These are the pioneers who helped shape the beauty industry and also greatly influenced me as an artist.

Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965)

Born in Poland, she was the eldest of eight daughters. After immigrating to Australia, she opened the world’s first modern beauty salon. She later relocated to the United States, opened a salon in New York City, and became a lifelong rival of Elizabeth Arden. In 1962, Rubinstein’s salon was the first to introduce the concept of a “day of beauty.” It consisted of an exercise class, massage, lunch, facial, shampoo, hairstyling, manicure, pedicure, and makeup session and cost $35.

Max Factor (1877-1938)

Born in Poland as Max Faktor, his name morphed into Factor in 1904, when he went through Ellis Island on his way to becoming an American. In Los Angeles, he began selling his lotions and makeup, and soon he had developed a new type of makeup formulated specifically for the movies. It was called “flexible greasepaint” because, unlike standard film makeup, it didn’t crack. In 1920, Factor introduced his cosmetics to the public, giving the average woman a chance to buy a little bit of Hollywood glamour at her local drugstore.

Coco Chanel (1883-1971)

Although primarily remembered as a fashion designer, Chanel also created some of the world’s most memorable perfumes. In 1922, she introduced Chanel No. 5, which to this day is a worldwide best seller.

Elizabeth Arden (1884-1966)

Born in Ontario, Canada, as Florence Nightingale Graham, she moved to New York in 1908, where she worked as a bookkeeper at E. R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company. Whenever possible, Graham spent time in the company’s lab, learning the skills she would later use to create her own skincare lotions. She jumped at an opportunity to go to work for a “beauty culturist” doing skin treatments. There she met Elizabeth Hubbard and, in 1909, the two opened their own Fifth Avenue salon. When the partnership ended, Graham retained her partner’s first name, Elizabeth, and chose the last name Arden, from the Tennyson poem “Enoch Arden.” Thus, Elizabeth Arden was born. She quickly expanded her repertoire from giving skincare treatments to creating makeup colors. She worked tirelessly for her self-made company into her eighties.

Charles Revson (1906-1975)

In 1932, Revson went into business with his brother and a chemist named Charles Lachman. They founded a company called Revlon and launched it with the introduction of a nail polish. Revlon became known for nail polishes in a wide variety of colors. Eventually, they marketed matching lipsticks, including the legendary Fire and Ice shade of bold red.

Estee Lauder (1908-2004)

As an enterprising young woman, Lauder began selling the skin creams created by her uncle, a chemist. In 1948, she convinced the managers at Saks Fifth Avenue to give her counter space to sell her line. She is credited with pioneering the concept of “gift with purchase,” giving away free samples to her customers. In 1953, she introduced her first fragrance, Youth Dew, a bath oil meant to be lavishly splashed over the entire body. By 1984, annual sales of that product had reached $150 million.

Mary Kay Ash (1918-2001)

Born in Hot Wells, Texas, Mary Kay Ash worked in direct sales until 1963, when she retired to write a book to assist women in business. The book turned into a business plan and by September 1963, with only five thousand dollars, she founded Mary Kay Cosmetics with her son, Richard Rogers.

They developed a line of skincare products and color cosmetics, initially sold out of a storefront in Dallas, Texas. With the Golden Rule as the founding principle of her company, she insisted that her employees keep their lives in balance. She authored a total of three books, all of which became best sellers. Her book on people management, has been included as a text at the Harvard Business School. At the time of Ash’s death, Mary Kay Cosmetics had over 800,000 representatives in 37 countries, with total annual sales of more than $2 billion at retail.

Shu Uemura (1928-2007)

The founder of shu uemura cosmetics, he was the first to merge makeup and art through makeup performances on stage and his seasonal Mode Makeup collections. His career began in Hollywood in 1955 and it took off when he was called to substitute for Shirley MacLaine’s makeup artist. His first product, Unmask Cleansing Oil, came out in 1960. His first makeup school opened in Tokyo shortly thereafter. His first open workshop/concept cosmetics boutique opened in 1983. The Tokyo Lash Bar, with a huge variety of false-lash concepts, was launched in 2007.

