Danessa Myricks is in the business of making makeup fun again. In our extremely online age, ruled by digitally-enhanced faces with approximately three pores, it can be easy to forget that cosmetics are meant to be played with and experimented on. That's never an issue with Myricks' eponymous line, which makes moves over to Sephora.com on Feb. 26 with more than 80 products made for every skin tone, gender, vision, and creative impulse—celebrity and civilian alike. Celebrity makeup artist and photographer Myricks puts it perfectly herself when she tells Byrdie, "I live in a world of beauty where there are no boxes or lines."
The Danessa Myricks Beauty line originally launched in 2015 as a collection of highlighters designed for women of color looking for glow-enhancing products to complement a wider range of skin tones. "From the moment I started creating, the dream has always been to share my ideas and products with as many beauty lovers as I could find. I wanted everyone playing in my playground!" Myricks says. Just six years later, the line has exploded into an all-encompassing beauty company with more than 400 items for virtually every look imaginable.
Curated items available at Sephora include lip colors, powders, shadows in every finish, complexion-boosting creams, and lots of glow products. Asking Myricks to pick favorites is like asking her to choose a favorite child, she jokes, but she does point to three products with cult-like status that might be a good place for the as-yet-uninitiated to start. Colorfix 24-Hour Cream ($18), a richly-colored, multipurpose cream pigment is described by Myricks as the line's top-seller: "It really tells the story of who we are as a brand encouraging freedom and providing flexibly." Available in a huge swath of colors and finishes, the waterproof cream is the perfect product with which to experiment.
Consider DMB's initial lineup, it's no surprise that the current one is full of gleaming highlighters. Myricks' favorite Dew Wet Balm ($22) collection, a hydrating balm beloved by both celebrities and mothers—Myricks says both Angelina Jolie and her own 75-year-old mother were smitten with the dewy glow. Application couldn't be easier, either: "You can wear [it] alone, under and on top of makeup, including powder, without disturbing your makeup!"
Last on Myricks' must-list is the Vision Cream Cover ($28), described by Myricks as the complexion product of her dreams. With a natural, second-skin finish and buildable coverage, the foundation-like product can be used all over, as a concealer, or on hyper-focused areas as spot coverage.
If you look at every DMB product available, you'll notice something of a pattern. Nothing is too rigid in purpose, nothing isn't experimental or open-ended or not available for everyone. Myricks ethos (and her brand's) is all about inclusivity and encouragement, but she still sees areas in which the industry needs to catch up to what she's seeing in real life. "Of course the conversation about racial inclusion is an important and ongoing one," she says. "A balanced representation in shade range and formulation continues to be necessary. I also look forward to a broader conversation on gender inclusion that represents all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It would also be amazing to see a broader conversation on makeup styles. There are so many people who create outside the lines."
Maybe you're somebody who's looking to create outside the lines but unsure of exactly how to wade into more experimental makeup looks. Myricks, with her years in the industry, has more than a few tips. And in fact, she says it's actually way easier than you'd think. Start by examining your favorite everyday makeup and isolate steps and products to dial up one at a time. "It's really about simply doing the same things you've always done and simply adding a cherry on top," she explains. Three quick ways are to either replace the color of intensity, change the finish, or "top off a look with a touch of extra yummy." Myricks gives us an example: "If your daily go-to is a classic winged liner, switch out your brown or black for blue or purple or maybe a neon!"
If you're still a little hesitant, Myricks has an encouraging reminder: you can always wash it off. But I have a feeling once you join Myricks' playground, you'll never want to leave.
Danessa Myricks Beauty is available at Sephora.com on February 26.