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Eight years ago I shared a post on, Kevyn Aucoin, who was one of the most gifted and inspiring makeup artists who ever lived. And it wasn't only his talent as a makeup artist that made him so special, it was also his ability to put everyone at ease the minute he touched their face. There was something about his spirit that made people instantly trust him.

I was a huge fan of Kevyn Aucoin. In fact, I had every book he ever published. I remember getting his first book back in the 90's when I was very involved in the art of makeup. Ironically he was an influential makeup teacher for thousands of makeup artists all over the world, yet Kevyn was never taught how to do makeup. He was born with a natural talent.

Early this week I watched a documentary, titled: Kevyn Aucoin: Beauty and the Beast In Me. In fact, I watched it twice.

Not only is this documentary about his journey through makeup, but it's also a very open and honest view into parts of Kevyn that he struggled with his whole life.



"At the heart of the film is a treasure trove of found footage: hundreds of hours of personal video and audiotapes that Kevyn recorded throughout his life and career. The never-before-seen archival footage takes you behind the scenes of iconic, intimate and uncensored moments in 1980s and 1990s fashion with the celebrated photographers, models and actresses of the era."
"Kevyn was the most sought after celebrity makeup artist of his time while battling the unhealed “primal wound” of his adoption, and his abusive childhood growing up in Louisiana. This film delves into why someone who was able to achieve all of his dreams and help create so much beauty, struggled to see the beauty within himself."

At the peak of his career, Kevyn was diagnosed with a rare pituitary tumor. He had been suffering from acromegaly resulting from the tumor for much of his life, but it had gone undiagnosed. He underwent a successful surgery and had the tumor removed, but continued to experience intense pain and became addicted to painkillers. In 2002, he passed away at 40-years old. 

In the end, this bittersweet documentary leaves you with a feeling of understanding and compassion. Regardless of Kevyn's struggles and wounds, he lived a life that was filled with tremendous passion. For the short 40 years he was on this earth, Kevyn lived a very full life because he knew what he came here to do, and he did it. 

He not only touched people's faces, he touched their hearts.
  
Here are some images I found of Kevyn; his art; photos from the documentary; and several of the women who adored him.

-Kevyn Aucoin-

"The fact is, there is really no such thing as "normal" - everyone is different, and that is the essence of their beauty."


The fabulous, Tina Turner


Kevyn at work




Kevyn's makeup magic -- Janet Jackson as actress, singer, dancer, Dorothy Dandridge


Barbra Streisand, who Kevyn idolized since he was a young boy growing up in Louisiana
 

Kevyn worked with Whitney many times on her videos


Kevyn did Cindy Crawford's makeup for her very first Vogue cover. They remained friends for life.


My personal favorite runway model of all-time, Naomi Campbell 
 









A photo collage of those who loved Kevyn


"That's why I began doing makeup in the first place. I was hoping that through helping people see the beauty in themselves, I could try and find it in me. "


Here is a short trailer from the documentary:


Have a beautiful weekend, everyone....💗


In case you're interested in watching the complete documentary on YouTube for free, here is the link:

32 comments:

  1. Oh my god, Ron, I LOVE this post! As you know, I am a beauty product junkie so I knew all about Kevyn Aucoin. As a matter of fact, I bought his first book (which I still have) "The Art of Makeup" that I got at Barnes and Noble. He was such an amazing makeup artist. And I knew of the struggles he had with his illness from reading about him online. I was heartbroken when I read that he had passed away back in 2002. So young. So talented. And you could tell just from his interviews that he was such a sweet soul. He had a very rough childhood, but he rose above it and made a success of himself.

    I love the photos you posted. The one of he and Janet Jackson is adorable. And the makeup he did on her in the collage is incredible. And I agree with your taste, Naomi Campbell is the best runway model. No one walks a runway like that woman!

