The RCMA Legacy

RCMA – The Research Council of Makeup Artists – was founded by renowned makeup artist Vincent JR Kehoe in 1962. RCMA was organized to further the research and development of specialized professional makeup products for the film, television and stage industry. Mr. Kehoe developed and designed a special foundation formula for professional working makeup artists which he called “Color Process Foundation.” It is considered the number one choice of foundation by professionals. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #10 series on my blog.

Professional Makeup is primarily judged on foundation and RCMA has major differences from all other foundations, commercial or theatrical, on the market today anywhere in the world. The basic qualities of RCMA “Color Process” foundation are: 

  • It’s manufactured under very stringent, small batch conditions where the ingredients are weighed out to the gram to maintain both consistency and color standards exactly. 
  • It contains vegetable oils, pure waxes and FDA approved colors. It does NOT contain any perfume, lanolin, petrolatum or mineral oil – the first two have caused allergenic reactions on some skins and the last two are not absorbed by the skin so remain to cause excess oiliness on the surface.  Note that other theatrical foundations contain mineral oil or petrolatum as a major ingredient. 
  • Exact color standards are maintained in RCMA foundations from batch to batch and tested on each run against standards. To a makeup artist this is most important for color-matching. 
  • The selection of colors or shades varies throughout the required skin tones for all skin types and undertones. Plus, the same base is employed for RCMA counter shading, shading, cheek colors and color wheel rainbow shades so that they all “powder down” with the same degree of reflectivity. Therefore, the cheek colors are not greasier or of different consistency from the foundation, nor are any of the special bright color wheel shades. 
  • In manufacturing, they’re all made with a high percentage of pigments to waxes and oils so that a very little goes a long way on the skin and produces as “skin color” rather than a heavy coat of makeup. Most commercial liquid foundations have a ratio of about 18 to 23 percent of pigment to the liquid and, in general, theatrical foundations normally run between 30 to 35 percent of pigments to waxes and oils. In this way, RCMA foundations cover better than others and more makeup applications can be done per cake of makeup. 
  • As such, RCMA foundations last better throughout a long shooting day than comparably employed theatrical or commercial foundations, and require less touch-up. When they do, there is no caking on the skin and RCMA “No-Color” powder is all that is required to slightly dull the low shine. In many cases of performers with dry skin, due to the low halation of RCMA foundations, no powdering is required – especially on men’s makeup that is seldom, if ever, powdered. 

Go ahead and try it for yourself and you too will see why makeup artists across the world will tell you “RCMA is the professionals’ makeup!”

Lisa Eldridge – You Can Do It All

I have been personally inspired by Lisa Eldridge throughout my career as a makeup artist. I have used her as inspiration for my own looks as well as my clients’. From her skincare advice, successful makeup line and YouTube channel, to work with some of the most well-known celebrities and models – she’s one of the best artists who isn’t afraid to try new techniques and styles. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #9 series on my blog.

Lisa Eldridge is an English-New Zealand makeup artist, businesswoman, author, and YouTuber. She had her first big break when she was booked by ELLE magazine to work with model Cindy Crawford. From 2003 to 2013, Eldridge was Creative Director for Boots No7, where she was responsible for developing, re-designing and re-launching the brand. Eldridge, since 6 January 2015, is currently the global creative director of Lancôme, working across product development, advertising campaigns and digital strategy. In October 2015, Eldridge published the book Face Paint: The Story of Makeup.

Following a move to London, Eldridge took a course in photographic makeup artistry at Complexions, began building her portfolio and eventually signing with a makeup agency. She had her first big break when she was booked by aforementioned ELLE magazine to work with Cindy Crawford. Crawford and Eldridge subsequently worked together on several more shoots. She has been based in Paris, New York and Los Angeles, and now lives in London. Her work has appeared on the pages of British, Italian, French, Chinese and Japanese Vogue, Love, Allure, Glamour, Elle, Numéro, Harper’s Bazaar, Pop, and Lula for covers, fashion, beauty and celebrity shoots.

Eldridge has worked with the photographers Tim Walker, Mert and Marcus, Regan Cameron, Sølve Sundsbø, Rankin, Paolo Roversi, David Sims, Mario Testino, and Patrick Demarchelier. Aside from her editorial assignments, Eldridge collaborates with fashion houses and beauty brands on their international advertising campaigns and runway shows. These include Lancôme, Chloe, Alberta Ferretti, Prada, Donna Karan, Moschino, Yohji Yamamoto, and Pucci. Eldridge was named by The Business of Fashion as one of the people ‘Shaping The Global Fashion Industry’ in their Fashion 500 list for 2013.

