7 Black Celebrity Makeup Artists You Should Follow

I didn't grow up near a MAC counterthe spot for special occasion makeup among my peers — so my mom drove me to our local discount department store before my senior prom. I remember telling the well-meaning artist what I wanted: glittery lids and glossy lips to go with my ruffled gown. Although the woman was sweet, she ended up sticking to the Black girl face chart from the brand she was working for, and refused to get a little more creative. It was clear she hadn't worked with many clients with my complexion before.

My pre-prom experience isn't unique. While the beauty industry has become a lot more inclusive, there are still a lot of artists that are simply unfamiliar with working with darker skin tones. (And, of course, this is an even bigger issue among hairstylists, but I digress...) Furthermore, Black celebrity makeup artists are still underrepresented at the top creative agencies in the biz.

Thankfully, there are plenty of artists blazing a path for the newbies following in their footsteps, including the seven notables, ahead. Click follow, then get ready for some serious inspiration.

Photo: Via @patmcgrathreal.
Pat McGrath

You can't talk about makeup without honoring our den mother. Pat McGrath always had a love for fashion and beauty, but officially got her start at i-D magazine in the early '90s. These days, she's the one at the top of the masthead — McGrath was just named beauty editor-at-large of British Vogue. But we can't forget about her other hustles: she's always at international fashion weeks year round, and has created looks for Prada, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, and so many more. Oh, and her cosmetics line sells out within seconds each time she drops something product.
Photo: Via @sirjohnofficial.
Sir John

Meet the man who puts the art in makeup artist. No, really. Sir John studied at an Atlanta art school before landing a stand-in gig at a shoot by happenstance. Even though he had no prior knowledge of cosmetics beforehand, something stuck. Sir John (yes, that's his legal name) trained with Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury before racking up his own star-studded clientele list, including Joan Smalls, Ashley Graham, and Beyoncé. Now, Sir John's spreading his magic to the small screen. His show, American Beauty Star, hits Lifetime in the fall.
Photo: Via @yolondafrederick.
Yolanda Fredrick

Every artist knows that good lighting is essential. So Fredrick, who works with Ciara and Jennifer Hudson, dreamed up the Glam.Or.Ring — an iPhone cover equipped with lights, a mini-palette, and a huge mirror on the back.
Photo: Via @iamsamfine.
Sam Fine

Vogue doesn't just call anyone "the go-to makeup master for women of color." Fine, who worked his way up from the makeup counter in his teens, was known as the artist for supermodels like Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, and Iman in the'90s. These days, in between working with clients like Queen Latifah and Vanessa Williams, Fine moonlights as an author and masterclass instructor. Casual.
Photo: Via @officialsheiks.
Sheika Daley

Subdued beauty is cool and all, but sometimes, you just gotta glam it up. Daley is an artist who's not afraid to punch up the color, if her Barbie-pink looks on Nicki Minaj and bold lips on Zendaya are any proof.
AJ Crimson

Crimson's got great clientele (including Naturi Naughton), but we love the message behind his makeup line even more. “I wanted to create a product ...all women could find ownership in and believe in," he said on his site. "So often, makeup has been designed with a one size fits all mentality. My cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background." His Match Me Perfect Sample Kit comes with 12 shades of the brand's foundation to get your swatch on.
Photo: Via @ashuntasheriff.
Ashunta Sheriff

Have you ever found yourself marveling at Cookie Lyons' flawless makeup, in the middle of her reading Lucious for filth? Well, thank Sheriff. The pro works with Taraji P. Henson for every episode — and frequently joins forces with her on the red carpet, too. Taraji's flawless skin is enhanced by Sheriff's signature product: the PerfectBlend Dual Ended Foundation Stick from her cosmetics line.
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