This year, internationally-acclaimed British makeup artist Pat McGrath became the first in her industry to ever be bestowed the royal title of D.B.E., Dame of the British Empire, by Queen Elizabeth II. Known as the Mother of Makeup, McGrath is at the helm of a $1 billion cosmetic company, Pat McGrath Labs, and a leader for runway and editorial beauty. As a Black woman in the fashion and beauty industries, she's championed diversity and inclusion in her work and forged the way for other makeup artists of all races.
As the beauty industry becomes more inclusive on the front end of campaigns, it's also important to highlight the work of the diverse artists behind-the-scenes. From Black model Raisa Flowers’ futuristic aesthetic to Nam Vo's dewy dumpling looks, L’OFFICIEL rounds up 11 makeup artists of color you don’t want to miss on your Instagram feed this year.
We've already established that there is no makeup artist more influential than McGrath. Besides having her own line of makeup, she is also the creative design director of Procter & Gamble Beauty, where she oversees Covergirl, Max Factor, and created Dolce & Gabbana: The Makeup. Her star clientele includes Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, and Gisele Bündchen, among others, and she's responsible for some of the world’s best known beauty and fashion editorials.
Rihanna and McGrath-approved, Raisa Flowers is the go-to makeup artist and muse for some of the best musicians and creatives working today. A convention breaker who likes to push the beauty world to rethink makeup, Flowers has a daring, futuristic style that's hard to miss. Recently, the artist was tapped to do Rihanna’s makeup for Essence's January 2021 cover, creating a look with dreamy blue eyes and brow slits.
Global makeup artist for Fenty Beauty, Priscilla Ono is the woman behind some of the best makeup looks we have seen on Rihanna. Her Mexican heritage is a personal influence on her work, and she has cited her grandmother as big beauty inspiration. Always eager to share beauty advice and trends, Ono is a point of reference in the panorama of makeup artists as she uses social media to create communities. You can also enroll in her master course on makeup for tips and tricks from within the industry.
Beyoncé's go-to makeup artist, Sir John, took the industry by storm after McGrath took him under her wing at the onset of his career. The makeup artist quickly established himself as a powerful force and continues to create iconic looks. He has collaborated with the likes of Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, and Naomi Campbell. After meeting Beyoncé at Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2011 runway way show, she became John's perpetual muse and a close friend and client. Outside of success in the beauty industry, John is a fierce advocate for racial justice and continuously uses his platform for good.
Los Angeles-based Anthonyh Nguyen has been the makeup artist for numerous celebrity clients including Naomi Campbell, Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, and Adele. His innovative and conceptual looks have been featured on magazine covers and his experience working for high pressure red carpet events and music videos has granted him the reputation of a high-profile artist.
This seasoned makeup artist started her career doing makeup at a New York strip club, and now Nam Vo is a highlight connoisseur with a long list of celebrity clients. She is known for her #dewydumplings Instagram posts which include drool-worthy videos of her artfully highlighting the faces of stunning models and fan-favorite celebrities. She has deemed herself the queen of "glow jobs" and everyone seems to agree.
Micheal Anthony's most recent work includes Katy Perry's inaugural makeup, Arianna Grande's Positions album cover look, and Paris Hilton's LuuMee Case collab glam. The skilled makeup artist has worked with Dior and has an extensive list of celebrity clientele. His interest in makeup was born out of experimenting with his aunt's Mary Kay palettes. During high school, he got a job at Mac Cosmetics, and soon after, his career took off. Since then, he has secured the title of Grande's favorite MUA and has created beautiful looks for numerous runway shows.
Sheika Daley's career in beauty began when famous comedian, Sommore, asked her to do her make up. She was working at Mac Cosmetics at the time, so the opportunity to do a celebrity's make up came as a surprise and gave her a foot into the door of celebrity glam. Daley is completely self-taught and is now Zendaya's main makeup artist. Her natural yet striking looks have appeared on the covers of notable magazines, red carpets, and even the Met Gala. As a Black woman, Daley has been deliberately outspoken on her social media platforms and shows unending support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Nina Park is Chanel's favorite make up artist. Her minimal approach to makeup which focuses on good skincare and enhancing natural attributes embodies the fresh-faced Chanel look. The New York-based, Chicago-born makeup maven studied at L'école de Maquillage Fleurimon in Paris before officially starting her career in beauty. Her looks can be seen on Zoë Kravitz, Brie Larson, and Chanel muse Lily-Rose Depp. This past year, Park and hairstylist, Bryce Scarlett launched Adjoining Rooms, an online space dedicated to building the hair and beauty industries and fostering a connection between those that belong to each discipline.
Hung Vanngo is a Vietnamese-Canadian makeup artist who started his career by collaborating with notable fashion photographers like Carter Smith and Emma Summerton. With over 2 million Instagram followers, Vanngo is a familiar name within the beauty industry. He is the man behind some of Bella Hadid, Gisele Bündchen, and Emily Ratajkowski's best looks. Vanngo is celebrated for his playful use of color and go with the flow approach to glam. Plus, his growing YouTube channel debuts videos of stunning looks every week.
Kardashian family regular Etienne Ortega is a Mexican makeup artist known for his killer Hollywood glam. After studying at the Paul Mitchell Academy of Beauty, Ortega secured a position at an exclusive Beverly Hills salon, which helped him quickly make a name for himself among A-list clients. Patris Hilton, Lana Del Ray, and Kris Jenner are just a few of the household names that appear on his Instagram. The makeup artist/hairstylist has mastered both bold red carpet glam, and soft beachy looks.