Lisa Eldridge has a successful YouTube channel, on which she creates various makeup looks on herself and other models, shares tips and tricks, discusses skincare, and visits past decades of makeup history to recreate the looks of the times. When I attended makeup academy, I was often referred to her videos by instructors, to recreate her looks or take in her knowledge. Ever since then I’ve been a huge supporter of hers!

In February 2010, Eldridge launched her website, which has become one of the go-to sites for make-up tutorials, beauty advice and insider knowledge.

Lisa Eldridge wrote her first New York Times bestseller Face Paint, which she describes as “all about the history of makeup – something I’ve always wanted to write. It’s a hardback book (8 x 10 inches), with 60,000 words – full of fascinating, surprising and at times unbelievable stories of how and why the items in your makeup bag got to be there. I also spent a long time sourcing the right images – beautiful paintings, illustrations and iconic photography – to tell the story.”

Lisa’s blog
Lisa’s book
Lisa’s YouTube channel
Lisa’s Instagram page

Scott Barnes – the Secret of Hollywood Faces

OVERVIEW

With over 260 music videos, over 450 magazine covers, author of two iconic industry changing books (About Face, Face to Face), Hollywood’s top celebrities, five movies, Oscar consideration (El Cantante), creator of the international sensation Body Bling, shoots with the world’s top photographers (Annie Leibovits, Ruven Afanador, Patrick Demarchilier, Francesco Scavullo, Gilles Bensimon, Tony Duran, Peter Lindbergh, John Russo), world famous editorials, Scott has established himself as the preeminent celebrity makeup artist in the world. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #8 series on my blog.

NOTABLE CELEBRITY CLIENTS:

Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Céline Dion, Christina Aguilera, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vanessa Williams, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kelly Rowland, Malin Åkerman, Mariska Hargitay, Hilary Duff, Kesha, Kim Kardashian, Cindy Crawford, Brooke Shields, Courtney Love, Michael Kors, Paris Hilton, Lizzo, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Leah Remini, January Jones, Raquel Welch, Adrienne, Bailon, Gabourey Sidibe, Uma Thurman, Jane Fonda, Nicole Richie, Kimora Lee Simmons, Julianne Moore, Mary J. Blige, Lucy Liu, Shakira, Nina Agdal, Anna Nicole Smith, Penelope Cruz, Pia Mia, Sheryl Crowe, Donatella Versace, Carrie Underwood, Mandy Moore, Becki Newton, Erika Jayne, Bar Refaeli, Renee Fleming, Kristin Cavallari, Naya Rivera, Emily Sears, Bebe Neworth, Brandy, Kate Hudson.

NOTABLE MAGAZINE COVERS:

GQ, Vogue, Rollingstone, Time, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Elle, Billboard, Allure, Cosmo, Vibe, InStyle, Emmy, Xiox, Latina, Icon, Essence, Nylon, Redbook, Marie Claire.

NOTABLE PUBLICATIONS:

People, Popsugar, E Now, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Glam, Who What Wear, Refinery 29, The Hollywood Reporter, Galmour, MSN, Shape, Hollywood Life, Women’s Health.

HISTORY:

Scott arrived in New York City in 1984 determined to fulfill his dream as a fine-arts painter. After attending New York’s prestigious Parsons School of Design, Scott began assisting on fashion photography shoots and quickly became one of the most sought after makeup artists in the industry.

International beauty guru Shu Uemura selected Scott to revamp his Atelier Made line, which became a huge success at Shu Uemura. Scott launched his own twenty-one-piece color cosmetic line, Scott Barnes Cosmetics, on QVC in April 2004. Five months later, Scott introduced 130 products at Holt Renfrew, in Canada; Saks Fifth Avenue, in the U.S., and other high-end specialty boutiques. A year later, the collection launched in Europe and Australia and became an overnight success, for which Women’s Wear Daily named Scott the “Newcomer of the Year”. He was also a finalist for the Fashion Group International’s “Rising Star” award.

Scott Barnes has worked with world-renowned photographers with his work gracing the covers of the world’s leading magazines Scott has also appeared on top national and regional television programs, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Extra, Access Hollywood, and Good Day L.A.

Although Scott has worked with a variety of Hollywood talent over the years, including Kate Hudson, Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Celine Dion, it’s his work with Jennifer Lopez that birthed the new monochromatic look featuring bronzed skin and pale lips. Described as “The Glow” this signature look became known as “lit from within” and helped launch Scott’s best-selling beauty product, Body Bling bronzer.

