Daniel Martin on embracing his roots and empowering women through makeup

Celebrated makeup artist Daniel Martin, known for his work with Hollywood stars such as Michelle Yeoh, Jessica Alba and Meghan Markle, appeared on “CBS Mornings” to discuss his rise in the beauty industry and the significance of his roots.

Martin – who designed Markle's iconic 2018 royal wedding makeup look – has been honored for his contributions to the industry as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. CBS News teamed up with Gold House, an organization that advocates for AAPI creators, to celebrate A100 list recognizing this year's most impactful AAPI leaders.

“It's huge to be recognized by your community for your creative contributions to culture,” he said. “I never thought someone like me could do that. So yeah, it's such an honor.”

Martin, who has been in the beauty industry for 25 years, expressed his gratitude for being recognized by his community, especially at a time when anti-Asian hate has increased. Martin said he has experienced microaggressions, such as instances where he would arrive on set and people would assume he was an assistant or a nail technician.

“Daniel Martin is such a white name. My father is white, my mother is Vietnamese, and they made this assumption,” Martin said.

Martin's treatment led to feelings of imposter syndrome, which he now addresses by encouraging others to communicate to avoid confusion.

“If you want to know how to pronounce someone's name, just ask them,” he said.

Martin is known for using makeup to enhance the facial features of women, especially Asian American women and other women of color. He said there is power in embracing characteristics and instilling confidence.

“Historically, people wore makeup for decoration,” he said. “To be able to use makeup to really understand your symmetry, enhance what you have, rather than cover it all up, and then bring it all out, is something that for me personally, I've always wanted to do. I suffered with terrible acne growing up. And I just wanted to cover my face. So if you have something you're proud of, get it out.

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