Catch the REAL Beat. No more fake makeup.


The Makeup World just isn’t what it used to be when I first dived into this industry a little over a decade ago. Back then, having a makeup artist on your list of cell phone contacts was not very common, unless she was your Avon or Mary Kay rep. Hiring a makeup artist to come to your home or hotel was considered a luxury. Today, I believe thanks to 1) Instagram 2) more consumers aware of celebrity makeup artists and 3) the Kardashians and their cosmetic-enhanced lifestyle, having a makeup artist handy is now the norm. Everyone’s got a Makeup Artist friend. I used to be that exclusive Makeup friend, but now I’m just 1 of “the Makeup friends.”

My specialty is in bridal makeup (though I have done makeup for all occasions – aka, anyone who pays me 😊). These women come to me because they believe I can truly make them look and feel their best. As they should right? For all the amount of money that goes into that ONE DAY! But not everyone I send my rates to books me. I’m now competing with these MUAs who draw on brows swooshing like a NIKE check. Or who really think EVERYONE needs the LOVE AND HIP HOP contour – NO! Or they throw on faux goat fur butterfly-looking lashes or whatever they are. That’s NOT bridal! Stop it! Millennials crave this look! That’s not what I do for weddings. Your birthday? Sure, why not. Weddings? No thanks, we may not be the right fit then, because if I take on that job, and have you looking like a contoured YouTube Queen, and you tag me on social media…I will be contradicting my brand. Basically, this generation wants to look like Jeffree Starr (right) for a short trip to the bodega.

On the flip side, it cannibalizes my business in the sense that though my photos may look pretty and natural, potential clients are still scared and intimated by these crazy Instagram looks and they’re afraid I may just make them look like that (even though none of my photos reflect that). And at times it takes some convincing that a makeup trial is worth the additional money so I can meet their expectations before the wedding day. So by the time I meet them at the trial, they’re timid and giving me a load of what they DO NOT WANT, rather than what they do like. Oh, but then there is favorite client. The one who says “I want to look natural, like this…” and she shows me a photo of Kylie Jenner in a smokey eye and blown up lips. What?

Let’s face it. Social Media has changed the makeup game. It’s confused millions of women into thinking the “Amrezy” (right) is the look we should all strive for. Bullsh!t. Beautiful girl, but she's a walking billboard for the brands that pay her. These girls get COINS for being Influencers to, well, INFLUENCE you into thinking that you need all of those products to look that flawless. That you'll all look this good if you slather all that on. And by flawless, I mean, no pores, no wrinkles, no dark circles, no blemishes. Makeup can DIMINISH these flaws, but NOT ERASE them. You know what will erase them? A magician. I’m no David Copperfield, I’m a makeup artist. So what else can erase them? Filters! Beauty Apps! Heard of Perfect365? Facetune? YouCam? All apps you can pay for to give you that “flawless” look, and after using these apps, it does NOT truly reflect the genuine finished look; it’s rather a filtered look. Listen, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using an app or filter to make you or clients look better in your photo, (for a little enhancement here or there like if the lighting is bad, or their angle wasn't what you needed but you only took one photo of her that day), though it is FALSE ADVERTISING, ha! But filters and apps go wrong when my clients think after I’m done airbrushing them, she will have no visible pores, or her pimple will magically heal and disappear, or the concealer will vanish her dark circles completely (it will just lighten them up actually).

I’m on a crusade to win back REAL MAKEUP. A movement. For the makeup that enhances your beauty and doesn’t hide who you really are. Ladies, please listen to me. I’ve been doing this for a while now, I’m close into my 11th year of Artistry. I should not have to overdraw your lips. You do not need an Amy Whinehouse winged liner. You do not need to chop off your hair and then buy massive extensions (I really don’t get this one). I do not need to thinify your entire face with muddy contour to make you look prettier. If you already have a strong jaw line, a thin nose, and a long face, why the hell do you want an alien-contoured face? You don't need that. You need a highlighter to bring out the other parts of your face.

I aim to provide my girls with a look for their weddings where their true self still shines through, and they’re not hiding behind a MAC store on their face. My wish is for REAL makeup to come back, and be enough for women today. Trust Makeup Artists like myself who understand that a little does go a long way, and that you don’t need to feed into what social media is making you feel. It’s a façade. Believe me, and it’s not pretty.

Tune into my Instagram Live Event today @GetGawJess at 8pm EST with any beauty questions you have. I’ll offer my best advice I use myself and to my clients. What products I like in my kit for me and you. It may not be what you already own, or what popular MUAs consistently promote, but I do know what has worked for the 340+ brides I've done so far. And I'll show simple little DIY tricks. Trust, it’s not that hard to do your own 5 minute-in a rush makeup look. I hope I can encourage many women today that they can still look like themselves with a little highlight here and there.

So let's catch the REAL beat. See you soon!

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GawJess Brides celebrates the unions of all loving couples, regardless of sexual orientation

or gender identity.  We support same-sex marriages and offer a special rate for 2 Brides!