Close

Featured Posts






Inspiration - Sunday - 30/10/11 - 10:14am

Inspiration - Kevyn Aucoin

I've been a big fan of Kevyn Aucoin, the make-up artist and the man, for a long time. 2012  marks the 10th anniversary of his untimely death so I really wanted to celebrate his life and work here on my blog.
Kevyn had an incredible career – he worked with legendary celebrities, created iconic images, wrote best-selling books (as well as a regular column for Allure Magazine) and designed his own make-up line which is still going strong and winning awards today; regular viewers of my tutorials will know that I’m a big fan of his line, especially his lash curlers!

Kevyn became interested in make-up at a very young age when he began making up his five year old sister Carla, recreating images he’d seen in magazines and taking pictures of her with an old Polaroid camera. As a young, obviously gay, flamboyant boy with a passion for make-up, growing up in Louisiana in the 60’s and 70’s was extremely difficult but despite being relentlessly teased and bullied he stuck to his dream of becoming a make-up artist. In 1982 he moved to New York where he ambitiously perused his career. Initially working for free with up-and-coming models and photographers, he was discovered by Vogue and championed by their then beauty editor Andrea Quinn Robinson. For the next year and half, he worked closely with legendary photographers Steven Meisel and Irving Penn before shooting his first Vogue cover in 1986 with Cindy Crawford – over the next three years, he did the make-up for 18 more!

Kevyn had a legion of celebrity fans who you can see in the video, beautiful women like Whitney Houston, Andie MacDowell and Nicole Kidman, who once told the New York Times, “When Kevyn did make-up, it was kind of magical; he would look at you and say, ‘Oh, I know exactly what to do.’” He loved to celebrate individuality and really knew how to bring out the beauty in every face he touched…. Often completely transforming his clients with breath taking results.

He was a real style leader and truly innovative. His talent was quickly recognised by Revlon, who hired him in 1993 (aged just 21!) to be the Creative Director of their new prestige make-up line Ultima II. With them, he developed a make-up line called The New Nakeds (later renamed The Nakeds), which broke all of the trends for cosmetic brands at the time as it incorporated make-up for women of all skin tones. He also used a variety of neutral, matte, tones in his face, eye and lip products that went against the best-selling vivid colours of the time but that followed his belief that make-up should be a tool in helping people to discover their natural beauty. Kevin led the way for brands like Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier, which were also built on this aesthetic.

In a way his most enduring legacy to the world of make up was creating the original ‘Nude’ Look, and particularly his take on a look that I like to call ‘Heavy Natural’. Using neutral tones of mainly matte texture he would sculpt, define, highlight, shape and tone a face, minimizing and maximizing features like no one before him (or since!). It was a look, which has become synonymous with the late 80’s early 90’s and although he moved on from this style later in the 1990’s I think most of us will always remember and admire him for that particular vision of beauty.

Tragically, Kevyn passed away in 2002, not long after he finished working on his own brand, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, but his legacy definitely lives on. I love how this video portrays all sides of him: his passion, his hard work and dedication, his love for make-up but also his personality as a genuine, caring, charming and funny man who was also very cool and completely un-divaish. I love it when he says that make-up is fun, but he knows that he’s “not saving lives”. I also love how he say's that a celebrity client, like a german shepherd, will sense right away if you are not confident or dont know what you are doing.... he got that right!

Hair dresser Sam McKnight, who worked with Kevyn on some of his earliest Vogue shoots and many times after, recalls - “ He really lived and breathed his work. The thing that made him unique was his ability to transform a face… he had the power to truly transform a face like no-one else. He became great friends with his clients and completely indispensible to them. He could turn an already iconic face into the face of a goddess - he could take it that step further. On top of all that he was just such fun to work with!”

