How Danessa Myricks “Accidentally” Became a Makeup Artist, Photographer, and Brand Owner

Allure: It’s interesting you thought you had arrived because looking back it must feel like you “arrived” at just one step on what would be a huge journey.

Myricks: It’s so surreal, I can’t even process it sometimes. If people only knew all of the things.

Allure: How would you describe your makeup aesthetic?

Myricks: It’s changed so much over the years. I think it’s like this for everyone: When you start in an industry, you try to figure out who people think are the best. Then you just aspire to be that person. Back when I started, it was all about Sam Fine and Kevyn Aucoin, and so I was like, “I need to do makeup like that.” 

Clearly, I didn’t in the beginning, but that was my aspiration. And so I did makeup a lot heavier. Back then, it was about making it look flawless with the makeup, and there was no retouching really that was happening back then. So it was like, “I need to look flawless out the gate.”

One of the things that really stood out to me about their work was that you felt something when you looked at their finished work. It moved you emotionally. That was my aspiration. I didn’t want to just put makeup on people. I wanted people to feel the work. Because that’s what makes it different, and that’s always been what has driven me in my artistry and in the development of my style over the years. If they’re not feeling it, it’s not good enough.

As I grew in the industry and as I was exposed to more, my style and my aesthetic have kind of evolved over time. And now I’m really about full-on freedom. There’s no right or wrong. I want people to do what they feel like doing, but make it feel effortless, make it really represent who they are.

Allure: When did you realize that you needed to start your brand?

Myricks: I did development for lots of other brands. I think one of the ones that I’m most proud of is with Benefit Cosmetics as a director of product innovation. I developed their [Editor note: iconic] brow collection, which launched in 2016. And after that, I was like, “This is great. This is a really wonderful experience.” But in my experience, not just with them, but with all of the brands that I consulted for, there always seemed to be a limit as to what I could create. I was always creating for somebody else’s vision. 

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