Robin Black: The Next Big Makeup Artist
Photo: Mike Rosenthal. Makeup: Robin Black
I first discovered Robin Black through her Instagram feed. I was amazed that Robin is not only an innovative makeup artist, but a photographer as well. Robin approaches makeup in a fresh and artistic way, and also documents her work with crisp, stunning photos on her blog Beauty is Boring. The site features looks that Robin considers beautiful, spanning a wide range of ages, styles, and trends. Definitely check it out—Robin is going to be a major name in beauty and is just as fascinating and cool as the looks she creates.
Bobbi Brown: So, tell us how you got started, your education, where you’re from and all of that stuff.
Robin Black: Makeup is actually my second career. I came to it quite a bit later than most of my peers. I actually went to college for Biochemistry and minored in Fine Arts. Then I worked in the science and technology field for almost seven years.
Photo: Robin Black
BB: How did you transition from science to makeup?
RB: I always had this extremely creative streak growing up. I wanted to be a painter or a writer, but wound up in a more practical field. I do love science; there is a lot of creativity in it. However, I realized I did not enjoy that life. So I walked away from my corporate career and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. Then a friend who is a dancer asked me to create a specific makeup look for her. It was the first time I ever put makeup on someone. She said, ‘You know Robin, makeup artists actually make a good living. You should talk to my cousin who works for Laura Mercier.’ I called her cousin and wound up going to Laura Mercier’s national artist trial day. Somehow Laura picked me to work for her, even though I had never done makeup before. I think we had a mutual bond because we were both painters. Right after that, I got really lucky—Diane Von Furstenberg gave me the opportunity to do one of her huge runway shows. I had never even been backstage.
BB: Wait a minute! You went from never doing makeup to keying a runway show?
RB: Crazy, I know! I literally learned makeup on the fly. It really helped me to have the background as a painter. Diane and I really hit it off; she liked my self-taught take on makeup. I was so lucky to meet two strong, interesting women right off the bat. They inspired me and kept me going.