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.
Following the success of Rihanna’s game-changing makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, everyone has been on the edge of their seats for a skin-care counterpart. Now, one year after filing a trademark for Fenty Skin, the line is dropping — and reviews are already pouring in from the influencers who were lucky enough to get their hands on the three products (cleanser, serum-toner, and moisturizer) first. So, what’s the consensus for a line Rihanna promised would work “on all skin tones, textures, and types?”Short answer: It’s complicated.
One of the first and most-shared reviews on Twitter came from licensed esthetician Tiara Willis, who runs the account @MakeupForWomenOfColor. The skin-care professional says that while she loved the ingredients, packaging, and texture of the products, she claims that her skin reacted to the fruity-floral fragrance included in all the formulations. “Fragrance can cause you to have a reaction now (which happened to me) or it can happen overtime with continued use. I have always been sensitive to fragrance on my face, so the Fenty Skin products broke me out in small red bumps and my face stung,” she tweeted. Willis emphasized that her experience is personal as she has dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin, and despite long supporting Rihanna and Black-owned businesses, she felt a responsibility to share her honest experience with the products.
Other fans with sensitive skin expressed concern over the fragrance, as well as astringents like witch hazel in the serum-toner. “Waking up to the news that all three of the new Fenty products have fragrance AND the toner’s second ingredient is witch hazel is upsetting me,” wrote one Twitter user. YouTuber Keamone F., who tried the products in advance, also expressed some reservations, particularly with the toner: “I love me a hydrating toner, and this is not that,” she says, clarifying that if you’re a fan of witch hazel, then you might prefer it. “I still think we need to have our toner and our serum separate,” she added. The YouTuber did stress that the toner-serum could be a good option as a mattifying primer for makeup.
I also received the products ahead of the launch, and when I tested all of them (and applied them as directed over a few days), I noticed that my own skin started to react with inflamed, red bumps on my cheeks. Like Willis, I have sensitive, acne-prone skin as well as rosacea, and fragrance and astringents are typically an irritant for me. The one product I would keep in my arsenal is the cleanser, which truly lives up to its promise and removes every trace of makeup without stripping my skin dry. While it does have a scent, it’s much lighter than the rest of the formulations, and I’m more comfortable using it since it comes in contact with my skin for a shorter amount of time.
In a video on YouTube, Rihanna directly addressed the fragrance component. “We never use more than one percent of a synthetic fragrance, and if we do, we don’t hide it. You will always know about it,” said the founder. “We’re a clean brand; we’re a very honest brand.” According to the video, the fragrance is specific to each product, and is intended to create a sensorial effect.” She also shared on Twitter that she has super sensitive skin and kept that top of mind when creating her line. Rihanna certainly isn’t the first or the last to use fragrance in cosmetics, which is often added to products to mask unpleasant smells, to serve as aromatherapy, or to make a formula more appealing to the consumer — and many people can tolerate it with no problem.
Among them are the influencers who have posted glowing reviews with zero signs of irritation. YouTuber Nicol Concilio claims to have used the Fenty Skin products for 17 days and found that they worked to even out her complexion. She praised the cleanser for removing all of her makeup, too. Senior Beauty Editor at Glamour, Lindsay Schallon — who shared that she typically finds “fragranced skin-care products too overpowering and irritating” — spoke to her positive experience with the products, calling the toner-serum the star of the lineup. One Twitter user compiled all the reviews in one place for people to make the decision for themselves.
Most early testers, and even those who haven’t gotten their hands on the products, do agree on one detail: the packaging. Not only do people love the functionality of the twist-open bottles and the neutral packaging hues, but they’re also buzzing about the brand’s mission to be environmentally conscious. The streamlined packaging uses post-consumer recycled (PCR) bottles that can be continuously recycled, the moisturizer is refillable, and there is no shrink wrap or unnecessary boxes. These efforts are pertinent to the discussion around the beauty industry’s role in environmental waste, with the personal care industry reportedly creating 120 billion units of packaging every year.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that skin care is personal to everyone. It’s up to every individual to determine what fits their needs and preferences and to test out formulas for themselves. If you’re looking to get your hands on the anticipated Fenty Skin line, the Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser, Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum, and Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen became available at fentyskin.com on July 31.
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.
Chrissy Teigen is here to give the people what they want: her cultivated, and clearly effective, skincare regimen. After posting a video featuring husband John Legend, a pull of tangerine eyeliner, and a glowing complexion on Instagram yesterday, Teigen took note of the ample comments requesting (read: demanding) the secret to her luminous skin.
“For you kind folks asking me to drop the skincare regimen, I will admit I am def proud of my skin lately and feeling myself!” Teigen’s caption began on a subsequent post, again showcasing her bright eye makeup moment, which, as her video commentary notes, she is also feeling. Next came a laundry list of favorite products, from La Mer’s cultish Concentrate to Dr. Dennis Gross’s Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel pads. Teigen wrapped up her share with a welcome caveat for those tempted to channel her routine: her love for iS Clinical’s products is her only constant, and everything else is simply skincare frosting. With the summer sun high in the sky, there’s no time like the present to ensure skin is equally lit. You can thank Teigen for the jumping-off point.
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.”