Meet Shan Mullis and Nicholas Modlin (by Fern Flamberg)
Shan, a precision cutter and seasoned stylist, hails from North Carolina. He was trained by Suga, the Japanese master, and did runway shows with Oribe for Valentino and Versace. Shan brings a warm, Southern disposition and an Asian sense of discipline to his work.
“I always aim to make a woman look like a woman,” he says. “I don’t believe in following trends, unless they flatter a client’s features, hair type and lifestyle. Today, anything goes – long or short, straight or curly -- there’s no set look. Style is an individual thing. I like to give my clients options, but ultimately, the style we arrive at depends on what looks good on them and what they can handle in terms of maintenance.”
Shan doesn’t subscribe to the thinking that women over 40 should shy away from long hair. “That’s a myth,” he says. “I like longer hair and layers that soften the jaw or camouflage a sagging neckline. Most women look better with height at the crown, which I like to add by backcombing. I don’t like severe looks or hair that is stiff in any way.” Movement is key to all Shan’s looks and hair that swings is his stock in trade
With a practiced eye for selecting the right tint, tone or shade, Nicholas has been the genie behind many of New York’s most head-turning blondes, brunettes and redheads. A professional colorist, who earned his stripes (or should we say streaks), as a consultant to Clairol and Wella, Nicholas is known for his signature blondes in a range of shades from champagne to honey.
One of his favorite techniques right now is using ombre colors, multiple shades that “are friendly to one another and mimic the way a child’s hair looks when it’s kissed by the sun.” He likes to apply lighter hues around the face to brighten the eyes and add warmth to the skin. “Lighter shades lift the spirits. They make everyone look better and feel better.”
Nicholas uses his ombre color technique on brunettes and redheads (natural or not), to add dimension and warmth. “I interweave complementary shades to create a nuanced, natural effect that helps blend in gray, grows out gracefully and cuts down on the number of touch-ups that are required to maintain the look.
Schedule an appointment
with Shan and Nicholas
for a new look for Spring.
Mika, a rising star in the Vartali pantheon, started working in the beauty business when he was just 19. Now, with six years of styling experience under his belt, this native New Yorker brings his passion for beauty, his fashion-forward eye and pleasing personality to work for our clientele.
Mika believes the most important part of any cut begins with the consultation. “I love creativity, and I enjoy coming up with ideas for a style. But the client has to be happy, and that means collaboration is a must. “ He says, “It’s my hair while you’re in the chair, but its all yours once you leave the salon, so the end result has to stand on its own.”
Mika’s clients are young and active, with busy lives and little time to spend in the salon. They need looks that offer low maintenance care and multiple styling options. Most want a cut they can wear straight or wavy, styled or natural, up or down.
Now, as the holiday party season begins, Mika is doing more updos. “Not uppity updos,” he adds. “These are freer, fresher and more modern. I’m doing French knots, chignons, romantic braids -- tucked or looped -- and low-slung ponies, with loose tendrils or side curls. Hair ornaments and accessories are big right now. I’m using headbands, clips, pearls and even feathers to add glitz and a little fun to party looks.
Next time you visit the salon, have a chat with Mika about a new style direction. (by Fern Framberg)
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