Maybelline has nabbed Gigi Hadid’s go-to makeup artist for its top artistry spot.
The L’Oréal-owned brand has signed Erin Parsons as global makeup artist, WWD has exclusively learned. In her new role, Parsons, who is also Hadid’s personal artist, will oversee the makeup looks for Maybelline in all campaign and marketing materials, as well as New York Fashion Week.
Parsons, a former assistant to Pat McGrath, got started in beauty as a counter girl in her native Ohio, where she said growing up she’d hang Maybelline advertisements on her walls. At the time, she didn’t know makeup artistry was a career option.
“I grew up in a poor, strict household, but I was obsessed with makeup and how it made me feel — I loved seeing Christy Turlington with her perfect brows and lipstick, and I wanted all of that,” said Parsons in an interview before Maybelline’s announcement. “I literally got caught stealing Great Lash mascara when I was a kid — and I’ve already told the president of Maybelline this — and now I’m the global makeup artist.”
Parsons is known for creating edgy makeup looks — at the LRS show this past New York Fashion Week, for instance, she painted silver on the lower lashes of some models and what she called a “red velvet” eye on others. “I don’t want to see the standard look all the time that I think we’re getting used to seeing in some areas — the Instagram makeup look and the [no-makeup makeup] look that happens quite often in high fashion.”
At Maybelline, she is looking to infuse some of her signature edge into the brand. “I have some ideas,” said Parsons. “I really want to take Maybelline to a whole other place — they’re killing it with the products, but I want to give [the artistry] that extra ‘oomph.’”
Down the line, Parsons could see her role turning to product development. “That’s the next step,” she said. “It’s always been a little dream of mine to make certain products that don’t exist yet.”
Despite her flair for drama, Parsons plans to keep the edginess in check for Maybelline.
“I would like to do some really out-there looks, but I have to do it in baby steps. I don’t want anyone to find it too aspirational that it gets to the point where they think they can’t do it,” said Parsons. “I would really like to push people’s ideas of what they can do for fun, because makeup is fun. You don’t have to wear it to work, you can just try it and wipe it off — it’s that simple.”