LG Superfan: Beauty and Wellness Expert Eva Scrivo
Our ongoing Q&A series features Leonor Greyl brand ambassadors who share our passion for luxurious, healthy hair. We talk about their career paths, celebrity encounters, style secrets, and more.
Imagine Catherine Zeta-Jones wielding scissors with surgical precision and mixing color like Vermeer. That’s Leonor Greyl brand ambassador Eva Scrivo, as once described perfectly by Marie Claire magazine.
Eva is a renowned celebrity stylist, New York salon owner, and award-winning author of the ultimate beauty bible. (And, yes, she does look a lot like Catherine Zeta-Jones.)
Chances are you’ve seen her give advice and makeovers on the Today Show, Extra, The View, Good Day NY, and talk shows hosted by Martha Stewart and Katie Couric. Or you’ve seen looks she created for editorial shoots by legendary fashion photographers for Vogue, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and more. Most recently, Eva has been the dedicated makeup and hair artist on the set of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Eva and the Leonor Greyl family have enjoyed a decade-long partnership – a match made in heaven because we both believe in the intersection of health and beauty.
Eva Scrivo Salons are in three N.Y. locations – a sophisticated flagship on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, a small chic studio on the Upper East Side, and a new location about an hour North in the upscale, rural suburbs of Pound Ridge, N.Y., serving clients who fled the Big Apple this past year, as well as many of the long time Hudson Valley and Connecticut residents.
We reached Eva by phone at her home in Katonah, where she lives with her husband and 12-month-old pandemic puppy, a spirited Rhodesian Ridgeback named Roman. We chatted about her favorite LG products and her advice for anyone considering a major pandemic hair makeover.
LG: Hi Eva! Let’s start by learning more about what you call your “hairitage.”
ES: Well, I’m a third-generation hairdresser. My grandfather was a barber in Italy and later a barbershop owner in Detroit, and my father was a hairdresser until he switched to interior design. My mother was a professional model. So, I had a lot of wonderful influences and strong role models in fashion and beauty.
I’ve been cutting hair since I was about 11 years old, starting with trimming the back of my father’s hair. He taught me the old-world style of Italian barbering. That means using scissor over comb on dry hair, following the shape of the head and facial structure. It really laid the groundwork for me to pursue precision haircutting.
LG: There wasn’t any doubt about which career you’d pursue?
ES: When I was young, I studied drawing, painting, sewing, and drama. But I was always very passionate about makeup and hairstyling. I moved to New York City when I was in my early 20s and worked as a makeup artist. The experience really laid the groundwork for me to become proficient at hair color, you know, painting with precision and working with different complexions, eye colors, and tones.
While I was doing makeup for fashion and television shoots, I met a lot of clients who were unhappy with their hair. I would invite them to my apartment for haircuts on Sundays. Within a few years, I built up such a large clientele that my super was not happy with the number of people coming and going. That’s when I opened my first studio in the East Village. I’ve been a salon owner for 25 years now.
As we grew our team, we also developed our own educational program for stylists and colorists. (Eva created a proprietary technique called “The Painted Cut.”) And we developed an agency of hair and makeup artists who regularly work in television, music, editorial, fashion, weddings, and other special events.
LG: What was that first “spark” that introduced you to the Leonor Greyl line?
ES: It was a client who went to a salon in Paris and bought Shampooing Reviviscence. She brought it to my salon for her appointment and asked me to use it because she loved it so much. I was really taken with the natural ingredient list and the aromatherapy aspect – the entire experience.
So, I started researching the brand and realized it’s in line with my personal belief that hair, skin, and scalp are one. Supporting a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair. Leonor Greyl products are a true compliment to my work, especially as more clients request natural alternatives, ones that truly work.
I really enjoy the styling capabilities. And, most importantly, I appreciate having silicone-free products so the hair can stay cleaner longer. My clients appreciate that when it comes to maintaining their style for days after leaving the salon.
LG: How does using wrong products also affect scalp health?
ES: The recent obsessions with dry shampoo and style extenders – basically Band-Aids for dirty hair – have proven not be great for hair health.
In general, I believe educating clients is a very important part of my job. It’s not just about teaching people how to use products; it’s explaining why they should or should not use them. They need to understand the “why,” the science behind healthy hair. And the science of Leonor Greyl really resonates with my clients.
LG: When you are on set, which Leonor Greyl products are favorites?
