Breaking down the boundaries society has made surrounding gender, Samantha Lemon has created a beautiful collection that portrays her model in a whole new light. Keep reading to learn more about the inspiration behind the collection and how she got the look!
When creating this shoot it really came together quite nicely. Davines World Style Contest had just opened, and I was looking for a model to create my look on. At the time I was looking for a long haired female model - a male model didn’t cross my mind for this type of shoot. Even though I have a passion for men’s hair and men’s styling is a rising trend. My longtime friend had come into the salon for his usual cut, and our photographer Kristen Correa-Flint took one look at him and said he needs to be the one for this shoot. We were already talking about taking his hair silver again, so it all seemed to fall in place. I love my place of work because we are constantly brainstorming and bouncing ideas off of each other, which I believe is critical for our area of work. Between Kristen and Dallan Flint they’ve got my gears turning and that night, I went home, pulled up my Pinterest, and got to mood boarding.
Image Credit // Pinterest
This session was inspired by multiple sources. My first photoshoot was inspired by the androgynous lifestyle, and ever since then, I have been drawn to the look. My mission with this shoot was to make a statement about the beauty/fashion community. A lot of times I have women in my chair who want short hair but don’t want to “look like a boy” or guys that don’t color their hair because its “a girl thing”. When we can let go of barriers and find the balance of masculinity and femininity, it creates something beautiful? I wanted to make a statement and promote the androgynous lifestyle. When the reader would look at my photos, I wanted to evoke a feeling and hopefully spark change and inspiration. I think a lot of the time we get caught up in a cut or how color is supposed to look and forget about the overall look and feel. When storyboarding I don’t just think of the hair, I think about makeup, wardrobe, and most importantly, the mood you want to portray.
My mood board was complete. I knew I wanted to have a very moody, boujee, androgynous feel to the total image. My color scheme was black, white, and gold. I wanted to get as close to creating a black and white image without the use of a filter. I went to 3 different shops to find pieces for the wardrobe. I always love to wander and let things come to me. I knew I wanted to have a balance of feminine and masculine so I wandered through the women’s and men's sections. We have a beautiful vintage shop in Utah where I found some of the jewelry and pants for the shoot. However, I find most of my pieces at Forever 21, I knew I needed a boujee fur coat for sure, but I bought multiple pieces to work off of. I have found that the wardrobe you least expect to like is the one that works, so having multiple options is ideal.
Creating the Look:
I determined the natural level (natural level 7) and the goal color (level 10 platinum blonde) I mixed Davines Lightener with 20 vol. I also pre-trimmed his hair so I wouldn’t be coloring what would be eventually cut off. When going silver always ask, “How many levels of lift do I need?”
I applied Lightener on zone 2 and 3 on the top of the head using foils, slicing ¼ in sections and applying ½ inch off base with heavy saturation. I also feathered the sides where the cut transitioned. It was far enough off the scalp it wouldn’t be interacting with the heat zone, then I covered it with a foil so it wouldn’t dry out. A big mistake with men's coloring is just throwing color on, just because men don’t have long hair doesn’t mean they don’t have a heat zone that comes into play. I also mixed Keune’s So Pure Lightener and 20 vol. for his eyebrows. Applied, and put a cut-out foil on the brows so they wouldn’t dry out. Then I waited until his hair lifted to a pale yellow, applied lightener at the base, and let process to my desired level.
I rinsed with a purple shampoo, towel dried and determined the underlying pigment. He was at what I like to call “Draco- Malfoy Yellow”. When toning it is extremely important to tone true to level and think about your color wheel and what you need to do to cancel out unwanted tones. In this case, he was at a pale yellow and I knew I needed purple to cancel out the unwanted tone. I used a 9.27, the violet has the purple I need, the blue will give it the extra kick, and the pearl gives the hair beautiful iridescence and shine.
I’m not going to lie, the style happened on pure coincidence! I was rough drying him to see if I needed to tone again (I like pre-toning my silvers). I knew I wanted the hair lifted in the front. So I was just rough drying the hair in that fashion with my hands to see how the color was laying. At the end we decided we actually liked how it looked, it was nicely disheveled and wavy. At this point it had no product in it so I threw in some Gloss Spray and a bit of hairspray for hold. Sometimes men's styling thrives on messiness, don’t overdo it!
I am also a makeup artist! I wanted something very gender neutral but also wanted that black and white feel. I had accidentally left my fx white cream base makeup at my house, so I improvised and mixed clear brow gel and white eyeshadow together and applied to his brows to tame and hold, and to his eyelashes for color. Always be prepared to innovate and work with what you have; I believe little details like this make or break photoshoots!
Kristen Correa-Flint was my photographer and she always does a phenomenal job. This was actually Reubens first time modeling and the photographer was a big help when it came to posing and direction. It’s amazing how hair and wardrobe can transform a person and the best part what when Reuben said he felt like it gave him a major confidence boost. Dallan Flint was on set helping with lighting, wardrobe, and the overall shoot. He created one of the tulle pieces you see in this collection, it’s a skirt that he threw over his torso, and over his head. It was so cool on camera and I am so thankful for his out of the box thinking. Again, have fun with the wardrobe and think out of the box! I feel like we really created some magic that night and I am beyond thankful to Dallan and Kristen for cultivating a creative and innovative environment where we can work as a team to create beautiful imagery. Go Haus of Flint Team! If I could say the takeaway from this is to work as a team, and dare to create, you can never fail, even failure leads to learning and growth, so create without boundaries and watch yourself succeed!
Take a peek behind the scenes!
Photographer: Kristen Correa- Flint
Hair/ Makeup: Samantha Lemon
Model: Reuben Miller
Tulle Wardrobe: Dallan Flint