Aside from being some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sophie Turner, and Thandie Newton all have one major thing in common: makeup artist Georgie Eisdell.
Originally hailing from Australia, the now Los Angeles-based beauty expert is one of the most sought-after makeup artists in the industry, known for creating stunning looks for the red carpet, all while keeping her clients’ skin looking flawless.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #23 series on my blog.
Her secret weapon? Clean beauty products.
“I threw myself into the world of clean beauty [when] one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with breast cancer about six years ago now,” Eisdell tells InStyle. “When she was preparing for treatment, I wanted to make sure she had everything she needed to keep her skin looking and feeling great and to have some options for her for when she wanted to wear makeup.”
Plus, working with Paltrow on a regular basis has given Eisdell the opportunity to do a deep dive into the science around clean formulations. “Being around the team at Goop has made me a lot more aware of what we can and should be looking at when it comes to beauty,” she says. “I have had quite the education and I am grateful for it.”
While there’s definitely a misconception that clean makeup doesn’t offer the same results as traditional formulas, Eisdell wants to make it clear that in this day and age, that notion is quite simply a load of crap.
The makeup artist says she notices little to no difference when it comes to color payoff, blendability, and coverage when she compares clean and traditional formulas, which is exactly why she feels confident using them on stars for red carpets (during the pre-COVID days), or on set.
And even though the FDA has yet to officially offer regulations around what is considered to be “clean,” Eisdell personally feels more comfortable using formulas from clean brands on both her clients, and herself.
“Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so for me, it is important to know I am using skincare that isn’t penetrating into my skin with endocrine disruptors,” she explains. “I try my best to avoid powders that contain talc, a cancer-causing mineral, and lipsticks and glosses that don’t have lead or other toxic heavy metals in it.”
“Everything I do, I’m predicting what the future will look like,” says Raisa Flowers. Throughout her career, the New York City makeup artist, club fixture, and model—she’s walked for shows like Gyspy Sport and Savage x Fenty—has been defying traditional beauty codes, challenging the industry’s status quo, and pushing for more Black representation in the editorial world. Amid the renewed urgency around the Black Lives Matter movement, she’s continuing to buck whitewashed beauty ideals and stretch the ordinary imagination with her ethereal cyborg aesthetic.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #22 series on my blog.
Flowers’s latest muse, Chinese and Jamaican model Symone Lu, embodies the kind of off-kilter beauty that drives and inspires her aesthetic. “A lot of people wouldn’t understand [her look] because she has a missing tooth, but it is a part of her character,” explains Flowers. “I feel like it brings out her confidence in this way. It’s going against the traditional aspects of what it means to be beautiful, and I love that.” From slicking Lu’s lids and lips in vinyl jet-black paint to drawing on a set of high-arched, pencil-thin brows to play up an icy gaze, Flowers helps her transform into two different real-life characters to chameleonic effect.
Of course, Flowers, with her bleached brows, supernatural skin, and constellation of piercings, continues to be her own canvas, too. On any given day, her presentation can run the gamut from natural to hypernatural to out of this world. “Some days I want to be freaky and wear contacts and do a whole look,” she says of her mesmerizing mismatched gaze paired with a glossy, mocha brown-lined mouth.
“These looks are reflective of myself, and the people who I create with,” says Flowers, who works regularly with singer Kelela and Brooklyn rapper Junglepussy. Looking light years ahead, Flowers has dreamed up three high-impact makeup looks that capture the symbiotic relationship between unapologetic self-expression and out-there oddities. “It’s super alienesque,” says Flowers. “I feel like in the future, that’s how we’re going to look anyways.”
“Glossy…shiny…cool,” is how Flowers describes the graphic black and crimson color story that Lu wears. Beneath a curtain of razor-sharp micro-fringe, Lu’s lids are painted with thick, out-to-there wings and punctuated by scarlet slashes along the brow bones. An onyx lip, blurred away at the sides, finishes the job.
The ultimate mutant hero muse? That would be Storm from X-Men. “She’s a character I relate to with her strength and how powerful she is,” explains Flowers, who helps Lu channel the Marvel character with ultra-thin brows ( “I love the skinny brow look because it reminds me of my mom,” she says), an icy blue cut-crease, white-out contacts, and overlined lips. “I wanted to play off the bouffant with the crazy makeup because I feel in the future, this is how housewives will look,” says Flowers.
