Sitting in Leslie Lever’s beauty chair is a catalyst for transformation. Beneath the physical metamorphosis, Leslie’s goal is to create more than a simple trim or highlight.
“I enjoy being apart of the transformational process, but more importantly I enjoy helping a person feel better about themselves and more confident inside. Being a stylist isn’t just about making someone look and feel their best. We liter ally have the influence to impact a person emotionally, mentally, and spiritually just by being present with them,” she says.
Leslie encountered her first experience with transformation as a student at Imageworks Academy in Spanish Fork right after high school. She and the school creative team would take to the streets of Spanish Fork and offer to give passersby a free makeover. These makeovers would air on local TV.
“It was amazing to see the transformations in each person we made over. Their confidence grew and their countenance changed. It was inspiring. I was hooked from there on out,” she says.
This experience also sparked Leslie’s desire to work in the film industry. One of her first film gigs in Utah was doing extensions for four short religious films.
“I think from those early jobs my reputation began to grow. ‘Leslie is the new extensions girl.’ She knows how to transform people. It was like I became the go-to transformation guru in the beginning,” she says. “Then people started to realize, ‘Oh she can do special effects and make up too?!’ It was fun. My career began to snowball from there.”
Leslie has worked on dozens of sets for motion pictures, short films, TV shows and commercials doing both hair and makeup. Some of her most recent productions include “Matchmaker Christmas,” (premiered on Lifetime) and “Love, Fall & Order” (shown on Hallmark Channel).
Now, Leslie splits her time between readying actors and extras on set and seeing clients at Calm Spa & Salon. In her 15 year career, Leslie has truly learned to value her one on one time with each client she encounters.
Making her clients feel loved is both a science and an art — a talent and a skill. Leslie has learned best practices to connect with her clients.
“It’s all about connection, and asking a lot of questions. Helping the client feel heard and understood. Making eye contact. Truly being interested in each person is key,” she says. “Let your client talk more than you talk. I like to think of the 70/30 rule. I am pretty open about myself when my clients ask me questions. I don’t get too personal, but I will be honest with them. When they feel my honesty they seem to open up more,” Leslie says.
After a decade and a half of professional work, Leslie’s artistic hands have beautified thousands of faces and heads of hair. She hopes her reputation now extends beyond the physical transformation.
“I feel I am talented in my craft, but more than anything I care about the legacy I will ultimately leave behind. For me, it’s about loving all my clients, actors, actresses, friends and especially family. When all is said and done, it’s about how I made that one person feel when they sat in my chair,” Leslie says.