Top Los Angeles beauty artists
Like the bubbles from so many award season glasses of Champagne, a new list of beauty talent has risen to the top of the editorial pages. Skill, artistry, tenacity and in some cases the added alchemy of being paired with the right celebrity at the right time have all added to the success of these hot members of the beauty class of 2014.
The makeup artist: Nick Barose
Why all the chatter? He’s the makeup maestro behind It Girl Lupita Nyong’o’s 2014 Oscar makeup.
Why did he go into beauty? “I love playing with colors and using makeup to transform is fun to me,” he says. “I grew up with two sisters and lots of girl cousins so it came very naturally … when I do simple things, like showing someone a new lipstick that works on them and they go, ‘Wow,’ it makes me really happy.”
Big break: “Doing Kim Cattrall’s makeup when she presented at the Grammys. People magazine did a write-up on her sexy, glowy makeup look.”
Beauty philosophy: “Every woman is not the same. Like flowers, they are all different, so I try to approach every face I work on with a unique eye. Every woman has her own magic and makeup can either bring that out or hide it. I like to bring it out. It’s all about personality for me, not about looking perfect or flawless. That’s boring to me.”
Beauty products women should own? “I love Mally Face Defenders ($40, mallybeauty.com) It’s a clear primer that smooths out skin and keeps shine away so you can wear less makeup. Beautyblender ($19.95, sephora.com). The finish is so smooth!”
The hairstylist: Chase Kusero
Why all the chatter? He’s the one to thank for Jared Leto’s unisex-y, ombre, long locks.
Why beauty? “I got into beauty when I was given a gift certificate to a top salon in my hometown, Chicago, when I was 14 years old,” he says. “I was always obsessed with my own hair looking good and noticed that the men in the salon looked like rock stars and the women stylists and clients were all beautiful. I realized then that my passion was creating wearable art for beautiful people and by 15 was enrolled in beauty school.”
Big break: “My client Jared Leto being noted for his hair this Oscar season.”
Beauty philosophy: “Hair is the only thing you wear when you’re naked.”
Beauty products women should own? “Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray ($26, bumbleandbumble.com) It gives your hair lived-in texture and creates the perfect, sexy, beachy hold. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($38, bumbleandbumble.com). It’s key to how hair hangs and separates while also adding shine and flexibility.”
The Brow Beautifier: Kelley Baker
Why all the chatter? Her crazy-popular Instagram account. She’s also worked on actors, including Michael Douglas for the 2014 Golden Globe Awards, and helped transform “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” cast members into their characters.
Why beauty: “I’ve always loved makeup,” she says. “As a kid I would go in my mother’s purse looking for her YSL lipstick … Growing up I did makeup for all of my friends for school dances and just for fun …The beauty business was a natural calling.”
Big break: “I was handpicked and trained by Damone Roberts, who is known as the ‘brow king,’ and worked in his flagship Beverly Hills salon. I opened up my first salon, Kelley Baker Brows in Venice, on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard two years ago but when I started playing on Instagram everything boomed!”
Beauty philosophy: “We all deserve to feel beautiful. Shaping your brows correctly can give you a whole new look, making you feel young and fresh.”
Beauty products women should own? “My Kelley Baker Brows Angle Spooly Brush ($30, kelleybakerbrows.com). The tip is made of Natrafil by DuPont, developed for perfect powder pick-up, making it easy to apply brow powder for a natural, full-brow look. Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water ($39, sephora.com). It easily removes waterproof makeup without drying out your skin.”
The Nail Art Perfectionist: Hiroko Fujikawa Mori’s Mars the Salon
Why all the chatter? She’s perfected custom nail art in a luxe setting. Celebrity clients reportedly have included Busy Philipps, Tyra Banks and Rumer Willis.
Why beauty? “I wanted to create a global, top-of-the-line, luxury nail salon where it was important for me to showcase traditional Japanese hospitality,” she says.
Big break: “Our gel art design inspired by a Diane von Furstenberg dress. This caught the attention of so many people and garnered media awareness on Mars’ unique custom nail designs.”
Beauty philosophy: “Beauty is all about being true to yourself. When you are happy on the inside then your outside is a beautiful reflection of what is within.
Beauty products women should own? “Essie Wicked Nail polish ($8.50, essie.com). It works for every season and every occasion.”