Vitiligo, a condition where lack of pigmentation causes white spots on a person's skin, affects nearly 50 million people worldwide; thankfully, vitiligo spokeswomen like the ones below are helping to raise awareness for and celebrate their conditions. By embracing their own unique complexions, these women act as role models for people with vitiligo everywhere. Makeup artists with vitiligo never let their condition get in the way of their work. If anything, these beauty gurus with vitiligo use their complexions as a canvas, featuring and transforming their spots into something completely novel. When it comes to vitiligo makeup, all sorts of exciting and innovative techniques exist.
As celebrities with vitiligo give the condition visibility in the media, makeup artists with vitiligo bring the condition into the fashion and cosmetics industry. Now, with these lovely ladies stunting on everyone with their own particular form of beauty, hopefully makeup for vitiligo will become something more for enhancing instead of hiding a person's complexion.
Chicago-based make-up artist Lauren Elyse embraced her vitiligo by using it to show off her killer make-up skills. Growing up, the condition only affected Elyse’s knees. But when Elyse entered her 20s, her vitiligo began to spread to her eyes as well, a change she told Refinery29 presented her with new challenges.
"At first, it was really hard for me to get used to it because I wasn't in a confident place," Elyse says. "I thought the spots on my face would take away from my looks, but now I think it adds to it."
One look at Elyse’s Instagram feed confirms her statement; her eyes especially look enhanced rather than inhibited by her vitiligo. Best of all, Elyse’s beauty allows her to act as a role model for other women with the same condition. "I didn't have anybody to look up to when I was a kid," Elyse explains. "And I love being a source of inspiration for people."
When Ashley Soto grew up in Orlando, FL, she found herself ashamed of the different skin tones her vitiligo produced. As she admits in an interview with the Daily Mail, she even began wearing long sleeves and pants every day after a girl at the beach once asked her if she “showered with bleach.” However, at 21 years old, Soto now features her unique beauty by turning her body into amazing works of art.
By tracing her different skin tones with markers, Soto creates a remarkably unique type of cosmetic art, and sometimes uses body paints to beautiful effect. "I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker, it really helps to bring out the different colors of my skin," she tells the Daily Mail. "I was always trying to find a way to look at my skin in a positive light, I couldn't do that before starting this. Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before."
Winnie Harlow launched her career as an international fashion model after appearing on America’s Next Top Model. Though she only placed sixth in the competition, Harlow nonetheless has taken the fashion industry by storm. In addition to appearing on catwalks from London to New York, she uses her Instagram feed as a platform to bring awareness to vitiligo and encourage women of all shapes, sizes, and shades to embrace their own unique of beauty. In one post, Harlow shows off her body in a thong, explaining, "The real difference isn't my skin. It's the fact that I don't find my beauty in the opinions of others. I'm beautiful because I know it. Celebrate Your unique beauty today (& everyday)!"
Even at a festival dedicated to the visuals of cinema, Harlow manages to outshine everything else with her own mesmerizing beauty.
20 year-old Keira Walcott admits she used to be so ashamed of her vitiligo that she slept in make-up, terrified her boyfriend would reject her if he ever saw her natural skin. In an interview with the Mirror, Walcott says her "confidence was so low that the only way I found the courage to face the world was if I was lathered in foundation.”
Fortunately, she finally revealed her condition to her boyfriend after seven months, only to discover it changed his feelings for her not at all. "Owen was so accepting when he learned the truth and I knew I had to try and turn my battle with the condition into something positive,” Walcott says.
Ultimately this led her to develop her own line of make-up called Kandor Cosmetics, a vitamin-infused line that includes everything from healthy foundation for vitiligo coverage to special formulas for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. These days, Walcott sees her vitiligo in a positive light, explaining "I would never take away my vitiligo. It used to be the thing I was most ashamed of but it turned out to be the thing that made my career."