Top beauty journalist Nadine Baggott interviewed Kevyn at the height of his fame - “Kevyn was the first MUA that I actually sought out credits for. I would scan the gutters of the glossies trying to find out what products and techniques that he used. I met him in NYC. He was very handsome, quite shy, modest and brilliant to interview. Before celebrity MUAs, before everyone and their dog had signed to a make-up company, he was doing his own thing, being unique, breaking beauty boundaries and being brilliant. I was in total awe and in fifteen minutes tried to get him to explain and show me his groundbreaking shading and highlighting skills. I was raised on 1940's and 1950's Hollywood films and this man spoke my language. His books should be on every beauty addict's shelf and handled with cotton gloves. The man was a true artist”

When I first started out in make-up I would have loved the chance to assist him and watch him work first hand but I started my career in London and Paris and Kevyn was always based in New York where he was loved by photographers, hair dressers and models alike. When I began working in New York in 1993 I heard such great things about him (particularly from the editors at Allure who I was working with a lot at the time). I hoped to meet him when I worked with Shisiedo in Japan. as he had been creative director of another of Shiseido’s brands Innoui (where he was the first person to design a double concealer palette…surely the inspiration for Laura Merciers Secret Camoflague) but sadly, by the time I started there he had moved on to start work on his own line…. It just wasn’t meant to be.

He really did have an incredible career becoming great friends with many of his childhood idols like Barbara Striesnd and Liza Minelli and did far too many amazing things for me to possibly list or summarise here. If you’re interested in finding out more about him, I urge you to invest in one of his books (nearly time for the Christmas lists!) which truly show off his amazing artistic mind and talent to the max. There is also a posthumous biography by Kerry Diamond,"Kevyn Aucoin - A Beautiful Life" which charts his life from difficult childhood to superstar Make-up Artist featuring quotes from those that knew him best.

I hope you enjoy this short video, it’s always been a favourite of mine. I’d love to know what you think…did any of you have the good fortune to meet him? Do you already have any of his make-up books?

www.kevynaucoin.com

Read more on: Inspiration, Make Up History

Back To The Blog

Latest Comments 79 | Add Your Comments

Millicent Audain - Wednesday Oct 31st 2012 9:14pm
Loved this video. I am a beauty therapist and I was one of the first subscribers to Allure magazine. I always devoured Kevin's column and loved how Linda Wells (the editor) was so supportive of him. He was truly one of a kind..his books are just amazing to have to always inspire one's thinking about makeup. What a terrific thing you have done, Lisa, to do this commemorative video. Bravo.

Deborah Austin - Wednesday Oct 10th 2012 8:21am
My mom bought Making Faces for me & my sister when I was about 12 or so... we just pored over that book... so many hours spent looking at it. It was amazing to see the transformations of celebrities (most of whom I had no idea who they were, haha) as well as normal people. I still can't see clips of Isabella Rossilini without thinking of him raving about her gorgeous profile. I still follow his contouring guide, envisioning that book's pages. When I think back I really owe him a lot... it was definitely a pivotal role in my perception of makeup & my self image. It transported makeup from a way to just look pretty to expressing yourself & also taking pride in your individual features. It also gave me a leg up on all those classmates reading makeup advice from Seventeen bwahahaha!!

Claire McDonnell - Monday Oct 1st 2012 6:00pm
Kevyn was the inspiration for me to become a Makeup Artist, which I have now been for 10 years. I have always loved his work and yours too Lisa x

Lacey Elliot - Thursday Jun 28th 2012 3:54pm
Thank you for this Lisa. I have his book, Making Faces, and love it. I too believe he would have been an amazing man and MUA to meet and learn from. I just put his biography book on my Amazon wishlist. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure his family and Kevin himself, would have been so honored and touched by your post for him. You're the best Lisa. I really do hope to meet you when I come to London in November!

Gulcinsengun - Wednesday Jun 27th 2012 7:02pm
I have his make up book in my coffee table for about 10 years now and it has always been a treasure which I simply enjoy looking at! Greetings from Istanbul,Turkey ....

