Beauty Nostalgia: Reminiscing With…Oribe
Beauty Nostalgia is a new, weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Oribe, founder of Oribe Salons and Hair Care
The Product: Part I
“Very early in my career, I remember discovering the Mason Pearson Medium Size Junior Brush. I was just starting out in hairdressing and it was a big investment, probably 60 or 80 bucks. When you’re 22 in New York City, you’d much rather go to the disco than spend that much on a brush. But I’ve always believed that the better the quality of my tools, the better the hair looks. For the last 35 years, this has been my signature brush. What I love about it is that it’s the perfect size to get at the roots and give a smooth finish, and it’s great for blowing the hair out straight, too. I prefer the pink color, and the baby blue is especially hard to find. I usually have this brush in my mouth, or pocket, at all times. Over the years, I’ve asked Mason Pearson, would you please make a brush for me? But they’re an old company and they weren’t interested. I’m not sure where I found the brush first—it must have been on a set or from a model. And at one point, I even put my logo on it—a sticker with a cartoon sketch of me with a comb in my hand—and I gave a lot of those away to clients. If I liked them, I would just let them keep the brush.”
“In the nineties, I had this crazy idea to make a colored pomade. I did it in blue, gold, black, and it gave a beautiful sheen to the hair. It was simply called Oribe Pomade and it came in a jar that looked like the original Kiwi Shoe Polish. I got the idea for it because I was obsessed with superheroes at the time. They’re all over the place now, of course. I loved Superman and how his hair always had this bluish-black reflection to it. So I wanted to make a pomade that would give that quality to the hair. It was very trendy, and I actually did a whole Versace show in Milan where I used this pomade to give models blue hair. And since it was hard to remove from the hair, I even created a special shampoo to take it out, which came in a pink bottle and was modeled after the Ivory bottle from the fifties. I eventually stopped making the pomade. But it developed a cult following, and to this day people still write to me, asking where they can find another jar.”