If you've ever attempted to draw on cat-eye liner without a cotton swab to clean up the edges, you know one beauty industry fact: makeup artists are, well, artists. This goes for the rising social media stars, the editorial innovators, and those backstage at fashion week (paging Pat McGrath). And as anyone who's ever lost an afternoon trying to find a lipstick shade following an award show can tell you — the best makeup artists to follow on Instagram have all the answers.
This goes well beyond product recommendations, though you can often find those in spades. (Pro tip: Always check which brands an artist has tagged.) Tuning into the world of Instagram makeup artistry turns your endless scroll into a virtual art gallery. And better yet, it's one you can spend your free time at home learning how to DIY; there are videos upon videos of artists showing how to sweep on ethereal layers of highlighter, or perfectly drape a powder blush.
You don't have to wait for Instagram's Explore tab to provide, either. Below, nine makeup artists delivering game-changing content on the platform, whether it be Zoë Kravitz's fashion week glam or makeup looks that wouldn't look out of place at a museum.
Jo Baker, @missjobaker
If you've perused a list of editor-favorite award show looks, you're probably well acquainted with Jo Baker's portfolio. The artist's dreamy beauty looks for celebrities — like Lucy Boynton — consistently steal the spotlight.
Chiao Li Hsu, @chiaolihsu
Chiao Li Hsu's work is like a daydream you don't want to shake. Abstract yet concise, it was the perfect counterpoint to Iris Van Herpen's Spring 2020 Couture collection.
Nina Park, @ninapark
Ever wonder what the behind-the-scenes life of a Chanel makeup artist is like? Enter Nina Park's Instagram page. Following it is basically like hanging out with Zoë Kravitz — and Brie Larson, and Liu Yifei.
Mollie Gloss, @molliegloss
Keeping up with Mollie Gloss' IG feels like keeping your finger on the pulse of the beauty community. Don't be surprised if you're tempted to snag a new palette or product after following, too; Gloss makes sure to name-drop personal favorites.
Sam Visser, @samvissermakeup
Sam Visser's Instagram presence is vibrant, stylized, and undoubtedly cool; just like the up-and-coming makeup artist's celebrity-endorsed style.
Diane Kendal, @diane.kendal
Follow Diane Kendal if you're interested in learning how to pull off a glitter eye or perfectly painted lip. The makeup artist shares plenty of videos (and makes it all look so easy).
Lucia Perešová, @geminiblush
At an artist's block with your own makeup routine? Lucia Perešová will make you wonder what all is possible with makeup — and inspire you to pick back up your own tools.
Pat McGrath, @patmcgrathreal
An industry icon, Pat McGrath's Instagram gives an unprecedented view into the backstage of the beauty industry — both as a designer-favorite artist and as the founder of a makeup brand.
Grace Ahn, @gracegraceahn
Grace Ahn's style effortlessly fluctuates between magically surreal and sharply modern — which means it'll always catch your eye as you scroll. (Just check out her recent looks from the Puppets and Puppets Fall/Winter 2020 show for proof.)