He also appeared as himself in an episode of Sex and the City called "The Real Me" (Season 4, Episode 2), doing Carrie Bradshaw's makeup for a fashion show during New York Fashion Week.
Says Linda Wells, editor of Allure magazine, of the line: "It may not seem like it, but it was a powerful moment.
Before, there were makeup lines for white women and others for black women. The idea was to empower a woman by revealing her natural beauty, and not to cover her up with layers of product." The New Nakeds embraced a radically different aesthetic than the norm of the time: foundations that featured a yellow undertone, instead of pink or peach; eyeshadows, lipstick and blushes were brown-based, neutral tones that were free of the pastel, vivid, or sparkly colors cosmetics companies knew sold better.
Fearing for his life, he decided to move to New York City with his then-boyfriend Jed Root (who sometimes posed as his manager) to begin his career.
However, his Vogue cover shoot with supermodel Cindy Crawford in 1986 took his career in a new direction.
In 1983, Revlon hired Kevyn Aucoin, at the age of 21, as Creative Director for their prestige Ultima II line of cosmetics.