As most of my longtime readers know, one of my many careers was as a professional makeup artist.
My background in makeup comes from the theater, but I later went on and took what I had learned about stage makeup and applied it to my career as a makeup artist for photo shoots, weddings, and several retail makeup lines, such as: Nars, Chanel, Bobby Brown and MAC.
Makeup application is the same whether using it for stage or everyday life, it’s just a matter of knowing when to bump it up or tone it down; understanding how to use it. But the basic principles of makeup are the same.
My approach to makeup was to always share with my clients that it should be used to enhance a women’s natural beauty. Or, to simply have fun with it.
I see nothing wrong with a woman wearing makeup if she chooses to do so.
I find the art of makeup fascinating. Because it's like painting on a canvas of flesh.
One of my makeup muses was Kevyn Aucoin (who was also a photographer). And not only did I admire his amazing talent as a makeup artist, but also his attitude about makeup, women, and life in general.
Kevyn possessed a gift that went beyond his occupation as a makeup artist - he was a spiritual teacher as well. He had a gentle and sweet, yet very powerful energy that drew people to him.
For all his acclaim and success, Kevyn was a humble gentleman; never forgetting where his priorities of true importance lie.
Here are some quotes from Kevyn:
“It's our hearts and brains that we should exercise more often. You can put on all the makeup you want but it won't make your soul pretty.”
“Glamour is not self-conscious; it's not trying really hard. It's just expressing your own truth. I think that's what the essence of glamour really is - expressing your uniqueness"
"Perfection is boring. If a face doesn't have mistakes, it's nothing."
“'I'd rather have huge success and huge failures than travel in the middle of the road.”
Kevyn was a makeup artist for countless celebrities, fashion magazines and runway shows, then later when on to create his own high quality line of cosmetics.
Sadly, on May 7, 2002, Kevyn passed away from complications due to prescription drugs he was taking for pain, associated with a tumor on his pituitary gland. He was only 40 years old.
Kevyn left behind a beautiful legacy that went beyond cosmetics.
He left behind a piece of his soul that will live on in the hearts of those he touched.
I would like to conclude this post with photos from two of his books: Making Faces and Face Forward.
Here are some phenomenal transformations of Kevyn’s masterful art.
Each one of these is a beautiful painting...
Lisa Marie Presley as Marilyn Monroe
Isabella Rossellini as Barbra Streisand
Christina Ricci as French singer, Edith Piaf
Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis
Gena Rowlands as Ava Gardner
Demi Moore as silent film star Clara Bow
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins as Josephine Baker
*Male to female makeup transformation
Alex Peruzzi (friend of Kevyn) as super model Linda Evangelista
Your legacy lives on, Kevyn!