Q&A With Makeup Artist Jeannie Vincent
I recently sat down with makeup artist Jeannie Vincent. Originally from southern Florida, Vincent has called Boston home since 2003 when she moved here to attend Boston University. She’s had impressive success in her twelve-year makeup artistry career. In 2015 the Improper Bostonian recognized her as Boston’s Best Bridal Makeup Artist, and she’s worked on several editorial photo shoots for the Boston Globe. She currently attends Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics and Massage Therapy in Medford, and she chatted with me about makeup and skincare.
Q: How did you become interested in makeup?
A: I was always thinking about a career in makeup as I was growing up. I would have makeover parties, I would do my friends’ makeup. My mom would joke about me dropping out of school and becoming a nail technician. Turns out that wasn’t too far from what would happen.
Q: What got you involved in the makeup industry?
A: I had a friend who worked for MAC. They let me assist at weddings from time to time, and that lead to me getting hired at MAC. MAC was important for me because they give you great training and expose you to true makeup artistry. It really awakens the artist in you.
Q: What has been your favorite job you’ve held?
A: I worked at Fresh on Newbury Street for six years. That was the most formative part of my career. I had an amazing boss, I learned how to talk to people, and I learned about the importance of skincare.
My most recent job was also important because I learned about how toxic most beauty products are. I was working for Follain in the South End, a natural beauty product store.
Q: How widespread of an issue is toxicity in cosmetics?
A: Get this: in Europe they ban 1,400 cosmetic ingredients, while in America they ban only 20. Although in general, natural products work better, chemicals produced in a lab are much cheaper, and those are the ingredients you’ll find in most beauty products. It can cost 10 cents to make a product that is sold for $50.
Q: Why are products produced in a lab bad for us?
A: They pose dangers to the environment and to our personal health. Parabens, a common preservative in beauty products, has been heavily linked to cancer.
Q: What are some of your favorite natural beauty brands?
A: Osea, Osmia, True Botanicals, and Drunk Elephant.
Q: What are some makeup tips you would give to someone interested in makeup artistry?
A: Practice on yourself. Analytically look at your face to find out what kind of makeup looks good and what doesn’t. Take an arm’s length view from the mirror. You can see a lot more when you take a moment to step back.
Q: What are the skincare tips you would give to someone who doesn’t know where to begin?
A: Start small. Try samples first so you know what your skin likes and doesn’t like. Use products for 4-6 weeks before you decide whether or not they work for you. You can’t use a product for 3 days and expect to have better skin. Invest. You have one face, it’s what people see first.
Q: What’s some advice you’d give your 20-year-old self?
A: It’s so corny, but listen to your heart. There’s no dream that’s too big. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Take advantage of every job opportunity; you never know what could end up changing your life. And in the end, it’s just makeup. There’s always a Q-tip and makeup remover.
Photography by: Monika Davis