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I credit having two older sisters with my falling in love with EVERYTHING BEAUTY. Watching two fashionistas while growing up turned out to be a seduction of my interests. I was quite the tomboy until 8th grade  then it began. As a teen, I began to devour every beauty editorial in all of the top fashion magazines: Vogue©, Elle©, Essence©, Cosmopolitan©, Harpers Bazaar© and Seventeen. I could not get enough. I was ever-willing to spend my last $10 on an eyebrow pencil and two fashion rags. I would spend hours at the nearest store to browse the make-up lines and become familiar with every tool there was. I learned to sew at a very young age (Mommy made sure), so this was the time I started designing and sewing my own outfits to wear to school. So of course I had to have nails and eye shadow to match. If my blouse had black and white stripes or a checkered pattern, then so did my nails and eyes. Eventually becoming a NAIL TECHNICIAN & MAKE-UP ARTIST was a natural progression.

Friday, July 30, 2010

ESSENCE Magazine, Our Voice?

The binding edge of ESSENCE Magazine says - WHERE BLACK WOMEN COME FIRST!

Where we are 1st. Where we look 1st. Where we are the 1st image considered for presentation. Where we see ourselves 1st. Where we 1st graced EVERY cover. Where our history is 1st for dialogue. Where our many cultures are 1st to be glorified. Where we celebrate our rich history in America, 1st. Where major advertisers were 1st forced to produce ads that reflected our looks, culture & our American experience. Where these advertisers then paid for ad-space they would have 1st  disregarded us in - were for the 1st time forced to reconsider their creative direction. Forced to see us 1st.

I am confident in Elianna Placas' abilities to be a very successful & proficient Fashion Director - in general. Her resume` speaks for itself. I do not wish to whisk her away in the spirit of "Affirmative Action". [sic] In fact, I look forward to her performance  being a 2-handed slam dunk -  in this capacity as a Fashion Director of a major U.S. lifestyle publication. YET...

The issue is this...

How likely is it that Elianna Placas ?:

_Identifies with years & years of not being able to find jeans that fit.
_Understands the feeling of not being able to wear foundation make-up that truly matched her skin.
_Knows the complete shame felt because her image is hardly, if ever seen in fashion, beauty, TV & film.
_Experienced the realization that celebrities of her heritage were/are not worthy of being considered a standard of beauty.
_Could not find swimwear that flattered her body type.
_Felt the frustration of near total exclusion within the industry (fashion) that she loves...
_Saw the ridiculousness in the 1st main-stream acceptance of our glorious rumps being heaped onto Jennifer Lopez.

It goes on & on. The fashion filter through our specific history & specific perspective is a unique one. Someone who may NOT HAVE BEEN IMMERSED IN THE CULTURE IS NOT QUITE AS LIKELY TO CONSIDER THESE THINGS as they convey the desires of the readership.  Someone who lives/lived the culture stands at the ready. Not to ignore our over-all progress in the least.  In its' extreme power, progress does not erase history.

Whatever has caused this to be, whether it be pressure from Time/Warner, whether she's good friends with ESSENCE'S Editor in Chief, whether ESSENCE actually seeks to, as Roland Martin hinted - be thee most progressive publication, whether the politics of corporate America have reared their ugly head again...
I wish there had been enough sensitivity on the part of Time/Warner & the ESSENCE EIC to honor & acknowledge the lack of inclusion of people of color in main-stream media/culture/arts/entertainment & the American experience as a whole.

It feels like we, AGAIN have been ignored, our buying power AGAIN disregarded, AGAIN we are not competent enough to be...in charge of the sound, tenor, tone, resonance, octaves of...


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

★ WIN Make-Up Artist Danessa Myricks' new DVD "FUNDAMENTAL BEAUTY"!

Hello everyone!

It is with great pleasure that I share with you that my illustrious colleague Danessa Myricks is debuting her new instructional makeup DVD entitled "FUNDAMENTAL BEAUTY"!

As many of you know, Danessa is legendary for her artistry, seminars, workshops & DVDs. Her exquisite make-up work & comprehensive approach to technique makes her one of thee most sought after make-up artist/educators in the make-up industry. Danessa Myricks is truly an inspiration! Some of her up-coming appearances are listed below & get the full Danessa Myricks story on her website, www.IMakeYouBeautiful.com
- Bronner Brothers Int'l Hair Show in Atlanta GA Aug 6-10, 2010
Sunday  is "A Day with Danessa"! This is a day of *free* look and learn education.
- Bennet Career Institute, Washington DC Aug 22, 2010
Contours and Finishes 8 hour hands on Boot Camp
- Eyes, Eyebrow, & Eyelashes - 8 Hour Hands on Boot camp Oct 10th, 2010 -  NYC

"FUNDAMENTAL BEAUTY" in Danessa's own words "focuses on the core essential concepts for achieving a natural beauty make-up application". This DVD, like the rest of hers is sure to be a huge hit amongst make-up artists & enthusiasts alike.

