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10 Top Makeup Artists to Inspire You on Instagram

25 May, 2016
By BeYou[tiful] vlogger
You have to admit it - all us beauty passionistas are always looking for new inspo! Instagram is a world of delight for us makeup junkies. All those amazing makeup shots and behind the scenes peeks at the fashion shows - with a hefty dose of schlebs thrown in for good measure.

If you want to stay in the loop for anything and everything beauty related, the latest trends and hints and tips, these are the experts to know and follow:

1) Pat McGrath @patmcgrathreal

A British born MBE, Vogue has called her the influential makeup artist in the world and it’s easy to see why. She’s known not only for her incredibly wide range but also her inventive use of materials; her most creative makeup is handmade and she works mainly with her fingers instead of brushes.

"I really love being a make-up artist. It never gets mundane or predictable and every shoot and show is different."

Her Style: One of the most creative makeup artists around, she is known for her use of grunge and surrealistic imagery. Fabrics are a major source of inspiration, as are colours and the models face. She is known to travel with up to 30 trunk loads of reference material for major events such as fashion week. She’s also one of very few artists who approaches the face as if it’s a canvas. Her latest innovation is #Gold 001 pigment - “a liquid-like, a gilded glaze of intense colour... like pure metal, foil, gilding, brilliance".

Her Clients: Too many - Oprah, JLO, Madonna, ScarJo, Diane Von Furstenberg, Prada, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Valentino, Versace - the list goes on and on.

Follow her: Easily one of the most beautiful and drool worthy feeds around. An absolute must for both fashion and beauty junkies. She features both her own and other artists work, behind the scenes fashion show shots and every now and again a few selfies with other schelbs. Creative makeup which pushes the boundaries including artistic embellishments, colour and geometrical shapes.

2) Sarah Bland Barbuto @sarahbland

How she describes herself on her Instagram feed – nail artist smith and cult ambassador - gives you a little taste of what she is all about. Sarah Bland-Barbuto is one of the most versatile, sought-after celebrity nail artists in the US, with unmatched expertise when it comes to cool colours, shimmering effects and pretty patterns. A trained manicurist and aesthetician, she started her business straight out of school from a basement in her parent’s home in Washington and now operates in Beverly Hills.

Her Style: Her youthful spirit and sense of adventure breathed fresh life into the industry. High quality standards have always been her benchmark. With the growth of nail art, she had great difficulty in finding cosmetics grade glitters which could be safely used on her clients. After months of research to find alternatives, she founded Artiglio (pronounced R-tee-lee-o) which comes from the word ‘claw’ in Italian.

Her Clients: Beyoncé, Zooey Deschanel, Kelly Rowland and Paris Hilton

Follow her: For limitless inspiration on any nails from understated modern chic to playfully fun art. Her glitter nail artistry is inspiring.

3) Robin Black @Beautyisboring

The sought-after L.A. makeup artist, who loves the idea of makeup as an accessory, Robin Black is known for her distinctly cool take on pretty (picture Poppy Delevingne, all freckles and smudged eyeliner), and also photographs her own work. She comes from an interesting background of Japanese and Irish/German parents and growing up sailing in the South Pacific. Robin moved into the profession later in life after spending her early career in science and technology.

She is the visionary behind the ground-breaking blog - beautyisboring.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love / hate relationship with beauty. It’s a complicated, subjective thing.”

Her Style: Beauty is anything but boring when it comes to Robin Black. Her strength lies in her ability to experiment with and celebrate individualistic beauty. Her approach is less about perfection than challenging norms and broadening the normal perception of beauty. Beauty is Boring is her photo essay on the subject – an ongoing project that features faces and looks that she finds beautiful regardless of age, gender or cultural trends.

Follow Her: Crisp stunning photos with a fresh and artistic approach. Expect a surprising and somewhat quirky style. Even her bombshell looks have an edge.

“I'm not generally an artist who tends toward glamour. I like the idea of Brigitte Bardot if she lived right now, with our generation's influences. She should have that touch of grunge, a little hardness.”

