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How makeup artist Terri Bryant created a better beauty kit

Ergonomically designed for the less dexterous, these makeup tools have earned 2020 Innovation by Design award recognition.

How makeup artist Terri Bryant created a better beauty kit
[Illustration: Gerhard Human]
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For 25 years, makeup artist Terri Bryant dexterously applied eyeliner and mascara on models and celebrities, and taught others how to do the same as a beauty educator for brands such as Dior and Smashbox. But five years ago, while on a shoot, Bryant noticed her fingers quivering. Her doctor diagnosed her with Parkinson’s, a degenerative disease that affects motor skills. The illness might have torpedoed her career, but Bryant found opportunity instead. She began to understand some of the frustrations her less dexterous friends had been expressing over the years as they struggled to master the makeup techniques that had always come so easily to her. This realization spurred her to launch Guide Beauty, a startup that’s redesigning beauty products to make them easier to use. She partnered with industrial designers at Essential Design to create an eyeliner that comes with an ergonomic wand, along with a mascara tube that slides onto the finger like a ring, allowing for more control. The products have been available since February on the company’s website. “In the end, my illness has been a gift,” says Bryant. “My goal is to democratize makeup, by making even the trickiest look accessible to everyone.”

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See more honorees from the 2020 Innovation by Design Awards here.

About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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