These Black Makeup Artists Are Challenging And Conquering The Beauty Space

Get to know the best black makeup artists working today. From industry legends to up-and-coming beauty influencers, the beauty world is full of black beauty gurus who deserve a shout out. These top makeup artists of color are shaping the culture of cosmetics as we know it.

For example, MUA Sir John created some of Beyoncé’s most recognizable glam looks, impacting an entire generation of women who look up to Queen Bey. Relative newcomer Nyma Tang is so cool because she's changing the way beauty brands create foundation shade ranges with her series “The Darkest Shade.” Beauty guru Ashunta Sherrif empowers black women every week with the showstopping makeup looks she creates for Cookie Lyons on hit show Empire.

You're going to want to get acquainted with these MUA names. Let’s give it up for black excellence in the beauty world. 

  • 1
    12 VOTES

    Sir John


    A post shared by S I R J O H N (@sirjohnofficial) on

    If you've ever been jealous of Beyoncé's flawless face, then you've admired the work of Sir John (yes, that's his legal name). The MUA studied art in college, but it wasn't until he scored a random gig as a makeup artist that he found his true calling. After that, Sir John trained with the best in the business - Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury - before branching out on his own. He now calls Queen Bey, Ashley Graham, and Joan Smalls his clients.

    12 votes
  • 2
    10 VOTES

    Sam Fine


    A post shared by Sam Fine (@iamsamfine) on

    Sam Fine is one of the OG behind-the-scenes makeup masters. He worked his way from a retail job at a makeup counter to fame, glamming supermodels like Tyra Banks, Iman, and Naomi Campbell. At the height of his success, Fine published a beauty book (Fine Beauty). Today, his clients include Queen Latifah and Vanessa Williams. So, yeah, he's kind of a big deal. 

    10 votes
  • 3
    15 VOTES

    Jackie Aina

    Jackie Aina
    Video: YouTube

    Jackie Aina isn't your typical beauty blogger. For starters, she's a veteran of the US Army! After serving, though, Aina worked for Bobby Brown and MAC. She also studied at Vidal Sassoon Academy, so she really knows what she's doing when it comes to makeup. On her channel, you'll find everything from product reviews to interviews with celebs like Nicole Richie. She even does fashion tutorials; Aina is dominating every field.

    15 votes
  • 4
    6 VOTES

    Sheika Daley


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    Sheika Daily is killing it in the beauty world. She's got a roster of celebrity clients a mile long; many of them are proud women of color. Zendaya, Kelly Rowland, Nicki Minaj, and Serena Williams all call on Daily when they need glam sessions. While she prefers to stay behind-the-scenes, Daily is a star in her own right on Instagram. She has almost 150,000 followers. 

    6 votes
  • 5
    13 VOTES

    Pat McGrath

    Pat McGrath
    Video: YouTube

    Any serious makeup fan knows about the legendary Pat McGrath. This English MUA is a backstage staple at Fashion Week, and she creates dreamy, ethereal looks for every fashion designer from Valentino to Alexander McQueen. McGrath is also a favorite at Vogue.

    Fans wished about a Pat McGrath makeup line for years before the artist finally caved. Pat McGrath Labs launched in 2015, and the products are just as legendary as the woman who makes them.

    13 votes
  • 6
    12 VOTES

    Ashunta Sheriff


    A post shared by Ashunta Sheriff (@ashuntasheriff) on

    Do you love Cookie Lyon's flawless makeup on the show Empire? You've got Ashunta Sheriff to thank for the looks. This makeup artist regularly works with actress Taraji P. Henson for Hollywood and real life. Sheriff is known for her dramatic creations, and her client list includes everyone from Zendaya to Janelle Monae. 

    12 votes