Brandon and Greer McDonald emanate Southern hospitality and natural cheerfulness that are a perfect fit for their new Memorial City blow dry bar and makeup lounge, Brush & Blush.
The Louisiana natives are right at home in Houston, a city that has always been on their radar. As teenagers, it was a weekend destination that left an indelible mark on each of them, even though they definitely have lots of love for their home state.
“Getting a blowout is one of life’s luxuries, so I wanted the salon to feel luxurious too."
Blowout bars aren’t breaking news these days, so the couple went to great lengths finding new products and services to offer, but it’s the journey of just how Brush & Blush came to be that’s as fun as the salon itself.
The two first met in Spanish class when they were 13 and were friends in high school, but lost touch after graduation. Greer went on to get her nursing degree and Brandon worked in operations for a large company.
Thanks to early social media (hello Myspace) the two re-connected in a big way, going on their first date on Valentine’s Day and soon getting engaged.
Their happily ever after was cut short, however, thanks to the combination of Hurricane Ike and the unfortunate timing of their wedding venue, Tuscany in Garden Oaks, going bankrupt.
“We had prepaid for everything,” Greer says. “We were just one of the couples affected.” A 2008 Houston Chronicle story reported that at least 100 couples lost close to $800,000 combined due to the wedding space bankruptcy.
Oprah To The Rescue
Enter everybody’s favorite fairy godmother Oprah. She heard about the devastated brides and passed the story along to Rachael Ray and suddenly, the wedding was back on, although it was much different from how they had imagined.
“We were married with 32 other couples at Minute Maid Park on the Rachael Ray Show,” Greer says. “It happened quickly. All the brides went to David’s Bridal and chose dresses and took mine apart and redid it before the wedding.”
The McDonalds were married on the baseball field, which had been transformed into a white and silver wonderland. It was an unexpected turn, but they enjoyed the moment, looking ahead to the future, which brought them to Brush & Blush.
The couple had always wanted to own their business and after Brandon lost his job in company layoffs, they decided now was the time.
“We wanted to do something different, something we love,” Brandon says.
The salon blends shabby chic and modern touches for a 2,000-square-foot space that is bright and airy. Greer had a vision for the space and with Mallory Gaylor of Mohle Design Inc., installed herringbone wood floors, couture wood grain metallic wallpaper and quartz composite marble countertops.
“Getting a blowout is one of life’s luxuries, so I wanted the salon to feel luxurious too,” Greer says.
Twelve blow dry stations line three sides of the salon and the four shampoo chairs massage clients with soft bursts of air. The Brush menu offers blowouts, updos, braids and the Brazilian Blowout, a professional smoothing treatment. For a nominal fee, clients can come back for a blowout refresh within 48 hours.
Brush & Blush is one of the few salons in the area carrying Kevyn Aucoin cosmetics and each of three makeup stations feature Glamcor adjustable LED lighting mirrors that mimic daylight, candlelight and all points in between.
Brush & Blush also works as a pampering party venue for just about any occasion, giving clients the options to rent a side of salon or the entire space. Parties start at $750 an hour and include all regular salon services.
“We love our jobs and are just happy to come here every day,” Greer says.
Sounds like sometimes you really do get a happily ever after.