A couple weeks ago I was chatting with someone about the whole six degrees of separation thing … how so often you find out that you know the same people when in causal conversations with other people. My friend brought up a really good point — she mentioned that it’s usually closer to TWO degrees these days, and I’d say that’s a pretty correct estimation.
Because of our Expert April, I was able to interview Stephen Moleski, and because she saw the interview on Stephen’s Facebook page, another makeup artist named Jeanne contacted me with a sample of her work. I am SO GLAD she did this, because her work is off the charts. Talent, talent, TALENT!
Not only does she do this amazing work, but she photographs and styles her shoots,
a certifiable multi-talented individual! Jeanne so kindly agreed to share her work with the Painted Ladies readers and answer some questions:
PL: How long have you been working as a makeup artist?
JC: I’ve been working professionally for 4 years, but have done it unpaid my whole life.
PL: Where are you located?
JC: This last year has been kind of crazy. I moved from Florida to Brooklyn and now I’ve moved back to Florida, where I’m currently residing in the Tampa Bay area.
PL: What inspired you to pursue the career of makeup artistry?
JC: There was no one day where I woke up and decided that I wanted to pursue makeup as a career. I just always had a huge interest in making things look flawless: beautifying, polishing, playing with color, etc, and my education in the visual arts refined these sensibilities.
In a world that is so imperfect, with so much ugliness and so many flaws, it really brings me a peace that I can’t explain. I do this not just for money. I do it because I have to. I do it on my days off and when I’m working it does not feel like work. That’s how I know that this is a perfect fit for me. It’s effortless and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
PL: Your work is gorgeous! Where do you get your inspiration?
JC: That’s a loaded question! Well, with a background in painting and photography, those are probably the strongest inspirations, but, honestly anything. The shape of the person’s face always influences me… you can’t begin with a locked-in idea of what you’re going to be doing.
I browse the Internet daily and save photos that resonate with me…nature, an interesting color, simplicity, architecture, feelings, moments. I like to do with makeup what other photographers do in Photoshop by, at times, severely altering the planes of the face and creating light sources that are not present.
PL: Can you share a couple of favorite products or tricks with the Painted Ladies readers?
JC: You must start with a clean face. I always clean the face myself, even if I’m told that it’s already clean. A warm washcloth or a heated up face wipe will do. If the skin is not up to par, a good scrub is also necessary.
I use mostly MAC Cosmetics since I get them at a discounted price. Here are some of my favorites:
Soft Ochre Paint Pot (MAC) – great under any eye. On darker skin tones, I like Groundwork (MAC). I don’t like using anything with shimmer as a base. Sparkle in any crease or dark point is just counter productive.
For strong highlights and shadows, I almost always use Crystal Avalanche (MAC) for the lightest of lights and Carbon (MAC) for the darkest of darks. The dark recedes and the white just pops out. To create in-between dreamy highlights, I use Motif Shadow (MAC) all over. I’ve used liquid highlighters, but they seem to just make a mess of everything and lift the foundation. I always finish with lots of Fix+ spray (MAC) so it doesn’t look powdery. Also, I can’t live without Saddle (MAC), a great warm brown for blending on almost any eye. It doesn’t matter what colors you happen to be using, Saddle seems to tie it all together! Yum!
I don’t know anyone else that likes Plush Lash mascara (MAC), but I LOVE it! The brush is great, and it leaves the lashes soft, which is always a plus.
Either Stripdown (liner, MAC) or Spice (liner, MAC) paired with a rubbed-in dab of Vegas Volt (MAC) is good for everyday and stays put nicely. Less is more. If you’re into gloss (which I am not) Love Nectar (MAC) goes really nicely on top.
Fleurry Blush (MAC) is also one of my favorites but it’s a limited edition color.
I always have creme face bleach for brows and it makes a huge difference. I use Sally Hansen but I wish MAC would come out with one. Almost anyone can benefit from this…a minute or two with it on the brows and it lightens and thins the texture out just enough for a soft look. If you look at old photos of Jennifer Lopez, you’ll notice her brows were black, thick, and just not pretty. I’m pretty sure she does this to hers. Then you just fill them in with a soft brown. The 266 brush (MAC) is my favorite. Finish it off with some Clear Brow Set (MAC) for a polished look.
I collected tips and tricks from magazines my whole life. I remember in 5th grade getting Bazaar Magazine and going to town trying things out, seeing what worked and what didn’t for me. “For me” are the key words. Everyone has their own technique. Who am I to say what’s right and wrong! It’s a geeky science to me that’s really similar to painting. All the layering and different formulas of product can change how anything looks and works for you. Just try it out and develop your own methods. It can be really overwhelming but the worst thing you can do is get comfortable and stick only with what you know, what’s worked for you in the past, or even what someone told you to do.
Listening to tips and tricks from experienced professionals can be great, but to take it as the absolute truth is just silly. I know it’s only makeup, but I see so many different opportunities and complexities. It seems so endless and that’s what’s exciting to me!
Jeanne, you are so very, very talented and I am so glad you took some time to talk to us! You can learn more about Jeanne and see more of her incredible work at her website, http://www.jeanneciasullo.com