Over the years James Vincent’s passion for the art of makeup has included nearly every genre of makeup artistry. Film and theatre, television and celebrity work, editorial and runway work and includes training and product development positions for such companies as MAC, Stila, Armani, YSL and Make Up For Ever. As Director of Education and Artistry for The Makeup Show, The Powder Group and the WWD Beauty Inc Award winning Ardency Inn. James is fortunate enough to work with makeup lines and makeup artists at all levels of the industry.
James now focuses his career on working internationally in fashion, film, theater and editorial. His resume includes clients as diverse as designers Ashton Michael, Charlotte Ronson and Samantha Pleet. James work in the music industry spans genres and includes legendary musicians from Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine, and Courtney Love to Joan Jett and the Foo Fighters. In fashion and film and television James resume includes leading ladies like Liv Tyler, Reese Witherspoon and Jane Fonda and has also been privileged enough to work with Barack Obama.
Having worked with photographers including Alexander Thompson, Mike Ruiz and David Lachapelle. James work has been seen on the cover of Paper and Atomic and in magazines including ID, V, Index, Wonderland, and Surface. He has been featured on numerous television shows as a beauty expert such as NBC’s The Today Show. James has also worked in television as key artist for shows including American Idol and on stage for productions including Roundabout Theatre’s “The Philanthropist.” Nylon magazine, The New York Times and WWD have named James as a “Makeup Artist to Watch”.
James is currently the Beauty Editor for On Makeup Magazine and Galore Magazine. He contributes to countless blogs and publications including his weekly series Double Dare for Refinery 29 and his weekly column for Beautylish on Building a Better Makeup Kit.
Orlando Santiago is an International Trade and Marketing graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). He began his career as a freelance makeup artist at Christian Dior, where he advanced to become the regional makeup artist for the Central and Northern region of Florida in just a few years. He is fluent in Spanish. In 1999, Orlando was offered a position as a member of the National Art Team for Toni & Guy, where he traveled nationwide doing platform makeup, educating and demonstrating his makeup talent while launching the newly developed Bed Head makeup line. In 2000, he moved back to New York City to join MAC Cosmetics as a resident trainer. He managed MAC’s largest account, and was instrumental in introducing new seasonal makeup trends worldwide to the company’s new and existing artists. He also participates in many shows for Fashion Week each season.
His career also includes commercial, film, and editorial for:
Editorial: AOL.com, French Vogue, Essence, On Makeup, Source, King, Catalina, Free, Black Women, Hair, Sync, Esquire, Flaunt, Smooth, Time Out, Velvet Addiction, Amber, Vibe Vixen, Jewel, Time, Paper
Television: Telemundo (Dir. Hair and Makeup for “Yo Soy El Artista”) NBC (Appearance), NY1 (Espanol), Inside Edition, Fox-Comcast,
Designers: Style 360: Lilly Ghalichi, Serena Williams, Isabella Ros Taylor, Tumbler & Tipsy, Angela Simmons, Elle, Rosa Cha, Julie Chaken, Luella Bartley, Adrienne & Nico, Monarchy, Vessel Etc…
Musicians: Lady Gaga, P-Diddy, Teyana Taylor, Heather Headley, Franz Ferdinand,Ludacris, Juelz Santana, Elle Varner,
Music Videos: Lady Gaga-Born This Way, “LiL”Wayne-Husler Musik, John Legend-Heaven
Celebrity: Lebron James, Sherri Shepherd, Carmen Electra, Adrienne Bailon, Lauren Velez, Hill Harper, Terence Howard (Acadamy award nominee), Hassan Johnson, Idris Alba
International KeyNote Speaking/Presentations: Melbourne (Australia), Sao Paulo + Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Reykevik (Iceland), Barcelona (Spain), Moscow (Russia), Berlin (Germany), Cancun (Mexico)
Campaigns: L’Oreal-Matrix, Audemars Piguet, Walmart, Jeep, Meukow Liquor, Burger King, Revlon, Verizon, Azzure Denim, Old English Beer, Corona Beer, Miller Beer, Love Boat (Japan), Ashley Stewart, Mickeys Liquor, Taxotere (Pharmaceutical),
Models: Selita Ebanks (Victoria Secret Model), Natalia Vodianova (Calvin Klein Model), Nnenna, Danny, and Jasline (America’s next top model winners).
