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POP INTERVIEW: Antwon Jackson, The Man Behind Great Hair!

Antwon Jackson discovered his dream while watching television – so it’s fitting that he would be living that dream ON television … as the man behind the fabulous hair of Wendy Williams and countless other stars. It’s also fitting that a person who’s making women more beautiful happens to be beautiful inside and out himself.

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antwon JacksonAntwon Jackson discovered his dream while watching television – so it’s fitting that he would be living that dream ON television … as the  man behind the fabulous hair of Wendy Williams and countless other stars. It’s also fitting that a person who’s making women more beautiful happens to be beautiful inside and out himself. Antwon was nice enough to take a few minutes to talk about his work and his life.

You talk in your bio about seeing a Vidal Sassoon commercial when you were a kid and knowing at that moment that you knew what you wanted to do!  Did you come against any resistance from people… or did you basically say – ‘this is how It’s gonna be!’
When pursuing my dreams and ambitions, to protect myself from the opinions of others, I’d just keep silent and let my visions unfold. I knew that  not everyone wasn’t gonna “Wish Me Well” so I basically said ” this is how its gonna be!”


Suddenly you were practicing on women in the neighborhood. Can you share at least one story where the hair went kind of wrong? That has to happen at least once, doesn’t it? What did you do?

I recall one particular incident where I was practicing “tapering” with the clippers on a family friend. I used the wrong guard on the clippers and basically cut her nearly bald. Knowledge is POWER and I was powerless due to the lack of knowledge regarding  clippers usage. In this industry, I don’t know I could recover image wise from that kind of mistake especially dealing with high profile clients. Ain’t nobody got time time for that!

 You were born in North Carolina – describe your first experience in New York – how do remember it them, and how different is it to you now?
Wow, coming to New York from North Carolina for the first time back in 1996 was intriguingly overwhelming in terms of the different races, the energy, tall buildings and of course the fashions. In the midst of all the “goings on” I felt a sense of belonging. I started visiting least once a year…alone. The  more I came the NYC, the more I became aware of has to be done in terms prepping to move here. I’ve been living here for 3yrs now and its as if I’ve live her all my life…I cant see myself living anywhere Else. I make love to this city everyday.  Gonna marry her soon.

What was one of the biggest breaks you’ve ever gotten?
The biggest break I’ve gotten was given the opportunity to assist uber Celebrity Hairstylist Oscar James. Working him whom I’ve always admired was a dream come true. I got to see up close how he works, his calm demeanor and what it tastes like to work in the industry. I also trained under Hadiiya Barbel who at the time was the hairstylist for the Wendy Show.
Wendy Williams Peta We all know you and see you and hear your name from The Wendy Williams Show… give people an idea of your life these days! What is your average day like? When are you up and when are you done?
I always say “I have miles to go before I sleep.” There is so much that I plan on doing career wise. I’m immensely grateful been the head Hairstylist for the Wendy Williams Show having started out just 3yrs ago as an intern. So, when people see me they see LOVE, RESPECT and an unconcealable zanniness!!! My spirit is somewhat “childlike” in sense that I everything with excitement. That’s the LEO in me.  We [Leos] tend to make the best of situations thru humor.
  
I can say personally from coming on the show that I truly feel like I’m visiting a family. I am always blown away by the comraderie of the team there. What is it about your group of people that seems to click so well?
At the Wendy Williams Show we are one big family. I have our “moments” if you will. But because we truly love one another, we work pass our differences. I’ve learned that the the challenges we face aren’t happening “to” us but “for” so we can all learn and grow to better beings.
 
What are the advantages to working on and styling wigs? Do you take longer, spent less time? What are the differences?
One of the advantages of working with wigs, is that I have artistic control over texture, color, shape and length. Once the wigs are customized, the prepping time is at a minimum. Where as working with the clients natural hair I have to work whatever type of hair she has and whatever condition her hair is in.  Which takes slightly longer than working with wigs.
A lot of people are obsessed with their hair – a bad haircut can leave a woman crying for DAYS. Why do you think this is?

A bad hair cut will probably leave me crying for months..and I’m 75% man. Some women’s identity is manifested physically by their hair. The right hair style/cut can give a woman the confidence of a beloved Queen. A disastrous haircut and leave a woman feeling with a heavy with a sense of abandonment. The fallen Queen has gone into exile……until her hair grows out.

Some people go their whole lives without really ‘nailing’ the right style for themselves.
And what advice would you give to someone that really can’t seem to get a handle on their hair?

Like I stated previously, some  women feel identified by their hair which can boxed them in to one look. IT JUST HAIR LADIES!!!!!!!  Build trust in a great hairstylist/colorist/cutter. I know several.

