Vocally supporting Black artists across the fashion and beauty space is not only crucial now during Black History Month or moments of racial uproar, but necessary in dismantling the industry's own well-documented racism. In addition to using your voice and donating if you can, you can support Black voices by stacking your feed with talented Black makeup artists to follow on Instagram, beauty gurus on YouTube, or makeup-tutorial stars on TikTok. Since, as you know, to be a makeup artist in 2022 usually means you're doing it all.
Even an established industry vet like Dame Pat McGrath has created an Instagram account that's basically an ever-evolving mood board. And speaking of McGrath, the multi-hyphenate makeup artist life also means that a majority of the Black artists on this list either have their own makeup brand or have created products by collaborating with others — so your support can stretch further than your phone screen.
Below, 21 Black makeup artists to follow online that are constantly pushing the envelope on social media, at red-carpet events, and across the fashion industry. Prepare for endless amounts of beauty inspiration.
Makeup artist Tiyana Robinson is a fierce advocate for education and encouraging freelance makeup artists to gain more traction in the industry via her online business classes.
Celebrity makeup artist, Delina Medhin’s Instagram bio reads: “makeup for people who love skin that looks like skin and bold color.” Scrolling through her feed you’ll see an emphasis on dewy skin and bold color-popping lips.
Since the early ‘90s, Sam Fine has been thee Black makeup artist. Starting his career with Tyra Banks, Iman, and Naomi Campbell, the icon now works with Vanessa Williams and Queen Latifah. More recently he was awarded the title of the first Black spokesperson for Revlon and Covergirl and is also the author of Fine Beauty: Beauty Basics and Beyond for African American Women.
Dedicated to putting women of color first, AJ Crimson, founder of AJ Crimson Beauty, uses products from his inclusive line that is meant to match every single shade of brown skin. His celebrity clients include Hilary Duff, Lauren London, and many more.
Having worked with Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Graham, and other A-listers, Bob Scott is known for their colorful artistry. The expert believes makeup is a tool of self-affirmation and can always be found with an Instagram full of heavy eye moments: graphic eyeliner, smokey eyes, and rainbow swirls.
Makeup artist Moshoodat Sanni’s Instagram is filled with colorful inspiration for makeup looks that you can try for a clean office look or a show-stopping date night moment. Famously known for clean and colorful lines, she is also the founder of Crowned By Moshoodat, a line of embellished headpieces.
Taraji P. Henson’s personal makeup artist and the pro behind her role as Cookie Lyons's intricate and statement makeup looks on Empire, Ashunta Sheriff is well known for her blending capabilities and show-stopping eye makeup.
Born and raised in Trindad, Jaleesa Jaikaran moved to New York City in her early 20s to pursue makeup, where she worked under Pat McGrath and Diane Kendal at New York and Paris Fashion Week. Working to enhance each client’s beauty, Jaikaran believes skin should look like skin.
Based in New York City and represented by Exclusive Artists, Emily Amick has worked on global campaigns with Samsung, PepsiCo, and more. Her work also spans across editorial and print.
As Bobbi Brown’s global artist in residence, Mali Thomas is most known for the ‘90s-inspired dewy glow she creates on every complexion and skin type. Thomas is also an avid advocate for POC representation in the industry.
Getting her start in cosmetic retail, Bamike Ogunrinu has a deep understanding for product development and ingredients. Focused on emphasizing each client’s natural features, she utilizes hydrating skin care products before every application.
You probably recognize celebrity makeup artist Camara Aunique from global runway shows and her work done on Angela Bassett, Ava DuVernay, and June Ambrose. When the artist is not working with A-list clients, she focuses her time on CamaraAUniqueBeauty, a collection of handcrafted faux mink lashes.
Represented by FORD Artists, D’angelo Thompson expertise extends to beauty, bridal, editorial, commercial, and film. The artist has worked with everyone from Aretha Franklin, Loni Love, Heidi Klum and Salma Hayak. Not only is Thompson recognized for his impeccable makeup skills, but also as an Emmy Award Winning Hair Stylist for the Wendy Williams Show.
A celebrity makeup artist who's worked with Ayesha Curry, Nicki Minaj, and Zendaya, Sheika Daley is a pro at high-key glamour. However, you'll always notice her most intricate, soirée-ready looks still somehow keep clients' skin looking polished and natural, too.
A self-taught makeup artist, Nyma Tang is best known as a beauty YouTuber and influencer who creates content vital to the makeup community — like her now-iconic The Darkest Shade Series, which "put makeup brand's darkest foundation and concealer shades to the test," as per her YouTube description. Her tutorials and reviews are straight to the point, with no gimmicky editing or over-the-top praise if a product doesn't deserve it.
From editorial to red carpet, Porsche Cooper's celebrity and brand clientele reaches far and wide: Iman, Gucci, Beyoncé, just to name a few. On Instagram, Cooper not only shares which beauty products she loves, but recently has taken to hopping on Live to chat with her equally impressive friends. (The first guest on her #CocktailsWithFabulousFriends series was Niecy Nash, after all.)
Even if you don't know his name — and you should — you've seen celebrity makeup artist Michael Anthony's work. Most recently? Ariana Grande's graphic eyeliner in the "Rain On Me" music video comes to mind.
You probably know Jackie Aina best as a beauty YouTuber, mega-influencer, and industry collaborator, but the star's self-taught makeup artistry can't be ignored. (P.S. Her 4.9-star Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palette is still in stock on the brand's website, by the way.)
Makeup artist, photographer, and the titan behind Danessa Myricks Beauty, Danessa Myricks makes it all look easy; from radiant skin to a dewy glow to flawlessly blended eyeshadow. And her Instagram actually breaks it down further — Myricks notes product lineups behind the looks she creates so that any shopper can try them out on their own.
It's impossible to overstate Sir John's impact on the entire entertainment industry. Through his work with superstars — you might know him as Beyoncé's makeup artist — Sir John is personally responsible for creating trend after trend. Case in point: Beyoncé's 2018 Coachella makeup, which inspired many a shopper to pick back up their glitter palettes.
With 2.7 million followers on Instagram alone, Shayla Mitchell (aka @Makeupshayla) is a force to be reckoned with. Like many up-and-coming makeup artists, she's a Renaissance woman: YouTuber, TikTok creator, brand collaborator, and all-around beauty expert.
Do you have a mood board filled with runway photos? Chances are, half the work is probably Pat McGrath's. Naming the runways her out-of-this-world looks (and eponymous beauty brand) have graced is like rattling off a fashion-month schedule: Prada, Valentino, Maison Margiela, Miu Miu, Versace — you get the picture.
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