Queer Latine Makeup Artist, Sarah Hart, Gives Their Take on Emerging Beauty Trends

Get to know queer makeup artist Sarah Hart and their take on current beauty trends.

sarah hart
Photo Artwork: Joy Adaeze

Born and raised in Washington Heights, Queer LatinX Makeup Artist Sarah Hart fell in love with the craft after being forced to wear ugly theater makeup in a childhood play. Determined to make the “old grandma” character she was cast more her style, especially as a plus-size person, Sarah took it upon themself to recreate the look altogether. 

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Against approval from the director, they quickly became a makeshift makeup artist for their fellow peers who wanted the same makeup Sarah applied to herself rather than the poorly done, ill-suited stage makeup cast members were forced to wear. 

After Sarah’s theater days were behind them, they took up modeling and began using their face as a canvas for shoots. One thing led to the next, and they started working with other models behind the scenes as a makeup artist for both agencies and brands. 

At first glance, I’m drawn to describe Sarah’s work as mystical and cutting edge; Sarah, on the other hand, describes their style as drag adjacent, sculptural, and playing on the classics.

Curious about her inspirations, I sat down with them to get their take on everything from emerging beauty trends and predictions she sees popping up in the near future to how their sexuality and culture impact their work.

Who do you draw creativity from? Do you have any inspirations? 

Lady Gaga. Although classic and cliché, she really is “that girl.” Looking back on it, she was doing the bleached brow in 2012. I remember at the time, a lot of people criticized her, but she was very ahead of her time. 

A lot of Latinas, too! When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Shakira, JLo, and Selena. My Hispanic mom always had her makeup done, and looking at old photos, she was sporting brown liner for decades. Similarly, all my aunts in my family always had their makeup, hair, outfit, and perfume done at all times, which gave me a lot of inspiration as I grew older. 

How does your culture play into your practice of makeup?  

I’m Costa Rican and Dominican, and a lot of Dominican men are metrosexual, as it’s ingrained in the culture to always look good. You don’t leave your house without looking incredible. I saw that from an early age. 

Traditionally, there is something spiritual about the process of getting ready. I think about the Indigenous people on my mother’s side as there are getting ready processes for whatever they are doing. I wonder if some of that is engrained in my DNA. 

How does your queerness play into your practice of makeup?  

I identify as a lesbian, and going into lesbian spaces, I am often the most done-up person, as I feel like it’s very much a thing for lesbians not to dress up. I find femmes or sapphic queerness is in the casualty of it all. I often feel a little out of place being so done up. 

Before coming into my queerness, I was raised by queer men going out to gay male spaces, which is very different from sapphic spaces. It’s all parties, doing up and drag, which is how I started in the community and brought that into lesbian spaces. I think I play into hyper-femininity and being ironic with it; “This is what society wants,” so I’m going to do it to an insane level. 

What are your favorite 2023 summer trends you’re seeing right now?  
Nail art being taken to an extreme; seashell prints, pearls, piercings. As opposed to 2015/2016, I’ve noticed that people are into very light makeup, looking like you just came out of the beach, using only a little concealer, and being very skin focused. On TikTok, fewer people wear as much makeup as we used to. 

What mainstream trends we’ve been seeing started in the queer community?
Queer haircuts have taken over: the mullet, shaved heads. I’ve seen younger girls using many bright colors and not toning it down. That loudness and non-conformity definitely come from the queer community. We can’t forget about the pencil thin brow either, which originated from drag queens, and now everyone is into them. 

What trends will never go out of style? 
Good skin. Taking care of yourself will never go out of style. 

What are some styles you predict will become trends in the near future? 
 This might be a stretch, but adding shapes and silhouettes to your body and face. In other words, prosthetics are going to become more widely used. Obviously, Gaga and Drag Queens are the pioneers of this as well as people in the piercing community who do implants. I think we’ll see these pop up more casually, like adding shaping to your brow or cheekbones. 

What are some of your favorite queer-owned makeup brands? 
Hard question, but I’d go with Kimchi Chic as my overall favorite. Her powders are incredible, and I use her eyeshadows all the time as it’s very affordable. 

What’s next for Sarah Hart? 
I definitely want to see plus-size people in high fashion spaces, especially in beauty. We have fought so hard to be seen in fashion spaces, but beauty is such a natural progression – you don’t have to change anything to include fat people in campaigns. Everyone wears makeup. 
Fashion is inherently queer, so we’ve dominated that anyway. 

Being fat is somewhat queer because you’re living outside society’s expectations, which is very much a part of my queerness, and I’d love to see more appreciation for that.