MUAs. QUESTION! When we critique each other as we judge each other's work, specifically in the scrutinizing of celebrities - are we also:

1) Judging our own ability or lack thereof to have done a better or even comparable job?

2) Using the discussion as a learning opportunity to better our technique for similar circumstances?

3) Really pointing something out in an effort to discover the method behind it, with little cattiness intended?

4) Just having fun ripping another MUA (with better clients than us) or a Celebrity because we can?

5) Being straight-up jealous haters who have nothing better to do & not enough self esteem?



The MUA Q & A - industry related queries I received & run across with answers I share.

QUESTION: It is ok to reshape splayed synthetic brushes with extremely hot water?

Take the freshly shampooed brush & reshape it using hair gel or firm holding hair spray. Seal the shape with Scotch tape & let set overnight.

Remove tape next day & use gentle makeup remover to clean out all of the gel/hairspray. Rinse. Lie flat to dry.

***Extremely hot water destroys the durability of your brushes because it WILL WEAKEN the adhesive that attaches the ferrule of the brush to the brush handle.***

Your brushes will give you MANY YEARS (I have 20 y/o brushes that I use daily) if you keep them away from very warm or hot temps - especially when they wet or damp during cleansing/shampooing.

*Inside The Mind of A BRUSH WHORE*

QUESTION: What is the best order to do your face?

ANSWER:  I find that you get the most perfection & completion to your look when you do foundation first. Once your BASE is on, you have a totally prepped canvas for all of your other makeup.

People always say they do eyes first because of eye shadow fallout - but I say to practice being more precise in how you actually load shadow onto the brush, tap off excess & then use a more a careful, focused approach when placing the eye shadow.

You will eventually get to the point where fall-out is not even a concern plus you will greatly improve your artistry.

QUESTION: I'm bored with my market/clientele, how do I move up?


Since you used the word 'bored' I must ask. Is that really about bigger markets/clienteles?

I would like to offer you the possibility that you may want to seek ways of growing & expanding your approach to improving your craft which would likely ignite you to the point that you wouldn't even conjure up the word bored.

Inspiration put into action in your own creative environment & sharing/collaborating with other artists, pushing yourself to execute things you never have, styling makeup that is industry aesthetic, yet you are not sure you've seen it somewhere else...

Going out there an making more connections with other creative minds so that you are racking up more & more experiences that contribute to the betterment of your artistry & those experiences are stores set up by you/for you to draw on & be inspired by.

We have to put in more work. More work leads to more opportunity across the board. More work is an automatic road to advancement; an earned road that may not come when we rationalize that it's time - but when we have earned the privilege to travel it.

QUESTION: First time at
The Makeup Show NYC, any pointers?


The morning of the show, watch hashtag #TheMakeupShow to see what other attendees are saying about what's going on from their perspective. There will always be someone who is the...re uber early & they are priceless for getting info on what's going on when you have not arrived yet.

People will be tweeting from their hotels, the subway, from taxis (real-time traffic), from the street, in line at will call - just stay tuned. They can help you map out your arrival.

Arrive at The Metropolitan Pavilion at minimum 1 hour & 1/2 before doors open.

Really go over the program book so that you are constantly aware of the platform presentations. So many good ones & they can get by you between socializing, taking pics & checking out all of the exhibitors. You want to have a balance, the EDUCATION that comes with The Makeup Show admission is INCREDIBLE as well as the Hands-On & Master Workshops (additional fee, bring your brushes) so try not to become TOO OVERWHELMED by the SHOW FLOOR - which is really unrealistic advice because the SHOW FLOOR IS GOING TO BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!

Study the line-up on the website daily so that you get a familiarity before you even get there.

Of course, comfortable shoes, an empty wheeled bag to store your purchases & for easy maneuvering about at the show.

I find it VERY HELPFUL to set event reminders for DO NOT MISS things in your mobile phone. Hope this helps, SEE YOU THERE!!!

QUESTION: Makeup Enthusiast, Makeup Artist - Which one are you & what do you feel makes you either?


Jennifer the Makeup Enthusiast is the one that constantly thinks about makeup, loves to get new mags in the mail so I can see the new cosmetics ads, see the hot trends, & what celebs are wearing on the red carpet.

The Enthusiast in me is also the one who does full foundation, highlights/contours, three coasts of mascara (top & bottom) & KILLER BROWS just to go downstairs & get my mail...and sometimes snaps my own photo because the natural light is so awesome coming through the huge window near the mailboxes.

The Enthusiast is the one at CVS, Duane Reade & Walgreens (as a shopper) talking to complete strangers about the latest products, what's on sale, what's a scam & over-priced, discussing why ___ singer has such pretty skin & where is THAT moisturizer??? LOL! THE ENTHUSIAST WANTS TO TALK ABOUT MAKE UP INCESSANTLY!

Me, the MUA = Student of the craft seeking more & more opportunities to use my abilities in more settings that expand me as a global citizen. The MUA gets equal parts of joy from the income as well as the creative environment where I relish the talents of other artists. The MUA loves to hear how others artists process the thought into actual ART.

I am JHJ & I am a Makeup Enthusiast because I fell in love with it.
I am JHJ & I am a Makeup Artist because I have managed to channel the love & the thought process into something tangible...because I have the respect of many that I REALLY RESPECT in this industry.

DEFINITE ADVANTAGES! The counter is a great place to hone many skills & gain tons of knowledge in:

Makeup Artistry
Cosmetics Chemistry
Cosmetics Formulation
Cosmetics Manufacturing
Customer Service
People Skills (co-workers & the public)
Marketing & Promotions
Logistics Management (Event Specific)
Business Tracking
Public Relations

It's all about your mindset just like anything else.

Reminds me of my blog post:

"I love working at _____!" OH DO YOU? REALLY? REALLY?!

QUESTION: Why don't you do more You Tube tutorials or Ustream?


You may have noticed that I consistently post a lot of information here on my profile & on my FB page HERE.

Also, if you are on Twitter, I share tons of info, tips, tricks & techniques there as well: Follow me HERE.

My fee based sessions via SKYPE Beauty are for those who wish to go into more depth in a hands-on fashion albeit via the Internet.

So, I would have to say no on Ustream & I do have some snippets planned for You Tube. Having added educator to my career, I think it's only fair to students who do pay, that I not give "everything" away.

I pride myself on being free with information & sharing...to an extent. LOL. :-)

QUESTION: I need investors for my new business. What do they want to know?


I once asked Russel Simmons what he thought the biggest mistake start-ups make. He said, under-capitalization.

With any business plan, you must include a financial breakdown & extensive plan of how the business will be financed & how those finances will be utilized...

From A to Z including:

Operating Costs
Petty Cash
Expense Accounts
& much more!

...for 18 months to 3 years. That's a time-line that is somewhat standard allowance for beginning to produce a profit for many kinds of new/start-up businesses.

In essence, you need to have all of this in great detail so that investors know that you understand the financial aspects of running the proposed business. Makes them feel safer in the potential investment.

New businesses need start-up capital (financing) because they have not yet proven to be profitable. Capital investment is central to businesses being able to operate to their capacity...


QUESTION: Full brows, wax, threading or tweezing are not an option, what can I do so that this does not take away from the makeup?


Some tips about brows. If you are working with full brows & tweezing nor any form arching will be done or is not an option, try this:

_Use a clear brow gel to add a touch of grooming to them.
_Use a colored brow gel to groom, add polish & soften their look.
_Use 2 different colored brow gels (1 close to brow color, slightly lighter & another several shades lighter)
 ~Apply the lightest shade to beginning of brow (near bridge of nose)
 ~Apply other shade to highest part of arch & extend to the tail
 ~Use a spoolie to make both blend in a gradient
 ~The dimension this will add makes a huge difference

In both instances, brush brow up & out towards temples (vs brushing across) to give them a more open look. Brushing them up automatically gives you more exposure of the brow bone which improves how the completed look will convey.

QUESTION: What are the guidelines/examples of what should go in my portfolio?


People say don't compare yourself to others but I think it is a HUGE MISTAKE to not compare yourself/your body of work to that of those who lead the industry. Being realistic about where you want your career to go requires understanding the dynamics of the industry & applying certain aspects to your career. Protocol, hierarchy - so much comes into play. SO EDUCATE YOURSELF!

