The Candidate: Laura Sterling
June 2022 Issue
Story and Photography By Nancy McGregor
The Candidate: Laura Sterling
Laura Sterling is our makeover candidate this month. She runs Laura’s Little Critter Barn, which is a not-for-profit haven for wild and domestic animals. Walking into Laura’s house means you’ll encounter a variety of contented creatures. You are first greeted by a canine crew of varying ages and temperaments. In the corner of the dining room is a floor-to-ceiling cage housing two baby squirrels. By the kitchen is a nest of kittens and their momma, who was found in the middle of a busy highway with her head stuck in a can. Laura stopped the car and ran into traffic to save her life. In gratitude, the kitty promptly presented Laura with two kittens. In the living room, under the window, is a crate containing two baby piglets. In the powder room, just off the living room, are two tiny, spotted, baby deer who are still being bottle fed.
To say that Laura Sterling is a unique woman is a bit of an understatement. Laura is both sweetly gentle and hotly fierce. She has carved out a life that makes her the kindest darling to some and the steely-eyed foe to others. She once went to a political meeting, one filled with solemn gravitas, with a tiny baby opossum hunkered down in her pocket. The little baby was on the brink of life and needed to be kept warm and safe. To Laura, who was there to dispense some of her fiery intelligence, the tiny life was equally important as the room full of dignified politicians. How many women do you know who would head to city hall with a pocket full of ‘possum?
In many ways, Laura Sterling is part of the fabric of the local Lowcountry. Another part of the weave is found in a small store. The quintessential experience of Bluffton, South Carolina, is nested inside the gently reared store known as “Eggs ’n’ tricities.” In fact, it’s very possible that Bluffton wouldn’t be Bluffton without the retail therapy bestowed by this particular store. It’s a bit of living history that thrives in this historic, artist-imbued town.
This place is the repository of much of the offbeat atmosphere in Old Town Bluffton, while being on fleek with current trends. If you suddenly realize you need a Mary Francis Fairytales Top-Handle handbag or a Johnny Was silk dress, this is where you run. You can also grab items for the home, from a pack of cocktail napkins to a dishtowel that mentions your personal slogan to a spirit animal sculpture to adorn your shelves. So it is to this creative mecca that our makeover candidate made her first stop. For Laura’s outfit, after trying on several styles, we chose demure, white, straight-leg trousers with zippered pockets and paired them with a fiery watered-silk red blouse.
When it came to Laura’s hair, after a FaceTime consultation, we arrived at our contributing salon. Owner Tara Horton created HairPlay Salon Color and Dry Bar in 2014. This bustling storefront salon has become an epicenter for style and beauty. They do a fantastic job, offering everything from cuts, color, perms, blowouts and extensions. Plus, they carry the CBD-charged smoothing products by Leaf and Flower, which is a line of products made by stylists for stylists.
Stylist Shivhan Sims lead our makeover and gave our candidate exactly what she had hoped for. Laura wanted to tone down her gray, but she didn’t want to completely hide it. She wanted a simple cut that could make the most of her hair without needing daily styling. Shivhan used Goldwell Colorance Semi Permanent Color in N5 because it enhances the natural color without being opaque. It also helps bring damaged hair back to life by regenerating almost 70% of lost lipids, which creates silky shine. After the color, Shivhan styled Laura’s hair in a mass of waves and curls to give it beautiful body and fullness.
Finally, we finished the makeover at the private Photography Studio, Photospoon, where Laura’s makeup was completed. We used Farmasi VX Pro Camera Ready foundation along with Matte Le Femme Blush and Eyeshadow to enhance her features.
It’s not the first time Laura has visited Photospoon Studio. She posed for a fine art portrait last year (see bottom left). The image style used then was a revival of an artistic approach to photography known as Pictorialism. This style emphasizes the beauty of subject, along with the tonality and composition, rather than a stark documentation of reality. The Pictorialist perspective was born in the late 1860s and is undergoing a renewed interest, as the images are usually completed in the camera, rather than in Photoshop. The image of Laura was designed to be a modern version of an Old Master Renaissance Painting. The image took two weeks to plan, build and execute. The work was worth it, however, since it won an International Portrait Master award. Photospoon specializes in woman over 40 and fine art portraits.
Check them out for yourself!
Laura’s Little Critter Barn
113 Foreman Hill Rd,
HairPlay Salon Color and Dry Bar
1211 Newcastle St, Suite A
Eggs ’n’ tricities
5 Lawton Street
Old Town Bluffton
By appointment only
Nancy McGregor Photography
www.photospoon.com | Bluffton, SC 29910