2e9168a8af5507c57916 kirsten forbes

Kirstin Forbes of Anchorage, Alaska recently won the PRAVANA SHOW US YOUR VIVIDS Contest – if you take a peek at her beautiful images you’re eyes will be just as delighted as ours were. Her beautiful placement of color and the style to go with it were the perfect combination of cut, color and style working together seamlessly. Kirstin drew her inspiration from blown glass and translated it into a mix of fun fantasy and beautiful reality. The PRAVANA SUYV's judging panel said Kirstin’s work was “Seamless blending at its best! All of the elements of this entry have been beautifully orchestrated to create a visual masterpiece! BRAVO!” We couldn’t agree more! Take a peek below to see her art in all its glory and hear about her inspiration and her techniques!

What drew you to hair styling?

 I originally wanted to be a cinematographer but the cost of going to school, getting a job, and paying off loans was too extreme for me. I was already an assistant, managing a salon at 18 and I LOVED watching models come in and get their hair styled. I loved hanging in the back salon stations and watching the stylists work on hair. That’s really what drew me to it; it was like watching magic, color change to new colors and seeing the amazed looks on the clients faces when their hair was revealed. Right after high school, I headed to beauty school and have continued to take classes to this day.

What is your favorite technique to use?

My favorite technique would be utilizing the razor. I have always been a fan of how it can be used. I love how razors can shape hair in many different ways with achieving different results. Thinning, feather, edgy, and piecey.

What has been your biggest defining moment in your career?

I would have to say it was when I changed from a commission-based, corporate salon to booth renting. It was a big jump, and I remember being so scared. I just felt like I had more freedom to be creative. Also, winning the PRAVANA SHOW US YOUR VIVIDS competition!

Is there a specific area you often find yourself looking to for inspiration?

Honestly as cliché as it sounds, I pretty much look for inspiration everywhere. Generally, I find color inspiration from obscure objects, or anime hair. It’s amazing that stylists can take something imagined or drawn and turn it into reality.

What is the one product/tool that you can’t live without?

 My hands? No seriously though, they are my biggest tool. I have always been one to try new things, so I don't have one set tool or product that pulls me in. 

How did you dream up your “Show Us Your Vivids” winning collection?

 For my SUYV inspiration, I was browsing YouTube late into the night (because that’s what YouTube is for) and I was just mesmerized by glass blowing videos. They can make almost any shape/color with perfect fluidity. Keeping a strong shape but with this smoothness to each object that’s created.

How do you use styling to enhance your images?

Instead of using a day-to-day cut or style, I like to bring an editorial edge to my look, molding fantasy into real life. That style inspiration elevates what would be a normal image into art.

How did you work with your makeup/styling team to craft the final image?

I have been working with my team for years and we have gotten to know each other so well that it’s crazy easy to work together. I brought up my idea for hair, and sent a mood board to the team. When we all got together, we bounced additional ideas off each other regarding color, background and wardrobe – after that it all came together.

What is this collection saying about color trends?

It’s all about marrying the bold and soft to create a whole new aesthetic. Taking the leap to add a statement to your everyday look.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? 

As a straight up geek/nerd, this is a loaded question. I find it funny that out of all these questions, this is the one that hits me. There’s no one power that I could have. There are so many pro's and con's to each, bringing great responsibility. So, obviously I would want them all, and no capes.

Who were your mentors along the way and how have they shaped your career?

Living in Alaska, I didn't have a traditional hair mentor. My biggest editorial mentor would have to be my photographer, Thuy Alleva, and her sister Mai Kacillas. Together, they have helped me refine my style and view editorial looks in a whole new light. My mom, Stephanie Forbes, has just been my biggest mentor, even with being my mother. If I am ever feeling in doubt, she always encourages me, is incredibly supportive and has helped me stay true to my own style.

What hair/color trends can we look forward to this Fall?

What I see evolving for this Fall is the slow down of reds and coppers, turning into rich blondes. The natural looks, such as the balayage, will stick around for another season thanks to the maintenance simplicity and natural essence of the style. Through this Fall we will be integrating clients into using their natural root instead of lightening and darkening their base for balayage and shadow root. I also see the professional world being infiltrated with fashion colors as employers become more open and accustomed to seeing professional women with edgier styles.

Stay tuned for the latest color trends and check out our favorite shades of the season, here!