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Now that superstar hair and makeup artists have become as famous as the faces they work on—paging Pat and Guido—we set out to discover the next generation of creative stars. After a comprehensive process that involved assessing the work of numerous emerging artists and canvassing editors, agents, photographers and others who work with them on a daily basis, we whittled our list down to seven of the most exciting talents on the fashion and beauty scene, then gave them free rein to create their vision of spring beauty. The results are as original—and innovative—as the artists themselves.
Ozzy Salvatierra discovered his destiny in a bookstore.
The one-time art student turned florist turned live-in nanny turned test driver of Acura cars had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. Then he happened to browse through a Kevyn Aucoin tome in a bookstore in his native Los Angeles. Inspiration struck.
“I said, ‘I can do that!’” Salvatierra exultantly remembers. The very next day he was at Cinema Secrets, a theatrical makeup store in Burbank, buying copious amounts of cosmetics. That night, he started practicing on his friends.
Salvatierra’s instinct was spot-on. Within a year, he had moved to New York and landed a job at the Shiseido counter in Barneys New York. There, he met star makeup artist Tom Pecheux, Shiseido’s artistic director at the time, and was introduced to the world of magazine makeup artistry. He was hooked. In addition to assisting Pecheux, Salvatierra spent four years assisting Lucia Pieroni, the star London-based artist who’s also color creator of Clé de Peau Beauté. It was time well spent.
“I learned that it’s not ever about makeup,” says Salvatierra. “It’s always about a picture and what makes a photograph a classic. There’s a reason these people are at the top—they’ve got a great eye.”
So does Salvatierra. He works regularly with photographers such as Daniel Jackson, Jason Kibbler, Will Davidson, Simon Burstall, Kerry Hallihan and Greg Lotus, for magazines such as i-D, Dazed and Confused, Chinese and Japanese Vogue and V. He’s also been the lead makeup artist for Vera Wang’s bridal show, as well as C’N’C Costume National. While he’s more than capable of executing classic looks, Salvatierra thrives on pushing the envelope. “I like mysterious, sexy, spooky,” he says, pointing to the blood red lip here. “A little dark is my style. It’s not the makeup you put on the skin that’s important. It’s the skin that you leave bare.”
That’s not to say he’s not a product junkie. Salvatierra’s staples include Amorepacific skin care and Clé de Peau makeup. He also packs pigments, stencils and a wide array of tools. “I love to make a lot of my own colors,” says Salvatierra. “I look at everything as color and texture.”
Tim Howard Management
“In my family, we are hairdressing freaks,” laughs Miki, the Italian-born hairstylist who goes by his first name only. “We are all hairdressers.” Miki got his start when he was only 16, moving from his native Bari to Milan to work with famed stylist Aldo Coppola. By 21, he was in the U.S., first in Los Angeles, then in New York, where he became the lead assistant for another top Italian hair artist, Luigi Murenu. From Murenu, Miki learned about “texture, people, personalities and shapes,” he says. “I learned to have a strong point of view.”
Miki defines his point of view as feminine with an edge. “I like sophistication with an edge and a personality,” he says. “Hair has to have a little sex appeal to it.” Here, he created a look that’s smooth on the top and ends, with volume and curl in the middle. He added extensions to dimensionalize model Sarah’s golden honey tones and add another layer of texture. “This style is done, but it also has movement to give it a sexy feeling,” he says. “She’s comfortable, but still polished.”
That philosophy appeals to celebs like Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei and Amy Adams, all regular clients of Miki, and is also winning him favor with photographers such as Giles Bensimon, with whom he recently shot Adams for the cover of Elle, Tesh, Patrick Demarchelier, Terry Richardson and Terry Tsiolis. His work has also appeared in Vogue, Allure, Japanese Vogue, Glamour and The New York Times Magazine.
As successful as he becomes, there’s one constant for Miki and it’s not just the Kérastase products he favors. “There are a lot of great people in this business and a lot of personalities,” he says. “At the end of the day, it’s about understanding people and having a good attitude. My line is always have a good attitude.”
Tim Howard Management
Although Romy Soleimani was the girl in high school who loved doing her classmate’s makeup, it wasn’t until she studied fine art at Parsons that she discovered her favorite hobby could become her métier. A course in fashion styling exposed her to the myriad goings-on of a magazine shoot. Soleimani was hooked. When the opportunity to assist makeup artist Linda Cantello arose, she signed on. A makeup artist was born.