In addition to numerous ad campaigns and music videos, Scott’s work on set includes such films as El Cantante, which earned him Oscar consideration. Scott was also responsible for Jennifer Lopez’s memorable Cinderella moments in Maid in Manhattan. Scott continues to shine on the big screen following Jennifer into Second Act, as well as her latest feature film Hustlers.

Scott Barnes Makeup Line

Robert Welsh: Doing My Makeup Using Techniques I Hate

I’ve been watching Robert Welsh on YouTube for years and I really enjoy his content on Instagram as well. On his channel he creates amazing makeup looks, gives professional makeup advice, reacts to popular beauty trends, debunks popular makeup myths, and much more!

Robert is a professional makeup artist and his mission statement in the beginning of every video is “to help you become a pro yourself or just someone that’s really good at makeup. Here we learn how to separate what we see online from what’s actually useful in real life.” Welcome to Artist Spotlight #7 series on my blog.

I came across this video and it made me laugh so much that I decided to share it with you!

Check out more of his videos on his channel.

My Favourite Beauty Podcasts

Sometimes we are so caught up in running errands, cleaning the house, or spend countless hours in the car. Reading blogs is a lighter alternatives to books, especially when it comes to beauty and makeup topics. But even easier to consumer are podcasts. Here I put together four of my favourite beauty podcasts for your listening pleasure. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #6 series on my blog.

Fat Mascara – Hosts (and friends) Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein bring you the big, juicy, world of beauty on their award-winning weekly podcast. With day jobs as beauty editors, Jess & Jenn are plugged in to the industry’s latest news and share their inside access along with candid stories of their beauty adventures, from celebrity interviews and freaky new facials to miracle products and epic beauty fails. Each week, they also get advice from their favorite people in the beauty business, including influencers (Olivia Wilde, Miranda Kerr, Jaclyn Hill, Emily Weiss, Christian Louboutin, Bianca Del Rio, Patrick Starrr), makeup artists (Mario Dedivanovic, Lucia Pica, Sir John, Charlotte Tilbury, Bobbi Brown), hair stylists (Serge Normant, Jawara, Orlando Pita, Ursula Stephen, Frederic Fekkai), and other industry experts like dermatologists, colorists, manicurists, perfumers, and more.

Listen to it here.

The Beauty Brains – They’re here to help us cut through the confusing, misleading and sometimes false information that the beauty companies bombard us with. Their goal is to explain cosmetic science to us in a way that’s entertaining and easy to understand. They believe the more information we have, the better we’ll be able to find products that we like at a price we can afford. So, we can listen to the advertising. Or advice from a friend. Or what our stylist tells us. But if we want to really understand cosmetic products in an unbiased, scientific way, ask The Beauty Brains. You’ll get answers from a team of scientists who have no sales pitch and nothing for you to buy.

Listen to it here.

That’s So Retrograde – Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari have been coined “the Ab Fab of the new age” with good reason. Effortlessly merging pop culture and wellness, the ladies of That’s So Retrograde seek out their most authentic selves, one mistake — or mindful awakening — at a time, while graciously bringing their listeners along for the ride.

Listen to it here.

You Must Remember This – This is the podcast dedicated to exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. Since launching as a passion project in April 2014, You Must Remember This has become one of the top film podcasts around. This podcast is a heavily-researched work of creative nonfiction. Every reasonable attempt is made at accuracy, but quite often when it comes to the kinds of stories they explore here, between conflicting reports, conscious and unconscious mythologizing and institutionalized spin, the truth is murky at best. That’s kind of what the podcast is, ultimately, about. 

Listen to it here.

Do you listen to any of these? Do you have favourite beauty podcasts? Let me know in the comments below!

The Mother – Pat McGrath

The queen of American fashion, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, proclaimed her “the most influential makeup artist in the world.” Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II made her a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the fashion and beauty industry. It’s undeniable: Pat McGrath is the most influential and sought-after makeup artist in the world.

For more than two decades, Pat McGrath has been concepting, launching and developing luxury cosmetic brands, countless runway shows, breakthrough advertising campaigns and editorial spreads. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #5 series on my blog.

Her ascent to the pinnacle of fashion began in the 1990s with an introduction to legendary lensman Steven Meisel by supermodel Amber Valleta. Fast friends and symbiotic collaborators, they’ve created every cover and lead editorial story for every issue of Vogue Italia, indisputably iconic images for leading global publications and countless brand-defining campaigns.

Each season, Pat McGrath conceptualizes and creates beauty looks for more than 60 ready-to-wear and couture shows in Milan, Paris, London and New York for a luminous roster of the world’s most prestigious brands and visionary designers: Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Gucci, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Maison Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Valentino, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Nina Ricci, Calvin Klein, Loewe, and Alexander McQueen, to name a select few.

