We love our in-store events at Cats Like Us and Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist Jessica Jean held her Beauty School Demo on February 4th. Not only did attendees learn a lot of retro make-up and hair tips and tricks, I got to pick her brain about her inspiration, talent and what she enjoys about being an artist.
How long have you been a hairstylist and make-up artist?
I have been a makeup artist and hairstylist professionally since 2005, when I graduated from Marjon School of Beauty Culture with a degree in cosmetology. However, I have always had a love for makeup, hair, and all things beauty. Far before receiving my license to practice cosmetology, way back in 2000, 9th grade, all my friends would come to me for school dances to have their makeup done and hair styled in intricate updos. It was then I realized, this could be my calling.
What is your favorite thing about being a stylist and make-up artist?
There's very few things I don't love about my career, I have been so blessed in that way. I think my favorite moment occurs when I makeover someone who, for one reason or another, sadly doesn't think they are beautiful. I have had many clients over the years say this, and just as many clients cry from happiness upon completion, because, I didn't 'cover up ugly', I brought out the beautiful that was always there. Making women feel good about themselves and finally enabling them to see how beautiful they are is what makes me want to do this forever. It's an incredible feeling.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from everything. I know, that is like when you ask someone what their favorite style of music is, and they say, "everything!", it's frustrating! It's true though. I can look at light reflecting off of a window, and think, "It's beautiful how that tough geometric shape can produce such a soft calm light in it's reflection.", and soon after, I will go and produce a very sharp edged geometric liner, with soft yellow and oranges, on my lids. Everything from paintings to the way the rainbow colors swirl in a puddle after a fresh rainfall, my mind is always on hyper drive looking for the beauty in things.
What draws you to the vintage make-up and hair stylings?
I think the biggest thing that draws me to the vintage styling is the beauty in it's simplicity and femininity. Unlike the war torn era of the 1940's fashion, the 1950's was a time when designers like Coco Chanel were influencing the trends, and femininity was at an all time high. A line dresses, stockings, beautiful accessories, and of course flawless makeup and perfectly rolled hair, it was a time when a women loved being a women. Red lipstick had been banned in some places, because they said a women could put a man into a trance, and he would be at her will. It's a bit excessive, the law, but imagine how empowering, to have red lipstick banned because you become TOO irresistible. In a day where women now leave the house in flannel pajamas and unkempt ponytails, I cannot help but look back at the perfectly primped beauty trends of the 50's fondly. There are beauty aspects I adore from every era, from 1920s, to 1960's especially, but the classics, the trends that will never die, belong to the 50's.
Do you have a favorite retro hair style?
To pick just one hairstyle as a favorite is torture! My favorite hairstyle in which the hair is left down has to be the classic Veronica Lake waves. There is truly no hairstyle more glamorous and sexy. I think you would be hard pressed to find a women feeling unattractive with a brushed out pin curl set like that. It's also still very prevalent today. You can see stars walking the red carpet with identical waves, and the look still holds up. My favorite updo styled hair is probably victory rolls. When done correctly, especially with a bandana wrap, there is something about the hairstyle that just screams female empowerment to me, yet its still soft and feminine. I can't help but imagine beautiful women in their mechanics jumper, with victory rolls and a bandana on, working on a plane.
What 3 easy tips/advice would you give to someone who is just starting to experiment with the retro look?
The three necessary staples to any beauty look are brows, lashes, and lips. With crisp, well groomed brows, thick black lashes, and a cherry stained lip, you will always be looking your best. One trick I love is how to make a DIY daytime red lip stain. You simply take Vaseline, and mix in cherry flavored kool aid two to one. You can use it out of the jar, or transfer it into an empty gloss tube. Not only does it add a subtle sexiness to your pout, but it tastes yummy! Another tip, If you can't get your hands on brow gel, which tames the unruly hairs and makes a big difference, you can spray hairspray into a spoolie brush, an old clean mascara wand, or onto the bristles of a comb, and brush them down that way. I personally never leave the house without at least mascara on, I believe it to be the most necessary of steps. If you prefer a more natural look, you can use a lightly tinted mascara in a brown shade, or for the most natural look, a clear mascara will lengthen the lashes, curl them, but leave you looking naturally gorgeous. BLL: brows lashes lips, a must for anyone just getting into any makeup experimentation. Start there, go anywhere!
How do you like working with Cats Like Us?
I adore working with Cats Like Us. I was in attendance at the grand opening so long ago, THRILLED that there was now a store for people who love all things retro, and have been a huge fan ever since. The fact that the owners Julie and Andrew are the nicest, most genuine people ever certainly doesn't hurt the experience. I think we are a match made in heaven, a store that caters to the beauty of retro clothing, and a stylist that caters to the beauty of retro hair and makeup. Two great tastes that taste great together! I had a regular client of mine attend the demo, and soon after she messaged me saying, "That was perfect! I bought a gorgeous outfit from Cats Like Us before the demo, and now I know exactly how to style my hair and makeup to go with it! One stop shopping!". I most definitely hope to continue to do events such as this again in the future, it is always a great experience, and everyone involved has so much fun. I'm grateful to Cats Like Us for giving me the opportunity to share my secrets of the trade, and for hosting such a fabulous event.
Thank you Jessica Jean for sharing your talent
with our customers! If you missed out on the
in-store event, we have Jessica Jean's Bombshell
Basics available for purchase online here.