Her portfolio reads like a Grammy Awards nomination sheet from the 90’s; Earth Wind & Fire, Tupac, N’sync, and Chaka Khan are only a few of the many celebrity clients that Kim Douglas Lu has perfected with her magic brushes and precise pigments. “It’s always best to have a true artist doing makeup,” she says, “do it right the first time, save money later.”
In a modern make-up world where Instagram-celebrities turned overnight make-up mavens take the cake in terms of major deals in the beauty market, Kim gave us an awakening with her description of the cosmetic marketplace. “When it was film, respect was shown to make-up artists who were precise – you had to be on your game, you had to be able to draw a straight line above any curve – everything had to be perfect for film,” but as the world moved into a tech-based space filled with color correction and filters, marketing of the individual make-up artist became the new calling card of seeming success. “These days you need to be a star LIKE the star, sometimes an even bigger star than the star to be noticed for your talent.”
For Kim Douglas Lu, though, success was built through dedication, hard-work, and knowledge of the many specific differences of print, HD, theater, and stage make-up which was recognized by the high-profile talent she worked on. After attending fashion school and then cosmetology school, Kim started her career with a deep understanding of the intricacies that build a full style, the mathematics of clean lines, and the development of harmony built on color perfection. Her industry debut began alongside Re Ann Silva, creator of the extremely popular Beautyblender, working on Los Angeles music video sets and eventually for powerhouses like Lionel Martin and his production studio Classic Concept.
Lionel Martin, a game-changer in the world of hip-hop, has produced videos for the likes of Stevie Wonder, R Kelley, Bell Biv Devoe, Jay-Z, Boyz II Men, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious BIG, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Keith Sweat. He singlehandedly launched the tristate Video-Box channel which played popular hip-hop videos in the 1980’s when no other hip-hop programming was in syndication in the United States. On a day when Martin was producing a video for the Temptations, Kim Douglas Lu was asked on a last minute call to cover for a no-show artist, and proved in one sitting that her perfected talent was just what Classic Concept was looking for. Before long, Kim was the most sought after makeup artist for Death Row Records and After Math.
Fast forward to 2019 – Kim Douglas Lu is a mother of two incredible sons, Asher (22) and Toshi (24,) who she loves spending time with – cooking, celebrating the alchemy of a cocktail, and harvesting fresh herbs and flowers from her garden. Of course, Kim’s rolodex and time is still filled with the glitz and glam of celebrity clientele, although she has yet to succumb to the fury of the time-senseless spin into the Instagram obsessed world. Kim currently works with Bentley Evans, former Martin Show and Jaime Fox Show producer, as the makeup guru for his current televised hits: In the Cut, Family Time, and Grown Folks.
With such a fluid and experienced history in the cosmetics world, it is only appropriate that her next step involves the further perfection of her craft combined with a dignified addition to the world of make-up. “Precision is best,” Kim reminds me as she begins to discuss her latest invention. “KEPT is a patent-pending magnetized eyelash toolbox that can serve as an on-set toolkit, or a mess-free overnight travel box for all women who wear lashes and/or makeup.” On set, Kim Douglas Lu would notice a lot of women trying to save their ultra high-end mink lashes, tools, and other makeup in bags that would destroy it all. KEPT is the revolution that will save your lashes, tools, and handbag while maintaining that precision-perfect look and appeal. KEPT kits will soon available for purchase on-line at keptcosmetics.com.
Kim Douglas Lu is a breath of fresh air in an industry where lines have become far too blurry to understand what certain make-up artists consider is their actual profession. She takes make-up very seriously, artistry second to-none, and the perfection of lighting, pigment, and structure as the ultimate calling-card of a true make-up artist. Kim Lu is an entrepreneur, an inspiration, and a fantastic mother. Alongside her partner, Camillo Longo, we are sure to be hearing of KEPT Cosmetics as the next big thing of 2019 in the world of make-up accessories, and if you happen to ever find yourself lucky enough to sit in her chair, you are in for a life-changing experience into the discovery of your best look. For those looking to reach out, find her at [email protected].