As Ulta Beauty prepared to open the doors to its first-ever Manhattan location, Chief Artistic Director Nick Stenson and his Pro Team headed into the heart of Times Square to capture a collection inspired by the city that never sleeps.
“With deadlines, work and stress, as an adult, I lost a little of the excitement that the holidays used to bring,” Stenson says. “But being in New York City, you really feel the spirit. Times Square has the most amazing energy.”
Together with educators Akiiki Hill and Shaun Brezanin, Stenson and his Ulta Beauty Pro Team—comprising top educators and colorists Sonya Dove, Sean Godard, Danielle Keasling, Ammon Carver and Carmody Homan—collaborated to create a collection designed to inspire both the stylist and the client.
“At Ulta Beauty, we want to be aspirational but we want to be obtainable—we don’t want to put imagery and education out there if stylists won’t ever be able to use it,” Stenson says. “We aren’t just a retail mecca. We’re opening 100 new salons and stores every year, and have an amazing career path for stylists. Our 7,000 service providers agree that we’re a total beauty playground.”
For most, the notion of styling models to perfection and setting out into Times Square to photograph them on a bustling Saturday night would seem impossible.
“The Pro Team always knows when we walk into a shoot, it’ll be the most ambitious shot list of all time— but everyone works together so well that it becomes seamless,” Stenson says. “It’s a total group effort. Everyone’s hands were in every one of these images. Sean might be doing color, but Sonya was sectioning and handing foils. Ammon was building a style, and I’m handing him bobby pins. We’re able to put out work like this because there’s no ego.”
Hair: Ulta Beauty Pro Team
Photographer: Richard Monsiers
Makeup: Deney Adam
Styling: Carlton Jones
Nails: Sarah Nguyen