Leah Taylor

Owner/Master Stylist

@leahmichaeltaylor_hairstylist

While taking some time off from college in 2002, Leah began working at a small boutique spa in her hometown of Shepherdstown, WV. Her youthful passion for cosmetology and experimenting on her own and her friend’s hair grew to be more than just a hobby. She decided to return to school at Towson University (2003-2005) and, while studying full-time to complete her degree, she completed a cosmetology apprenticeship program. Soon after being licensed, she started working at a salon in Baltimore City that focused on a more organic and holistic approach. After 9 years she decided to make her dream a reality. That brought the creation of Smoke+Mirrors – a salon based on integrity, creativity and artistry. She prioritizes working with companies and brands that are creating positive change for the industry and the environment while placing more importance on ethical decisions in a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable way. Each client she works with allows her to focus on the reasons why she first got involved in the industry. She loves working with her clients’ needs and desires to make their visions reality; creating effortless color and cuts that work with the natural texture of their hair.

Achievements and Certifications

  • 2005 – B.A./B.S. in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Design and Production from Towson University
  • 2008 – Obtained her Senior Stylist license in MD
  • 2011 – Published in Hair Now magazine
  • 2016 – Educator training for Simply Organic Beauty, specializing in Oway
  • 2017 – Men’s NY Fashion Week with O&M
  • 2018 – NY Fashion Week with O&M
  • 2018, Spring – Owayans event with Oway in Bologna, Italy
  • 2018, Fall – Holistic Hair Retreat in Bologna, Italy with Oway and Simply Organic
  • 2019 – Simply Organic Educator training
  • 2020 – Cezanne Keratin Smoothing Treatment Certification
  • 2020 – Hotheads Sewn-In Weft Extension Certification

HOLLY BURNHAM

Senior Stylist

@hollyburnham.hair

Holly Burnham has been a stylist since she graduated from Robert Paul Academy in 2001. She is passionate about helping clients find the best style for their hair type along with educating them on how to recreate and care for their hairstyle at home. She specializes in working with fine and curly hair, along with blonding, fashion and dimensional color. When Holly is not behind the chair, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband, gardening, and both styling and photographing for editorial shoots. You can see Holly’s styling work published in a wide array of publications including Baltimore Magazine, The Knot, Baltimore Style, W Magazine, Under Armour, Pandora Jewelry, as well as for Centerstage of Baltimore and the Washington Ballet.

Achievements and Certifications

  • 2009 – First place in Avant-Garde Hair Wars
  • Certified with Microlink and Tape-In Extensions
  • 2017 – Baltimore Magazine’s “Best Colorist”
  • Brand certified with Organic Way and Original Mineral
  • Advanced education: Organic Way, Original Mineral, Wella Advanced Color, Graham Webb International Academy of Hair in classic, advanced and long hair cutting
  • 2019 – NY Fashion Week with Original Mineral

CAITLIN HELLE

Senior Stylist

@caithelle_hair

Caitlin Helle has been working in the industry since 2009. She specializes in balayage, blonding, shags, curly hair and helping clients find the best style for their natural hair texture that matches their personal style. She is passionate about the community and is often networking and organizing photoshoots with other small businesses, in addition to doing outreach for local non-profits. Outside of her professional life, Caitlin loves shopping for vintage clothing, road trips/travel, caring for her jungle of house plants, and spending time with her cat, Cheddar.

Achievements and Certifications

  • 2012 – Certified Educator for Simply Organic Beauty
  • 2013 – Featured in “The Colorist” magazine as “30 Under 30 Colorists to Watch”
  • 2014 – Obtained her Senior Stylist License
  • 2016 – Educator training with Simply Organic, specializing in Oway
  • 2017 – Men’s NY Fashion Week with Original Mineral
  • 2018 – NY Fashion Week
  • 2018 – Aveeno commercial
  • 2019 – Nominated as Smoke+Mirror’s Viceroy for Cult+King
  • 2020 – Cezanne Keratin Smoothing Treatment Certification

JOSH POWELL

Senior Stylist

@boyjoshdoeshair

Josh graduated from the Paul Mitchell Partner School in Annapolis, MD in 2016, but that’s not where his journey began. Josh grew up in the beauty industry, assisting both his mother and grandmother, who were stylists and salon owners in his hometown of St. Augustine, Florida. He specializes in blonding from soft natural blondes to extreme icy blondes. He loves taking on challenging creative processes, beautiful natural color melts, and avant-garde creations. He believes hairstyling is an art and has no gender or race. Therefore, he is always inspired by the individuality of each and every person that sits in his chair.

