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Social media can sometimes feel like a wasteland of delusional beauty influencers shamelessly plugging their Morphe collabs or feuding over vitamin brand deals. As this community of social media makeup stars gains more followers and controversies, the artistry of makeup seems to become lost in the shuffle. In order to find inspiring and innovative artists, you might need to look beyond follower counts and explore different parts of the internet to find fresh voices. Let’s look at some makeup artists who are leaving their unique mark on the beauty industry.

Tatiana Rose (@tatianaroseart)

Tatiana Rose, an Australian makeup artist and photographer, creates looks that incorporate vintage trends and styles. Whether she paints 1920s ultra-thin brows, 1960s cut creases, or 1980s neon colors, Rose always looks like a dream girl from a past era. On her TikTok and YouTube, step-by-step tutorials reveal her creative process and techniques. Rose also recreates looks from iconic film characters, like The Love Witch’s Elaine, Blade Runner’s Rachael, and Batman and Robin’s Poison Ivy. Her work has been used for brands like KKW Beauty, KVD Beauty, and Natasha Denona, but her creativity shines through on social media. If you want to feel the fantasy of decades past, look to Rose for inspiration.

Selena Ruiz (@anythingforselenaaassss)

If you saw Barbie Ferreira’s Betty Boop Halloween costume, you are already familiar with Selena Ruiz’s work. Los Angeles-based Ruiz found an audience through showcasing her personality in Instagram videos, finally becoming a full-time working artist in 2020. A master of graphic eyeliner, Ruiz paints striking shapes and lines, sometimes incorporating cut creases and spider web patterns into the looks. She commits to full-body artistry, sometimes covering an entire face and body in bold makeup, and creates looks inspired by other art forms, like airbrush painting. If you want to emulate some of the most stylish and creative stars of today, like Alexa Demie or Lourdes Leon, follow Selena Ruiz’s work as a guide.

Daniel Sallstrom (@daniel_s_makeup)

London-based makeup artist Daniel Sallstrom began his career through drag, performing as @innitbabes, and slowly built a career in the professional beauty industry. His high-profile work pushes the boundaries of beauty, placing supermodels, alternative artists and major pop icons in underground, avant-garde looks. Admittedly drawing inspiration from “femmes” and “freaks,” Sallstrom’s work seems like something you would see on the most spectacular party-goer at a nightclub, which makes his artistic vision stand out amongst his peers. If you want to subvert societal beauty norms and commit to full freedom of expression, look no further than to Daniel Sallstrom.

Priscilla Ono (@priscillaono)

As Fenty Beauty’s Global Make-up artist, Priscilla Ono creates runway-ready looks that are high glamour. The creative mind behind some of Rihanna’s most iconic beauty looks, Ono has also created conceptual looks for stars like Megan Thee Stallion, Kali Uchis, Normani and Rosalía. Ono’s work is versatile and ranges from soft and dewy, vibrant and sharp, and matte and classic. Each look seems ready for a magazine editorial, with full-coverage foundation and perfect blending. Ono frequently posts close-up shots and videos of her make-up looks, which makes it easier to recreate or to draw inspiration from. If you want to look like you are starring in a Fenty Beauty ad campaign, use Priscilla Ono’s posts for reference.

It’s important to remember that makeup is an art form that deserves respect but should also allow freedom in creativity and expression. While the drama of online makeup artists can be endlessly entertaining, let’s give more attention to the boundary-breakers and innovators who are doing right by their art.

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Alexandra is a sophomore at Boston University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Public Relations in the College of Communications. She is from New Jersey and can be found watching old movies, true crime documentaries, and 90s runway shows.
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