Beauty Launchpad Magazine

JUN 2016

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78 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | JUNE 2016 Trendsetters/ A-List Making His Mark Star stylist Mark Townsend sits down with Launchpad's Alyson Osterman-Kerr to discuss what being a hairdresser means to him. I knew I was meant to be a stylist when, as a kid, the only toy I wanted to play with was the life-size Barbie doll head so I could style her hair," laughs Mark Townsend, whose illustrious career in the beauty industry includes regularly coiffi ng the likes of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Rachel McAdams and Dakota Johnson (just to name a few!). "As soon as I was able, I embarked on a hairdressing career." Believing that greatness comes to those who follow the wisdom of the greats, Townsend took it upon himself to get schooled by the best in the business, including Danilo and Sally Hershberger. "I learned about work ethic and how to always behave as a professional," recalls Townsend of 23-hour workdays, as well as a fi rst celebrity encounter—and valuable lesson—under the tutelage of Danilo. "I was so excited to be on set with Annie Lennox, and when the crew was invited to take photos with her, I stepped into line." Danilo, however, promptly pulled him out, advising that Townsend think of himself always as a professional, and never as a fan—a rule that he still follows today. (Hence why you'll rarely see him posting a celebrity selfi e on social media.) "It works for those who do it, but it's not who I am," Townsend says. Besides his red carpet and editorial work, Townsend maintains a steady client base, recently rejoining Hershberger at her salon in Los Angeles. Though he counts roughly 20 years of professional styling under his belt and innumerable envy-inducing career highs, Townsend's proudest achievement remains the relationships he shares with all his clients— along with a special fondness for the Olsen twins. "I've been doing their hair for 14 years, since they were girls—and they've evolved into such powerful women," Townsend smiles. "It's so nice when you have these clients whom you've been with forever, and gotten to witness these monumental moments in their lives. It's one of the best parts about being a hairdresser." "I am always grateful…I'm blown away by my own life." —Mark Townsend MARK TOWNSEND MARK: HILARY WALSH/COURTESY OF STARWORKS ARTISTS; REESE: FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES; JANUARY: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE; ASHLEY: RABBANI AND SOLIMENE PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES Mark Townsend dishes on a few of his crowning achievements. "It was my second time working with Reese and I suggested bangs, and she was totally on board—the day of a major awards show! It was a risk, and in this case it really worked, but looking back I don't know if I'd do that again! She looked like a ray of sunshine— everything works so perfectly." "I wanted January's hair to be a little fuller on the bottom and fl at on top. The look was inspired by old Hollywood." "That half-up hairstyle with the knot—I'm such a fan of it. Ashley and I get to be really creative together. The overall look was one I'd consider elevated street style." REESE WITHERSPOON, 2007 JANUARY JONES, 2009 ASHLEY OLSEN, 2015

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