Way Bandy (1941-1986)

Bandy was one of the best-known freelance makeup artists of the 70s and 80s. He created Calvin Klein’s first cosmetics collection, which featured burgundy packaging. His best-selling books are a great source of information and inspiration to makeup artists today.

George Newell (1954-1992)

George Newell began his career as a model and makeup artist in Houston. He moved to New York in 1977 to work as a freelance makeup artist, and became famous for a Halston layout he did for Vogue in 1979, where he served as both a fashion model and a makeup artist. In the early 1980s he established George Newell, Inc., a management and talent agency in Los Angeles, representing photographers, stylists, makeup artists, and hair stylists. During his career he designed many Vanity Fair and Vogue covers.

Frank Toskan & Frank Angelo (1948-1997)

In 1985, these two Canadians joined creative forces to form MAC (Make-up Art Cosmetics). Toskan was a makeup artist and photographer, and Angelo operated a chain of beauty salons. Toskan was frustrated with the available cosmetic offerings, all of which had glossy finishes that he thought reflected too much light in photographs. The company marketed an expanded color line (to suit more skin tones) and products with matte finishes. Today, MAC is known as much for its ethical policies and good works as it is for its products.

Kevyn Aucoin (1962-2002)

As a child growing up in Louisiana, Aucoin studied fashion magazines and tried to duplicate the looks he saw on his younger sister, Carla. After attending beauty school, he moved to New York in 1983. His big break came when a beauty editor at Vogue asked to see his book. In 1986, he did his first Vogue cover shoot with the photographer Richard Avedon. During his career, he worked with countless A-list celebrities and showcased his work in three books: The Art of Makeup, Making Faces, and Face Forward.


Ariella is best known for her longtime collaboration with the photographer Richard Avedon. She did the makeup for countless American Vogue covers as well as the iconic photo in 1981 featuring Natassja Kinski entwined with a boa constrictor.

Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens is a French photographer, filmmaker, hair stylist, perfumer, and fashion designer. In 1962, he moved to Paris, where Vogue magazine hired him to create makeup, hair, and jewelry looks. During the 60s he worked with photographer greats such as Richard Avedon, Bob Richardson, and Irving Penn. He created a makeup line for Christian Dior in 1967. In 1980, he was hired by Shiseido to develop its image internationally and to create the fragrance Nombre Noir. Both the fragrance and its packaging were considered ahead of their time. In the early 90s he designed Les Salons du Palais Royal, a perfume boutique, and in 2000, launched his own brand.

Alberto Fava

Alberto Fava began his career as a makeup artist in Rome in 1970, assisting Gil Cagne. In the 1970s he collaborated with fashion magazines, started to design makeup for fashion shows, and worked with several prominent photographers. As beauty editor for Mirabella magazine, he helped envision and plan the style and content of beauty stories.

Sandy Linter

Sandy Linter is a legendary makeup artist in New York City. Linter has spent the past thirty years working with celebrities and models. She is recognized throughout the beauty community for her age – defying techniques, which have been known to take off more years than cosmetic surgery. A frequent contributor to the country’s leading fashion and beauty magazines, Linter’s work has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair.

Linda Mason

Linda Mason reinvented the role of makeup on the runway in the late 70s. Her artistry was an integral part of signature looks for designers such as Gaultier and Mugler and for the label Comme des Garmons. In 1987, she started Linda Mason Elements, Inc.

Mary Quant

Working as a fashion designer in London in the 50s, Mary Quant was on a mission to make youthful fashion affordable. Her King’s Road boutique became a Mecca for girls in search of the mod look and Quant’s famous miniskirts. In the 60s she expanded her line to include paintbox makeup—a collection of bold, fun colors in a compact container.

Bonnie Maller

New York-based freelance makeup artist Bonnie Maller is best known for introducing the natural makeup look in the late 70s. She created looks for Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, and Calvin Klein, and her work was showcased in magazines around the world. She collaborated frequently with the photographer Bruce Weber.

Stephane Marais

Stephane Marais is a French makeup artist and entrepreneur whose quirky imagery has earned him global attention. He is widely known for his collaboration with Peter Lindbergh, his consulting work for Shiseido, and his ability to be understated and dramatic at the same time. He opened a flagship store in Paris in 2002.

