Home Beauty He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

by белый

He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

If a viral hair color is dominating your TikTok feed, chances are it was the handiwork of Matt Rez. The L.A.-based colorist has become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand pros, creating trend-sparking looks for the likes of Hailey Bieber, Angelina Jolie, Florence Pugh, and Kendall Jenner, to name a few. But though his creations tend to inspire buzzy social trends (“They’re typically food-related, which is kind of funny,” he says), Rez’s goal is to create color that is timeless. His work is both elevated and organic. “I love anything that looks natural — or has some sort of natural [element] to it,” explains Rez. “Even if it’s a crazy color, the placement of it is natural-looking with some sort of a gradient. It’s never just one solid block of color.” 

He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

Professionally, the 37-year-old Moroccanoil global celebrity color ambassador has been crafting color for the past two decades. But his work really started at just 9 years old when his family immigrated to America from Iran. His first attempt at hair color? Not quite so natural. “It was a predominantly white area and, in the summers, I would see the kids come back from summer vacation, and they all had highlights, either from the sun or they would go and get their hair done,” says Rez. “I came home, and I told my parents I wanted to color my hair, and my mom was like, ‘Absolutely not, boys don’t color their hair,’ which was a cultural thing. So, one day, I decided to go behind their backs and get a box of bleach from a nearby Walgreens.” This misguided venture (and the journey back to his original hue) resulted in hair the shade of “Szechuan chicken,” broken strands and a damaged scalp — and a boy completely enamored with coloring hair. “I got obsessed with the idea that I could actually change something with a chemical in an artistic way,” says Rez. “I found that thing in me that needed to do art through this hair experience.”

He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

After attending beauty school as a teenager in Portland, Oregon, Rez moved to Los Angeles at 18, where he continued his color education and training at Vidal Sassoon in Santa Monica. It was there, and then later at celebrity-favorite Mèche Salon, that he began building his client roster from the ground up through social media (his first high-profile client, Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni, was the result of a DM), word of mouth (brags and tags from actors like InStyle cover girl Eiza González), and innovative coloring techniques. Once Rez began lightening deeper brunette hues with the help of a precise foiling pattern and “midlights”—a coloring concept that Rez pioneered—his business blew up. 

“I was doing hair the same way as all my colleagues [in the mid-2010s],” says Rez, referencing common processes, including base-bumping, root shadowing, and highlight blending. Though somewhat effective, the approach resulted in complaints, mostly that hair looked too dark, brassy, or unnatural. One night while pondering his craft, Rez had a revelation: “What if I merge the traditional bump with a new placement of the warmth it creates, controlling the benefits without overpowering the highlights?” From there, Rez created the idea of a midlight, a warm color designed to connect the client’s base color with the incorporated highlight for depth, light, and balance. “I started placing my midlight foil in a specific pattern aligned with my highlight foil,” says Rez, who consulted with friend and assistant Jason Seradsky to dial in the details. “A few days later, a client of mine who always had the typical complaints came in, and I decided to do my technique on her—and voila! She had never been happier.”

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He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

These days, Rez, who works alongside his partner, hairstylist Adam Campbell, in a private studio space in Beverly Hills, is responsible for the sort of hair color that dominates the beauty conversation for an entire season (most recently: Bieber’s “cinnamon cookie butter brunette”). “I don’t go into it looking to create a trend; it just kind of happens,” he shrugs. The colorist attributes any success to attention to detail and his passion for the process. “I love to test new colors — I geek out,” he says. “There’s not a specific look that gets me excited, if you will. I’m so about the work, about how these colors come together to create a look. It’s about finding ways to level up, to make it even better, to enhance something that’s already going on from a formulation end.” From this mindspace, Rez creates real-world colors that flatter the features of each client, making for idyllic looks that are holistic rather than forced or disjointed. 

He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

Achieving the color of your daydreams comes down to trusting your stylist and having the right at-home treatments for lasting color and healthy hair. First up: Epres Bond Repair Treatment. “I use that in the salon religiously in my formulas,” he says. “It’s a bond builder that protects hair from damage or breakage that usually starts in the salon and then continues at home.” Rez also raves about Beyoncé’s recently released Cécred line, specifically the brand’s Reconstructive Treatment Mask. “It has rice protein, which is really good for hair, along with moisturizing qualities,” he says. “It addresses both concerns of colored or damaged hair.” 

He’s the brains behind beauty trends like “cinnamon cookie butter brunette,” but his creations — and talent — are anything but fleeting.

Rez is quick to note the pitfalls of hair color on social media, from gimmicky trends to filtered photos skewing the appearance of certain colors. “It’s lighting, it’s reflection, it’s the illuminated screen that you’re looking at,” says Rez of how shades can read differently on a screen. “There are so many variables.” The ultimate takeaway? Don’t expect Rez (or any colorist) to craft a bespoke color based on a trending moniker alone — you and your hair are more special than that. “It’s all how we perceive it,” says Rez. “One person’s cinnamon is different than another person’s cinnamon.” But, done right, they all look delicious. 

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