cait +tiff

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T / shooting emily

Tiffany TsangOh my word.  I cannot believe I got to shoot this beauty.

Taking photographs of professionals in the aesthetics industry is incredibly intimidating.  Because these cats know what they’re doing.  They know how to make people look good. So if you can’t get your light right, then you’re just ruining everything they’ve just worked on.  But the ladies who run the tools at Kate Korpi (you’ve heard us wax poetic about them before) put me at so much ease. Like when I was getting my first pouf.  Which is how I met Emily.

tiffany-tsang-emily-kate-korpiHailing from Arkansas, Emily first landed in Phnom Penh as one of Kate Korpi’s roving guest artists.  Uber talented hair stylists that they woo over to Phnom Penh to teach new cool things to KK’s students.  Then I guess Emily got bit by the Phnom Penh and Kate Korpi bug (the good bug, not the sucky belly kind) and wound up staying for a few months!

So in Emily’s last week  in the city, she asked me to take a couple of fun “senior shots” around the city.  And I basically cannonballed at the opportunity.  I made lists of everywhere I wanted to shoot this infectious red head in.  And over four hours and six locations, this gorgeous gal got all the shots.  We’re gonna miss this lady.  If you bump into her somewhere around the world, do get your hair did with her.  She might even introduce you to the poof.  Here are some of her shots 🙂

Wat shots are a must.

Wat shots are a must.


Coconuts are my new favourite prop.


I also like making my models hide in the foliage.


Thank you to whomever parked that Vespa in an incredibly strategic location.

All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.  We are not liable for costs incurred for dying your hair red.


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C + T / Gratitude and Kate Korpi


You have heard a lot about Kate Korpi Salon from us in the last new months, and that’s no accident. We have written about these beauty wizards a few times now: the runway show prep, the salon itself, and Brianne’s make up party time. We use the Kate Korpi team for photo shoots, for video segments, and for our own personal tune-ups.  This means we’re there a little more than most.  And we love it.


The salon doubles as a training school for Khmer students, and every morning the team and its small cohort of ultra talented students start with a moment for gratitude. A lot of the students in the program come from tough backgrounds, and this moment is for them to focus on progress, the things they have learned, and what they are thankful for. After a few moments of our own in the last week, we wanted to send a little gratitude to them.

The team at the salon is a constant source of good energy, crazy talent, and belly laughs. From the moment they answer your call, the warmth you receive when you enter the salon and the big hugs after the whole experience, there is warmth all over (the kind of warmth you want in this tropical heat).  They have managed to master the total cool-kid vibe, without a whiff of snobbery. The staff is kind, generous, and has made us feel great on even our worst days.  The Kate Korpi experience is transformative on so many levels.  We leave feeling and looking so good, and counting down the days before we can go again.


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Bad vibes go here to die, and come out with a sexy cat-eye and Bardot hair. Thank you, Kate Korpi family, for the hugs, the badass hair, the smokey eye, the giggles in between, and making it one of our favorite places to be.signatures

All photos by Cait + Tiff.  Please request permission for use.  We are not liable for costs incurred for spiritual, hair or look transformations as a result of visits to Kate Korpi.

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C + T / Runway Make Up for Real Life


In our line of work, we are lucky to cross paths with a lot of wonderful people. Brianne, the lead make up artist at Kate Korpi Salon in Phnom Penh, is one of them. She was in charge of the looks for Cait’s first runway show in February, and spends her days training students at Kate Korpi, managing a team of artists for a local TV show, and making people better looking.

Honestly, the girl should be in front the of camera herself. She’s one of those people that actually gets more beautiful the closer you get to her face. Since we love a good view and good company, we enlisted our talented friend to teach us runway make up. Not the crazy business with the alien vibes and the bleached eyebrows, but the stuff that you actually want on your face. We asked her to find three make up trends from the 2016 Spring fashion shows, and translate those looks into wearable daily make up. Our challenged was accepted and Brianne put together three modern looks and coordinated them to our different skin tones.


Trend: Bronze Babe


Spring 2016 looks from Alberta Ferretti and Tommy Hilfiger

Nitika, who you may remember as this saucy minx, was our first model, and her look was Bronze Babe. Love the way the colors look on her.

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Trend: Electric Blue 


Spring 2016 looks from Nanette Lepore and Sonia Rykiel

Cait was the second model and with newly-bleached blonde hair, Brianne decided on the Electric blue look.


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Trend: Candy Apple Red


Spring 2016 looks from Acne and Topshop Unique

The last look is on Tiff, and the Candy Apple red looks awesome on her.


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Checking ourselves out…


Thank you Brianne! We love you!


