Beauty Launchpad Magazine

JUL 2016

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32 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | JULY 2016 When it comes to celebrity stylist Martino Cartier, there's more than meets the eye. —ALYSON OSTERMAN-KERR C O N V ERSATI O N S Man with a Mission U pon hearing Martino Cartier's name, a few perceptions may spring to mind, including (though certainly not limited to): 1) That's the guy who constantly draws huge audiences at all the major trade shows; 2) That's the guy who loves to wear over-the-top sparkly jackets and blinged-out shoes wherever he goes; and 3) That's the guy who was a salon owner screwup on Tabatha's Salon Takeover. Yet with Cartier, it's what you don't think, or know, of him that has turned him into a tour de force, and has forged him into not only one of pro-beauty's fi nest entertainers—but a fi ghter as well. When he was a teenager, Cartier learned that the state of New Jersey had sealed his birth records, meaning it would be next to impossible to fi nd his birth mother—whom he had long sought. Following weeks of torment from high-school bullies and poor test scores as a result of attention defi cit disorder, this news was the metaphorical straw that broke the camel's back. "I drove my mom's car into the woods, and wanted to be alone so I could just end it all," he recalls. But fate was on his side. When Cartier awoke in the hospital to his mother looking down on him in tears, he had an epiphany: "I realized that I couldn't give up ever again," he shares. A few months later, Cartier found himself in the principal's offi ce. "He suggested that I look into hairdressing as a career, and it was like a lightbulb went off; I had never thought of doing hair, although it was something that I always had a passion for," Cartier smiles, relaying how his mother would tell him of his childhood days spent watching observantly as the little girls in his grade would braid each other's hair. "It also didn't hurt that the principal told me I'd probably be the only guy in cosmetology school!" In that meeting with the principal, Cartier realized his calling. Not only that—he decided to change his destiny in more ways than one. "I was a nerd in high school, for sure," says Cartier, "but I determined to be a nerd who would stand out." With renewed vigor, Cartier attended his fi rst-ever trade event at New York City's International Beauty Show. "I made this crazy wig for myself—it looked absolutely horrible, in a 'so bad it's good' kind of way—and suited myself up so that I looked like Jim Carrey's character from The Mask, which had just come out," Cartier relates. "I walked that show fl oor, and everyone was pointing at me—but they weren't making fun of me." For the fi rst time in his life, Cartier was in on the joke. "Dozens of people stopped to take their picture with me—they thought it was hilarious," he continues. Cartier's desire for a crowd was born. A few years later, Cartier approached Freestyle Systems—"a company I was a real fan of," he says—and asked to demo their dryers at a trade show. "I was simultaneously excited and petrifi ed—Lord knows how much Pepto-Bismol I took that day," Cartier chuckles. "I was nervous that I wouldn't have an audience—to this day, one of my biggest fears is an empty crowd." And that drive to always have an audience is a large part of what has fueled Cartier's success. At any trade show, you'll fi nd droves of stylists lining up to see him perform on stage (at America's Beauty Show in Chicago earlier this year, the fi re marshal even approached Cartier to thin out his crowd due to potential safety hazards), and he has been the spokesperson for some of today's biggest brands, from Keratin Complex to his Martino Cartier

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