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Health and Beauty

Spike TV comes the Grand Junction – Justin Nordine on Ink Shrinks



My interview with Justin was one of those things that rarely happens to a magazine editor – a scoop! When I stopped in the Raw Canvas to ask a few questions on an unrelated topic, Justin had just found out that he had been pegged to do Ink Shrinks. He gave me the exclusive interview mere hours before the magazine when to press. Usually the timeline of a magazine schedule means we are never the first on the story, only the most interesting. This time we were both!

Here is the unedited version:

New Canvas, National Stage

By Cecily Whiteside

When Spike TV went looking for tattoo artists to star in their new show “Ink Shrinks,” who would have thought they’d end up in Grand Junction, Colorado? Not Justin Nordine, tattoo artist and Owner of The Raw Canvas. But that’s just what happened.

Last November, a casting company contacted Justin about a new “docu-series” to follow-up on the success of Spike TV’s popular show, Ink Masters, whose finale last year pulled in 2.4 million viewers. The network was interested in combining art therapy with ink to create something new and different – a show that gives the troubled a way to honor their past, memorialize a loved one, or face something they’ve gone through in their life. By combining therapy with the commemoration of a tattoo, designed as part of the therapy process, they hope to provide a tangible expression of the healing that takes place.

One of those tattoo artists is Justin Nadine, born and raised in Grand Junction. Justin worked for a few years on the Front Range as an art teacher, coming home to the Grand Valley to open the Raw Canvas in 2008. Since then he has been doing what he loves, creating art with people as the canvas.

“At first I wasn’t all that interested,” Justin says. “I didn’t think it was going to go anywhere. But after talking with them about it, I liked the idea. As a tattoo artist, I put something permanent on people’s skin. My own life story is in my own tattoos, on my own body. It seemed like a way to do something deep, something tangible, for people.”

After several months of interviews – some via Skype, some in person, the talent pool was whittled down. And Justin was still in the running.

“Then they asked me to come out to L.A. for a ‘chemistry test.’ We all got together for a photo shoot, the therapists, the artists, to see how we all interacted, how we worked together. There was a lot of talent there – artists in the industry that I’ve looked up to for a long time. I came home thinking ‘that was fun’ not thinking it was anything more than a great experience.”

But he got the call a few weeks later – while he was on vacation at Disney World with this family. He was in. They flew him out to film the pilot at Venice Beach in early summer, but swore him to secrecy until now.

“Life is really interesting. And it’s only going to get more interesting!” Justin says. “It was really eye-opening for a small town kids from Colorado. How the TV industry works. It was tough emotionally too. There was a huge impact on the individuals doing the therapy. With my guy, Joey, we got to really help. I got to do what I love, what I’m passionate about, and was able to help him heal too. I do this everyday, here in my shop. It’s the same stuff, people come in here for the same reasons – to get over something, or to honor something or someone. But now, it’s just a bigger scale.”

The pilot of Ink Shrinks will air on Spike TV December 16 at 9 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Tune in to see local artist Justin Nordine hit the big time.

Published with permission of Grand Valley Magazine

Hair Styling Basics


Emal hair cover

Emal hair 1


Emal hair 2

I’m not one to waste time on my hair. I want a few great products that make styling easier. This is my take on great hair made easy. Enjoy.

Hair Styling Basics Made Easy

By Cecily Whiteside

It’s a familiar story. You walk out of the beauty salon with a gorgeous new cut, expertly styled. All day you stand taller, feel more beautiful, smile at strangers and congratulate yourself on your new look. But come morning, stepping out of the shower, you confront your image in the mirror and think, “now what?” Getting that perfect look back without help seems impossible.

Styling products can be your best friend or worst enemy. Putting in the wrong thing for your hair’s texture or length can sabotage your look, no matter how good your cut. Pick the right product and are on your way to great hair.

“The first thing I look at is the health of your hair,” says Felicia Draughon, owner of Roots Organic Salon and expert stylist. “What nutrients does it need to look healthy? Is it previously colored? Highlighted? Sun-damaged? Wind-damaged? Hair care products today are smarter about making hair healthy again. We tend to over-process with heat; blow dryer, flat iron. Beautiful hair is healthy hair.”

No matter your hair type or length, the first suggestion Draughon has is to use a protein spray. “They are light and add nutrients into damaged hair without making it sticky or crunchy. It fills in the porous ends and makes it look and feel healthy.” For fine hair, she suggests a volumizer on the roots. Then it’s time to pick your style:


Mousse makes hair bigger and controls frizz. “I would use mousse on curly girls,” Draughon says. “It gives control, definition and volume. For fine, thin hair mousse would weigh it down.” While mousse comes out of the can foamy, it reduces as you apply it, which can make it difficult to control exactly how much goes where. And read the label before you buy. Mousse that contains alcohol will dry out hair, making it brittle and easily broken while styling.


Gel is basically mousse without the aerosol. This makes it both easier to gauge how much to use — and makes it easier to over-use. Gel comes in several levels of hold. Coarse, wavy hair needs strong hold, while lighter, finer hair needs light hold. “Gel is great if you want a lot of control,” says Draughon. “Spray gel is best if you want hold, but don’t want that 40s pin-up look. Like Jessica Rabbit.”

Pomade and Wax

These products give a firm style. “The only time you want to break out a pomade is for pixie cuts and crops,” says Draughon. “One of my favorite tricks is to use a beard balm as a pomade. Thinking outside the box is good. I love to experiment.”


“These are my favorite,” says Draughon. Pastes are a hybrid of pomade, wax and conditioner. “They are great for all kinds of hair; thick, coarse, long, short, curly. Pastes are fabulous!”

To finish up your style, try a few drops of argon oil or roucou oil. Be sparing, though, since over-use can give you a greasy sheen instead of a warm glow. To keep hair in place, a small amount of hairspray can help, but again, be sparing. The glued-in-place look went out with the 70s.

Here’s to your beautiful hair!


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Spike TV comes the Grand Junction – Justin Nordine on Ink Shrinks

  My interview with Justin was one of those things that rarely happens to a magazine editor - a scoop! When I stopped in the Raw Canvas to ask a few questions on an unrelated topic, Justin had just found out that he had been pegged to do Ink Shrinks. He gave me the...