“I wanted it to look super mismatchy,” says Flowers of her exaggerated, intentionally clashing cat eyes; one wing saturated in chalky white with a silver-blue contact, and the other a petrol blue with a dark, pupil-enlarging lens. “With most of my work, I’ll do something really intense [on the eyes], and then something more minimal on the lip,” says Flowers, adding harmony with a neutral yet striking nude lacquered lip traced with brown lip liner.
In August, Lauren Conrad launched her beauty line, Lauren Conrad Beauty, with just five products. A month later, she’s introducing 26 more products in the makeup, skin-care, and body-care categories. Allure chatted with the entrepreneur to learn more. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #21 series on my blog.
You’d be forgiven if you think of Lauren Conrad, the businesswoman, mother, and former reality star, as a Fashion Person. She runs a clothing line, a shoe line, and a kids’ line, to name a few, and longtime fans may remember her televised internship in the Teen Vogue fashion closet. But along the way, Conrad has cultivated her own signature beauty look, which consists of easy breezy makeup and a consistent cat-eye. This summer, she surprised us by channeling that energy into the launch of Lauren Conrad Beauty. She began with five products, released direct-to-consumer from her own website — including a lip gloss formula that’s already won over Allure editors. As of October 9, she’ll expand into Kohl’s with a much longer list of products, including skin care, body care, and color cosmetics.
Conrad has wanted to start her own beauty line for some time, encountering plenty of false starts along the way. “I started the process a couple of times, but I wanted to wait until I could check all my boxes of formulas, packaging, and affordable price point,” she tells Allure. “I’ve worked on this line for two-and-a-half years, but I’ve tried for many years to make it happen.”
One of her priorities, and my personal favorite feature of the line, was the sustainability factor. The packaging is completely recycled and made from post-consumer goods, and the packaging can be recycled whole after use. That sounds like it should be the norm, but so much beauty packaging is made up of mixed materials (say, metal and plastic) that it can be impossible to recycle. But once you finish a tube of LC’s The Lipstick, it can go straight into the recycle bin.
If you stock up on the full line, that recycle bin will eventually be stacked up all the way to the top. The drop includes a whopping 26 products that can take you through an entire beauty and makeup routine. The long product list includes multiple types of facial cleanser, a vitamin C oil, two types of body moisturizers, and much, much more. But when I asked Conrad to narrow it down to her favorite, must-have product, the answer comes quickly: The Liquid Eyeliner (yes, that’s the actual product name — no needlessly florid naming conventions here.)
“Going into this process, I thought the one thing I especially had to get right was the liquid eyeliner,” she says. “It’s one of those products that I’m always seeking out, and I’ve had so much trouble finding the right one over the years, so I really wanted to nail it.”
Out of all the products, the eyeliner took the longest to create, and she only landed on it after much back-and-forth with the lab. “Fortunately, it was a product that we started really early on, so we had a lot of time to play with it.”
If liquid eyeliner isn’t your thing, the range also has The Eyeliner Pencil (in rich black onyx, for $18). Then, you can finish up your eye look with one of two The Eye Shadow Palettes (six bronze-hued shades each, for $29), The Eyebrow Pencil (a double-sided pigmented pencil and spoolie, in four shades, for $22), and The Mascara (in black only, $20). You can then wipe it all away with The Makeup Remover Balm, which is designed to double-cleanse skin in conjunction with The Facial Cleanser (both $20).
The makeup drop also includes powder brush and bronzer, liquid highlighter, a delicate lip and cheek tint that’s perfect for a quick pre-Zoom meeting pop, and the aforementioned Allure favorite lip gloss. There are eight shades of classic lipstick tubes; my favorite is the orange-red Poppy.
The best part of such a wide selection is that it leave the choice up to you. Prefer body cream to body lotion? Conrad’s got you covered. Need a powder blush instead of a creamy cheek tint? Don’t worry, she has both.
“My approach has always been ‘wear the makeup you really love that makes you feel like you’ and ‘use products that you feel good about,'” she says. With a line this comprehensive, we have a feeling there’s something for everyone that meets those criteria with flying colors.
A selection of Lauren Conrad Beauty products is available now on her own site and at Kohl’s.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #20 series on my blog.
Discerning what’s “real” or “fake” has become increasingly difficult in the 21st century. Make-up artist and model, Sasha Pallari, realised the dangers of Instagram editing techniques and proposed a call-to-action with the hashtag, #FilterDrop. It all started when Sasha saw that many brands had reposted stories and grid pictures that featured influencers who’d applied a filter. Some of the shares were obviously edited, but others were deceptive.