All makeup trend photos from this cool article by Harper’s Bazaar.

All other photos by Tiff and Cait

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C + T / Kate Korpi


Tiff and Cait have pretty high standards when it comes to hair and faces. We think they are both pretty important things, and we want them well-taken care of. We are constantly looking for great new places, and we were thrilled to come across Kate Korpi Salon. The sixth-floor salon is relatively new in Phnom Penh, and located in the SunCity complex. Despite it’s new-kid status in the Penh, it’s set the standard for quality pretty-making services.

The owner of Kate Korpi, Matthew Fairfax, was introduced to Cambodia through a client while he was living in Seattle. He had been managing a high-end salon and one of the patrons insisted that he talk to her friend about Cambodia. With a fair amount of skepticism and good manners, Matthew agreed to a coffee, and the rest is history. As he said in our interview, coffee is dangerous.

After a few years of visits to Cambodia, research, local interviews and second guessing, Matthew made the decision to pack up his life in Seattle and move to Phnom Penh. But before making the big move across the big blue, he pulled together a team of experts to kick-start the salon. Enter Brianne and Timea, the lead hair stylist/colorist and make up artist, who are just like your coolest friends, but they make you better looking every time you see them. Alana joined the team a few months ago, as another hair wizard, and is a wonderful addition to the team.


Brianne at work


Matthew providing entertainment


Timea and Lucinda, bonding over blowouts


Tiff’s transformation to ombre

Kate Korpi isn’t only a salon, it also serves as a training center for young Cambodians who want to work in the industry. Each year, Matthew returns to Seattle for the annual fundraiser, Fashion SOULstice, which looks like a ton on fun. The money raised at this event goes into providing scholarships for students participating in the two year program. Most of the students in the program come from rough beginnings and it’s no secret that Cambodia has it’s fair share of human rights issues to deal with. Some of the students participating in the training program have been through the worst of it.

The training system at Kate Korpi starts with the basics, things like shampooing and drying, and as the student starts to grow, the training program grows with them. The goal of the program isn’t to shape the student into someone who can make it in Cambodia, but to help them become someone who can make it any where in the world. They instructors keep standards in the salon incredibly high, and they take the “Nordstrom” route when it comes to customer satisfaction: if you aren’t happy, they will fix it and make sure you leave with what you came for.

Along with the training in technical skills, the students are given leadership training and life-skills training, which is everything from general management to lessons in budgeting. It has become a place for previously vulnerable people to become empowered and change their own lives.

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One of the coolest things about the salon is that they attract stylists from all over the world. Guest artists come to Cambodia for a minimum of one month (ideally more), work with the team, help out with the training, all while exploring a crazy new country. (Attention cool stylist friends: please come visit!)

For Cait’s show last month, the amazing team at Kate Korpi took the reigns for hair and make up, and made it work for all 16 ladies in one afternoon. Total pros.

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Thanks, Kate Korpi, for being a wonderful place to get beautified, and for doing such beautiful things in the world.

Kate Korpi Salon

#255 Street 51, corner of 370

For appointments, call 023 988 166


Photos are property of Tiffany Tsang and Julia White.

Please request permission for use.




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T / there’s a first time for everything

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A hair chair thanks to the fine folks at London’s Town Hall Hotel

Getting your hair dyed when all you’ve known is monochromatic black for your entire life is…daunting.  I’ve seen enough horrible dye jobs on my dark-haired fellows over these three decades, so you can’t blame a girl for being a little scared about taking the leap.  The thought of multiple bleach jobs, then colour, sitting for hours in a chair, and just waiting waiting waiting.

But I can understand the need to be unique.  And sometimes a cut isn’t enough.  Besides, it felt like everyone was getting a beauty job done this week.

So not only were the fabulous peeps at Kate Korpi Salon getting a top notch rep in colouring and doing good work  in supporting young Cambodian talent (more about their work soon!), but our pal Vesna posted this beautiful photo of her gorgeous sis, and I knew I wanted something more.

The best part was that Timea, lead stylist at Kate Korpi, knew exactly what I wanted: a warm and subtle ombré for these virgin strands.  She had fun walking me through every step of the process (it’s not every day you get a first-timer). And the best part is that we didn’t even need to bleach my hair!  From the colour selection, to the foiling, the super futuristic heating lamp that made me feel like I was here. And the final product and cut.

Hair-CollageThe change from black to a warm brown are really subtle and and the photo doesn’t really do the job justice.  But I can tell you is that I had a huge smile on my face when Timea started drying and the warm brown started to shine through.

I’m already thinking of going lighter next time, so it’s likely that I am not going back to black.tiffsig