The Real Look

Yanni McLean has mastered the art of subtle glam. As a part of her mission to instill confidence in fellow women, she opened The Real Look. The beauty studio aims to use cosmetology to enhance the natural beauty we exude instead of covering it up. Her talents and tools have only advanced since her first brick-and-mortar location grew roots in Alpharetta in 2022.

“A natural, effortless look has always been my style. I wanted my services to reflect that. I love helping my clients feel confident and beautiful," says Yanni.

That sentiment was portrayed during my own experience at The Real Look. I dropped by Yanni’s studio at 6:00 p.m. (an hour after closing, but Yanni graciously accommodated my busy schedule) for a brow lift and lash extensions. I opted for "The Falsie Effect" lashes for a more natural look. 

When I arrived, Yanni greeted me downstairs and led me to the salon, a small, peaceful space. The adjustable salon chair is the focal point of the room, with plenty of ways to situate yourself before Yanni gets to work—and trust me, comfort is a huge factor at play here since, depending on the service(s) you receive, you can spend upwards of two hours in the chair.

While holding still for so long seemed daunting, the time I spent in the chair was extremely relaxing. Plus, free snacks and drinks and the chair’s heat and massage features help make every visit one of rejuvenation. Yanni’s zen music choice even lulled me to sleep a few times as she glued my lashes on. Before I knew it, I opened my eyes and peeked at the new me in a handheld mirror.

The entire process was quick, painless and produced jaw-dropping results. My eyebrows, which have always been thin and somewhat lifeless, were thick, fluffy and even held a perfect shape on their own—no brow liner necessary! Meanwhile, my lashes looked natural, yet noticeably longer and fuller. For weeks I got compliments on both features, yet I still felt completely like myself the entire time. 

For me, the best part of the experience was the ease it brought to my morning routine. Yanni’s method truly accentuated the natural beauty I’d had all along. Not only could I skip out on mascara and brow liner for a few weeks, but I found myself going makeup-free to places I wouldn’t have dared to in the past. 

The Real Look offers a more extensive list of services beyond the two I got, including brow henna (Yanni’s brow service of choice), natural makeup looks and lash lifts (similar to the brow lift, but for your lashes). Do note that all of these services require some upkeep, with touch-ups every two weeks to two months, depending on the service. Luckily, most touch-ups are significantly shorter than the initial service and can be a great way to invest in yourself and enjoy some uninterrupted me-time during a hectic week.

“Our highly personalized services, relaxing environment and thoroughly researched products make The Real Look the luxury beauty studio that it is,” explains Yanni. 

1655 Mansell Road, Alpharetta 


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