Michelle Obama’s Makeup Artist Offers Class at Academy of Makeup


The story of Carl Ray’s career start is a poignant one: He was watching his divorced mother get ready for work one day and had some ideas about how to make her make up work for her. He asked her if he could help and the results looked great.

Carl Ray and Michelle Obama

“She felt good. I felt good,” Ray says. Cue the epiphany.

From a 14 year old helping his mom to a makeup artist today, Ray’s journey has included clients who needed to look beautiful for galas, weddings and even the White House. Based out of Washington, D.C.’s one80 salon, Ray has been Michelle Obama’s makeup artist since the Obama family came to the capital.

“She is what you see. She is an amazing person,” says Ray, who received an email invitation to audition for Mrs. Obama and “we hit it off.” While Barack Obama was president, Ray traveled with the family to 24 countries and made Mrs. Obama look beautiful for state dinners and magazine covers, among other occasions.

“I still work with her,” says Ray, who adds that he appreciates “her positive energy.”

On Sunday, Dec. 10, Ray will bring his years of expertise to the Academy of Makeup in Cockeysville for a two-hour class. The first hour will be a tutorial on enhancing natural beauty, skin care, types of makeup and application. Ray says he wants to show participants “how to enhance without over-application” and “how to be the best version of ourselves.”

The second hour of the class will be a Q &A.

When Lindsay Shields founded the Academy of Makeup in 2015, this was exactly the kind of event she was envisioning, a class “that exposes clients to a New York level of instruction and builds exposure to great talent.”

While there are lots of YouTube tutorials on makeup, they are not always high quality, Shields says.

Ray’s class starts at noon and tickets are $275. Event information can be found here.

In the meantime, you can follow Carl Ray on Instagram @carlraymua and the Academy of Makeup @academyofmu.



Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here