Makeup-Inspired Hair Color Formulas

Strobing, contouring and accentuating—sure these techniques are wildly popular makeup trends, but Matrix SoColor is making them integral concepts for hair color. “We’re taking what makeup does for the face and pushing it to the next level with hair color,” says Robert Santana, Matrix Global Artistic Director. “Where you’d put the highlight with makeup, that’s where we’re going in with a lightener and strobing with hair color. It’s light diffusing, just like it is with makeup.” As for the newest, hottest Matrix SoColor shades, they’re lifted right off the makeup palette—sun-kissed bronze, rich mocha with a hint of red and cool rose-toned violet—making Matrix SoColor the new “makeup” for hair.


Mocha Magic

This hair color creation was all about the deep mocha-red lip seen on the runways, celebrities and social media. “We took that trendy deep plum and berry lip color—which sometimes looks almost black—and translated it onto the hair canvas,” says Santana. At the salon, model Carmen was worried about bleach being put on her naturally curly hair. But Santana assured her that wasn’t going to happen. “With this color there’s no need to pull out the bleach,” he explains. “We went two levels lighter, creating a subtle tone-on-tone hue. It’s like putting on a really soft whisper of highlighter first, then going in with the mocha-red tone.” As for his makeup-like application, Santana played up the model’s eyes and even enhanced her natural widow’s peak.


First Look

For her style, Santana curled the hair throughout with a 1-inch iron, leaving two inches straight for a modern vibe.


Second Look
Santana took Carmen’s boho-chic style to another level with his second look. He lifted a diamond section of hair at the top of her head and made a loose fish braid to create height and playfulness.



Matrix SoColor formula
Clear .5g, 5VR .5g, equal parts 10 volume, BOND Ultim8 System.


Bronzed Beauty

Sun-kissed makeup palettes are everywhere right now. People love that “I’ve just been on vacation” glow. And, with Alli’s skin tone and freckles, a copper bronze shade would look better than a true red. Matrix Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas used her underlying natural red pigments to give the color vibrancy and longevity. “Everyone’s hair has red undertones, why not use them in your favor?” says Papanikolas. “It’s all about balance, with a deeper bronze at the roots and bumping up the color a full level at the mid-length and ends.”


First Look

For her style, Papanikolas went super glam, old Hollywood, with a classic marcel wave. To give the hair extra body, he brushed through the waves with Matrix Style Link Mineral Airy Builder Dry Texture Foam.

Second Look
Alli’s second look was a more youthful, straight up “cool girl” style. Papanikolas first did a flat-iron wave. Then he took a 1-inch iron and bent the hair back and fourth, leaving the ends with a rougher texture.



Matrix SoColor formula
7CG with 30 volume, 8C with 40 volume, BOND Ultim8 System.


Cool Confidence

Just like a makeup artist zeros in on a model’s best feature, Santana decided this model’s hair color had to play up her eyes. “Ekaterina has the most beautiful coolness in her eyes,” says Santana. “Knowing this, we went in and strobed with peaks and valleys, creating highlights near her eyes, accenting them like makeup.” The cool violet shade was customized to her skin tone, giving a soft whisper of color that felt nuanced yet organic.


First Look

Matrix Master Artistic Educator Victoria Yeremchuk added a bit of texture with an iron and sectioned the hair ear-to-ear. She then created a Dutch braid at the top of the head, opening it up and deconstructing it for added width.

Second Look

After taking down the braid, Yeremchuk knew exactly what to do for her model’s second style. “The hair was speaking to me,” says Yeremchuk, “it wanted even more volume.” To create this pumped-up beach wave, Yeremchuk started at the regrowth, taking small sections and wrapping them around the curling iron. But before she wrapped each section, she applied Matrix Style Link Mineral Airy Builder Dry Texture Foam, giving the hair added body, texture and movement.



Matrix SoColor formula 11P .5oz, 9P .5oz, 11A .5g,
3VR .2g, equal parts 10 volume,
BOND Ultim8 System.


Photographer Amber Gray 

Editor Andrea Dawn Clark

Lead Hair Stylists George Papanikolas, Robert Santana, Victoria Yeremchuk

Makeup Artist Mykel Renner

Fashion Stylist Rod Novoa