    Thank you so much for sharing this post and for sharing the link to the documentary. You better believe that I will be watching that this weekend. I will most like watch it twice, like you. LOL! I shared this post with a few of the girls I work with in my office because I knew they would enjoyed it.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Ron xo

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  2. Ron, I didn't even know who Kevyn Aucoin was, but after reading your post about the documentary, I am suddenly very interested in finding out more about hm. Wow, I can't believe all the celebs he worked with. I love the eye makeup on Cher! I always thought that Christy Turlington was such a beauty. Such a classy look. He worked with all the supermodels, didn't he? Janet Jackson looks so sexy in those pics!

    Thank you for sharing about Kevyn and this documentary, Ron. I will watch it soon!

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  3. Makeup is one of those things many of us don't give more than a passing thought to, but these images are evidence that people like Kevyn truly are ARTISTS. What a shame he passed away at such a young age...but what a great body of work he left behind in those images. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Thank you for introducing me to Kevyn Aucoin; I had not heard of him before now. I love the photo of him with Janet Jackson. It's so cute and sweet. What a talent he had for the art of makeup and what a tragedy that he passed so young. I was glad to watch to video clip and learn more. Have a beautiful weekend, Ron!

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  5. Hola Denise!

    "As you know, I am a beauty product junkie so I knew all about Kevyn Aucoin. As a matter of fact, I bought his first book (which I still have) "The Art of Makeup" that I got at Barnes and Noble. He was such an amazing makeup artist."


    Yup...I had a feeling your knew of Kevyn!!! Wasn't he wonderful? I remember that first book. I think I got in in Borders in Orlando. Either Borders or B&N. I remember reading from cover to cover MANY times. He was an inspiration not only to me, but to anyone who was interested in becoming a makeup artist.

    "And you could tell just from his interviews that he was such a sweet soul. He had a very rough childhood, but he rose above it and made a success of himself."

    Yes, in spite of what he went through as young boy, he rose about it and used to propel him forward.

    I love the one of he and Janet. The expression on both their faces is adorable! You can tell how much they enjoy each other. Naomi is my very favorite runway model, hands down. My second favorite is Linda Evangelista. The two of them really knew how to walk that catwalk!

    I know you will love the documentary! I just so happened to find it on YouTube earlier in the week and was so happy. And it's for free, which is why I posted this today because I don't know how long it's going to before they either take it down or start charging to see it. I watched it twice, it was that good!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a beautiful weekend, and let me know how you enjoyed the film!

    X

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  6. Hey there Candice!

    Kevyn became very well-known in the late 80's, early 90's. He was "the" makeup artist that everyone wanted for their shoots. He did all the supermodels of that time. They loved him.

    I know, isn't that eye makeup on Cher the BOMB? That was for one of her music videos. Kevyn hand-placed each and every one of those stones on her eyes. It took him hours. Yes, Christy has such a classy look. She is very involved in many humanitarian groups. I don't know if she still models. She is married to Edward Burns.

    Yes, Janet looks soooooooo sexy in those pictures. Kevyn did such a great job in making her resemble, Dorothy Dandridge.

    You will LOVE the documentary. It's not very long, but it's filled with so many interesting things about Kevyn's life.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous weekend!
    X

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  7. Hiya Mark!

    "Makeup is one of those things many of us don't give more than a passing thought to, but these images are evidence that people like Kevyn truly are ARTISTS"


    Yes, exactly! You don't even think about it until you SEE what an artist he was with makeup. I consider him a painter who used makeup as his paints.

    The documentary is so bittersweet because it gives such an honest view of his childhood experiences and how they affected him as an adult. But it's also a celebration of his talent and his sweet, gentle heart. He was very loved.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a faaaaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X to you and Tara

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  8. Isn't the photo of he and Janet Jackson the CUTEST and SWEETEST? I love the expression on both their faces. They look like two little kids playing!