Of course as several mentioned, Crystal Wright is THEE leading industry expert in these matters who offers instruction about obtaining INDUSTRY AESTHETIC in your body of work & how to turn that into career advances.
http://www.CrystalWrightLive.com/ (Books, DVDs & Workshops)


These are some of the TOP AGENCIES IN THE WORLD. You'll see when you look at their rosters. Definitely a 'Who's Who' in the MUAs, Stylists, Hair Stylist & Nail Tech worlds.















QUESTION: New business cards, should I put myself on them?


but Ask Crystal Wright about your pic on your business card. http://www.CrystalWrightLive.com/

MY MAIN POINTS about NOT putting yourself on your card is because it automatically categorizes you. Your card automatically has a local feel vs a global feel unless some very strong dynamics are in place. I think that it lumps you into a category of MUAs & slows down careers & this is why:

The main reason this occurs is because the photos that are often chosen are not super-high quality head-shot caliber, fashion caliber & the make-up typically isn't killer enough to really make an impact statement. (if you can achieve all of that with an image of yourself, than by all means proceed) You can automatically get taken less seriously with a lack-luster card that has you on it vs a very strong, simple & sleek card with just your info on it.

Simple, clean or a few multi-ethnic images that reflect your strongest area of makeup are more memorable & way more impactful. Think, instead of myself, when someone sees my card I want _____ to come to their mind: Clean beauty, timeless bride, edgy fashion, pretty skin, gorgeous lashes, sick eyeshadow, killer bright lips. IMPACT, NOT "OH HE'S/SHE'S CUTE".

If you are in the process of revamping cards or getting new cards, you should run your mock-up by someone in another creative industry that will give you an honest opinion.

You are better off asking the opinions of people in marketing & advertising, fashion stylists, hair stylists, fine artists & architects or your favorite style maven because you know they have a much better eye for impact than your FB friends, or family who don't really know but just want to support you & sometimes cosign mediocrity.

QUESTION: What do you do if asked to do a TFP shoot w/ 3-5 models & photographer's work doesn't wow you?


Sometimes it's about what you stand to GAIN vs what you can GET.

Being able to do 3-5 models in that environment is an opportunity to push your artistry, try some things, learn more about editorial makeup, really hone your craft & refine some techniques for when you do have the chance to showcase them through the lens of an awesome photographer.

I wouldn't choose this gig over a paid one of course, but if your bookings are not consistent - why not give yourself the chance to improve in ways that experiences in the testing realm can uniquely bring you.
Experience is a huge benefit! 

If you had the spare time...look at your body of work. Look at your artistry. 3-5 different models so the potential to get 1, JUST ONE photo for your portfolio is safe to say, probable. People that do makeup - WHO REALLY ARE ARTISTS can easily influence photo shoots to better outcomes.

Are we that good AT OUR PASSION (I say that mockingly because so many MUAs say its our passion) to turn down an opportunity to do what WE SAY WE LOVE? ARE WE REALLY THAT GOOD? ARE OUR PORTFOLIOS THAT TIGHT THAT WE TURN OUR PASSION OFF LIKE A FAUCET because the photog is not that great?!

Could our portfolios use a pic of a totally fresh face (1 of the 5 might be gorgeous)?

OK, erase everything I just said. Do we love doing makeup on other people or not??? Just askin'...almost everyone is so quick to say no when NONE OF OUR PORTFOLIOS ARE TIGHT LIKE THAT! (this Q&A is from a chat forum)

QUESTION: I have a client who is blond with black tattooed brows, what do I do? 


In similar situations - I have covered the same as any tattoo using peachy toned concealer to completely neutralize & block out the black brow.

I love being left with a completely clean brow bone in order to create pure brow magic.... This is a win-win. 
Also, after you create the brow in the perfect color with powder, go in with a slightly darker SUPER SHARP brow pencil of the same color family and draw fine hairs directionally congruous with the texture of the hairs in her hairline.

QUESTION: Why do MUA discussion threads have to get so heated? 


I think with most disagreements in forums - people still have been pretty civil & the discussions end up diffusing on their own.

Again, I think debate is healthy & anyone/everyone involved in or who reads threads like this & all the dissenting opinions can learn plenty from it. They can learn about the industry & its tone, a little politics & of course makeup artistry technique.

If we never strongly disagree, I believe we miss the opportunity to acknowledge, consider or grasp thought processes that may be different from our own...then the learning potential decreases. That would be the most tragic thing of all.

Growth in & from forums is ultimately as much about character & maturity as it is about makeup knowledge, as it should be.

QUESTION: Could you further explain this tip? 

★ #MUAs: #GraspTheMastery #40: In mastery of highlights/contours - HIGHLIGHT 1st so you can better judge depth of contour.


Sure. If you apply the highlights to the high planes of the face (down center of nose, tops of the cheeks, center of forehead between brows) you can better judge the depth at which you should apply the contours.

Seeing the highlights in place first let you better judge the balance between the two.

You never want to apply the contours with too much intensity so you get a realistic look to facial sculpting - essential to beauty makeup.

QUESTION: Should I remove old work from my portfolio?

I say YES! You should tweak & update your portfolio as your body of work expands & improves.
Nothing wrong with keeping the old images for personal historical & reference purposes.

QUESTION: How do I begin to understand the different styles of makeup?


_I would say the FIRST place to begin researching the topic would be Google images. Just put in your search terms. (have a note pad ready) Include search for industry people (past & present) who are known for certain looks within the individual genres. MUAs, models, photographers, cinematographers, fine artists, lighting designers, costume designers & many more industry related jobs should be a secondary focus in your study.

_Next, make some time to go to the library and check out books on makeup history, beauty, fashion, fashion photography, history of film & the jobs I mentioned above. Totally commit to becoming a student of the industry & you will begin to get a very clear picture & gain tons of understanding of the intricacies.

_Also go to http://www.IMATSshow.com/ | http://www.TheMakeupShow.com/ | http://www.MakeupMag.com/. This is where you can see descriptions of different educational workshops with focus on particular styles of makeup including the ones you asked about. The trade show education is great because you are receiving tutelage from working pros with real-world techniques & experience to share.

_I recently wrote a blog about another approach to obtaining makeup artistry education: ∯ Makeup School......ROAD TRIP!!!!! http://jenniferjamesbeauty.blogspot.com/2011/02/makeup-schoolroad-trip.html

_Keep in mind that there are still many grant opportunities associated with educational institutions that FOCUS ON MAKEUP ARTISTRY. Their admissions offices are very helpful in guiding you in locating funds you may be eligible for. Hope this helps. :-)

QUESTION:  Do I need a license?


In my many years as a beauty professional, I have held Nail Technician & Esthetician (both) licenses in the states of MI, GA, VA & NY. The only instance where I was asked to produce any of THOSE credentials was in salon environments. The laws on the books & their lack of enforcement can work as two way streets in terms of making things harder for MUAs & sometimes easier across the board.

__As many of you know from my posts, I am troubled that our industry seems to have a deaf ear (NOT EVERYONE) to the importance of sufficient education in INDUSTRY HISTORY, COLOR THEORY, BASIC ANATOMY, INTRODUCTORY ART CLASSES & OMG YES SAY IT AIN'T SO - S.A.N.I.T.I.Z.A.T.I.O.N. (nooooooooooooooooooooo)

__If MUAs at every level don't get on the ball, I just see many who have not prepared themselves appropriately to soon get left behind in an industry that is affected by advances in technology like many others. As an educator, I plan to do my part by extending EVERYTHING I have learned to any/every MUA who is open to receiving what I may have to offer. In the social media realm & in the classroom.

__Special circumstances in the MI economy have allowed me to soon be able to offer certifications in different aspects of MU Artistry education & training under a state accredited program - a huge step in assisting MI MUAs in seeing the light of day on these issues.

__It is going to take individual actions by many of us to get this all straightened out. In the meantime, we have to get some THICKER SKIN & continue to POLICE OURSELVES. (Each other)

QUESTION: How can I make the most of my next photo shoot?


