Ask the Expert

For seven years in a row we’ve asked some of the Madison area’s most sought-after health, beauty and wellness professionals to set down their shears, lotions and brushes and field a few questions from us. It’s one of our favorite things to do; not only do we learn about the latest trends, we get a glimpse into the personal lives of the professionals we know and love.

Judging by this year’s conversations, local stylists and practitioners are still doing good works for clients—who continue to bring helpful celebrity photos to their appointments. In addition, though, this year we sense, nearly across the board, a strong infusion of holistic health and wellness when it comes to beauty treatments. 

By Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz


Shiloh Allred

Cosmetologist, Cinema Hair Studio

Products you can’t live without? The Enbrightenment skin-care line smells amazing and helps with age and sun spots. Pure Abundance Style Prep Spray makes my fine hair feel twice as thick. Control Force Hairspray is the best hairspray I have ever used.

Service most worth enlisting a professional? No matter what the picture on the store-bought box looks like, there’s no substitute for professional color. Same with facials; trying to do it yourself often causes more damage. It’s too easy to over-exfoliate, over-extract and over-do. 

Most sought-after celebrity look? The “ombre.” Hair is darker at the roots and lightens to a blonde end. The long bob has been another popular request; just brushing the collar bone, with some fun layers. 

Three trends for 2013
1. The bold brow. Gone are the days of the overly shaped eyebrow. Natural is back. 
2 Tween skin care. As the mother of an eleven-year-old I can attest to the importance of teaching our tweens good skin care.
3. Matte lips. Throw out that sticky gloss and try sporting the matte look, whether a bold red or a subtle nude.


Jennifer Drache

Massage Therapist, Cinema Hair

What don’t people realize about Cinema Hair? Cinema is unpretentious. Our employees are dedicated to honing their craft and honoring your spirit while treating you like a star.

What role does “wellness” play at Cinema Hair? We refer to our treatment rooms as our wellness area because these services encourage and maintain health. We strive to make wellness a part of your daily life rather than an occasional indulgence. Upon entering, the contrast from the salon immediately sets a tone of recovery and tranquility. Lights are dimmed, music is quiet and inspiring. Spend color-processing time on a back-massaging chair; personally, that’s when I schedule a pedicure so I can completely bliss out.

Why do your clients keep coming back? I’ve logged over 10,000 hours massaging people. Experienced massage clients recognize my technical expertise, but the true difference in my touch comes from working from a place of love.

Service most worth enlisting a professional? Massage. I spent the last decade learning about the human body and focusing on being present. Skill-wise, it’s hard to compete with that level of dedication. Of course, paying for a massage also means that you don’t have to give one back!


Mel Thorpe

Massage Therapist, Sundara Inn & Spa

New this year? We recently introduced an organic, detoxifying line of skin-care products called Voya.

What don’t people realize about Sundara? So many still aren’t aware Wisconsin Dells offers a world-class spa.

Why do your clients keep coming back? I’m thrilled to celebrate my ten-year anniversary right alongside Sundara this year. Guests tell me my technique, table-side manner and warm hands keep them coming back and referring others.

What do you love most about your job? Many today are looking for alternative or homeopathic healing; they’re skeptical of modern medicine and pills. Helping guests find natural solutions makes me feel good.

Most memorable on-the-job moment? Each year Sundara sponsors several Breast Cancer Recovery retreats. I feel privileged to provide some relief and peace for these truly special guests, even if it’s temporary. 

Best home remedy? Stretching and keeping hydrated. Muscles have memory and naturally return to a tight state. Regular massage and stretching helps retrain muscles and drinking water flushes out toxins.

Service you splurge on? Firm or deep tissue massage rejuvenates me—body, mind and spirit—giving me strength to keep performing at my best.



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