HAIR SKIN & NAILS
Photographer: Austin Bralynski @austinbralynski
Stylist: Andy Reiff @andyreiff
Makeup Artist: Jason Case @makeupbyjcc
Hair Stylist: Mikey Tubolino @mikey_tubolino
Designer: Subin Hahn @subinhahnofficial
We are raising the importance of personal hygiene for him, them and everyone. Almost all beauty advertisements we see today are catered towards predominantly the female demographic, often leaving male’s as an afterthought. We believe it is just as important for men to take care of themselves and maintain their hygiene by performing daily regimes. We came up with “Hair, Skin and Nails” to speak on the three essential parts of our bodies to take care of and to remove the stigma around personal hygiene in hyper-masculine men. It's time to inform the male demographic that it is time to start taking care of their bodies and present themselves in the best way possible!
We were so honored to collaborate with Fluide on the shoot. What do you think separates their company from others?
I believe the thing that really separates Fluide from other beauty brands on the scene right now, is their gender-blind marketing! They simply market their products to people and there is absolutely no judgment passed on who the customer is that is buying the products. The packaging doesn’t rely on annoying stereotypes that have been done to death. I know we’ve all walked through the store before and seen the stark contrast between products marketed towards men vs women. Why can’t a man smell like jasmine and lilac? Who wants to smell like wood and eagle tears? So, it’s very refreshing to see a brand say, “this is what we’re selling, and it’s for everybody!”
With their red luscious locks, androgynous beauty and ultimate charisma, Reece Borden shows the beauty in non conforming!
Nyx walks into any room and you're bound to feel the energy shift. With their bubbly and outgoing personality, there’s no way, not to have a fun time around them! We practically couldn't stop laughing on set with their constant jokes.
Originally from Birmingham Alabama, this 20 year old called New York home in 2017 and has since made it their stage becoming a model, singer/songwriter and preforming artist. They describes themselves as if “El Vira and Britney Spears had a baby, a very gay baby.”
Serving you porcelain skin and deep turquoise hair, Zach becomes the prime example of what it looks like to take care of your skin. He'll walk you through his daily regime as to how he achieves the glow from inside and outside!
NAILS ON NYX!
ZACH ON SKINCARE!
What does it mean to you to have long hair? Do you absolutely love it or have a love-hate relationship with it? Why?
Like everything about our physical presentation, long hair is a form of signaling with lots of history. For cis straight men with long hair, that history derives from the ‘70s, rock n’ roll, punk, metal, and culture rebels like Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Slash. For these men, long hair is a specific strain of rebellion against mid century respectability, the grade school dress code that dictated boys were to have clean-cut hair. As a non-binary person, my long hair is a balancing act, not in rebellion to respectability so much as the acknowledgment of it, a buckling to it. As I began to grapple with my gender in 2016, I relied on experimentation with femininity as a way of running away from my masculine attachments. Growing my hair out was part of that journey, and found that I felt more myself with longer hair. And I love it, it ground me to my internal sense of self. I still get uncomfortable when strangers call me “ma’am” and when I speak to them, they’ll apologize by calling me “sir,” but I get a thrill out of people’s confusion, it’s fun to revel in the ability to shape shift in this way. I feel like a syzygy in those moments, a whole, united person.
What is one hair product that you cannot live without?
The hair product I can’t live without is New Wash by Hairstory. I came across this product when I was learning about co-washes, and now I can’t go without it. Normally, I wash my hair once every 5-7 days, but when my hair gets too dirty, I’ll use New Wash in lieu of shampoo and conditioner. It wicks the dirt from my hair without stripping my scalp of its good oils! I also like Hairstory because they do an online assessment of your hair type and match you to a product that’s best for your hair’s needs.
Have you ever received any backlash or criticism from others on having long hair? Did your family or friends ever disagree with your decision to grow it out?
Everyone in my life has been supportive of my hair, but what I have noticed is an insistence on emphasizing masculine aspects of having long hair (e.g. man bun, mountain man, wild man). I think that’s just how some people process their relationship to my hair, but I’ve never had anyone tell me I should cut it, etc.
Do you think there is a stigma around the male demographic having long hair? If so, why?
I certainly think so. To circle back to respectability, I believe there’s a strong cultural bias against any “feminine” traits in men, perpetuated by other men and women alike. Even if the man in question falls along the lines of the masculine “rebel,” they’re still portrayed as cultural black sheep, not to be emulated.
What does Reece have planned for 2020? Any big goals or dreams you want to accomplish?
In this next year, I’m going to be working toward getting some of my writing produced, hopefully a short film or web series. And I want to submit a feature-length screenplay to a festival or competition!
THE STUNNING REDHEAD, REECE
What is your relationship with your hair? Has it always been long since you were young? Does anyone else in your family have red hair?
I started growing out my hair in the winter of 2016, and at the time I had dyed it blonde. Growing up, I’ve always been aware of the “legacy” of my hair; my dad had red hair until he was a teenager, one of his brothers has it, and my mom’s dad had red hair. The genetics pointed to an inevitable outcome. And when I was young, I hated the attention I got for my red hair, especially for a tall queer kid in the South who wanted only to blend in. Nowadays, my hair (its color, its length, its volume) helps me believe in my power. It’s my charisma and my solitude, allowing me to emerge and withdraw circumstantially.
What does your daily hair regimen look like? What types of products do you use? Are you cautious of the ingredients that are in the products you buy?
My daily hair regimen really only involves brushing my hair out. Because my hair is on the drier side, I use a lot of moisturizers after washing, so I’m wary of using other products on it throughout the week. I prefer my hair to feel as light as possible. On wash days, I shampoo and then use a product I adore that a friend got me for Christmas one year called El Abono Bio-Hair Fertilizer. Then I use a penetrating oil before I towel-dry, and then finish with R+Co High-Dive moisture and shine crème. I try to stick to products that are recommended by professionals, and when I can, I research what’s best for my hair type.
