Expert Advice

Choose Beauty: Matthew Morris

Victoria Wurdinger | July 10, 2011 | 11:26 PM
Matthew Morris has a passion for profession that devours the hours.

A metal sculptor, make-up artist, editorial hairdresser and salon owner, he’s done it all—almost simultaneously. The Colorado native and self-professed “outdoor type” is so present-focused that he even refuses to set goals because doing so could jinx what may evolve. He does yoga, too, and his favorite photo shoot was based on Tarot cards.

But lest you think he’s just new-agey, know that he’s also incredibly focused on his business, clients and career, and he’s media-savvy enough to feel free to not answer certain questions. An enigma? More like a balance of the many forces that attract success.

Winning Ways

One of those stylists who, as a child, styled his sister’s Barbie dolls, Morris was recognized as Editorial Stylist of the Year by the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) in 2005; in 2010, he was third runner-up on Bravo’s Shear Genius 3. He’s also had his work appear in Allure and Elle magazines. The foundation that boosted his artistry before beauty school, he says, was learning proportion and structure from metal sculpting and extending his vision doing make-up: “The face is a 3D canvas that you contour and highlight.”

Noting that you build a hairdo in 3D, Morris adds, “I won a NAHA because it was a very hair-centric shoot that was approachable but not too freaky. Shear Genius put a big exclamation point on everything I’d been doing; I entered because I knew it would be one gigantic commercial for my salon.”

Plentiful Payoffs

What’s different post-reality TV, he says, is that he’s finally getting paid for all the things he volunteered to do just to get his foot in the door. And, his entire staff is swamped with the business that name fame brings. They’re more than ready: Morris says it’s “massively important” that anyone he hires proves willing to continually evolve: “It drives me nuts when people get complacent.”

Since he considers himself the “King of the Consultation,” his staff is also well-versed in doing the right thing, which is advising on a total image but, in the end, giving clients what they want. The most satisfying part of his job, says Morris, is styling everyday people.

Choose Beauty: Matthew Morris
The Beast: Morris’ favorite photo shoot was Fortune, from 2007. “It’s pre-Twilight, dark and mysterious.”

Choose Beauty: Matthew Morris
Sunny Side Up: The Sun, from the Fortune shoot. “I love and hate something about all I do; I pick my work apart to evolve it.”

Choose Beauty: Matthew Morris
Ever the Winner: In high school, Morris built hot rods and drove a souped-up ’62 Ford Falcon that always beat his rich friends’ Mercedes and BMWs. “My dad collected cars for junk yards; it was like growing up on Sanford and Son—fun!”

Matthew’s Surprising Secrets

Backstory: Morris was confined to a plastic bubble for 16 months from the age of five, due to a non-existent immune system. He thought it was fun.“I never get sick now.”

Guilty Pleasure: Listening to Golden Oldies when no one is around.

Predominant Personality Trait: “I never get angry. I don’t know why and don’t want to know.”

Reading Right Now: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris—for the fourth time.

Choose Beauty: Matthew Morris
Making the Grade: Morris says he made a name for himself by volunteering at every photo shoot he could. “I’d still do it if I didn’t get paid, but it’s nice to be recognized.”

Animal Instincts (hair collection)

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