So on to the part you have been waiting for...how to win "FUNDAMENTAL BEAUTY" - Danessa Myricks' latest DVD...BEFORE it debuts to the public next month! To win, you must follow all 3 of these Twitter accounts


& you will need to leave a comment on this blog stating that you are following (all 3) & why YOU should win a "FUNDAMENTAL BEAUTY" DVD. Simple, follow - comment - win! ;-) Jennifer James Beauty will be giving away 1 "FUNDAMENTAL BEAUTY" DVD.  I will also be tweeting/posting/statusing about other opportunities to win so check my tweets at @JenJamesBeauty, & stop by my FB page Jennifer JamesBeauty and listen to BEAUTY TALK with Illusions Cosmetics on Blog Talk radio by clicking here: BEAUTY TALK. It airs every Thursday at 9pm EST! Contest closes on this blog Thur - August 5, 2010 @ 6pm.

Good luck!
As always, thank you for stopping by my little 'ole blog. Your precious time spent here is greatly appreciated.
TTYL! Jennifer
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Cosmetology School? Yea or Nay? NAY!

Recently, a lovely 20-something Makeup Artist on Facebook posted a status asking:

"Thinking of using my GI Bill to go cosmetology school, being licensed to do makeup will open a WHOLE lot more doors for me professionally, what do you guys think?"

It then sparked an interesting conversation between us because I have such strong feelings about this. Here is how it went:

JJB: I could not disagree more. What working Makeup Artists have you spoken to that have Cosmetology Licenses?

I think you would be wasting time & tuition money. You already have makeup knowledge & talent. The Makeup Industry is not regulated by licensing so you don't NEED it. Getting into unions & getting agency representation are goals to go after & they don't require that you have a Cosmetology License. Cosmetology really does not cover makeup to an extent that would benefit you & your level of experience.

Gain more skill & connections to good career moves by testing. Attend seminars & workshops with brilliant Makeup Artists so that your portfolio is world class. That is what will open doors to assisting TOP INDUSTRY pros on great gigs & that's how to make a name for yourself.

At this point, I wish I had been more aggressive (at your age) about becoming fluent in French, Italian, German, Mandarin, Arabic & Japanese...I'm saying use the GI Bill to advance your GLOBAL APPEAL & let your love of makeup take you around the world.

...while getting paid very well to do something you love so much.

Take good care, & feel free to seek info from me at any time!
If you wish to be a hairstylist, go for it!

MUA: I think what I was trying to say by "opening more doors professionally" was by working at salons (for now) I was doing some job hunting this weekend and I noticed a lot of salons require licensing. Not only that, but I'm not so much focused on beauty courses, more along the lines of learning some theatrical, print, and costume makeup because there's only so much I can teach myself lol Let me know what you think!

Fundamentals of Beauty Make-Up
Studio Hairstyling for the Make-up Artist
Special Make-Up Effects 201: Character Make-Up Artistry
Special Make-Up Effects 301: Lab Techniques

These are just some of the offerings available at Make-Up Designory MUD in Burbank, CA (& NYC) http://www.Facebook.com/mudschools

I just cannot imagine you spending 1700 hours (state of California requirement) getting a Cosmetology License and MOST cosmetology programs spend so few hours on even beauty makeup - let alone theatrical, print & costume make-up as you mentioned you want to explore.

Ask industry veterans like Kevin James Bennett, Crystal Wright, Sam Fine, Tym Buacharern, & Valerie Patrice Hunt. (All on Facebook)

I'd be interested to hear if any of them would direct you to cosmetology school unless you want to be a hairstylist.

You'd get more experience & advance your skills working at a makeup counter.

MUA:  Seriously!! Jennifer thank you so much for researching that for me!! There's only so much I can do on my phone. I should be able to use fafsa and my gi bill, once again thanks!! The classes you just mentioned are exactly what I'm interested in too!!

JJB:  Give them a call to find out for sure, but it looks as if The Make-Up Designory in Burbank, CA accepts GI Bill. I will be attending the NYC Campus (Special Effects - Character Make-Up Artistry for TV/Film) using a FAFSA grant. ;-)
 Link to MUD School Facebook discussion of GI Bill.

MUA:  Well good thing I've already worked at a counter lol thanks Jen, MUD is a school on my list, one of the top actually. Heard a LOT of great things about it, I can't wait to check them out!

____I am such a butt-in-sky! Hopefully I gave her some options to consider. She a very talented Makeup Artist who is destined for success with whatever decision she comes to.

It's the "Auntie" in me ! ;-)

More advice for aspiring makeup artists here
DC area courses for MUAs by TOP industry pros here

Thanks for stopping by & PLEASE feel free to comment with suggestions for this ambitious makeup artist. I will be sure to forward info to her!

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