Ever wondered where contoured cheeks, overdrawn lips, and highlighter got their start? Well, you can thank the late makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin for bringing these techniques to the forefront. In fact, you can probably credit him for the vast majority of viral trends seen on social media and the red carpet today.
If you’re unfamiliar with his work, know this: Aucoin changed the face of beauty. He worked with some of the biggest names in fashion — from Cindy Crawford to Kate Moss — and was known for his unrivaled makeup magic and soft touch. But, unlike the exclusive makeup-artist set that ruled the industry in the '90s, he wanted everyone to be in on the secret.
“Kevyn was one of the first makeup artists to pull the curtain back and allow people to see inside this fantasy world of beauty pop culture,” says Troy Surratt, a makeup artist in New York City who got his start as Aucoin’s assistant.
And though he passed away in 2002, his work lives on — both through his eponymous makeup line
, many tutorial-based books
, and the upcoming documentary centered around his influence, titled Larger Than Life, The Kevyn Aucoin Story
Below, Surratt takes us through the trends Aucoin pioneered decades ago, that will remain industry-defining for years to come.