If you’re a Girl that loves to look her best and know you’re going to be in or around Austin Texas then you need to take the time and make the effort to get in to see Jon at Salon Muse.
I feel like I’ve been teasing you about this little gem of a secret forever now, and I apologize but I consider Jon a friend and wanted to get a chance to talk with him a little more before spilling the beans.
So here’s the scoop; Jon is adorable and fun and knows the T-girls heart because he’s ‘T’ to the bone. While he’s currently taking a break, he’s lived as a woman for years and devoted his life to his art; he is incredibly supportive, encouraging, and discreet. Jon takes great pride in his work and is dedicated to making you look your best.
The first time I went to see Jon, I was a little nervous, I had never seen a stylist before or had my hair done up en-femme. I came in wearing my man clothes and waited anxiously for him to come out not knowing what to expect. Well you can’t miss that smile or that welcoming voice when he comes round the corner and says hello.
Immediately I felt as if I was in my best friend’s living room and we were just having girl time. We had talked on the phone briefly when I scheduled my appointment and for this particular night I was asking Jon to do a complete make-over, including hair and make-up. It only took Jon a moment to size me up and know what direction I needed to go.
Now; if you have the opportunity to schedule a long enough session, Jon will take the time to talk you through everything he does and teach you as much as possible about the tools and techniques he’s using to transform you. Then when you’re done he’ll give you your list of colors and tips so that you can begin practicing on your own.
For me, he started on my hair; curlers, a little cutting to clean up some loose ends and such, and then a shit-load of styling. If you’ve been following my pictures you may have wondered, but I’ll just go ahead and tell you straight up that is my real hair. I’ve worn it long since I got married over 9 years ago and can’t imagine it any other way. After styling Jon had to take a quick appointment to help another client and asked if I wouldn’t mind waiting for a bit.
This isn’t the norm, but because he was fitting me into his busy schedule -- which he noted when we taked -- I was prepared.
Loving the look he had created with my hair I was already feeling more confident and also hungry; so me and my Big-80’s super styled hair took off across the street to get a bite to eat. Being a girl that was not all that accustomed to going out I felt a little self conscious as the wind blew my do around for all to see, but I enjoyed nothing but smiles and polite service and conversation from everyone at the little bistro (they make a divine tortilla soup). After my snack I grabbed a take-out order for my new friend and walked back across the street to get finished up.
Once inside his salon again the magic really began to take shape. My hair was pinned back while the artist went to work on my face. We hadn’t scheduled the time block for learning the make-up, instead I just watched in mute fascination as his brushes whirled around my eyes transforming me from the sea-battered sailor I was coming in to the prom queen I was to become for the night. He is an unmatched expert in contouring your face, he will use his colors to reshape your face to a point where you won’t even recognize yourself, and that’s how I felt when I left. Like so many of us, dressing up isn’t new to me, but in 40+ years of trying I had never come close to the look Jon gave me that first time, I was beautiful and amazed and ready to hit the streets.
A quick note here the other must see reason for visiting Jon at Salon Muse is information! He gives you the dirty run down on everything and everywhere that’s happening in Austin. He’ll clue you in to what bars are kickin’, where the drag shows are, where the best food is, and where a T-girl can feel their best and get a few cat calls. He knows the owners of the bars, the patrons that hang out in them, and works with the performers in the shows. Jon has made Austin his home long enough that he’s plugged in completely. If you have a question, ask the man and he’ll fill you in.
I think all together I spent 3 hours with Jon that first afternoon. I was still stuck in my closet and trying to find Vivian when Jon helped me turn on a light so I could find the door. It seems silly to look back on my anxiety, but I was scared. I didn’t let Jon see me all dressed up. I could have (he has a dressing room available to all his clients so you can comfortably go in as a man and come out as a woman), but I wasn’t ready for that. Instead I just let my face and hair shine as I jumped in my truck and ran home as quickly as I could to complete getting ready for a night of fun and excitement.
Since then I keep going back to him both because of the amazing work he does and the friend he’s become. Of course I no longer worry about hiding, Vivian goes to see Jon every time. When I started with Jon it was for special occasions and the works package. Now he’s just my regular stylist, he keeps my hair in a beautiful feminine cut and even accents it with highlights and a splash of color. We have long appointments with great conversation, and as I’m getting set to start my own journey into hormones and a more complete female life I know that I’ve got one hell of a resource and support network around me because of Jon and the work and commitment he’s put into the TG community here in Austin and around the world. He’ll tell you he’s got the top selling TG transformation CD in the world (and it’s true), you can find him at the Southern Comfort Convention most years helping girls look their best and keeping up with our community, and you can read and learn more about him and what he does and believes in on his TGTransformations website.
So; if you’re looking for a place to break out of your own closet and can appreciate someone willing to help you take those first steps, you may want to plan a nice weekend trip to Austin some time in your not too distant future and get to know a very talented artist. It’s a great place to start your adventure. Just be sure to call ahead and schedule your time accordingly. Jon is fabulous and everyone here knows it. His schedule is booked solid for months in advance and just getting a spot is reason to celebrate.