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NYFW Just Ask: Interview with Kabuki – Makeup Artist Icon


NYFWLights, camera, makeup brush! Kabuki is a mentor to many makeup artists and is an inspiration in both artistry and creativity to the community. Hailing from merry ol’ England, Key Artist for the Tony Cohen show at The Salon in Bryant Park on September, 8, 2008, inspiration came from Odilon Redon, the late 19th century Symbolist artist. When asked, what about this artist inspired you? Kabuki replied, “Picture a mysterious woman that exists somewhere between the romantic and decadent.”

A former model and textile designer, Kabuki’s faces have appeared on the runway, in print, and television. His work can be seen in Vogue, Bazaar, and Numero, to name a few. Patricia Field, stylist and designer for HBO’s Sex In The City, called upon his expertise to design the makeup looks for style divas Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis. With his vast list of credentials, it is no wonder Tony Cohen went straight to the master of makeup, Kabuki, to design the looks for Spring 2009.

Key Artist, Kabuki at Tony Cohen Spring 09Key Artist, Kabuki at Tony Cohen Spring 09Key Artist, Kabuki at Tony Cohen Spring 09Key Artist, Kabuki at Tony Cohen Spring 09

The look created by Kabuki for Tony Cohen was exactly how his quote described, “romantic and decadent.” With soft skin, a warm cheek highlight, and deep color strategically placed on the inner corner of the eyes, this gentle yet rich-indulgent look entranced the viewers for yet another hit for innovative makeup artist, Kabuki.Key Artist, Kabuki at Tony Cohen Spring 09

When asked how to achieve this striking look, Kabuki responded, “We’re sculpting the face with two tones of MAC Select Cover-up and with blush, neutralizing the lips and brows. Then, I added a generous amount of Carbon Eye Shadow for the inner eye. Lastly, I balanced the look with a highlight of Vanilla Pigment on the cheek.”

The stunning contoured faces and eyes perfectly complimented the elegant simplicity of Tony Cohen’s designs. The hair styling was equally stunning with sleek roots and textured ends. Cohen’s designs incorporated neutral tones with sheer fabrics that flowed down the runway. This marvelous combination is aesthetically pleasing to the senses while transcending current trend.

Outside the Salon in Bryant Park with KabukiHair at Tony Cohen Spring 09Backstage at Tony Cohen Spring 2009

Kabuki, the chameleon of makeup design, continues to surprise us with his creations and keeps us guessing- what imaginative look will he craft next? With inspired looks and inventive design, the maestro of makeup is always creating new faces for all aspects in fashion and beauty.

For more on Kabuki’s work, visit

Photos: Victoria Stiles

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Jen Says:

    Wow Victoria! You’re so lucky, this sounds like such an awesome experience!

  2. Stacy Says:

    I wish i could pick Kabuki’s brain for a few hours, lol

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Weekend Beauty Reads « StyleBell Blog - Your Premier Hair Resource Says:

    [...] Beyond Beauty Basics gets inside the tents of NY Fashion Week and a backstage exclusive interview with makeup artist icon, Kabuki! [...]

  2. Get the Scoop on New York Fashion Week | A Mom in Red High Heels - Beauty & Style Guide for Moms Says:

    [...] read about their time in Bryant Park, I suggest you visit: Beauty’s Spot, The Jet Set Girls, Beyond Beauty Basics and Makeup [...]

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About the editor

Victoria Stiles

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Beauty Editor and Celebrity Makeup Artist, Victoria Stiles, is a professional makeup artist specializing in print, celebrity, television, film, and events. Based in Washington DC and working in New York City, Victoria’s credits include Glamour Magazine, Vogue Bambini, Oprah Magazine, JCK Luxury, Ladies Home Journal, Virginia Living Magazine, FW Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, and various press for The Washington Post. Victoria’s celebrity clientele has included Star Jones, Gary Sinise, Jordin Sparks, and Olivia Thirlby as well as production makeup for Cher’s Farewell Tour and Missy Elliott. As part of Beyond Beauty Basics, Victoria looks forward to sharing the latest trend in makeup, hair, skin care, and style straight from the celebrity red carpet, runway, and her experience in makeup for fashion and commercial publications.

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