Achievements and Certifications

  • 2016 – Top 100 in the Professional Beauty Associations Beacon editorial competition
  • 2018 – Platform Stylist at ELEVATAE HAIR show
  • 2018 – Nominated Baltimore’s Best Stylist
  • 2019 – Certified Educator for Simply Organic Beauty
  • Advanced Education: Organic Way, Original Mineral, Wella, Pulp Riot, Brazilian Bond Builder, Rusk, Oster, Joico, Hattori Hanzo and Redken
  • Brand Certified: Keratin Complex, Brazilian Blowout and Deva Curl
  • 2019 – Represented Smoke+Mirrors in Bologna, Italy for the Holistic Hair Retreat with Oway and Simply Organic
  • 2020 – Trained in Tape-in extensions

BRYAN TARKA

Stylist

@bryantarka

Bryan graduated from the Paul Mitchell Partner School, located in Historic Downtown Frederick and received his cosmetology license in 2017. Growing up, Bryan had changed his hair to just about every color imaginable, which sparked his initial interest in the cosmetology world. He worked as a salon assistant at a salon in Urbana, while also attending cosmetology school. It was during his experience as a salon assistant that he was introduced and trained to use non-toxic hair products. He specializes in short cuts along with both natural and fashion color. When Bryan is not in the salon, he is producing his own drag shows along with performing in many others in Baltimore.

Achievements and Certifications

  • Associate of Arts degree in General Studies
  • Brand certified: Keratin Complex, Brazilian Blowout and Deva Curl
  • 2020 – Trained in both Tape-in and Sewn-in extensions

BRITTANY STEELE

Stylist

@_brittanysteele

Brittany Steele found her passion for the beauty industry at a young age after peeking through the window of a cosmetology school in her hometown of Bel Air. She began working as a shampoo assistant at age fourteen and went on to graduate from the cosmetology program at Harford Technical High School. Brittany became a licensed hairstylist in 2008 and celebrated her 12th year as a stylist by moving to – and falling in love with – Baltimore. She loves playing with the way hair falls and moves – and she sets out to create exactly what her clients envision when they take a seat in her chair. She prides herself on her in-depth consultations and takes special interest in every aspect of her client’s lives to ensure that their hair compliments all of them. Brittany is a former educator for J Beverly Hills. She is Oway brand certified and on her way to becoming an Oway Scalp Therapy Specialist.

Achievements and Certifications

  • 2011 – Marcia Teixeira Keratin Treatment Certification
  • 2013 – Dreamcatchers Extension Certification
  • 2014 – Cezanne Keratin Smoothing Certification
  • 2017 – J Beverly Hills Hair Painting Certification
  • 2019 – Level 1 Certification with Simply Organic/Oway

CHLOE BOSWELL

Front Desk Management

Chloe began her career in the beauty industry after moving to Baltimore in 2012. She had previously worked a variety of jobs at the Omega institute in New York, a nonprofit retreat center focused on Holistic wellness, communal living, and sustainability education. After assisting in helping open and manage another salon in the area she was drawn to join the team at Smoke + Mirrors for their use of high quality organic products, dynamic creative environment and eco-conscious values.

She is dedicated to providing excellent customer service from the minute you call the salon to book your appointment, to helping you pick out products as you leave. When she is not behind the desk, she enjoys supporting the Baltimore music/art scene, cooking vegan food, and spending time in nature.

GABRIELLA HARNADEK

Front Desk Management

Gabriella Harnadek came to Baltimore from Detroit by way of New York City. Though she’s not a stylist behind the chair, moving to SoHo in 2016 started her career as a high-fashion styling assistant for Interview Magazine. She firmly believes hair is one of your best accessories – a belief she inherited from her mother who pulled her out of class early in fourth grade to get a perm. When she’s not at work, Gabriella loves shopping locally and sustainably (usually at a vintage store), cooking healthy and delicious vegan food, and loving on her three cats Kitty, Grapes, and Thyme.