"Kevyn was so passionate about makeup as an art form. His ability to transform people made him such a joy to work with. He could create characters with his makeup. He was a trailblazer, really."
Trailblazing. Iconic. Revolutionary. Those who knew him up close or from a distance can agree – Kevyn Aucoin is celebrated as perhaps the most influential makeup artist of our time. From haute couture to Hollywood, Kevyn painted and sculpted the faces of countless models and celebrities, including Cher, Janet Jackson, Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Julia Roberts, Tina Turner, Barbara Streisand and Gwyenth Paltrow. His work has appeared in editorial pages, advertising campaigns, music videos and the front covers of every leading magazine, including 18 consecutive covers of Vogue.
"While traveling around the world, I've had the opportunity to work with every living beauty icon. I've learned to appreciate idiosyncrasy. The fact is, there is really no such thing as 'normal' - everybody's different, and that is the essence of their beauty"
There's no doubt Kevyn's technical abilities were unparalleled. But his "beauty of the soul" philosophy and fondness for celebrating individuality are what set him and his artistry apart in an industry so prone to norms and traditions. It’s what had the most impact on the makeup artists he’s inspired along the way. Kevyn saw every face as unique, and every brush stroke was guided by the belief that a woman's individuality is the true essence of her beauty.
"Kevyn was the most innovative artist of his generation — he practically invented makeup as we know it today."
Kevyn is widely recognized as "the original" for many of his groundbreaking techniques and transformations, all of which continue to be used and revered by consumers and artists alike. The art of contouring is the most influential and enduring. Others include brightening the eyes by adding subtle shimmer to the inner corners and creating fuller lips with nude liner. And, let’s not forget he made the eyelash curler indispensable!
"It seems the world over, people want to see what it's like to be in another person's shoes. I think that that attitude, blended with a healthy dose of self-acceptance is a wonderful combination—happy to be yourself, yet eager to see the world from another perspective."
At a time when the world of makeup artistry was impersonal, distant and out of reach, Kevyn was the first to welcome beauty enthusiasts backstage. Sharing his techniques with anyone willing to learn them, he made his methods accessible to millions in his best-selling books – The Art of Makeup, Making Faces and Face Forward. In them, he divulged the secrets of his art, teaching makeup application step-by-step in his own words and with his famous artwork and illustrations. These makeup ‘bibles’ are timeless must-haves for artists and beauty consumers today.
"The best thing about him doing your make-up, is that it allows you to spend time with him."
Kevyn's mastery, ingenuity and open mindedness were cherished by editors, designers and celebrities from the start of his career – and live on today. Kevyn continues to inspire the beauty and fashion world, including Team Kevyn, a vibrant social and educational community of professional makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts who carry on and elevate his timeless techniques and forward-thinking ideals – grounded in love, acceptance and non-conformity. Kevyn’s most important legacy is the wisdom that true beauty is more than skin deep, and that through the transformative power of makeup we can discover something deeper about ourselves and rule our beautiful.
In 1994, Kevyn was awarded a CFDA Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and to this day, remains the only makeup artist to have received the honor.
"No matter how artistic a person is, without quality tools and products even a genius like Michelangelo would not have been able to paint the Sistine Chapel."
Kevyn Aucoin launched his namesake makeup artistry brand in 2001. Kevyn Aucoin Beauty is a visionary collection of cosmetics and tools that reflect his artistic techniques and philosophies, and is deeply rooted in his values of empowerment, originality and inclusivity.
This exquisite artistry line empowers all people to harness the transformative power of makeup into instruments of self-expression, artistic versatility and the greatest storytelling. With high-performance ingredients, luxurious textures, extensive shade ranges and innovative new formulas, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty stays true to Kevyn’s belief that makeup does not cover but rather, uncovers your true self.