Grab a cuppa, this might take a while..
I’m Jeanette. I am an Irish Makeup Artist and Educator based in Cork City Centre and I am passionate about helping my clients and students to feel like the best version of themselves.
With my clients and bridal parties; it’s all about listening to your needs and adapting my skills to suit your style. It’s not about me, it’s about the person sitting in my chair. I want to create an environment where everyone feels at ease, comfortable enough to tell me or to figure out together what is the best look for you and to do so in a fun and relaxed way. And if you want to add or change something at the end? Absolutely! It’s your face. I want you to feel UNREAL. I want to see you flick your hair and practice your selfie face in the mirror while I’m finishing your lipstick.
This also applies to my students. I’ve been teaching so long now that I’ve learned how break everything down so much that anyone can understand. I don’t glaze over a technique. I break down every single part of the process – what we’re doing and why we’re doing in this way so that with (sometimes a lot) of practice anyone can get there in the end.
Makeup is basically playing “Dress- up” like we used to do as children. It should be fun!
Yes it’s scary when you’re starting out but that fear shows that you care, that you want to do a good job and that it matters to you. I felt like I deserved an Oscar in the first year or two of becoming a makeup artist. I was terrified ALL the time. A client would show me a picture of the look they wanted and I would say
“Oh Fab! Four wings? No problem at all ..just close for me”
My voice would get higher pitched by the second. To the client I was the professional, so calm and in control, nothing was any bother at all on the inside I was freaking out. I was like a Swan gliding along the water but underneath the surface paddling for my life. But you know what? Every single time, with every single client; I did my very best, the client was always happy and after two years or so of terror I finally realized that it’s only makeup. What’s the worst that can happen? You take a bit off and put a bit more on. That’s it. No panic.
That’s how I teach.
I don’t expect perfection when you are starting out. All I want for you is to do it. Try it. Then do it again and again and again and again and…you see where this is going. I always tell my students that I will tell them everything I know. Absolutely everything I’ve ever learned but if they want to get to my standard it’s repetition. I can only describe so much. It’s all in the doing. You learn every time you make a mistake. Every time you fix that mistake you gain more confidence. I can’t do that for you.
I love my job. It doesn’t feel like a job. It’s sheer joy. It’s helping people and having fun.
In 2007 I was 25. I went back to college to study counselling and psychotherapy. I was after going through a tough few years and my confidence was at an all time low but I had a spark in me. I wanted to learn how overcome this horrible feeling, to understand it and move on with my life. I hated myself. I thought I was worthless. But I was a fighter. I started intense counselling to overcome my own issues. I put my heart and soul in to my assignments. My final year thesis was a book. Far over the recommended word count necessary but I was so passionate about what I had learned as I could see its’ effects in my own life at that stage.
I don’t think I ever wanted to be a counsellor if I’m honest. I was so just so eager to learn everything I could; for selfish reasons firstly but also about human behavior in general. I believe that that course saved my life and that it was the best thing I ever did. It was the start of everything changing. Everyday of my life I use something that I learned from that time in my life; in my personal life, relationships, with clients, students and in the mirror with myself when I need a dose of cop-on!
I did 300 hours placement in my final year. In an all-male treatment centre. Talk about stepping out of my comfort zone! I would take morning and evening group sessions and then I had six 1:1 clients every week. I was the swan again; paddling for my life underneath the surface.
What I learned from that time and what I based my thesis on was one basic principle- It doesn’t matter how many issues you have, how many traumas you have experienced – if you just work on accepting yourself – as you are – then absolutely everything that was crippling you before just fades away. To get to this stage you need to start being patient with yourself, being kind to yourself, throwing away the proverbial stick, realizing that the voice in your head IS NOT REAL and you don’t need take a blind bit of notice of its’ abuse, taking chances, stepping out of your comfort zone bit by bit and slowly, very slowly (it took me years of 10 steps forward, 8 steps back and so on) it all fades away.
After I qualified we were still in the middle of a recession so I went back to my job managing a hair salon. Over the next few years, I left that salon and moved to a national chain where I did their management training programme. I mentored teams, individuals and new managers in customer service, retail, stock management. I wasn’t a hairdresser. I was front of house. As the years went on and my confidence grew, I would look at the stylists and feel envious that they got to play “Dress-up” all day and I was just there to make sure that everything ran smoothly. Soon I started to ask myself “What’s your ultimate dream job? What makes you excited? What are you passionate about?”. I don’t think I ever had the confidence to ask myself that question up until then as I knew what the answer would be an up until then I couldn’t see how it could ever be possible.
Of course the answer to that question was Makeup. For years and years I wanted to be a makeup artist. When I did my Leaving Cert I got an A in Higher Level Art but makeup wasn’t an option on the CAO back in 2000. I remember doing all my friends’ makeup for their debs with my silver eyeshadow. I used to cut out magazine clippings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and try to re-create the look. It was woeful. There wasn’t any internet back then either so I had to figure it out myself. My mother still has my debs portrait up on the wall as you come in our front door. All you see is my lying on the ground with a ballgown, tiara and about three hairs making up my eyebrows and to accentuate my beautiful brows I had all the shiny eyeshadow on my brow bone.
Fast forward to 2015. I had a lot of management, retail and training experience. I thought that perhaps a cosmetic counter might be the place for me to start out and get into makeup. I was right. I ended up managing a counter and then a store. I built up a clientele and my social media snowballed as soon as I set it up. It was a whirlwind. Such an exciting time. I was finally a makeup artist. I never thought I would see the day! Dreams really do come true.
Over the next few years I went to as many masterclasses and artistry training with other artists. I soaked up everything I could. I was so passionate about finally getting to do what I loved. Soon artists were asking me to share what I had learned with them, so I started doing 1:1 lessons. As my social media following grew so did the requests to travel all over the country to do masterclasses. I trained to be an assessor and started my VTCT accredited 12 Week Course in 2017.
Fast forward to 2020. Up the walls busy. All my courses full. Delighted with life.
March 2020 – Covid-19 hits. Doors Shut. All my brides have to reschedule their weddings to next year. All my lessons have to cancel. My VTCT course has to pause half way through their training.
I’m not going to lie. I felt like I (along with the rest of the world) had fallen off a cliff. I had a couple of weeks of freaking out. I’m fond of a plan. I break my goals down into 12 weeks at a time and then I make a list of actions that I need to take daily or weekly to bring me closer to my goal. I keep track of everything in my diary every day. March 13th -23rd? Empty. No plan.
After a week of full on believing I was Mrs. Hinch and scrubbing every inch of the apartmemt. (even the over looks like its been refurbished! ) Finally I calmed down and asked myself “what brings me joy?” Of course ,the answer was makeup and teaching so I started to do tutorials on my Instagram. My followers went WILD for them. The response was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe it. I was always too busy to film before so really enjoyed teaching again and showing my followers my style of teaching. I was getting messages and emails thanking me for my tutorials and how I broke everything down to make it easy to understand. Then I started getting messages asking me if I had any online courses available.
So it’s all down to those guys asking me for it that I’m now in the process of taking everything that is inside my head and putting into online courses! There are so many of you who can’t get to me in Cork or who work full time so I’m so excited to make my courses accessible to anyone, anywhere by going online.
I’m currently in the process of trying to get everything together which is taking forever as I’m such a perfectionist but I’m so excited by how it’s coming together now.
That is my story. That is my passion. This is the next chapter.
Stay Tuned. Stay Safe.
Lots of Love,