Q&A Makeup Artist of the Year NAHA Nominee: Kymm Ernst

The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) honor the professional salon industry’s top talent each year during the Cosmoprof North America show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In anticipation of this year’s event, we talk to the nominees who share their inspiration, excitement and advice.

Nominee: Kymm Ernst

What was the inspiration for the collection?

My inspiration for this year’s collection started from a Marilyn Monroe plate I was given. I would look at it and wonder how amazing it would be to transform someone to look like a pop art painting—only with make up. 

How did you create the looks?

The looks were created by researching the many others that have embraced the pop art concept. The models had to resemble former iconic celebrities. The green check shirt was hand cut, square by square, the other was hand painted. The hair by Mark Putnam had to look like a vintage painting.

What inspired you to enter NAHA?

My inspiration has always been from Mark Putnam. I met him in 2000 when he entered for Texture. We entered in 2004 and he won for Long Hairdresser, that image was used for the following year’s NAHA postcard. 

What was your reaction when you heard you were a nominee?

My reaction when I found out I was a nominee was to cry. I was so overwhelmed with appreciation that the industry likes what I do. I regard it as the biggest compliment.

What advice do you have for others who are thinking of entering NAHA?

Keep your dreams and vision clear. I had the idea for this collection for many years before actually focusing on my vision.