Try to find out what kind of camera the photog will be shooting with; then you can do some investigation into which types of foundations work well with it & learn how the particular camera sees aspects of color theory. That way you can adjust your color choices for a very productive shoot. (See Receding & Aggressive. See Color & Light in COLOR THEORY section of INDUSTRY TERMINOLOGY document within this group)

CONCENTRATE on including a simple, neutral palette beauty shot that is executed to your best ability. If you want, you could go for a slightly edgier one by using a mono-chromatic palette for a less traditional shot. Practice your contours & highlights so that they are blended well & appear as if they are actually coming from beneath the skin. Be very aware of your model's bone structure & watch the brows, they shoot much heavier than they look at times. (Keep them softly fading into, not beyond the bridge of the nose & consider using a lighter brow powder or pencil than you normally would)

At the shoot: If lighting conditions are not good enough in the area you do the makeup, ask photographer if you could be moved to better light to work under or if he could set up something temporarily. Get 'reads' of how your work is coming across through the lens by asking the photographer to show you some of the pics once he starts shooting. Be there when he begins so that you can see your work in the lighting he has designed in case you want to make adjustments (add or take away)

I have a lot more so ask if anything concerns you.

QUESTION: Why don't many beauty artists understand stage makeup?


THAT'S OUR PROBLEM! WE DON'T STUDY OUR OWN INDUSTRY! Even though I know it to be true - To hear someone say that beauty artists don't understand stage makeup is heartbreaking to me.



This thread is also a great example of the importance of reading the whole thread so that you respect EVERYONE'S opinion who commented as you want your comment respected and heard.
I hear MUAs often say "MAKEUP IS MY PASSION". As a self critic & critic of the MUA community as a whole, I question the passion if some of us would be willing to believe that a master MUA like Sam Fine would commit a huge blunder like giving Monique stage makeup accidentally. I say that because with thorough evaluation of his body of work & that of other masters of makeup artistry (something we should be extremely familiar with) & a duty to KNOW OUR OWN INDUSTRY; it's disappointing that this even came into question by so many of us.

I encourage EVERYONE to push beyond the boundaries of your view & always be open to the possibilities that exist for our learning. We love 'artist' on the end of our title & have a duty to keep its integrity. So let's not just do the verb - BE THE NOUN!


QUESTION: How do I create a creased look on a hooded eyelid?


I create what looks like a really deep set eye by placing intensity directly on the area where you can feel the eye socket itself. (Gently use your finger to feel around their eye socket for correct placement) 

Also noting that placement is ABOVE where eyelid ACTUALLY CREASES so you're fashioning a crease based on facial anatomy. Then, blending the distinct shape of the eye socket so it fades towards brow - but not so much that I close off the brow bone too much. 

Leaving that protruded look to the brow bone accentuates the depth of the 'created crease' even more so.

QUESTION: I'm a beginner & have been asked to do an unpaid pageant job, Should I?


When you have NEVER had an experience or NEVER been in an environment AS A WORKING MUA & OBSERVER - that's enough to see it as something worth participating in. Everything in life is not about what you may be able to GET

The sheer experience is such a great teacher & what you gain for yourself in that realm is priceless. You just have to go into with the positive attitude that you can learn something & YOU WILL. I have had some awful situations ultimately be some EXCELLENT learning moments.

QUESTION: How do I begin to charge a client I previously traded with?


Compose a great letter to them & include a fee schedule, your comp card, business cards & a thank you card/note reminding them how greatly you worked together. ESSENTIALLY A PRESS PACKAGE. This would clearly indicate that you are OPEN FOR B.U.S.I.N.E.S.S & expect to be compensated for the services & customer service that you dutifully provide. :-)

QUESTION: Is a MUA hindering themselves by only doing eyes one certain way?

I always say look at the industry as a WHOLE & what parts of the industry are actually going to PAY for certain looks - that is if the industry is even supporting certain artistry or not.

That kind of artist will likely be restricted to a certain segment which is very limiting. The most successful MUAs do makeup that has a global appeal, so if your brand's bread & butter style of makeup does not have broad appeal - you have a very good chance of staying "local".

Also too, it depends on the style of "cut crease" My personal attraction to them is the degree of dimension & transformation of eye shape that can be achieved with different cut creases. Here are some images that I believe argue my point about the importance of the cut crease itself & also the importance of its style to the who look.

Madonna by Kevyn Aucoin: http://bit.ly/ggLpDc
Trish Goff by Kevyn Aucoin: http://bit.ly/hnmbpM
WinonaRyder as Elizabeth Taylor by Kevyn Aucoin: http://bit.ly/gfKLY1

I purposely picked Kevyn's images because his cut creases were so masterful & to rebut a forum member's assertion that the makeup in his books is dated - uh, NOT!!!

So I'm all for cut creases - I am not for an artist limiting ones self IN ANY WAY! Just eyes does not make in income. Lack of complexion perfection does not result in an income. So I guess you could say it's about how far a MUA wants to go into certain segments of the industry.

The style of makeup I believe you are referring to doesn't make it onto any magazine covers & rarely do celebs (not reality TV personalities) with a craft & some talent pay top dollar to have a MUA make them look that way.

QUESTION: What makes mascara worth it? The wand or the formula? 


I think MORE of the value is in the formula. I have found differences in the formula from mascara to mascara. I think price point can have something to do with it sometimes... but from my experiences - the high end (drug store high end) the moderately priced ones (dept. store moderate) seem to have a lot of REALLY good ones. (formula & applicator in one) 

Test this theory yourself by trying different formulas WITH THE SAME DISPOSABLE WAND that has your favorite brush. My all-time favorite is Lancome Definicils for being smooth & non-flaking, velvety finish, dense brush w/ med length bristles & medium set up time for combing & separating. I wish I could buy disposables JUST like the ones included with it.

Another example for the argument that there is more value in the formula...anyone use that MAC Lash Fan? (#205 I think, mine rubbed off) An exceptional tool with any mascara but the use of it distinguishes the better formulas from the mediocre ones because that tool allows you to more readily see the benefit of thicker, smoother & non-flaking mascara over the ones that are more fluid (lower viscosity) which just aren't substantial enough to do everything you want mascara to do. 

A good wand/spoolie/applicator does not change this. Like Telescopic Explosion, that formula is so crappy to me even when I use my good spoolies & other tools...but when I take its applicator & use w/ other mascara with formulas I love, MAGIC. I actually purchased 6 of them to extract the applicator as it is a washable/sanitizable tool that I now rely on. Having said that, the applicator did not sell me on the formula but good formulas can sell me on an inferior applicator.  

If I had to choose between the two, give me the superb velvety non flaking mascara that is a rich not too shiny blacker than the blackest black LOL that performs. If wands did not exist, I would just paint each individual lash with an eyeliner brush or what ever tool would apply it. #TeamFORMULA

QUESTION: I'm not a fan of loose powders.


OMG! LOOSE POWDERS ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN PRESSED! They have less oil & no binding ingredients to interrupt perfect adhesion to primers & foundations. Mastery of loose powders is a must for every MUA. Especially in the advent of such advanced photographic equipment technology.

QUESTION: What's this MUA Reverse Assistant Program you are working on? Mentoring?


What I am working on now is very different from mentoring. It's a Pro to Pro situation (different levels) meant to strengthen MUA relations globally & to exponentially elevate the level of craftsmanship across the MUA community. The focus is on the more senior Pro catering to advancing the other MUA within that MUA's own work setting. Stay tuned!

QUESTION: Would art classes help me?


Art classes would definitely help. Any aspect of Fine Art in the form of education, I highly recommend. Introduction to Art, Foundation, Art History, Mixed Media, Illustration...& many more.

Have a look here: http://www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/ then research what's available from educational institutions in your area. You will find many programs that allow people to take courses without entering into a full degree program. Make phone calls & find out how through admissions their departments.

We have that 'A' at the end of MUA - I say more of us take that seriously & actually tap into the artist within us.

QUESTION: How do I increase longevity of makeup in hot, humid climates?


