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Kevyn Aucoin 1962-2002

Country : Shreveport, Louisiana
Profession : Make-up artist, Photographer
Date of birth : 1962-02-14
Date of death : 2002-05-07
Cause of Death : Kidney and liver failure

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Kevyn Aucoin (February 14, 1962 – May 7, 2002) was an American make-up artist and photographer.

Early life

Aucoin was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, to parents Thelma and Isidore, who adopted him as an infant. He had three siblings, Carla, Kim, and Keith.


When he first arrived in New York, Aucoin was putting makeup on models for free before he was lucky enough to be discovered by Vogue. He struggled his way to the top of the professional make-up industry by emphasizing the beauty within. His motto was that it was far more important to help a woman feel beautiful no matter what, and that makeup was simply his tool for helping her discover herself. A proponent of the philosophy that every woman is beautiful within, he was one of the best-paid celebrity make-up artists in history.

He worked with hundreds of A-list celebrities like Cher, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Love and Vanessa L. Williams. He became a highly in-demand makeup artist, often acquiring $10,000 per session for photo shoots or award shows.

As a published author (The Art of Makeup, Making Faces, and Face Forward), he was fond of taking celebrities (and various other men & women, including his mother) and using makeup and costume (and sometimes prosthetics) to make them look like other celebrities, or like other people entirely. He transformed Tori Amos into Mary Queen of Scots, Celine Dion into Maria Callas, Liza Minnelli into Marilyn Monroe, Christina Ricci into Édith Piaf, Hilary Swank into Raquel Welch, Winona Ryder into Elizabeth Taylor, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins into Josephine Baker and Martha Stewart into Veronica Lake, among others.

He made an appearance in an episode of Sex and the City called "The Real Me" (Season 4, Episode 2) as himself being make-up artist to Carrie Bradshaw.

Personal life

Aucoin lived with his partner, Jeremy Antunes, whom he married in an unofficial ceremony in Hawaii in 2000 and thereafter referred to as his husband. He had also previously been romantically involved with Eric Sakas, who after their breakup remained close friends with him and became president and creative director of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty.

In September 2001, Aucoin was diagnosed with a rare pituitary tumor. He had been suffering from acromegaly resulting from the tumor for much of his life, but it had gone undiagnosed. He died on May 7, 2002 of kidney and liver failure due to Tylenol toxicity, caused by an addiction to prescription painkillers used to treat the extreme pain from his condition.


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