10 Influential Females in the Hair and Makeup Industry

Today is International Women’s Day, so how better to show our support to the occasion by highlighting some of the most influential female pioneers of our industry! In no particular order, here are some of the inspiring women who cater to our fave celebs, own internationally known brands and have spearheaded new trends in the hair and beauty world.

PAT MCGRATH

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As one of the world’s most celebrated and awarded makeup artists (referred to by Vogue as the most influential MUA in the world), British-born Pat McGrath has undeniably forged a new pathway for those whose career is in makeup. Her big break came in the ’90s when she worked at i-D Magazine. From there, her career exploded; working with a huge variety of established brands, publications and models all over the globe. In 2014, Pat was appointed MBE for her service to fashion and makeup. A year later, she launched her own beauty company ‘Pat McGrath Labs’ (which is now a billion-dollar company… no biggie). Recently, Pat was appointed DBE, making her Dame Pat McGrath – the first makeup artist to achieve such an award. Yas queen!

JEN ATKIN

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Jen Atkin is a celebrity hairstylist and entrepreneur, who is considered one of the most influential hairstylists in the world. Besides being the face of haircare brand OUAI, Jen is the founder of digital hair magazine, ManeAddicts as well as being a columnist for Glamour Magazine. Jen’s journey started in LA, where she arrived to pursue her hair career with just $300 to her name (talk about a transformation!). From humble beginnings as a receptionist at a West Hollywood salon, Jen worked her way up, eventually forming her own, prestigious clientele including a close and on-going relationship with the Kardashian family. Jen now jet-sets across the world, styling hair for many events and shoots, all whilst managing her other businesses.

RIAWNA CAPRI

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Another celeb hairstylist to make the list of Riawna Capri. Her renowned Hollywood salon Nine Zero One is the go-to for stars such as Selena Gomez, Emma Roberts and Julianne Hough, amongst many others. Riawna is known for creating ‘The Julianne’ haircut – a short, textured haircut Riawna debuted on BFF Julianne Hough last year. Besides her time behind the chair, Riawna also co-founded and runs the BeYOUtiful Foundation, which connects salons and stylists to local cancer suffers and survivors in order to educate (cutting and styling hair and wigs) and inspire hair confidence.

LISA ELDRIDGE

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Lisa Eldridge is an English-New Zealand makeup artist and a leading name in the makeup world. Lisa’s big break came when she was booked by Elle magazine to work with the one and only Cindy Crawford. Since then, Lisa has taken the makeup and fashion world by storm, working with a variety of clientele and brands across the globe. From 2003-2013, Lisa was the Creative Director for Boots No7 and she then went on to become the global creative director for Lancôme (which she still is). In 2015, Lisa published her book Face Paint: The Story of Makeup, which became a New York Times bestseller. You can now find Lisa sharing beautiful looks on her Instagram or offering tips and tricks on her 2M-subscribers strong YouTube channel.

NIKKI WOLFF

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With a following of 1.6M on Instagram, Dior-endorsed MUA and Glamour Magazine columnist Nikki Wolff is a makeup artist with influence! Nikki studied at London College of Fashion and has since gone on to work with a range of publications such Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. She also has an impressive list of clientele, including Dua Lipa, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Demi Lovato.

JENNY CHO

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Jenny Cho is most known for her gorgeous red-carpet hairstyling on stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Lucy Boynton. Growing up in California, Jenny says she didn’t find her “tribe of people” until she started beauty school. Following graduation, she moved to NYC and worked as a hair educator before heading back to the West Coast, where she began assisting on shoots. Fast-forward to today and she’s in hot demand amongst some of the hottest celebs!

NIKKI NELMS

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Known as ‘Hair MacGyver’ on the ‘gram, Nikki is a real pro of hairstyling. Predominantly working with women of colour (and a clientele including Solange, Zoe Kravitz and Janelle Monae) she’s a creative force to be reckoned with. From red carpet masterpieces, to sleek editorial styles on shoots, Nikki’s talent and versatility is impressive.

JUSTINE MARJAN

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If you’re a fan of hair accessories and high-fashion hair, look no further than Justine Marjan. Known for her work with stars such as Ashley Graham (and that Met Gala look), Kim K, Chloe Bennet and Camilla Luddington, Justine is a queen of glamourous and feminine hair creations. Justine, like Jen Atkin, started off as a salon receptionist and grew her talent through hairdressing classes. A few years later, it’s partly thanks to Jen for Justine’s success, after Justine was hired as her assistant and later editorial director of ManeAddicts. Now, Justine has her own hair accessory line in collaboration with Kitsch and is the go-to for some of the most popular celebs in the biz.

ROWI SINGH

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Rowi may not be making waves on the red carpet, but she is online! With a growing presence on Instagram, Rowi is known for her ultra-creative, Eurphoria-esque makeup skills. Playing with a spectrum of colours, materials and themes, Rowi’s dedication to her looks does not go unappreciated. As an Australian-Indian, Rowi also uses her following to discuss issues of racism and social injustices.

MARY PHILLIPS

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Hailed as one of the go-to MUAs for the stars, Mary works with A-listers such as the Kardashian/Jenners, J-Lo and Bella Hadid and has established herself as one of the most well-known makeup artists in LA and globally. Mary puts a lot of emphasis on skin and skincare due to her early work in a dermatologist’s office and cosmetology training. That training came in handy as her work always looks flawless, whether that be on the red carpet, or on-set of a highly anticipated shoot.