Up next in our Q&A series with our amazing Leonor Greyl brand ambassadors, we want to introduce you to celebrity stylist Anthony Cristiano!
Anthony Cristiano: On Optimism, Making the Most Out of the Pandemic, and What’s in His Styling Kit
Wind-swept tresses. Perfect beachy waves. Voluminous curls. Sleek vintage ‘dos. We love that no matter which style Leonor Greyl ambassador Anthony Cristiano creates, his signature result is effortlessly chic!
Anthony is an in-demand celebrity stylist renowned for his work on high-fashion editorials in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, and many more. His clientele has included supermodel Adriana Lima, the Kardashian sisters, Demi Moore, Mariah Carey, and Uma Thurman.
Anthony’s home base is the sophisticated Anthony Cristiano Salon in downtown Chicago overlooking the river. Pre-pandemic, you’d just as likely find him styling models on location in exotic sun-kissed spots like Malta and St. Lucia.
This Chicago native brings 20 years of high fashion experience to his work. Before opening his salon to great fanfare in 2012, he studied at Vidal Sassoon and spent much of his career traveling the world to style private clients, celebrities, and models for premieres, runways, and glossy magazine covers.
The Anthony Cristiano Salon launch was one of Chicago’s most highly anticipated salon openings, not only because Anthony’s name was on the door but because of the award-winning interior design. The bright space stuns with floor-to-ceiling windows, hand-selected white Italian furniture, white terrazzo floors, white oak, and high chandeliers.
But don’t be intimidated by Anthony’s red-carpet status. Unattainable glamour isn’t his style. By all accounts, Anthony is a genuinely kind guy who prefers simple, effortless, and natural.
We recently caught up with Anthony to chat about how he stays optimistic amidst a pandemic, his plans for the future, and his passion for Leonor Greyl products…
LG: Before the pandemic limited travel, your last location shoot was in Wyoming for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. What do you love about working on sets?
AC: What I find most enjoyable is working with the creative directors, who are always the best of the best on these shoots. You collaborate with a first-rate makeup artist and wonderful models. Actually, that experience is what led me to want to open a salon – to be around people, deliver that same great experience, and fulfill my clients’ expectations.
LG: After all these homebound months, are you itching to work on sets around the world again?
AC: I’ve just been listening to what the universe is telling me, you know?
I believe this is a time when everyone needs to stay positive and be still. Think about what you want to be tomorrow – and start executing that plan now.
Personally, I’m doing my best to remain optimistic and use this time to refresh and reinvest in my brand. For example, I’d love to open salons in other cities like Los Angeles.
LG: How did you handle your salon closure due to COVID-19?
AC: Chicago salons were closed March 20-June 3, but I still worked 8 to 10 hours every day. We repainted, recovered chairs, redid the wood floors, stocked up on personal protective items for my staff… I wanted my clients to come back to a pristine look.
Because people aren’t able to travel, we really want our clients to view this as their destination where they can come in and escape. I think now more than ever, clients are looking for their beauty service to be a great, pampering experience.
LG: As part of that pampering promise, your salon features Leonor Greyl products. What first attracted you to Leonor Greyl?
AC: Natural ingredients are important to me professionally and personally because of how I like to live my life. I prefer botanical organic products that are chemically free.
I don’t want silicone in my products. Silicone attracts more grime to the hair and gives it a faux sheen. It also will destroy any style that I put in because you lose the suppleness of the hair. I want the hair to be as spontaneous as I’m being spontaneous.
LG: What are your favorite Leonor Greyl products right now?
AC: Everyone should use the pre-shampoo treatment oil, L’Huile de Leonor Greyl, especially for anyone with hair that needs a good quench. It’s the base of optimum health and one of the most beautiful smelling products!
And I absolutely love Leonor Greyl for the salon. It fits our narrative as a luxury brand. It gives us the tools we need to pamper the scalp and hair. At our salon, we offer treatments starting with the stimulating essential oil, Régénerescence Naturelle, for the scalp. Then if the hair is dry and damaged, we apply Masque Quintessence to the ends.
LG: What are your hero products – the ones you won’t leave home without?
AC: Always Eclat Naturel, which is an excellent texturizing cream. Voluforme styling spray for volume and hold. And Laque Souple for a lighter hold… I’m really simple. I layer products as I look at the porosity of the hair. Less is more.
LG: Now that you’re seeing clients in person again, what are you learning about pandemic hair?
AC: People are rethinking their styles, color, and some have chosen to grow out their gray. Actually, it’s opened people up to a lot of new things. That’s the positive side.
What I find most exciting about this time is the spontaneity of it.
LG: We love that! Thanks for catching up with us, Anthony. We hear you have several exciting projects in the works, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!
Bonus material! It wasn’t all work-no-play for Anthony during the shutdown. Watch this fun video when he remotely guided HLN news anchor Robin Meade through an on-air COVID cut! To keep up with Anthony’s hair inspirations, follow him on Instagram @anthonycristianosalon.