Linda Cantello

Linda Cantello’s career began in the early 80s, and since then she has worked in high-luxury advertising campaigns, collaborated with top photographers, and worked with some of the best fashion and beauty publications. She was commissioned by MAC and Kanebo to recast their color lines and recently launched her signature makeup and skincare line.

Mary Greenwell

Mary Greenwell began her career in the 80s in Paris. She has since worked with every big-name photographer, and trained many of today’s makeup artists. Her eye for detail and color led to a contract with Shiseido, where she created new colors, taking the collection in a new direction. She is a regular artist at fashion shows and has a large celebrity clientele. Her work has been seen in all the leading magazines, in editorial, and in ad campaigns for Yohji Yamamoto, Valentino, DKNY, Estee Lauder, Guerlain, L’Oreal, Max Factor, and Comme des Garmons.

Barbara Daly

British makeup artist Barbara Daly began working in the 1960s and is popularly known for her work on the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film, A Clockwork Orange. She was called on by Diana, Princess of Wales, to do her wedding day makeup. And she is the creator of a makeup line available at the UK retailer Tesco.

Francois Nars

Born in the South of France, Francois Nars attended the Carita makeup school in Paris. In 1984, he began working with fashion’s top publications, collaborated with top designers, including Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, and Karl Lagerfeld, and with legendary photographers, such as Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, and Bruce Weber. Frustrated with the cosmetics lines available, Nars developed and successfully launched NARS, a cosmetics and skincare company, in 1994. He is also a professional photographer and the author of X – Ray (1999) and coauthor of Makeup Your Mind (2002).

Joey Mills

Joey Mills was widely known in the 70s and 80s for his classic American style. His work appeared in countless magazine covers, editorials, and advertising campaigns.

Reggie Wells

A veteran in the makeup industry, Reggie Wells has worked with countless actresses, painting his iconic, glamorous sculpted faces. Reggie is also widely known for his work with Oprah Winfrey as both a guest and behind-the-scenes makeup artist. He is an Emmy Award winner and author of Face Painting.

Tom Pecheux

Tom Pecheux lives and works in Paris. He is a beauty designer and key makeup artist for some of the top makeup brands, including Shiseido and MAC. His work on fashion shows for Prada, Karl Lagerfeld, and Alberta Ferretti, among others, has won him a loyal following in the fashion industry. He’s also worked with countless musicians including Madonna and Avril Lavigne on music videos, collaborating with the top fashion designers in the business.

Dick Page

This British makeup artist has a reputation as an industry leader. He is known for his editorial, advertising, and runway work. Since 1997, he has worked with Shiseido in Japan on its premier domestic line of cosmetics, and in 2001, he was made artistic director of the makeup line. He redesigned and relaunched the line in August 2002 as Inoui ID. In March 2007, he was named artistic director of Shiseido The Makeup. Page frequently contributes to Allure with his own insider’s page of tips and ideas entitled “The Makeup Guy.” He currently acts as the key makeup artist for the runway shows of Michael Kors, Narciso Rodriguez, Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and United Bamboo.

Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath is a British makeup artist known for her wide range and inventive use of materials: her makeup is often handmade, and she works mainly with her fingers rather than with brushes.

McGrath’s big break came while working with Edward Enninful at i-D magazine in the early 90s. She became known for her dramatic, stylized designs, including bodies drenched in paint and petals glued to faces. She designed Armani’s cosmetics line in 1999 and in 2004 was named global creative – design director for Procter and Gamble, where she is in charge of Max Factor and Cover Girl cosmetics, among other brands.

Laura Mercier

Raised in Provence, Laura Mercier trained at the Carita school, where she specialized in makeup application. In her early career, she began working closely with Thibault Vabre, a well-known French makeup artist. In 1985, Mercier moved to New York to join the team to launch American Elle. She soon began working for advertising campaigns for major corporations, editorial spreads for magazines, and multiple cosmetics and clothing companies, and worked with Madonna to create looks for print, television, and film. She then contracted with Elizabeth Arden to design the makeup looks for advertising campaigns and worked on Chanel’s advertising campaigns in France. In 1996, Mercier developed her own line, which is now in four hundred stores in twenty-one countries.

