Last Updated on September 24, 2018 by

Age-defying skin treatments, extravagant makeovers, and a slew of celebrity appearances – Chicago’s trendy, urban-chic West Loop area became home to some of the most well-known artists in the beauty industry last month during The 2016 Makeup Show‘s weekend-long event. 

The event was mc’ed by superstar make up artist James Vincent, whose clients include Marilyn Manson, Amy Winehouse and Barack Obama. “In a world filled with glass ceilings, we celebrate talent through cultural and gender diversity in our industry,” said Vincent, earning applause from the beauty experts who had packed into the shabby chic warehouse space.


makeup show creator james vincent
The Makeup Show creator James Vincent


“It’s great to celebrate unconventional beauty together,” echoed celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D in her closing speech. On a more controversial note, she also took a jab at cosmetic companies that test their products on animals: “L’Oreal is a monster for injecting bunnies eyeballs for the sake of vanity to test a lipstick. It’s important to be cruelty free.” Von D’s own line of cosmetics, which is produced by Sephora, has not been tested on animals and does not contain any animal products or by-products.


Kat Von D product demonstration
Kat Von D product demonstration


ashle yj herengo works at katvondbooth
Kat Von D’s booth


Popular make up brands like NARS, MAC, Pinnacle, Make Up Forever, Kevyn Aucoin, Glamorous Chicks Cosmetics, and Grande Lips focused on future industry cosmetic styles and solutions, while skin care innovators like Demaflash, TwinMedix, Smashbox, Dermaflage and Mario Badescu demonstrated the importance of healthy skin as a natural beauty foundation.


Eye Kandy Cosmetics
Barbara Chablewski demonstrates Eye Kandy Cosmetics


Crown Brush
Crown Brush




“Skin is really important to us because we are the largest photography studio on the West Coast. Great skin helps with a great image,” said Smashbox’s Laura Jane Schierhorn. “High definition photography and video show intricate texture, so the better the skin, the less post-production work is required.”


jocelyn atkinson removes her dermaflage
Dermaflage’s Jocelyn Atkinson


Dermaflage’s twelve-shade palate of adhesive plastic film mimics the appearance of skin, helping hide flaws for people with skin cancer, scars, deep wrinkles, chicken pox marks and even gauge earring holes. This innovative scar makeup was developed through a collaboration between top Hollywood special effects makeup artists and dermatologists.


Lisa Trombetta at GrandeLips booth
Lisa Trombetta at GrandeLips booth


Makeup arist Alexa Rogers at the Melanie Mills Hollywood booth
Makeup artist Alexa Rogers at Melanie Mills Hollywood booth


Makeup Show fan Melanie at AJ Crimson demo
AJ Crimson Beauty


Temptu Airbrush Makeup
Temptu Airbrush Makeup


Makeup artist Michelle Mink paints model Stephanie


Mario Badescu Skin Care
Mario Badescu Skin Care


Mario Badescu, a New-York based chemist and esthetician, has been in the industry since 1967. His fabulous skin care products have grown his business from a 2 to 36-room spa, booking some 200 facials every day. Celebrities such as Martha Stewart and Naomi Cambell are regulars at his salon. According to Public Relations Officer Nicole Darmanin, even the Kardashians are fans: “Kylie Jenner’s favorite product is Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe & Rose Water,” she says.

Tei Spa owner Pei Eichel (left) and friend
Tei Spa owner Pei Eichel (left) and friend


Pro makeup educator Nicholas Lujan
Makeup artist and instructor Nicholas Lujan


Makeup artist Rene Buerger demonstrates Dermaflash facial exfoliating device
Dermaflash facial exfoliating device demonstration


Chicago-based Dermaflash recently launched their home exfoliation device, which removes peach fuzz, gently exfoliates the skin and tightens pores. Smaller pores means less makeup is required, which is one of the reasons why the gadget is so popular among beauty experts.

Makeup artist Sade works on model at Nars booth
Makeup artist Sade works on model at Nars booth



Cover photo: Makeup Show’s James Vincent and Kat Von D. All photo credits Michele McManmon for Zwivel.

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Michele McManmon is a freelance writer/photographer working with Guardian US, Thrillist, LA Weekly, Playboy and more. Her unique work with celebrities, artists and other interesting subjects can be viewed at