    Glad you watched the trailer. I just so happened to find the documentary on YouTube earlier this week (Monday) and was so excited because over the summer I searched for it and couldn't find it anywhere. It first came out in 2017.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an AWESOME weekend!

    X

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  9. Ron, being a Streisand fan myself, I can't even imagine what it must have been like for him to do her makeup. I bet he was so nervous. Did he ever mention anything in the documentary about how he felt?

    I didn't know anything about Kevyn Aucoin, but it's obvious what a talent he had. The photos of Janet Jackson are so cool. And I love the one of Tina Turner and him. My god, she never ages. She still looks amazing.

    Kevyn is lone of those special people who comes into this world and leaves an everlasting impression. I enjoyed the trailer. It makes me want to see more.

    Thank you for sharing, Ron.

    Is that Julianne Moore in the photo collage? She's a beauty.

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  10. Hi there, Daniel!

    OMG, me neither! I would have been a complete nervous wreck! And yes, I heard him once say in an interview that he was very nervous because she was someone he idolized as a kid, and to FINALLY meet her was too much. But he said that she put him at ease by being very relaxed, which made him relax. He also said he felt that way when he did Elizabeth Taylor's makeup. She too made me him relax.

    Yes, Tina Turner still looks faaaaaaaabulous! And she's had some very challenging health issues in the past several years, but she still has that glow and energy about her that she's always had.

    "Kevyn is lone of those special people who comes into this world and leaves an everlasting impression. "


    You are so right about that!

    And yes, that IS Julianne Moore! Isn't she beautiful? And she's an outstanding actress as well!

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Always great to see your comments.

    Have a super weekend!
    X

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  11. Agree, Ron! Linda Evangelista is the BOMB on the catwalk. I forgot to mention in my previous comment about the Kevyn Aucoin makeup line, which he started before he passed away. Are you familiar with it?

    Yes, I'll be sure to watch the documentary sometime this weekend because I don't want to miss it. I'll let you know how I like it. x

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  12. Yes, Denise, I am familiar with the Kevyn Aucoin makeup line. I used to work for a retailer who carried the line. We didn't have the complete line, just selected pieces of it. It's beautiful, but very expensive. When I was in NYC several years ago, I saw the whole line at Bergdorf Goodman. They had a counter.

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  13. Ron, what a fascinating and beautiful post! And I have a story to tell you. Years ago, probably back in 2001 when I was still living in New York, I took my youngest daughter into Manhattan one weekend and went to either Saks or Lord & Taylor, so that she could see Kevyn Aucoins makeup collection. She was such a fan of his. In fact, one Christmas I bought her his book. She at one time was thinking of getting her license so that she could become a professional makeup artist. So yes, she too was so inspired by Kevyn's amazing talent.

    I love all of the celebrity photographs you share. Like everyone else who commented, the picture of Janet Jackson and Kevyn is so sweet. And Streisand, WOW! Cindy Crawford was, and still is, so beautiful. I knew Kevyn had passed away, but I didn't know how young.

    Not only am I going to watch this documentary tonight, but I am also going to email my daughter this post so that she can read it. I don't know if she has already seen the film, but if she hasn't, she'll have the link.

    Thank you so much for sharing this informative post and tribute. Have a great weekend, neighbor! xo

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  14. Oh, Elaine, thank you sooooooooooooooooo much for sharing that story. How COOL it that!!!! And yes, it would have had to been in 2001 because that's when Kevyn officially launched his collection. It was smaller back then, but has grown to become much more extensive. One of his past partners still oversees the business, in honor of Kevyn. He is actually in several of the photographs in the photo collage that I posted.

    You're right, Cindy Crawford still looks great. And I don't think she has had any surgery on her face. She has her own skincare line. The one with Janet Jackson is so adorable, isn't it?

    Great, I'm glad to hear you're going to share this with your daughter. Because if she was a fan, she'll definitely enjoy the documentary.

