#ShowUsCORNudes Feature: Emily Muhlbauer

Stylist Spotlight: Emily Muhlbauer


Emily Muhlbauer submitted stunning looks to our #ShowUsCORNudes color competition and came out the winner! Emily created 4 looks with the new O&M COR.color Nudes, ranging from bright bronde to natural blonde.

Emily is a Masters of Balayage educator and a blonde specialist. She provides clients with their dream hair all while giving a laid back luxury experience. We chatted with her about her journey, the new  Nudes and her contest creations.

Read on to learn more about Emily and see her winning COR.Nudes creations!

What was your journey to becoming a holistic hair stylist like?

My journey to becoming a holistic stylist was a lot like a game of ping pong. I have been a stylist for 14 years and for the last 6 years or so I had the longing to use cleaner, low-tox products. It was easy for me to implement those changes in my home, but I did struggle more to implement them into the salon. I would try certain “clean” brands, but not get the results I wanted, so I would go back to the other brands that I was just used to even though I didn’t love those ingredients. Once I found O&M and Simply Organic Beauty it was such a breath of fresh air. I am able to create beautiful hair and know that I am doing so safely.


Who/what inspired you to become a hairstylist?

I have loved the whole process of hairdressing for as long as I can remember. I was always the girl doing everyone’s hair for school dances, dance competitions, etc…. I remember in high school I would pick my hairstylist’s brain the whole time during my own hair appointments. I have always been drawn to color specifically, I love the instant gratification and transformation aspect of it.

Out of high school, I went to college for one year (I wanted to become a teacher), and realized it wasn’t for me. So I begged my parents to let me go to hair school and I quickly knew that’s exactly where I was supposed to be!

Are you a salon/salon suite owner? What are your goals in the near future?

I am currently a booth renter at a salon. Thus far in my career I haven’t had the desire to be a salon owner, I like being able to keep my full focus on my guests and my little business. I enjoy the freedoms that come with not having employees or renters counting on me. That said, recently I have been having visions of a completely low-tox salon, so who knows where that will take me!

I also love to educate, I would love to share low-tox color options with more hairstylists and salons.


Why do you choose to use low-tox color in your salon?

For me, this is a simple matter of “when you know better, you do better.”

When I really dove in to what is actually in hair color and the side effects, it was an easy decision for me to clean it up, for my health and my guests health! I also love that my guests’ don’t have to experience strong fumes, burning scalps, etc… I feel that I am able to offer a more luxurious experience by eliminating those things from the hair color process.

How have you stayed creative in-salon during the COVID-19 pandemic? What practices are working best for you?

I haven’t really had a tough time staying creative, mainly because I missed doing hair so much during the time our salon was shut down, I couldn’t wait to get back to it!

A lot of my clients realized they actually LIKE their natural color once they were able to see more of it due to a longer grow out.

I specialize in lived-in looks and blondes, so it has been really fun to transition some of my guests to a more lived-in look at their first appointment back post-shut down.

How are you continuing to create a safe luxury experience for clients that visit your salon?

The salon experience looks SO different now, doesn’t it?!

My biggest struggle was keeping the salon experience special for my guests! The amenities offered have had to completely change. It went from offering special drinks and fun reading material to just focusing on keeping my guests safe, but doing so without it feeling totally sterile.

I put together little gift bags for my guests to take home including shampoo + hair mask samples, a calming tea blend and chocolates so they could enjoy some self-care at home, too.

Congratulations on winning the #ShowUsCORNudes Color Contest! Can you tell us a bit about each of your looks? (formulas, inspiration, etc.)

Thank you! I am so honored to have won this contest!

I find most of my inspiration in nature! I live in Wyoming and outside of the salon I spend as much time as possible outdoors, so I am always drawn to natural elements and wildlife.

I know a lot of colorists compare hair color to decadent desserts, etc… my mind doesn’t work like that. I see an antelope, a beautiful woodgrain, or some prairie grass growing in the wild and wonder how I would formulate hair color to match that! Maybe that’s not as sexy as drizzling caramel or dark chocolate mousse, but it’s the way my mind works! 🙂

I broke down all my O&M CØR.color nudes formulas on each photo on Instagram! You can find me at @emilypaintshair_

What products do you recommend for at-home care and maintenance? Why?

I think it is so important to educate our guests about quality ingredients and how quality products will protect their investment in their hair color. I always recommend shampoo and conditioner that is free of harmful sulfates as well as thermal protection to further protect their color.

It can be tricky to make the transition to professional haircare when someone has been used to paying drug store prices for their haircare. If a guest is having a hard time committing I will make little sample bottles for them to take home and ask them to use only that for at least a week following their color appointment. They almost always return to purchase the full size bottles because they can see and feel the difference.

For each of my looks I recommended Oway Moisturizing Hair Bath and Mask. I live in Wyoming where the climate is very very dry, hydrating the hair all year round is imperative. Plus, my guests love the aroma of the Moisturizing line.

I also recommend the Oway Color Protection Veil to aid in keeping toners fresh and on tone for as long as possible.

What do you love about the CØR.color Nudes and O&M in general?

I LOVE the cool base of all O&M color. My clientele overall enjoys a cooler color palette, so this line is perfect for that! The nudes specifically have such a nice balance of cool tones with a sprinkle of warmth. I love how that leaves the blonde tones a little pearly and really unique.


What are your top tips for other stylists using the new Nudes?

  • Don’t be afraid to intermix them with the rest of the CØR.color lineup. I started out by mixing them in with my “tried and true” toner formulas and getting a good feel for them that way.
  • For toning I like to up the developer ratio a little bit to create more of an iridescent finish. On really bright blondes I’ll go as far as 1:3 color to developer ratio.
  • Be sure to let it process the entire time! Don’t panic and rinse it out early if it processes dark, give it time!

Check out more of Emily’s hairpainting at @emilypaintshair_!