Anatomy of a Look: Ana Cristina’s Mother of “Purl”

Ana Cristina Gomes discusses in great detail the inspiration and creation process of this look that helped her advance to the next level of Wella’s TrendVision 2016 Awards. 

When I asked Ana Cristina Gomes, the Color Vision Category Winner for Wella’s Regional TrendVision 2016 Competition, the question, “What do you think was the one thing that really caught the attention of the judges” her response was, “Texture…but I don’t know.” As one of the judges for that competition I can tell you this—it is beyond difficult to choose just one thing that caught our attention. It was absolutely everything; her model, the styling, the color placement and formulas, the way she described her inspiration, even her mood board. It made a long-lasting impression on us and all of it is exactly what helped her advance to the next phase of the competition.

Before we have Ana Cristina break down her look, let me give you a quick little recap on what the contestants were asked to do. They were given the challenge to translate one of the two current Wella Trends—the Spring/Summer Trend called Molten Ecaille (Beauty of Slow) or the Autumn/Winter Trend called Bronde Luxe (Live Comfort Luxe)—on a single model. They were judged on how they translated the trend, the color formulation/placement, cutting, and styling. They were even responsible for finding their model, providing wardrobe and makeup. It was a challenge in creating a complete package. Not an easy challenge, but for Ana Cristina, her end result looked like she could do it with her eyes closed. She’s that good. See for yourself…

The Trend

I chose the Wella trend “Bronde Luxe (Live Comfort Luxe). The word “comfort” made me automatically think of natural texture. I wanted to portray a look the model would be comfortable in. And the confidence you saw strut down the runway came from knowing that she was comfortable and beautiful in her own skin…her own natural texture. Fur, coils, and wool are natural textures and speak to natural instinct, so I went with my natural instinct.

The Mood Board

With the mood board, I knew the tones I wanted to work with. I had decided that after looking at my haircut about 10 times a day, every day (I am not kidding). I knew what I wanted to go with and mother of pearl came to mind because of the pastel colors. When I was conducting my research, a clothing button was actually the first thing that popped up. The holes in the middle of the button, the tones, and even the shape all spoke texture to me. From there, I saw the simple oyster that held the pearl and the tones it was surrounded by and how beautiful the oyster was, in comparison to the pearl. My eyes just gravitated toward the shell and its shape. And those shapes guided me in the placement of the tones. I added different textures, like the wool and coils from the freshly shaven wood, as the background of my mood board. The name I gave my look was called, “Mother of Purl,” which is an alternative spelling of “pearl” that I adopted. It is a combination of the words “pearl” and “curl.”

Ana Cristina Gomes Wella TrendVision Mood Board

The Model

Her name is Jessica Rosa. I worked with her previously at a Holistic Color, Cut, and Finish class that I attended, taught by one of my favorite people—Stephen Moody.

The qualities that she possessed that really stood out to me are:

  1. Her texture, obviously.
  2. The confidence that she exuded when she wore my looks.
  3. We just had a good vibe together. She was open-minded in becoming my vision. And she believed in me, just as I believed in her. And that was the glue that made us stick. That’s everything! Because when the models don’t appreciate your art and your work, it all goes sour.


The Color

Jessica was originally a Natural Level 4 prior to decolorization. I decolorized her carefully with Wella’s Blondor Soft Blonde on the scalp with 30-volume developer and Blondor Multi Blonde also with 30-volume developer. I had to decolorize her three times and, after each process, I made sure to bathe her hair in Blondor’s Blonde Seal & Care.

For my color placement, I did 50cc of 10/88 (Innosense), 50cc of /88 (Koleston Perfect) 50cc of 0/00 (Innosense) with 1.5 ounces of Pastel developer throughout the head creating a 1-inch new growth appearance (processing for 20 minutes). I proceeded to create a section beginning below the right temple, wrapping around the head through the occipital bone and over to the underneath area of the left temple. Then, I mixed equal parts of Instamatic, Jaded Mint and Ocean Storm with 1.9% developer from Color Touch, carefully applying it only on the ends, which were an inch in length. As this processed, I created what I call the shapes of my oyster shell, which look similar to the shape of an eye—one right above the occipital bone, and another right above that. In the first area, I mixed Color Touch, 0/00- 50cc and 0/34-20cc. This formula was applied to mid-lengths and ends of the section. For the second section, I mixed Instamatic’s, Pink Dream with 9% and also applied only on the ends. I created my third and fourth “eye shape” section beginning my point above the temple area stretching back to my second section where I had the Pink Dream without overlapping. In these two sections, I also used Instamatic. My formula here was Muted Mauve (one of my favorites) with 1.9%. From there, I had a horseshoe shape at the crown. In the back area of the horseshoe, I used Illumina 10/69 with two parts Pastel Developer. As this processed, I mixed 1 part Smokey Amethyst from Instamatic with 1 part 1.9% developer. My color placement was decided based on the way the light hit my model’s hair. I wanted to enhance the shadows where they were and bring out the beauty of the light tones in natural and artificial lighting.

