Whether you’re walking into your local beauty supply store or shopping online, finding the right makeup can feel a bit overwhelming. If you’re looking for new cosmetics to try and you’re not really sure if you trust the latest celebrity brand or paid influencer, searching for labels that have been created by actual makeup artists is a great place to start. After all, it’s a sure bet that you can trust the lines made by people who spend their lives working with beauty products daily.
Makeup artists including Bobbi Brown, Pat McGrath, Patrick Ta, and Charlotte Tilbury have created some of the most reputable and proven brands on the market today. These incredibly talented individuals channeled their expertise into their successful lines, helping to inspire other makeup artists to create their own companies.
There are endless products available for you to choose from. But if you’re going with a trusted line by a legend known for creating some of the most iconic beauty looks of all time, you need to check out these 15 makeup brands by actual makeup artists.
Patrick Ta is one of Hollywood’s most sought after makeup artists. He is self-taught, having honed his skills working at a M.A.C. Cosmetics store in Arizona before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in makeup.
Actress Shay Mitchell reached out to Ta after seeing his work on Instagram and helped launch his career. “I am so grateful that she was one of my first celebrity clients because she allowed me to grow with her and then I met Gigi Hadid which took my work to the next level in the world of high fashion,” Ta tells Forbes.
Ta has also worked with celebrities such as Camila Cabello, Emily Ratajkowski, Adriana Lima, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Chrissy Teigen, and Katy Perry, just to name a few. In 2019 the makeup artist decided to launch his signature makeup line. Ta explains the motivation behind one of his first Patrick Ta Beauty collections: “I love monochromatic looks because that’s what I do for my clients when they hire me for an everyday look. Simple browns and bronzes to give that natural glow.”
In addition to his signature “sun-kissed glow” look, Ta tells People how he achieves a more dramatic effect. “I love a bold lip for so many reasons. It’s a quick way to pull any look together in a pinch, it adds drama to any outfit … and it gives women confidence.”
Pat McGrath is one of the top beauty icons in the world right now. “Most influential makeup artist in the world” is the tagline given to her by none other than Anna Wintour, per Vogue Italia. McGrath is responsible for countless makeup looks at the world’s top runway shows. Before launching her own brand Pat McGrath Labs in 2015, she helped develop beauty lines for Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Gucci.
The first product in her line, Gold 001, sold out mere minutes after the launch. “These are the very real products that I have been using backstage, on every photo shoot and every location throughout my entire career,” McGrath tells Vogue Italia. “It is me unzipping my 87 suitcases and sharing the secrets of a lifetime on set and backstage along with how to create those looks with the real products I custom-made for myself and my team.”
McGrath, whose nickname is mother, since she’s considered the mother of makeup, is a favorite of celebrities like Cardi B, Reese Witherspoon, and Nicki Minaj. In 2021 she became the first makeup artist to receive a damehood by Queen Elizabeth II. The British beauty legend also joined Netflix and Shondaland to release her Pat McGrath Labs beauty collaboration inspired by the hit series “Bridgerton.”
You’ve probably heard of Charlotte Tilbury’s products. Whether it’s her cream bronzer that went viral on TikTok over the summer, her renowned Pillow Talk collection, her airbrush foundation, or her Magic Cream moisturizer, Tilbury has created some of the most in-demand beauty products on the market.
The makeup artist first discovered her love of cosmetics at a young age, while attending boarding school in London. “Makeup literally changed my life. I put on mascara and the whole world’s reaction to me changed,” she tells Into The Gloss.
Tilbury has worked with some of the biggest names in the beauty industry. Before launching her own line in 2013, she helped create and design product lines for brands like Helena Rubinstein, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Armani, Burberry, and Tom Ford. Tilbury boasts an impressive roster of celebrity fans including Lizzo, Kate Moss, Bella Hadid, and Amal Clooney.
She recently launched the Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer, which “celebrities have been obsessed with it for a year before it launched,” she explains to Newsweek. “It gives you an eyelift, a facelift, and a contour all in one,” Tilbury adds. “It’s like Spanx for the under eye. It’s literally like shapewear for the eye where it’s lifted and snatched. It’s amazing.” Despite selling the majority stake of her beauty brand to Spanish company Puig in 2020, Tilbury remains chairman, president, and chief creative officer of her eponymous brand.