With her incomparable mastery and iconoclastic vision, Pat McGrath has transformed the beauty industry. Name any trend of the past two decades, and you’ll find her at its origin, from 1990s dewy skin to no-retouching-necessary foundation specifically designed for this decade’s selfies.

When Giorgio Armani hired her to develop and launch a line of cosmetics in 1999, the minimalist maestro said, “I was struck by the way she interpreted colour and by her ideas about beauty and femininity.”

Engaged as Global Beauty Creative Design Director by Procter & Gamble in 2004, Pat McGrath oversees Covergirl, Max Factor and created Dolce & Gabbana: The Makeup. Recently, she also designed and launched Gucci’s debut cosmetic collection. “She is a terrific business partner. Our success is her success, and vice versa,” says Esi Eggleston Bracey, Vice President and General Manager of Procter & Gamble Cosmetics.

A true creator and innovator at the forefront of the multi-billion dollar global beauty industry with an ever-expanding reach on social media, her recent blockbuster success with PAT McGRATH LABS further proves that she’s poised to elevate beauty to even headier altitudes.

Currently, there are 37 products on Sephora.com listed for PAT McGRATH LABS brand, even more can be found on their official website. Surely, the prices are extremely high, unreachable for some. But from the color stories, to packaging, to longevity, to formulas … there’s very few people in the world who ever declutter this brand’s products out of their collection due to dissatisfaction.

With a creative vision that’s made her a tour de force that touches everything from couture to club kids and street culture; her influence is everywhere, from screen to stage to digital: it’s undeniable, Pat McGrath knows no boundaries.

References:
Sephora.com
Pat McGrath Labs website
Allure article
Vogue article

How Fenty Beauty Is Shaping The Beauty Industry

Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #4 series on my blog.

Before she was @BadGalRiRi: music, fashion and beauty icon, Robyn Rihanna Fenty was a little girl in Barbados transfixed by her mother’s lipstick. The first time she experienced makeup for herself, she never looked back. Makeup became her weapon of choice for self-expression—a way to radiate her ever-changing mood—and it powered a fearless take on beauty that helped her become the boundary-breaking icon she is today.

Fenty Beauty products are designed to feel lightweight and luxurious, as they deliver buildable coverage that effortlessly layers, to ultimately “make skin look like skin.” Most importantly, Rihanna creates makeup to inspire:

“Makeup is there for you to have fun with,” she says. “It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”

And that’s exactly what customers can expect to see when browsing the Fenty Beauty stands in Sephora or online: unique colours and combinations, innovative formulas, sleek packaging that demonstrates a professional high-end feel, yet holding inside inspiring products to get us out of our comfort zone.

There are currently 87 products listed for the brand on Sephora.com, ranging from base/complexion products, to eyes, lips, and body makeup. The brand is part of the LVMH umbrella, which also oversees Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and more designer brands (which explains the aesthetic of the Fenty Beauty line). But Rihanna didn’t just slap her name on makeup and call it a day, she takes an active role in formulating her products, coming up with ideas, representing and wearing her brand, and encouraging men and women alike to express themselves unlike we’ve ever seen before.

Sources:
Sephora.com
FentyBeauty.com
LVMH Website

Bobbi Brown: Making Natural Beautiful – The Contrast Of The Time

If you’re a regular in the beauty sphere, then you may have heard about (or comparisons to) Bobbi Brown products: shimmer bricks, vitamin enriched face base, crushed liquid lipsticks, etc. Ring a bell? Well, there’re 75 products listed on Sephora.com for this brand, which cover every step of makeup application, including skincare and brushes.

But there’s much more to the brand than just high price tags and simple/professional packaging. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #3 series on my blog.

The Overview:

Brown graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a self-directed degree in theatrical makeup. In 1980, she moved to NYC to work as a professional makeup artist. Brown became known for a makeup style that included moderate and natural tones, which was a stark contrast to the bright colors used at the time.

A chance meeting with an NBC Today Show producer led to her 12-year run as a regular beauty consultant on the show. The revolutionary success of her makeup line prompted Estee Lauder to buy the company in 1995, retaining Brown as an employee. Her work has since been featured on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Self, and Town & Country. Brown was inducted into the New jersey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. Brown served as Yahoo Beauty’s Editor-in-Chief from February 2014 to February 2016. In November 2017, Brown received the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award for her work in Beauty.

