If you’re interested in the beauty and cosmetic industry or happen to be a makeup maven like me, this is the perfect post for you. From designer runways to royal weddings, there are a select few that have made it into the makeup artists’ hall of fame. Oftentimes these industry experts go on to create and sell their own lines of beauty products, i.e. Sonia Kashuk, Mally Roncal and even Laura Mercier. I felt it was time to give some credit where it’s due. The following group of makeup artists are revered and hailed as the best of the best in their field. For all the aspiring fashion and beauty professionals reading, as well as those who love learning new things, here’s a little bit about each of these artists.
- Bobbi Brown, b. 1957, Chicago, IL
Bobbi made a splash on the beauty scene in 1991 when she launched her first beauty line: Bobbi Brown Essentials. Anyone who is familiar with her products knows her philosophy of makeup is simple and elegant. She strives to provide women with the tools for creating beautiful and natural looks. Her unique approach to women’s beauty grabbed the attention of Estée Lauder Enterprises who bought it in 1995. After 20 some years in the business, Bobbi Brown cosmetics is a global brand that is coveted by women and makeup artists everywhere. She attended Emerson College in Boston and sits on the Board of Trustees after having founded “Bobbi Brown University” (a series of workshops for aspiring makeup artists). Recently, Bobbi was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. She was invited by the First Lady to take part in the White House’s Leadership & Mentoring Program for young women. Her motto is easy: “The secret to beauty is simple—be who you are.”
- Pat McGrath, b. 1966, Northampton, England
Pat rose to fame when she joined forces with the then fashion editor of i-D Magazine Edward Enninful in the early 1990s. Her bold and expressive uses of color cosmetics quickly became her trademark in the industry. She is also known for her collaborations with minimalist designer Jil Sander and designer John Galliano. Pat’s presence on the runway circuit and backstage and fashion shows the world over is a given. Photos of her work have been published in countless magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and W. She designed Armani’s cosmetic line in 1999 and was later made the global creative design director for Max Factor and Cover Girl. Pat’s use of unusual objects and materials incorporated into her looks is her signature – as well as her ability to go from couture to grunge.
- Kevyn Aucoin, 1962-2002, Shreveport, LA
Kevyn was a force to be reckoned with in the world of makeup artistry. His passion for cosmetics began as a young boy growing up in Louisiana. Kevyn’s big break came in the 1980s when he was discovered by Vogue and started working with photographer Steven Meisel. His career reached new heights when he did model Cindy Crawford’s makeup and it was featured on the cover of Vogue. In his time he could demand as much as $6,000 per makeup session. In 1984, Kevyn launched his own line of cosmetics, “The Nakeds,” which offered makeup for all skin tones, something that had never been done before. He was sought out by both Vincent Longo and Laura Mercier to establish their brands, but chose to create his eponymous line in 2001 instead. One of his biggest accomplishments was his book “Making Faces,” which was a TIMES bestseller. He is still considered one of the greatest makeup artists to have ever lived.
- Scott Barnes
Scott intended on becoming a painter when he was attending Parsons in NYC, but he quickly became one of the most sought-out makeup artists in America. After Shu Uemura selected Scott to revamp their line, he became a big hit among the fashion and beauty worlds. In 2004, Scott launched his own brand of cosmetics. Since then he has worked with many world famous photographers and has appeared on several talk shows to discuss women’s beauty issues. His signature look has become a bronzed face with pale lips, which can be seen on his muse of 10 years, Jennifer Lopez. Lopez wrote the forward to his highly acclaimed book, “About Face.”
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