Credited with creating the natural makeup trend, Bobbi Brown began her career as a makeup artist in the 1980s. “It was Studio 54, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Hall,” Brown tells CNN. “I tried to do that and it didn’t work. So I thought, ‘let me make people look more natural.'” In 1991 she started Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and sold the popular brand to Estée Lauder in 1995, while she remained chief creative officer until 2016.
Brown is no longer affiliated with her signature brand, but in 2020 she started Jones Road Beauty. Brown explains (via Entrepreneur) why she jumped back into creating a new company after having such a successful empire: “The reason I wanted to launch a beauty company in my 60s was because I really believed I could do what I do better than what I did.”
Aside from one brick-and-mortar store in Montclair, New Jersey, Jones Road Beauty is a direct-to-consumer product allowing Brown to focus more on her makeup and less on the corporate process. While fans of Brown can’t stop singing the praises of her miracle balm, she explains that she considers blush to be her key product. “I’ve been in love with blushes since I was a kid. I just loved the way it looked. And then as I became a makeup artist it was kind of my signature, pink blush in particular,” Brown tells Prevention.
Rea Ann Silva is the genius who created Beautyblender, a sponge that is said to have revolutionized the industry. Silva began her career as a makeup artist working with mainly musicians, creating looks for music videos.
In the early 2000s she began working on the television show “Girlfriends.” “I had a unique challenge,” she reveals to Business Insider. “It was the first show shot in high-def, and, suddenly, in HD, you were able to see every pore, you were able to see every bump. You saw everything on the skin.”
Knowing that carrying around an airbrush kit was simply impractical on a TV set, Silva began to cut her makeup sponges into a rounded shape to help give her an airbrush effect when applying foundation. This was the beginning of the now iconic Beautyblender tool, creating her own company in 2003. Silva’s creation is so successful that stores like Sephora and Ulta Beauty sell one every 17 minutes (via Forbes).
The Beautyblender brand now sells a whole variety of makeup, skincare, brushes, and accessories. It was important for Silva to create a line that would work on everyone’s skin. “I am Mexican, Portuguese, Spanish, and Irish. My children are Black. My career has been centered around women of color, and I became known in Hollywood, and really around the world, as one of the first makeup artists that really understood ethnic skins,” she tells Business Insider.
Mario Dedivanovic is probably best known for being Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist and in turn, helping create some of the most iconic beauty looks of the past decade. He has been credited with popularizing the baking method, using loose powder to set a makeup look. He is famous for creating a subtle glam style that women across the world have emulated over the years.
Dedivanovic began his career at age 17, working at Sephora as a makeup artist. So it only made sense that when he launched his product line Makeup by Mario in 2020 he chose the beauty retailer. “I have a strong connection to Sephora, and I really feel like they saved my life,” he tells Refinery 29.
Before launching his company, Dedivanovic created The Masterclass in 2009, a live event attended by makeup artists who watch Dedivanovic practice his artistry on stage and share his knowledge. He would often bring out Kardashian as a model during these sessions. During his product launch, he revealed: “When I teach my Masterclasses, I take my students through my entire thought process and demonstrate all of my techniques. Now, my techniques and philosophy are infused into my products.”
Makeup by Mario was self-funded by the makeup artist and he also serves as both chief executive officer and chief creative officer. Dedivanovic believes his line is not only high quality, but also easy to use to help you create some of his most iconic looks at home.
Anastasia Soare studied art and architecture in Romania before attending beauty school and moving to the United States. Because she didn’t speak English when she first arrived, she began working as an esthetician doing waxing and facials. Soon she was working with some of the most famous models in the industry, including Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. Soare learned that most women were uninterested in their eyebrows, so using her background in art she began to shape her clients’ brows at the end of their facial services.
She created the Golden Ration method which transformed how women shape their brows. “Brows should begin directly above the middle of your nostrils. The highest point of the arch should connect the tip of the nose with the middle of the iris. Brows should end where the corner of the nostril connects with the outer corner of the eye,” Soare explains to Harper’s Bazaar.
