Again in 2014, makeup artist Keita Moore stepped into the sweetness highlight with a fateful Instagram submit. Extra particularly, a bit somebody named Rihanna (you might need heard of her) was the explanation for him going viral. Whereas working on the Rochester, New York MAC Cosmetics counter, he posted a latest make-up chart he designed to his social media account. “Rihanna got here out with a MAC line and I did a face chart of her, she reposted it on her web page, and I acquired like 10,000 followers from it,” Moore tells TZR over the cellphone. “It was actually like I hit the lottery.” However though he’s now one of many largest names working in magnificence the business, Moore by no means truly supposed on being a make-up artist.
Rising up, the Rochester native’s calling was portray, and he was initially acknowledged for his creative expertise in first grade. He enrolled in artwork class all the best way till he graduated highschool, after which acquired a scholarship to attend the College Of The Arts in Rochester, New York. Nonetheless, this creative ardour initially didn’t embody magnificence in any respect, although Moore’s mom was a make-up artist, so he was launched to merchandise at a youthful age than most.
“She used to have me assist her do her Mary Kay events, simply actually mild issues like placing pink eye shadow on somebody,” he explains. “I didn’t assume a lot of it; I didn’t even need to do it.”
It wasn’t till he helped out a pal doing make-up for a neighborhood vogue present that his curiosity in make-up actually sparked. “The opposite two make-up artists had these two skilled kits stuffed with make-up,” he recollects. “I used to be so intimidated.” As soon as he began doing a couple of of the fashions’ make-up, all the opposite fashions needed him to do theirs, too. “I used to be like wow, perhaps I can do that. That’s what gave me confidence.”
Moore then started practising make-up on his nieces, buying abilities that ultimately landed him a job on the MAC Cosmetics counter. Then the Rihanna regram occurred, his make-up work outdoors of MAC started to select up, and he ultimately left the corporate for New York Metropolis.
“I heard Love & Hip Hop was doing auditions, so I went to some of them,” he says. “I spent my final little cash to get there, we acquired a automotive and drove up.” Whereas interviewing for the present, he was stunned his work as a make-up artist was being acknowledged. “Being from Rochester, you do not actually understand the ability of social media and the way it reaches the world, so I used to be actually shocked.”
Moore landed a gig on the tv present, the place he assisted for the Love & Hip Hop reunion, and slowly constructed out his clientele over the subsequent 12 months. “I labored with Chrisette Michele and I began to work with women from The Actual Housewives Of Atlanta,” he says. “I began to work with NeNe Leakes and Fantasia.
Then the most important magnificence campaigns got here knocking. “I did an Anastasia Beverly Hills — that was my first make-up model marketing campaign,” he explains. “Then I acquired seen by Cowl Woman, and I began to do all their campaigns.” From 2018 to 2019, Moore was the artist behind all the make-up large’s campaigns and commercials, working with all types of celebrities, together with his most memorable, Issa Rae. “It was a extremely magical second for me as a result of Cowl Woman is a family title. So that you go from seeing Cowl Woman adverts all of your life to really being on set working with the model on the complete manufacturing.”
He quickly signed with The Only Agency, which finally launched him to Nicki Minaj. “They despatched a couple of totally different individuals over [for her to see], however she actually appreciated my work,” he says. Moore has now completed two excursions with Minaj, in addition to campaigns with the star. “It was actually a mind-blowing, wonderful expertise since you look again and your like — how did I get from Love & Hip Hop to Nicki Minaj? That is pop star stardom proper right here.”
Along with the rapper, Moore additionally met none apart from Mariah Carey. “I used to be an enormous Mariah fan, so this was a extremely large deal to me,” he says. “I bear in mind doing her for the primary time, and he or she simply appeared over at me was like oh my gosh, you’re so gifted.” Moore labored with Carey for years and even went on trip with the A-list movie star. “I’ve some stuff arising together with her,” Moore reveals (though he’s unable to say extra in the meanwhile).
Whereas he admits that he’s been blessed with the alternatives which have come his method, Moore acknowledges that the make-up business nonetheless have an extended strategy to go to deal with the systemic racial inequalities for individuals of colour. “As a Black makeup artist, it is actually 10 occasions more durable for us to have the ability to stage up and to have the ability to get the kind of pay and jobs that our counterparts get,” he explains. “One factor I’ve been actually noticing within the business is in terms of celebrities, it is laborious for a Black make-up artist to get a white movie star.” In actual fact, Moore notes that it’s almost not possible. “However, you may have a whole lot of non-Black make-up artists engaged on Black celebrities.”
“This business is heavy in white privilege,” he explains. “On the finish of the day, once I go on set, I don’t need to be the one Black particular person within the room.”
Moore does see change occurring, although, albeit slowly. “Every part that we’ve been going by over the previous few years with Black Lives Matter and holding manufacturers and folks accountable for his or her actions have actually been working,” he says. “It’s opened up doorways for extra alternatives and extra Black artists to return in and be in positions that we have been by no means in a position to be in earlier than.”
As for his present initiatives, Moore is thrilled about his ongoing partnership with Armani Magnificence over the past 12 months. “They’re a status model, [and] I’ve at all times used their make-up,” he says. “It’s a partnership primarily based on expertise and love, and to be in these locations the place you’re employed for a job primarily based in your expertise and never the colour of your pores and skin actually is a giant change — the change that we have to see extra of within the business.” Likewise, Moore can be working with Maybelline in the meanwhile. “This has by no means been completed earlier than the place a make-up artist has two partnerships with a model,” he explains. “To have the ability to work with each of these manufacturers is such an honor.”
For those who’re a magnificence obsessive, it’s clear that you simply’ll need to maintain shut tabs on the make-up artist, as a result of his star is simply going to proceed to rise. Has Rihanna ever been flawed earlier than?