The term “makeup artist” could have been invented for the sole province of MICA alumnus Reggie Wells ’71. Revered by many as the dean of the profession, his clientele reads like the roll of A-list celebrities at a Hollywood gala: Oprah, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Brooke Shields, Mary J. Blige, & Lil’ Kim. He’s won an Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup in addition to being nominated four times.
Wells created the look we associate with some of the world’s most recognizable faces, from Halle Berry to first lady Michelle Obama, and he is setting the bar yet again with the U.S. launch of the Hissyfit cosmetics line, for which Wells is international creative director. Wells has nonetheless become a fashion pioneer, and he credits a large part of his success to MICA.
Wells grew up in Baltimore as one of seven siblings. When he entered high school in the 1960s, “firsts” by African Americans were yet to come in many areas. One of those areas was the fashion industry, where black men were practically non-existent, as a school counselor pointed out to him. Fortunately, Wells had a serious problem being told he couldn’t do something.He enrolled at MICA, pursing art education. And there lay the root of his success.
“What I learned from MICA was, no matter who you are, art is art,” Wells recalled. “Whether you’re the young Asian that comes from Japan, whether you’re the African who comes from South Africa, whether you’re the local kid who lives down the block-we all have something to express. That’s what MICA did. It gave us an opportunity to express.”
He found himself learning from everybody, including many who thought differently, both culturally and creatively. It was, he says, a process of growing up artistically, and every day was like taking his “first step.”
After graduating from MICA, he went to work in the Baltimore City Public Schools system. Frustrated by the prescribed, outdated curriculum, he proceeded to create his own based on what he learned at MICA-forcing his students to think outside the box and to defend their work. He also employed, as a central rule, something else that he learned at MICA-that “art is everything.”
Eventually, his inner-city art class evolved into an interdisciplinary experience as his students studied drawing, painting, cinema, modeling, and fashion. His unconventional approach to education, initially viewed as controversial, eventually led to teaching awards.
Because Baltimore’s art-focused high schools had yet to be built, Wells felt as if he had to do everything himself, which was both a blessing and a curse. If his students put on a fashion show, for example, he had to do set design, modeling coaching-and makeup. And that makeup skill, born out of simple necessity, became the basis for his extraordinary success. While working with his models, Wells realized that applying makeup to a face was like painting a picture on a canvas.
Although he was making a difference as an art teacher, he still harbored a desire to work in the fashion industry. One day, Wells was simply calling roll and, out of nowhere, he declared to a surprised class, “I’m going to leave Baltimore, go to New York, and become famous.” They thought he was joking. He was not.
To make ends meet when he got to New York, he worked behind the beauty counter in department stores and gained experience by working with different types of women. Though the pay was so low that he almost moved back home, his reputation continued to grow.
Finally, a young model asked him to do the makeup for a photo shoot she had coming up. After he finished, according to Wells, the photographer said, “my God, I’ve never seen her look like this.” The photographer promptly hired Wells for a shoot two days later, which turned out to be a shoot for the famous Jordache jeans campaign of the late 1970s and early ’80s.
Wells’ rise in the industry took off from there. Even though an African-American male in the cosmetics business was basically unheard of when he began to make waves in the industry, he eventually became the man that makeup companies, including Maybelline and Almay, wanted to present their products in the best light.
Though he has worked with women of all races, his work with African-American women is particularly well-known in celebrity circles. In the beginning, there weren’t many cosmetics made to cater to African-American women, so Wells had to mix colors himself to find combinations that would work.
It really hit home when someone told Wells that he applied makeup like an artist. “And that’s why I was so proud of going to MICA,” Wells said.
He believes the younger women he works with see him as a grandfather and a wise teacher, which brings him full circle back to his days in Baltimore and his training at MICA as an art educator. He remembers a young Beyoncé, for example, asking a lot of questions. “I ended up always teaching,” he said.
Wells went on to work with countless other women, including Oprah Winfrey as her personal makeup artist for more than 21 years. “Life is a circle all the time,” he said when reflecting on his relationship with Winfrey. The talk-show icon ironically didn’t take him up on his offer to do her makeup while they were both still working in Baltimore early in their careers, but she now says that Wells is “a creative mastermind who can take any woman’s eyes and lips to another level.” He’s also worked with men, doing makeup for photo shoots featuring artists such as rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs.
