Beauty 411: Ursula Stephen
Her personal choices might often elude us, but when it comes to all things hair-related, Rihanna always has our undivided and rapt attention (like, say, last week, when she went gray, or, as she dubbed it, “brrrr”). And the woman usually responsible for RiRi’s chameleonic hair ways is stylist Ursula Stephen. Her three favorite moments in Rihanna’s hair timeline? “When we went red, the short black ’do we did for the Teen Choice Awards a couple of years ago, and the short blonde look for her ‘Hard’ music video,” she says. Besides tending to celebrity tresses (she also counts Mary J. Blige and Kerry Washington as clients) and working as a Global Ambassador for hair-care line Motions, Stephen recently opened her first salon, in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood; a thrill for those of us who call the 718 home. “I’d always thought of opening my own place, but this just feels like the right time in my life and career to do it, so when I got a call about a space, I couldn’t pass it up,” she explains. And lest you think she’s too busy to attend to us common folks, Stephen insists that though her schedule will vary from week to week, she will definitely be logging plenty of time at Ursula Stephen the Salon, 66 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, (347) 457-5834. Here, the busy stylist shares some of her own beautifying go-tos.
THE SERIOUS SCRUB: Olympic Spa
“At the Olympic Spa in L.A., you get scrubbed down like a baby by these superstrong women…in front of everyone! Don’t be shy about it. You will leave feeling like you have new skin!”
3915 West Olympic Boulevard, L.A., (323) 857-0666; olympicspala.com
THE SIGNATURE SCENT: Stella by Tocca
“This fragrance manages to be so many things at once: pretty, sophisticated, rich. And I have to say, the men love it. I first discovered it at a spa in New York, and now it’s absolutely one of my faves.”
$68, at sephora.com.
THE GO-TO COVER-UP: Kevyn Aucoin
“Hands down the best concealer out there. It’s always a lifesaver for me.”
Available at shop.nordstrom.com.
THE BARGAIN HYDRATOR: Vitamin E Oil
“I actually first discovered it after I got a bad burn from a curling iron. It helped heal that and turned out to be such a great moisturizer. I especially like it for the rough areas, like my knees and elbows. Plus, it gives skin an amazing glow.”
Available at drugstores.
THE FLUSH FAVORITE: MAC Blush in Peaches
“The perfect blush for summer, if you’re going for that ‘I don’t have on any makeup’ kind of look.”
THE HAIR THERAPY: Motions Deep Penetrating Treatment
“It’s the best conditioning treatment around. I recommend it to all my clients and, naturally, use it on myself religiously, too.”
Available at drugstores.
THE FASHION STOP: Topshop
“It really is one of my favorite stores. I find all my trendy pieces there that I then mix in with designer stuff.”
THE MANI REGULAR: VP Nail Lounge
“I love this place in Brooklyn. They do next-level mani-pedis! The ambience is beautiful, the staff is attentive, and every service is great. Also, mimosas. Enough said.”
1082 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York, (718) 636-0600; verypolishednails.com