BHM: MERRELL HOLLIS
Scotch Porter recognizes those making History and leaving their Legacy
Merrell Hollis is a quiet storm that has influenced our perception of the exquisite. As an Emmy-nominated, award winning make-up artist and grooming expert, his creativity has catalogued mediums, models, innovators, celebrities and legends alike. His hands have effortlessly molded the images of an entirely new pop civilization of music, culture and the new black elite. His indomitable standard is precise but he disarms you with his smile, leaving imprints that have opened the doors to lasting relations.
Merrell is the Head of the Makeup Department for the Wendy Williams Show and he is also responsible for the many faces of our beloved “Queen of All Media”, Wendy Williams. He is the grooming consultant and make-up person for all the artists at Sean Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment. Both these innovators have allowed their faces to be canvassed by this visionary who delivers them to the public with elegance and sincerity.
Born in Georgia, Merrell’s fascination with couture and make up commenced when he was just a boy. At seventeen, he forced his way onto a shoot with his favorite R&B group 112. It wasn’t long before he was being nurtured under the guises of Maurice Beaman who mentored and imparted expert advice. His degree in Fashion Marketing and Design from American Inter-Continental University and being a licensed Barber and Esthetician also provided a solid perspective of how he would conduct himself as a businessman in New York.
Merrell has anchored himself as reputable force in the industry. Whether dealing with the esoteric, the sensational or the ordinary, Merrell’s eye for details has redefined fashion’s concept of editorials, commercials and beauty presentations. His approach to beauty alone is epitomized in how he captures the emotion allowing its effect to grab you as you turn the page.
His cosmetic expertise has been shared with Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight and the CBS Early Show. Editorially, his artistry has graced the pages of Vogue, Harper’s, Bazaar, InStyle, Vanity Fair, Essence, GQ, Details, Interview, Rolling Stone, People and Men’s health. His work had also appeared in music videos for Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs, Mary J Blige, Nelly, Usher, Faith Evans and Ludacris. Some of his celebrity clients include Naomi Campbell, Diane Von Furstenberg, Kim Cattrall, Joy Bryant and Lauren London.
Throughout the decade, Merrell’s consultancy within the beauty industry has allowed alliances with the leaders of Clinique, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Lancôme and Versace. His work also appears on product packaging for L’Oreal Paris and Soft Sheen Carson in addition to also being on display in the company’s advertising. He believes that good skin is foundation for great make up.
Merrell is also a member of the American Cancer Society’s advisory board, and Gay Mens Health Crisis GMHC. He feels that it is duty as a man to help uplift and support the needs of people of color and his community.
1. How would you describe your style?
My style is best described as Simple Chic. I'm all about the Monochromatic color scheme with a pop of color or major accessories.
2. What are your top three grooming tips and why?
My top three grooming tips would be first, to exfoliate your skin regularly. This improves skin texture and also gives you a healthy glow. My second tip would be to use an SPF daily. This is so important in keeping the integrity of your skin and preventing further damage (for all skin types and races). My third tip would be to have top products that are your staples in your regimen. I now have a beard, so I love using beard oils which I also put on my brows for the high sheen.
3. Who is your number one style icon and why?
My number one style icon right now is Michael B. Jordan. His style is simple but makes a statement. I like that he's also not afraid to be out of the box.
4. How are you making history today?
My goal is to always be remembered as a great person while creating my signature techniques in Grooming and Beauty that will be used forever.
5. What mantra or code do you live by when it comes to the work that you do?
“When you do what you love for a living, you'll never work a day in life”. Needless to say, my life is a Blessing.
6. What would you like to see men doing more of in 2017?
I would like for men to truly take grooming and skin preservation seriously. Really. I was so happy when the song Classic Man came out!