His career has spanned a full spectrum-from a world tour with Grammy award-winning R&B singer Lauren Hill to making up Vanessa Williams for an Essence magazine cover the week after she became the first African-American Miss America. In fact, he has made up the person on 116 covers of Essence, 120 covers of O Magazine, and dozens of other publications including Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Time, Mademoiselle, Brides, and Life.
Wells also wrote the book Face Painting to teach women how to get the most out of their makeup experience. His new array of Hissyfit products, sold everywhere from QVC to Sephora, caters to African-American, Latina, and Asian skin tones.
Though he has had success as a makeup artist, author, and entrepreneur, he still sees himself as an art teacher. “We’re teaching women how to educate themselves as consumers,” he said. He plans to do seminars across the country, giving women step-by-step tutelage on how to select products that work with their skin tones. And that, Wells believes, is art education.
KJB has spent decades delivering intelligent, imaginative and innovative solutions to the cosmetic industry while connecting key resources & partners. He has worked with brands under the corporate umbrella of L’Oreal, Coty, LVMH, Johnson & Johnson and P&G, plus independent cosmetic companies and entrepreneurs.
KJB is a respected global educator and influencer, recognized for his superior product and technical knowledge. He facilitates live, recorded and written cosmetic education and beauty commentary in a compelling and entertaining manner.
KJB is a multiple Emmy Award winner with over three decades of makeup artistry and SFX experience in all media formats (print, runway, stage, video and film). He has been a member and Journeyman in the IATSE Local 798 Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist Union for twenty years.
A makeup maverick who’s eye for photography has encapsulated her ideals of beauty. Inspired initially by the inner sphere of the beauty business, Danessa’s career hit the ground running at the corporate level, where she discovered her true passions aligned the trajectory towards artistry. With insight and business structure intact, she noted the highest opportunities were to alleviate the issues of cosmetic marketing for ethnic skin tones coloring the world. From fair to deep complexions, Danessa aimed to touch all faces equally. Her approach to beauty ignited the desires to co-create with global beauty brands like Kiss and her on-going role as Director of Product Innovation at Benefit Cosmetics. Danessa’s artistic expertise and drive enabled opportunities to work on the faces of numerous celebrities like Fantasia, Britney Spears, Madonna, Ciara, Mario, Chris Brown, Bow Wow, Shontelle, Jazmine Sullivan, Angela & Vanessa Simmons, Jordan Sparks, Enrique Iglesias, 3LW, Brian Mcknight, Brooke Valentine, Floetry, Chris Rock, TI, Sean Paul, Mary Mary, Blu Cantrell, Tina Marie, BOB, Lupe Fiasco, Juan Luis Guerra, Ana Ortiz of Ugly Betty, Allison Williams, 702, Goapele, Tha’ Rayne, Isyss, and more.
Always ahead of the digital curve with great success she produced her best techniques into over a dozen how-to videos where devotees of beauty around the world could access professional artistry first hand. As a published author Danessa manifested makeup instruction with two books focused on contour, highlight and color for makeup artists.Currently Danessa spends her time creating her brand Danessa Myricks Beauty, a global beauty blend of professional insight and wearable cosmetics available to every makeup devotee on the planet.
KilPrity is a Celebrity Makeup Artist, Beauty Educator & Influencer Whose Make-Up Artistry has afforded him the honor of working with prominent clients and privilege of instructing students to enhance their artistry, elevate their skill and boost their overhaul confidence. Whether he is educating aspiring Make-Up Artists globally or enhancing the beauty of celebrity clients. KilPrity is a master at his craft & has built an impeccable rapport with a name and technique that stands out from the rest. With just only a few years in the industry, KilPrity has created his brand along with a resume, inclusive of Celebrities, Fashion editorial and even major add campaigns for top cosmetic brands. His work in Fashion, Television, Editorial and Red carpets continue to highlight his unprecedented talent. He’s a living testament that in a short time with determination and the right education you can build great momentum in this makeup industry.
