Every event I attend, every person I meet and every second I spend working/living/breathing in the beauty industry, I continue to be astounded at the wonderful people who enter my life and the amazing way they are able to forever impact the way I perceive the beauty world.
Today was the final judging day of Matrix Spread the Love competition--and I am so honored, so full of gratitude and joy, that I was selected to be the only guest judge among all the Matrix top big wigs to get the chance to interview the 22 top finalists in the Spread the Love competition.
The six winners of this first-ever Matrix competition get to travel around the country for six months, all expenses paid, visiting schools, salons, traveling with DSCs, attending beauty shows and networking with the best of the industry -- all they need to do in return for the experience is to SPREAD THE LOVE! The winners will be receiving laptops, iPhones, cameras and all the tools they will need to be social networking, industry icons! Blogging, video chats, Facebook and Twitter updates, you name it, these six folks will be typing and taping their way through the next six months sharing and spreading their love for the industry.
Kicking off at the Matrix event in Palm Springs in January, the final six will embark on a city-by-city tour through the nation, each week ending up in a different city. In addition, the six will be paired up to form three teams of two each--so along their journey, they will always have a roommate/confidante/travel buddy to shareand spread the love. Each person will also be paired with a mentor from the Matrix team of designers.
While ALL of the contestants were very impressive, only six could be asked to join the tour. It was a really, really, really tough decision. In the end, I'm ecstatic about our choices and can't wait to introduce you to the SIX MATRIX SPREAD THE LOVE WINNERS!!
(Top row: LaKeisha Michelle, Ashley Hanson, Courtney Guess, Sam Ritter and Joseph Pickering.
Bottom: Alison Shipley (me!) and Kayla McCormack)
I am so excited for you to meet Courtney Guess (cool name, right?) from Xenon Int'l Academy in Evergreen, CO! She is so full of energy and love and life and is just a true industry enthusiast. She has bright pink hair, and loves Marilyn Monroe because she wasn't afraid to be herself. And one thing is for sure, Courtney certainly isn't afraid to be herself. As one of the older contestants (not that 30 is old, but, you know...), Courtney brings a unique offering to the panel of students. She is so warm and friendly and funny with a heart bigger and brighter than Times Square. She has a passion for the industry that she is dying to share with the world and she is so excited about the opportunity to travel for six months and really connect with new people and learn more about this ever-changing industry. Watching her face as she found out she won was so rewarding... tears and laughter and shock and more tears. We just love her! Check her out below when she found out she won. That hair is just incredible, isn't it? It's Pravana Magenta! : ) It's been pink on and off for about 5 years now.
Meet Kayla McCormack from Livonia, MI—a graduate from L'esprit Academy in Livonia. Kayla is AMAZING. She loves to travel and, despite SERIOUS hardships in her life, she is a big-time people lover with a heart bigger than you could imagine. She spent time working in an orphanage in Jamaica and has traveled to Poland.. this girl is just incredible. She so idolizes Reese Witherspoon and looks to her as her fashion icon-slash-inspiration to the point where she almost LOOKS like Reese! Kayla is a Starbucks barista... which I also used to be for four years!, and she is often the very first person a customer sees in the morning. Because of this, she is given the unique opportunity to set the tone for her customers' whole day. If I lived in Livonia, she'd be one of my most favorite baristas ever. Her fav drink is a double tall, nonfat, extra hot, no foam, easy caramel, caramel macchiatto... AND she only had to tell me that once (I've still got it!). She is so full of life and energy and just wants to LOVE. When Kayla is done with her journey on Spread the Love and has grown into a successful and seasoned stylist, she plans to open a clinic for sexual assualt victims. Kayla's bubbly personality and true love for life has inspired me so much--it's people like her who, despite so much ugliness in the world, makes me see the beauty and feel the love! Check out this fun video of her calling her mom with the good news!
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