Otherwise known as Neon MUA, Darius Mckiver (he/him/his) is a makeup artists and content creator who works to spread awareness about the ways beauty is represented for black creators, especially within the queer community. We spoke to Darius about his career journey as well as asking for some hidden hacks and his favourite and least favourite beauty trends. 

How long have you been in the industry?  

I’ve been wearing makeup since roughly 2015, but I started as a content creator in 2017. 

What is your favourite current beauty trend? 

I don’t know if I have a current trend (especially since trends come and go so quickly now thanks to platforms like TikTok), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the eyebrow art Doja Cat has been doing catches on. If so, don’t be surprised if you see me try it out! 

 

What is your least favourite current/past beauty trend? 

Honestly, any trend that involves putting on pounds of makeup for the sake of a hack is annoying (caking on foundation, concealer, or contour). I get that people do it for views, but those of us who work as actual artists cringe when we see stuff like that. And it’s really frustrating when people rack up on engagement for it and overlook actual and practical techniques. 

 

Top tip or secret hack? 

Powder before foundation! As someone with oily skin I’ve been doing it for years and it hasn’t failed me yet. There are different ways to do it, but my preferred method is to apply primer, take a light amount of loose setting powder (preferably flesh-toned) on a damp beauty sponge, dab the excess off on the back of your hand, and set your primer in the areas where your makeup breaks down the most or where you need a bit more blurring coverage. While this may be a bit drying for those with drier skin, it’s great for those who have normal to oily skin and are looking for a way to keep their makeup intact a little longer. 


Dream collab? 

I have a few in mind. In terms of artistry, I would love to collab with NYX Cosmetics since they have such high-quality products at an affordable price point. And while I doubt a full-on collab with someone like Fenty Beauty or NARS is possible, being the face of one of their campaigns would be a dream since I hold their complexion-based products in such high regard. 

 

Do you have a style inspiration?  

It’s weird because with my work, I’ve been inspired by things like nature, architecture, graphic design, and even pop culture. But as far as artistry, Danessa Myricks and Pat McGrath have been big influences for me. Seeing black women become the standard for makeup artistry has been so impactful on my life, and their work for editorials and runways are really top tier. I strive to have a drop of their talent. 

What makes Black History Month important to you? 

Black History Month for me has always been a celebration of our culture and legacy 365 days a year that we chose to share with the world. Our history is so vast, and this is the time to show people how important that history is to not only us but the world as a whole. And while we are sharing that history, it’s important to share and celebrate the history of ALL black people of ALL walks of life. 

 

To keep up to date with content from Neon MUA, head to his Instagram @neonmua or to get your hands on the Lunar Retrograde Eyeshadow Pallette collab with Drench Cosmetics, visit drenchcosmetics.com

 

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