Behind the Cover: March 2014

By Alison Alhamed | 03/10/2014 10:56:00 AM


Here, the cover image with the "paparazzi" figurines. Each year, Luis Alvarez, Aquage co-founder and creative director, spends the holiday season in Amsterdam as he explores the beauty, wonder and history of the charming capital city.

Just a block from his flat, Alvarez visited Westerkerk a church built in the early 1600s, where the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt was buried. Inspired by the experience, he roamed the Negen Straatjes (nine little streets) in the heart of Amsterdam’s canal district. It was in an eclectic Dutch boutique there that he found the miniature figurines that became the unifying element used to communicate the concept for the March 2014 cover story.

“This is a story about getting in closer to our work so we can really scrutinize and evaluate the individual elements that create a successful, pleasing form,” Alvarez says. “I’ve always been an advocate of taking the time to step back and evaluate how all the elements of a style or an image work together to deliver an impactful, cohesive whole.” He says the miniature figurines, were used humorously to emphasize this point and weave a cohesive visual thread through the story.

“Our goal was to inspire MODERN readers, fellow hairdressers, and make-up and nail artists to take a closer look, to sweat the details and concentrate on building every style by executing the details with care, originality, quality and authenticity,” Alvarez says. “But equally as important is maintaining a sense of humor! So this story, with its tiny figures, has a bit of a whimsical wink. Humor is one of the most attractive qualities we beauty professionals deliver day-in and day-out in our salons. Keep beauty fun!” 

—Alison Shipley Alhamed

Make-up artist Wanda Alvarez used Pearl Dust, a cake-decorating accent, on the eyebrows and white lashes, and silver shadow to transform the model's skin into a winter landscape.   The Aquage team partnered with CND nail artist Angi Wingle to create a sculptural nail treatment that added a futuristic feel to the image with strong detailing.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alison Alhamed

Alison Alhamed, Editor in Chief of Modern Salon Magazine | Editor of First Chair

Since July 2008, Alison has worked across all brands under the MODERN SALON Media umbrella, including MODERN SALON, SALON TODAY, FIRST CHAIR and MODERN SALON TV. Alison’s passion for the beauty industry grew even deeper after she enrolled in beauty school, working as an editor by day and a student by night. Alison earned her cosmetology degree from Pivot Point International in Bloomingdale, Illinois, in May 2011.

You can find Alison on Google+ or e-mail her at


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