While some of her music can be described as "sugar trap," a style that involves rapping over sweetly melodic bubble gum beats, and some falls under the emo rap umbrella, Rico Nasty herself defies classification. During her performances and in her music videos, it's clear that the 22-year-old is in full control of both her sound and her aesthetic. She's also become something of a Gen-Z beauty icon on Instagram, thanks, in part, to makeup artist Scott Osbourne Jr., also known as @thescottedit. From dotting on freckles to going over-the-top with neon eyeliner, Osbourne uses the entire face as a canvas to create high-drama looks that have never been seen before. Here, he breaks down the evolution of Nasty's dynamic looks, makes the case for more men of color getting the spotlight in the beauty industry, and predicts which trends will evolve after Hot Girl Summer comes to an end.
Describe your makeup philosophy in three words.
Original, atypical, and whimsical!
What inspired you to become a makeup artist?
Makeup has no right or wrong, you literally can create or become whoever you want by just playing with shades, tones, and colors. Also, the process of a transformation and the art of being able to bring out someone's true beauty through a brush.
How did you and Rico Nasty start working together?
Me and Rico started working together on January 14th, 2018. I got tagged on an Instagram post because her old hair stylist was looking for somebody to do her makeup and all my followers tagged me. So I did her makeup and we’ve been creating looks ever since!
When we first started we kept it safe, with soft glam, some color, some fun. Now we don’t even hesitate to try anything out of the normal. The underlying idea is always, How can we make this look more creative? What wowing factor we can add to really get this look popping?
Would you say it’s a collaborative process?
We’ll both be looking at inspiration all day, sending it to each other, and when we come together she shows me the different pieces of stuff she likes, so I pull from that and also add my own twist. Rico is always down to try anything; it’s never recreating the same look twice!
How do prepare for your makeup sessions?
Before we start we smoke, like, 2 Js and relax so when it’s time for glam she just closes her eyes and is like, “Scott, do what you do.” A lot of times we plan out a full-blown look so the makeup will coordinate with the hair and the outfit and the shoes and the accessories!
You worked on the “Tia Tamera” video, which is full of surreal ‘90s nostalgia. Where else do you look for inspiration?
I have to say ,“Tia Tamera” had some of my best and most fun music video makeup looks to date. For the first makeup look, since the outfits were so loud I wanted to keep the face toned down but still add some blue liner for a pop of color. For the second look, we pulled inspiration from Lisa Frank. Also, it was as if they were on a game show, so I talked to the stylist and said, “What if I did the same look on Doja and Rico, but just inverted the colors so Rico had orange and Doja had green ‘90s supermodel mod cut crease and liner?” A lot of my inspiration comes from different life experiences such as going to the circus, going to the carnival, just getting high and walking around downtown seeing all the different people...
What’s the most extreme thing you’ve done together in the name of beauty?
A high fashion unibrow! We were in Berlin shooting for a major project that hasn’t been released yet and I literally drew Rico a nice Frida Khalo unibrow. It added such a value to the look because how often do you see a unibrow being shot in a high fashion way?
Another was the elf ears—I wanted to do something that most girls are afraid to try so we did full glam but added elf ears to bring in that wild, whimsical effect.
Are there any beauty trends you would never try?
I would say give everything a try at least once. It’s makeup so it can be washed away. It’s always about standing out.
Can you highlight some of your greatest hits?
On our most recent European tour we did a 2000s It-Girl look. I gave Rico a skinny brow with blown-out blue eyeshadow and some big, overdrawn Bratz lips. I loved that look because it really gave you the feel that we just went back to a 2001 glam moment. Another one of my favorite looks was with Rainy Milo. I created a futuristic superhero look on her: I did a super dewy and glowy face and went in with silver eyeliner to highlight some of her features such as the inner corners of eyes, and parts of her lip. I then covered her brows with plastic face lace, and it created a shadow shape around her eyes. Another favorite has be the Paper Magazine spread we did with the women of hip hop. Rico has neon orange brows to match her glossy, neon orange lip that had the effect of dripping, along with an intense glitter highlight on her cheek!
