Koh Gen Do’s Collaboration with Celebrity Makeup Artist,
Derrick Rutledge

August 2018, Oprah Winfrey’s makeup artist, Derrick Rutledge, came to Japan for a collaboration with Koh Gen Do.
The theme was “Japan Beauty”. This amazing photo shoot captured the fusion of traditional Japanese beauty, high fashion and Derrick’s refined yet bold makeup look.

Derrick Rutledge

An American celebrity stylist and makeup artist, singer and entrepreneur. He is known for working with Oprah Winfrey and previously with First Lady Michelle Obama. Rutledge was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and began working as a makeup artist in 1984. He has worked with Kenya Moore, Beyonce and Patti Labelle and many other celebrities. His work has been on the cover of many magazines and he continues to inspire others.

Derrick Rutledge Special Interview

– How was this shoot in Japan?
This photo shoot was beyond my expectations! I had always wanted to do a photo shoot in Japan so I researched about the Japanese culture and fashion. While thinking about my image for the photo shoot, I thought about putting the traditional Japanese culture with an edgy makeup look. It was my first time shooting with kimono so it was a very exciting experience for me.

4 Shades of Moisture Foundation was used to highlight and add dimension, the Contrast Powder*, Face Powder and Gloss Film Foundation was used as finishing touches. The Lip Crayon* in Coral Pink was used to shape and color the lips. Model: Chiyuki Arita *These products were limited edition

– Is there anything special or any concepts you always keep in mind doing makeup?
Everyone looks different, everyone has different skin and face shape, so when I look at someone’s face, I try to customize the makeup according to their best features, as well as their skin texture. Working with younger skin is much easier as opposed to much older skin, but skin is skin. So you just have to adjust makeup according to the person’s age.
For Chiyuki, she had beautiful skin so I used the Moisture Foundation and Face Powder for a slightly matte look, but I wanted to make sure that the eyes really stood out. For Hesui, she was very youthful, very young skin so that’s why the Aqua Foundation worked perfectly, because it is a light foundation that show the luminosity of the skin.

– How did you first meet Koh Gen Do?
I first met Koh Gen Do about 3 years ago doing Oprah’s makeup on one of her shows called “Greenleaf”. During that time I was looking for a foundation which would last 10 to 12 hours shooting. I found the red tube on another makeup artists’ table and asked if there was one in Oprah’s shade and I received a half used tube to try. I liked the coverage that it gave and the fact that 6 hours later, when I had to do her touch up all I had to do was add a little bit of foundation on a wet sponge and pat on top. And it didn’t crack and it’s buildable, that’s what I like about it. You can add layers and layers and it doesn’t crack. That’s what Oprah likes about it too.
After that, I reached out to Koh Gen Do myself. I gave Oprah products and I kept some. And then, she started using them on a regular basis and she wanted more so she can keep them in her different houses and purses.

– Could you tell us about an episode where you were deeply impressed or touched by words from Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama or any of the women leaders you’ve worked with?
I learn a lot from Oprah’s shows and how she interviews people. I watch her intentions and watch her carefully to see how she talks to people, how she interacts with people and how she carries herself. Most people don’t know what they want to say or how to say, so she listens carefully and she knows how to ask questions that they want to answer. From listening to her and watching her, I try to do the same. As far as their beauty, they have trusted to leave that in my hands.

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