FASHION, MISSISSIPPI, TRENDS
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Because he’s worth it: L’Oreal Paris inks deal with Miss. native Billy B.

lorealA Mississippi native turned celebrity makeup artist has just signed a deal with L’Oreal Paris to become one the company’s makeup experts.

Billy Brasfield, also known as Billy B., will deal with product development, consumer education and trendsetting makeup looks for the company’s spokespeople.

“I love my job,” he said in a news release. “I feel lucky to have discovered my talent and consider it a privilege to share what I’ve learned. Working with women to help them look their best and feel more confident is the most rewarding part of what I do.”

Brasfield, a native of Aberdeen, has spent his career decorating the faces of iconic celebrities like Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and currently, Britney Spears.

His work has appeared at every notable high-profile event, including the Academy Awards, Emmys, Grammys and Cannes International Film Festival. It has also been featured in leading magazines and music videos.

The self-taught artist lectures and teaches both up-and-coming and established artists. He has been called one of the most influential makeup artists in the world today.

“Billy B. is an extraordinarily gifted artist, known for some of the most iconic makeup looks of our time,” said said Karen T. Fondu, president of L’Oreal Paris USA, in a news release. “He was a natural complement to our brand because he is a trendsetter in the industry and inspires confidence in others.”

Brasfield began reinventing himself from Mississippi country boy to fashion guru at Northeast Mississippi Junior College. He enrolled in fashion merchandising but quit college after accepting a job creating department store displays in Memphis.

In 1984, he moved to New York with a friend. Using his Southern charm, he eventually landed a job as a makeup artist at Macy’s, a position he held several years before coincidentally meeting an associate editor of Vogue magazine. The editor told him he should become a freelance makeup artist and introduced him to an executive at the Elite modeling agency.

He later made other industry contacts, and offers began rolling in. A big one would come in the early ’90s when Brasfield was asked to do makeup for an up-and-coming singer named Mariah Carey.

“She was new and green, and we just hit it off like crazy,” he said in an earlier interview. “She was incredibly loyal to me, and from that day on, I did everything for her, from the Dream Lover video to her wedding to (music executive) Tommy Mattola.”

That led to work with stars like Christina Aguilera, Eve, Alanis Morissette, Ashanti, Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Wynonna Judd, The Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Kim Kardashian, Sharon Stone and Alicia Keys. He did Snooki’s Rolling Stone cover, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Video and Britney Spears’ latest video as well.

When he isn’t traveling the world, Brasfield resides in West Hollywood and Aberdeen, a town that was documented in Brasfield’s 2011 Home & Garden Television Show “Hometown Renovation.”

The docudrama followed Brasfield as he juggled his Los Angeles/New York makeup artist career and his other passion — saving Aberdeen’s neglected historic homes one at a time. Located between Columbus and Tupelo on U.S. 45, the small town once stood proud with grand homes and buildings.

“It became my mission to seek out historic Aberdeen houses that weren’t going to make it,” Brasfield said in an earlier interview when he had purchased about 20 houses there and renovated about half. “My main focus of this is not just to help Aberdeen, but to bring awareness to small towns dying all over America.”

Out of all the homes he bought, the most expensive, was only $30,000. He kept Steamboat, as it’s called, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I am honored to be joining L’Oreal Paris, as we share the same passion for beauty,” he said, “and I am thrilled to work with them to create and provide all women with the most inspired and advanced products and knowledge possible — because you’re worth it.”

Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

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