What do you think will be the next trend for hair?
Since nostalgia rules pop culture right now, I think the next trend in hair will be ‘00s throwback. Think razor cut dos, dramatic side-swept bangs, crimps, and zig-zag parts.
What is your relationship with nails? Has your family or friends influence your maintenance/grooming of your nails?
My mother is one of my biggest beauty and style influences! For as long as I can remember, she has always kept manicured and painted nails. My entire life I’ve been in love with vibrant colors, so as a child it was always a very fun experience for me to sit by my mom and watch her paint her nails a different color. And then the added excitement of watching her pick an outfit to go with the nails just stuck with me into adulthood.
How do you decide what color to paint your nails? Do you base it off a favorite color? A feeling? Day to day emotions? Anything else?
For the most part, it is a day to day decision. Sometimes I’ll base my nail color off of my outfit, but then there are other times when the nails influence the clothes that I wear. My favorite colors are green and pink so I have probably 100 different varying shades of those two colors. Although, every now and then a striking red or black nail is very much called for!
Do you believe there is a stigma around males having painted nails? If so, why do you think so?
Oh, there 100% is. As I mentioned earlier, sitting with my mom as she did her nails (or had them done at a salon) was always very fun for me, but the disconnect came with the fact that I couldn’t join her. I had a lot of female friends growing up and for the longest time I was so confused as to why they could get their nails painted with their moms, but I wasn’t allowed to. It wasn’t until I grew up a bit that I realized that it is taboo for men and boys in our society to express themselves in nearly any creative way. It all comes back to the strict binary that we enforce in western culture. There are very distinct rules for women and girls, and then an entirely separate set of rules for men and boys. I’ve always found it so absurd! Men are supposed to be colorless, rigid, stern, and to never express how they actually feel inside. Then, there was the added element of me growing up in a very small and very religious town in the deep south. The Bible says that men are not to dress like women, and vice versa. So, me walking around in nail polish and makeup is considered pretty blasphemous back home.
Have you had any negative experiences/backlash with having your nails painted?
Not so much since I’ve relocated to New York City, but in high school I would frequently paint my nails and it would blow my mind how something so seemingly small and insignificant like painted fingernails would just absolutely throw people over the edge! I would constantly be called “f*ggot” and “tr*nny”, or told “boys don’t do that! What’s wrong with you!?”
Where do you draw inspiration from for your amazing looks? People, music, art, etc?
My biggest style inspirations are Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, El Vira, Vampira, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, MARINA, SZA, Doja Cat, Kacey Musgraves and virtually any woman in pop culture who has proven/is currently proving that you can be both highly feminine and extremely powerful. The two are not mutually exclusive! In the fashion world, I absolutely adore designers like Thierry Mugler, Iris Van Herpen, Alexander McQueen, Jeremey Scott, and Vivienne Westwood.
What would you like to see happen in the beauty industry in 2020?
To be quite frank, many of the biggest influencers and names in the beauty industry right now are racist, misogynistic, and out-of-touch wealthy white people. In the new year, and the new decade, I want to see more black and brown influencers and beauty brands getting their rightful seat at the table! And not just a seat, but a voice in the global beauty conversation. Fenty was just the beginning! I, also, want to see more of my trans and gender-nonconforming family finally getting the love and recognition that they deserve!
What is some advice you can offer to those who are reading this interview?
Quit selling yourself short!! If you are LGBTQIA+, a woman, a person of color, or an individual living with disabilities, this world is already set up against you. At every corner someone is trying to tear you down, so why tear yourself down? I know it can be easy to get lost in the hard times and the negative comments and that you can even begin to believe them yourself. However, allowing other people’s perceptions of you to influence your own perception of yourself is a fatal flaw. So, brag about your accomplishments in that job interview! Openly admit and congratulate yourself when you’ve done a good job! Always remain humble, but never mistake humility for self-deprecation.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi! I’m Zach (he/they), I’m 19, I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn (originally from Oklahoma) and I’m on a gap year from school. I completed my freshman year and realized my passion was kind of outside of what I had been studying so I took a year to intern across the city. So far its been SUCH a good learning experience, this year away (or at least the 6 months so far) has been invaluable for my growth.
What is your relationship with your skin? Have you suffered from any skin conditions?
My relationship with my skin has been soooo complex. I’ve had troubled/acne-prone skin since middle school and it's continued (although it has gotten better) into my young adult years. I’ve learned to work with my skin after so many years of fighting it and it has been so good for me! Learning how to just accept that I can only do so much has been so essential.
What does your daily skin care routine look like?
Whew! Okay so I base my routine around K-beauty 10 step routines so its a little long but:
a. Cleanser (Lush Ultrabland)
b. Toner (Body Shop Tea Tree/Laniege Dry Skin Toner)
c. Essence (Missha Time Revolution)
d. Serums (The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, Kiehl’s Vitamin C)
e. Moisturizer (First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair or Glossier Rich Priming Moisturizer)
Dewy or matte skin?
Dewy skin is healthy skin!!!! I think that there’s this misconception about dry/matte skin being optimal and in my experience my skin is dewy/glossy when it's at its healthiest!
There is a certain stigma on Instagram around the use of Facetune and other editing apps to enhance your skin. What is your viewpoint on this?
Do what makes you happy! That’s like my first rule for social media, but also keep in mind if editing contributes to body/self image in an unhealthy way you should cut it out!! I’ve never felt the need to Facetune myself, but I know some people do and I love that for them.