    Always a delight to see you, my friend. Thanks for stopping by, and have a fantabulous weekend!
    X

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  15. Hi Ron, like a few previous folks who commented, I also was not familiar with the talents of Kevyn Aucoin or the man himself. I have never been "into" beauty products myself, but can certainly appreciate the beauty he created. Thanks for sharing about him in this post. he was very special to so many women.
    I have watched the trailer and am halfway into watching the documentary to learn more. I was glad that you shared the YouTube link as the documentary is no longer available on Netflix

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  16. Ron, my girlfriend instantly knew who Kevyn was, however, I did not. She, as I've already told you many times, our bathroom counter looks like a cosmetic and skincare counter because she is obsessed with products. LOL! I have to say, between your post and the photos that you shared, even "I" am interested in the documentary. He seems like such a special man who had a lot of adversity in his life, but didn't allow it to stop him from achieving what he set out to do. You can tell from the photos that he was outstanding in his craft.

    I love the photo of Christy Turlington and he. The way he's holding her face in his hand is just beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing, dude! We will be watching the film this weekend.

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  17. Hey there D!

    Yes, he was. In the short time that he was here, he accomplished so much. And he was so loved. As you will see, the documentary goes into more detail about his childhood (his adoption, his relationship with his biological mother, and his adoptive parents).

    Happy to hear that you watched the trailer and are watching documentary. As I shared, it's bittersweet; leaving you a feeling of compassion about his personal journey.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're enjoying a grrrreat weekend!
    X

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  18. Hiya Matt!

    "..as I've already told you many times, our bathroom counter looks like a cosmetic and skincare counter because she is obsessed with products. LOL! "

    OMG, that is hilarious! And yes, I do remember you telling me about your bathroom and your girlfriends passion for products!

    Yes, even if you're not into makeup and such, I think anyone would find this documentary interesting because it's a story that many people can relate to in one way or another. People might not have had the same struggles that Kevyn did, but we've all had struggles growing up.

    "I love the photo of Christy Turlington and he. The way he's holding her face in his hand is just beautiful!"

    I love that one too! And for the same reason. In an interview I saw with Cher, she said that Kevyn had the BIGGEST hands. And you can see that in that particular photo. Plus, I think Christy is so lovely.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Matt! Hope you and your girlfriend are having an awesome weekend!

    X

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  19. Ron, I know of his makeup products, but I'm sorry to say I didn't know that in depth about his personal life. The photos you shared on this post really show his talent and close bond he shared with these women. My favorite is the final one of Kevyn just smiling into the camera. He was very handsome and had beautiful eyes.

    Thank you for sharing the documentary. I will watch it for sure.

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  20. Hi Clair!

    I didn't either until after he passed away. I remember reading a book that was published by many people in the industry who knew him well, and that's when I discovered about Kevyn's childhood, struggles, and his illness. The book title is, Kevyn Aucoin, A Beautiful Life.

    "My favorite is the final one of Kevyn just smiling into the camera. He was very handsome and had beautiful eyes."

    I agree. Handsome man and beautiful eyes!

    I hope you enjoy the documentary as much as I did. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  21. I remember that post! We go back a while, don't we?

    It's interesting - he's every bit as beautiful as the women he worked with. I watched the trailer - they claim it' son Netflix but I can't find it. :(

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  22. You remember that post? You're right, we do go back awhile. It's funny because several years ago a makeup artist in Italy emailed me, saying that he found my post and wanted to link to it on his website because he's a professional makeup artist and adored Kevyn. That's one of the incredible things about Kevyn, his talent was admired all over the world.

    Yes, I agree...he's every bit as beautiful as the women he worked with.

    One of my readers left a comment yesterday, saying that the documentary is no longer on Netflix. She watched it on YouTube (the link I shared).

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your weekend!

    X

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  23. How sad that such talent is gone so soon! Ron, thank you for this post. I wish poor Kevyn had known how many people loved him and respected his work. Lovely tribute here, my friend.


