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10 Questions for Valenté Frazier: Celebrity Makeup Artist and Master Painter

Valenté Frazier is an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist whose magical hands have beautified some of the most famous faces in the world. In addition to being Tyra Banks’ long-time makeup artist, he has also worked with other superstar clients including Iman, Rihanna, Eve, Heidi Klum and former first lady Michelle Obama. His editorial work has appeared in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Essence and he also travels the globe serving as an international beauty authority at industry events, trade shows and educational workshops. When he’s not working on a makeup gig, he’s most likely wielding his other brushes on a traditional canvas as a master painter creating stunning works of art. Along with his abundant talent, he’s also one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet and we’re so happy to share his answers to Kett’s 10 Questions.

I don’t own any pets, but I am a dog lover.  I’ve become “Uncle” to quite a few pups who belong to close friends.

What was the last concert you went to and how did you do your hair and makeup? What did you wear?
Esperanza Spalding, which I wore something I didn’t put too much thought into. Since relocating to California from New York, wardrobe is an afterthought for me. I keep it simple: comfortable but appropriate for the occasion. Probably something all black with Toms… I can’t remember LOL!

Guilty Pleasure?
Long “dreamy” walks on the beaches of South Bay during the golden time of day before sunset… if you catch my drift.

What is the most nontraditional tool or product you’ve used on a job?
For a moment, I was using a very small detailing SPONGE PAINT ROLLER for blending and sheering out foundation. This was back in the day; pre-Beauty Blender! I picked up this trick from one of my many mentors, Vanessa Evelyn. I like to give credit where it’s due.

If you won the lottery how would you like to spend most of your time, excluding travel? 
I’d still do makeup for clients I absolutely adore, but I’d also totally immerse myself daily into painting and illustrating, creating beautiful and thought-provoking imagery for the world to enjoy.

What was your worst faux pas on a job and how did you recover?
I forgot to pack my lipstick and lip pencil bag for a job, so I turned to blush and lip balm which created the perfect lip stain. I did it with confidence so it seemed deliberate, although I was freaking out inside!

App that changed your life? 
Any banking app, including my bank’s app, Cash, Venmo and Stash. It’s so nice to manage and invest your funds remotely, especially for sending or receiving payments and making instant transfers.

What would be your dream job or client and why?
I consider myself blessed to be a freelance artist; my freedom is everything to me. So any creative gig that I do currently is a living dream for me! It’s what I envisioned for myself so long ago. However, one of my most memorable moments was doing makeup for Oprah’s Legends Ball and Sunday brunch at her estate in Santa Barbara where I was assigned to the legendary Cicely Tyson! Also, being called to work with Michelle Obama and, of course, 14 years of working and collaborating with Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model has been a rewarding experience I will cherish for the rest of my life!

Have you ever had an “only in New York experience? What was it? 
Ooh… I absolutely love to watch women apply their makeup on the subway! ESPECIALLY when they whip out the eyelash curler and mascara on a moving train. They should get a trophy!

Do you have a hidden talent or superpower? 
I’m also a skilled fine artist/painter and illustrator.

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