A couple walked into a Cloquet salon hoping for a transformation — mission accomplished. They barely recognized themselves when they were done.
Jaylon Holmes, 21, and his girlfriend, Natalie Anderson, 20, are both students at the University of Minnesota Duluth. They wanted to try something different for Halloween, so they set up appointments with Desiree Pederson of Necessities Salon.
While Pederson is a cosmetologist and massage therapist most of the year, come October, Pederson transforms clients into creepy clowns, cute marionettes or whatever her imagination conjures up.
She averages 15-20 makeovers and rents out pieces of her extensive costume collection each year during Halloween.
Pederson was born into show business. Her parents are musicians and she performed on stage by age 3. She sang a popular Patsy Cline song, “Walking after Midnight."
Not surprisingly, her parents encouraged her creativity.
The boisterous, outgoing 37-year-old was born in Cook. She loved being involved with the school plays, but not memorizing the lines. Beginning in elementary school, she styled hair and makeup for fellow students in the plays. She continued throughout high school until she graduated, then went to cosmetology school. She also began aquiring an ever-growing costume collection.
She moved to the Twin Cities and honed her skills. She worked the Party America Halloween fashion show for a few years as well as runway shows in area parks and even on the roof tops of buildings.
“There was an amazing energy,” Pederson said.
Pederson celebrates living in Cloquet nine years Nov. 4. She purchased an already established salon, then recently purchased her own building at 8 13th St.
“I’m not afraid of taking risks,” Pederson said.
She organized a Vaudeville style burlesque show in Duluth several years ago. She helped with costumes and performed. Her parents sang and her father was the emcee.
“We sold out Clyde Iron,” Pederson said with a big grin.
Pederson enjoys dressing up daily for the weeks leading up to Halloween and encourages others to do the same.
She is limited to using theater makeup to the week of Halloween because she has an allergy, but that doesn't stop her from having fun. She has dressed as Elvis, Mrs. Potatohead and Bob Ross, the popular painter who hosted the "Joy of Painting" on TV in the 1980s and 1990s.
“I have never gone a day without being creative,” Pederson said.
Pederson has many costume options to choose from — over 200.
She has sizes up to 5X, and has about 30 children's costumes and a few pet costumes as well.
She offers a variety from 1920s-era gangsters, a jungle collection, Raggedy Ann and a peacock princess. Her couples costumes include Lucy and Desi, Robin Hood and Maid Marion and a nurse and proctologist, among others.
If a client doesn't know what character they want to be for Halloween, Pederson asks them a series of questions to help her guide them.
Holmes and Anderson requested a surprise. They were not disappointed.
Pederson kept their backs to the mirrors as she applied a base coat, going back and forth between them. They watched as Pederson applied the makeup to each of them. Finally, she applied finishing details, including long false eyelashes to Anderson.
“Are those eyelashes?” Holmes asked as he watched Pederson attach them. It was followed by a “wow."
Anderson was completed first. Pederson spun her chair around so she could see the finished look.
“I look so green,” Anderson said as she stared at her reflection. Pederson chose a black dress with white polka dots for Anderson and matching high heels to complete the rockabilly zombie look.
When it was Holmes turn, his eyes opened wide in amazement when he saw his reflection.
“I’m spooky as ever,” Holmes said. “I look like a horror movie character.”
Pederson explained she chose the evil jester costume for Holmes due to his tall, thin build and strong jawline.
“This makes me want to dress up several times a year,” Holmes said. “Dezi’s work is absolutely amazing. If anyone is looking for a change of pace for their normal Halloween routine, they should try this.”
“This is a little different than I expected,” Anderson said. “It makes Halloween more fun.”