How Karen Dupiche Became Queen of The Celebrity Makeup Game
The number seven will always maintain a significant place in the life of celebrity makeup artist Karen Dupiche. It’s the number of years it took her to go from aspiring makeup artist to one of the most sought-after celebrity makeup artists in the entertainment industry. The East Orange, New Jersey-native has gone on to win not one, but four Emmys whose weight can make the strongest mantel collapse. She’s the one who makes the hosts of the show “The View” look their utterly best. She’s done the faces of celebrities like Lionel Richie, Jenny McCarthy, Whoopi Goldberg, among others.
Dupiche is also a past winner of The BlackOut Awards, a noted award given out to fashion and beauty professionals in the entertainment industry. She was recently honored in her hometown as one of The Jewels of the Community Hall of Fame.
A beauty entrepreneur, Dupiche invented Kdkuffs, a device that is much appreciated by women everywhere. The machine-washable invention protects women’s ears from hot dryers and reveals the entrepreneurial spirit of the beauty industry maven.
With Dupiche, beauty isn’t just effecticely using a makeup color palette; it’s also about using her brand to inspire many others to pursue their dreams, even the most surreal ones.
Did your parents encourage you to wear makeup when you were little?
No. My mother always wanted me to powder my face but it was white baby powder.
Did your parents show any concern when they saw that you were heading towards a career as a makeup artist?
My dad was my ride or die. My mother thought by me becoming a makeup artist, I would fail. She thought I was making the wrong choice. She did not approve, so I had to prove to her that it was possible to be successful.
And what would you say was the biggest risk you had to take to get to where you are?
When I walked away from a job with stability; I felt in my heart it wasn’t enough and there was more to accomplish. I walked out on faith.
When you won your first-ever Emmy, were you like in a fainting mood?
Yes, I was shocked.
You’re not only about outer beauty, you’re about inner beauty. I was reading about how you’ve toured nursing homes to give makeovers to senior residents and I think that’s so lovely and kind of you. Do you think there is a correlation between outer beauty and self-esteem?
Of course. Outer beauty is covered. Makeup covers all of the imperfections. Once you have confidence, all that beauty will shine through from the inside.
And while we’re on the subject of the commendable community outreach you do, let’s talk a little about the are where you grew up…East Orange, New Jersey.
I was raised in East Orange. I am one of four siblings–two girls, two boys—hardworking Haitian parents. They just wanted the best for us and encouraged us to strive for the best. Our parents taught us to never ask for anything—to always work for whatever you wanted.
You’ve acted as a judge at some modeling competitions.
I enjoy the beauty, design, catwalk, and makeup of modeling competitions. I don’t think I am judge because I feel like God is the only judge. My favorite part in modeling competitions is when the little girls come out. They are so adorable!
You’ve created KDkuffs, an invention that protects women’s ears from dryer burns. Can you tell us more about it? Was it a burn that you received yourself that led you to create this product?
Hairstylists would nip my ears with clippers or burn my ears with curlers which led to the creation of KDkuff. It’s for men, women, and children.
If you were mentoring the Karen Dupiche version of yourself from a few years back…before the Emmys, before the huge gigs, and before you had added “inventor” to your list of accomplishments—what would you have said to her?
Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it. When people think you can’t do it. Just do it.