Celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson, a pioneer in the makeup industry whose brand created expansive shades for varying complexions, has died, according to a statement from his family.
“AJ Crimson was a makeup industry leader that set a standard of beauty that was elevated, beautiful, and accessible to people of all color. We as a family are heartbroken and devastated by his passing, but thankful for the lessons that he laid on each of us with his truth, directness, and leadership,” Crimson’s family wrote in a statement to USA TODAY.
“AJ was an inspiration to us as much as he was a bright light to the rest of the world. There are no words that can sum up his whole.”
After working on sets for TV and films, Crimson launched his makeup brand AJ Crimson Beauty in 2012, which was dedicated to creating an expansive palette of foundations and shades for people of varying complexions.
In an interview with Allure, he credited singer Estelle as the inspiration behind his entrepreneurship.
“I was traveling with Estelle, we didn’t have a great contour color for her,” he told the magazine in 2017 before opening his NYC storefront. “I believe Estelle inspired the movement of what AJ Crimson would be and what the brand is becoming. There are a lot of brands that I’ve used for years that I love, but everybody’s missing a shade — that deepest color.”
A week before his death, Crimson announced on Instagram he was extending his brand and showed off new vegan makeup brushes. The comments on the post were flooded with tributes and memories of the iconic artist as news of his death spread.
Many celebrities, leaders in fashion and makeup artists also mourned his genius and professionalism in the world of cosmetics.
“My dear AJ.. I’m going to miss you. The fact that I won’t be able to see your beautiful smile or feel your aura of positive energy walk into a room breaks my heart,” singer and actress Christina Milian wrote on Instagram on Thursday. “You made your own lane … You did it with love and intention. Most especially to show the true beauty of minority women everywhere.”
Actress Lauren London wrote a tribute on Instagram to Crimson, calling him her friend:
“You made me feel safe. You made me comfortable. You made me feel beautiful
You were Kind. Gentle Smart Strong Intentional. 17 years of friendship. This hurts
But Death has taught me that the Spirit lives on,” she wrote.
There will never be another’:Lauren London honors Nipsey Hussle on 1-year anniversary of death
Singer Keyshia Cole wrote on Instagram that they had recently spoke and he would be missed:
“I missed u so much and couldn’t wait to touch down in ATL and have you come through and do my makeup. Love u past life! FORVER Rest In Peace AJ I can’t believe this.”