Iconic Makeup Artists With Must-Have Products

Adele relies on Troy Surratt for her radiant visage.
Adele relies on Troy Surratt for her radiant visage.

The makeup artist is a key component of any celebrity glam squad, and the names you know spend most of their time jetting around the globe to ensure their biggest clients are always camera-ready. Between movie premieres, press junkets and award shows they’re likely squeezing in a fashion show or two whether in New York, London, Paris or Milan—and overseeing their own cosmetic lines to boot. Here, the busiest makeup pros in the beauty business, and how to recreate their artistry from your own bathroom (or even the back of an Uber).


The makeup artist: Pat McGrath
Declared fashion’s most influential makeup artist by Vogue and known for using out-of-the-box materials and mash-ups of color for her editorial and fashion-show looks (and applying them with her fingers more times than not), British-born Pat McGrath has worked with countless celebrities, models, magazines (351 covers to date) and fashion designers. After 25 years in the business and 3,000 runway shows under her belt, it was no surprise when she debuted her own line in 2015. Launching with one product called Gold 001, the first 1,000 units sold out in record time, as did all seven limited-edition follow-ups. McGrath finally launched an “Unlimited” collection just last month (now available at Sephora stores), and you’ve probably seen it on her myriad celebrity clients, including Naomi Campbell (who has been called her muse), Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and too many more to count.


The makeup artist: Charlotte Tilbury
After experiencing the transformative effect of makeup first-hand as a teen jetting between Ibiza and London, Charlotte Tilbury became the makeup darling of the fashion world and catapulted to international fame. Having Kate Moss as a muse certainly helped, and her ongoing personal and professional relationships with Amal Clooney, Emma Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren and Sienna Miller (amongst other bold-faced beauties) ensured the launch of her eponymous cosmetic and skincare line was a hit. Always one to admit that she sleeps in her foundation and eye makeup—and fresh off the Versus and Alice Temperly shows during London Fashion Week—Tilbury has raised the bar for complexion perfection, and made it accessible to the masses.


The makeup artist: Troy Surratt
Known in the biz as a master of color, Troy Surratt’s career began with a cold call to makeup legend, Kevyn Aucoin. An assisting gig led to stints with Tarte (Surratt conceptualized the line) and Maybelline before he launched his own line, Surratt Beauty, in October 2013. Blending French elegance with Japanese techniques and sensibility, this exquisitely crafted and well-edited collection features all the essentials necessary for a sophisticated look—and the hand-calibrated eyelash curler and customizable palettes are musts for any makeup maven. Surratt has worked his magic on countless famous faces both on and off the red carpet, including Uma Thurman, Adele, LeAnn Rimes and Evan Rachel Wood (just to name a few).


The makeup artist: Francois Nars
As one of the first professional makeup artists to create their own lines, the beauty world took notice when Francois Nars launched his eponymous makeup collection in 1994. More than 20 years later, he’s still as hands-on as ever, playing a role in everything from product development and naming (“Orgasm,” anyone?) to copywriting and photography. He’s worked with the who’s who of fashion (Karl Lagerfeld, Bill Blass, Versace, Valentino, et. al.), graced the pages of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair and virtually every other glossy; glammed up the likes of Madonna, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer and all the “supers” (models, that is).