4) Sona Gasparian @simplysona

An Armenian native who now lives in Los Angeles, Sona Gasparan is a professional makeup artist, blogger and vlogger who posts all things beauty, skin care, hair, fashion and lifestyle to her MakeupbySona YouTube channel. View Her Channel
She also runs a blog called Simply Sona. View Her Blog

After a few years and reaching 18 million views, she was approached to collaborate with top names in the industry such as Vogue, Glamour and Elle, and also produced a video titled "Makeup For Beginners w/ Lisa Eldridge - 5 Must Haves!" with the well-known makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge.

Her Style: A natural beauty with a lot of innate style, Sona is truly down to earth when it comes to her tutorial videos. The epitome of a beauty passionista, she just loves having fun and sharing her beauty skills with other people.

“Always remember, beauty begins from within and within, you are beautiful!”

Follow Her: Her feed just oozes masses of makeup and style inspiration.

5) Mary Phillips @1maryphillips

Known for her refined execution and attention to detail, Mary Phillips has become the Hollywood go to makeup artist for red carpet events, editorials and even music videos. She is best known as being Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist since 2006 but also works with a lot of big name clients in the industry, and her work has graced the covers of most major mags.

Her Style: Mary wows with her one of a kind highly amped sophisticated looks, underpinned by ever evolving innovation.

“When people ask me makeup questions I always end up talking about skin tips and skin care, because, for me, that all comes first.”

Her Clients: Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis, Christina Aguilera, Ciara, Salma Hayek, Kim Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, Nicole Richie and Gwen Stefani.

Follow Her: If you are a JLo fan this feed is absolute Nirvana! Expect lots and lots of pics of Jennifer looking absolutely stunning as always. A mix of beauty and industry events with a number of other schlebs as well with good dose of some useful beauty hints and stunning style shots.

6) Tom Pecheux @tompecheux

Makeup artist Tom Pecheux knows glamour. In fact, as the man behind some of the steamiest makeup looks on the runways—notably Chanel, Altuzarra, and Derek Lam—as well as in Tom Ford’s campaigns, glamour is practically his middle name. One of the most charming facts about Tom is that he didn’t grow up obsessed by beauty. He grew up on a farm and started life as a pastry chef in Paris, where a chance meeting started him on the path to a new profession.

“I met a girl who said she was in makeup school. I didn’t even realize people needed makeup artists - I just thought everyone did their own makeup.”

His Style: Tom’s underlying mantra is ‘Make up is Art’. While he is a master of the glamour look and making women look gorgeous, he uses the face as a canvas to experiment and create wild and wonderful statements and other worldly looks.

His Clients: Gisele Bündchen, Cara Delevingne, and more call on him

Follow Him: Keep in the loop with all the latest Chanel runway trends. His feed pumps during fashion show season with all the gorgeous backstage looks plus interesting snippets on the daily life of a big deal makeup artist.

7) Mei Kawajiri @Ciaomanhattan2012

Nail art like you have never seen it before! Known for her hand-painted, detailed illustrations and unique nail “sculptures,” Mei Kawajiri’s ability to paint photo-realistic images sans stencils, stickers or other pre-fab tools has placed her work in a field of its own. Born in Japan, her work is so unique it took her just a couple of years to build up an impressive clientele once she moved to New York in 2012.

“I never formally studied art. I always loved drawing though and realized I could incorporate that into creating nail art.”

Her Style: With pop art illustrations, miniature geometric prints, detailed portraits and 3D sculptures, nail designs created by Mei Kawajiri really justify the term ‘nail art’. In fact ‘nail fine art’ would be more appropriate. Known for collaborating with her clients, she draws inspiration from things she sees online, whether they be paintings, geometric shapes, fabrics, textures or images. Mei doesn’t paint nails one by one, but works by color, so that you can’t really tell what the design will be until she’s done. She does everything freehand, with a teeny tiny brush that's barely thicker than a few hairs: the level of detail is astounding.

Her Clients: Heidi Klum, Janelle Monae, Lana Del Rey, Meghan Trainer, and Hannah Bronfman, as well as photographers like Terry Richardson.

