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State of the Artist

Three artists’ distinct aesthetics inform the Makeup Art Collections from MAC Cosmetics to reveal the new face of beauty.


As a longtime supporter of makeup artists around the globe, MAC Cosmetics (Stanford Shopping Center and Westfield Valley Fair) has always nurtured rising talent. This spring the beauty brand ushers in a new generation of stars with three collaborative collections from artists James Kaliardos, Kabuki and Diane Kendal.

The Visionary: James Kaliardos 
Kaliardos, the founder and director of cult publication Visionaire, as well as being a film producer, performer and makeup artist, crafted an expertly edited kit with an emphasis on ease of application. A proponent of tools and products that do the work for you, his effortless approach to makeup is highlighted in a Tricolor Lip Glass (loaded with various layers of glitter, cream and a deeper hue), and the marker-like Jumbo Penultimate eye liner.

“I feel like a marker is something everyone knows how to use, whereas the skinny eye liners can induce a bit of nervousness,” Kaliardos explains. “I’m a big believer that your tool should perform in this way, doing all the precision work, so you don’t have to think about it. It’s thick at the base, tapers to a point and does it all in one stroke.” For this artist, makeup is about crafting a narrative. “It’s still all about storytelling,” he says. “The story is what is interesting to me.”

Star Power: Kabuki 
With a sole moniker à la Madonna, Kabuki’s reputation as a true artist precedes itself. The British-born creative force sharpened his skills as an NYC-club kid (and developed his alter ego, Kabuki Starshine, while using his face as a canvas). Spotted on the scene by costume designer Patricia Field, Kabuki kicked off his career as an official makeup artist working on the set of the first two seasons of Sex and the City. While his recent work has been spotlighted on music videos for everyone from Katy Perry to Rihanna, Kabuki has crafted a collection that is both glamorous and durable. “The lash has the right density and length for a red-carpet look—wearable glam,” he explains of the Kabuki Magic No. 51 lash, which features extra-small lashes at the inner corner to create the illusion of natural fullness. “All of the names are either David Bowie or Joan Crawford references—two of my favorite stars,” he adds.

Page Turner: Diane Kendal 
British-born, Brooklyn-based makeup artist Diane Kendal has built a reputation among editors working with some of the biggest names in the business, including photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, Craig McDean and Steven Meisel. For her first collection with MAC, Kendal was inspired by 1970s influencers like Biba and Mary Quant. The seasoned pro offers an array of adjustable products like the Kajal Crayons, which can create anything from a basic black smoky eye to something more daring with the bright Flourish Me Bold indigo hue. “I love working with creams because they are moveable and buildable,” says Kendal. “They are a great base if you wanted to put a powder on top.


Originally published in the March/April issue of Silicon Valley

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