Keen to hear what her followers thought about filters, she posted a story that outlined her worry. Alongside a candid selfie, she wrote: “Have I lost my mind or? I lose followers every time I post an unattractive photo (and if you’ve been here a while you’ll know how often it is) and that shan’t ever stop. But there’s a kick in the mouth and then there’s a kick. in. the. mouth.” Referring to a heavily filtered cream blush tutorial she’d seen on the Instagram story of a “huge brand”, Pallari later expressed that companies should be more responsible. “It’s misleading”, she tells British Vogue.
The full caption reads:
The other night I noticed an influencer with close to 300k followers advertising a makeup brand with a beautifying filter on. Maybe she isn’t confident enough to talk to the camera without one and that genuinely makes me sad. There’s an endless list of reasons why that may be but I can guarantee the immense pressure this society puts on us to constantly look perfect is one of them. I so strongly wish you would realise the vast scale of damage the constant use of filters are. Flawless, poreless, scarless, wrinkle-less skin does not exist and it’s only because of the overuse of these we believe it does.
The brand shouldn’t be happy for their products to be advertised this way and for them to be described as ‘natural looking on the skin’ whilst those filters are applied. This behaviour, addiction and constant craving to BE beautiful is feeding into the insecurities of future generations and the damage is worrying.
Please ask yourself if you’d be happy for your children to only base their worth on how beautiful they are, the filter they need in order to even be beautiful. We are born with an abundance of confidence, but we grow up slowly having it chipped away by unrealistic beauty standards.
The way you talk to people, the way you treat people, the way you smile at people. Anything a filter can’t touch is where real beauty is.
“So many people have told me their personal stories about how it affects them and how they think they look horrible and disgusting and everyone else looks so polished,” Sasha remarks. As a reaction to the response, she founded #FilterDrop, an extension of her existing social message #BestYou. “Looking beautiful is an opinion, feeling beautiful is a choice,” she says.
Pallari encouraged followers to share unfiltered videos and images alongside the hashtag, which prompted thousands of users to post make-up free selfies (if they were “brave enough”). One woman told Sasha that sharing was “worse than having a baby”, while a 15-year-old girl thanked the make-up artist for her inspiration. “She mentioned that she no longer wakes up two hours before school to do her make-up. She still enjoys make-up but it’s for enjoyment rather than hiding and covering her face, which is just amazing.”
Fuelled by the momentum of the campaign, Sasha used her platform to repost #FilterDrop imagery, which soon caught the eye of the media. “It’s just been absolutely insane. I’ve had 9 radio interviews, two television chats… it’s been non-stop,” she laughs. “It’s all about spreading the message.”
Recognising editing usage on Instagram has become harder, and considering the subtleties of some of the filters available on the app, knowing if someone has adjusted their smile, whitened their teeth or slimmed their cheeks is practically impossible. To the trained eye, Photoshop is easy to spot. But for the young generation of users, whose daily routine includes avidly scrolling (and scrolling, and scrolling) through their feeds, filtered content has become the norm.
Investigating further is the next step for Sasha. “I currently have a case being processed with the ASA [Advertising Standards Authority]. It outlines that in the same way that a user would have to mark if something has been sent as a PR product, accounts should have to mark that a filter has been used on their stories or grid pages.”
It’s been 20 years since celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic entered the scene, forever contouring the shape of the beauty world with highlights, shimmers, and perfectly winged liner that launched an army of copycats on social media.
Now, Dedivanovic, whom the New Yorker recently heralded as “The Makeup Artist at Ground Zero of Internet Beauty Culture,” has taken his years of expertise, massive internet fame, and a few personal checks to labs across the world to create his dream: a self-funded line of products titled Makeup by Mario.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #19 series on my blog.
For Dedivanovic, this moment is huge. He begins to tear up on a Zoom call as he discusses the project he began working on three years ago. “I’m just so excited for October 1st”—the launch date, Dedivanovic’s birthday, and the date he began working on the Sephora floor many years ago—“because it almost still doesn’t feel real to me,” he says.
The artist comes fully loaded with all the bonafides to make a bestselling beauty line. He’s most famous for his work on one of the 21st century’s most famous canvases, Kim Kardashian-West, and helped launch her KKW Beauty line. He’s also had brand partnerships with Laura Mercier and hosts a mega-popular Masterclass. This is the last box to check on his way to beauty moguldom.
For Dedivanovic, the Sephora gondola, the display for all a brand’s beauty products inside the store, is the ultimate symbol of his success. “I used to manifest into those Sephora bottles when I was cleaning them, that I would one day have that, knowing very well that I had to work very hard and it probably wouldn’t be 20-plus years until I did that,” he explains. “I’ve been dreaming about this moment for a long time.”