Art continues to inspire Soleimani,as do music and travel. “I don’t like it when makeup looks too literal,” she says. “I love to play with color. I love to paint and draw.”
Soleimani’s inspiration for the look here was a “twisted Barbie with lots of juicy bright color.” But even when the makeup is out there, she keeps one foot grounded in reality. “If I go abstract or crazy, the girl still has to look beautiful.” Her favorite products include Weleda Skin Food, Shu Uemura mascara, Make Up For Ever greasepaints and MAC pigments—but it’s a continually evolving list. “It changes all the time,” Soleimani says. “If there’s something new, I like to try it. Technology has advanced so much, you have to be constantly aware of what’s going on.”
A native New Yorker, Soleimani thrives on the pace of fashion shows. She’s worked with such designers as Milly, Naeem Khan and Rebecca Taylor. Her work regularly appears in Allure, Elle and Vogue, and her roster of photographers includes Nicolas Moore, Terry Tsiolis and Yelena Yemchuck. Impressive, sure, but Soleimani is just getting started. “Always getting better drives me,” she says. “I love a challenge. This is my art. It’s how I express myself creatively.”
Hairstylist John Ruidant speaks softly but carries a large teasing comb. The low-key stylist has proven himself to be one of the most creative—and versatile—minds in hair. His innate calmness has proven advantageous when it comes to a key part of his career: runway work. Ruidant is the go-to guy for hot young designers like Ruffian, Chris Benz, DDC Lab and Armani Exchange. “I’m so mellow I like the pressure,” says the Belgian-born stylist, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather were hairdressers, too. “The shows are fun. They’re inspiring because you get to be so creative.”
Ruidant, who describes his style as “done hair but in natural form,” also exercises his creativity with photographers like David Armstrong, KT Auleta, Nathaniel Goldberg and Joshua Jordan for magazines including British Elle and Italian Marie Claire. It’s a long way from Charlotte, N.C., where Ruidant and his family moved to when he was nine, but he’s always been clear about his destiny. After graduating from cosmetology school, Ruidant moved to New York and began assisting stylists such as Didier Malige, James Brown, Malcolm Edwards and Eugene Souleiman. One key lesson was learning how to work with textures and products (his favorites include Redken Fabricate, Kérastase Double Force Hairspray and L’Oréal Infinium Hairspray). For this look, Ruidant wanted to combine the natural—model Heloise’s curly hair—with the unnatural—the amount of volume on top. “I like a combination of frizziness and curls,” he says. “I love a variety of textures. I can’t stand it when the hair looks too perfect.”
Variety drives Ruidant. Movies, music, art—he cites all as inspiration, but most of all it’s change. “I get bored of the same thing,” he says. “It’s good to change. If you don’t change, you never evolve. It’s a natural progression.”
The Wall Group
Makeup artist Itsuki was not to the blush brush born. She actually began her career as a hairdresser in her native Japan. But after taking a course in makeup school to complement her styling skills, Itsuki won a contest and was instantly hooked. She honed her skills in her home country before moving to New York, where she was the first assistant to makeup superstar Pat McGrath for six years. On her own for the last four years, Itsuki has deftly taken what she learned from McGrath while carving out an identity of her own. “Pat and I are totally different personalities in terms of makeup,” she says. “I’m very precise, she’s more rough. Pat is like Picasso. I’m like Dali. I like very small, precise things.”
It’s a philosophy that appeals to photographers such as Miles Aldridge, Andreas Sjödin, Daniel Jackson and Claudia Knoepfel and Stefan Indlekofer, as well as celebrities such as Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger. Itsuki is also an editorial darling, whose work frequently appears in Numero, W and Tokyo. Not surprisingly, she’s a total product junkie. Foundations from Giorgio Armani are a favorite—“If I didn’t have them, I don’t know what I’d do,” she laughs, as are Laura Mercier concealer, Prescriptives white pencil, eyebrow pencils and eyeliners from Shiseido and bright colors from MAC and Make Up For Ever.
The sources of her inspiration are equally as multitudinous. “Painting, photography, movies, music—everything inspires me,” says Itsuki. “I have many friends who are artists. It seems not related, but it stimulates my brain.” For this picture, Itsuki first analyzed some key spring fashion trends, such as ethnic, hippie and neon colors, before singling out hippie as her starting point. “I wanted to create something colorful and fun,” she says, “but still sophisticated and not too cheap or too young.” As bold as her work is, true to her nature, Itsuki never wants it to take over a photograph. “I like to be one member of a great team making a great picture,” she says. “Makeup artistry is like salt and pepper for cooking. It makes the dish a wonderful thing when it’s well used, but you don’t necessarily notice it.”
