Black History Month is here, and although I celebrate industry leaders of color every day through my work, there's something special about showing them even more recognition during our month. Fact: Celebrity makeup artists of color have been breaking boundaries in the industry since the beginning.
They've navigated an industry that has not always been built to celebrate people of color. Considering the torrential cultural climate of our world, their artistry has stood the test of time and made women of all ethnicities and skin tones feel absolutely beautiful—on the inside and out. And for that, they deserve to be celebrated.
Sir John is Queen Bey's trusted makeup artist. In other words, the man's got gifted hands. He got his start training under industry icons Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath. Quickly after, he gained a star-studded clientele of women like Joan Smalls, Ashley Graham, Olivia Culpo, and more. Now you can catch him on the big screens for his new TV show American Beauty Star.
We have to pay homage to Pat McGrath, also known as the "Mother of Makeup" who has been spearheading the industry with her insanely talented skills since the early '90s. McGrath and her team of makeup artists are responsible for major fashion week shows around the world every year. Think Valentino and Alexander McQueen. Beauty junkies (including us) stay on our toes over the latest launches of her coveted cosmetics line Pat McGrath Labs.
Sam Fine has been paving the way since the '90s when he was slaying the faces of heavy hitters like Iman, Tyra Banks, and Naomi Campbell. Let's just say he's not new to this. He's true to this. Nowadays, he works with Queen Latifah and Vanessa Williams.
Let's all thank celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff for Taraji P. Henson, aka Cookie Lyons's showstopping makeup looks in the hit TV show Empire. She's been Henson's go-to MUA for years and is also is the founder of Ashunta Sheriff Beauty.
I've had the honor of working with Michael Anthony on set and I've never seen anyone nail a glitter cat eye faster. With celebrity clients like Katy Perry, Tinashe, and Cassie under his belt, he knows how to execute the boldest beauty looks in minutes. He got his start working at makeup counters in department stores, made his rounds at fashion week, and hasn't stopped since.
If you follow celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert Camara Aunique on Instagram, it's very clear to you that she was made for this. Aunique is constantly inspiring her followers to insert purpose and passion into everything they do. That's what she does with her A-list clients like HBO's Insecure star Yvonne Orji and Chloe x Halle.
New York City–based makeup artist Moshoodat is the epitome of an artist who showcases makeup as an art form. She began a campaign celebrating women of color in bold, bright, and beautiful makeup looks to portray our magic. Her work illustrated the beauty of all skin tones.
The talented AJ Crimson has always put women of color first. He's crafted an inclusive line of quality makeup products (including a foundation that is the bomb) meant to match every single shade of brown. With celebrity clients like Naturi Naughton, he's made an indelible mark on the industry.
All those crazy cool looks worn by Nicki Minaj, Zendaya, La La Anthony, Serena Williams, Kelly Rowland, Iman, Brandy, and Monica are done by none other than Sheika Daley. She can teach all brown girls a lesson on not being afraid of color. Her bold beauty looks are saved in our archives.
Celebrity makeup artist Yolonda Frederick has a lineup of Hollywood's hottest, including Ciara, Jennifer Hudson, and Cassie. She also understands the importance of a good selfie, so she developed the Glam.Or.Ring, which is a light-up iPhone case that features a palette and a full mirror on the back of it.
You know those airbrushed makeup looks that are every woman's dream? Well, celebrity makeup artist Keita Moore is the one for that. Because of his skills, celebrities like NeNe Leakes, Fantasia Barrino, Dascha Polanco, and Eva Marcille serve up major glam on the red carpet.
I can't even count how many screenshots I have saved in my phone of Mali Magic's out-of-this-world work. Her artistry is top-notch and she's known to create the most stunning, glowy makeup looks suitable for all skin tones.
Original Illustration by Haobin Ye