As a child I developed a passion for the arts and turned my childhood hobby into a full-blown career. Growing up in Baltimore, I got my start working in hair salons but I was also very drawn to makeup artistry. I purchased my first eyeshadow palette in 1997 and the rest is history. I decided to take this makeup “hobby” to another level and started working for MAC Cosmetics which really helped me enhance and expand my skill set. However, I soon discovered that having the prestige of working for MAC wasn’t enough. I had developed a desire to pursue makeup artistry on a broader stage. I wanted more. I wanted to go to Hollywood.
I made the brave decision to move to Los Angeles to study makeup artistry at the Elegance International Academy of Professional Makeup. Without knowing a single soul in LA, I made my way across the country to pursue my dreams. I knew that if I wanted to be taken seriously as a professional makeup artist and build the type of clientele that I had dreamed of I needed to invest in my education. I graduated from Elegance International in 2002 with a specialization in film/television, special effects, beauty, and editorial makeup artistry. Attending Elegance International was the best investment I have made to date in myself.
My career took off after graduation and I found myself working on the set of music videos, short films, television, and print ads. I’ve been blessed to work with top music directors including Hype Williams, Chris Robinson, and Gill Green to name a few. This sparked the move to Miami in 2003 where my celebrity clientele roster grew to include Nicki Minaj, Solange Knowles, Lauren London, Venus Williams, and Vanessa A. Williams. I’ve also worked on production for major brands including Jamba Juice, Doctor Miracle, and Nike. Most recently my work was featured in the New York Times.
In June of 2012 I decided to start my own business. I became the proud sole owner of Kazumi B., LLC where my primary location is located in Miami Gardens, Florida. Up to this point in my career I freelanced with NARS Cosmetics, MAC, and Laura Mercier so venturing out of my own was a huge leap of faith given the steady flow of income coming from my freelancing jobs. Today, my business has grown and I have a steady flow of clientele. I continue to find innovative ways to grow my business and in this year I will be traveling to jobs all over the country for Kazumi B.
I thank God every day for my passion for makeup artistry, my talent, and the opportunity to share it with my clients. As I gear up to celebrate my two year anniversary as a proud Black and women-owned business I am excited about what the future holds.
Kazumi Brown is a celebrity makeup artist and owner of Kazumi B., LLC located in Miami Gardens, Florida. Follow her on Instagram, @KazumiBrowntheartist.
Are you a beauty entrepreneur who would like to share your “Rising Star” story on ESSENCE.com? Please email a brief statement about you and your company, your website link, and a professional headshot to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are selected for a feature, you will be contacted by email.