AJ Crimson, celebrity makeup artist and beauty influencer, dies: ‘He was beautiful all the time’

Celebrity makeup artist and beauty influencer AJ Crimson, an entrepreneur who "always had a kind and encouraging word" and "didn’t own a T-shirt," has died.

Crimson's family confirmed his death to People magazine.

"AJ Crimson was a makeup industry leader that set a standard of beauty that was elevated, beautiful, and accessible to people of all color," his family said in a prepared statement. "We as a family are heartbroken and devastated by his passing, but thankful for the lessons that he laid on each of us with his truth, directness, and leadership.

"We thank you all for your kind words, tweets, and posts, as AJ was an inspiration to us as much as he was a bright light to the rest of the world," his family continued. "There are no words that can sum up his whole. Until we meet again!"

Crimson’s cause of death has not been released, but multiple reports say he was out of the country when he died.

Longtime friend Crystal Wright, a celebrity styling agent and author who coached Crimson in Los Angeles, said what stood out the most about him - aside from his impeccable style and perfect complexion - was his integrity.

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 12:  AJ Crimson and Jena Rose attend Singer Jena Rose's Birthday Celebration At Bardot on January 12, 2017 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Jena Rose)

"He was the same all the time," Wright said. "He brought joy with him everywhere he went. He was truthful. He was gracious. He was grand, in a very understated way.

"Obviously, the man had exquisite taste," she continued. "He was beautiful all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen AJ without a jacket. If he had been a girl, he’d have been a debutante."

Crimson, a Detroit native, was self-taught and started his makeup line in 2013, according to the AJ Crimson Beauty website. He told Hello Beautiful that his vision was "luxury cosmetics with Black women in mind first."

"I love beautiful things, people, fashion, architecture," he said in 2020. "The beauty industry sort of found me."

His A-list clients included Regina King, Missy Elliott, Angela Bassett, Fergie, Hillary Duff, Brandy and more.

"The only place for him to go was up," Wright said. "He was on top."