KEVYN AUCOIN BEAUTY was founded in 2001 by one of the most iconic and influential makeup artists of all time, Kevyn Aucoin. To understand the root of the heritage beauty brand today, you must first start by understanding who Kevyn Aucoin was and why his legacy left a longstanding impact on the beauty world that continues to this day.

The Man. The Myth. The Legend and his story.


Kevyn Aucoin was born on February 14, 1962 in Shreveport, Louisiana and was adopted as an infant by his mother, Thelma. Kevyn was often quoted as saying that “he knew he was gay at the age of six,” which left him the frequent target of bullying. Kevyn was considered “different" from other boys while growing up. He was infatuated with the fashion and makeup styles that frequented the pages of Vogue and other fashion magazines, which is how his interest in makeup first blossomed when he was just 11 years old. He started experimenting with makeup on his sister and best friend, Carla and captured each of the looks he created with his Polaroid camera.


Despite his adversities and his humble beginnings, Kevyn's passion for makeup prevailed. He recognized that self-expression and the transformative power of makeup could make the world a better place, and he wanted to be a part of that change. He moved to New York and became a perfect example of what we commonly refer to as the American Dream. He sat outside the Vogue office with his portfolio, waiting patiently until he was finally given a chance.


Kevyn put makeup artistry on the map, and it didn't take long for the industry to recognize his talent. His philosophy was that every woman is beautiful within, and makeup was simply his tool for helping her discover and enhance that beauty. Kevyn was a content creator of his time, and his work was everywhere - highly acclaimed music videos, backstage at fashion week, gracing album covers and fashion advertising, and much more. His work was featured on 19 Vogue covers in three years, and he appeared on numerous talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show. Kevyn even made his on-screen debut as himself in the infamous “She's fashion roadkill” episode of Sex and the City.


At the height of his career, it was hard to find a celebrity's face that Kevyn hadn't touched. J Lo, Madonna, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Janet Jackson, Liza Minelli, Stevie Nicks, Courtney Love, Lisa Marie Presley, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tori Amos and Cher, to name a few, were counted among his clients. He was a best friend to everyone who sat in his chair, and when combined with his impressive talent, it's easy to see why he was so highly requested.

“I was not going to go to any other person, besides 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." – Naomi Campbell


Kevyn singlehandedly created the celebrity makeup artist category or PRO artistry, as we call it today.He was the pioneer of contouring and brought it into the mainstream, where it's now considered an essential principle of makeup artistry.Empowerment and education were rooted in everything that he did. He was a master of his craft and he wanted to share it with the world. Kevyn went on to author bestselling books which share his innovative and effective techniques, including The Art of Makeup (1994), Making Faces (1997), and Face Forward (2001) which share his techniques. He was a muse who inspired others, including Isaac Mizrahi as well as viral makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, who is best known as Kim Kardashian's makeup artist. Even with all the celebrities who had sat in his chair, his favorite muse throughout the years continued to be his sister, Carla


In 1995, Kevyn went on to be the only makeup artist to win a CFDA Award and in 2019, Jennifer Lopez dedicated her CFDA Fashion Icon award to Kevyn and Oribe for helping her turn from "an around-the-way girl to a girl who could grace a magazine cover.”


The Start and End of Something Beautiful

Kevyn also worked behind the scenes as an Art Director and Product Developer creating top-selling products for some of the most well-known brands today. He also mentored up-and-coming pro makeup artists, since he was first and foremost an educator and beauty specialist to his core.

Kevyn was an advocate of LGBTQ rights and volunteered at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a New York center dedicated to helping LGBTQ youth.

He was so much more than a professional makeup artist, which is what lead to a documentary being created about his life. Larger Than Life opens with a touching quote from Aucoin that summarizes his motives for working as a makeup artist. He said, “The most extraordinary experience for me that I could possibly have with another person is to show them their beauty because some way, somehow in showing someone else their beauty you see the beauty in yourself. You understand your own uniqueness, your own strengths and your own beauty, you know, and that’s possibly, I think, the search we’re all in, is to find the beauty in ourselves.”

Kevyn tragically passed away in 2002, but not before launching his legacy brand, in 2001 - Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, where Kevyn's spirit lives on today.


In the words of Kevyn Aucoin himself,

“First of all, let me say that I believe there are no rules when it comes to makeup. In a world of constant change…I feel the goal should be to expand our definition of what we consider ‘acceptable, normal and beautiful.’ The future will belong to those with open minds and open hearts, who can appreciate beauty in all its forms.” – Kevyn Aucoin

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty is a brand that encompasses approachability, artistry, empowerment and celebrates originality. It's unapologetic, brave and rather quite fearless.

Kevyn himself believed that every woman is beautiful within, and makeup was simply his tool for helping her discover that beauty. He was a man and an artist decades ahead of his time, which has paved the way for innovative, award-winning products, high-performance formulas and textures.

His luxurious textures and expansive shade ranges have had a global, broad appeal for over 20 years, when most brands had a limited shade range.

He was a true industry pioneer who championed inclusivity, originality, empowerment and education, which you will see carried over today in the brand pillars.

Whether you're a makeup newbie or a pro makeup artist, and regardless of what age, sex or race you are, there is something for everyone with the brand's approachable artistry positioning rooted deep in inclusivity.


Kevyn Aucoin Beauty paves the way for bold, beautiful, self-expression.

Daring to create the unknown, while respecting its heritage and where it's been.

Empowering you to explore, express and experiment on your own terms.

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty stays true to the belief that makeup does not cover, but rather, uncovers your true self.

Your Beauty is Brave


Kevyn Aucoin Beauty is still recognized and celebrated as a leading, luxury artistry brand today — more than 20 years after its initial launch. The brand is distributed in top-leading international retail outlets across North America, Canada, UK, Australia and beyond. It's a PR darling that graces the insides of Allure Beauty, Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR and other press outlets. Hero products can be seen in PRO makeup artists kits, celebrity hands and used to create buzz-worthy looks amongst today's modern influencers.

We at Kevyn Aucoin Beauty will continue to honor Kevyn by maintaining his iconic best-selling products and by continuing to create a visionary collection of modern products developed by PRO makeup artists, using efficacious ingredients, luxurious textures and extensive shade ranges.

Inspired by his technique, words and imagery. We will continue to promote an always-on education mentality in all that we do and support up-and-coming artists and the professional makeup artist community through our PRO program, curated masterclasses, monthly newsletters and more. We will continue to be an advocate for adversity and inclusion and will continue to support the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which was a cause that was near and dear to our founder's heart. Our promise is to hold the spirit of Kevyn close and let it guide the brand in all that we do.

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