The Cut

In terms of cutting, I cut Jessica’s hair in its natural state, which I preferred. I sectioned off a horseshoe shape at the crown starting near the top of the temple. I began creating the shape around the perimeter making sure to not overcut the curl so there would still be some definition when I placed the color. To be honest, after I cut this area into the shape that I wanted, I had to walk away for a while and made Jessica walk for me so I could see how I would cut the remainder of the hair. I proceeded to slice the horseshoe shape into 1-inch subsections and strategically cut each section while stepping back each time to see my shape take place. Once I came to the front of her face, I cut a V-shaped fringe that allowed her eyes to show through just enough. The haircut took me three hours in total to complete and the only tools I used to cut her hair were Mizutani 6? and 7? scissors.

The Styling

The products I used to style Jessica were EIMI Thermal Image Heat Protector, EIMI Root Shoot, EIMI Sugar Lift, EIMI Boost Bounce, EIMI Glam Mist, Wella’s Oil Reflections. For my tools, I used a metal hair pick and a BabyblissPro Blow dryer and diffuser.

My steps for styling are as follows:

Step 1: While her hair was wet, I emulsified Oil Reflections throughout the hair and combed, though. Then, I sprayed the Thermal Image thoroughly.

Step 2: Root Shoot was then sprayed in 1-inch sections throughout the base of the head following with Sugar Lift on mid length and ends.

Step 3: Next, I applied the Boost Bounce from roots through ends and then proceeded to defuse the hair dry without disturbing the curl.

Step 4: I kept the curl tight to the head while thoroughly drying. Once the hair was completely dry, I placed my fingers at the scalp and shook the hair loose.

Step 5: I began “picking” the hair loose from the base outward with the metal hair pick and slowly allowed my shape to come trough without disturbing the texture. Once it was in place, I sprayed Glam Mist all over.

The Makeup

For the makeup, I brought along an assistant, Christine Moukazis, to execute the vision that I had in mind. Christine is actually the salon coordinator and makeup director at Voa Salon & Studio. I wanted a makeup look that would not distract nor take away from the hair, which I wanted to be the central focus. So, we went with soft, neutral tones that complimented the hair. Christine performed the following steps, in this exact order and used all the products listed below to execute the look.

  • Brows:
    • Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse in Rich Brown
  • Eyes:
    • Primer: Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion
    • Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette. On the lid, Christine used Skimp. As transition colors, she layered Stark, Zone, and Anaheim. For the crease, Christine used Punk. And she smoked out the bottom lid, combining Punk and Harajuku. She used Blonde to highlight the brow bone and the inner corners of the eye.
    • Lashes: Ardell Demi-Wispies
    • Mascara: Maybelline Colossal
  • Face:
    • Moisturizer: Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil
    • Primer: Mac Matte Creme/ NYX Pore Filler
    • Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in 310, Sun-Beige
    • Concealer: NYX HD Concealer in CW 02
    • Contour: Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Creme Kit
    • Under-Eye Setting Powder: Ben Nye Banana Powder
    • Finishing Powder: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder. To reinforce the contour, Christine went back in with NYX’s Highlight + Contour Kit
    • Blush: Ulta Mineral Blush in Peony
    • Highlight: Becca X Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector
    • Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter
  • Lips:
    • Liner: Mac Spice
    • Lip Balm: Baby Lips Medicated Lip Balm in Just Peachy
    • Gloss: Urban Decay Naked Lip Gloss in Walk of Shame

Ana Cristina Gomes Wella TrendVision Hairbrained

The Fashion

I wanted an edgy, classic look. I chose black for classic and the leather-fringed belt for the edginess. I didn’t want the wardrobe to take away from the hair, but I did want it to still make a statement. The shoes were black, simple with straps, which flawlessly pulled her look together.

3 Words

If I had to three words to describe my model it would be Exotic, Textured and Face. I say “face” because that was the advice I kept giving Jessica backstage. “Give them face!”

Tell me, Ana Cristina is there anything you are going to change or do differently for the next stage of the competition??

I’ve been giving nationals a lot of thought and have already begun to do some homework. I will change the look from Bronde Luxe, Autumn/ Winter to Molten Ecaille, Spring/Summer. At least, that’s what I’m thinking for now. As far as the shapes and tones, I will have to try to outdo what I did in the regionals in Philly. Let’s see what happens!

Photo Courtesy of Wella (top, middle)

Photo Courtesy of Randy Taylor/ (bottom)

*Industrie Co-Founder Kerri Lee-Young was one of the three judges during this regional competition in Philadelphia.

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