Clariss Rubenstein is a force to be reckoned with. Starting her career in DC working on politicians, she made the life changing decision to move to Los Angeles and pursue her hair dreams! It didn’t take long for her ambitions to soar, as she now owns a boutique salon in Beverly Hills called Gloss and is Mindy Kaling’s go-to hair guru. We had a chance to talk to Clariss about her journey into the hair world and got some unexpected words of advice. See what she had to say below.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I always had a love for all things beauty. I left college after two years to attend the Vidal Sassoon Academy. This gave me a truly amazing foundation for cutting.
Immediately after, I moved to Washington DC to take a job with a busy salon downtown. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was probably in way over my head. Laura Bush was one of my first clients out of school!
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
A major challenge for me was making the choice to leave my clientele and DC career for LA. As a hairstylist, moving to a new city means starting all over. I knew it would be a ton of work, but I knew I wanted to be LA based, so I moved with a lot of positive energy, and it was the best thing I could have done for myself personally and for my career.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
I have always been inspired by Chris McMillan‘s aesthetic. The soft natural look that he has coined is perfection. I felt very fortunate to have assisted at his salon when first arrived in LA.
At the risk of sounding obvious, Jen Atkin is a huge inspiration to me. She’s an incredible stylist and a killer business woman. I love a woman that makes it happen for herself. I couldn’t have more respect for her.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I love polished and sleek looks, but I think I’m most known for my undone textured styles. Up or down or natural and textured hair always looks beautiful on a woman.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Take notes from everybody whose work you respect, collect all sorts of techniques while staying true to your style. Let go of anything that doesn’t serve you, it only gets in your way.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Make sure you love what you do, it’s how you’ll spend most of your time.
What advice would you give to new stylists?
You get out of your career what you put into it, find a great mentor and work insanely hard.
What is the next chapter for you?
That is such hard question for me because I can’t think about the next chapter without thinking about the next 30. I share a little salon with my two close girlfriends in Beverly Hills. The very next chapter is to expand that business and get some new great girls in there and to help them grow into awesome stylists.
How would you describe your beauty and hair philosophy?
Expressing yourself through your look is a powerful thing. This is how the world sees you. Know what works for you and trust someone who sees who you are and has great vision.