Daniel Martin is capping off a milestone year with one of his biggest pinch-me moments yet: dancing on stage with Diana Ross.
The renowned makeup artist, who is a Dior Beauty brand ambassador and creative consultant for Honest Beauty, came face-to-face with the diva during her performance at the Dior Cruise 2020 fashion event in Marrakech last week.
“She was three songs in, I knew every lyric to every song and she literally pulled me on stage and I’m on stage dancing with Diana Ross!” Martin told PEOPLE at The Makeup Show NYC on Sunday. “It was so out of body.”
The moment is the perfect way to celebrate the past year, which included his role as makeup artist for good friend Meghan Markle on her royal wedding day.
“I feel like Meghan gave me this incredible gift to share,” Martin says. “I want to pay it forward now because it’s such an incredible opportunity that someone can give you.”
Martin took center stage at this year’s event in N.Y.C., sharing his inspiring story, career advice and makeup tips to a room full of fans and aspiring makeup artists. Interviewed by iconic supermodel Veronica Webb, who he counts as one of his good friends — “She was the first black model to have a cosmetics contract, which is really incredible,” he says — Daniel opened up about working with inspiring women.
“I’m really lucky to have been formed by amazing women growing up, but I also look and gravitate towards these women professionally and personally as well,” he tells PEOPLE. “I think about Elisabeth Moss and Veronica and Meghan — these women are in these positions to support each other and to really stand up for their own rights and just be vocal on the platform that they have.”
“I just have always gravitated towards these incredible women — like Jessica [Alba] in her own business,” he continues. “There’s a strength that these women have that I’m drawn to. And for me as an artist, it’s more about using makeup as decoration and then empowering them to be their best selves.”
And he’s encouraging makeup artists on the rise to approach their careers the same way.
“The business of what we do has changed, so to be able to share my experience and help navigate others is important,” he says. “At the end of the day, we are conducting a service and it’s about more than just the artistry, it’s about taking care of other people.”
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Martin will be taking care of another famous face at tonight’s Met Gala — actress Ruth Wilson. And he’s looking forward to this year’s theme: “Camp: Notes On Fashion.”
“This is going to be interesting,” he says. “You either get it or you don’t. Ruth is British and I feel like the Brits understand camp, so I’m excited to see what she’s going to wear. It’s almost like fashion Halloween for some people.”
And as the one-year anniversary of Meghan and Prince Harry’s royal wedding approaches on May 19, does Martin have anything planned to mark the milestone?
“I’m having cake by myself,” he says, laughing. “It’s amazing that it’s almost a year now and so much has happened. She’s having a baby, she moved. I can’t imagine.”
As for brides looking to make their own mark this season, Martin shares his advice: “It’s more about owning your beauty, owning your power. If you’re someone who wears a red lip, you should wear that red lip on your wedding day. If you’re a smoky eye girl, wear a smoky eye on your wedding day because you want to be comfortable.”
“Every girl’s red carpet moment is their wedding day,” he adds. “You don’t want to do something that takes you out of your box because that’s going to make you uncomfortable. It’s about empowering your own beauty and feeling your best self.”
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