Black History Month; an important month for remembering important people, events and celebrating achievements of African Americans. Although it is important to celebrate and recognize industry leaders globally irrespective of their color or where they come from, I felt it was especially important and only fit to take the time to celebrate black excellence within the beauty community.
We have seen makeup artists and beauty influencers that have navigated an industry that has not always been built to celebrate people of color. These people have stood the test of time, broken boundaries in the industry and have made both men and women of all ethnicity and skin tones feel beautiful, on the inside too. Through their craft and for this reason, they deserve to be celebrated.
Hailed as the most influential makeup artist in the world, it’s only right to pay homage to Pat McGrath who has been spearheading the makeup and beauty industry since the early 90’s. McGrath and her team of makeup artists are responsible for the makeup looks that you see on major fashion week shows around the world. She has conjured up unconventional mesmerizing beauty looks for design houses such as Prada, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana just to name a few.
Pat McGrath also runs her own cosmetic line Pat McGrath Labs. It features eye palettes, lipsticks and much more.
Sir John Barnett
He is Beyoncé’s makeup artist so of course he makes it to this list! With a little over 18 years of professional experience. Sir John first got his training under industry icons such as Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath. Quickly, he gained a star-studded clientele of celebrities who include Serena Williams, Priyanka Chopra, Joan Smalls and many more. Sir John is also a brand ambassador and celebrity makeup artist for L’Oreal Paris. He uses the power of cosmetics to empower women to become their most beautiful selves.
“I want all women to feel elevated, confident and to exude maximum presence. Beauty doesn’t just start and stop on the face. I want to increase the vibration women send out to the world.”-Sir John
YouTube and Influencer Jackie Aina is a Nigerian-American vlogger. She started her career working for MAC and Bobbi Brown cosmetics before becoming a freelance makeup artist for 5 years. Jackie started her YouTube channel in 2009 out of frustration due to the lack of women of color in the beauty industry. This YouTube superstar is passionate about content that teaches, inspires and gives confidence to women of color. Jackie is known for her unapologetic glam, insider beauty tips, signature humor and message driven content that has seen her channel grow to a fan base of over 2 million subscribers. She recently became the first recipient of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Awards’ YouTuber of the Year.
Jackie Aina continues to challenge the standards of beauty one video at a time. In addition, she calls out racism in the beauty industry with the aim of showing men and women how to not only look good but feel good every day.
What do superstars Model Iman, Halle Berry, Patti Labelle, Vanessa L. Williams, Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell all have in common? They have relied on the expert hands of celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine to look their best. Fine is not a newbie to the beauty Industry. Long before becoming a celebrity MUA, Sam worked behind makeup counters at department stores. This was an experience he fondly refers to as “the real school of beauty”.
Fine’s talent and determination has made him one of today’s most sought after makeup artists. He was chosen as the first African-American spokesperson for Revlon and Covergirl Cosmetics. He is also one of the few African-American artists to publish beauty books.
I have covered her work before but I think it is well worth a second mention. This New York based makeup artist literally showcases makeup as an art form.
Moshoodats’ work is meant to inspire and motivate women of color to see the magic and beauty that we already possess.
Featured image is courtesy of Adele Dejak