His dreams are finally a reality. The new line includes 21 products and tools, including eyeshadow palettes, brushes, and highlighters created to flatter any and all skin tones. “When I work, I tend to like products that I can use on all skin tones,” he says.
Below, a few beauty tips from the seasoned vet, plus a peek at the products in his collection.
He knows you’re bad at winged eyeliner.
A standout product in the line is the Master Pigment Pro Pencils, inspired by his older sister Vicky, a relatable queen with an inability to work with eyeliner.
“I think it’s hard even for an artist to really do a beautiful wing,” Dedivanovic says. “I know that a lot of people want to do wings, but it’s challenging and can be intimidating. With this pencil and brush shape, you take the pencil and draw a line from there [the center of your eyelid] to the corner. You stop at the corner and flip the brush over and up and lift. [The brush] literally does the flip for you. I wanted to make this technique very, very easy.”
Dedivanovic added that he will provide new content that inspired tools like the eyeliner and tutorials around how to use it on his social media platforms.
He likes both contoured and natural makeup.
“I know I’m [known] as the contour king, but I think there was a little misconception,” he says. “I’m not the type of artist that typically will do the heavy stripes and all those types of things. I like makeup to look as if one were born with it in terms of the colors and finishes on the skin. I like it to enhance a woman’s face, not to have it feel unnatural or that they have a ton of makeup on. My goal at the end is that when you are up close, in person, you do makeup to make it look beautiful there. But for me, that’s not enough. I want it to look beautiful for the person as well. Bot in the sense, Oh, wow, your makeup is beautiful. More in the sense of, Wow, you look beautiful.
The brand is for novices and beauty experts alike.
While the line is infused with years of experience from Dedivanovic, he wanted to create something that was easy for the most green of makeup appliers to use.
Here’s his tip for the Master Metallics palette:
“This is a very creamy formula that’s a blend of powders and creams, so it’s very easy to use with just a swipe of a finger on your lid for a quick application. I wanted to separate my products by texture because as an artist, I was always trained from the very beginning that you always separated your mattes [from] your metallics. That’s the way you packed your bag as well.”
The packaging is the future of beauty.
Dedivanovic was inspired by the iPhone and how easily it can fit into your hand. He wanted the tools to feel accessible and comfortable while you apply your makeup. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey meets BTS’s “On” music video: The full, nearly all-white kit comes in what looks like a briefcase from a space-age population that cracked the code on product design. “It felt like the future of makeup in a sense,” he says. “I hadn’t seen something like this when it was presented. Also, it felt pure.”
The Master Prep and Set
Available in three different tones—light, medium, and deep—each set comes with six shades to be used as an eye primer. Dedivanovicoriginally tried to get this product in the palettes but couldn’t configure it correctly and inclusion would make the palettes gigantic. Thus, it evolved into its own separate product.
The Master Mattes were the first product Dedivanovic began working on in 2017. “The Master Matte palette is inspired by human skin tones,” he explains. “It’s inspired by the technique I have done for many years, in which I shape and contour the eyes using typically different, varying shades of foundation and/or concealer to shape and contour the eyes before I apply eyeshadow.”
To find the right human skin tones for the palette, he researched the different pigments that make up our skin tones. The shades also have a bit of translucency because he prefers subtle to extremely pigmented eyeshadow.
The all-metallic formula is a creamy blend of both powders and creams, making it very easy to use with a single swipe of your finger onto your lids. Dedivanovic, a self-proclaimed geek, researched the inside of our bodies for the pink, brown, and cream hues. “This is sort of representative of the shades that are within all our bodies on a cellular level,” he explains. “What’s really interesting is when you swatch all these colors together, it’s the epitome of my dream color palette when it comes to shimmery shades.”
If you’re looking for the easiest-to-use product in the collection, this palette is your go-to. But, if you’re looking for more of a high-intensity pigment, Dedivanovic created the Master Metals and Master Metals Manipulator to create your very own dream eye looks. “The idea is that the artist could scrape several shades and mix their own metal shades,” he says. “What happens when you use the Master Metal Manipulator is it turns it into a molten liquid metal. You can do liquid liners with it, you can do a quick all-over eyeshadow shade, or just the inner corner.
Bonus points: The Master Metal Manipulator also turns them into a completely waterproof product.
