Tuesday Tutorial – Studio 54 Hair and Makeup!

Oh, the disco era!  Every dress, skirt and blouse seemed to sparkle, float or shimmer.  Lips were big and glossy, makeup was frosty, and hair was luxuriantly styled. No outfit was complete without fur/faux fur and some gold-colored ankle-strap heels.   To my glee and excitement, 70’s fashion is white-hot this season.  How perfect it is that the Clay Center’s annual Carnival party has Studio 54 theme this year!

For those of you attending the Studio 54 party this weeked, or for those who just love the era,  we thought a tutorial on hair and makeup would be in order, particularly given the emphasis the 70’s place on “total package” styling.  To assist us with this week’s tutorial, I turned to Charleston’s queens of edgy-chic hair and makeup: Shannon “Red” Wills and Nikki Hoffman of Salon tHAIRapy on Bigley Avenue in Charleston. And they did not disappoint!  Our model was the beautiful and exotic, Erin Chalhoub.

It was one of the coolest Saturday afternoons I have spent in a long while!   I arrived at the Salon and was greeted with mimosas, freshly chopped fruit, and disco!!!   I resisted the urge to do the hustle in my snow boots. I was, after all, on a serious journalistic mission.

Oh, ode to joy!

Ode to joy!


Hair: The Disco Frizz

While 70’s hair styles were just as varied as they are today, they definitely leaned towards extravagance and drama.  The most iconic hairstyle of that time, the afro or frizz, is ironically now the “it style” that has been dominating the runways and pages of the world’s most esteemed fashion zines.  This hairstyle takes a little time but it will hands-down seal the deal if you are in a disco diva competition!

You will need perm rollers or pink foam rollers in three different sizes, bobby pins, hair gel or mousse, hair oil or some type of moisturizing spray, a fine-toothed comb and lots of hair spray.  Redd also used a small barrel curling iron to finish the style.

Here’s how to do it…

1.  Wet your hair and roll your entire head in perm rollers or foam rollers.  Alternate the sizes you use, but take care not to overload any of your individual rollers with too much hair.  Another option, if you don’t have or want to buy rollers, is to plait your entire head of hair in various sizes of braids.

Now..here’s the part where you are going to be seriously sacrificing yourself for fashion…

2.  Cover your head with a curler cap or silk scarf .. and  SLEEP ALL night with all this mess on your head.  Yep.

3.  In the morning, take all those curlers out.  Ahhhhhhh…..  Spray some moisturizing spray or use small amounts of hair oil to lightly coat the surface.  You may need to let your tresses air dry a little more.  You can blow them dry on a very low setting.  Don’t disturb the little curl-babies.  Yet.

4.  At the front top of your head, brush your hair back with a fine tooth comb, but only brush the crown of your head.  Put in some hair gel, do a few finger waves and secure with bobby pins.


5.    Taking 1 inch or so wide pieces of your hair at a time, back comb or “tease”  your hair.   Time to get funky!


Tip: to make this part easier, keep the hair you haven’t teased yet clipped up and out of the way.


6.    You know the next part…. fluff and spray!


7.  See above step 6.



8.  Take out the bobby pins.   To polish the style, use a small-barrel curling iron to create more defined loops around the face.



There ya’ have it!  Donna Summer would be proud.  Super chic!



What, you say? “But, Dennise! I can’t do that with my hair.  My hair is straight as a pin!”  Well, here is Ms. Erin’s before pic… ”





Now for the makeup! YAAAAAAAAAAY!

Nikki Hoffman’s inspiration for this look was Jerry Hall, Olivia Newton-John and Donna Summer.  You will need three different eye shadows shades, a light tone, a mid-tone and a darker tone.  For the best effect, use good quality eye shadows that are highly pigmented, like M.A.C. or my favorite, Urban Decay.

Nikki chose a champagne, rosy gold and copper pallet, but you could use silvers and blues, golds and mauves, or golds and greens.  Make sure your makeup is frosted, metallic or shimmery. No mattes!  And don’t do anything too bright or neon colored as these hues didn’t become popular until the 80s.

1.   Apply primer and then foundation to entire face, including eyelids and eyebrows.  Darken in the eyebrows with a pencil.  Trace the natural line of your brow.

2.  Apply the lightest color of your palette under the brow bones.  Take the color from the corner to the brow tail.    Nikki is using a champagne color here.



2.  Next apply a healthy dose of translucent powder underneath your eyes.  This will allow you to dust away any fall-out from the darker pigmented shadows that are coming up next.



3.   Now, take your mid-tone color and apply it to the middle of your lid.  Take the color up to the brow.   Nikki is using a frosty rosy-brown.  When you do you other eye, make sure these “shadow stripes” are symmetrical.


4.  Take the darkest tone in your trio of shadows, we used a coppery brown, and apply to the outer half of the eyelid, pulling the color at to the end of your brow line. Take the color into the brow, as well.


5.   Here, Nikki used a dark chocolate color to line Erin’s lids with a liner brush.  Start at the middle of the lid at the lash line and take the color out and up into a modified “Cleopatra” eye. Go back with the remaining shadow on your brush and fill in the inner lid.  For the lower lid, reload your brush with color and start at the outer edge of the eye, dragging the color to the inner eye.  Stay as close to the lash line as you can.





6.    NOW you can brush away all the white powder underneath your eye.

7.   Go back over the brow area with the lightest color.  Nikki added some additional flair by making a second line of eyeliner color on the lower lid, a steely blue.  Finally, add several coats of lash-lengthening mascara.



7.   Nikki used a coral pink blush for the lower cheeks.  Start close to the mouth and brush up to the hairline.  Application is a lil’ easier when you suck in your cheeks.


8.   Now, apply a shimmery plum or mauve lip gloss to the lips.  If you have it, dab a touch of gold highlighter cream in the very middle of the bottom and top lip and blend in to create a saucy pucker!

Disco-fever DIVA-LICIOUS!



If you would rather have this done by the pros, call Red and/or Nikki at 304-395-1803.  They do makeup and hair styling parties at the Salon and or at your home, if you are local.

Peace out, Stylistas, and have a great Studio 54 party!




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1 Comment

  1. Vicki Watts - January 29, 2014

    You girls rock! Love it ! ! ! Erin is so beautiful and you both did a fabulous job!

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