Black Glam: Celebrity makeup artist Valente Frazier on being bold and beautifying Tyra Banks

He started from the bottom now he's here.

Sometimes, great artists inspire a new legion of creatives and that’s exactly what happened for the subject of the latest installment of Black Glam. Johnny Wright sits down with celebrity makeup artist, Valente Frazier to find out how he landed his dream job as a makeup artist for stars like Lynn Whitfield and Tyra Banks.

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Valente Frazier may be one of the most sought-after celebrity makeup artists in the game, but he didn’t set out to do master makeup.

“I actually went to school for art,” he says. “I knew that I didn’t want to be in a classroom environment and I really put my emphasis on painting.”

It turns out the art student was inspired by a bonafide legend, Sam Fine.

“Sam Fine came out with his book Fine Beauty. I ended up getting my first job at a department store called Dillards. i didn’t know what I was doing but I figured it out.”

Valente Frazier found his calling behind a department store makeup counter, an unusual path for a Black man at the time.  “In the nineties in the south, seeing man behind the makeup counter was not common,” he explains.

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When Frazier got the opportunity to meet Fine at the Bonner Brothers hair show in Atlanta, he made sure to introduce himself, unknowingly walking right into his destiny.

“He sent a card to me in the mail, with a hand-written note and I was so honored that he took the time to write the note. There was no return address or phone number,” he recalls. “When I worked for MAC Cosmetics, he taught a pro class there and got his home number.” 

While some folks may have hesitated to reach out to a legend at home, Frazier took the risk and it paid off in a big way.

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“Sometimes, If you’re really hungry for something and you really want something, you have to take chance,” he says. “We stayed on the phone for two hours.”

The conversation led to Frazier landing a gig as FIne’s assistant and the rest is history. Now, he styles celebrities like Lynn Whitfield and Tyra Banks, one of themes flawlessness faces on the screen.

Check out the full interview above to find out more about Valente Frazier and his work on America’s Next Top Model.