BeautyView: Renee Shakour, Executive Vice President, Essential Salon Products

There were many signs that suggested I would love Renee the first time we met, a few years ago… she is a beautiful woman in the beauty industry; she works in family business; she is from the Boston area, which I still think of as my first American hometown; she loves champagne. What is there not to love? In reading her answers below, I now have uncovered her secret use of Botox, and know to bring her Peanut Butter Cups the next time our paths cross…

AP: What city were you born in? RS: Worcester, MA.

AP: What city to do you live in? RS: Boylston, Massachusetts (45 minutes west of Boston).

AP: What is your middle name? RS: Gabrielle, after my Grandfather.

AP: What is your astrological sign? RS: Virgo.

APWhat is your most prized possession? RS: My family.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? RS: The Dalai Lama.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. RS: Classic, Contemporary, Designer, and ever evolving…

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? RS: Yes, a Rolex.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? RS: Diamonds.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? RS: Alchimie Forever Age Defying Serums of course!!

AP: What fragrance do you wear? RS: I am infatuated with Jo Malone and the endless possibilities of combining fragrances, it is reminiscent of being a kid in a candy store…

AP: Botox or not? RS: Ada…that’s my best-kept secret! Starting with my feet!!!!!! The Cat is out of the bag now.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? RS: Not… but my stylists are so good only they know for sure!

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? RS: Freshology helps me to bring my life back into balance. It is so difficult when you are on the road as often as I am to eat right.

AP: What do you do for exercise? RS: Taking my 2 rescue dogs for walks along the trails behind my house, spending time at the lake swimming.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? RS: Fruit infused sparkling water, cucumbers, and my favorite indulgence, Peanut Butter Cups.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? RS: Champagne.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? RS: That’s still a work in progress!! I do my best to follow in my father’s footsteps and completely unplug from  work and all technology when I get home. It is important for me to keep them separate and recharge my mind, body and soul. I have learned through experience to put aside work when you get home and enjoy the fruits of my labor with family and friends.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? RS: 150,000+

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? RS: 1. Carry on everything you can, over prepare for any situation good or bad! 2. Never drink before or during the flight no matter what! 3. Be kind to all when traveling….Life is a journey not a race. That should be the #1 tip for travel.  It would make everyone’s trip much more enjoyable.

AP: 3 songs on your iPod right now. RS: Dave Matthew’s version of Sweet Caroline, my niece Kassie’s version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and the Eagles Hotel California.

AP: What book are you reading right now? RS: Practice Perfect by Doug Lemov & Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

AP: Quote to live by. RS: These are the magic years… and therefore magic days… and therefore magic moments. Anonymous.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? RS: Pettiness.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? RS: I never get enough sleep.  Does there have to be a specific?  I am a nighttime girl, I’m usually up until 1-2 am then I get up about 8 am. I enjoy the weekend days.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? RS: Everything!  This industry is one of the most inspiring, fast paced, ever evolving places to be.  I love what I do every day!!

AP: Least favorite thing. RS: Dishonesty.

AP: Who is your mentor? RS: My father.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. RS: Find a mentor. A mentor who understands the challenges that you are faced with will be able to guide you in a positive direction. This is invaluable, whether it is a life situation or professional one, knowing you are able to reach out to someone to bounce ideas off or just check in and chat, is a comfort in the business world today. Listen to your heart and follow your passion. Listening to your heart will help you to sleep better at night and following your passion makes it a lot easier.

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