To preserve makeup, you must blot with tissues every step of the way. After moisturizer & primer, again after applying foundation (before you set with powder). Use an open plain facial tissue (don't ball it up or use as a wad). Lay it flatly over the trouble spots (t-zone, area around nose) & gently, smoothly with moderate pressure rub over surface of tissue to effectively pick up excess skin oil & product oil.

You then want to seal the makeup against sweat, humidity & moisture. There are several sealers available that help makeup last & render it transfer resistant. "Model In A Bottle" & "Final Seal" by Ben Nye. Both are tops in the industry. Another option is a plant based hair holding spray (aerosol). Go to drug store, beauty supply, retail salon & pick up one that has mostly botanical ingredients & make sure fragrance is very near the end of the ingredients list. Hope this helps.
If you do decide on a SKYPE session, I can show you even more tip & tricks on makeup durability & we can extensively cover highlighting/contouring techniques.

QUESTION: When doing multiple clients, should I use foundation brushes or disposable sponge wedges?


Another reason to employ sponges is because of the flawlessness you can achieve by patting/pressing foundation once it is in place. You CANNOT achieve the same perfection with a foundation brush - they inherently leave streaks... because of the way the fibers are.

Please invest in a magnifying glass so that you can see for yourself. FOUNDATION BRUSHES LEAVE STREAKS! (links for magnifying glasses in "Resource Panel")

I am ok with using them to place foundation, but for smooth blending no way! Again if you are skeptical, scrutinize your work with a magnifying glass. The whole notion that foundation brushes are better because they don't soak up product is a sales tactic within the retail environment. If you lay the foundation then perfect with sponges, there is no concern with product being soaked up because the sponge is not used as a product conduit (as the brush is) but a refining tool.

Another reason sponges work so well for perfecting foundation is that they will "hold" a bit of product which is conducive to the foundation being more evenly distributed. Sponges will release much of the so called 'soaked up' product as you go.

For sponges, I highly recommend Sonia Kashuk's & Beauty Blender because they have no harsh edges - which I prefer for facial work. I keep wedges for other work and to create details.

To maintain sponges that are not disposable, (like the ones I mention in above comment) shampoo under warm running faucet with Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Wash or a lathering, clarifying facial cleanser.

Soak them with water in the palm of you hand, add hand wash/facial cleanser & continuously squeeze under running water. Repeat until sponge is free of any remaining foundation when water runs clear. Air dry on fresh paper towel.  

QUESTION: How do you keep brushes clean for the next client?


This troubles me: Quote - "i just don't like how the eyeshadow from the last client gets on the new client lol" (comment from forum thread)

If you have ever transferred color from one client to the next - YOU HAVE LIKELY TRANSFERRED BACTERIA. You must NEVER use the same brush on multiple people without THOROUGH CLEANSING.

Please reassess your distaste for using lots of brushes or REALLY TIGHTEN UP ON YOUR SANITIZATION PRACTICES. I would hate for you to get into trouble (sued) for passing an infection from one client to another. YOU HAVE TO PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR CLIENTS WITH STRINGENT SANITIZATION OF PRO KIT & INCLUDED TOOLS. You should also invest in enough brushes where you don't have to clean any while working.

If you must clean brushes that you need to use again right away, Parian Spirit Brush cleanser cleanses, sanitizes & conditions brushes - dries in minutes. http://www.ParianSpirit.com/main.html

Personally, NOTHING MAKES ME HAPPIER than 200+ dirty brushes at the end of a work day. $$$

*This is a continuing post that will be updated as I come across & retrieve from the past more interesting questions that I feel that I have given a really helpful answer for. Updates will appear at beginning of post.


Jennifer James | MUA


*Said really fast like disclaimers on radio commercials*
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any known YOU TUBE (rs) is purely coincidental & criticism does not depict any single description of any 1 (one) account on You Tube or their affiliates i.e the following is solely opinion based ranting of an Internet addict who has OCD on so many levels that this disclaimer had to be included to protect the rights of the innocent & those who may be offended by said criticisms. 

What is really happening??? What has become of pride??? Has shame cashed out its 401k & gone to retire??? Why is there, seemingly - no reference point for what's appropriate & what isn't???


I know I'm not the only one who has noticed that things have gone awry in many areas of society - but gee wiz WHAT IS GOING ON OVER THERE ON YOU TUBE WITH THE MAKEUP TUTORIALS???

You have seen some of the same things I have? Right? I won't go into any specifics about makeup technique, but haven't some of you wondered why _______ has sssoooooooooooooo many hits when:

1)  They don't seem to be very well versed at all in the subject they are offering instruction about. <<< WHY DOES ANYONE LISTEN TO THESE TYPES?

2)  They lead off their video with disclaimers & requests to be excused for this&that because this is wrong or that is bad so please forgive me. Excuses out of the gate?! <<< WHY NOT WORK OUT THE KINKS, THEN FILM THE VIDEO?

3)  The purpose of the video is to show HOW TO do something yet strikingly - they seem to be showing WHAT NOT TO DO in this particular instance. <<< WHO TOLD THEM THEY SHOULD ATTEMPT TO EDUCATE OTHERS? WHERE IS THE INDUSTRY STANDARD THAT THEY HAVE REFERENCED TO SUPPORT THEIR METHODS?

4)  They have elected to film their video in an environment with so many noise distractions that you can't even pay attention to what they are saying. <<< WHY IS THIS SO COMMON? WHERE IS THE MODEL FOR THIS?

5)  The background looks like a tornado has gone through the room! It's such a mess back there, you'd think Neicy Nash is going to walk up any second! <<< WHY WOULD IT BE OK TO REPRESENT YOURSELF THIS WAY?

6)  Pajamas, treadmill as a coat rack, underwear, vacuum cleaner, stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer, iron/board, stacks of unfolded (even folded) laundry, recent CostCo haul (toilet paper, case of Top Ramen, paper towel, cereal, cleaning products, snacks) & many other household items DO NOT DOUBLE AS PROPS IN THE BACKGROUND OF A MAKEUP TUTORIAL VIDEO! <<< WHERE IS YOUR DIGNITY?

7)  An obviously wrinkled & not so new or clean looking bed-sheet draped over two broken halogen lamps is NOT - in any way, a desirable backdrop. <<< HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY  BE ACCEPTABLE STAGING?

 (portable staging idea I've been tossing around)

8)  Peeling wallpaper, crooked towel rack, moldy shower curtain, a general need for the total bathroom scrub down...& etc...<<< SO WHY HAS ONE CHOSEN THIS, A GLARINGLY FILTHY BATHROOM AS "PRODUCTION SET" TO BE A SIGNATURE OF THEIR YOU TUBE PRESENCE?

9)  Dozens of videos/thousands upon thousands of views later & still no attempt to improve your overall image/presentation. Still mispronouncing company & product names. <<< SHOULDN'T HOBBYISTS, ENTHUSIASTS & MUAs BE HELD TO SOME STANDARD OF RESPECT FOR THE COLLEAGUES, COMPANIES & PRODUCTS THEY CRITIQUE/PROMOTE/REPRESENT?

10) Last, but hardly least...the wretched multi-tasking of engaging their YT audience & interacting with their kids, significant others, neighbors, other people, things & situations going on in the background. <<< HOW IN THE WORLD COULD ANYONE RATIONALIZE THAT THIS IS ACCEPTABLE TO A POTENTIALLY GLOBAL AUDIENCE?

...so the question remains... WHO HAS DONE A "TUTORIAL" TUTORIAL??? Where are the videos by You Tube gurus who are simply promoting and giving instruction on "THE ART" of producing a well made, thought out & polished tutorial no matter the subject?

It is by no means every beauty guru on YT that has caused me to cite the examples above - but you must agree that we see ENTIRELY TOO MANY vids that could be used as references for WHAT NOT TO DO when making them.  I am amazed as to how many violators are on equal footing & above those who might be considered "cream of the crop in quality" relative to viral video success's bottom line - VIEWS! How few of those very views are gawkers just wanting to see a train wreck? Either way, those views represent potential influence & many companies look at that as a way to reach potential cu$tomer$.