The only thing in life Benoit Moeyaert loves more than hair is risk taking. In his career, he’s managed to combine the two to great effect. Just consider: The Belgian native left school at the tender age of 12 to study hairdressing, after watching his older brother become a hairstylist and determining that’s what he wanted to do, too. Moeyaert moved to New York over 10 years ago, after he met someone while on vacation, quickly getting a job at a salon before abandoning it to assist star magazine and runway stylist Jimmy Paul and learn the editorial ropes. And he’s loathe to get stuck in a style rut. “When I create a style, I try never to re-create it,” Moeyaert says. “I like to always move on to something new. My favorite job is when you can do something totally different and very creative. There’s a challenge each time,” he continues. “You’re constantly moving forward and never staying in the same place.”
Moeyaert is, indeed, going places. He works regularly with photographers such as Thierry Le Gouès, David LaChapelle, Phil Poynter, Tesh and Collier Schorr, and his work frequently appears in French magazine, Italian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Interview and Japanese Numéro. He’s also becoming a celebrity favorite, attracting a clientele as diverse as French actress Carole Bouquet, “She knows exactly what she wants,” Moeyeart says, “but in a good way,” to Courtney Love—“She knows exactly what she wants, too,” he laughs. “She has her own sense of style and she’s good at it. She sets trends.”
Although Moeyaert works for many of today’s trendiest magazines, he doesn’t read them for inspiration. Rather, he looks to the street and vintage photography as influences. In the style he created here, for example, Moeyaert was inspired by a photograph of Sixties supermodel Jean Shrimpton. “I wanted to do something different—not a regular hairdo,” he says, noting his favorite products include Kérastase styling products, Leonor Greyl hair care and a setting lotion from Belgium popular in the Seventies.
Though he’s been a hairstylist for almost 20 years, he still retains the same passion for his craft he had as a 14-year-old apprentice. “It takes a long time to know how to do hair,” Moeyaert says. “It’s a long process but it’s great. I learn every day. In 10 years from now, I’ll still be learning and that’s what I love about doing hair,” he continues. “Fashion changes all the time. Products change all the time. You always have to keep up with everything and that makes it a very exciting field to be in.”
Art + Commerce
Esther Langham doesn’t think of herself as a hairdresser. She’s in the business of creating characters. “I like to have fun with hair,” Langham says. “I like creating characters and creating images. I love doing everything—I can’t say I have just one particular style.”
In fact, it was that very creativity that attracted Langham to the profession in the first place. Langham’s mother, a hairstylist herself, tried to talk her daughter out of following in her footsteps. But after tagging along to some hair shows with her mother, Langham was immediately smitten. “My mum tried to talk me out of it because there wasn’t any money in it,” she says, “but as soon as I saw people creating these amazing hairdos, I was hooked.” She studied hairdressing at a college in her native Nottingham, England, landing a job in a local salon. Advanced classes at Toni & Guy led to a stint in the company’s London salon, which in turn led to an introduction to superstar stylist Guido. Langham assisted Guido for eight years before striking out on her own.
“My college training taught me how to do all the basics,” Langham says. “From Guido, I learned everything. I learned about proportion of the hair, proportion with the clothes, always to see how the photographer is actually shooting the girl. He is fantastic to work with.”
When it comes to inspiration, Langham’s sources are myriad. “Everywhere, really,” she says, pausing. “I love reading books and the Internet. People on the street—you might see someone on the train with a great hairstyle. The people you work with—you can become inspired by one word they say or the clothes you’re working with. Sometimes it just needs one word to trigger a great idea.” For the look here, Langham took summer as her starting point, meticulously weaving acres of platinum and gold extensions into model Natasha’s blonde hair. “I love in the summer how the sun lightens your hair,” she says. “I really liked lightening her hair and making it stronger, fresher, brighter, more summer.”
Now based in New York, Langham works frequently with photographers such as Dan Jackson, Jason Kibbler and Sebastian Kim, for magazines such as V, Japanese Vogue, Another Magazine, i-D and Wonderland. She’s also headed up fashion shows in Paris for the designers Sharon Wauchob and Gaspard Yurkievich, which in a way has allowed her to come full circle. “My mum was in Paris last season and a couple of [my] assistants didn’t show. I called her up and said, ‘Mum, come help!’” she laughs. “She was fantastic. She thoroughly enjoyed it and had a great time.”