Maria - Monday Jun 25th 2012 2:36pm
I've always been terribly curious and tried make up from my mother and aunts since a VERY young age (my mom says that when I saw her getting ready to go out with my father I would start wiping my lips against the sleeve of my pajamas to hopefully get some of her lipstick applied to me too...) Then when I was 11 or 12 I started going to a fantastic make up artist at a local salon to get my brows tweezed and looks painted on my face (my mom didn't know what to do with me!) And I remember he had this amazing make up book surrounded by polaroids, products and all you can dream of in make up. Of course the book was by Kevin Aucoin and it was then that I really got involved and went mad for make up. I got a copy of Making Faces for myself (not the easiest thing to do when you are 12 and living in Brazil), went to NY with my family on vacation (when I was 13) got an amazing kit with the best products that were out at the time (with the lunch money my parents gave me) and got into lots of trouble when I came back home in school and with my parents for my overly made up face and the size of my kit. Now I work with makeup based in Milan, but I will never forget the impact of that book and the first time I saw its cover...

Yvonne - Tuesday Jun 5th 2012 11:51pm
This is also a favorite video of mine. My sister gave me making faces when I was 14, since then I have become a makeup artist myself and all his books are my bibles. Without them I am lost! Funny how Vidal Sassoon died the same day. R.I.P both beauty legends!

Lisa Eldridge - Wednesday Feb 22nd 2012 10:03pm
Cant tell everyone how much I have enjoyed and am enjoying reading all these fantastic comments about how Kevyn touched you all in different but extraordinary ways. Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. A lovely way to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of his death Xx

Lisa Eldridge - Wednesday Feb 22nd 2012 9:59pm
@Georgina what a wonderful compliment you have paid me with this comment ... made me a bit tearful actually. Thank you X

Georgina Ragazza - Tuesday Feb 21st 2012 12:43pm
I have Kevyn's books too and they really are treasured friends... he still continues to astound me and inspire me, and like so many people here I was absolutely devastated at the news of his passing - I can't believe that it's been 10 years already. Bless you and thank you for this wonderful post - and I truly believe that his stardust has fallen on you - you have the same passion, kindness, generosity, and wonderful talent! xx

Suzanne - Monday Jan 16th 2012 12:03pm
Its so nice to see someone like you remember him Lisa. So many have forgotten his contributions, his creative spirit, and vision. Towards the end he was very interactive on his new website and had a chance to speak to him on occasion and hear his thoughts hed post. Shame they took that all down. I still say that there are no supermodels anymore because there is no Kevyn.

Sandie - Tuesday Jan 10th 2012 2:05am
I definitely want to do some more research on such an incredible man! He had this amazing talent of making faces looked airbrushed or oil painted and not just "made up". I never knew how honest and approachable he really was.

Karen - Sunday Nov 27th 2011 8:39pm
While watching the piece on KA, it occurs to me that ALL of his makeup is still current, even when he was doing a "trendier" look. That is most assuredly because he was a true artist. Glad you posted this.

Dandy Ramos - Tuesday Nov 15th 2011 7:08am
Thanks Lisa for posting this. I read all his book and he is one of my inspirations in the industry. He is genuinely generous sharing his know-how and a true innovative artist perfecting his craft. Im a huge fan!...and a huge fan of yours. Thanks for your generosity (i hope i can assist you in one of your photo shoots or shows). More power!!!

Kimberly - Saturday Nov 5th 2011 4:28am
What a well written and beautiful tribute to the amazing Kevyn Aucoin. Do you have any news on the possible re-launch of KA's cosmetic line in 2012?