Mario’s Master Metal™ Manipulator™ is the ultimate mixing agent for metallic pigments. It instantly transforms loose or pressed metallic pigments into a liquid, creating a gorgeous metal foil. When mixed with pigment, it provides intense grip, lasting power, and locks the formula in place.
The Master Crystal Reflectors come in three shades: quartz, citrine, and bronzite. The reflectors are a few of his favorites because of their sheer finish that “sparkles while dancing on the eyelid.”
The product also reflects light beautifully and gives a bit of reflection and dimension to the eyelid, but can be worn all over the face. “It’s a global exclusive formula, so no one can ever have this formula,” he adds. “I’m very excited about that.”
“For years, I liked to use a highlighter on the cheek or on the eye that is a completely sheer emollient glow,” he says. “I envisioned this even for the girl who really doesn’t wear any makeup. I do clients that have a very natural look and I like natural looks as well. This product really fits both of those.”
For the collection, Dedivanovic created four pencils and four eyeshadow brushes. According to him, “Pencils are one of the most transformative aspects of makeup, especially when it comes to the eyes.” He incorporated his signature liner techniques into crafting them.
Mario’s dual-ended liner has all you need to create a precise line. The velvety gel-based formula delivers a full-coverage finish in a single swipe. It has incredible grip after it sets but still allows time to blend, layer, and define. For a soft, symmetrical line, use the brush to smudge and blend.
This liquid liner is extremely pigmented and features a super sharp, flexible felt tip for ultimate control. The bulletproof formula grips the lid and is completely smudge-proof for bold and lasting definition.
The brushes are inspired by the eyeshadow brushes he usually works with from Japan. They’re designed to work with the other formulas in the collection like the Master Mattes to make for an easy blend and application.
This brush has fluffy, soft, flexible hairs that are ideal for blending and softening on the eyes and face. It’s also perfect for applying and blending matte shadows. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free, made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.
This brush has fluffy, soft hairs and a wide, tapered shape. It’s perfect for effortless eyeshadow application and an easy sweep of color across the lid. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free, made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.
This brush features a denser, rounded head with flat hairs and works well with cream and powder formulas. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free, made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.
This brush’s small, tapered head makes it the perfect detail brush. Use it to apply shadows wet or dry or to blend and smoke out eyeliner with control and ease. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free and are made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.
Last but not least, he created gentle makeup remover wipes. “When I work, I’m very particular with wipes,” he says. “I use them to gently exfoliate the skin right before I go on with skincare.” He wanted to move away from traditional oily formulas so he created something without fragrance or the normal oily residue. “These are made with 100 percent natural, pure cucumber water, and they don’t leave any oiliness.”
YouTube sweetheart turned CEO! Welcome to Artist Spotlight #18 series on my blog.
A note from the co-founder, Christen Dominique:
I have always loved helping people look and feel beautiful.
The first time I experienced the transformative power of makeup was after applying my mom’s yellow corrector to cover up my dark circles, my biggest insecurity, at age 14. When I saw them disappear, it felt like I was seeing the real me for the first time, and I could finally be comfortable in my own skin.
With my insecurity behind me, I wasn’t afraid of speaking up, putting myself out there, and making new friends. Soon, the instant confidence boost didn’t just change how I saw myself. Other people noticed too.
As I experimented and played around with makeup, girls at school started asking me for help with theirs. I became known as the locker room makeup artist and would often have a long line of classmates waiting to get made over. Seeing how happy and beautiful they felt—that feeling that I still can’t even put into words—after I did their makeup was the best feeling ever. And so my love of artistry was born.
The artistry continued after high school, doing freelance makeup for weddings, photo shoots, quinceañeras, and many other local events. I learned from YouTube and made a few of my own videos here and there too. But as the years passed, real life kicked in. I was in school full time, working at an insurance company, a young mom to my amazing son, married, had a house to take care of, basically a lot going on. As many working moms have experienced, I felt like I was pulled in a million different directions, never able to give one area the time, attention, or love that they deserved. So I told my clients that I had made a heartbreaking decision: I had to let makeup go.
They were sad for me, knowing how much I loved artistry, and suggested that I create some new YouTube videos. That way I could stay connected to them, teach them makeup techniques, and still have makeup be a part of my life.
So I did. And I started to love creating content, this whole new outlet for expressing my creativity. After about a year of consistently filming tutorials, people started to pay attention. Then, I got an opportunity to move to LA and create YouTube videos full time. Thanks to the support of my husband, I took a risk and moved my family from Texas to Los Angeles. That’s when my life really changed.