As a makeup artist, most of the accounts that I subscribe to have something to do with makeup, beauty, cosmetics & all things related.  I have been paying a good amount of attention to how I would like to increase my presence on You Tube & will not make another move towards it without careful consideration & planning.  Regard for aesthetic standards of many industries comes into play: TV/video production, lighting, set design, cinematography, script writing, speech & personality.

I only hope to be able to produce video content that will engage my audience, help my brand as well as elevating the collective reputation of MUAs & beauty hobbyists/enthusiasts on the Internet via You Tube.

So, again - here I am crying out to my fellow lovers of the makeup industry to take it up a notch. This time on You Tube. We should ALL care to REPRESENT OURSELVES most positively...I wish for more of us to be prouder ambassadors of our personal & collaborative message...


...then again, I have to admit that there is BEAUTY in the sheer freedom that ANYONE & EVERYONE has the right to produce the video of their capabilities & broadcast it to the world...

...but you know me - I JUST HAD TO SAY SOMETHING!!! :-)

Jennifer James | Makeup Artist


Related blogs & websites:

SKYPE Beauty Sessions
SKYPE Beauty (for Mary Kay, AVON & Artistry)
Chic TV
Sam Fine Beauty
New York Magazine
Jennifer James Beauty on TWITTER
Jennifer James Beauty on FACEBOOK

JENNIFER JAMES BEAUTY Makeup Class Descriptions (Requested Information)

•Private Lessons•

Fashion Make Up for Runway & Print 

This 5-Hour course will explore the techniques, execution & product selection necessary to achieve industry trend, classic & standard make up looks applicable to many fashion media. These exercises will emphasize the importance of skin preparation, perfecting of the complexion, knowledge of sculpting (contour/highlight), precision eye, cheek & lip effects - which are all conducive to a beautiful fashion look.  We will also focus on the use of different textures in cosmetic color products (matte, satin, shimmer, creamy, sheer, opague etc) to achieve the desired result within the direction of the designer's/creative director's/stylist'/photographer's vision. Attendees are asked to bring their collections, kits, brushes & a model for this intensive environment where the artists will be able to apply specific methods like brush techniques in practice.
_5 hours includes one 30 minute catered lunch break & two 10-minute breaks. Class materials provided by Jennifer James Beauty & include: JJB F_MU Workbook, 1 Professional Brush Set/Make Up Kit, value $75
*Upon cancellation, cost of course is 75% refundable minus a $28 processing fee.
TOTAL COST: $395.00

Prom, Bridal & Red Carpet Beauty

This 5-Hour course will explore techniques, execution & product application necessary to achieve beauty make up looks for all special occasions. Artists will be more able to provide better than satisfactory results through careful evaluation of the client's needs & desires.  The session will be a hands-on exploration into wearable, real world, gorgeous make up that is focused on enhancing the individual. The make up applications that will be covered will hone the artists' skill set, allowing the artists to expand their client base exponentially...prom & bridal seasons are just weeks away!  Our
concentration will be towards beautiful, glowing skin, attention to exquisite brow shaping & enhancement - and of course very glamorous eye, cheek & lip looks. They range from very soft to intense; the use of different make up formulas/textures/colors & the application of lashes are featured. The techniques applied to this medium are basic, yet we will go beyond that with exceptional artistry & customer service. Here, our goal is clean, beautiful make up. Attendees are asked to bring their collections, kits, brushes & a model for this intensive environment where the artists will be able to apply these specifics for this very specialized client.
_5 hours includes one 30 minute catered lunch break & two 10-minute breaks.Class materials provided by Jennifer James Beauty & include: JJB P_B_R Workbook, 1 Professional Brush Set/Make Up Kit, value $75 
*Upon cancellation, cost of course is 75% refundable minus a $28 processing fee.
TOTAL COST: $350.00

Brow Boot Camp

This 4-Hour session is for the Make Up Artist who wishes to greatly improve their abilities with brow grooming, shaping & achieving different brow looks/enhancements with color. Brow Boot Camp will strongly focus on enhancing individual features, correcting over-groomed brows, precision application of brow waxes/powders/pencils/gels. This segment assures that the artist brilliantly executes beautiful eye brow looks for every segment of the industry; whether it be consumer, bridal, HD TV, or fashion/editorial. Attendees are asked to bring their collections, kits, brushes & a model for this intensive environment where the artists will be able to apply specifics concerning brows in practice.
_4 hours includes catered snack break & one 10-minute break. Class materials provided by Jennifer James Beauty & include: JJB Brow_ Workbook 
*Upon cancellation, cost of course is 75% refundable minus a $28 processing fee.
TOTAL COST: $250.00


This session is for anyone who desires to learn the tricks & techniques necessary to create beautiful eye shadow combinations including everyday looks, glamorous  looks & the looks worn by your favorite celebrity! You will learn how to accentuate your eye shape, enhance eye color & to make the best of your brows. We will also cover basics like skin care, choosing the right foundation, how to best apply lashes & correcting/camouflaging flaws.  Additional attention will be given to lip liner / lipstick / lip gloss looks for every occasion. Attendees are asked to bring their collections, kits, brushes. Class materials provided by Jennifer James Beauty & include: JJB I_Workbook, 1 Brush Set & Make Up Kit, value $45 
*Upon cancellation, cost of course is 75% refundable minus a $28 processing fee.
TOTAL COST: $155.00

Airbrush Perfection

This 5-Hour course will explore the critical aspects of Airbrush Makeup for the beauty segment. We will cover different application techniques employed specifically by the airbrush makeup medium. These exercises will emphasize the importance of skin preparation, perfecting of the complexion, knowledge of sculpting (contour/highlight), precision eye,  and cheek  techniques - all of which can be achieved with airbrush. We will also focus on the use of different textures in cosmetics color lines (matte, satin, shimmer,  sheer, etc) to achieve the desired result whether for a consumer, television talent or photography. Attendees are asked to bring their collections, kits, airbrushes & a  model for this intensive environment where the artists will be able to enhance their skill-set specific to the airbrush medium.
_5 hours includes one 30 minute catered lunch break & two 10-minute breaks.Class materials provided by Jennifer James Beauty & include:AB_MU Workbook, AB Accessory Kit, value $35
*Upon cancellation, cost of course is 75% refundable minus a $28 processing fee.
TOTAL COST: $295.00

All classes available via SKYPE. (reduced rate)

For inquiries about classes in your city, please send correspondence to jenjamesbeauty@gmail.com.

"iFABBO Endorsed" by Pumps & Gloss.com!

∯ Makeup School......ROAD TRIP!!!!!

★  For anyone saving or have funds to put towards education - what about this? Get an education buddy & team up to split some of the travel/lodging costs. Have a look at the hands-on master class lists at makeup industry main events IMATS, http://www.IMATSshow.com & The Makeup Show, http.www.TheMakeupShow.com. Add up the cost of a flight, hotel, auto rental, show ticket fees, & actual cost for each master class. These classes are the best because you are receiving hands-on instruction from WORKING TOP INDUSTRY PROS who are covering so many different aspects of the MUA career & artistry.

★ It may turn out to be a really good deal based on the fact that you know you would be receiving comprehensive tutelage from people who are or have been where you want to go. It could provide you with the experience of learning up close & personal; add up 2-3 of these dedicated trips a year & in a few years - You have gotten a wealth of priceless schooling.

 *Photo: Fashion Makeup for Runway & Print Class from Jennifer James Beauty.

★ You have also had opportunities to network with important industry people who got a chance to evaluate you & your commitment - you never know what they may be able to do for your career if you make a lasting impression. Events like those can really make a difference & so can trips to NYC for The Powder Group's ongoing classes which are VERY REASONABLE. http://www.ThePowderGroup.com/

★ There is also Elevate Artists at Studio 400 http://www.ElevateArtists.com/ in DC that features master classes from people like Lottie Stannard http://www.LotStar.com/ (Keying many shows for Fashion Week) & TV & editorial powerhouse Kat Aragon http://www.dripbook.com/kataragon/splash/ - also at very reasonable prices like $150-$400 per. If you like & have the freedom to travel - something to think about in case you don't settle on an extended program at an accredited makeup school.

These are just a fraction of the places & people teaching classes around the nation whether available through organizations or individual artists. (See Below) You can do Internet searches to find their offerings or click on their names to go right to their websites.

