Nicole Byer Is Sick and Tired of Makeup Artists Not Knowing How to Do Her Makeup, Thank You

HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Actress Nicole Byer visits Hollywood Today Live at W Hollywood on September 1, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Nicole Byer Is Sick and Tired of Makeup Artists Not Knowing How to Do Her Makeup, Thank You

"They're f*cking up my beautiful Black face, and I am over it."

Published May 1, 2017

Makeup artists (MUA) have an awesome job, let's be honest. Who wouldn't want to apply makeup all day and help women feel their most beautiful? Like, that's dope. You'd think that part of MUA training would be learning how to cater to different skin tones because that just makes sense, and also encountering people with different skin tones is part of life. According to comedian Nicole Byer, it's 2017 and MUAs are still f*cking up her face. Seriously

Contributing to Lena Dunham's "feminist" newsletter, The Lenny Letter, Byer confessed the struggles she's had while MUAs quizzically mix several beige colors, clearly not knowing what's up, before she offers her personal stash over, to which MUAs quickly accept. Calling herself a "fat" actress, she cites getting her makeup done as way more stressful than clothing fittings. 

"Things I've looked like after getting my makeup done by 'professional makeup artists':

  1. A Black woman in blackface.
  2. A dead woman.
  3. Dry and/or dusty or a crusty combo of the two," Byer writes. 

She details her first job in Romania, one in which she quickly found out that MUAs are not fully equipped to cater to Black girls, saying she looked "truly insane" when she was done in the makeup chair. But since the only Black person she saw in Romania was in the airport (and he was leaving) she "didn't mind that the artist was working with an incomplete kit." However, upon returning to the USA and working here, she found that Romania and America did not differ much with respect to their MUAs accommodations. 

Byers cites that the "small handful" of MUAs that have done their jobs properly were *surprise* mostly POC. She goes on to discuss the white privilege of having tons of makeup options whereas POC are significantly shafted, something we've discussed before. She praises MAC for catering to darker skin tones. This is just yet another example of a lack of representation, and an unfortunate reality POC have to cope with when trying to cop makeup, an activity that should be fun. 

Shout out to Nicole for telling her story... now, MUAs, can you do your damn job?

Read the piece in its entirety here. (Worth it, since Byer is hilarious.)

Written by Lainey Sidell

(Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)


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