August 23 2014

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15 posts tagged "Wella Professionals"

“Sexy, Assertive, Bad-Attitude” Blondes, Backstage At Haider Ackermann


The hair at Haider Ackermann sort of stopped you in your tracks backstage. Pieces of platinum strands were floating in the air as Eugene Souleiman trimmed hand-dyed, white-gold wigs that were left black at the root to resemble natural grow-out. “It’s an unnatural blond, a fifties blond,” he said of the specific bleached-to-oblivion color he had been working on for the past three days, in preparation for this show. The idea came from the Marilyn Monroe soundtrack playing as models took to the catwalk, but clearly the bombshell’s familiar set would not have worked here. “That’s what Haider is about: challenging your perception of what you think is beautiful,” Souleiman explained of why he tweaked the retro color with “techniques of now.” Using a boatload of Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray, Souleiman applied a dusty, matte texture through the lengths, which he fashioned into a thick bun in the back while adding spiky extensions to top and leaving natural hair visible underneath. “We actually colored the roots with felt tip pens,” he explained of the dark base that was meant to stand out in stark contrast to the army of “sexy, assertive, bad attitude” flaxen-haired beauties. “It’s sort of like an alternative Daphne Guinness,” Souleiman suggested, referencing the heiress’ signature skunk streak style.

Lucia Pieroni was on support staff essentially, working on a makeup look that played to the hair. Using black eyeshadow to blend the hairline into the skin, which had been prepped with MAC Face and Body Foundation, Pieroni went heavy on MAC’s illuminating Strobe Cream and its neutral Cream Color Base in Groundwork that she layered across lids, underneath the lash line, and on the tops of cheeks for a “hallowed” look. “[Haider] actually showed me a picture of James Dean,” Pieroni said, name-dropping another 1950s icon and dotting the face with MAC’s Mixing Medium in Shine to create a glossy finish. “Feral” arches that were brushed, built up with its Brow Quad, and topped and with mascara “to make them more werewolf-y,” brought a certain strength to the face.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Business In Front, Pony In Back, Backstage At Mary Katrantzou


It was a tale of two looks at Mary Katrantzou for Fall—a sort of split personality that crept its way out of the collection and into the hair and makeup. The contrast of the formidable structure of certain garments and the occasional inclusion of flowing fabrics translated into a sharp, geometric, blunt fringe with a soft and supple ponytail that boasted plenty of movement. “I wanted a strong impact from the front, for when the girls walk down the catwalk, and then to have that juxtaposition with the loose, clean, and light ponytail at the back,” explained Wella Professionals’ global creative director, Eugene Souleiman. Relying on yards and yards of hair extensions, which, aided by a trusted assistant, he meticulously glued into models’ heads, Souleiman used scissors to do a little hand-sculpting himself. “It’s not for the work-shy,” the hairdresser said of the lengthy and intricate process.

Makeup artist Val Garland created something altogether softer but equally dramatic. “A pure, ghostly apparition” was the main part of Garland’s brief, which she achieved by using a forthcoming product from MAC: Super Gloss in Mother of Pearl. Keeping complexions relatively fair, Garland layered the white and highly reflective cream over lids to achieve an almost glow-in-the-dark effect before lining the inner rims of eyes with MAC Eye Kohl in Fascinating, a pure white.

Purple Lips And “Sumo Hair For Women,” Backstage At Haider Ackermann


“There’s no mental masturbation with me; it’s instinct,” Stéphane Marais said straight-faced backstage at Haider Ackermann this morning when asked about that purple lip. “It’s right for the collection,” Marais asserted, “and a refreshment from all the red you have seen”—which was not untrue. Reds, corals, and pinks we have seen this season; an iridescent violet mouth, not so much.

“It could have been a disaster, but it works,” he continued of the unusual pout color, which, it should be noted, did have a way about it: When we walked into the backstage area of Paris’ POPB on Boulevard de Bercy, we crossed paths with Irina Kravchenko, whose mouth flashed with an indigo sheen in the spotlights erected backstage. That was thanks to a finger-patting of MAC Pigment in Violet, which boasts flecks of blue and lavender shimmer. “The more you polish it, the more it shows,” Marais said of the powder that he was rubbing into a mix of MAC Chromagraphic Lip Pencil in Rich Purple and its Lipmix in Burgundy. What kept the striking shade from looking “ugly,” in Marais’ estimation, was that the rest of the face was kept pure. Skin was given a light treatment of MAC Face and Body Foundation, with a sweep of its luminescent Cream Colour Base in Shell across cheekbones, while eyes got a dusting of its Iridescent Powder in Silver Dusk right at the lash line to create an almost wet effect. Ackermann wanted the brows to look “nervous,” so Marais obliged him by diminishing the natural arch with a line of MAC Eyeshadows in Coquette, Concrete, and Brun, creating a straight shape akin to “the wing of a bird,” according to Marais. “It’s very rock, but chic, chic, chic,” he surmised.