Thank you friend & colleague Frances Williams

for this list: 

Marietta Carter Narcisse / Suzanne Patterson / Danessa Myricks / DeShawn Hatcher / Sara Seidman Vance / Nakeah Fuller / Janice Tunnell / Denise Tunnell / Lauren Clark / Synthe Maria / Orlando Santiago / Roque Cozzette / James Vincent


Related blogs:

5 Reasons COLOR THEORY Matters in Makeup Artistry
Why *eyes 1st* Stunts The Growth of Your Artistry
Cosmetology School? Yea or Nay? - NAY!

As usual, thanks for stopping by. Your readership is greatly appreciated!


Jennifer James | MUA

★ Shame Shame Shame!!! MUAs - WE ARE HIRED HELP!!!

Well clutch the antique pearls!!...in my inbox? What? A Make-Up Artist ranting that a bride had suggestions during the consult? How dare that bride, actually having an opinion about what she shall look like on her wedding day! What's a MUA to do?

Shame Shame Shame!!! MUAs - WE ARE HIRED HELP!!! We are hired to do a beautiful job because of our expertise, experience & ...

Without clients - WE ARE NOTHING!

WE OFTEN HAVE NO POWER OVER ART/CREATIVE DIRECTION of weddings UNLESS that is a part of the contract agreement or TOTAL TRUST is established other-wise...as in through a detailed consult or you have an EXTENSIVE BRIDAL PORTFOLIO that gives the client complete confidence in you. When you bring these specialized services to a bridal client, charge adequate fees & still remain mindful that we are hired help.

In bridal situations, RARELY is there an existent opportunity to execute YOUR vision for what a bridal client may desire for herself. The stresses that brides feel when it comes to their planning & ultimately the big day are understandable UNLESS it comes to the point where HIRED HELP, like MAKE-UP ARTISTS are suffering some form of abuse from said client.

When working with bridal clients, use images & do a VERY THOROUGH CONSULT so you are more likely to grasp the client's vision. When the client is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR & CONFIDENT that you are in tune with their vision - you may have the freedom to show more of YOUR technique, expertise, personal make-up philosophy & really put your stamp on the bridal looks.

A MUA being TOLD WHAT TO DO is not abuse. A picky client usually is not stepping on our toes or questioning our expertise...


We should relish each opportunity to satisfy a very selective client every chance we get,
after all...

...most of us cannot rightfully think of it any other way because with our current level of expertise & experience - we have much growth to achieve. Much of that growth may be wisdom.


Jennifer James | MUA

bc of ur blog post, i decided to go to MUD to perfect skills as a MUA (been in it via retail since '07 n i learned hands-on so no official school). i want to eventually live off of it. do u think there's potential to succeed thru school's network of jobs?


WOW! because of my little ole' blog?! Thanks so much for reading! Was it the post called Cosmetology School? Yea or Nay? NAY!...

Congratulations! I highly recommend MUD Schools & actually plan to attend the SOHO (NYC) location myself in the very near future. More education is always a good look.

I don't particularly have much faith in schools connecting you to work. I do believe that along the way, you have the opportunity to meet people who could aid you in finding work...

Once you have the education & the experience - your confidence to generate career moves for yourself is what you should rely on.

That's my take, you evaluate things further as you go through the educational experience & all the things that come with it.

Thank you, very good question!

Why are you being so shy? ASK! It's anonymous.

★ 5 Reasons COLOR THEORY Matters in MakeUp Artistry

As I get to know more & more MakeUp Artists through social media, the current state of the industry becomes more evident in many ways. I purposely cite the CURRENT state because so much has changed in the many years since I began my quest.

These differences are also evident when working on gigs with other artists - it is only magnified by the Internet because one is able to bear witness to vastly larger numbers of MUAs & their practices. Having embarked on my discovery of myself as an Educator over the past few years - this notion has also crudely slapped me in the face: EVERYBODY is a Make-Up Artist, but where is the commitment to the core principles of the craft.

Most of us cannot even approach the mastery of contemporaries of ours like Pat McGrath, Billy Brasfield, Lottie Stannard, Sam Fine, Viktorija Bowers, Ralph Siciliano, & Shutchai Buacharern. It is no coincidence that these MakeUp Artists have the connections that they do to the art world & its technicalities. Study their backgrounds & you will realize how important that connection is to them, what they do & how they are inspired. It should be important to you as well! You owe it to the industry, its masters, its history & its aesthetics -  to give it everything within you while you honor the greats as you honor yourself - WITH EDUCATION & TRAINING.

It's exciting to meet younger & or novice MUAs who seem to truly have passion for EVERY aspect of the craft. Sadly, I find them to be fewer & fewer amongst the masses of us. Most shockingly I have noticed how so many MUAs really take to heart the being considered a true "artist" part, yet...

...knowledge of color theory is either very limited or completely non-existent. This is meant to be a 'call out' of the ones who are guilty of this - so if you are offended, R.U.N, DON'T WALK TO A COLOR THEORY CLASS IN YOUR AREA. A simple Google search can lead you to the possibilities.

*Image by Kristine Brown of Twisting The Norm
So this blog post is dedicated to those of us who THINK color theory doesn't matter. My goal is to provoke thought & to encourage MUAs to be relentless in raising their personal bar. Especially since many MUAs ARE NOT naturally artistic - there should be more attention to training & education on many of the technical aspects. Some of these technical aspects include anatomy, cosmetics chemistry, product formulation, skin science, business/marketing practices & COLOR THEORY!!!

Here are just 5 scenarios that argue my COLOR THEORY point:

1) You get a TV gig. It's being shot in HD. On camera, your work does not look like it does in person. Knowledge of COLOR THEORY could have kept you from being in this predicament in the first place & give you the skill you need to rectify it.

2) Your first time in the Make-Up Dept. on a film set. The Key expects you to have many skills under your belt. Like basic corrective make-up techniques needed to keep talent's looks within the vision of the Key's design. You are assigned to cover a specific defect on the talent's face in a very short span of time. No time to test several cover shades, you think you can eyeball it but you have NEVER dealt with this kind/color of skin abnormality. There it is - COLOR THEORY.

3) You're trying to achieve a certain look for a client & the colors are reading one way & the client wants another. Evaluation of client's undertones relative to the palette being used requires applied COLOR THEORY to render the desired result. Period.

4) You get the privilege to work with a very experienced, knowledgeable & talented photographer (for a bridal magazine) who is extremely well versed technically - & ANAL. He says the tint needs to be adjusted in the model's lip color.  Your lack of knowledge of COLOR THEORY has you in a state where you don't even know the follow-up question to ask the photog in this instance - so you're completely lost. The definition of TINT in the color theory realm is a need to know, but you aren't sure between TINT & TONE...yikes.

5) An opportunity arises for you to assist an agency represented MakeUp Artist. Part of the job description is 'knowledge of COLOR THEORY a plus'. You have none so you miss an opportunity to get on the roster of assistants at a reputable artists'/stylists' agency. Womp,Womp!

There a dozens more examples I could come up with, but I think the point is well made. Any TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE RELATED TO ART can be of great benefit to Make-Up Artists. This game is very competitive, so as many advantages as you can give yourself - I ADMONISH YOU TO DO SO! Instinct is very important; refining the technician in you will only make those instincts more keen.


Jennifer James | Schoolmarmish MakeUp Artist

Related blogs:

MakeUp & A Racial Divide...in 2010?!?!
Cosmetology School? Yea or Nay? NAY!
"I Love Working at _____!" OH DO YOU? REALLY? REALLY?

Websites on COLOR THEORY:

Beauty Talk w/ Cosmetics Color Expert Trae Bodge

THE CASE AGAINST B.I.G S.Q.U.A.R.E B.L.O.C.K EYEBROWS!!! (& other overdrawn monstrosities)

 Ok, here I go again. Constantly on a rant about brows. I LOVE EYEBROWS! They are the facial feature that have captured my heart - on men, women, boys & girls. I just love them! Although intended to be nature's protection for the eyes; serving as an awning of sorts to grab wayward debris from entering those peepers. How we have come to esteem them as such a thing of beauty? Maybe because of the way they frame our eyes, the beautiful windows to the soul...