Once I got to LA, where I had access to studios, lighting, and owned being myself on camera, my videos really took off. I felt lucky to be able to impact others lives, helping them tap into their inner beauty, while sharing techniques that made them feel beautiful on the outside too.
After years of filming beauty content, I felt empowered to take my journey one step further. I wanted to create a brand that put the transformative power of makeup in your hands. I thought back to my freelance days, remembering the need for products that could be multi-purposed. I factored in the most helpful pan sizes, the shades and formulas that were missing from the current market, and even the packaging was designed to bring an experience to life, and make you feel something. I wanted you to have access to the most prestige, innovative products without breaking the bank. With lots of time, research, and even more love, Dominique Cosmetics was born.
If you’d have told me in high school that I’d one day be the CEO and Creative Director of my own makeup brand, Dominique Cosmetics, I’d probably have thought you were crazy. This is truly mine and my family’s dream come true—our co-founder and president is actually my husband. (Love you, Cesar!) We hope that these products can do for you what that yellow concealer did for me years ago: Allow the real you to step into the spotlight, empowering you to feel beautiful inside and out.
XOXO Christen Dominique
The brand is carried by mostly eyeshadow palettes:
And lately, branching out into face, eyes, and lip products:
It’s safe to say that this is one of the few “influencer makeup brands” that has consistently great products, stays on top of trends, out of drama, and is highly respected.
The rise of the celebrity beauty brand is alive and well in 2020, just in case there were any doubts. The latest example comes courtesy of Selena Gomez, in the form of color cosmetics brand Rare Beauty, which made its official debut on September 3rd. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #17 series on my blog.
Touted as a “mission-driven brand,” Rare Beauty will donate 1% of all sales, “as well as funds raised from partners” to the Rare Impact Fund, which “aims to increase access to mental health resources,” according to a press release from the brand. It has an initial goal of raising $100 million over the next decade to “help address the gaps in mental health services for underserved communities, which will make it one of the largest known funds in support of mental health from a corporate entity.”
In a statement, Gomez said: “These products aren’t about being someone else, it’s about being who you are, whether that’s rocking a full face of bold makeup or barely any makeup at all. Makeup is something to enjoy, it’s not something you need. I want every person to feel beautiful exactly as they are.”
Rare Beauty’s rather robust initial product offering includes a touch-up kit with refillable powder and blotting papers, a matte liquid eyeliner, eight shades of tinted lip balm, 12 shades of matte lip color, eight liquid highlighters, eight liquid blush shades, eight shades of a dual-ended brow pencil and gel, three tools, an illumining primer, a multi-tasking face mist and 48 shades each of both foundation and liquid concealer.
According to the brand, Gomez has had a hands-on approach to developing Rare Beauty, including product testing, design and mission. At launch, it will be available at Sephora in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Sephora inside JC Penney and at RareBeauty.com. There are plans for additional international expansion in place for 2021.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #16 series on my blog.
Wayne Goss is not your typical YouTube star. He has amassed over a million subscribers on his beauty channel, and has the consumer influence to match: His first collection of brushes on Beautylish sold out in five minutes. But he stands out among other beauty vloggers for several reasons — the first of which is that he’s a guy. A guy who can quickly and confidently demonstrate Kardashian contouring tricks on his own face. He eschews the cutesy, neighborly tone used by most beauty vloggers in favor of a methodical, straight-to-the-point delivery.
Goss spoke to the Cut about how being a guy is advantageous in the YouTube beauty world, how he got started, and why he doesn’t wear makeup himself.
How did you get started in the business?
It was something I’ve been interested in since I was a young boy. I always liked looking at magazines and seeing the pretty faces. When I was 20, I started suffering from acne. That experience reminded me of my love for makeup and how I could use it to fix my skin.
I am self-taught. Fifteen years ago, I picked up some books by Way Bandy and Kevyn Aucoin and read them to practice. I went to London and studied makeup artistry. Then, I discovered YouTube. I found that there were so many kinds of people on it, but there didn’t seem to be any teaching and instructions on how to make the process simpler. I feel like my videos fill a gap in the market. I keep them short and clearly explain what I’m doing. My point of view is that you don’t have to have a degree in art to be able to explain it.
How do you think you became successful on YouTube?
It was so gradual. You don’t really notice it creeping up on you. I remember hitting 20,000 subscribers and thinking, Oh my god, that’s a lot of people. And then it started to increase very rapidly after my first year, especially after I did videos on concealer and blusher. But I don’t really know. It’s still a mystery to me. I imagine it is a combination of people doing searches in Google, seeing a video, and liking it. The social media aspect certainly helps.
