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Celebrity Makeup Artist Steven Aturo Talks Beauty Inspiration And Shares Look Created For Jada Pinkett-Smith

Celebrity makeup artist Steven Aturo always knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the beauty industry. He started his career as a freelance makeup artist in Boston and worked with names including Kevyn Aucoin, Linda Cantello and Francois Nars. His celebrity clientele includes Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Jada Pinkett Smith, Fergie, and Adrienne Banfield. The makeup artist has also worked on fashion shows for brands including Gucci, Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Sonia Rykiel, Jil Sander, Yohji Yamamoto, and Vivienne Westwood.  His work has been featured in glossy publications in the US and Europe as well as campaigns for brands including Armani, Coach, and Victoria Secret.

Who were you trained by and how did that experience help shape your career?

The three biggest influences that really helped shape my career were the late great Kevyn Aucoin, Francois Nars, and Linda Cantello. Kevin took me under his wing when I first moved to New York City in the mid-Nineties. I  became part of his team doing years runway shows for designers like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Issac Mizrahi, etc.. Kevin was the absolute master at recreating a face. 

I am a very loyal person and stuck with Kevin for five years before venturing out and working with François Nars of the now giant brand NARS cosmetics. I became part of his team doing runway shows in NY and Paris for the likes of Versace, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Chanel and so many other great designers. I also worked on his coffee table book “Makeup your Mind.” He later opened an agency representing a select few artists and I was fortunate to be chosen as one of them, and part of the NARS cosmetic family. Francois Nars artistry was known to recreate retro looks in an inspiring modern ways.

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I’ve also always been greatly inspired by the legendary British-born makeup artist Linda Cantello. Her work has such an artful modern approach, and known for the “modern smoky eye.” When I was approached to work with Linda, I jumped at the chance. We did runway shows for Gucci, Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Yohji Yamamoto, to name a few in NY, Paris, London and Japan.

I learned so much working with these legends, not just about makeup, but they’re working collaborations with designers, the finesse they had with clients, and how to head a team to execute the highest level of work. There are also countless editors, photographers, models, and top hairdressers that help shaped an influence my career inspiring me every step of the way.

Who inspires you?

In regard to the inspiration of makeup and beauty at large, I find these days that I am most inspired by street fashion and every day creative faces I see in my daily life. I am also inspired by some of my clients that are doing good in the world like the ladies of Red Table Talk. I am blessed to work on that show not only with people of great intelligence and humility but whose main desire is to create change in the world and the Paradigm of talk TV. Alicia Keys also one of my clients is so positive and I always feel like she brings my best self out.

Can you tell us about your business and future plans?

I can’t say to much about that right now because I’m working on it. I’ll just say be on the lookout for a brand that will put good into the world and create change.

A look created for Jada Pinkett-Smith

Face: 

Apply small dots with fingertips of NARS Sheer Glow Fountain Syracuse med/dark 3.5 to center of the forehead, cheekbones, center of the nose, above the lip and chin. Next apply small dots of NARS Sheer Glow Foundation med/dark Bahia around the hairline and outer perimeter of the face. With a dense foundation brush work from jawline around the perimeter of the face and blending in, gently smoothing over and under the eye area. With a concealer brush apply Bobbi Brown Under Eye corrector in dark bisque under the eye. Pressing firmly buff in with a Beauty Blender sponge for the perfect finish. Set the look using Becca Soft Light blush powder Golden hour/sheet golden peach with a powder brush tapping off any excess. 

Eyes: 

Prime the eyelid with Urban Decay eyeshadow primer in Eden. Gently powder lid. This will give the eye staying power. Apply bronze shade from Laura Mercier Intense Clays eyeshadow palette in the crease of lid, and then apply golden bronze shade on the entire lid up to the crease. Apply the palest shade from this palette just under the brow bone, and with a eyeshadow blending brush blend from lash-line to brow bone. Gently curl eyelashes with Lancôme eyelash curler, and apply Ardell knot-free individual lashes on outer corners and short inside closer to the nose. Finish with MAC Extended Play mascara.

Brows: 

Bush your bows up then define your desired shape stenciling the outside of your eyebrow with Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brie Whiz in med brown. Next very gently fill in if needed with Anastasia Dip-brown pomade in med brown. Set with Anastasia clear brow gel upward with outward strokes.

Cheeks:

Contour below the cheek one with NARS blush in Lovejoy. Blend with NARS multiple cream stick in South Beach. Highlight cheekbone and nose with NARS highlighter in champagne.

Lips:

Hydrate lip with Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream. Blend Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick shades in Honey & Later.

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