    Did you get snow?? From the weather maps, it looked as if you were getting some this weekend. Hope you had a chance to get outside and frolic in it! xx

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  24. Hey there Debbie!

    "I wish poor Kevyn had known how many people loved him and respected his work."

    I know. And so many of his friends and women he worked with said the same thing in the documentary. He had such a big heart in "giving" love to others, but somehow he didn't feel worthy of "receiving" love. And a lot of that had to do with his birth mother, his adoption, and the abuse he experience as a child.

    YES!!!!! We got snow! It started today and will continue for the next two days. I worked today, so I was like a little kid walking in it. Last year we got ZERO snow, so this year we're making up for it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaaaabulous week!

    X

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  25. Hello Ron! I wanted to stop back and let you know that I watched the documentary last night and loved it. You were right, it's bittersweet and leaves you with a feeling of understanding and compassion. I was so touched by his father who adopted him and how he accepting him complete. What a sweet man. But I have to say that I did not get a good feeling about his birth mother. Oh my god, Kevyn was better off without her. Sorry, but she had some major issues.

    I also want you to know that I watched it twice, like you. LOL! I really enjoyed the interviews with all the models he worked with. You could tell they loved him

    Thanks again, Ron xo

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  26. Hi Denise! Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to stop back to let me know that you watched the documentary. Wasn't it great? Yes, his adoptive father was such a sweet man. He was so accepting and loving towards Kevyn. And yes, his birth mother had some MAJOR issues, I agree. OMG, I can't believe how she couldn't accept him for being gay and that he did makeup for a living. And yet, she LOVED when he did HER makeup. LOL!

    The interviews were such a powerful part of the film because these were people who really knew him.

    X

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  27. Ron, I wanted to let you know that I finally watched the documentary last night with my hubby and really, really enjoyed it. I also passed along your post and link to my daughter.

    I could tell from your post that Kevyn was a sweet soul, but watching the movie made me love and respect him even more. I'm sure he is missed by many.

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  28. Elaine, thank you for taking the time to stop back to let me know you watched it. Before watching this film, I only really knew Kevyn as a makeup artist. I had no idea about his childhood or illness.

    Yes, he missed by MANY!

    X

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  29. This is a beautiful post. The statement, This film delves into why someone who was able to achieve all of his dreams and help create so much beauty, struggled to see the beauty within himself, made me tear up. I hate hearing of these types of experiences, but perhaps it contributed to his empathy and kindness towards others...and his success. He was truly talented. Thank you for sharing his story. X

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  30. Hey there Lisa!

    After seeing the documentary, I knew it was something I wanted to share because the specifics of Kevyn's story might be different, however, I think his desire to feel loved is something that we all can identify with.

    I think you're exactly right...."perhaps it contributed to his empathy and kindness towards others...and his success."

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Great to see you. Have a grrrrreat rest of your week!

    X

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  31. Hey, Ron!

    First, I want to apologize for being late to the party. I missed this post for some reason and I'm very sorry.

    But now that I'm here, I want to thank you for sharing this incredible man's story. I confess I don't know Kevyn Aucoin, but I intend to find out more about him.

    What an incredible life--and how awful that he was only here for such a painfully short time. But he certainly left his mark.

    Great work, buddy!

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  32. Hey there Rob!

    Oh, no worries. That's happened to me before as well. Sometimes a post will slip by me without noticing that someone published it. But thanks so much for stopping back and leaving a comment.

    Kevyn Aucoin was one-of-a-kind. I started following him back in the 90's, right after he published his first book. He was an AMAZING artist! He is originally from Louisiana, but moved to NYC after he quit school and worked his way up for many years in the makeup business before becoming one of the most popular makeup artist in the industry. His whole makeup collection is in Bergdorf Goodman. His partner keeps the makeup line going as a tribute to Kevyn.

    Thanks again for stopping back, buddy. Appreciate that!

    X

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