Khon Artist puts the finishing touches on Mahogany, a 20-year-old regular at the Ruth Ellis Drop-in Center. BTL photo: Jason Michael
DETROIT – The goal was to teach anyone who wanted to learn how to get a flawless face. Fashion and makeup expert Khon Artist came to the Ruth Ellis Drop-in Center in Detroit on March 23 and showed out – literally.
For his demonstration to the 20 or so young adults in attendance, Khon gave tips to help anyone touch their faces up. But his focus was on helping transform boys’ faces into masks of sheer femininity. To this end, 20-year-old Chris sat patiently as Khon transformed him into Mahogany, pausing periodically to share juicy tidbits and tips with the rest of the audience.
“Just learn the tricks so you don’t have to call me,” Khon told the crowd.
And he meant it. Khon donated a fully equipped makeup station full of MAC Cosmetics products to the center. Then Khon told the crowd what to do with it as attendees munched on the gourmet pizza he brought along.
Begin by evening out your skin tone with foundation, he advised. Then focus on one area of your face and concentrate on bringing out your natural features. Khon also cautioned that it’s important to take into consideration the time of day.
“There are day looks and night looks,” he said. “You don’t want to be walking around in the afternoon like you’re going out at 2 a.m.”
Khon confessed that he did drag for a time, and brought along a photo of his fully made up face to prove it. Ultimately, though, he gave it up.
“I found out through experimenting that it wasn’t for me,” he said. “I was searching for a place to get comfortable in my skin and it took a second. It took me going through my 20s playing with dresses and skirts to figure out that it wasn’t even for me.”
At 29, Khon has built quite the career for himself. He began working for MAC at age 20. He’s done photo shoots for Versace, worked for rapper Jay Z’s Rocawear fashion line and made up such celebrities as Patti LaBelle and Faith Evans. Today, he works for Laura Mercier at Neiman Marcus and is preparing to star in the new show from Style TV, “From Thrift to Salvation.” Khon told the crowd that anyone can have a successful career as a makeup artist if they work hard enough.
“If I can do it, you guys can do it,” he said. “The main thing is you really have to believe in your talent.”