Every second page of Jenna Menard's portfolio I had to stop to say, "you did that??" because most of her book is made up of images I've torn out of magazines or pored over online because I loved them so much. And being in NYC to have that same makeup pro, now Clinique's Global Colour Artist, make up my face for a natural-light photograph by (Canadian) Richard Phibbs in advance of the launch of Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Foundation -- well. It's a good day.
Known for the no-Photoshop-required flawless skin she achieves in each photograph (she trained under makeup maestro Dick Page), Jenna has worked with A-listers including Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Julianne Moore and Rachel Weisz.
She's also given young Taylor Swift one of the most naturally pretty makeup looks I've seen on her.
As I sat in Jenna's chair, I peppered her with questions: her most-requested makeup looks, her own on-the-go makeup moves, how she encourages people to play, and why paring down can actually put more focus on your best features.
Q&A: Jenna Menard, Clinique Global Color Artist
What looks do women request from you most? There are so many different looks that people ask about. There are classics, like the smokey eye, but more often it's basic things like, "I don't want to look tired," "I don't want to wear a lot of makeup, but I want my eyes to pop," "I don't want to look like I have bags under my eyes." It's those little subtleties, more that people want to get through their day, being real women in the real world.
What's your makeup routine on a busy day? How long does it take? I'm not going to sit in my bathroom for 40 minutes doing my makeup. I want in and out, 10 minutes is tops, and that's pushing it.
I keep it very simple. I tend to gravitate to toward eyeliner because I have big eyes, can do it really quickly, and it brings attention to my eyes. But I also sometimes skip eyeliner and do mascara and put a lip on. I don't want to stay in a rut with my makeup. I want to practice what I preach, because I tell people, "try something different!" And then if I'm always in the same makeup, it's like, "well you need to try something different, too!"
Some women are very timid about trying a new look. How do you encourage them? I think people learn how to do one thing, master that, and that becomes their look. But weather changes, time changes, seasons change, clothes change -- and you're still in the same makeup. It's just experimenting with different things. I encourage people to not wear makeup for a day, just to get in touch with who you are, what you want to bring out. Maybe you'll see something different -- maybe you're always doing mascara, and instead you'll think, maybe I should try lipstick, or putting a little less eyeliner on.
Is there one thing women should have in their makeup bag? It's always good to have something to make your skin look flawless -- concealer or foundation. Start from there. It doesn't need to look like you have a full face of foundation, but keep it dewy and fresh and cover the blemishes. Throw a lip on and you have a great look.
Does anyone ever say, "I know I wear too much makeup, so how do I fix that?" I'm actually good at that! I think a lot of people wear too much makeup, especially young people. It's almost the subtlety of taking away some things and bumping up other things. For example, maybe they don't do anything to their brows, but changing them could actually help bring out the eyes a lot more than the amount of eyeliner they have on. So let's focus on your eyebrows, put a little more mascara on, take the eyeliner down a bit, and now look at how your eyes actually pop.
It's balance -- you want the balance of your face. You don't want someone to see a lot of shadow or a lot of mascara and that's all. You need some sort of flow. Your eye needs to go around the face. You want to look at someone and say wow, that person's beautiful, not wow, that's a lot of makeup on her eyes.
This is my finished photograph, in what felt like the barest amount of foundation and concealer as well as a light touch of shadow and lip colour. It hasn't been retouched. Since that day, Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Foundation ($40) has become one of my go-to liquid formulas -- weightless to wear, it makes my skin look fresh and even-toned without looking like makeup. I put it The Kit as one of my makeup musts for right now.
What do you think? And have you ever wanted to ask a makeup artist, "how do I wear less makeup?"
See more of Jenna Menard's beautiful work here, at jennamenard.com. See more here from Canadian-born photog Richard Phibbs, who has worked with a slew of celebs including Jon Hamm, Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts as well as designers Armani, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.