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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 20, 2011

Look good to feel better in Altamont

By Jo E. Prout

ALTAMONT — Since Liberty LiVecchi’s salon Li Bella opened in August, business has been good. In fact, business is going “really, really well,” according to LiVecchi. Li Bella employees are busy flying across the country to style wedding attendants, posing in cosmetology publications, and volunteering with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program.

Li Bella, next to Bella Fleur in Knowersville Plaza on Route 146, marks LiVecchi’s return to the Altamont business scene, after a stint in Guilderland moved her from her previous village salon, Spa LaVie.

“Most of our clientele are local people from Altamont,” LiVecchi said. “Some people come every four weeks, from Oneonta and New York City. They’ve been doing it for years, and they think nothing of it.”

LiVecchi said she has been a professional hair stylist for 22 years. For some of that time, she did platform work, styling hair for runway models or for those attending big events, she said.

“I worked in New York City and did platform work then. Competition work, that sort of thing. I have a degree in vocational education. I can actually teach cosmetology,” she said.

She said her local clients like her new salon.

“They like the atmosphere. They like the coziness. It’s not a big salon. When you think of a quaint village, that’s what people think.”

LiVecchi works with hair stylist and make-up artist Sarah McDonald and nail technician Michelle Butler.

“We travel all the time doing [continuing] education,” LiVecchi said.

McDonald specializes in going on-location to do hair and make-up at events like weddings, LiVecchi said.

Butler “specializes in gel nails,” LiVecchi said. Gel nails are “healthier for the finger. It lets them breathe,” she said.

“We do men, women, and children,” she said. She has styled hair for clients in childhood, helped them at prom time, and even done their hair on their wedding days, LiVecchi said.

“When you look good on the outside, it makes you feel better on the inside,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I love it.”

In the brochure she wrote for Li Bella, LiVecchi said that her goal is to enhance a person’s natural beauty to “ ‘let it shine forth for all to see.’ I really believe that,” she said.

LiVecchi volunteers with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program. The program’s website, www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org, states that the program “teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.”

Group programs are open to women undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or other forms of treatment, according to the site. In the United States, 700,000 women have participated in the program.

“I volunteer with them and do a lot of work for them,” LiVecchi said, adding that she has been involved with the program for almost three years.

In the program, cosmetologists lead step-by-step makeover learning sessions for cancer patients. Participants receive both free makeup kits with brand-name cosmetics, and the support of other women coping with cancer treatment, according to the site.

Giving back to others influences the products LiVecchi uses at Li Bella, also. Her salon uses and sells Paul Mitchell products exclusively, she said.

“I really like the products. They’ve been around a long time. They give back proceeds, to help the rainforest and other programs,” LiVecchi said. “They are very innovative. They come up with new products or tools. They’re kind of the whole package for me, for what I’m looking for.”

Her fellow stylist, McDonald, will be photographed soon demonstrating techniques as the My Lady cosmetology textbooks are redone. As for LiVecchi, “I’m going to Florida to do a big wedding. They’re flying me down in August,” she said.

Local residents can still catch her at Li Bella Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Women’s cuts begin at $37, with color treatments beginning at $18. Men and children’s cuts start at $18, she said.

“We specialize in families,” she said.

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