Christina Nelson - Thursday Nov 3rd 2011 12:01pm
I will never forget Kevyn for as long as I live. He changed not only the way I look at myself, but how I looked at others all around me. He has been an inspiration in my life and in my aspirations as a makeup artist. Before Kevyn, makeup just seemed to be a mask. Foundation, lipstick, shadow and blush, but after I purchased his first book, I learned that I already had the perfect base (my own natural beauty) and the perfect tools to do my own makeup (my own hands, and my self esteem) to perfection! I own all of his books and was only fortunate to have one signed, like you I would have loved to apprentice under Kevyn. Still to this day I reference back to his books in my work, and just as he did once as a child I always pull magazine ads for inspiration. Till this day I have found no one like him, till I found you Lisa, my new inspiration. You're work inspires me the same way Kevyn's did, and reminds me of him in a lot of ways. I am absolutely pleased to see that you and I share the same inspiration and it doesn't surprise me one bit. Thank you for this...

wendallyn - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 10:59pm
In 1995 I took the day off of work to drive to Beverly Hills for an in-store KA appearance and book-signing. He was so charming and friendly! I told him I'd been following his career and that I had every edition of American Vogue since the early 70's. He told me to revisit the October 1980 edition as its cover of Brooke Shields (shot by Avedon, makeup by Way Bandy) inspired him to pursue a career in makeup. I treasure that book and am grateful I had the opportunity to meet him. His passing still makes me sad. He was so young and so very talented. How nice that his "art" lives on!

rachel - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 8:42pm
I met Kevyn when i lined up to have one of his books signed. He was kind and understated in his signature white tee and wrangler jeans. I asked him to select a blush color for me, and when i read a few months later he used the same color on Gwyneth Paltrow for the Oscars that year, which she won, i screamed out loud!! He was an amazing artist, person and horribly missed...

rachel - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 7:25pm
I met Kevyn when i lined up to have one of his books signed. He was kind and understated in his signature white tee and wrangler jeans. I asked him to select a blush color for me, and when i read a few months later he used the same color on Gwyneth Paltrow for the Oscars that year, which she won, i screamed out loud!! He was an amazing artist, person and horribly missed...

Rebecca - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 5:35pm
I just love KA's work! I have his books and they're my prized possesions! I've even had them shipped from Australia to be with me now I live in the UK! I also have strict rules (like with my Tom Ford book) about wrapping my finger tips in cling film so the pages don't get icky! That video makes me so emotional. He was beyond amazing and inspirational. I feel so lucky to work with an artist that actually assisted him back in the day as well! Lucky me!!!!!! x

Zamira - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 3:51pm
About half an hour ago I put Kevyn Aucoin lipgloss on that I purchased a couple weeks ago...and only today I realize, thanks to your video, about how great Kevyn Aucoin actually was and about his tragic death. It just shocked me so much. So, thank you, Lisa, for posting this and for a wonderful video! Now his products have a totally new meaning for me.

Michele CoccaBene - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 12:25pm
Beautiful video Lisa! I never tire of Making Faces, it just amazes me every time I open it! Thank you for doing this video. XO Michele

babyyjune - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 11:02am
WOW!!! What a nice way to commemorate not only Kevin's passion for makeup but also his life...Thanks Lisa for sharing with us...May someone as talented as you when time comes, commemorate you as you have done today. Love you :)

Sian-Louise Auld - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 9:32am
Fantastic post Lisa, and thanks for including the video. Cannot believe its nearly ten years already- although I was never lucky enough to meet him, I was absolutely devastated when he so sadly passed away. As a child, I was so inspired by his talent, and this lead me to follow my passion into a career. Such a humble, gentle man who really has paved the way for all of us. Thanks again Lisa xx

Lisa Eldridge - Wednesday Nov 2nd 2011 9:17am
@Elzabel what a fantastic story, thanks for posting! x

Elzabel - Tuesday Nov 1st 2011 9:54pm
Kevyn did a quick makeup on me at an Ultima II counter once when I was a teenager in the 80s. He told me I had a beautiful upper lip and showed me how to make the most of it:)Watching him work with regular people was even more inspiring than watching him with celebrities.

annarosa - Tuesday Nov 1st 2011 11:47am
Never heard about him...........feel sorry. Just recently I ammore in love (in late age, 59 OMG) with make up and artist, and REALLY i am learning a lot, specially from you Lisa! XXO from Shanghai! (i am in already!