Do you think that being a man in the field is advantageous?
Absolutely. I’m pretty much the only male in my age group doing it. I think people appreciate that I’m not going to be talking for an hour about something I could do in a few minutes. I’m very matter-of-fact. I’m not very handsy nor flamboyant. Even if I’m demonstrating something on myself, it’s not about making myself a pretty princess. It’s about the technique and explaining it very succinctly. In real life, I don’t even wear any makeup. It’s not my cup of tea.
Since you demonstrate a lot of the tutorials on yourself, I think people probably do think you wear makeup every day.
I think it does surprise people. I love putting eyeshadow on people. But I’m six feet tall. I’ve got a beard. It doesn’t interest me. I don’t want to be pretty. I’m just a bit scruffy and unkempt, and that’s just sort of my style.
If you don’t wear makeup yourself, why do you demonstrate the tutorials on yourself?
Well, lately, I have been using models in my video. But sometimes, when I get home, the last thing I want to do is see anyone else. Also, apart from the fact that I’m male, my eye shape is very realistic. Models have good skin, very large eyes, so that makes everything very easy to do. If I apply eye shadow, you get a more realistic impression of what it looks like on my eye, not someone who is genetically blessed.
I contacted Beautylish because I read their online content a lot. I mentioned that I was pursuing a brush line and they liked the idea, which was to create a really good-quality brush using Japanese craftsmanship techniques. The difference in quality would be understood the minute you opened it.
I knew about the bristles and furls and what to look for. It was difficult finding companies that could deal with all the requests I had. It had to be hair that couldn’t be cut. Nothing could be done by machine. There’s a bluntness to machine-cut hair that cuts your face at harsh angles. Especially as we get older, that can be harsher on the skin. With the right makeup brush, makeup goes exactly where you want it. For women over 40, it’s a great benefit to have a brush that’s not moving the eyelids around.
This project was self-funded, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I learned they sold out in the first five minutes. My philosophy has never changed. I still believe you should buy the best makeup you [can] afford, and if you can only afford one thing, buy one brush. Most people are applying makeup with their fingers. But a brush is an instrument you can use it for several purposes, and blend at the same time. For someone like me, not born with this artistic flair, good brushes enabled me to do makeup well. I really don’t have this innate talent, I struggled all the way and managed to find the right sort of brushes. It was a very selfish project, in a way.
I obviously know of Michelle, although I’ve never spoken to her. I would say that’s an exaggeration in terms of figures. But again, I don’t know anything about her. I started about a year and half after her. At that time, the partner programs for YouTube weren’t available.
The bulk of us who started doing YouTube did it for the love of doing it. Those of us that did it for the right reasons are still around for the right reasons. There has been an influx of people thinking, I shoud make a fortune here. 95 percent of them don’t make it any way. And those that do certainly aren’t making six-figure salaries. It would be nice to start with a thousand. The bulk of people earning good wages from it now were around when there was no money.
The partner programs now, I believe, make it more difficult. Everyone wants a slice of the pie. I think this pie is really wonderful and big. You hear these glamourized stories, but the reality is very different. We still have full-time jobs. We work hard. And YouTube is a full-time job, because you have all these components, like filming and editing. I imagine that 90 percent of us do that ourselves without the help of anyone else.
I’m still a makeup artist. I still do jobs. I always will do that. I’m in a wonderful position of doing a job that I love. It’s a great thing. YouTube is the icing on it. It’s lovely to be able to connect with people on it I would never otherwise be able to meet.
Kevyn Aucoin was a makeup artist decades ahead of his time. Long before the age of Instagram, the late legend furiously—and intimately—documented his life and career, recording it all with a Polaroid camera or VHS camcorder glued to one of his famously large hands, as well as in his precious collection of scrapbook-style journals, which haven’t been seen publicly until now.
The Makeup Museum unveiled a vast, never-before-seen digital archive of the journals that Aucoin, widely considered the world’s first celebrity makeup artist, kept between 1983 to 1994. They document his Hollywood rolodex (Hello, Tina and Liza!), meetings with all-star collaborators and supermodel confidantes (Cindy, Linda, and Paulina…to name a few), and candid Polaroids snapped on iconic photoshoot sets, from Vogue editorials with Irving Penn to a Chanel campaign with Claudia Schiffer. Altogether, Aucoin’s personal notebooks offer a raw and authentic look into his day to day, the hustle and glamour of it.
