March Cover: Just Kids by Nick Stenson

Imagine four young kids, say, aspiring actors or musicians, who come to Hollywood hoping to make it big. What they need is a look, something edgy and modern, and Matrix Artistic Director Nick Stenson is more than happy to give it to them. Take a look.

To bring our cover story to life this month, we called on Nick Stenson to create a collection of lived-in looks with attitude to spare. We shot at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel—the Hollywood Walk of Fame with more than 2,500 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars runs right past the front door, a permanent public monument to achievement in the entertainment industry. Also starring in this story is Matrix Style Link, which is all Stenson needed to create the lived-in looks on these eight pages. “This is a styling line that can be as versatile as you want it to be,” says Stenson, who used it to create really beautiful, polished hair to looks with an editorial feel that are super edgy.

Photography: Robert Lynden 

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Her color: Breck Csicsai used Matrix Light Master and 30-volume peroxide to foil in a full head of highlights, which were processed for 20 minutes. To tone, she applied ColorSync SPV (Sheer Pastel Violet) from scalp to ends and processed for 20 minutes to “shift her roots and tone the blonde.” Nick Stenson used Style Link Volume Builder Volume Foam before blow drying the hair. Next, he applied Volume Builder Volume Mousse to dry hair followed by a little Heat Buffer Thermal Styling Spray before using a 2-inch curling iron to bend the ends a bit to create a ripple effect in the hair. “With this look it’s all about that undone texture,” Stenson says. “You’re creating bend, not curl. This is what keeps someone looking youthful.” On her nails: Essie Wicked.
 
This is lived-in hair at its best—chic but not purposeful. “It’s all about building texture to get that undone look,” says Stenson, who worked some Style Link Super Fixer Strong Hold Gel into Damon’s hair before blow drying. Then he went in with Texture Builder Messy Finishing Spray to give his hair that two-day-old texture. To add a little height at the root area, Stenson sprinkled some Height Riser Volumizing Powder into the root area, worked it in with his hands and finished the placement with Volume Fixer Volume Hairspray to give hair flexibility with strength.
 
This is lived-in hair at its best—chic but not purposeful. “It’s all about building texture to get that undone look,” says Stenson, who worked some Style Link Super Fixer Strong Hold Gel into Damon’s hair before blow drying. Then he went in with Texture Builder Messy Finishing Spray to give his hair that two-day-old texture. To add a little height at the root area, Stenson sprinkled some Height Riser Volumizing Powder into the root area, worked it in with his hands and finished the placement with Volume Fixer Volume Hairspray to give hair flexibility with strength.
 
“Everything is about a twist on the classics right now,” says Stenson, who’s channeling James Dean here. To get the look, he used Style Link Smooth Setter Smoothing Cream to blow dry the hair. After the hair was dry, he applied Shape Switcher Molding Paste, emulsifying it in his hands and dispersing it evenly through the hair from the scalp to the ends. “The secret to this look is to take your hands and loosen up the style to add some energy,” says Stenson, who finished up with Style Fixer Finishing Hairspray, allowing one piece of hair to fall free, adding a touch of bad-boy attitude.
 
“Everything is about a twist on the classics right now,” says Stenson, who’s channeling James Dean here. To get the look, he used Style Link Smooth Setter Smoothing Cream to blow dry the hair. After the hair was dry, he applied Shape Switcher Molding Paste, emulsifying it in his hands and dispersing it evenly through the hair from the scalp to the ends. “The secret to this look is to take your hands and loosen up the style to add some energy,” says Stenson, who finished up with Style Fixer Finishing Hairspray, allowing one piece of hair to fall free, adding a touch of bad-boy attitude.
 
Here, Stenson used products from the Total Results line to add some airiness to Ashley’s hair, which is very heavy. Before blow drying, he applied High Amplify Wonder Boost at the roots. On mid-lengths and ends, he used High Amplify Foam Volumizer. When the hair was dry, he went back in with High Amplify Hairspray, which offers flexible hold and gave her hair “tons of movement.” Next, he used a 1-1/2 inch curling iron, taking vertical sections and creating a deep side part, which is very of the moment. “This is a little more evening, but it still’s a very young look,” he says. “There’s nothing contrived about it.” On her nails: Essie Licorice.
 
Stenson used a cushion brush to smooth out Damon’s texture before using a flat iron on the ends. “This is a more polished look that moves easily into evening or formal occasions,” says Stenson. “It’s very Dior looking.” To take Ashley from day into night, Stenson created what he calls a “thrown-up-with-a-purpose look” that walks a fine line between looking uncontrived and overworked. “The key is to purposely place the hair where you want it without disturbing the airiness,” he says. “It looks lighter and more youthful.”
 
Stenson used a cushion brush to smooth out Damon’s texture before using a flat iron on the ends. “This is a more polished look that moves easily into evening or formal occasions,” says Stenson. “It’s very Dior looking.” To take Ashley from day into night, Stenson created what he calls a “thrown-up-with-a-purpose look” that walks a fine line between looking uncontrived and overworked. “The key is to purposely place the hair where you want it without disturbing the airiness,” he says. “It looks lighter and more youthful.”
 
Stenson decided to create an updated version of the look Don Draper wore through seven seasons of Mad Men. The difference? Don Draper didn’t have Style Link Over Achiever 3-in-1 Cream Paste. “It holds hair in place while adding softness and shine,” says Stenson. “It gives you that wet look without the crunch, which wasn’t possible in the ‘60s.” For Ashley, Stenson wanted to create a look that oozes old Hollywood glamour. Think Brigitte Bardot. But while those old beehives were stiff, Stenson’s version is a lot softer with a lot of moving pieces that cascade around the face and neckline.
 
Stenson decided to create an updated version of the look Don Draper wore through seven seasons of Mad Men. The difference? Don Draper didn’t have Style Link Over Achiever 3-in-1 Cream Paste. “It holds hair in place while adding softness and shine,” says Stenson. “It gives you that wet look without the crunch, which wasn’t possible in the ‘60s.” For Ashley, Stenson wanted to create a look that oozes old Hollywood glamour. Think Brigitte Bardot. But while those old beehives were stiff, Stenson’s version is a lot softer with a lot of moving pieces that cascade around the face and neckline.

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