María - Tuesday Nov 1st 2011 10:46am
I love Carmine shade from Make Up For Ever cream blushes, however, I looked for it on Sephora's website and that name wasn't there. The closest shade that I saw was Caught In The Act, just because of the number (no 2). However, the most similar one in colour seems to be number 3 (in Sephora, I mean). I noticed as well all the 14 shades' name on the Make Up For Ever website is different from the Sephora website. This is confusing. Could you please help me? I saw the effect of Carmine in Lisa Eldridge tutorial about liquid blushes and this is so gorgeous that I would love to buy it that exact colour. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Regards. María.

jo - Tuesday Nov 1st 2011 9:53am
I remember when he passed away Nicole Kidman was at an awards program and was most distraught.That was the affect he had on those who loved his work.I love that his birthday is on Valentines day.Thanks Lisa for that wonderful tribute.

Lisa Eldridge - Tuesday Nov 1st 2011 9:33am
@RUEDERIVOLI are you kidding me... your English is really good! Thanks for your comment X @ALICE BOBE thanks for such a wonderful comment, you did make me very happy! Good luck with your career and everything you do. Stay in touch, I'd like to hear how you are getting on X

ALICE BOBE - Tuesday Nov 1st 2011 9:19am
Very interesting article.I know about Kevin Aucoin from your videos and i found out more from your blog post.This video gave me even more energy and courage to succeed in my makeup work.I,m so sorry he died so young, a big lost like a lot of losts of many talented people.Lisa i want u to know that i began as a free lancer make-up artist 6 months ago and now i have a job first because of you and other three make-up artist who shared their work and secreets on the internet.U were the first one i was told about to watch on you tube and then i found your website and i was instantly inloved.u inspire me a lot, u are THE LADY OF THE MAKEUP ARTISTS, this is my oppinion.THANK U VERY MUCH 4 EVERYTHING U SHARE WITH US.Please read y message and write only a happy face :).

RUEDERIVOLI - Monday Oct 31st 2011 10:34pm
I don`t have any of his make-up books,but after your interest and very touching post i will have!!!my english is bad,sorry if i had a lot af mistakes:) big kiss from Russia

RUEDERIVOLI - Monday Oct 31st 2011 10:23pm
very interesting video and great information about Kevyn. I'm impressed!!! big thanks for sharing this.very sad( X

Shannon B. - Monday Oct 31st 2011 8:50pm
I love Kevyn! I could stare at Making Faces and Face Forward for hours. I remember the day he died, I was sitting on my couch and gasped when I saw the news on TV. I wish he was still around to inspire us!

Raven - Monday Oct 31st 2011 5:36pm
Hi Lisa! I am a huge fan of Kevin. I have EVERY single one of his books and I love them all. He is such a great artist and inspiration to me always. He is definitely missed and will always be one of the best Make-Up artists in the world. Thank you for sharing this film as it captures a lot of what Kevin is about and shows how he always remained so humble. I always loved that about him! Thank you again!

Claudia Clark - Monday Oct 31st 2011 1:43pm
Great tribute to a great man. Its obvious from reading through all the comments too that he touched so many people with his talent and genuine, kind personality. I have put his books on my Christmas list, Thanks for bringing him back to our attention on the eve of the 10th anniversary of his death, you have done him proud Miss Lisa! X

Muriel NYC - Monday Oct 31st 2011 1:39pm
Fantastic post Lisa, I really do love your blog. As we were pretty much snowed in this past weekend, I spent hours on here catching up with all your news and videos lol! Keep up the good work!

Daena - Monday Oct 31st 2011 10:39am
Wonderful tribute. I had the great honor of meeting Kevyn at a booksigning in Lafayette, Louisiana. He was incredibly kind and funny. He didn't just sign your book and send you on your way -- he took time to talk to every single person, answer questions and made everyone feel special. Because he took so much time with each person, it meant waiting in line a long time -- but it also meant he was there for 7 hours straight -- and he was bright, cheerful, funny and kind the entire time. Even though I only met him for a short time, it was obvious he was a beautiful person. How fitting that he spent his life making others feel beautiful, too.

