Ashunta Sheriff mastered at the ripe age of nine what most women in their thirties aspire to accomplish - how to successfully apply false eyelashes. Her mother, a 70’s disco diva with an obsession for makeup, served as the early inspiration for what would bring her to a successful career in the beauty industry. Raised in New York, Ashunta cultivated a love for the fine arts and expressed her creativity through painting, singing and dancing. After receiving a college degree in Cultural Anthropology, Ashunta found herself pursuing her passion for makeup.
Ashunta landed a job at MAC and quickly moved from the cosmetics counter to the catwalk when she began working backstage for several fashion shows in 1999. Next, Ashunta entrenched herself in her career as a makeup maven for Laura Mercier at Henri Bendel. Through constant referrals, Ashunta became a regular fixture at fashion shows in New York, Paris and London, working backstage where she assisted world renowned makeup artists, Laura Mercier, Vincent Longo, and Charlie Green. She then worked on an exclusive cosmetics team under her idol, Pat McGrath, to execute the intensely complicated looks created by Ms. McGrath for the fashion houses of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton. In December 2006, Ashunta signed on as a national makeup artist for Dior Beauty which she describes as “an inevitable partnership.” Her latest achievement is the creation of NR, No Rules Beauty, an impressive makeup line launching in 2008.
Ashunta caters to a devoted A-list clientele, including Ciara, India.Arie, Rosario Dawson, Usher, and P. Diddy. Most notably, she has worked with Alicia Keys for more than four years, helping to establish her elegant and earthy, yet sophisticated and soulful style and transform her into a red-carpet favorite. Inspired by photography, fashion, art, history and culture - particularly tribalism - Ashunta strives to establish a signature look for her clients while staying on the cusp of beauty and fashion trends.
Throughout her career, she’s worked with top photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts, Marc Baptiste and Annie Leibowitz, has served as the celebrity special request makeup artist for the films Smokin’ Aces and The Nanny Diaries, and has worked on several advertising campaigns including Nike, L’Oreal, Sean John, Roberto Coin and Proactiv.
Ashunta believes in naturally enhancing a woman’s features, bringing out one’s innate beauty. Her holistic approach to makeup combined with her degree in Cultural Anthropology and admiration for the fine arts has helped shape Ashunta’s iconic style and catapult her name as an industry leader.