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Inside the Industry with..Ketta Vaughn

"A Line Designed With You in Mind" 

PinMeUpAshley: Where did your interest/career in cosmetics begin? 

Ketta: I have loved makeup and doing makeup since I was a teenager. As soon as I was able to get my first job, I knew I wanted it to be in a mall at a makeup counter, but my parents wouldn't let me because they didn't see a future for me in that field. They kept suggesting jobs that would enhance adminstrative and office experience. So, when I turned 18 and could make my own decisions, I started applying at MAC. MAC would not hire me because I had minimal experience, but I persisted for another 3 years and finally got the job with them when I was 21. I actually got the job because someone had quit and they needed to fill the position quickly, so they took a chance with me considering my resume hadn't changed much since I had first applied.

PinMeUpAshley: Some may call it luck, but I think you and me both can agree persistence is the key! What made you decide to launch your own line of cosmetics and when did it become official?

Ketta: Working for MAC for over 10 years, I noticed the many repeat client visits, the respect of my professional opinion from peers, alongside great admiration of my makeup technique and style, and I realized I could do it. I realized I could develop a beauty brand for global cosmetic lovers that reflected what my clients and colleagues admired about my makeup artistry. 

I also welcomed and wanted to tackle the challenge of there not being an African-American owned cosmetic brand that wasn't just looked at as a brand for African-Americans. Every African-American owned cosmetic brand on the market is looked at in this light. My clientelle is very diverse consisting of European, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, West-Indian, Caucasian, and African American women and men. I want Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics to reflect that diversity.
I have been developing a cosmetic brand since 2005, but Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics wasn't official unitl March 2011. 

PinMeUpAshley: Wow, you're a true example of what hard work, dedication, and patience can get you. Love your vision of diversity as well! There's Ketta Vaughn the makeup artist, and then there's Ketta Vaughn the cosmetic line. Are you a "one woman show"?

Ketta: You say "one woman show", I say "one woman army!" (laughs) Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics is a reflection of Ketta Vaughn the makeup artist. 

PinMeUpAshley: Nice!! What aspects of Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics do you have full control over? 

Ketta: Right now, I have full control over the brand. It is 100% my vision. Of course, I have go to people for opinions and advice, but I am truly a "one woman army" right now. From everything creative to administrative, it's all me.

PinMeUpAshley: That's what's up! What does the business part of Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics entail? Is it boutique style/appointment only, or are there bookings for events as well?

Ketta: The business part of Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics includes all the day to day operations of running and continuously branding the business. That includes fulfilling orders, marketing, updating the website and social media sites, sending and answering emails, testing new products, introducing new collections, brainstorming about future collections and looks, networking, phone calls, you name it....and it's probably on the list! (laughs) Currently, Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics is exclusively offered on

To book Ketta Vaughn for events, photoshoots, makeup applications, and lessons please visit and submit your information and booking inquiries on the contact us page.

PinMeUpAshley: You're a busy woman! Before Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics, you made your footprint in the music industry. Care to share with us?

Ketta: I did make an itty bitty small footprint in the music industry [and] I am now going to make a gigantic bigfoot imprint! I made some noise, had a buzz and caught the attention of a few big names in the game like LL Cool J, Ruff Ryders, Lenny Santiago (Def Jam A&R), and Trackmasters (producers), all of whom I either worked with or signed production deals with. I no longer question what happened with those situations. It just wasn't my time. I had to be in this position and in this mindstate to do what I was meant to do with my music, to reach and influence all the people that I will influence. I had to learn, grow, and retrain my mind before God allowed me to advance with my music career. 

Although I'm still learning and will never stop, I am in a place where I can share experiences that will help others learn and grow. Sure, my music will always be a form of self-expression, but I just can't see it being done without having the ability to reach others and help them through whatever they may be going through as well. I want my children to be able to listen to my music. I don't want to ever have to say to them "No baby, this is for adults you can't listen to this". To me that's the problem with a lot of the music today. Many artists wouldn't even let their own kids listen to their music and in my opinion that is so wack. What's the point if you can't give back through it at some point? If no one can relate, learn, and grow from music. That's the place I had to come to in order to be able to give what I need to give through my music.

 PinMeUpAshley: Very, VERY insightful Ketta, you're setting out to change the game with that one. With the new female rap sensation Nicki Minaj "opening the doors" back up for female rappers per se, do you see yourself possibly pursuing your passion for music in the near future?

Ketta: I think it's great for Nicki and I wish her continued success. However, I still find it to be a very male dominated industry that seems to only allow 1, maybe 2 female artists to be on top at a time. I know there are so many more talented females in the world than just 1-2. 
I am not pursing the industry but I am making music that I plan on sharing with the world one day.

PinMeUpAshley: This is very true...and that's awesome! Back to cosmetics, what do you feel sets you apart from the rest as a makeup artist?

Ketta: This is where the greatness in individualism rests. What sets me apart from the rest is me! I don't say that in a vain spirit, I say that resting in the beauty of individualism. No two people on this earth are the same. My gifts and talents are unique to me, just as yours are to you. No matter how hard another individual may try, they could never be me and vice versa. No one's hand stroke will ever match mine, no one's vision will ever match mine. People may have similar talents and may be capable of doing the same thing, but the way they get to their outcome, their result, will never be the exact same process. 

...Makeup is makeup, anyone can develop a brand. But what is offered through Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics is my vision and interpretation of beauty, which is something you won't be able to find in another brand.

PinMeUpAshley: Very well put! What do you love most about what you do?

Ketta: The thing I love most about what I do is that "I love doing what I do". 

PinMeUpAshley: The key to happiness. You launched your Summer 2011 Collection Aphrodisiac this past August. Can you tell us a little about what inspired it?

Ketta: The summer itself is such an aphrodisiac. I think eveyone feels their sexiest in summer, especially women. The heat, humidity, dewy skin, minimal clothing, the beach, the water, the sun all truly collaborate for an invigorating aphrodisiac.

Here is the inspiration...
With uninhibited, bright eye colors popping off your skintone into the eyes of others, you may have just changed beauty being in the eye of the beholder! Saturated and demi-matte lips rule, while the ever so glossy lip still shines as bright as the sun on a hot summer day. Luminous, dewy skin from dusk til dawn showcase just how much of a glow-getter you really are. Don't forget to let those lashes get in on the act, bat away!!!!!

PinMeUpAshley: Intriguing! August was an exciting month for you, as you also launched your online store. Will Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics be sold there exclusively? 

Unviel "Create impact with realistic beauty"
 Ketta: Yes, [August was] a very exciting time for Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics!  The online store has launched and currently, Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics is exclusively sold there.

PinMeUpAshley: Congrats! What do you have planned for your line this coming Fall?

Ketta: The 2011 Fall/Winter Collection is called 'Unveil'. The line is inspired by unveiling the true you. It includes rich jeweltones and lots of bold color.

PinMeUpAshley: Sounds very appealing! What Fall colors and trends do you feel are a MUST this season?

Ketta: This Fall rich jeweltones, deep burgundies, plums, mahoganies, rustics, and coppers rule.  Smokey eyes with deep blues, greens, and plums are great this season.

PinMeUpAshley: Love it! What does the future hold for Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics? Where do you see yourself in the next two years?

Ketta: In the next 2 years, I see Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics as a multi-million dollar cosmetics brand meeting beauty needs globally.

PinMeUpAshley: I definitely see that being a reality! What advice do you have for those interested in developing a cosmetic line of their own?

Ketta: Make sure the line is true to you and reflects you. You are unique and if the line reflects you, it will be unique. 

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