Also – what’s one question you’re sick of being asked?
I don’t ever get sick of the respectful questions. Most people would like to know with whom I’ve style. Wendy Williams, Star Jones and Iman just a few.
Do you ever stop and realize that you have become a role model? Not only for people seeking success in the hair and beauty industry, but also as a guy who wasn’t intimidated by dreaming big and pursuing your passion? What do you say to young people who are afraid to go after their dreams?
 If I inspire the the “Dream Chasers” then I’m honored. I honestly feel we fear chasing dreams cause we cant control the what happens. Its less about Fear and more about Faith. Know that if you’re passionate about your dreams and goals and you put the energy into making it happen, IT WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
If you could choose one sentence that would be the one that people used to describe you – what would it be?
 Antwon’s such a LEO!!!!!
      Laughs alot
      Easy to get along with
      Oooooooh so cute

 

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VIDEO:Rolled Ice Cream, Cheetos Bagels And Grasshoppers Are Just Some Of The Unusual Things Brian Balthazar Has Eaten On ‘The Wendy Williams Show’

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You’ve seen pop culture expert, Brian Balthazar, appear on The Wendy Williams Show quite a bit over the last few years. He even co-hosted the show on three separate occasions. It wasn’t until his last visit where he and Jason Biggs chowed down on a KFC Cheetos Chicken Sandwich that it hit me: Being on the daytime talk show makes Brian Balthazar hungry!

The proof is in the pudding…pun definitely intended. Carla Hall made sure to bring some snacks for Brian when they cohosted together.

Sure, Wendy is known for telling us to “grab a snack and come on back”…

But you’d have to be absolutely famished to want to eat fish sliders at 10am.

He’s gotten so hungry he resorted to eating GRASSHOPPER TACOS on the show!

Could it be that Brian isn’t actually hungry though? Could he just be a brave soul willing to be the taste tester so we don’t have to? Could my theory be flawed?!

I suddenly feel like maybe we owe Brian a big thanks…

Either way, it’s fun to watch! Click below to take a look at a compilation of all the fun stuff Brian Balthazar has eaten on The Wendy Williams Show!

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Get The Look! A Buyer’s Guide To Brian Balthazar’s Philadelphia Home Redesign

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As the world was forced to spend more time at home, Brian Balthazar found himself in a position where he had sold a house before the lockdown and had to find a new one.

“We sold our home with all the furniture in it, so not only did we find ourselves struggling to find a new place, once we found one we didn’t have any furniture to put in it.”

And so, Brian and partner Dennis got resourceful, turning to refurbishing and buying store floor models. They were inspired to make bold, fun choices in color and style when they started shopping around for wallpaper.

Below is the segment as it appeared on the Today Show, and further down, a rundown of where you can find the pieces or ones with a similar look!

THE DINING ROOM

Let’s start with the Dining Room!

Move the slider dividing the image to see all of the before or all of the after!

Brian saysThe dining room was the first space we wanted to do. I haven’t had a true dining room since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted a big table for dinner parties! There were no tables within the price range we wanted, so we found a floor model at one of our favorite go-to stores, Arhaus. We easily saved 75 percent on this table by getting the one that they weren’t going to carry anymore. The chairs are from Wayfair.  On each side of the fireplace (not seen in the photo, but visible in the Today Show video) are two black tall lanterns flanking the fireplace. I got them at Target. I can’t currently find them on their app, but similar versions pop up every year. Get thee to Homegoods! Homegoods and Homesense (same parent company) are my go-to spots for home accessories for virtually every room in the house. You never know what you’re going to find, which is part of the fun.

But let’s focus on the real WOW element to this room – the wallpaper! This pattern is called Bellewood, by RebelWalls.   As you will soon see, I’m sort of obsessed with their patterns. To me, this room is magical with the added whimsy of this forest pattern. (They also have a more muted version with grays and even one with blues.) I also love that by hanging the paper from the chair rail up, you almost get the feeling that you’re standing on a balcony overlooking the forest. I surrounded the whole room with this paper, which I love, but you could easily add the same magical feeling by just doing one feature wall. Their website shows how it can translate to a bedroom or office. You might be intimidated by hanging wallpaper but don’t be! This pattern has so much going on that it really looks perfect when it goes up!

ON TO THE GUEST BEDROOM!

GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM AFTER
GUEST BEDROOM BEFORE
GUEST BEDROOM BEFORE
THE GUEST BEDROOM

Brian says: The guest bedroom is on the top floor of the house, so it’s got roof lines on two sides that make it a tricky space to navigate if you’re not careful. The planning of this space alone resulted in a few bonked heads. On the upside, the wall where the bed goes is tall, so it was an obvious place to create some visual pop. Again, the wallpaper takes the spotlight.  Called “Nude Roses,” also by RebelWalls, I love this design. Floral wallpaper was ‘big’ in popularity back in the 1920s when this house was built, but the patterns at that time were smaller, repeated more often, and were often really bold in color. This interpretation is so fun to me! Gone are the small roses in favor of oversized blooms, and the bold colors are more subdued pink and gray hues, with touches of dark green and creamy whites.

