There’s a reason I’ve always felt weird about putting on makeup in front of boyfriends. It’s as if the curtain has risen, and behind it I’m a little less perfect and a lot more vain – and I blame it on the frivolous associations that people have with makeup. But I’m putting my foot down. Makeup is art, and the wielders of the brushes are true artists, using their powders and creams like any painter would pigments. My proof? The spectacular makeup artists below.
Best All-Around: Pat McGrath
Damn, does this Brit have a killer lineup: she’s done makeup for Vogue, W and Harper’s Bazaar covers, and fashion shows from Prada and Dolce & Gabbana to Miu Miu. If that wasn’t enough, this year she was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to the beauty and fashion industries. It’s no surprise why: she can do it all, from tame, glowing skin at Dolce to unbelievably abstract, colorful eyes at Dior.
The Mod Man: Tom Pecheux
As an avid lover of the 60s, the looks Tom Pecheux creates nearly strike me dead. They’re bold and graphic and look great on the pages of a magazine, no doubt the reason photographers like Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino are head over heels for his work. He’s also a fashion house favorite, from mod white eyes at Moschino to sassy pink liner at Derek Lam.
The All-American: Gucci Westman
Some of America’s favorite girls next door have been made up by the legendary Gucci Westman: Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, and Cameron Diaz, to name a few. Her looks are stunningly gorgeous, yes, but also made to flatter the everywoman. A few key moments: sparkling bronze eyes at J. Mendel and a fresh take on the cat eye at Rag & Bone. Don’t worry, though, she’s not always tame – see her look for Dior below for proof.
The Sexy Swede: Linda Hallberg
Yes, she’s Swedish, and yes, she’s sexy, but the key here is that this talented blogger creates looks that inspire other women to look their sexiest, too. She’s a master of color, but the amazing thing to me is that she never, ever looks overdone. I’m obsessed with her sunset eyes and flawless lip color application. You’ve likely seen her creations splashed all over Pinterest without even realizing it! Check out her YouTube – she’s behind BangerBeauty – for some of the best tutorials you’ll see.
The Scary Swede: Sandra Holmbom
Sorry for the Swedish obsession, but I couldn’t resist including Sandra Holbom, one of the most incredible artists out there. Take one look at her blog, Psycho Sandra, and watch as she transforms the human face into her canvas. She’s recreated scenes from Alice in Wonderland and made artful use of abstract patterns on her eyelids, and even regularly morphs herself into various animals. Plus, she’s a master of special effects makeup, the motive for the “scary” label. For your awe and amazement, see the collage of some of her best eye looks below.
Kate Foster is a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated titles: writer. Blogger. Beauty and fashion junkie. Cat devotee. Art history buff. Harry Potter nerd. Cheesy 90's television fan. Sometimes-gamer. Seasonal sculptor. Mostly she’s a music enthusiast. While her heart and soul belong to 50's and 60's crooners like Etta James, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley, one shouldn’t be surprised to find her listening to Lady Gaga or Jay-Z. Most days, though, she’s in an indie-punk mood somewhere in between - she counts the Pixies, the White Stripes, M83, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a few of her favorites. And while you’ll typically see her bobbing her head calmly at concerts, occasionally she pulls out all the stops for bands like the Black Lips. She treasures her bruises like a child. After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Art History, Kate aspires to move to New York City. There, she hopes to continue to write. She also plans on pretending to understand the art at MoMA and stuffing her face with cronuts and one dollar pizza. Kate’s heroes range from Oscar de la Renta and Mindy Kaling to Ernest Hemingway and Rupert Giles. She practically inhales iced coffee on a daily basis. Her favorite color is yellow, and like Buddy the Elf, she considers candy a major food group. She has dreams almost every night involving the coolest architecture and interior design, and has no idea what it means. Seriously, what does that mean?!