Anywho...I believe my obsession was born out of the genetic card I happen to have been dealt. Those thick beautiful & full natural brows just don't run in my family. Being a beauty junkie since I was about 13 - I was primed to eventually become a Make-Up Artist; THAT IS HOW MY INTENSE LOVE AFFAIR WITH BROWS BEGAN!

Through my work, I am blessed with many opportunities to enhance, shape, sculpt, groom & create brow looks that run the gamut. Soft & pretty, striking high-fashion, faint & delicate, naturally refined...the list goes on & on! Having incorporated Make-Up Artistry Education into my repertoire, I have noticed a few buzz words/phrases that I always use in my descriptions of well done beautiful eyebrows.

Facial anatomy, symmetry, proportion, scale, balance...sometimes I feel like I'm beating a dead horse. Yet I keep it up; there is always someone who may get something out of what I keep saying over & over & over again. So if you find this boring, please turn away now!

Here I go!

The bad:

I see many brows EVERY DAY that I find to be criminal. Many done by the wearers themselves & LAWD HAVE MERCY - some people actually paid someone to make them look that way. UGH!!! Tragic. I created a few monstrosities on myself so you'll see what I mean:

ANGRY ANGULAR - Who came up w/this shape & that awful angle?...SCARY!

BETWEEN LOVE & HATE - Oh! A thin black line, REALLY??? REALLY???

EBONY & IVORY - I'm all for a nice brow highlight, but WHYYYYYYY!?

GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT - If that's not a comma, I don't know what is!

MAGNETIC FIELD - These seem to be drawn...TO EACH OTHER! WAAAAAAY too close.
ROAD BLOCK - There they are, THE BIG SQUARE BLOCK BROW! Just stop! Too too much harshy mcharshness & that wretched square. I shudder...

ROTUNDA - Ronald McDonald is not a beauty icon. The victims of these always look, well... surprised. Sad. :-(

IN-VITRO - My my my, sperm-like shapes have no place in browdom.

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? - Too big, arch too high, OVERDRAWN, just too too much & makes one look too too CRAZY!

BROWAREXIC - Ok, shape is ok, but why so so so very thin. These have definitely missed some meals.

TOO TOO STRAIGHT - NO CHASER - Too much of this brow is parallel to the floor. Stop it please!
See all of the above in my Facebook album, Brow Styles I Despise!

The graph below is what I use to show bad proportion, scale & balance. Explained in detail in a previous blog HERE.

This graph is what I use to show the beauty of obedience to facial anatomy. Simple as A, B & C! Also explained in detail HERE.

Now, it 's only fair that I use myself, once again to exemplify what is wrong in the brow world & why it is just so important that brows do have scale, have balance, obey facial anatomy, have proportion & really have a somewhat seamless-ness about them - within the goal of achieving precision. So on the LEFT, Photoshop helped me to show why this blog's namesake - B.I.G S.Q.U.A.R.E B.L.O.C.K EYEBROWS should be banished from creation. Few, if any situations call for brows like this. After all CLOWNS are not style icons as I mentioned earlier & the beauty industry aesthetic is far from this & those atrocities above! On the RIGHT is my actual current Facebook & Twitter avatar; it shows how I really wear my brows most days.

See what I mean? A softer brow that fades faintly towards the bridge of the nose is so much more realistic, attractive & balanced. If you are a MUA & you do brows like the ones on the left, I hope I have offended you into reconsidering your technique & adjusting what you believe looks correct in the over-all scheme of brow things! :-)

The good: When working with brows, I always obey what I call the A B Cs of shaping which are shown here on a real live model. The premise is based upon consideration of the face as a whole; being mindful of every facial feature & their relation to brows. Eye spacing, the continuum between the brow & bridge of the nose, width of nose, width of lips...EVERY FACIAL FEATURE!!

My favorite technique for sculpting brows with color cosmetics is to enhance (& strengthen if sparse) brows with powder or eyeshadow in a hue that compliments the natural tones of the skin & the natural depth of the person's features. This would typically be a color that is slightly lighter than the hairs of their natural brow. I'll then go in with a SUPER SHARP brow pencil & draw VERY FINE hair-like strokes (same color as hairs of natural brow) in sparse areas to add dimension. I find powder alone can sometimes look flat & unrealistic. Pencil remedies that & lends to a more natural, real-looking mimic of the brow. Another method I often go to is using brown cream liner (with a very small, precise angle brush) to draw on super fine hair-like strokes that go in the same direction of hairs in that particular zone of the brow. For ultimate precision with this method, load brush with product, then pinch & shape with fingers.  Which ever method I decide to employ, I find it very important to make sure the finished brow flows flawlessly into that beautiful curve of shading near the bridge of the nose (See near A in diagram). THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO AVOID SQUARE BLOCK EYEBROWS because you're obeying facial anatomy.

The following pics show some of my make-up work. These are some of my fave brows I have done in the past:


In conclusion, to my colleagues - OUR JOB IS TO GIVE OUR CLIENTS THE BEST! We have a duty to bring a certain level of expertise based on someone trusting us with providing them the most beautiful cosmetic enhancement. I say we do a disservice to them if we skew the interpretation with BAD BROWS! I REST MY CASE!

Jennifer James, your friendly neighborhood

※ MAKEUP ARTIST [ARCH]-itect EyeBROWoPhile™ - Let me build on your beauty, I have the blue print.©

Related blogs:
Precision ✔   Symmetry ✔  Proportion, uh - not so much!
The Perfect Brow
If I Did Their Brows. (Facebook album) 

★ SKYPEbeauty Sessions - Mary Kay, Avon & Amway Reps Specific


Thank you for your interest in my SKYPEbeauty sessions.

Having worked in the beauty industry for over 20 years, I decided to bring my experience to the education realm several years ago. Through this process, I discovered the over-whelming desire for other Make-Up Artists & Beauty Professionals like yourself to improve in aspects of Make-Up Artistry.

Along with classes, hands-on workshops & private lessons (Personal, Artist 2 Artist & Business 2 Business) I added my SKYPEbeauty sessions over a year ago to take advantage of the boom in global communications via the Internet. The convenience of the visual medium SKYPE is very conducive to this process because of its' simplicity, availability as free download & affordability. Everyone with a web cam can SKYPE!

I have developed customized SKYPEbeauty Programs specifically designed for businesswomen & businessmen who are Representatives of Mary Kay, Avon & Amway Cosmetics Companies. The sessions are catered to assist you in conveying Make-Up Artistry to your diverse customers/clients in a way that will guarantee increased revenues per sale, more effective client retention, increased credibility for you as a Beauty/Image Consultant - which will result in a more lucrative endeavor over-all. 

Your customized SKYPEbeauty Session :

• Detailed to work within your company's special guidelines
• Designed around your company's product selection & collections
• Focuses on up-selling through broader product knowledge
• Tips for engaging your demographic in depth through investigation
• Seamless development of relationship between skincare & makeup
• Personal artistry skills for branding your own image your way
• Specific ways to convey artistry to clients for more satisfaction

Jennifer James Beauty's SKYPEbeauty sessions:
75 minutes per customized session
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Multi-lingual capabilities to service global clients
$65.00 USD (payable through PayPal)

Having said all of that, what's the next step? The consultation!

We may begin consultation by you telling me a few things about yourself & where you would like to go within your company as a Beauty Professional. Be as detailed as you have time to: Experience, location, education, other interests, family situation, student status, etc. Send information to JenJamesBeauty@gmail.com.


Thank you for your interest & I hope to be hearing from you very soon.
Jennifer James | Make-Up Artist | SKYPE Name: JenJamesBeauty

*Jennifer James Beauty is in no way affiliated with any company mentioned in this post; the above endeavor is
completely independent of said companies and has not received any corporate sponsorship, compensation or endorsement thereof.

Free Download of latest version of SKYPE HERE!
Purchase SKYPEbeauty Session HERE!

