The Right Hair Stylist

This post is sponsored by Daniel Smits Salon. All opinions are my own.

I moved to Princeton, New Jersey from New York city 15 years ago. For most of that time, I haven’t been able to find a good hair colorist. I’m not looking for anything dramatic, like platinum or purple hair.  My natural hair is bland brown, which is why I want natural-looking blonde highlights with a coordinating base color.

Sounds simple, right? Well, actually getting the right blonde and shade for your complexion is one of the most complicated things to get correct in the hairstyle industry. I’ve been to expensive salons and non expensive salons in this area. I didn’t like anybody I’ve seen or what they did to my hair.  It would end up brassy, or too blond, or too contrasting. Until a friend of mine suggested I try Daniel Smits salon in Princeton and specifically Tina Claudio for color. Thinking that I have exhausted all avenues by already visiting most salons in my area, I had nothing to lose. And so I went.

From the minute I walked into Daniel Smits salon I felt as if I was transported back into New York City. The white walls, chic decor and fashion clad stylists put me in a New York State of mind. And if you’re a New Yorker, there’s nothing more welcoming than that.


Tina came forward carrying a dazzling warm smile. Tina is a delightfully likeable stylist who approaches you with warmth and understanding. We exchanged everyday pleasantries and she guided me to her work station. When I sat down, she looked very carefully at my hair, the length, the roots, the works. She then considered my skin, my eyebrows, (which a lot of stylists have missed). Tina studied me and then in her head, figured out just the right toner she would need to use to bring out my blue eyes. As she began to give her consultation, I couldn’t help but think, this stylist knows what she is talking about.

IMG_20180620_095225                                             Tina Claudio

More than 22 years in the business have taught Tina not to push clients but ask, and when she concludes her suggestions, she pauses and politely asks if I approve. Approve? I am positively gaga over this free-flowing experience that makes me feel like I’m a stylist-in-training myself. I can’t wait to see the outcome. “Go for it,” I tell Tina.

As Tina excuses herself to mix my toner in her lab, another attentive assistant approaches to enquire if I’d like a cappuccino. “Why yes I would,” I concur. With a copy of Architectural Digest magazine in hand, I sit back and give in to the transformation.

Tina is always on time, which is another positive that makes me appreciate her even more. You will be taken at the exact time of your appointment and she spends a little over an hour on my hair (a dream time). She’s quick and precise, which in today’s waiting-for-your-hair-appointment-time world can be a huge plus.

Tina sees many clients at Daniel Smits salon, however, she works only part time. If you want an appointment, you better schedule two months in advance because that’s what a good hairstylist means. But she’s worth it and you’ll know the minute you leave the salon.

“I love when clients leave and feel beautiful and good about themselves,” says Tina. “It’s a great feeling when you can change a person’s appearance with a haircut and color.”

And as for me, I don’t have to look for another hair stylist.


Please visit: Daniel Smits Salon or call


for your appointment.
















(Main image)

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