There’s little question that master makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin knew beauty. In his short, 40-year life (he died suddenly in 2002 of organ failure as a result of acetaminophen toxicity), he worked tirelessly to make women look their best, and while the Cindy Crawfords and Christy Turlingtons always appeared flawless thanks to his talent, he also used his position as Ultima II’s creative director to introduce makeup in a vast range of skintones in 1983.

Aucoin was a wunderkind, but no enfant terrible. He fought against the fashion industry’s use of too-young teenage models. He worked with celebrities and was indeed a celebrity in his own right, but not because he was any kind of social climber or hanger-on. His work spoke for itself and the editorial looks he created in the 1980s still stand up as beautiful images, immortal and never dated.

Images (all makeup by Kevyn Aucoin):

1. Vogue, October 1987. Photograph by Irving Penn.

2. Vogue, January 1988. Photograph by Irving Penn. Clothing by Geoffrey Beene.

3. Vogue, October 1987. Photograph by Irving Penn.

4. Vogue, January 1988. Photograph by Richard Avedon. Clothing by Chanel.

5. Vogue, October 1987. Photograph by Irving Penn.

6. Vogue, July 1987. Photograph by Richard Avedon.

7. Vogue, January 1988. Photograph by Irving Penn.

8. Vogue, January 1988. Photograph by Irving Penn.

9. Vogue, October 1987. Photograph by Irving Penn.

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