Stephanie Cozart Burton’s philosophy when it comes to picking a career is to choose something that you would do for free. That way you never have to dread going to work. She should know. As a young girl, she obsessed over her mother’s cosmetics and creams, and would coax people into to buying her makeup in exchange for doing their faces.
“Get out of that mirror!,” her mother would scream, fearing that she had raised a narcissist, when she was unknowingly nurturing an artist. It wasn’t until Stephanie was a teen and read a story about the legendary Westmore family- a makeup artist dynasty in Hollywood that would span four generations- that she realized she could make a career out of this thing she loved so much.
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Fast forward 35 years and Stephanie's a five-time Emmy Award-nominated makeup artist, who got her first win in 2015 for daytime TV’s The Talk. In addition to working with host Aisha Tyler, who Stephanie calls a “dream client,” for the past six years, she’s beat the faces of favorites like Jada Pinkett Smith, Tracee Ellis Ross, the dreamy Larenz Tate and one very special guy.
It was on the set of Roots: The Gift that a certain actor dressed in all white linen sat in her makeup chair. She learned they were both raised by divorcees who were teachers and had a lot to chat about. A friendship morphed into a romantic relationship and eventually, marriage. That actor was LeVar Burton, who starred in a series of memorable films and TV shows, including the original Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Reading Rainbow. Today, they’ve been married for 25 years, and have a daughter named Mica, who is an avid cosplayer and budding thespian in her own right.
Stephanie knows makeup in and out, so if you’re even remotely interested in pursuing it as a profession, keep reading for her pro-tips!