When you arrive on a shoot, your job often is to style or refresh dry hair. You don’t always have the luxury of washing and working with clean hair. So, Laque Souple is one of my go-to styling sprays for fine hair. It’s wonderful to work with by blow-drying hair either with a round brush to refresh the dry style or to start building body. For clients at home, it’s wonderful on day two: Spray in the root area, brush it through, take a round brush and apply a little bit more.
Baume Bois de Rose is my all-time favorite for building body and shape. It’s fantastic on short hair for texture and on fine hair to build girth, define wave patterns, bring out layers of a haircut, and create definition. It magically expands the hair cuticle. The balm is fantastic when a photographer or fashion client needs an impactful level of volume. And it’s perfect for clients who want to refresh a style mid-day or on day two after a salon service.
LG: Which product you rely on to style Samantha Bee, your most frequent celebrity client these days?
ES: Baume Bois de Rose is fantastic for eliminating flyaways, whether we are shooting outside or in a studio where errant strands can appear magnified depending on the background.
You know, all of these styling tips I’m sharing about film and television shoots are very relatable to our regular clients because everyone wants to look more telegenic while teleconferencing without relying on Zoom filter.
LG: As a colorist, what are your go-to hair-health recommendations for clients with balayaged, bleached, and highlighted hair?
ES: They greatly benefit from the essential oils, specifically L’Huile de Leonor Greyl. I recommend adding it at night to the ends and length, massaging a little bit into the scalp, and giving it a good brushing. In the morning, wash it out. It helps eliminate product residue and nourish with natural oil.
LG: You have a reputation for creating the most amazing hair makeovers. We know many people who are a year overdue for a cut and color and are eager to try something dramatically different. What do you recommend?
ES: Everyone is looking for a good stylist, but you also need to know how to be a good client. You have to do your research, bring reference photos, and know how much effort you want to put into maintaining a new style.
Try to book the first appointment of the day, lessening the chance that you’ll feel squeezed in between other appointments. If you are meeting with a new stylist, start with a blow dry appointment. Use that time to “interview” the stylist. See how well they work with your hair and what products they use. Get a cut and color consultation. Then make your next appointment soon after so your conversation is fresh in his or her mind.
LG: Early in the pandemic, you had two busy salons (Pound Ridge salon opened in 2021), an agency, an academy, and television appearances shut down for at least four months. How did you cope with all that unexpected free time?
ES: Thankfully, my family and I remained healthy. It allowed me time to do some soul searching and think about my future. I never had that much time off since I was a kid! It was a very unique and fulfilling time to be home. It also served as the impetus for starting our at-home color kits because clients could not go to salons but still wanted to have nice hair color. Having downtime like this, when the noise is cut out, can be an incredible time for creativity and new ideas.
LG: What realizations did you come to?
ES: Despite having been on incredibly lavish trips, working with some of the world’s top photographers, and appearing as a beauty expert on television shows, the most thrilling and rewarding experience of my career has been connecting with my clients. I missed that a lot.
There are other silver linings… Once we were shuttered, many hairstylists had a real “come to Jesus” moment not only about our incomes but about the way we function as artists who suddenly couldn’t get near our clients. It made me look back at old dreams and projects that I shelved because I was busy with the salon. Now I am reviving them, including continuing to move forward with our at-home color business by developing my own glaze formulas.
I also realized the importance of daily exercise and having time for home-cooked meals. You know, I’m an avid cook and would probably own a restaurant if I didn’t own a salon. We got a wood-burning oven last summer and began to cook everything outside. It’s been a really nurturing experience and an obsession for my husband, who has since become a skilled wood oven cook.
LG: What would you name your restaurant? What would be the specialty?
ES: I’d name it Cenzo after my late father, who was a wonderful chef.
I gravitate to northern Italian dishes. I’ve traveled all over Italy, and I love food inspired by Tuscany and Bologna. I would love to bring that simplicity of cooking to this area where I live.
LG: You wrote an award-winning book in 2011, “Eva Scrivo on Beauty: The Tools, Techniques, and Insider Knowledge Every Woman Needs to Be Her Most Beautiful, Confident Self.” Do you have another book in you?
ES: I would love to write a book on beauty and the incredible transformations that come from the trifecta of cut, color, and makeup.
LG: Well, we will be first in line to purchase it! Eva, thank you for spending time with us today.
ES: My pleasure!
You can purchase a signed copy of “Eva Scrivo on Beauty” on her website, where she also sells popular at-home custom color kits. Follow @EvaScrivoSalons on Instagram for more LG style inspiration (and to see pics of her puppy!).