Rick DiCecca wants you to know the simple secret of timeless beauty – a secret shared by the most beautiful women on the planet.
“It’s confidence,” said the global makeup artist for ARTISTRY™, the prestige beauty brand of Amway.
He should know. In his more than two decades in the industry, the famed makeup artist has worked with women from all over the world.
Supermodels Heidi Klum, Iman, Hilary Rhoda and Liu Wen have experienced Rick’s transformative powers, as have Hollywood’s leading actresses.
For the past couple of years, Rick has worked with internationally acclaimed actress Teresa Palmer – the captivating global face of the ARTISTRY brand. Together, Rick and Teresa have jetted across continents, sharing the sophistication of ARTISTRY with discerning international audiences.
Most recently, Rick created Teresa’s elegant, sun-kissed look for her December wedding to American actor/director Mark Webber. The couple and their seaside ceremony in Mexico were featured in a photo spread in Who magazine and in eonline.com.
But thousands of women who have never walked the runway or red carpet have also sat in his makeup chair, and he’s particularly proud of helping women battling cancer to look and feel beautiful.
“The underlying thread of each woman’s beauty, no matter who she is, where she is from, or what she is facing, is confidence,” Rick said.
The right makeup can enhance that confidence.
A master of what he calls “real beauty,” Rick is steadfast in his belief that makeup has the power to transform and that every woman owns the power to be beautiful.
“Makeup is incredibly transformational. It’s empowering to teach a woman to apply eyeliner or mascara or cheek or lip color the right way,” he said. “If you’re able to do magic to your eyes, cheeks, lips – and look in mirror and like what you see – then you gain confidence. And confidence is beauty.”
With delicate brush strokes, the New York City-based makeup artist has made bold statements on a global stage. He’s known for a sublime, unencumbered style – a refined, elegant aesthetic that he calls “You, only better.” He lets the woman shine through; the makeup performs a supporting role.
Rick honed his expertise and technique at a young age.
Graduating a year early from high school, he considered taking classes in architecture. “I was one of those kids who was always putting things together and then taking them apart,” he said. But the lure of the creative arts weighed on his mind.
Many of Rick’s most creative friends – into fashion, fine art and theater – were taking classes in cosmetology. In this extra year before college, he thought he’d also give cosmetology a try, and he ended up loving it.
After graduating from cosmetology school, and later earning a degree in graphic design, Rick went to work at a salon in Boston’s renowned Newbury Street fashion district. One of his clients, a senior vice president with Elizabeth Arden, recognized his talent.
She “stole Rick away” and sent him to Elizabeth Arden in New York City. There, Rick worked with the creative director of the brand to develop new makeup products and application techniques.
Soon, he was in demand by other creative directors, and other brands, including Chanel™ and Estée Lauder™.
He joined the ranks of professional makeup artists such as Kevyn Aucoin, Way Bandy, Scott Barnes and Pat McGrath. In the fashion and beauty industry, makeup artists at this level can be like rock stars – setting trends and even putting their names on their own product lines.
Although in high demand, Rick earned a reputation as an accessible, empathetic artist who understands the needs of real women.
“The one piece of advice that I carry with me always, I received early in my career from a model friend. She said, ‘You will learn something from everyone who sits in your chair.’ And I truly have,” he said.
Over the years, he has worked on countless editorial and advertising campaigns with features in such publications as Elle, Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. He’s appeared as a beauty expert on national television shows. He’s worked in Paris, London, Los Angeles and fashion points in between.
Manhattan, however, is home. The city is, in many ways, his muse.
“I never tire of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, the Fashion District, and all of the people-watching and trend-spotting!” he said.
Of course, he has participated in New York’s famed Fashion Week, helping to get models made up, zipped up and runway-ready. He’s readied actresses for walking the red carpet. And he’s pushed a few buttons along the way.
He recalls convincing an Academy-Award-winning actress – who, amazingly, always did her own (heavy-handed) makeup – to trust him to try a softer look, one that conveyed a gracious elegance. The actress found she loved Rick’s technique, and, in her own spirited way she told him so in a book that she autographed for him.
He’s also pushed boundaries.
Last fall, he helped Teresa Palmer to prepare for a movie premiere in Tokyo. The look that many expected on the red carpet was “white dress, flowing hair.” But Rick knew that look, on that day, was wrong for Teresa.
“She was newly pregnant, radiant, strong – I wanted these qualities to shine through. We did simple makeup, pulled her hair back in an elegant ponytail and she wore an incredible, form-fitting black dress that showed off her new pregnancy curves – it was a really bold choice – and yet, polished, classic. She totally carried it off,” Rick said.
