Kevyn Aucoin, Makeup Artist To
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 8, 2002
Kevyn Aucoin, the master makeup artist whose clients
included famous faces from Cindy Crawford to Britney
Spears, died yesterday. He was 40.
Aucoin died at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla
from complications of a metabolic disorder, his friend
Marcy Engelman said. He had been diagnosed with
and treated for a pituitary brain tumor in the past year,
Aucoin, born on Valentine's Day 1962 in Shreveport, La., had a life-long love of
makeup. During his youth in Lafayette, La., Aucoin would rip photos from
magazines and try to replicate the models' makeup on his sisters.
He moved to New York in January 1983, looking for his break. That break came
eight months later, when Vogue magazine booked him to work on a shoot of Meg
Tilly being photographed by Stephen Meisel. He did his first cover in 1986,
working with Richard Avedon.
"He had such a rapid rise because he was so extraordinarily talented," said Linda
Wells, editor in chief of Allure magazine, where Aucoin had a column until
February of this year. "He could do anything with makeup."
"I think he was an incredible talent and a makeup genius," said makeup artist
Along with the numerous magazine covers, Aucoin was very much in demand as
make-up artist to the stars. The faces he worked on were the A-list: Janet
Jackson, Sharon Stone, Madonna, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow.
"I think he was truly original and passionate about make-up, and he never ran out
of ideas," said Phyllis Posner, executive fashion director for Vogue.
Aucoin was the author of three books, "Face Forward," "Making Faces" and "The
Art of Makeup" and had recently started his own product line. In "Face Forward,"
Aucoin showed how just about any face can be turned into silver screen icons.
He turned his 66-year-old mother into Marlene Dietrich and Martha Stewart into
He was also an activist, remembered as an opinionated person with strong
political views and very outspoken about gay rights, Wells said.
Aucoin was adopted a month after his birth by Thelma and Isidore Aucoin, the
first of four children the couple would adopt. Along with Thelma and Isidore
Aucoin, Kevyn Aucoin is survived by his partner, Jeremy Antunes; his brother,
Keith, and sisters Carla and Kim.
There was no information yesterday on funeral plans.