Some of you living in Europe may have heard of Scott Barnes, but everybody in the United States is familiar with this name. Not your typical ‘fashion’ make up artist, but an artist that has created a continuous beauty trend. He is in fact responsible for a movement in make up. ‘Glowful’ skin and ‘Luminosity’ probably would not have existed if not for Barnes. His work has been published globally, and if you have ever wondered who has done the make up on nearly all the music videos from the early noughties, Scott has been the man behind the scenes since the early 90’s.

Self taught and not even from a make up background, Scott started his career as a Fine Artist and unbelievably perceived make up artists to be a tad ‘too feminine’ for him. Little did he know that he was going to end up as one of the world’s most renowned make up legends! When Fashion Photographer Steven Meisel came across Scott’s work and asked him to shoot the cover of Italian Vogue, from that moment on Scott was above the clouds and has stayed there ever since.

I managed to grab a few seconds with Scott whilst he was on set in New York; for the movement and unforgettable stamp Scott has made with his ‘glow’ trend in the industry, Volt Café salutes him.

Volt Café: You famously don’t come from a beauty background; just how did you actually manage to reach this far in your career in such a short space of time?

Scott Barnes: I came from a Fine Art background and got into the industry by working on fashion shoots and actually helping photographers light models’ faces on set, they knew I painted so I was usually asked to jump in and do make up, in fact I was put on the spot most of the times.  Sometimes you have to be put in that position and talent you never knew you had sort of come out of its shell. I worked with the right people but at the same time I did work my butt off to reach this stage in my life.

VC: What do you really do that’s different to other make up artists?

SB: I make women look expensive, that’s what I do. I make women find refined, elegant, rich and exquisite.  When I make up women, I dwell on their strongest features and expose those, I turn on that inner light and energy and make them look like a better version of them selves. Make up doesn’t have to be colourful or loud, it really needs to fit in every individual’s identity and personality. It’s not always about expressing yourself with bold colours; I find earthy tones extremely flattering on the face.

VC: If there is one beauty product every woman must have what would it be?

SB: Hmmm, well, Body Bling from my own line, firstly because it’s my own and I am being honest with you. Secondly it’s the only product I have come across that instantly lifts radiance and colour on the body. I meet women all over the world and the feedback they give me about this product is that it increased their sex life! The right beauty product can enhance confidence to a degree of even increasing a woman’s sex life…

Illustrations by Joseph Turvey

Words by Maryam Asadi


Scott Barnes, Steven Meisel,