Sam Fine

Sam Fine began his education in makeup behind the cosmetics counters of department stores. He studied art in New York while continuing to work in the cosmetics department of a large specialty store. His transition to freelance artist occurred when Naomi Campbell’s makeup artist was unavailable for a show and she called Sam. He is known especially for his work with African American women and as the author of Fine Beauty.

Joanne Gair

Joanne Gair is an artist and image maker who has emerged as the premiere makeup artist/body painter in the world. From New Zealand, Gair has an interest in art photography. Her work as a makeup artist and body painter has appeared in editorial covers, layouts, fashion campaigns, advertising, music videos, commercials, and motion pictures.

Heidi Morawetz

Heidi Morawetz was the creative director of Chanel’s makeup studio in Paris for over thirty years. Morawetz created the “face” of each season for the runway shows. She developed Chanel’s famous Rouge Noir nail polish (Vamp) in 1994; the blood red shade is still Chanel’s best-selling nail polish color. She began as a freelance makeup artist and stylist until Dominique Moncourtois discovered her work and brought her into Chanel. Together with Moncourtois, Morawetz built the Chanel makeup business into the success it is today.

Dominique Moncourtois

Dominique Moncourtois spent thirty-six years as the director of Chanel’s Makeup Creation. As a child, he spent holidays in Paris with his great aunt, a former model who introduced him to the art of makeup. From 1963 to 1967 he worked as a makeup artist and wigmaker in the film industry, and in 1968, he joined Chanel. He continues to create and develop new looks and technology for makeup.

Fulvia Farolfi

Fulvia Farolfi’s work appears in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Wmagazines, to name a few, and she works regularly with top photographers including Irving Penn, Bruce Weber, and Raymond Meier. She’s a fixture at the runway shows in New York and Europe and has developed makeup lines for Emporio Armani and Shiseido.

Charlie Green

Charlie Green began her career in London, working on music videos for talents like Kylie Minogue and Bryan Ferry, then headed to Paris where she made her name collaborating with photographers David LaChapelle and Michael Thompson, and designers like Vivienne Westwood and Chloe. Now based in the United States, Green is a celebrity and editorial favorite.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is a Los Angeles-based celebrity-makeup artist whose clients include Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek, Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelina Jolie, and countless others. He has worked with photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier, David LaChappelle, and Annie Leibovitz. Starr has worked over twenty years in film, music videos, and print, and he has also worked with Estee Lauder on a makeup collection.

Gucci Westman

Gucci Westman studied makeup in Paris, then headed to Los Angeles, where she focused on special – effects makeup. She was “discovered” when photographer Annie Leibovitz called on her for a 1996 Vanity Fair cover shoot. In addition to working regularly with the beauty and fashion industry’s top magazines and designers, Gucci has lent her expertise to the cosmetics company Lancome.

Scott Barnes

Scott Barnes came to New York City at the age of seventeen to begin a career as a painter. A graduate of Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies, and New York’s Parsons School for Design, he began to find work on fashion photography shoots. Scott used his painting skills to model faces for fashion and soon secured an agent for his work. His work is known for its sexiness with a global sensibility and has been published by Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Premiere. He works regularly with celebrated photographers such as Herb Ritts, Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, and Matthew Rolston, as well as many A-list celebrities.

Joe Blasco

Joe Blasco began his study of the art of makeup at the early age of seven. He was awarded a scholarship to cosmetology school, and after graduating in 1964 at the age of eighteen, he arrived in Hollywood to work for the Max Factor cosmetics company. In 1967 he set out to pursue a career in Hollywood as a makeup artist. He took a job as an instructor with a small makeup school and recognized the need for a course that taught motion picture and television makeup artistry. He became known for his work in special makeup effects. In 1976 he opened the first of two renowned makeup training centers.

Diane Kendal

Diane Kendal’s signature look—one that’s rock and roll but gorgeous and approachable—has made her an industry favorite. She collaborates regularly with Catherine Malandrino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Balenciaga, Carolina Herrera, and Calvin Klein. Her work appears frequently in W, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Additionally, she regularly represents MAC at Fashion Week and designed Calvin Klein’s cosmetic line from 2002 to 2003.

Updated: July 27, 2015 — 6:41 am