The Beginning:

In 1990, Brown worked with a chemist to come up with ten natural lipstick shades. In 1991, the ten shades debuted under the name Bobbi Brown Essentials at Bergdorf Goodman. She was expecting to sell 100 in a month but instead sold 100 in a day. The following year, she released yellow-toned foundation sticks. Estée Lauder Companies Inc. bought Bobbi Brown Essentials in 1995; Brown retained complete creative control of the makeup line. In 2007, the first freestanding Bobbi Brown Cosmetics retail store opened in Auckland, New Zealand with a makeup school in the back. In 2012, Bobbi Brown’s cosmetics were estimated to represent approximately ten percent of Estée Lauder Companies’ total sales. As of January 2014, there were approximately thirty free-standing Bobbi Brown cosmetics stores.

Why Did She Leave?

Flipping through Bobbi Brown’s latest book, Beauty from the Inside Out, you’ll notice the makeup section is all the way at the end, practically an afterthought. That’s because Brown’s newest chapter in life is more about inner beauty than outer appearance. “In all my books, there were things about how food, drinking water, and lifestyle are going to make you the best version of yourself,” (she tells SELF), but the advice was complementary to a central focus on cosmetics. This time, she wanted to go all in. “I really tried to talk my publisher into letting me do a full-on health and wellness book,” she says. “We had to compromise and put some makeup in the back of the book.”

At the end of 2016, Brown announced that she was leaving her namesake makeup brand. To say beauty industry insiders were shocked would be an understatement. After two decades as the first and last name in makeup for many women, Brown had expanded her presence even more in recent years. She served as the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Beauty’s ambitious editorial relaunch in 2014 and still found time to for a personal blog, Everything Bobbi, where she gave readers an inside look at the inspiration behind her product launches, as well as her sartorial favorites.

But behind the scenes, Brown’s mood was shifting. Makeup no longer felt to her like the be-all-end-all of beauty, and the trends of the day were starting to wear her down. “It was not an overnight decision,” she says. “I was able to move into something I believe in 100 percent and not have to argue with people about another contour palette that I refuse to do.” As of January 1, 2017, Brown officially stepped away from her role as chief creative officer of the brand, her name the only remnant of her influence.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Sephora
SELF Magazine

My Favourite Blogs

I want to share some of my favourite blogs that cover a wide variety of topics and have their own unique style & voice. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #2 series on my blog.

  • Katie Jane Hughes – a talented MUA who posts her work from studio photoshoots to red carpet looks, great for inspiration.
  • Man Repeller – a blog with very forward language and intriguing topics covering fashion, beauty, and “everything else a woman cares about”, it’s definitely one of my top favourites!
  • Vogue World – a fashion blog that tracks different and new trends, celebrity lifestyles, and “fashion, beauty, culture, living, runway” and beyond! I find myself constantly immersed in this one.
  • Beauty Is Boring – photos and videos of makeup looks that are unconventional and interesting, the team redefines beauty as we know it in an innovative way; video outtakes are great as well.
  • Honey Soleil – a lifestyle brand helping you to live your best, well-balanced life. Wellness for your mind, body and soul. There is also a podcast!
  • Estée Lalonde – an engaging blog about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, her podcast, and newsletter.
  • The Sunday Girl – a blog dedicated to product reviews, with various categories of make-up and skincare, very thorough and updated information.

Enjoy! What are some of your favourite blogs? I would love to know in the comments below.

Kevyn Aucoin: Awakening of Beauty

In the 1980s and 90s, Kevyn Aucoin was responsible for the history-making looks of celebrities such as Whitney Houston, Cher, Madonna, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #1 series on my blog.

He published a number of books throughout his career, two of which are the most popular: Making Faces and Face Forward. These books are widely introduced to makeup artists as the basics for every step of makeup application; focusing on enhancing the natural beauty of individuals, as well as a lot of tips on sculpting, eyeshadow techniques, and more. Personally, I find myself reading through these books over and over again all the time – they’re very informative and the sketches and images are breathtaking.

Kevyn Aucoin had his first Vogue shoot opportunity in the 1980s, which skyrocketed his career exponentially in the next two decades. He started his own makeup line Kevyn Aucoin Beauty in 2001, which still exists and has many industry staple products. He focused on every detail possible in his products and wanted to deliver his passion for makeup and beauty to his audience. His legacy will continue to live on, after his death in 2002.

Many following makeup artists strived to achieve his level of success, but few came close. His dedication and an innovative mind were a force to be reckoned with, every time delivering jaw-dropping looks with unprecedented techniques. It’s safe to say he’s one of the few that shaped the beauty sphere we all know today.