Haus Party

above: Kelsey Morey, owner/founder of Haus of Pretty in Saugatuck, is also a model and colorist. Her makeup (above) was done by Haus of Pretty’s Lauren Dudeczka and Stephanie Straface – Photograph by Samantha Annette Photography

Planning on being plenty social in 2020? Start by getting party and photo ready. With an appreciation for natural looks, Kelsey Morey—owner of Haus of Pretty (, located among the coming-and-goings of the train station (24 Railroad Pl.)—can help you sharpen your hair and makeup skills. This year, you’ll be looking for cameras, not dodging them. Here’s what she shared.

The new year is time of change. What advice do you have for someone who wants a new look?
“It is a time of change! However, I think you can adopt that mentality at any time of the year for renewal, reflection and self-care. You don’t have to stay in the parameters of going dark in the winter or lighter in the summer. These are old concepts that functioned around keeping your hair healthy when the products your colorist used were drying and damaging. Now, we have the flexibility, with better formulas, products and bond builders, to keep your hair healthy year round. My best advice when looking for a style overhaul is to choose one thing to adjust and go from there. The most successful hair colors and cuts start with addressing one problem area at a time. That way, you can stop and assess each step and whether it feels like the new you.”

What should we know before a new hair color?
“Professional products and color formulations have come a long way in the past three to five years or so. Your stylist should be up to date and trained on special additives that can be mindfully selected for your hair type. They can offer maximum breakage protection, hydration and other benefits custom to you. This is key to any enviable, celebrity-worthy hair color. Healthy hair is always the prettiest! We like to work out long-term hair health plans for our clients. This can include evaluating lifestyle, nutrition, scalp health and picking apart daily hair routines to find areas to improve.”

Do you recommend natural hair dyes?
“There is a general misconception about natural and organic products. They’re not always the best choice and potentially include more allergens than lab-created products. The term natural is a buzzword that doesn’t translate to anything in the cosmetics chemistry or FDA world. Though Westport is more advanced in terms of going local and being aware of what goes into your body, it’s best to leave the selection of hair color to the licensed professionals. Your stylist will choose a formula, considering several factors. We offer custom, thorough and unrushed consultations to give our clients options and to help them understand the process. Pregnant, postpartum, wellness focused and clients receiving treatments often gravitate to us for this reason.”

What do people need to know about makeup now?
“Makeup today revolves around wellness and quality ingredients. It starts with great skincare, using tons of SPF in your daily moisturizer and selecting a light- tinted foundation with skin-benefitting ingredients to go on top. It’s very important to go quality with your base. Then my routine includes a cream-based blush, simple brow tinting wand, brightening concealer, mascara and tinted lip balm. My pro tip would be to use your fingers to blend everything. We all want to look fresh and well blended—the heat from your fingers actually helps melt the product into small areas, like under your eyes. Plus, less brush washing and bacteria buildup on your tools is also extremely important for promoting healthy skin.”

How do you make the camera love you?
“Great question! We work on tons of photoshoots, and my staff and I have personal experience in the professional modeling world. It starts from within—hydrating and moisturizing extra the week of your photoshoot. I would highly recommend staying away from anything dehydrating, including caffeine and alcoholic beverages. It really does make a noticeable difference in your skin. Then, I would use an HD foundation formulated without SPF. The SPF, though great for daily wear, reflects light and can make you appear off tone behind the camera. Lastly, pick a photographer who offers direction. He or she should advise you on exactly how to extend your neck, push out your arm, do a smile, make sure they’re not seeing too much of the whites of your eyes on certain angles, etc.”

Anything else?
“It also helps immensely to have a stylist on-site. When we style for photoshoots, we often stick around to make sure your bangs are in place, a clothing wrinkle isn’t present, and that kind of attention to detail. It’s always worth it to have more than one set of eyes; your stylist and photographer will be looking for different things. The dynamic is really what makes a great final product.”

What’s new in the salon?
“We’re adding CBD scalp massages to our service menu using local CBD from New Beauty Wellness, another high-quality beauty spa in Westport. We’re also in the beginning stages of launching our branded haircare and cosmetics line. Our clients will be involved throughout this process by receiving testers and pre/priority access when it launches!”

Editor’s Note: Interview edited for fit.

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