Robbie LaRiviere :: Tabatha’s ’problem child’ grows up
One of the most talked about episodes from last season’s Tabatha’s Salon Takeover had the ever-critical salon makeover diva visit Provincetown’s West End Salon. Once there, she was in for culture shock - Provincetown, it turns out, is a place where salon owner Dougie Freeman busks for business with a stand-up routine; a stripper pole was installed in the salon; and Freeman’s protégée Robby LaRiviere takes a spray tanning machine onto busy Commercial Street in search of clients.
Once Tabatha took charge, the stripper pole went away, as did Dougie’s stand-up routine in the street; but perhaps her biggest challenge was dealing with LaRiviere, the 21-year old hair stylist and beauty consultant who was labeled the spray tanning "problem child."
Still LaRiviere emerged as the episode’s most likable personality, and one of the few to stand up to Tabatha as she worked to make the West End into a slicker enterprise. He felt that in her quest for professionalism, she was missing an understanding of the flamboyant Provincetown market and was robbing the salon of its more fun marketing ploys.
Now a year since the episode was filmed and six months since it was aired, Robby is back at the West End Salon for his fourth year. The difference being that his spray-tanning ways on the show made him recognizable to tourists that come to the resort from all over the country.
(Note: in case you missed the show, it can be downloaded from iTunes.)
A learning experience
As for what he learned from his experiences on the show, LaRiviere says, "Tabatha’s little problem child has grown up quite a bit since last summer... even more so then when I first arrived in PTown at the age of 18 working as a ’houseboy’ at The Beacon Light Guesthouse."
When not in Ptown, this Vidal Sassoon trained stylist can be found in Santa Monica, CA as founder of MasterMinds Beauty Designs, LA’s traveling beauty concierge that he founded at the age of 20.
He remains, as always, an avid advocate for spray tans.
"Having a spray tan should be as common as receiving a haircut or manicure," he said. "Spray tans have always had such a bad rap, but a properly executed spray tan with my custom quality solution will last long, look fabulous, and create a natural Caribbean glow."
Tanning is just the tip of the iceberg of LaRiviere’s entrepreneurial talents. He does everything from hair extensions, to makeup, to anti aging facial treatments, waxing, manicures, his signature "Better than Sex" pedicures, up-dos (yes, even Chignons), hair cutting, coloring and styling.
EDGE recently caught up with LaRiviere for an interview about his experiences with Tabatha, working at the salon and his life in Ptown.