What should I do, for myself and clients, to prevent the eyes from watering and ruining false lashes? It seems like when my eyes water the outer corner NEVER drys up for hours. Even when I take a qtip and wipe. the lashes never stick. I use both Duo

Begin by dabbing away moisture with plain facial tissue. Apply an extremely thin pin-wide line of adhesive to lashline where you will attach strip as well as on the strip. Let dry about 30 seconds & begin lash application at outer corner working inward.

Be sure to not begin placement too far outside of the corner of the eye. Trim lash to customize. As eyes contnue to water, keep dabbing so that moisture does not disturb adhesive. Practice! Success is just down the road!

Jennifer James Beauty *WINKS*

Why are you being so shy? ASK! It's anonymous.

What do you recommend browwise, for a person with eczema? The eczema thins my eyebrows. I've tried eyebrow pencils, but they look so fake, and I'm not a makeup person per se -- mascara, gloss and I'm done. Am I applying it wrong?

To avoid the fake/ overdrawn look: A freshly sharpened brow pencil really is the best option for you.

Make sure pencil is super sharp. Use soft wispy strokes in a slightly upward motion while following natural brow shape. (begin in the higher part of your natural arch to give lift) Wispy strokes with a sharp pencil allows you to add definition that mimics real brow hairs.

Avoid adding too much definition to the brow near the bridge of your nose. You want it to be softer there so that it looks somewhat natural. See diagram below for guidelines in enhancing brow with regard to facial anatomy - while using your natural brow as a guide.


Be patient, it takes practice. Try to find pics of a model or celebrity with similar brow shape as yours to see how theirs are done. This may help give you perspective.

Hope this helps!

Jennifer James Beauty

Why are you being so shy? ASK! It's anonymous.

Everyone knows, and always says, to start off with a clean, exfoliated, and moisturized face. How do you do that with a client on location?? Or any client in general?

I used make-up remover clothes that have a texture to prep skin. The texture gives you the option for mild exfoliation as the cloth mildly cleanses & hydrates the skin.

Add moisturizer while skin is still damp, let that absorb for a few minutes then apply primer.

I have seen work from other MUA, where the look went from dramatic to soft. This was done on the same person (bridal). How do you do that without ruining the face makeup?

Dramatic to soft can be accomplished cleanly by muting intensity w/ foundation that was used. Precise, careful softening of dramatic features of the look should be done w/ brushes and/or sponges that give you great control in handling details.

Dab foundation into area that is to be softened & where possible/necessary - swipe away some of the color/intensity. Continue by making sure foundation is still even all over (stippling w/ sponges like Sonia Kashuk or Beauty Blender for flawless results) & finish with loose powder, in a blending fashion to soften the look over-all.

Hope this helps! :-)

Why are you being so shy? ASK! It's anonymous.

SKYPE Beauty Cyber Monday Offer!

Need Make-up Application help?

How about a 1 on 1 lesson  via SKYPE with 

SKYPE Beauty is a full hour of hands-on applied make-up techniques, tips & tricks.  During session, you will also receive product recommendations & targeted instruction with a focus on time saving yet flawless results.  All of this cosmetics knowledge is customized to your specific beauty needs.

Only $45 USD.

Go to http://www.JenniferJamesBeauty.com

Proceed to CONTACT page. Click SKYPE Beauty logo to get started! We will need to complete an  email or phone consultation to customize your session & go  over product recommendations before session for optimum productivity. You may use contact form to begin the process.

*Special Make-Up Artist' Sessions (w/ model) also available!*


All SKYPE Beauty Sessions purchased by 

TUES NOV 30th 2010 @ 3am EST (12 Midnight Pacific)

will receive an additional *30 minutes* of session time!

Click SKYPE Beauty logo above! Looking forward to meeting you on the web!!!
Email: JenJamesBeauty@gmail.com for  more details, to schedule pre-session email consultation & to request phone consult.

Related blog posts:
Original SKYPEbeauty post  (April 2010)
SKYPE Beauty Black Friday 2010 Offer

Jennifer James Beauty was very happy to have celebrated 1 year anniversary of SKYPE Beauty in October, 2010. Looking forward to many more years with this medium & connecting with many more SKYPE Beauties all over the world! (with the help of TransClick for Skype)

Global SKYPE Beauties so far: Greece, Nigeria, England, Brazil, South Africa, Jamaica, Mexico, Dubai & St. Lucia.

SKYPE Beauty Black Friday Offer! Part Deux

Need make up application help? Know someone who does? How about the gift of a 1 on 1 lesson via SKYPE Beauty Session!

SKYPE Beauty is a full hour of hands-on applied make-up techniques, tips & tricks.  During session, you will also receive product recommendations & targeted instruction with a focus on time saving yet flawless results.  All of this cosmetics knowledge is customized to your specific beauty needs. 

Only $45 USD.

Go to http://www.JenniferJamesBeauty.com

Proceed to CONTACT page. Click SKYPE Beauty logo to get started! We will need to complete an email or phone consultation to customize your session & go over product recommendations before session for optimum productivity. You may use contact form to begin the process.

*Special Make-Up Artist' Sessions (w/ model) also available!*


All SKYPE Beauty Sessions purchased by midnight, Friday DEC 24th will receive additional *30 minutes* of session time!

Click SKYPE Beauty logo above! Looking forward to meeting you on the web!!!
Email: JenJamesBeauty@gmail.com for  more details, to schedule pre-session email consultation & to request phone consult.

Related blog posts:
Original SKYPEbeauty post  (April 2010)

SKYPEbeauty Sessions - Mary Kay, AVON & Amway Reps Specific:

Jennifer James Beauty was very happy to have celebrated 1 year anniversary of SKYPE Beauty in October, 2010. Looking forward to many more years with this medium & connecting with many more SKYPE Beauties all over the world! (with the help of TransClick for Skype)

Global SKYPE Beauties so far: Greece, Nigeria, England, Brazil, South Africa, Jamaica, Mexico, Dubai & St. Lucia.

★ NOV 2010 Classes in METRO-DETROIT

*2011 Workshops HERE*


::: NOV 2010 Class Line-Up.

Make-Up Artists, get your models & be ready to go full-throttle in these hands-on, intensive sessions that are designed to enhance your product knowledge, experience & make-up artistry.

::: BROW BOOT CAMP 11/11  

::: "I WANT MY EYES LIKE THAT!" 11/13  



Click link below to see class details.  Enter site then click the CLASSES link.



Email questions to jenjamesbeauty@gmail.com

If you have more questions, please attend the Jennifer James Beauty NOV Sessions Conference Call Q&A! It will be this Sunday November 7th, 2010 at 10am EST. This brief call will be for answering ANY & ALL of your questions/concerns related to the classes & future sessions.  

Conference call participation from interested parties everywhere is welcome.

The dial-in number is (218) 862-1000 & access code is 428926#.

Thank you as always!






★ IMAN Cosmetics in-store Event!!!

Join me for an IMAN Cosmetics™ event this Saturday OCT 09 2010 featuring the 

NEW IMAN Cosmetics™ Luxury Radiance Liquid Makeup!

Come get expertly matched & your own custom color face charts! 

This exclusive event in Detroit, MI will be at Walgreens location #4797, 6331 E. Jefferson Ave. Detroit 48207 (313) 567-4202 from 11am to 5pm.







Make-Up & A Racial Divide...in 2010?!?!

I recently worked a very cool gig. Had a great time with the principals, they were satisfied with my work & we had a ball on set.

Later, I was informed by the hiring agent that along with my experience in the type of make-up required for the project - my sharing of African-American heritage with the client did weigh-in on my being sought for the job. 

 A "comfort level" was mentioned in regards to perception of different races being able to execute make-up looks on complexions other than their own. Not at all was this the 1st time I had dealt with this subject matter. I have actually seen this same frame of thought be exhibited in several situations & from more than 1 side.

So I ask, Make-Up Artists - what is your opinion on this matter? What have you experienced with regard to this? How have you taken steps to assure potential clients that your knowledge & skill level are diverse enough to warrant their trust?

I would also like to hear from clients/consumers who have a point of view that they would like to share.

Civil discourse on any matter is always a step in the right direction. So let's get another conversation going where the goal is ultimately to extend clarity & understanding to all involved.


Discussion of topic on my FB page HERE:

*Photos used are from past work & are totally unrelated to client/job cited above.*