August 20 2014

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5 posts tagged "Kevyn Aucoin"

Now Showing: The Brilliant Mind and Makeup of Kevyn Aucoin



Though makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin passed away nearly twelve years ago, his lasting legacy in the beauty industry—not least of which includes his namesake cosmetics brand—remains untouched. To celebrate Aucoin’s enduring influence, Makeup Show (now in its sixth year in Los Angeles) is debuting the first ever Makeup Show Icon Gallery, providing a rare glimpse into the mind and makeup of Aucoin. The face painter’s professional hallmarks are vast (his ability to craft a flawless canvas and define his subject’s features is still marveled at today), but his body of work was far more robust than many ever imagined. “We try to find artists from different industries that [impact] the makeup industry, those who are known even outside the beauty [world],” show owner Shelly Taggar explained. “He was a person that was not only that talented in makeup, but he was a photographer, a poet, a painter.”

From handwritten notes to personal Polaroids to original color swatches for his line, the curated collection of nearly 65 pieces reveals never-before-seen glimpses into Aucoin’s personal and professional life. It also documents his work with famous faces including Janet Jackson, Cindy Crawford, Cher, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Makeup Show, March 1-2, California Market Center, 110 East Ninth Street, Los Angeles, CA;

Photo: Courtesy of Dusti Cunningham

Self-Portrait of an Artist


Makeup artist Nick Barose is clear on one thing: He is not quitting his day job. Barose is the man behind the maquillage for celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o and Kate Mara, but like many other face painters—Serge Lutens, Tyen, François Nars, and Kevyn Aucoin (whom he assisted)—taking photos, and sometimes starring in them, is how he makes his dreams a reality. “It gets frustrating when you have a vision in your head and you can’t bring [it] to life because nobody would shoot it, or it ends up being their vision,” Barose explained. In order to assume creative control, he took the lessons he learned at the International Center of Photography—and from working on the sets of Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and Patrick Demarchelier—eliminated the flaky models, and created a series of self-portraits in which he explores his Asian roots. “My grandfather was a well-known classical Thai dancer for King Rama VI and had his own troop,” he said. To make these exotic looks appear more authentic, he explored traditional methods of makeup application—opting for fingers and sticks over a bevvy of brushes. Here, the behind-the-scenes mainstay talks us through his time spent in front of the lens:


“I was inspired by the iconic image Monsoon Girl by photographer Brian Brake. I re-created it by using cream bronzer to make my skin more coppery—outdoorsy, like the kind of guy that’s out farming all day, every day—and a little bit of black kohl liner to make my eyes more exotic. The fake raindrops were created with a garden hose, and the bananas came from my parents’ backyard in Thailand.”


“I enjoy looking at photographs of sadhus [holy men] in India. They use only a few colors to paint their faces and all are from nature, like yellow, red, black, brown, and white—which usually come from cow dung and mud. I only used the palms of my hands, fingertips, and a few sticks to create this organic, earthy look.”


“Inspired by Red Boy by Steve McCurry—a photo of a boy at the Holi festival in India that appeared in National Geographic—I used my grandmother’s vintage teacup as a prop, as well as my dad’s ruby rings. The red face paint was actually MAC blush in Frankly Scarlet.”


“This is Princess Rojana and Prince Sung Thong from iconic Thai [folklore]. In this story, the prince has a beautiful golden body inside, but only a person worthy enough would see his true form—an ugly version is on display for everyone else. I interpreted this with gold face paint and the mask on top. Princess Rojana sees the prince’s true [self], so she threw a garland at him and chose Sung Thong as her husband. I had to drape that costume a certain way so that it would cover my bicep and make my arm appear more feminine!”


“I love looking at my grandparents’ vintage portraits. They got all dressed up and posed properly—sometimes with props like flowers, a fan, etc. For this portrait, I painted a unibrow, like in an old Indian painting. I lit it very specifically so the sparks in my eyes mimic the sparks in the earring.”

Photos: Nick Barose

Reminiscing With…Makeup Artist Fiona Stiles


lipstickBeauty Nostalgia is a column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.

The pro: Fiona Stiles, celebrity makeup artist

The product: “Before I even knew that being a makeup artist was a job, I was passionate about products. I grew up just north of San Francisco in a town called San Rafael. Macy’s was the only game in town, and I would stalk its makeup counters. In high school, I discovered Princess Marcella Borghese powder lipstick. This lipstick had a powder texture and came in a compact, like a single eye shadow. It had a sponge-tip applicator and everything. This formula was genius! It had a soft metallic sheen but was totally matte. I loved the deep red color; it looked like red velvet. Another favorite was Ultima II The Nakeds lipstick in #50, which was a staple in my makeup bag when I went off to college in Providence, Rhode Island. I used to dye my hair bright red, and I loved the way this matte orange lipstick looked. The line was amazing—Kevyn Aucoin designed it—and [the company] could have a major comeback if they rereleased it.”

