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Nikol Johnson

Multi Media Makeup Studio & Xtreme Lash Bar

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London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women

Back in early February, I was approached on Instagram through a direct message for a hair project (I have a screenshot of this message to remind me of that fantastic fateful day). I never pay much attention to these kinds of requests that come through social media because there are so many that pan out to be nothing or they are not legitimate jobs.

London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Premium Economy on British Airways Miami to London
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Dinner is served
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
A little night cap maybe?

Long story short Pantene was casting for women with gray hair for an upcoming hair campaign to air in Europe. It was a whirlwind experience and next thing I knew I was on a flight to London to be a part of this incredible job. I wasn’t sure about the concept of the campaign just that it was about gray hair. The night before my shoot, the producer met with me and asked me questions about “my tribe of women” that have helped me and supported me through my gray hair transition. She also asked me about my IVF experience, what I thought about gray hair, and empowering other women to be free of social beauty pressures. I have to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting to talk about IVF, so I had a small emotional breakdown. When I combine jet-lag, IVF, and gray hair altogether, the emotions run strong. I have been speaking on being bold, fierce and unapologetic for over five years now but sometimes it just hits me. I feel there is a reason why I have been through my IVF journey and embracing my gray hair at the same time, not to mention at a young age. I feel it is to help other women worldwide with beauty and acceptance by example.

It’s not easy, but why should it be? Life is a long and twisting road, and each windy and rough road teaches you something for the next challenging terrain.

What is so exciting about Pantene’s project is that I wasn’t the only gray-haired woman chosen to share my story: five other women joined me. Pantene conducted a worldwide street casting and the six of us represent women at all stages of our gray hair journey. I encourage you to watch and be inspired by their videos here.

I took a red-eye flight to London landed around 1 pm and went straight to the hotel. I was staying at the Ace Hotel a modern little hotel equipped with a photo booth, and on Tuesdays, it gets crazy with Drag Queen Bingo all in the heart of the arts district.

London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women

I was dying to eat, so I went downstairs to have breakfast/lunch and was seated next to a French girl that was in town for work. We started chatting, and I found out she works in fashion. I am no stranger to talking to random people so we hit it off and she asked if I wanted to go vintage shopping. I couldn’t believe my ears what? Was this jet lag that was creating fabulous words such as VINTAGE? YESSSS! I thought I am about to fall asleep, but I have two choices I can go up to my room and sleep all day and be up all night, or I can take her invitation and explore London. Carpe diem my friends Carpe diem.

London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Blueberry Pancakes hit the spot

It was incredible to have a connection with a stranger in a foreign country. She loved walking into every store just like me literally picking up everything and browsing through all the beautiful little decorations (something that really annoys my husband). We went into indie bookstores, stationery stores (now that one really lights my husband on fire lol) Tasted delicious chocolate truffles, steaming lattes that aroma seduced me in from the street corner and kept my eyes wide open. I loved all the graffiti that the city encourages artists to paint on the buildings. The area is called Shoreditch in East London. Colorful, creative and different. What I thought was really interesting is all the street music was Reggae.

London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
The most incredible chocolate shop EVER!
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Can’t get any better than a fresh brewed latte
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Shoreditch, East London
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Something that I am working on!

We concluded our little exploration with a visit to a museum. I have to tell you I lucked out with meeting my French friend we had the same interests and same pace of looking and experiencing new things. We both bought a book called “Wabi Sabi” by Beth Kempton, it’s a book on Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life.

Naturally, I did get to shop when I was in London, and I went straight to the iconic department store Liberty located in the West End of London. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Le Labo The Noir 29. I have this intoxicating fragrance in a travel roller ball size, the shower gel, and body lotion but wanted to add a spray to my collection. I get so many compliments from strangers when I wear this scent it’s deep yet fresh. What is so special about visiting an actual Le Labo lab is that they will mix your fragrance right there in front of you and print your name on the perfume bottle with the date and the store. I can see this being a special ritual in every city I travel to for years to come.

London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Walking to Liberty Department Store
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Le Labo Lab in London
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Making my fragrance fresh right in front of me.
London, Pantene & Gray Powerhouse Women
Nothing like having your name on the bottle of your perfume.

What would a day of shopping be without a luxe lunch at Arthur’s on the second floor of Liberty? I had the Liberty club sandwich with free-range chicken, and a side of decadent fries lets not forget the glass of Rose.

lunch at Arthur's
lunch at Arthur's
A glass of Rose while in London with my favorite sunglasses

On the shoot day, located in a very original building around the corner from the hotel: large windows, wood floors, and a ton of talented people working on bringing this amazing project together.

On the shoot day
Stylist was on point with all the clothes pulled for this shoot. She was a big fan of Zara and I wasn’t complaining.
On the shoot day
Ended up wearing the first option which was my own Elie Tahari Top. You know I am loving that cream linen suit which was option #2.
On the shoot day
Natural light for days
On the shoot day

It was such a fantastic experience, and I am so happy that I get to share it here on my blog FINALLY!!!! It was hard keeping this a secret since March.

On the shoot day
Wearing JCrew and Scarf from Salvador Ferragamo
Perfect Bathing Suits Over 40

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