Geordie - Monday Oct 31st 2011 6:18am
I have two of his books, and his work is just amazing. I'm most impressed with the pictures of regular women that he included, such as members of his family. They are lovely to start with, but not supermodels either, and he made them absolutely gorgeous. It really shows his artistry, and what makeup can do.

Katia - Monday Oct 31st 2011 2:28am
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Lisa. I do have a FaceForward book, and after watching the video today,I looked through it with a different set of eyes! I am sure he is in heaven but his soul remains alive in work that he left...

Silvia M. - Monday Oct 31st 2011 1:22am
I loved this post! Amasing:) Thank you Lisa. ...i didn´t know much about his death...as you say it´s a waste of talent,totally agree. Greets from Portugal

Janet - Monday Oct 31st 2011 12:50am
You’re my homepage when I sign on to the internet so I don’t miss a trick from you. I can’t go a day without my Lisa Eldridge, so somedays, I have to watch reruns that I always learn something from. Love ya! Janet xOx

Janet - Monday Oct 31st 2011 12:35am
Thank you so much for this post. Our very own Jeanne Beker from Canada was doing this interview. I wish the two of you could get together, I’d love for her to interview you, for us. When he says that make-up is fun, but he knows that he’s “not saving lives”. I think he did save lives for those that needed someone like him so early on. Then everyone just got to enjoy him and his talent. As I enjoy your talent. Thank you, Janet xOx Twitter @felinesxhugsx ... TheMoultonJ on YT

Barbara Robbins - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 10:10pm
We lost a true artistic genius when we lost Kevyn Aucoin. I wrote to him many years ago and received a lovely response. I've kept that letter in my "memory box."

Floriane - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 9:01pm
Thank you for sharing this with us Lisa. People like you and Kevyn are so inspirational. You give us confidence in breaking the rules. You make make up fun and easy for everyone ultimately making us feel beautiful. Merci. Love from NZ xx.

Ottilie - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 5:33pm
I bought Making Faces and Face Forward in my late teens-early 20s, and would spend hours studying his transformations. That was the first sign I think of how fascinated I was/would be with makeup, and how ultimately, 15 years later, I finally find myself in the industry. When Napoleon cosmetics opened while I was back in New Zealand, I booked a makeup lesson, and remembering Kevyn's rule-breaking thoughts about colour, experimenting, creativity and having fun, remember saying, "Go crazy!". He was the first person I'd come across who suggested something other than brown shadow for brown eyes - and it was like a licence to be liberated. I walked out with gorgeous green & yellow glittery eyes (I'm not selling it but it worked - trust me!). I loved his spirit and his playfulness - and, looking across the room now at those two books I still have with me after all this time - he's still very much an influence to this day.

Christina - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 4:36pm
Kevyn Aucoin is one of my heros. He made me love makeup in a profound way and his personality was truly heart warming. His Art of Makeup book was the first book I've ever bought of makeup and he opened a new world for the teenage me! I cried many times while reading his Beautiful Life book and I still remember the day I learned about his passing. I was so overwhelmed with grief because like so many of his admirers I had the dream that one day he would make me up! I used to read his books and his Allure column religiously. I hope you'll pay a video trubute yourself Lisa, with a Linda Evangelista kind of makeup like on his first Allure cover? You're one of the very very few who can do his work justice. Thank you so much for the beautiful tribute.

De - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 3:38pm
Tragic loss for the world of fashion and makeup. A true talent.

Rifka - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 3:36pm
When I think of Kevin Aucoin, I think of that scene in the documentary about Isaac Mizrahi where he was doing the makeup behind the scrim on the runway, and he was drawing figure eights across the faces with stick foundation.... Linda Evangelista was screaming at him that he was putting on too much....

