She’s been nominated for an Emmy and worked with such beauties as Leah Remini, Kelly Preston, and Hayden Panettiere. Hair stylist and makeup artist Caroline Wiseman might be new to Lafayette, but she is no stranger to creating beautiful looks for her clientele. This petite blonde New Orleans-born mother of two young girls spent more than fifteen years in the bustling Hollywood entertainment industry before deciding to relocate to the East Bay and setting up shop at Shelby Saxon Salon. Over tea and scones at the French Bakery in Lafayette, we discussed her career in Hollywood, her recent move north, and her tips for capturing a romantic Valentine’s Day look.
What brought you to the East Bay?
My husband is from Lafayette originally, and we always loved visiting here. My two daughters would cry when we left, saying, "Mom, why can’t we live in a place like that?" So we moved, and have been here since mid-September.
Has the change been difficult moving from Hollywood to Lafayette?
I think the only change is everything’s in much closer proximity [laughs]. In L.A., we used to drive an hour—each way—for school. It blows me away that I am six minutes from work, and the school is 90 seconds away from my house.
You have done a lot of work in television and film, most recently doing Zooey Deschanel’s hair for an episode of her new show, The New Girl.
Will you continue film and TV work up here?
No. Zooey’s the cutest person ever, and it was really fun to work for The New Girl. But I’m not going to do any more shows. It takes me away from my family. I’ll continue with my specific clients, but no more films or television.
What do you prefer—re-creating a classic image or having more free rein?
I love trying to recreate, but I always preface it by saying it’s going to be my version of it. I have to consider the person’s hair, too. Everyone’s hair is a little bit different, but I love the challenge of recreating, and I have a lot of experience doing that sort of work.
And if they don’t have an image?
I think it makes me be more perceptive. I will set out to talk as much as I can possibly talk to them, so that I can get an idea of their aesthetic. It’s about who they are and the lifestyle they have.
At the end of the day, I take the most pride in being able to take an image out of someone’s head—getting enough information and having them say, "This is exactly what I wanted," and they didn’t really know it either, until the end.
What’s the strangest request you got while in Hollywood?
I don’t want to make anyone look bad [laughs]. Can we leave names out? I’ve shaved a head before. That’s a fun thing to do. I’ve been requested to be at someone’s house at two in the morning, just because that was the only time they had free for a haircut.
Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, do you have any tips on how to create a romantic look quickly or inspirations that you turn to?
My idea of Valentine’s Day—I don’t know why I do this—but I always think of classic waves and this year, I this year, I’m thinking simple. I always think of
Veronica Lake, especially with a simple palette with the defined brow, nude shimmer on the lid, and beautiful lashes. And there’s a way to get this look quickly, if you’re OK with a curling iron. You take two-inch sections around your hairline, and curl one underneath the next. Then you brush out those curls, and that will give you that S-wave around the face. You aren’t going for curls, but a soft wave to frame your face. I think that’s really romantic. It’s classic, it’s romantic, and it’s Valentine’s Day to me. Well, that and red lips.
Caroline Wiseman works at Shelby Saxon Salon, 33 La Fiesta Square, Lafayette, shelbysextonsalon.com. Call (818) 442-1842 for an appointment.