiencing your wit, humor and endearing, no-bullshit attitude. When I try to, they tend to get confused how a person can be simultaneously sickeningly charming and a hard-ass, but I suppose that’s a good thing because then they are forced to get to know you themselves. It’s almost impossible to come upon a teacher like you who so deeply and transparently cares about her student’s success, and I applaud and thank you for that. You are such a special person, mentor and inspiration to all of us in so many ways, but mostly by being such a deeply passionate, motivated and incredible person.

Joseph Razo and I. Razo was in my Phase One and Phase Two group. He owns Hair Republic Salon in California. He is also the funniest human I now know.
Joseph Razo and I. Razo was in my Phase One and Phase Two group. He owns Hair Republic Salon in California. He is also the funniest human I now know.

Everyone has a different reason or catalyst that motivated them to come here and achieve their status as a Master Color Expert, and don’t you two [Victoria and Lynette] get humble on me here, but you both united us into one family with a common thread of striving for excellence.

Master Color Expert, as you all have discovered, isn’t just about hair color—contrary to what its name suggests. It’s also not just about perseverance or frustrations or accomplishments. Master Color Expert brings people, like us, from across the country, all different backgrounds, and all different stages of their careers together because of a common passion. It gave all of us a support system in achieving a common goal of mastery, one that will certainly outlive this week.

Gina Cooper was in my Phase One and Phase Two weeks, and owns Spectrum Salon in Park City, Utah. Sharing this experience with her made me cry multiple times (in a good way).
Gina Cooper was in my Phase One and Phase Two weeks, and owns Spectrum Salon in Park City, Utah. Sharing this experience with her made me cry multiple times (in a good way).

Master Color Expert is a testament to loving this industry and loving your craft; I think we all feel that right now. To everyone here: I feel so lucky that I got to meet each and every one of you, and I hope this isn’t the last time I see you all. I thank you for taking me along on your journeys; I, along with you, feel a sense of growth and accomplishment because of our little family. I will never forget this experience.

Thank you, and I am so freakin proud of you guys.

Originally posted on Modern Salon.

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