She started her flagship salon in Beverly Hills in 1997, telling Emirates Woman it was the “first-of-its-kind product line devoted to brows in 2000, which carved out an entirely new category in cosmetics.” Despite questions about how a salon dedicated entirely to brows would be successful, Soare now has billionaire status and says she knew it was a worthy risk. Soare expanded her product line in 2014 to include cosmetics and Anastasia Beverly Hills is now sold around the world.
Unlike many other successful makeup artists, Huda Kattan didn’t begin her career at a young age or fall in love with makeup while working at a retail store. Kattan was living in Dubai and working in finance when the financial crisis hit, which resulted in her losing her job. After trying her hand at a career in public relations for a few weeks, she realized she wanted to do something she truly loved so she went back to school to learn makeup artistry.
After becoming a successful makeup artist in 2010, she blogged to share application tips, and tricks, and filmed tutorials. She also embraced her role as an influencer, becoming one of the most followed makeup artists on social media. Kattan grew her audience and in 2013 she borrowed $6000 from her sister to create her own line of false eyelashes. The products sold out one week after being launched at Sephora Dubai (via CNBC).
“In 2013, we launched our lash line, which did really well, but we were kind of just stuck in the Middle East,” Kattan told USA Today. “A year or two later, we launched in the U.S. And then just 2.5 years ago, we launched color cosmetics and, since then, our company has just exploded.”
In October 2022, Janet Jackson joined Business of Fashion’s Imran Amed to present Kattan with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Fashion Trust Arabia Awards. Huda Beauty now consists of makeup, fragrances, and a skincare line.
Before his death in May 2002, Kevyn Aucoin was one of the most celebrated makeup artists of all time. He was the author of three best-selling books and was credited with introducing the concept of contouring and sculpting with makeup to the masses.
After dropping out of school at the age of 15, Aucoin attended beauty school. He was so passionate about makeup that he soon began teaching classes himself. Aucoin was named creative director at Revlon at the age of 21, where he would help create Revlon’s Naked line, the first line to be based on different skin tones.
Aucoin launched Kevyn Aucoin Beauty in 2001 after years of being one of the most in-demand celebrity makeup artists of the 1990s. His clientele included supermodels like Naomi Campbell, who once declared, “I was not going to go to any other person but Kevyn’s chair. There was always a line but he was the only makeup artist in town who understood Black skin. I’m not going anywhere else.” In addition to models, celebrities like Cher, Mary Tyler Moore, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sarah Jessica Parker were all fans of his work.
His sculpting powder earned cult status long before contouring went mainstream. Aucoin became a household name before he even launched his own product line. More than 20 years after its initial launch, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty is still creating modern products in an extensive variety of shades so everyone can enjoy using them.
Some say that makeup artist Michelle Phan was the first beauty influencer, starting a YouTube channel in 2007 where she began sharing makeup tutorials. As her fanbase grew, so did her popularity. Phan really shot to fame in 2010 when Lancôme approached her to help film tutorials and she also began working with Ipsy (via Racked.)
A few years later she launched Em Cosmetics in collaboration with L’Oréal. Unfortunately it was not a success and Phan began to take a much needed break and traveled for several months.
Then in 2016 she bought L’Oréal’s shares in her company and relaunch in 2017. Initially her product line focused on just liquid eyeliners and liquid lipsticks. “When I took this brand back, I wanted to keep it more timeless and elegant,” she tells Allure. “I could have done the more trendy things like the highlighters and stuff, but … I want to focus on the things that I wear all the time and that my viewers want to wear.”
Phan’s Em Cosmetics now has a full range of cosmetics. “I’m in my 30s and I noticed my skin has been getting drier,” she said in an interview with InStyle. “I love blush but I felt all the formulas were very powdery or matte, and I wanted something more dewy but didn’t feel sticky. I also wanted something nourishing because I love skincare so much, and that was the birth of Serum Blush.”
If you’re a fan of the hit show “Euphoria,” you’re probably a fan of makeup artist Donni Davy. The three-time Emmy nominee and two-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Contemporary Makeup recently launched her own Half Magic makeup line.
Many won’t be surprised that Half Magic consists of bright colors and glitter, but there are also products for those who want to create an understated look. “I think the key audience is probably going to be fans of the makeup on the show who want to recreate these looks and everything,” Davy explains to People. “The formulas are also really high-end, and I really want people that just love makeup to also be able to love the brand and use it. I think there’s a little something for everyone. We’re more than just what you would think of a ‘Euphoria’ makeup line, which is why we’re not a ‘Euphoria’ makeup line. We are Half Magic.”