Follow her: For the best in absolutely stunning nail inspiration. A true artist on the world’s smallest canvas, she can create something so detailed and so intricate to even something as simple as a vertical line.

8) Huda Kattan @hudabeauty

Born in the US to Iraqi parents, Huda Kattan met her husband while studying finance at college and moved to Dubai in 2008. With a following of 1.7million, she is easily one of the Middle East’s top bloggers and influential makeup artists. Hollywood trained, her large almond eyes and killer brow look compares to that of Kim Kardashian.

Together with her sisters, she launched the Huda Beauty Line with a killer false lash range which was so successful that it recently launched in the US. Her next business venture was to introduce a makeup line.

“I grew up pretty obsessed with fashion and makeup. I have always been into art, and makeup was a version of art that I could recreate every day!”

Her Style: Perfect for aspirant Kardashian fans, Huda’s approach is very grounded and down to earth. She balances a high standard of aesthetic beauty with a very easy going approach.

Her Clients: Audi, Revlon, Cartier, Zahret Al Khaleej, Harper’s Bazaar,Emirates Women, Frey Wille, Essa, Brown Book, and many more.

Follow Her: For down to earth and easy to follow beauty hints and tips. Even if you are not that big into makeup tricks and trends, she really can inspire you with small life changing tips in your daily makeup routine.

9) Renny Vasquez @rennyvasquez

Renny Vasquez is one of today’s most in demand artists on both national and international levels. This New York based award winning celebrity makeup artist is renowned for his incredible talent on dark skinned woman.

Armed with a philosophy of makeup artistry and photography going hand in hand, Renny became an accomplished photographer to learn how to manipulate makeup applications so that they read in photos. Aside from his top level clients, Renny has multiple editorials, music videos and TV credits under his belt. He is a master marketer and brand builder with a strong online presence and runs a popular hands on make-up workshop ‘Catch the Beat’.

His Style: His makeup style is clean, fresh, and elegant (a la Sam Fine with whom he worked). He performs absolute miracles on dark skinned women.

"My passion for beauty helps others walk in their purpose"

His Clients: Brandy, Gabrielle Union, Nia Long, Angela Simmons, Queen Latifah, Kelly Rowland, Tiara Thomas, Mila J, Brandy, Tatyana Ali, Nicole Ari Parker, MC Lyte, and many more.

Follow him: A recent feed featured an Angolan beauty who had flown in to New York for a one on one consultation with Renny.

Makeup and photography by Renny Vasquez

10) Marlinette Newman @marlimakeup

This is one girl you just gotta see on You Tube – her chatty tutorials on new looks, products and the tips and tricks of the trade are just perfect for beginners and makeup aficionadas alike! View her YouTube Channel

South African born and now living in Cape Town, Marlinette works as a professional makeup artist and hair stylist. After starting her career as a kitchen designer, she soon found her passion in the beauty industry. Her work is very diverse covering ramp work and retail through to stills and commercials, ranging from high end fashion to very natural lifestyle shoots. She has been featured in numerous mags for interviews, how to’s, Q&A’s, tips and advice and sits on the consumer advice panel at Rooi Rose.

Her Style: Capable of working in multiple genres from high fashion to natural, Marli has a friendly, refreshing and no-nonsense approach. A born trainer, her YouTube tutorial on Easy Contouring is easily one of the simplest ‘step by steps’ I’ve ever seen. With a good understanding of lighting and photography, she is able to provide a flawless look without using too much heavy makeup.

Her Work: Worked with many SA celebs including Toya Delazy, Locnville, Cindy Nell, Anna-Mart vd Merwe, Claire Johnston and Vanessa Haywood, to name a few.

“I find everyone inspiring, from regular people to celebs. I learn something (good or bad) from each one.”

Follow Her: For snippets and inspiration from her latest shoots and some of the latest international fashion trends.

Photo Sources: Instagram / Pinterest


Do you have a beauty problem that’s really bugging you? Ask our experts now.


Do you have a beauty problem that’s really bugging you? Ask our experts now