NEW YORK – Mascara is running today in the fashion and entertainment worlds.
Tears are being shed over beloved celebrity makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, who died yesterday at the age of 40.
Over his two-decade career, Aucoin made a name for himself by making up famous faces that included Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Barbra Streisand and Audrey Hepburn.
He was also an outspoken advocate of organizations condemning the harassment of homosexuals.
Sources say Aucoin was found unconscious at his home upstate on Friday. He was taken to Westchester Medical Center, where he was on life support until yesterday afternoon.
Marcy Engelman, his friend and spokeswoman, said he died from complications stemming from a metabolic disorder caused by a pituitary brain tumor.
A native of Louisiana, Aucoin moved to New York in 1983. He scored his first shoot for Vogue magazine less than a year later.
Since then, Aucoin's work has appeared on more fashion magazine covers — Bazaar, Vanity Fair and In Style among them — than any other pro in his field.
His celebrity clientele reads like a who's who of modern Hollywood beauties: Isabella Rossellini, Julianne Moore, Hilary Swank, Catherine Deneuve, Winona Ryder and practically every big model in the business.
Not only did he make them look gorgeous, but Aucoin's clients say he was a great friend as well.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell was heartbroken yesterday over her friend's sudden death.
"I've known Kevyn since I was 16," she said. "We worked together on my Time magazine cover, which was a really seminal moment for me."
Aucoin was born on Valentine's Day, something no one close to him thinks is a small coincidence.
"He had a huge heart," remembered rocker Sheryl Crow, who Aucoin wrote about in his third and final book, a best-selling tome called Face Forward.
"His warmth and kindness and talent will be greatly missed."
Aucoin's passion will stay with Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure magazine, which until recently ran a monthly column by Aucoin. "He was so impassioned about everything he did," said Wells.
"He wanted to make every woman look their very best, which endeared him to everyone he worked with."