While roses can inherently feel feminine, the plaid bedding (30 dollars for a queen set from Target) are a surprising complement that keeps everything from feeling a little stereotypical. The side tables are mismatched – partly because we didn’t want to go too “matchy=matchy” – but also to save some money – the one on the left side (hard to catch here) was from West Elm. Normally $199, we got it for half off as the floor model. The one on the right we found in the trash. It was perfectly fine, clearly someone had just gotten tired of it! Nothing some disinfectant can’t fix. That gave us some extra money to spend – To reduce the softeness we went with industrial lamps and edison bulbs. The lamps  are called “Ginyard,” from Wayfair. The headboard was on sale at Arhaus. The dark gray takes balances out the pink hues well. The pillows are from Target and Homegoods.

For the 360 degree view of this room, watch the Instagram reel below!  You’ll see the dresser, on sale for $599 from Arhaus, a lamp from Homegoods, and mobiles from Amazon which we fashioned into a ‘piece of art’ that keeps you from hitting your head on the angled wall opposite the bed. Watch the video to check it out!

 

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THE GAME ROOM

BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT AFTER
BASEMENT BEFORE
BASEMENT BEFORE
BASEMENT / GAME ROOM

Brian says: The idea for the basement game room was to create a space that feels like a lounge you might find if you went out with friends. When you go into this basement it definitely feels like you’ve gone someplace unique! Believe it or not, I found out the Today Show had invited me to to record my house tour just a few days in advance, and so we turned around this spot in just THREE days! There was literally no pool table at the time, (although it had already been scheduled to come on Friday, the wallpaper came on Saturday, (as well as the floor tiles!) and by Sunday we were covered in paint and glue and drinking wine to celebrate it’s completion! I recorded the final video that Monday.

Some people might not think to take a bright basement and make it dark, but that was our first instinct. Clubs are dark and moody, and we wanted this to feel like that. We painted the walls Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, which is a very dark gray that seems to take on different hues based on where you paint it and the light that shines on it. We painted the ceiling black. This was Thursday night! Then Friday the pool table came. The floor tiles (“Tweed Indeed” in black by Flor) hadn’t arrived until the next day, so when they did arrive I meticulously trimmed four tiles to fit around the pool table legs so it looks like they were there the whole time. I had ordered the pool table online weeks before from PoolTables.com and by sheer coincidence it was scheduled to arrive in time for me to shoot the redesign. This was the second time I have ordered a pool table from them (which was initially scary because you’re not even seeing it beforehand!) but it always arrives in perfect condition to your specific selections. I love that the felt jet black and keeps things dark and moody. In the time that has passed since this photo was taken, I’ve added more of the carpet tiles to make the carpeted floor area darker and bigger.

But once again, the wall mural steals the show in a marvelous way! This mural is called “A Priori” from Rebelwalls, and is inspired by The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, a famous fresco by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona. Fitting, because this house is Italian in style on the outside. You can’t see it from this photo but the wallpaper runs up part of the ceiling as well. It truly gives the room a wow factor when you enter it. The lamps are from Homegoods, (we’ve since added some industrial floor lamps for extra mood lighting) and the piano was something we brought with us. The bar tables are from Amazon ($72 each) and the stools we brought with us – they were discards from someone who didn’t like their original bright colors and thought they were dated! We covered them ourselves with gray plaid fabric and they’re better than they were new!

 

So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the rooms and find something you like!

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The Pentagon Has Released Official UFO Videos Because 2020 Is The Absolute Worst

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Aren’t swarms of locusts supposed to be the next installment of this plague?!

Can we finally declare 2020 as the worst year ever? In January there were fears of a third World War. In February the coronavirus began its rapid spread. In March the world essentially shut down due to social distancing and quarantining. And now in April…with only two days left in the month…we have official government footage of unidentified flying objects. I’m sorry but Milton Bradley’s game of “Life” never prepared me for any of this!

The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of three videos that have been circulating the web but didn’t really answer what is visible in them. In the videos, now declassified by the Department of Defense, navy pilots capture “unidentified aerial phenomena” aka unidentified flying objects aka UFOs! Pentagon officials were sure to state that the videos do not show “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” meaning we probably won’t be seeing any little green men any time soon.

The first video dates back to November 2004 and the other two from January 2015. Of the Pentagon’s confirmation of authenticity, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”

So great. We now know that these strange videos are real but what exactly are we looking at? Well, the Department of Defense says it has no concrete answer as to what might be floating around the skies and has classified the phenomena as “unidentified.” And…just like that I suddenly feel less defended.

Social media is having a field day with this revelation of course. The #AliensAreReal has been trending high on Twitter since the news broke. One user referenced Independence Day and said the aliens are “getting ready for July 4th.” Of the bad timing, another wrote “Et tu aliens?” And finally one user couldn’t help avoid sarcasm and wrote”Where’s the space force when you need it?”

Well 2020, you have worked your awful black magic once again. What’s next, cat videos get banned from the internet?! You’ve taken everything else from us!

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