MAR. 29, 2017:
Some of our favorite makeup artists are also our favorite social-media stars! But how did they get started? In this industry, it is all about who you know and how hard you work…
PAT MCGRATH @patmcgrathreal
Named ‘the most in-demand makeup artist in the world’ by NY Mag’s The Cut, Pat McGrath is coveted (working 80 fashion shows a season), prolific (creating lines for Gucci, CoverGirl, and now her own, Pat McGrath Labs) and creative. She’s said to have 30 different ways of doing a red lip, her flawless foundation process takes two to three years to learn, and her mediums include rubber, vinyl, and feathers. For McGrath, it’s never about ‘doing something that everyone’s already done.’
Her big break? When fashion editor Edward Enninful hired McGrath for an i-D magazine shoot, she created her own bold look, defying the minimalist beauty look of the 1990s. McGrath has always researched ‘the trends of every period, culture, and subculture’ – it was this knowledge that earned her the endorsement of the photographer Steven Meisel, which in turn led to makeup shows and campaigns for Versace, Prada, Dior, and Givenchy, to name but a few.
PATRICK TA @patrickta
Chrissy Teigen, Gigi Hadid, Shay Mitchell, and the Kardashian-Jenner crew. Yes, you’ve probably heard of California-based makeup artist Patrick Ta. Despite only starting out in 2013, this social-media star quickly shot to fame for his behind-the-scenes beauty posts. The industry calls his beauty looks, ‘Flawless’ – and funnily enough, that’s also the name of Ta’s mobile app, due to launch this spring.
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His big break? After moving to LA, self-taught Ta started reaching out to potential clients with big social followings. ‘I owe my success to Instagram!’ he told Esquido. ‘That’s where people like Jessica Alba and friends started noticing me.’ But don’t think that means Ta’s career is all luck and celebrity connections. ‘Success depends on being prepared, so I research,’ he explains. ‘If I am confident in my skills, they will be too… Once clients believe in you, they’ll let you do what you want.’
SIR JOHN @sirjohnofficial
He’s the man behind Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, Naomi Campbell and Beyoncé – in the world of makeup; Sir John lives up to his noble name. But his story started at the bottom. He went from MAC and Bloomingdale’s stores (‘the counter is honestly the best teacher,’ he says), to freelancing at Henri Bendel as a makeup artist and eventually assisting Pat McGrath for a year. ‘You want to be in fashion before you do celebrity because you want that refinement,’ he told Fashionista of his advice to budding MUAs, ‘If you have that eye, you can bring it anywhere.’
His big break? As assistant to makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury, Sir John met Bey backstage at Tom Ford’s spring/summer show in 2011 – he did her makeup, even though she was working with Francesca Tolot at the time. Three years later, he got the call to work on the singer’s visual album, Lemonade, and world tour.
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