Los Angeles-based freelancer Ruby Torrealba redefines Hollywood glam with her abundance of gorgeous waves, curls and updos. Her works of art are so stunning that they often seem like Hollywood has used its magic to create them, when in reality, Torrealba is just that talented! From wedding styles to editorial work, Torrealba's work finds its place and admirers around the world (and MODERN editors are part of her fan club).
Freelance, Los Angeles
Specialty: Vintage, bridal, editorial, photo shoot, and special occasion hairstyling
Most viral post: I don’t think any of my posts have necessarily “gone viral” but one of my most reposted looks was a collaboration that I did with @nealmhair, who is an AMAZING vivids artist in Orlando. I was in Florida to teach a styling class, and before I went back to LA I stopped by his studio to style a model that he had colored into this incredible mix of smokey silvers and blues. I gave her an updo full of swirls and pin curls that all piled on top of each other. When I left I told my husband that I didn’t think that I had done a very good job on it and that I was really self-conscious about my work not being good enough. I posted it anyway and it got reposted on nearly every major salon/hairstyling Instagram page and I was totally shocked! So many people commented about how much they loved it and it made me get out of my own way and love that style!
Favorite apps: Facetune is my holy grail because a lot of times I’m styling clients really early in the morning before a photo shoot or a wedding and they don’t always have their makeup finished yet, so I can fix tiny imperfections and make them look fresh faced! If I style a client’s hair perfectly, but they haven’t gotten their full face on just yet, tweaking small details in their complexion can really make your photo look polished. Since I’m on set working on photo shoots, or hectic weddings, I don’t always have the luxury of waiting until they’re fully ready to take them somewhere to snap the perfect photo once the makeup has been finished, so this helps me a lot!
Favorite hashtags: #hollywoodwaves #missrockabillyruby
Pro tips: For me there’s many factors that go into getting the best results on a post. I make sure that I check in on my analytics regularly and I’m posting on the days of the week and best times of day that I see my followers engaging the most. If it’s a photo that doesn’t wow me, then I don’t post it. Sometimes we do a style that knocks our socks off in person, but we just couldn’t get the right photos of it. I try to take my photos in the best lighting possible, a combination of early daylight and my ring light are my favorite. I also make sure there’s nothing distracting taking away from the hairstyle, like a bra strap hanging out. Really take your time taking your photos and have a good camera or camera on your phone handy. I also make sure that if I’m editing anything it’s very minor and looks natural, there’s nothing worse than seeing a beautiful hairstyle on someone who has every feature on their face and body blurred beyond repair!
Hidden talent (beauty-related): When I was in beauty school I practiced so much for my state boards on my model (my mom) that I could do a full head of wet set finger waves in under 8 minutes. I don’t think I could do that now! I also used to cut hair for many years, and my favorite thing was doing men’s haircuts and fades. I’ve always wanted to go back and get my barber license in addition to my cosmo license, but I don’t have the time!
Hidden talent: I make the world’s best homemade stovetop popcorn! Seriously, come over for movie night, and it’ll blow your mind!
How social media changed my life: Social media is crazy! I’ve been a hairdresser for 13 years now, and I remember when I was first starting out it was really hard to get your name out there. I used to have flyers made, and I would canvas the neighborhood I worked in trying to get more clients in my chair. When I first started my Instagram it wasn’t for how I’m using it now, it was mostly pictures of my dog Moose and the adventures I was having moving to LA. I’ve been able to turn it into such an amazing platform to reach over 165,000 followers and who knows how many others that just happen to see my work floating around the internet! No more papering the neighborhood with my sad little flyers begging people to come in and trust me with their hair. Now they can scroll through my feed and see all of the styles laid out beautifully for them in a fun and easy to use gallery. The bonus to having have my social media accounts is that I get to share my life and passions with so many other people. It’s one big extended family!
The first time I was featured on MODERN’s Insta: The very first time that I ever had any sort of mention with MODERN SALON was a little over 3 years ago when they did a small little feature on me because I was doing some work with Sexy Hair. I remember freaking out and calling my mom immediately. I screenshotted the heck out of it! After that I would occasionally get one of my bridal styles featured on the MODERN SALON IG, and it would make me so excited every single time!
See the full 2018 MODERN SALON 100 here!
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