“Kevyn was pioneering because he was the first makeup artist to ‘pull back the curtain’ and allow anyone who was even remotely interested in the world of beauty to see behind the scenes,” explains makeup artist Troy Surratt, who was a protégé of Aucoin’s. “He invited everyone to come along with him to catch a glimpse of what was an elusive and exclusive world.” Longstanding proof of this is cemented in his 1997 book Making Faces, which is widely considered “the bible” by new and seasoned makeup artists alike, and has even seen renewed interest from pros in quarantine.
Celebrity makeup artist and cofounder of the Makeup Museum Rachel Goodwin calls Aucoin her “makeup Fairy Godfather” and believes that he not only forged new territory for makeup artists, but new notoriety for the industry (now a billion-dollar behemoth on a rapid upward trajectory). “He was one of the first to bring makeup artistry into mainstream consciousness as a viable profession,” explains Goodwin. “Before Kevyn, there was a lot of secrecy around what we do. [He] gave our craft credibility, he legitimized it.” Moreover, Aucoin’s tale of drive, passion, and perseverance is one that continues to inspire—and his journals evocatively telegraph his personal evolution, from major milestones to personal mementos, such as his backstage pass to the 1994 Oscars or ticket to a Barbra Streisand concert at Madison Square Garden. “They are full of his energy and excitement and unbridled reverence for beauty,” explains Goodwin. “They tell a story of a boy from rural Louisiana whose dream was coming true in real-time. There are so many pinch-me moments in the pages and the way he documented them, it was almost as if he couldn’t believe what was happening to him either.”
A hero to many lost too soon, Aucoin lives on through his work, as well as a personal analog archive that is surely offering something novel to a new generation that taps and uploads as opposed to cutting and pasting. “The journals were created to live on…they are not as ephemeral or fleeting as an Instagram post,” says Surratt. “They are tangible and tactile, the spirit of Kevyn is imbued in the pages.”
Below, see an exclusive preview of the Makeup Museum’s digital archive of Aucoin’s journals.
Patrick Ta has become one of Hollywood’s top makeup artists, but it wasn’t always so glamorous for the San Diego native. Before touching makeup, Ta had explored becoming a culinary chef and even owned a nail and tanning salon in Scottsdale, Arizona. After his salon venture failed, he got a job at MAC Cosmetics where he found his love for makeup. “After my salon went bankrupt, my roommate at the time gave me my first job doing makeup at MAC Cosmetics and from there my obsession for makeup began,” explained Ta. Even though he didn’t have any experience, he started doing makeup on people for prom, events and weddings. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #14 series on my blog.
Instagram had just started becoming popular around the time Ta was becoming passionate about makeup so he started his own page uploading his work. “I was really lucky that all my girlfriends let me practice on them. They would share my work on social media which led me to grow my clientele and eventually led me to want to pursue makeup in Los Angeles,” said Ta. When Ta first moved to Los Angeles as a freelance makeup artist he didn’t know anyone in the industry. He took to Instagram once again to connect with influencers to do their makeup. Then one day Shay Mitchell started following Ta and slid into his DM’s. “I knew Shay was going to make a huge difference in my career. I am so grateful that she was one of my first celebrity clients because she allowed me to grow with her, and then I met Gigi Hadid which took my work to the next level in the world of high fashion,” stated Ta.
Ta went on to work with Olivia Munn, Adriana Lima, Jessica Alba, Joan Smalls, Ariana Grande, Chrissy Teigen, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Bella Hadid Kendall Jenner, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, and Jenna Dewan Tatum, among others. Patrick’s devotion to his craft has allowed him to develop a refined hand and keen eye for color and composition. Although his client roster consists of the highest profile models, celebrities, and influencers today, he believes that every person, no matter who they are, deserves to feel confident and beautiful every day. As his fanbase grew, so did the demand of knowing how he achieves that natural, yet sultry glow on his clients. That led him to work on creating his own beauty line which launched in April 2019 as an homage to the women in his life that have supported him and given him the confidence to be who he is.
Patrick Ta Beauty initially launched with Major Glow which included three highlighting mists, body oils and lip shines. “My first collection all about translucent glow for all skin tones; then my next collection was named Monochrome Moment which featured four blushes, lip liners and lip cremes. I love monochromatic looks because thats what I do for my clients when they hire me for an everyday look. Simple browns and bronzes to give that natural glow” explained Ta.
Ta is set to expand Patrick Ta Beauty with more makeup and color. His masterclasses are always full and his insights and techniques are extremely unique.