Kevyn Aucoin: What Would He Have Done Today?

His books are the only makeup artist books I've bought (the rest I rent out from the library). I stared at those books for hours on end and still refer back to them regularly. His critics said he had a tendency to "gild the lily." Everyone has a critic, and it's OK. He was an incredible talent and pioneered the industry. I hate the reverence some makeup artists get, but in his case, it's no hyperbole. To this day, I wonder what he would be doing if he were still alive. I imagine it would continue to move the industry forward.

He did a lot of celebrity makeup, but he also did a lot of makeup on everyday people, including those who didn't fit the mold of traditional beauty. I once saw him do work on a group of women who felt terrible about their looks. Many of them cried when they saw themselves afterward: They said they had no idea they could look beautiful. What impressed me so much was how humble and kind Kevyn was in response.

For his book, Face Forward, he had the idea of merging the faces of two models of different ethnicities. One of the models, Amber Valletta, said later she thought the idea would never work. When she saw the image, she was amazed at how synchronized the faces looked.

The cover shot from Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin


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