This year, unfortunately I was out of town and wasn’t available to attend The Makeup Show Chicago. I knew it was going to be wonderful and the focus of at least one major panel was on diversity in beauty. I was sad to miss the show experience, but I found the most amazing person to cover and share the experience in my stead. Celebrity makeup artist Akua Auset! I asked her to attend and share her most amazing discoveries, from new makeup must-haves to beauty and life lessons. Take it away, Akua!
Community. Networking. Education. Inspiration. Even having been in the makeup business as a makeup artist for the last twenty-six years working with 100+ of the world’s most talented, powerful and beautiful people, I’d only attended one makeup trade show until The Makeup Show in Chicago at the Bridgeport Art Center this past weekend. I was excited and super grateful that Afrobella invited me to attend in her place. As a woman of color with a focus on holistic beauty I was pleasantly pleased to have discovered (and added) some indispensable goodies to my professional and personal beauty kit.
1. Eco-Friendly Vegan Makeup Brushes: When you have the proper brush for the job it does 99% of the work for you. One of my makeup colleagues assured me that Bdellium hand-made bamboo-handled brushes don’t shed. I always make sure when cleaning my brushes that I keep the connection between the ferrule and the bamboo handle from getting wet. Bdellium has a very exciting and well-rounded variety of professional anti-bacterial and eco-friendly vegan makeup brushes.
2. Old School Brow: In my early years as a makeup artist, I admired the work of fellow Chicago makeup artist Joseph Hampton. It was he that introduced me to the old school mechanical brow pencil with refillable brow leads. They are difficult if not impossible to find now. Kevyn Aucoin’s retractable precision brow pencil is paying homage to this throw-back tool that creates the appearance of single hairs for precision work so you don’t get a block brow look, but more natural, elegant and water-resistant brow.
3. Mink Lashes (cruelty-free): Velour’s 100 % authentic mink lashes make your natural lashes look naturally thicker and can be used personally at least twenty times if you care for them well. I asked if the hair was obtained in a cruelty-free manner and was told that the hairs are collected after the shedding of the mink. Whew! Guilt-free and cruelty-free. Check!
4. Indie Brands: Sometimes the Goliath brands who have the resources and the reach to promote their vision may not always answer the needs of every market, especially women of color with a wide range of hue. Two beautifully packaged indie brands caught my eye, although I am a stickler for green brands with clean ingredients, I appreciate the stunningly beautiful hue range that Ashunta Sheriff Beauty and A.J. Crimson Beauty offer in their foundation ranges. Ashunta’s range includes a highlighter and contour on either side of her silver foundation stick. AJ Crimson’s Dual-Skin Creme Foundation comes in a highlighter and contouring crème. Both are wonderfully creamy and richly pigmented. Both brands wear like a second-skin.
5. ATTITUDE: Generosity, Kindness, Patience, Service: Having attended and met with fellow makeup artists I saw a common thread amongst them that I know has contributed to their/our success and that is having a spirit of generosity, warmth, charisma and the desire to serve. I find the most successful makeup artists not only have a deficit in the ego department but also a deep desire to take care of and serve others. Having a large dose of generosity, kindness, patience and the desire to serve will take you far in any field of work and in any relationship.
BONUS: UNITY. I couldn’t help to notice how close-knit and supportive the makeup artist community is at the show through the collaborations, mentorship and acknowledgement of one to another. Even in an industry that would seem superficial and have great potential for unproductive competition I saw one of my favorite African proverbs at work: “No burden is heavy when everyone lifts.”
Written by Author/Celebrity Makeup Artist Akua Auset who specializes in Holistic Beauty. Akua Auset has worked intimately in TV & film with the planet’s most talented, powerful and beautiful people specializing in what she terms, “the healing beauty arts.” A trained medicine woman she is the creator of the newly debuted cosmetic brand A U S E T Beauty, The Organic Beauty Detox™ and author of SUPERWOMEN & GODDESSES: Workin’ Your Power & Magic.