An incredibly talented light has burned out in the beauty world. Roxanna Floyd, 49, makeup artist to Hollywood's finest has died. Details are slowly coming in as to the cause of death. Her family has yet to release a statement to the public. Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that Floyd died in her sleep at her home on Jan. 28, 2010.
Floyd's work is highly respected within the beauty, fashion and entertainment industries. She's worked with some of the world's A-list celebrities, including Whitney Houston, Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Angela Bassett, Iyanla Vanzant, Halle Berry and Queen Latifah. Her work has been featured in a multitude of publications including Essence, Ebony, InStyle (including this month's Whitney Houston cover), Redbook, Braids & Beauty and Today's Black Woman.
On March 30, 2009, Floyd filed suit against Queen Latifah (whose real name is Dana Owens) in federal court in Manhattan for breach of contract. Floyd claimed that between the time period of July 2005 and February 2008, Latifah owed her more than $700.000 for services rendered. Amanda Silverman, Latifah's spokeswoman responded publicly that the lawsuit has no merit.
Known for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, Floyd was sought out by Whitney Houston for her comeback-album world tour. Celebrity hairstylist and Houston's go-to hair dresser, Tiffanie Dixon, worked with Floyd on the "I Look to You" tour.
"Roxanna 'Roxi' Floyd was one of the strongest and most spiritual women I've come across in a great while. Roxi was a pillar of strength to me," says Dixon, who has worked with Floyd for past four years. "We just finished a shoot together last week, and Roxi worked her magic. Makeup artistry came so natural to her. She looked at a person's face like a canvas. We have suffered a great lost in the beauty and fashion industry, and she will be greatly missed but never forgotten!"
Floyd's story was a true American success. She pulled herself up to the ranks of the makeup world through sheer grit, hard work and determination. She began her career in makeup as a sales associate at Macy's. In an interview she gave from June 2008 she said,
"At the cosmetic counter, I was able to practice and hone my art. As a makeup artist, you have the opportunity to work on every type of skin, face and eye shapes. Real women, not pretty models or good looking celebrities, so your skill can really develop under those conditions."
After teaching herself the tricks of the trade, Floyd created a foundation for her craft by attending the Robert Fiance Beauty Institute in New York (now defunct). With degree in hand, she began to gain a client base. Her first celebrity client was Yoko Ono. Ono took a liking to Floyd, and her career took off.
Sam Fine, one of Hollywood's most sought after makeup artists, was a personal friend of Roxanna and is devastated by her death. On his Twitter account, Fine declared a day of silence in remembrance of his dear friend. He spoke with Black Voices about the strong impact that Roxanna contributed to the industry.
"I fondly remember meeting Roxanna Floyd the first day I worked for Essence magazine. We were working together on a beauty story, and as I began doing makeup on my model, I remember Roxanna pulling me aside to give me advice on the "look" that the client prefers. She had a maternal quality that made you listen and ask for guidance. Her years in the industry made an invaluable resource of information and inspiration. It's ironic that our last conversation, she would still be giving me advice, this time on how to deal with the demands of being a celebrity makeup artist.
Roxanna will be remembered as woman who was not only a talented artist, but someone who sincerely cared about other professionals in the industry."
There has been an outpouring of emotion from celebrities, fan and friends from all over the world, expressing sorrow and sadness over the death of Floyd.
Singer Deborah Cox wrote on Twitter, "We lost another GREAT person, amazingly GIFTED artist, my friend Roxanna Floyd. R.I.P my sweet. You were always so kind. So blessed to know u"
Singer Monica Arnold, who worked with Floyd from 1997-2003, was overcome with grief. Early Friday, she Tweeted, "My heart aches, and I can see The face of her husband who I called uncle Ricky because he favored my dad. Most of all he adored her and spent decades by her side. God Bless her family"
Abiola Abrams Pop Culture writer and BET/VH1 personality had the pleasure of working with Floyd on a beauty segment this past year.
Abrams shared her sentiments with Black Voices this afternoon: "Roxanna Floyd was a beautiful spirit. Her business was beauty, but she was also in the business of encouragement and empowerment. I met her on a hot summer's day, just off of the sweaty streets of New York City, not exactly how you want to meet a woman who has beat the faces of the most gorgeous women in the world. She was gracious, kind and the verve that she had for her work should inspire us all to do better at our chosen professions. Actually, beauty was not just Roxanna Floyd's profession, but her passion, and she will be sorely missed."
The beauty expert was also spearheading the brand makeover of Fashion Fair Cosmetics as head creative beauty director. "We are truly overwhelmed by the unfortunate news of Roxanna Floyd's untimely passing. Not only was Roxanna our creative beauty director, she was a friend...a sister...she was Fashion Fair Cosmetics family," says a statement from the Chicago-based cosmetics brand. "She possessed a wonderful gift of creating, accentuating and transforming beauty. Her innovation, creativity and flair will be missed -- but her legacy and spirit will continue to live."
Additional reporting by Qianna Smith, whose work can also be found at www.fashionqanda.com.