Kevyn Aucoin, Beauty Mark

The Makeup Artist to the Stars' Tragic Story

Cover Story Image Nadja Auermann for Harpers Bazaar, Image Above Cindy Crawford for Vogue

BY: Tiffany Goldstein

Before there were beauty bloggers, vloggers, and Instagram influencer’s, there was Kevyn Aucoin an American make-up artist, photographer, and author. Aucoin’s reputation lives on every day as one of the most passionate and prominent makeup artists that have ever glamourized the entertainment and beauty industry.

The legendary Aucoin first got his foot in the door in New York City, where he would apply makeup on test models for free to build his portfolio. It didn’t take long before Vogue picked him up and his career as a makeup artist skyrocketed. He worked with Vogue photographer Steven Meisel and collaborated on Revlon’s Nakeds line. But it was after his 1986 Vogue cover shoot with Cindy Crawford and iconic photographer Richard Avedon when his career went in a new direction. Working behind the scenes with the fiercest supermodels and the beautiful faces of celebrities like Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Barbra Streisand was where Aucoin discovered the power of the video camera.

Aucoin knew precisely how to work the video camera to capture the secret world of the rich and famous and a glimpse of his remarkable makeup masterpieces. With the help of his camera, he became known as the artist behind every makeup trend, opening the minds of all people, no matter their race or sexual preference.

When he tragically passed away in 2002, at age 40 of kidney failure, he left behind a matchless legacy and filled the beauty world with curiosity, inspiring director Tiffany Bartok to produce, Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin. The fascinating documentary includes rare footage, never-before-seen home movies from Aucoin’s collection, and stories from his favorite supermodels.

“He was way ahead of his time,” says supermodel Amber Valletta of Aucoin’s personal filmmaking. “Just the way we do now with selfies and Snapchat and Facebook — he would put the little Instagram kids to shame!”

The documentary made waves at Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago and the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angles. The moving film will go digital on July 31 for everyone to enjoy.

Check out some of our favorite and striking makeup looks by Kevyn Aucoin himself.


Isabella Rosselini portrait with make up by Make up Artist Kevyn Aucoin
Isabella Rosselini


Naomi Campbell portrait with make up by make up artist Kevyn Aucoi
Naomi Campbell


Nadja Auermann
Nadja Auermann


Julia Roberts closeup portrait
Julia Roberts


Janet Jackson and Kevin Aucoin
Janet Jackson


Cindy Crawford-Kevyn Aucoin
Cindy Crawford


kevyn aucoin doing naomi campbell's makeup
Naomi Campbell


Kevin Aucoin doing Linda Evangelista's makeup
Kevyn Aucoin & Linda Evangelista
Photograph of Kevin Aucoin
Kevin Aucoin