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Rising Color Star: Kristen Linares

Get to know The Colorist's Rising Color Stars—hot, young colorists who are poised to take their careers to the top! We'll be featuring a new up-and-coming artist every week!

Name: Kristen Linares
Age at time of publication: 28
Salon: Location Thirteenth and Washington, Salon & Creative Space -St. Louis, MO
Title: Salon owner
Color line/s used: Davines
Beauty school/location: Empire Beauty School - Whitehall, PA

Tell me a little bit about yourself: I am a hair & makeup artist to St. Louis’ aspiring talent, downtown dwellers, and business moguls. I strive to perfect one's image, inform the misunderstood, and teach all the simple secrets of their beauty regimen.

What inspired you to become a colorist? I am a 3rd generation stylist, so I basically grew up in a salon. My grandmother, two aunts, and mom all do hair. I loved watching them make women feel better about themselves! I also assisted one of the most talented colorists right out of beauty school. Patrick McIvor shaped who I am today as a colorist, business owner, and motivational speaker.

What are your goals? I currently have reached my goal of only working behind the chair 3 days a week while running a rental salon that inspires stylists to be their best. I now have time to focus on growing my beauty blog brand, "Beauty and the Brain". I plan on writing two books. One geared to stylists straight out of beauty school and the other for the everyday woman. I believe beauty is simple and many stylists and everyday women struggle with the thought of it. I want to change the way women view beauty and wellness through easy to understand education.

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of? Teaching balayage nationally for Product Club color accessories, working backstage at NY fashion week, winning the "best beauty blog" in St Louis two years in a row, and running a successful Salon & Creative space in the heart of downtown STL.  

What are your specialties? Balayage! It is the perfect technique for reviving hair that has been saturated with color one too many times. I love creating effortless-natural looking haircolor that grows out seamlessly.

What do you love most about being a colorist? Of course I love the act of coloring hair however the best part is my clients reaction when we are done. I absolutely love making someone feel beautiful and feel like they finally have the haircolor they never thought was possible!

Who would you consider to be your mentors/role models, and why?
Patrick McIvor not only taught me how to color hair, but how to teach it! He always explained things to his students and clients with the best analogies. Melissa Johnson, is a colorist who deserves more recognition than she has been given. Melissa is a board certified colorist aka hair nerd who has made understanding the science of haircolor simple. Thanks to her, my foils are immaculate when folded in the hair and my power point presentations rock. Last but definitely not least, Adrienne Rogers. Adrienne is one of the strongest women I know. She has taught me to work hard and speak up for myself in a professional manner. Her stage presence is something I strive to embody each time I teach haircolor in front of an audience.