Chris McMillan is a Los Angeles-based hairstylist and founder of Chris McMillan The Salon in Beverly Hills. McMillan’s clients include Renée Zellweger, Selma Blair, and Jennifer Aniston, the last of whom he’s been working with for more than two decades.
“I like to think of masks as the new seatbelt — you’ve got to wear one. I’ve always collected scarves and bandanas, so my design was inspired by those. I just want to do what I can to be part of the solution. I’m taking this one day at a time. There have been pinch-me moments when it’s like, ‘Is this real?’ I’ve been staying sane by cooking, exercising, and giving advice to my clients.”
Halima Aden is a Somali-American model, UNICEF ambassador, and Allure cover star. She first made headlines after competing in Miss USA wearing a hijab, and she was the first contestant to ever wear a burkini as swimwear. Since then she’s continued to be a force of positive change, using her platform to break barriers in the fashion industry and beyond.
“Having worked in a hospital, even several months into my modeling career, it was important for me to support this project. As many hijab-wearing women are working at health care facilities, I wanted to make sure they have a comfortable option for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered. It can also get hot running around at the pace health care employees are right now, so a breathable fabric was a must. And I really wanted the pieces to give a feeling of tranquility and calm, so I went with soft shades that bring a feeling of peace. Like everyone, my livelihood has been turned upside down. I just keep reminding myself [of] something that my mom always says: ‘Hard times don’t last, but strong people do.’”
Daniel Martin, a makeup artist based in New York CIty, is known for his light-handed approach when creating looks for his clients, including Jessica Alba, Elisabeth Moss, and Meghan Markle. He has collaborated with brands like Honest Beauty, Dior, and Tatcha, and created runway makeup looks for designers, including Tadashi Shoji.
“This time has really made me focus on understanding purpose in my life, and this project was an opportunity to merge creativity [with] purpose for humanity. If I wasn’t a makeup artist, I think I would be a designer. This is definitely my Project Runway challenge! I chose this shibori pattern in part because indigo [spiritually] represents devotion, justice, and dignity. The health care workers’ role carries the same ethos, and I want them to understand that they are appreciated and represented right now.”
Nikki Nelms is a Brooklyn-based hairstylist with a knack for using unconventional tools and embellishment — she calls herself a “hair MacGyver.” She’s created red-carpet hairstyles and showstopping Met Gala looks for Solange Knowles, Zoë Kravitz, and Janelle Monáe.
“I hope when this is over, we will never forget how much we need each other. For now, I do an Instagram Live show on Wednesday (#WalkInWednesday) to help anyone needing hair advice. I hope the beauty industry will keep in mind just how important we are to the world — to understand our power and always use it to make the world better. I hope my [heart] design will help health care workers on the front lines feel appreciated, and I hope [people] will think of love when they see my design.”
Mei Kawajiri is a New York City-based nail artist known for her whimsical designs and attention to detail. She’s worked with the likes of Dua Lipa, Blake Lively, and Bella Hadid, and created nail looks for runway shows including Marc Jacobs, Giambattista Valli, and Tom Ford.
“My mom and many of my friends are nurses, so I wanted to support hospital workers. The headband design I created is something I would wear normally — it’s simple and a little punk. Much of my work has been canceled, but I’ve been having fun creating new nail art, dancing, cooking, and singing during this time. And I love seeing everyone express themselves through their hair and makeup.”
Shereene Idriss is a New York City-based dermatologist and a clinical instructor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. An expert in cosmetic fillers and lasers, she values how her patients feel inside and out. Idriss is in frequent conversation with her followers through her Instagram Stories series, #pillowtalkderm.
“I come from a family of physicians. Currently my sister is a doctor working on the front lines, fighting this war. So any opportunity I get to support and give back to these heroes, I’ll be there. My design was inspired by two things: My Instagram series, #pillowtalkderm, is about connection through a digital medium, hence the chat bubble; and second, I feel that now more than ever, people are nostalgic for inspiration and a sense of wonderment. The color light spectrum has always been a source of dreams and endless possibilities for me. I hope people see this design and it brings them some light (no pun intended) in these gloomy times.”
Nam Vo is a makeup artist based in New York City. Followers flock to her Instagram feed for her signature dewy-skin looks (just search #dewydumplings) and skin-care-first approach to makeup. She’s worked with celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
“Our frontline responders are putting their lives at risk every single day, so we should all work as a society to support and help them in any way we can. I hope these headbands make them feel appreciated, cared for, and loved. And I hope [my dumpling design] puts a smile on their faces. This experience serves as a reminder that we are all human, and we are all connected. We don’t live in a vacuum, and what we do affects others. We need this to stay top of mind, not just now, but forever.”