AJ CRIMSON is the rock-star of the beauty industry! An Entrepreneur, Makeup Artist and Beauty & Lifestyle Expert, as well as, one of the most trusted names and leading authorities in the beauty industry. AJ’s established reputation as an innovative beauty solutionist has made him and his products first choice for artists and celebrities including Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas, Hilary Duff, Adrienne Bailon of The REAL, Seryah of Fox’s Empire, Christina Milian, Brandy, Raven-Symone, Estelle, Regina King, Angela Bassett, Ameriie, Letoya Luckett, Keyshia Cole, Missy Elliot and more. His products are also used on the television series American Horror Story, Empire, Scandal, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, The View, VH1’s Hit the Floor, The Real, and the box office smash The Hunger Games and in countless runway shows.
AJ’s strong commitment to excellence and willingness to learn have been key instruments in paving the way for his success. Self-taught as a makeup artist, AJ fell in love with giving women the tools and permission to fall in love with themselves again by helping them find their true beauty both outwardly and from within. Through those experiences, AJ learned several invaluable lessons and built his brand on the concept of, “it’s not about restructuring your face, but enhancing what you already have. The client is always the STAR! The makeup is the co-star!” Setting out on his own to enhance the lives of women on a broader scale, he ventured into the world of entrepreneurship and never looked back.
A decade later, AJ’s work has been featured in fashion, beauty and music magazines worldwide including Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Essence and leading Japanese Entertainment magazines Blenda and Luire. He has also had the opportunity to work alongside some of the best in the business including Pat McGrath for Paris Fashion Week and was delighted to have a hand in creating cutting edge beauty techniques under the masterful instruction and eyes of makeup impresarios Joann Gair and Mathu Anderson.
The AJ Crimson Beauty cosmetic line, like most great inventions, was borne out of necessity. “I felt like there was an absolute need to bring products to women that actually worked and didn’t oxidize or change,” explains Crimson. “I wanted to create a product inclusive of women of all ethnicities, a product all women could find ownership in and believe in. So often, makeup has been designed with a one size fits all mentality, and with black women and women of color My cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background and skin tone.”
The road to success is different for every artist, but talent, drive and determination are certain to be a part of it. Award-winning Celebrity Makeup Artist, Renny Vasquez, has come a long way from taking care of brides and models in the DMV area where he grew up to painting the faces of luminaries like Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams, Jennifer Hunson Gabrielle Union, Queen Latifah, Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Nia Long, Ava Duvernay and more. Arguably one of the most talented, working artists today, Renny has quickly managed to make a name for himself by extending his brand of education and artistry from coast to coast using social media, artist events, sold-out classes and an impressive work-ethic to spread his beauty message.
Renny’s dynamic artistry has appeared in several fashion editorials including Cosmo for Latinas, the cover of Vegas magazine, cover of Paper magazine and Yahoo Style. His TV credits include The View, 106th and Park, Love and Hip Hop, Watch What Happens Live, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Access Hollywood and The View plus several red carpets and music videos. Having accomplished so much in so little time, Vasquez is on the fast-track to becoming the next big name in color cosmetics as a gifted artist, master-marketer and brand-builder with 480,000+ followers throughout his social media channels just waiting to “Catch the Beat.”
Emmy Award–winning makeup artist Melanie Mills is one of Hollywood’s leading style-makers and beauty consultants, known for her glamorous flair, supreme talent, and vivacious personality. Melanie’s journey to glitter and glam began in Thousand Oaks, California. Born to a family of intelligent, strong, and capable women – each style icons in their own right – Melanie’s love affair with all things beautiful began early and carried her as she ventured out into the world, living, learning, and making memories that would leave lifelong impressions not only on her, but on those she encountered.
Today, Melanie is one of the most sought-after makeup experts in the industry. With more than fifteen years of experience, Melanie is a master of her craft, sculpting faces and bodies into true works of art in a variety of mediums, including television, film, and editorial. In 2007, Melanie was selected as the Makeup Department Head for ABC television’s global phenomenon “Dancing with the Stars,” where she defined the look of the series and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup Design in 2008. Melanie’s superior talent has earned her nine career Emmy nominations for her work on various projects in the entertainment industry, including two double nominations.
Melanie’s products and tips for creating flawless makeup for the face and body have appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and Access Hollywood Live, Hallmark channel’s Home and Family as a Beauty Consultant, and in national publications including Allure, Essence, Shape, Vogue, InStyle, US Weekly, OK, Redbook, and People, among others.