Rick’s creativity and courage as an artist caught the eye of Amway Vice President for Global Beauty Maud Pansing.
“The ARTISTRY brand is about forward beauty – constantly pushing the boundaries of beauty through discovery, imagination and invention,” Maud said, “and in Rick, we found an artist who embodies these pillars, pushes the boundaries. Rick sees and influences what’s next in beauty.”
Rick joined Amway’s expert collective of forward-thinking minds in 2012. This group includes product researchers, developers and scientists, guided by Amway’s international Scientific Advisory Board, whose innovations have made ARTISTRY one of the world’s premium brands.
“The ARTISTRY brand takes a groundbreaking approach to beauty: Uniting nature, science and art, and embracing global beauty and culture,” Rick said. “From using ingredients sourced from far-flung locales and Amway’s own organic farms, to the latest skincare science and cutting-edge technologies, everything is intentional, carefully curated.”
He works closely with Amway scientists to develop new beauty products. Now in his third year with ARTISTRY, he has achieved global success as the visionary behind two seasonal trend collections – the ARTISTRY Fall 2013 Galaxy Collection and the ARTISTRY Spring 2014 Café Mélange Collection.
He also helped to develop ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND™ Lifting Smoothing Foundation, a rich, hydrating anti-aging foundation that helps lift and firm the look of skin for a youthful, radiant finish.
“Today’s woman has clear expectations, and she demands performance from her beauty products,” Rick said. “Think of ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation not necessarily as the first step in your makeup routine, but rather as the last step in your skincare regimen.”
Most recently, Rick worked with Amway scientists to recalibrate the colors and formulas for ARTISTRY powders and foundations. Together, they developed the ARTISTRY Signature Shade Finder, a color chart using the brand’s proprietary F.A.C.E.S. (Facial Age Computer Evaluation System) technology. The finder works by determining the level, or natural depth, of skin color and undertone, along with the relative warmth or coolness of skintone. Once level and undertone are determined, the correct shade can be located on the finder at the intersection of the two points.
The Signature Shade Finder technology is part of the prestige brand’s newest, most advanced powder foundation, ARTISTRY EXACT FIT™. Discussions with Amway Business Owners and ARTISTRY users from around the world helped Rick to refine product features with Amway’s scientists.
“We learned, for example, that most women want a powder foundation that can stay on even in extreme humidity,” he said.
Rare minerals, discovered in the Amazon, help control oil and prevent shine. Coupled with the ARTISTRY EXACT FIT blend of Tahitian Pearls and Optical Prisms, the formula creates the look of a perfected complexion with an invisibly seamless fit.
“The formula is brilliant, and the result is flawless,” Rick said.
For Teresa Palmer’s wedding day makeup, he used ARTISTRY EXACT FIT in Ochre, giving her a subtle foundation for a look that was graceful and full of warmth. (See how he did it at the ARTISTRY Facebook page.)
Rick also helped create the new ARTISTRY SIGNATURE COLOR™ Lipstick, which began its global rollout in February and will launch in other countries and regions, including North America, starting in September.
“When it comes to personal style, there’s nothing more defining than lipstick,” Rick said. “It can speak volumes without saying a word.”
Four years in the making, the new lipstick collection features a stunning signature palette, with 18 classic and eight sheer shades.
“ARTISTRY SIGNATURE COLOR Lipstick raises the bar, quite literally, beginning with its translucent base, specially formulated to help the color remain true,” Rick said. “The pearls in the formula appear soft and alluring and feel even better on the lips. The formula also resists feathering and bleeding.”
The classic lipsticks provide “high-impact” color and intense hydration while the sheer lipsticks offer a light, glossy look and SPF 15 protection.
The gold-and-black lipstick case features the ARTISTRY glamorous signature crescendo design and it hides a technological marvel – patented “twist and click” technology that locks the lipstick bullet in place.
Rick’s work with the ARTISTRY brand also includes direct engagement. He helps educate Amway product developers, scientists and marketers – and, ultimately, Amway distributors – in the philosophy of beauty and its physical application through makeup.
He’s created a series of ARTISTRY videos on makeup application. The first tutorial video – “How to Create Naturally Defined Eyes” – launched in January, and additional ones will be released in the coming months on Facebook™ , YouTube™ and on Rick’s website.
Amway’s international affiliates don’t have to wait for Rick’s tutorials to launch. They invite him to participate in distributor events and meet with local media. He is also available for educational seminars, webinars, live chats, and other in-person and virtual meet-and-greet opportunities.
“My goal is to help our Amway Business Owners to completely understand and embrace the ARTISTRY collection, and know the techniques in product application, in order to sell the products with confidence,” Rick said. “Together, we’re creating something really powerful and beautiful for women all over the world.”