Meet Linda Mason- an internationally recognized makeup artist, cosmetics entrepreneur, visual artist, filmmaker and anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist.
Born in Sunderland, Linda was highly inspired by her mother, an artist who imitated the hottest designer trends of that time and whose eccentric home renovations transformed their neighbourhood. This gave birth to Linda’s initial fascination for artistic expression. She got her start in the beauty industry, modelling for haute couture designers in Paris while studying makeup.
“I moved to Beirut to teach makeup and sell cosmetics for Lancôme. In the late 70s, I returned to Paris and became the premier makeup artist for Helena Rubenstein. While making rounds at fashion shows, I observed that makeup done by the models themselves was totally out of sync with the incredible fashions they were wearing- which made me reinvent the role of makeup on the runway by personally applying the models’ makeup,” she says as she talks about her initial days. While she began her career in Paris and developed products for Linda Mason Elements Inc in the U.S., distributing through Barneys, Henri Bendels, Nordstroms and Saks, she continued to manufacture brush sets for distribution in Japan and products and accessories for sale online. She also received the opportunity to work on early collections for Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Giorgio Armani, and Issey Miyake. The diligence, skill, and ingenuity of these designers inspired her to further develop and refine her own work.
In the early 80s, the makeup maestro moved to New York, where her cutting-edge work continued to turn heads and make headlines wherever she went. Having worked with many celebrities, including Cameron Diaz, Uma Thurman, Brooke Shields and Charlize Theron, she launched her own makeup company, Linda Mason Elements, Inc. in 1987 and went on to develop cosmetic kits which were later on showcased at Henri Bendel, Barney’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom.
Her interests have never known reluctance of any kind. Her habit of painting pictures of her daughter, Daisy, who was born in 1986, led her to discover her love for portraiture. She also continued to explore other styles of visual art, including multi-media collage and glass art. Her pieces range in style from classical to abstract, reflecting her dynamic personality and variety of sources of inspiration. In 1998, she opened “The Art of Beauty by Linda Mason,” a shop and gallery in Soho, New York City, which she also used as a space to meet her clients, create artwork and organise exhibitions.
Talking about her inspiration throughout the years, she says, “I enjoy collaborations in both Art and Cosmetics where I can materialize a vision or help strengthen and renovate an existing one. An Entrepreneur and creative innovator in cosmetics, I am also a self-starter who likes challenges, devising strategies and realizing ideas where I can lead teams and projects to completion. From being an artist, director and writer to being a brand consultant, manager, educator and speaker, I am as comfortable with the artistic creation and manufacturing and production of products as the educational aspects involved in the marketing of them.”
Today, her success as a makeup artist is accelerated and highlighted by breaking down barriers and creating innovative methods. These methods have helped her immensely in her career as an artist and entrepreneur. The adaptability gained working on photo-shoots with designers, top models and celebrities have enabled her to incorporate the needs and vision of others into projects without losing her integrity as an artist, all while endowing her with the ability to take the vision of others further than they can imagine. With this, Linda’s entrepreneurial spirit thrives in challenging situations where she can use all her skills to innovate and manage projects and meet deadlines- and she has done this throughout her career creating and marketing products for her company Linda Mason Elements Inc. Her experience in managing the production of products from A to Z expands into the educational and marketing aspects in both Cosmetics and Art, which makes her comfortable working in a team, as well as managing it! As an artist, author and entrepreneur, she wishes to bring a dramatic change to business execution through a new economical model for sustainability, citizenship and education which combines Art, Cosmetics and accessories.
About her life’s biggest motto, she says- “Life evolves as I do too. There is never just one idea. There are building blocks of many ideas, with each one bringing transformation with it.”