Her signature product is Chromeaddiction, an eye paint that doubles as a liner in a matte or shimmer finish. You can also purchase face gems to recreate your favorite “Euphoria” looks. “There was something really specific that I wanted to touch on with Half Magic,” she tells Women’s Wear Daily. “The half part is sort of like the looks are fantastical and heightened, but also the part that makes it magical is the everyday-ness of the nature of wearing a fantastical, sparkly rhinestone wing to the grocery store or to work or school.”
At age 20 Wayne Goss became fascinated with makeup began after a bout of acne had him researching skincare. Although he first began training in exercise and nutrition, he migrated to beauty. He began practicing makeup application on his own before undergoing training.
He then started a highly successful YouTube channel in 2009. He still boasts almost 4 million subscribers and he regularly posts tips, tricks, and beauty tutorials for his followers. As an OG YouTube creator, he created a video in 2017 criticizing newer influencers for being “uninspiring,” and focusing too much on production value.
Goss partnered with the brand Beautylish to launch a line of highly successful makeup brushes in 2013. Then he launched the first products in his cosmetics line in 2020. The capsule collection included lipstick, lip liner, and gloss after a couple of years in development. His brand now has products for the whole face, as well as tools and brushes that began his foray into his Wayne Goss product line.
Manny Gutierrez, better known as Manny MUA, began his career in makeup working at Sephora before starting his own YouTube channel. Unlike many other male makeup artists before him, Gutierrez loved experimenting with cosmetics and wearing full glam himself. He describes his videos and work as a makeup artist as “consistently blurring the lines of gender in cosmetics,” and he became so popular that Maybelline named him the first male face of their brand in 2017.
A year later the beauty guru and influencer started his own cosmetics brand, Lunar Beauty, a line designed to be gender inclusive. Despite his blushes and glosses being so popular they would sell out quickly, they aren’t his favorite. “I think my hero product was actually Life’s a Drag, which was my first product,” he explains to Byrdie. “And it was a half-neutral and half-bright palette. It was inspired by my makeup journey — I did drag a few times before. And I wanted to create a product that felt like an ode to my experience as a creator and an artist trying to come into the space. For me, Life’s a Drag will always have a special place in my heart.” In 2018 he was also named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in the Art & Style category, and in 2021 he was named Adweek’s Digital Creator of the Year.
Makeup artist Petra Strand started her beauty line Pixi over 20 years ago. “As a makeup artist, I knew exactly what products I was missing from my kit, and as a working mom of four, also from my own makeup bag. When I couldn’t find anything that lived up to my standards, I knew it was time to create my own line and bring my vision to life,” she explains to Lookfantastic.
Along with her two sisters — one who is also a makeup artist and the other a skin therapist — they worked together and “combined our expertise to come up with these nice, light textures that enhanced your beauty, that brought out your natural beauty instead of, say, layers of coverage and powders,” she tells Nylon.
One of Pixi‘s best-selling products is their Glow tonic and the brand’s tagline is still to “simply to bring out the natural beauty in all women – to make women look like themselves, only better.” Pixi carries a full line of color cosmetics and a skincare line.
Kim Baker started her career with Wilhelmina Models as a size 4. She later introduced the world to plus-size modeling in the early ’90s. Moving from modeling to makeup artistry, Baker received life-changing advice from artist Bobbi Brown, who told her: “Don’t fall into trends — just play up your best features!” Baker soon began working as a makeup artist for Brown’s company.
Baker has since launched her own makeup product line Glamazon Beauty. “Glamazon Beauty encompasses the beauty of all women! My focus was on the lightest of porcelain to the deepest of ebony and all the shades in between them,” says Baker. “The line was created to make you feel like you’re not even wearing makeup with superior formulas that are clean, cruelty-free, lightweight, and buildable.”
In honour of Juneteenth in 2022, Baker announced: “I am excited to align with ShopHQ and make history by becoming the very first Black-owned beauty brand to launch on its network. Together we are creating the change we wish to see in the world.”