A two-stoplight town on the low profile plains of Thomas County Kansas might seem like an unlikely place to launch a high profile career as a makeup artist. But that’s just where it began for Tonya Riner when she was a teenager. And it wasn’t too long before she declared herself a professional and has spent the last twenty-five years globetrotting to fashion shoots and runway shows, working both commercially and editorially. She’s not in Kansas anymore!
Tonya’s work has been featured prominently in the media, including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Paper City among other publications and destinations and Allure Magazine has named her one of the best makeup artists in the United States. Her backstage work has included being a member of the renowned styling teams of Frederic Fekkai and Ted Gibson. Her bona fides in the entertainment industry include recent work on Beyonce’s chart-topping video for "Blow". And her long list of celebrity and bold print clients includes Heidi Klum, Erin Wasson, Julie Anderson, Rachel Hunter, Chandra North and Lauren Bush among others.
Tonya also continues to take private commissions, which allow her to enjoy the thing that led her to the work in the first place: one-on-one interaction with women and their unique beauties. It is in these intimate encounters where she finds ordinary barriers easily falling away within minutes, leaving space for an engagement that is uniquely meaningful.
She has said, “The real reward of my work is being able to connect with extraordinary people, from all walks of life, every time I take an assignment.”
As a beauty industry insider, Tonya advises creative teams and beauty brands toward the development of new products. She is a founding partner of Beauty For Real and has blogged about beauty in her series, The Thing About Beauty Is…, at Feminine Collective.