Inspiration is crucial for creativity. Often times I have friends or family who will describe me as being “creative”, although I don’t always think of myself this way. Sometimes the rivers of creativity run dry and I don’t feel inspired to create new looks or do something exciting. At these times I feel like the antithesis of “creative”. However, when you feel this way it’s important to get resourceful and find ways to inspire yourself! Blow on the flames a little, if you know what I mean.
One of the ways I keep myself feeling inspired is to look at the work of celebrity makeup artists! These are the makeup gods themselves who create all the major Hollywood trends. From the girl just looking to have the perfect insta-selfie, to the girl trying to look straight fire on the boomer’s dance floor -- these trends then trickle down to everyone you know.
So here are a few artists I follow on Instagram and who influence my beauty looks and beauty aesthetic.
Mario Dedivanovic - @makeupbymario
Celebrity Clientele: Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, Chanel Iman
If you’re up on the current makeup world, you probably already know of Mario Dedivanovic. Mario is known for creating Kim K’s signature looks early on in her career up until current trends she bangs out on the regular. Mario’s work is clean and crisp. I had the privilege of attending one of his Master Classes back in 2017, and watching him work in person really helped me realize the amount of diligence and layering that goes into his signature style.
Another thing was his own admission to his drive and passion for makeup. He shared that starting off in his career, it was a goal of his to work at Sephora when the Parisian based brand made its way to NY. He applied for a position and wasn’t hired, but didn’t let that stop him. He figured out the head of the company and reached out to her when she was visiting NY and expressed his deep desire to work for the brand, et voilà! Impressed by his tenacity and persistence, she offered him a position in fragrance, which got his foot in the door.
I love hearing how artists get started in the industry and what motivates them to wake up every day and do what they love. It never hurts to look back at your own journey and realize why you started, and it’s always nice to hear why and where others started too. Like many of the artists I highlight today, Mario is an expert at details and his makeup reflects that.
Sheika Daley - @officialsheiks
Celebrity Clientele: Nicki Minaj, Zendaya, Serena Williams
Sheika Daley does gorgeous makeup. I find her style to be at times minimal with just the right amount of “pop’”! But if her makeup photos don’t personally inspire you, her journey to celebrity makeup artist definitely will! Sheika knows how to dream big and has gone from working as a dancer in strip clubs to working with the legendary Pat McGrath (Makeup god as well, @patmcgrathreal) at Fashion Week. Her passion for makeup motivated her to work hard and hustle her way to the top. She’s also attributed her days as a dancer in helping her see how makeup looks in different lighting, what different glitters do and which glosses last the longest. I love, love, LOVE her story and also her work!
Nicky Posely - @nickyposley
Celebrity Clientele: Tia Mowry (and likely many more!)
One word: Meticulous. Nicky’s makeup is always flawless. He began his journey in fine arts and I believe this gave him a deep understanding in the “art" behind makeup artistry. He often posts behind the scenes from his makeup workshops where he is seen taking endless time to blend and perfect the contours of his makeup. The end results are pristine, and if there’s a common thread among these artists it’s their eye to detail. A lot of his work I’ve seen is on deeper complexions (he also works with an array of skin tones) and I find he has an affinity for making his model’s skin look absolutely incredible. He adds so much depth to the skin and really adds structure to the face with his skilled contouring.
Mikey Phillips - @makeupbymikey
Celebrity Clientele: Katie Price, Megan McKenna, Bianca Gascoigne, Charlotte Crosby
This is a small confession... I’m obsessed with British television (lol, weird, I know). I just find the girls in the UK have incredible style, and they don’t hold back. I’ve personally never really abided by the saying “Less is more” and tend to gravitate towards the more glamorous approach of “Why not?” So, naturally I follow many British celebrities and beauty influencers online. There’s a man who’s usually behind their glamorous makeup, and it’s Mikey Phillips. He’s a self-taught makeup artist and hairstylist (I know, super impressive), who proves that determination and dreaming big will get you to the top! I love his work because his clients always look so glam and sexy, and he isn’t afraid of a bold brow!
Scott Barnes - @ScottBarnes68
Celebrity Clientele: Jennifer Lopez, Céline Dion, Erika Jane
I have been in love with Scott Barnes' work from very early on in my own career. Jennifer Lopez can do no wrong in my books, and let’s be honest she always looks stunning. Scott is credited to have created her signature “glow” look and has been doing the intricate contouring we commonly see done now for YEARS. I would consider him an “OG". I have a few of his books where he breaks down many looks and highly suggest them to any makeup lover (About Face is my fav). He often incorporates airbrush techniques to create his seamless beauty looks. His looks are always super sexy and have a "bronzed goddess" feel to them. I once had a client ask me how J.Lo gets her legs looking so bronzed and shiny, and no doubt it’s with the help of Scott Barnes. He has his own line of “Body Bling” (highlighting body makeup), to keep you looking gorgeous and glowing from head to toe. His beauty looks never fail to inspire me!
So what do you think? Do you follow these celeb makeup artists already; are there others you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments below, I’d always love to hear your thoughts!