For his part, Wella global artistic director Eugene Souleiman set to fixing slicked-back coifs that segued into a ponytail that was folded over itself and tied into three different sections. “It’s sumo hair for women,” he explained, pointing out that the high-shine, abstract shape complimented Ackermann’s collection. “He makes women look very handsome,” Souleiman continued, while squashing Wella Texture Touch Reworkable Clay into roots and spritzing its Shimmer Delight Shine Spray through lengths for glisten. “I am a serious lover of this look,” the super stylist said. He most certainly wasn’t the only one.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/

The Four-Part “Cosmic Couture” Lip Debuts At Missoni


“They are all hating me right now,” Lucia Pieroni joked of the models backstage at Missoni, where she had doled out “dry mouths and sticky eyelids” for the house’s Spring show. That, of course, was an incredibly simplistic description of the makeup artistry that was afoot here, which was attributed to “cosmic couture Japanese manga girls” and just so happened to feature one of the best lips we’ve seen all season.

“It’s a strong, fluoro pink,” Pieroni said of the four-part mouth that included a blend of MAC Lipmix in Magenta, Orange, and White, which the face painter topped with its loose Pigment in Red Electric. “When you mix it, it kind of gets orange, like tequila sunrise,” she explained. The color amounted to a retina-burning melon, which popped against glowing skin that had been lightly contoured through cheeks with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural face powder in Medium Deep and highlighted with a layering of its luminizing Cream Colour Base in Luna and Pearl. “I wanted there to be something cartoony about it,” Pieroni continued, grooming brows and emphasizing a matte finish on mouths that had been brushed rather than lined. “It starts in the middle and sort of bleeds out,” she stressed of pouts’ “felt tip” quality.

Working off a collection that was very much for “a modern-day girl,” according to Eugene Souleiman, the Wella global artistic director brought the past and the present into the fold with a dichotomous ‘do. “It’s modern-day hippie and slightly space age,” he said of center-parted strands that he “squashed” with Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray. “Normally, when you create a flat hairstyle, you use a gel,” Souleiman explained, pointing out that he was purposely using “the wrong product to get the right result.” The saline spray helped give the coiffeur the “sculptural” look he was that boasted a slight masculinity after he slicked down front sections to resemble long sideburns. “It’s very graphic,” he surmised of the hair—which, as far as he’s concerned, is a textile not unlike clothing. “It’s a fabric you can play with.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Helmet Hair And Inky Eyes, Backstage At Mary Katrantzou


“I’m glad to be getting back to my roots,” Eugene Souleiman joked—no pun intended—backstage at Mary Katrantzou, where the hair hero and Wella Professionals global artistic director made his grand return to London fashion week after a five-year hiatus. He picked a good show for his comeback, too; Katrantzou’s whimsical prints pack plenty of power in the way of beauty inspiration.

“[They're] very conceptual,” Souleiman admitted of the designer’s Spring fabrics, which included colorful, graphic adaptations of exotic stamps and banknotes, which caused the coiffeur to stay the “couture and sharp” course with the hair in complement. “The detail of the clothes needed something minimal to go with it,” he elaborated of the four-section updo that was based loosely on the aerodynamic shape of a “cycling helmet.” Prepping strands with Wella Create Character Texturizing Spray, Souleiman built a tight bun with the bulk of models’ lengths to anchor a panel of hair from the right side, followed by a panel of hair on the left side that he wrapped and secured on top of the chignon. A front section of hair was then combed backward and set with Wella Finish Shimmer Delight Shine Spray to “elongate and extend the shape of the head in a slightly alien way.” An additional otherworldly element came from Josh Wood, the London-based colorist who dyed a few girls, including Australian stunner Chrystal Copland, a platinum shade akin to “crisp linen” using Wella’s new Illumine range.

Makeup artist Val Garland’s contributions centered around a “ballpoint blue eye that referenced the inky colors of an English pound” (editor’s note: Blue is the new black when it comes to eyeliner for Spring). The precise shade of matte midnight pigment was a mix of two MAC Lipmixes in Blue and Red, which Garland drew onto the upper lash line in a thick, elongated, almond shape to adhere to Katrantzou’s mandate that the girls look “modern and linear.” Garland ditched mascara altogether and gave lips a clear moisturized finish with a swipe of MAC Lip Conditioner. Her intention was to keep skin looking “polished,” which was just fine with St. Tropez skin finishing expert Nichola Joss, who was giving models a “velvet tan” by buffing St. Tropez Instant Glow Wash Off Mousse mixed with its Body Butter into skin with a mitt, to which she added a light layer of St. Tropez Rose Skin Illuminator for a pastel sheen.

Photo: Gianni Pucci /