7 February 2023

Old meets New! Here’s Shu Uemura Gallery of Style Semi-Finalist Nicole Tomasch

The 6 National semi-finalists in the Shu Uemura Gallery of Style competition have been selected and we were in NYC to get backstage with them. Meet Nicole Tomasch: a master designer and a stylist at Phoenix Salon Day & Spa (Walnut Creek, CA) where more than 26 stylists beautify California women.

Nicole was kind enough to sit with Estetica and share some of her experience and journey though the Shu Uemura Gallery of Style Competition. Nicole is competing to win a professional photo shoot and immersion in Tokyo, the brand’s city of origin, and continued source of inspiration. She was challenged to interpret the contest theme, ‘Tokyo Vibe,’ by bringing to life Tokyo’s harmonious contradiction of sense of ritual and extreme attention to detail.

Tell us about your journey with Shu Uemura.
The nice thing about my salon is that we get to partner a lot with Shu Uemura, so our trainings together taught me a lot about the brand. However I leaned to use Shu Uemura because the owner of my salon was part of the Breakout Team for Shu Uemura education in styling and working with the brand.”

Now that you have selected it as a favorite, what sets these products apart?
What sets it apart for me is not just the styling capabilities, but its versatility while being amazing in the nutrition. This is the first time I entered Gallery of Style so I wanted something with impact. It’s not the first-time I enter a competition, but it was definitely one of the most intense.

How did you translate the Tokyo inspiration into your look?
I did a lot of research online. The most important thing was to make sure I had a really good grasp on what Tokyo Vibe meant. The Japanese hold on a lot to traditional values and you see that a lot through their stories of samurais and geishas, so I pulled those themes into the look. Then again, I think there is a lot of modernity with the trends that you see, and I wanted to portray some of that playfulness into the texture of the hair. The Samurai shape you see a lot directly down the center as you do in a Mohawk with the Dutch braid. In the geisha look you see a lot of ornamentation. I did Dutch braids there as well but they are the modern element. Then I brought the traditional influences with the mohawk sectioning and the hair coming in towards the face.”

What about your dreams?
Going to Tokyo was definitely one of those things on the bucket list and to be able to do it, while doing something that I love, my passion, was really special. Ideally, my dreams are to continue to build and grow in this artistic industry, meaning, becoming higher in my level of education, also through teaching. They’re limitless really. I’m excited.

To me, ‘Tokyo Vibe,’ is the harmonious combination of tradition and trend. Tokyo is a city rich in Japanese culture that is vividly present in art, theatre, music and on the busy Tokyo Streets. At the same time, modern trends are equally as important. Youth make their mark in society through movements, such as Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku. ‘Tokyo Vibe,’ in my mind, is the beautiful marriage of old meets new. My interpretation is a style that embodies the history of the culture and the creativity of the trends. Traditional influences are pulled from Geisha and Samurai Silhouettes, while the modern progressions are highlighted with braids, volume, a mixture of textures and just a hint of color.

”I used Satin Design, Ample Angora, Essence Absolue Oil, Texture Wave, Sheer Lacquer, Shape Paste.

Three U.S. Finalists will be announced in the next days and the three Global Winners will be announced in September 2016… check back with us for more updates on the talented Semi-Finalists!


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