You’ve also worked with Doja Cat, Slick Woods, Tommy Genesis, the list goes on. What do you wish more people knew about doing makeup for women of color?
I wish more people knew that your skin has so many different complexions. Don’t be afraid to mix colors to get your perfect shade.
What do you think there should be more of in the beauty industry?
Men of color! The beauty industry is very saturated, but you don’t have a big focus on many black male makeup artists or beauty influencers. You have your greats such as Sir John, Sam Fine, and AJ Crimson and you have your black male influencers such as Victor Ramos and Tavaris Jefferson, but we need more!
Who are some of your favorite beauty icons?
Definitely the overall mother of makeup is Pat McGrath. She redefined beauty and isn’t afraid to step out of the box. She showed that makeup can be manipulated in multiple ways to create a beautiful masterpiece. Another beauty icon who I love and have loved from the beginning is Lady Gaga. A lot of my inspiration come from her—just being able to switch it up and never care what anybody says, from her having chiseled cheekbone implants to her bleached blonde brows to match her hair with a glossy lid, to a neck covered in blood for American Horror Story. I’m all about creating a moment, and I feel like Gaga gives me that. I would love to team up with her one day and create a look that’s out of this world! I know she’d be down!
What is the best beauty trick you’ve picked up on set?
One of the best beauty tricks I picked up on set is actually from Sir John. When on set you don't really have that much time to change makeup looks so I learned to build and to add on. As the shoot is going on I’m never taking away from the makeup but always adding on to it to create look after look. Another tip I learned is to put your tongue at the roof of your mouth when your eyes water or you feel a tear about to fall and it’ll stop the watering!
What are your favorite beauty products right now?
My favorite beauty product right now is Embryolisse Lait Creme. It’s a moisturizer I live by! It plumps up the skin and gives a nice fresh glow! Another is the Milk Cooling Eye Gel. I always use it on my clients before I start prepping because it deflates the puffiness and has a nice, refreshing, cooling effect. I live for Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation, literally one of my favorite foundations to date. The coverage and the way it photographs is just flawless. My last favorite beauty product right now is the Urban Decay Brow Blade. I literally draw my client's hair strokes in their brows with it.
What is your go-to beauty look for a night out?
A flawless face, glowing skin, a nice contour highlight, with a bushy brow and a slight wing liner smudged to define the eye and give it a cat-eye effect. With a nude gloss, some freckles and top and bottom lashes to add that extra pop! Simple, subtle, but still effective!
What new makeup trends do you see heading into fall?
It’s now about using the whole face as a canvas and not just the eyes or the brows. Create on the entire face! Cover your face in glitter or diamonds! I also think using 3D objects on the face is a new trend coming for the fall, such as flowers, butterflies, things that you usually wouldn’t see on a face.
Rico also had some great looks last fashion week. Are you two planning anything big for NYFW in September?
Yes, we are planning some really big exotic looks this year for Fashion Week. I feel like each fashion week comes with bigger and better opportunities, bigger and better shows, and with that the looks have to grow as well. Me and Rico always have to take it up a notch each season, add something new and creative but that will still have that element of awe.
Last question: I noticed Megan thee Stallion in your feed recently, and Hot Girl Summer is (sadly) coming to an end. What would you call this fall?
Freaky Fleeky Fall! For fall, I want to see all the top makeup artists and beauty gurus trying new stuff. I would like to see everybody dabble into this creative aspect of makeup, don’t limit yourself or set a boundary. The Freaky is the fun side and the Fleeky is the polished, beautiful, clean side! I would like to see people such as Beyoncé, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Paris Hilton, Angela Bassett—celebs who usually just do neutral soft makeup—step out of their element. I want to see some new crazy fun looks back on the red carpet and on the daily again!