Photo: Getty Images

Beauty 411: Ursula Stephen


URSULA-STEPHEN-FINAL-2_resizeHer personal choices might often elude us, but when it comes to all things hair-related, Rihanna always has our undivided and rapt attention (like, say, last week, when she went gray, or, as she dubbed it, “brrrr”). And the woman usually responsible for RiRi’s chameleonic hair ways is stylist Ursula Stephen. Her three favorite moments in Rihanna’s hair timeline? “When we went red, the short black ’do we did for the Teen Choice Awards a couple of years ago, and the short blonde look for her ‘Hard’ music video,” she says. Besides tending to celebrity tresses (she also counts Mary J. Blige and Kerry Washington as clients) and working as a Global Ambassador for hair-care line Motions, Stephen recently opened her first salon, in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood; a thrill for those of us who call the 718 home. “I’d always thought of opening my own place, but this just feels like the right time in my life and career to do it, so when I got a call about a space, I couldn’t pass it up,” she explains. And lest you think she’s too busy to attend to us common folks, Stephen insists that though her schedule will vary from week to week, she will definitely be logging plenty of time at Ursula Stephen the Salon, 66 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, (347) 457-5834. Here, the busy stylist shares some of her own beautifying go-tos.

“At the Olympic Spa in L.A., you get scrubbed down like a baby by these superstrong women…in front of everyone! Don’t be shy about it. You will leave feeling like you have new skin!”

3915 West Olympic Boulevard, L.A., (323) 857-0666;

“This fragrance manages to be so many things at once: pretty, sophisticated, rich. And I have to say, the men love it. I first discovered it at a spa in New York, and now it’s absolutely one of my faves.”

$68, at

THE GO-TO COVER-UP: Kevyn Aucoin
“Hands down the best concealer out there. It’s always a lifesaver for me.”

Available at

“I actually first discovered it after I got a bad burn from a curling iron. It helped heal that and turned out to be such a great moisturizer. I especially like it for the rough areas, like my knees and elbows. Plus, it gives skin an amazing glow.”

Available at drugstores.

“The perfect blush for summer, if you’re going for that ‘I don’t have on any makeup’ kind of look.”


THE HAIR THERAPY: Motions Deep Penetrating Treatment
“It’s the best conditioning treatment around. I recommend it to all my clients and, naturally, use it on myself religiously, too.”

Available at drugstores.

“It really is one of my favorite stores. I find all my trendy pieces there that I then mix in with designer stuff.”

“I love this place in Brooklyn. They do next-level mani-pedis! The ambience is beautiful, the staff is attentive, and every service is great. Also, mimosas. Enough said.”

1082 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York, (718) 636-0600;

Makeup Bag Check: Michelle Williams


The Mission: A cute and sophisticated look to complement Michelle Williams’ sequined chiffon Azzaro minidress at the New York premiere of Blue Valentine.

The Face Painter: Celebrity makeup artist Jeanine Lobell for Chanel Beauty.

The Face: Lobell turned to Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer to spot-treat and provide a light veil of velvety coverage before dusting the apples of Williams’ cheeks with Chanel Powder Blush in Rose Petale, a soft pink.

The Eyes: Using Ombres Perlees de Chanel, a six-shadow palette due out in January, Lobell swept the pale ivory shade across Williams’ lids from the lash line all the way up to the brow bone, and followed with a topping of the pink color over the crease to “flatten the eye.” Lobell then smudged the gray pigment into both the upper and lower lash lines to add depth to lashes before curling them and coating them with Kevyn Aucoin Curling Mascara in Rich Pitch Black. To frame the face, Lobell penciled in Williams’ arches with Chanel’s Precision Brow Definer in Soft Brown.

The Lip: Opting for a subdued pout, Lobell painted Williams’ lips a healthy shade of pink, courtesy of Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour in Jersey Rose.

The Nail: Seeing as how no look is complete without a statement manicure these days, Lobell introduced Williams to Chanel’s Pearl Drop, the opalescent ivory polish featured on toes at the house’s Spring show, which hits counters next month.

The Result: One part icon, one part ingenue—i.e., the perfect red-carpet combination for the star of an NC-17 rated film.

Photo Evan Agostini / AP Photo