Recently a reception was held to honor beauty maestro and makeup artist Derrick Rutledge at the very grand, very Hollywood, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Dressed in white and looking very debonair, Rutledge faced the lights and flashing cameras with style.

His client roster includes the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan and the list goes on and on.

Celebrities turned out in numbers to recognize and celebrate his very special skills that take place “behind the camera.” Simply put, he makes women even more beautiful than they are, and he’s about to share his magic with the public. At the Roosevelt, Rutledge unveiled the latest details and previewed products from his upcoming skincare line, “U” (pronounced OOH).

His journey to this point was not an easy one; Rutledge was born and raised in Washington, DC. Gifted with a beautiful voice, he went to college to be an opera singer. But that all changed, when he discovered he had a talent for making women beautiful.

In a recent Washington Post Magazine article, Rutledge discusses his journey and his painful battle with obesity. According to the article at his heaviest, his 5-foot-7 inch frame carried 565 pounds, with a 72-inch waist. Now at 50, he sometimes walks with a cane, or two, the result of mangled bones and cartilage from a lifetime of excessive pounds.

But don’t feel sorry for Rutledge. Instead we should be celebrating this super talented man.
The Post magazine article details his transition from singing to the world of make-up, occasionally peppered by his sometimes difficult and troublesome clients which don’t rattle him.

His easy, professional mannerisms and his skill with makeup make him a Hollywood favorite.

To read the Washington Post Magazine article on Derrick Rutledge and to get make-up tips from this celebrity make-up artist go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine.

Gail can be reached at gail@hollywoodbychoice.com.