Lisa Eldridge - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 2:16pm
@Jillo thanks for letting me know, I hadnt realized X

Kimberley - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 2:04pm
Thanks for this post Lisa. I admired a lot of Kevin's work from magazines from the 90's and I think the first time I saw him on TV was when he was on Jennifer Lopez's MTV Making the Video for her song 'Waiting for Tonight'. He comes across so likable and friendly. Such a shame, with a personality and smile like his, if he was still with us today I think he would do a blog similar to yours Lisa xx

Flávia - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:41pm
Kevyn was really a special artist. He died so young (such a waste of talent) but accomplished so much... I bought Making Faces some years ago and this year bought another one for a friend. I love it. Lots of love to Kevyn...<3

Jane S. - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:39pm
I was having lunch with my parents in a restaurant near my apartment in the West Village about 12 years ago when I recognized Kevyn and his boyfriend at the next table. I told him how much I admired his work and he was so sweet and humble and nice, as I was a bit starstruck. I have all three of his books, including his first "The Art of Makeup" which I may have to take off the shelf and peruse today. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us of this gentle artist.

makeup001 - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:32pm
do u have any fav. makeup items from his own makeup line? Please mention that would help me deciding what to buy or not. I have not seen u using his makeup. Please reply.xxx

jillo - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:17pm
Lisa,I wanted to let you know a bit about the tumour he had. It wasn't a brain tumour, it was a pituitary tumour. They are very different and non cancerous. I have one myself, in fact 25% of people have it. His made him produce too much human growth hormone (Anthony Robbins has the same type of tumour). Cushings is often due to the same type of tumour, it just effects cortisone levels, others effect prolactin levels, etc. I have understood what Kevyn had was extremely painful, so he died liver issues from all the pain killers. truly sad.

Samantha - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:12pm
Kevyn Aucoin is my absolute hero. If I could be half as good as him at make up then I would be happy. In my opinion no other MUA compares he was unique and a real inspiration. Such a shame to lose such a bright light but I love that people still celebrate him Fab post! xoxo

Christi DeSocio - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:09pm
Lisa, that is such a waste of talent that he died at 40. He accomplished so much while he was here tho. I grew up in the 90's watching Mtv and so many looks in music videos were inspired by Kevyn, I didn't realize! Btw, a great idea would be a tutorial of one of his signature looks-just a thought:) I have seen modern heavy natural of course, which I love! xx from the States

2kikirikija - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:06pm
His interview, I accidentally run into, made such a huge impression on me. In the middle he reveals his inside which is so strong and complex, but he does it in simple words and with ease. I would just like to recommend everyone to watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8dbDbfATUI&feature=related This is the uniquely profound speech such as Steve Jobs or Arthur Rubinstein had too.

Corina - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 1:00pm
Thank you so much for this, I literally have tears in my eyes. This man is such a great inspiration for me, as a make-up artist and as a person. His book "Making Faces" was the first make-up book that I've read(and actually my first contact with what make-up really means) and the reason why I decided to try and become a make-up artist.

Alex Cowley - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 12:59pm
I have always been a huge fan of Kevin Aucoin and have many of his books. I am also a huge fan of his make up line. It comes as no surprise that you are a fan of such a talented artist. Thanks for the video x

Ken - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 12:37pm
Thanks Lisa, amazing video & post. Brought back fond memories of my brief time with the great man himself! It was short but I learnt loads and learnt how to laugh and have fun with makeup. Both of you share a great tenderness and kindness for people that I adore in both of you, hence why I love getting the chance to work with both of you. Haha sorry to go all blubbery but it's a touching video. XX

M from Bookieness and Face It! - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 12:26pm
I had bought 2 of Kevyn's books about 10 0r 11 years ago, Making Faces and Face Forward. I still find them incredibly inspiring and maintaining an artistic level in makeup which is on a different level even today. It's like when you look at those books all these years later, you can still see the passion and incredible talent which he had, as if he had just done up those looks.

Adéla - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 12:16pm
I just remind myself his experiment with matching the nowadays celebrity faces to classic Hollywood legends - Calista Flockhart like Audrey - just amazing!such a shame he got so little time, and such a shame you couldn't meet him :( Thanks for this article and for the vid!

