Ulta Beauty Unveils A California Cool Collection

Photography: Richard Monsieurs; HAIR: ULTA BEAUTY VP, SALON SERVICES AND TREND NICK STENSON AND CHIEF ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AMMON CARVER; MAKEUP: Deney Adam; fashion styling: Carlton Jones (Ulta Beauty Cover Collection)

The Ulta Beauty Pro Team headed to Malibu, CA, to create a collection that conveys the cool, no-fuss feeling we all crave during the summer months. Presenting: Beautifully Casual. 

For this tousled look, Ulta Beauty VP, Salon Services and Trend Nick Stenson and Chief Artistic Director Ammon Carver applied a wax clay on damp hair and allowed hair to dry naturally. To enhance the natural texture, they applied more product and squeezed in the movement and curl with their hands, giving a natural wave pattern effect.

Stenson and Carver created this twist on the half updo by first taking a section along the parietal ridge and securing it into a ponytail at the crown. Using a two-strand braid, they wrapped it around itself and secured with large hair pins. Next, they opened and bloused the top knot for dramatic effect and softness before securing with hairspray and allowing the waves underneath.


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Leaving the fringe section out, the duo gathered the remaining hair into a high ponytail using their hands to keep the soft texture along the sides and back. They pinned any loose hairs from the ponytail into a textured bun shape and used hairspray to hold the fringe and bun in place.

“We love to shoot outside of the studio, to give our models a relatable feel...he or she is a real person, chilling at home or in the yard, not a model standing in front of a seamless backdrop.” —Ammon Carver, Chief Artistic Director, Ulta Beauty

Stenson and Carver created these quintessential California waves by applying mousse on the hair before blow-drying strands with a round brush for fullness and bounce. They set the crown with Velcro rollers while giving the remaining hair a gentle marcel wave. They then released the rollers and sprayed to control and maintain shape.

After applying a cream/ gel all over, the duo used a finger-coiling technique on wet hair to set natural curls. They allowed hair to air dry completely, then used a pick to lift and open up the curl for volume and fullness. To finish, they detailed the style with a small iron where needed, but didn’t overcurl, to celebrate natural texture

“Having the support of Ulta on a shoot is like having a secret weapon in your back pocket. Since we are all things beauty, all in one place, we have access to tools and inspiration from many different places.”—Ammon Carver