Lisa Eldridge - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 12:14pm
reading through these comments Im really struck by what a huge effect and influence Kevyn had on you all... it's so wonderful that he inspired so many people he never met X

MissSylvouille - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 12:11pm
I remember seeing him with Vanessa Paradis (who I adooore)in the Making of her album with Lenny Kravitz back in 1993...such a genious !! Thank you for paying tribute to him :))

LoveMoiMakeup - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 12:04pm
I am such a huge fan of Kevyn and his books- his transformations and understanding of how to create beautiful faces was phenomenal. He seemed like a fantastic, genuine, down to earth guy and its so sad that he didnt have longer to enjoy the recognition of his genius.

May-ann - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:58am
Kevyn was the very first person who piqued my interest in makeup -- at an age when I didn't even wear any yet. I bought his book Making Faces and was amazed at his talent.

Adéla - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:58am
I just remind myself his experiment with matching the nowadays celebrity faces to classic Hollywood legends - Calista Flockhart like Audrey - just amazing!such a shame he got so little time, and such a shame you couldn't meet him :( Thanks for this article and for the vid!

Kharina - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:58am
My mother owns a lot of Ultima II makeup, it was all the rage in HK back in the early 90s. He was genuinely a makeup artist who worked with the canvas and not just on it. Sad day when the news broke out of his passing.

Lisa Eldridge - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:57am
@Christi Kevyn was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2001, he had actually been suffering from it for a lot of his life but it had gone undiagnosed. As the pain and side effects worsened he began taking a lot of pain killers which eventually killed him. I'm not sure if earlier diagnosis would have helped ... I dont know enough about it but all very sad, such a waste of talent : ( X

Laurence - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:55am
When I bought Face Forward I really got such a strong sense not only of Kevyn's talent and passion but of his personailty and his positive attitude especially.I absolutely adore that book and the looks in it are all so evocative of my childhood because the faces I saw on tv,in music videos and in magazines growing up in the 90's had all been made uo by him! It's very special to me, and obviously to a lot of people. Thanks so much for sharing this Lisa, it's so lovely.

Kharina - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:50am
My mother owns a lot of Ultima II makeup, it was all the rage in HK back in the early 90s. He was genuinely a makeup artist who worked with the canvas and not just on it. Sad day when the news broke out of his passing.

Lin0ute - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:47am
very interesting post

Christi DeSocio - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:38am
Hi Lisa! Kevyn seems amazing, I am going to check out his books for sure. Btw, this didn't mention how he died, I was wondering what happened. He was so young. xx from the States

Connie De Alwis - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:36am
He creates incredible looks. I have his Face Forward book. Thanks for sharing...

Vivian - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:35am
I wished I could have met him, or discovered him before his death. I only delved into this work early last year, and it was just amazing. I have Making Faces, and it's absolute genius. A book every makeup lover or enthusiast should definitely own! He made women feel beautiful, not just through makeup but through his philosophies and ideas.

Catherine - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:33am
I remember seeing him on Oprah in the mid 90s I think. I hadn't even started wearing make up yet do maybe it was the start of that love affair but I was blown away by what he was able to achieve. And it wasn't even about the make up. He took women who had deep rooted insecurities and made them feel beautiful and confident. That's never left me. I remember when he passed away, it was very sad indeed. I just remember thinking that it was a tragedy we wouldn't see what else he could do. I'm definitely going to look into his book. Thank you for reminding me about him.

BippyBee - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:24am
Kevyn is the make up artist's - make up artist

Hazel - Sunday Oct 30th 2011 11:14am
What a talented man and he seemed so lovely and down to earth too. I remember first reading about him in Clothes Show magazine (shows how long ago that was!) and the article said he sometimes did makeup on people whilst they were lying down so they could completely relax which I thought was really interesting. He was also in an episode of Sex & the City which I thought was so cool! Definitely a genius.

Comment posting is closed for this item.

 

Sign up for my newsletter to keep up with everything new on the site