Friday, March 21, 2008

First Look Fridays Interview Series: Makeup Artist Jenna Menard

I am pleased to bring you this week's edition of First Look Fridays, featuring makeup artist Jenna Menard! Jenna graduated from Lafayette College with a degree in Psychology in 2003 and currently lives in NYC. I met this lovely gal months back at a Ralph Lauren fashion shoot and instantly was impressed by her kind demeanor, impeccably done makeup and flawless fashion sense! Jenna has worked with top photographers like Raymond Meier, Nigel Parry and Eric Ogden and has had a slew of fantastic editorial clients such as Elle, Vanity Fair and Vogue! I'm so thrilled to bring you my Q&A with Jenna.

How did you first become interested in makeup, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
My mom is a hairstylist and runs a salon from home so I grew up watching transformations being made with hairstyles. I was exposed to something very early that caught my attention and it was the power of making people feel beautiful. During high school I played around with makeup, but it never crossed my mind that I would want to do makeup as a career. I remember mixing loose powders after getting home from vacation because I felt that one color wasn't matching my skin close enough so I took matters into my own hands by mixing up just the right shade. I always enjoyed playing around with makeup and exploring what I could do different and how it could change a look.

It wasn't until college when I started realizing that I, like my mother, was capable of making others feel beautiful, but instead of doing their hair I did their makeup. The summer before I graduated I had an internship at TonyTina Cosmetics where I worked in the office doing PR, product development or whatever they needed me to do in addition to being one of their freelance makeup artists. After doing makeup for my first event a few people from the office suggested I pursue being a makeup artists for a living because they said I had a natural “knack” and already came across as a professional make up artist. With their guidance and support I decided to go for it! I went back to school and worked on finding a internship in the industry after I graduated.

While still in school I had the privilege of being introduced to famed costume designer Ann Roth and she then introduced me to Bernadette Mazur who I assisted on the set of The Stepford Wives the summer after I graduated college. After a few months of film I decided that I wanted to focus on fashion so I worked on my portfolio and started my career as a freelance makeup artist in the fashion industry. The rest is history!

Have you worked with any makeup artists that inspired you? What did they teach you?
Early on in my career but after my film internship I was lucky to work with some of the most prestigious makeup artists in the industry -- Pat McGrath, Tom Pecheux and Dick Page. After doing shows with all of these artists I then started working closer with both Tom Pecheux and Dick Page on more than just the shows. When you are able to spend time with makeup artists outside of the shows you are then exposed to so much more. In the beginning you are learning from other artists by just watching and as you develop yourself as an artist you actually then start to learn from each other. I can’t even begin to list all I have learned from these artists ... it would go on forever and ever!

What are some of the shoots and shows you've worked on that have stood out as highlights in your career?
Marc Jacobs is always my favorite show because we never know what to expect before we get there. It’s always a massive production and a great show season after season!

What are the products and brands you simply can't live without in your makeup case?
Giorgio Armani foundations
Biotherm AquaSource moisturizer
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Continuous Eye Hydration
Laura Mercier concealer
Cinema Secrets brush cleaner
Crealine or Darphin cleansing water
Evian Large Mineral Water Spray
Make Up For Ever grease paint palette
Shiseido Accentuating Color Stick
Benefit Lipscriptions

What are your top 3 makeup tips?
1) Great skin will make you look fresh, healthy and awake so take care of your skin!
2) Never overdo it: don’t over-pluck your brows, don’t cover something that doesn’t need to be covered, don’t load up on the blush, know your limits and what looks best on you!
3) SMILE :)

Playing with makeup must be fun -- but what do you for fun outside of being a makeup artist?
I tend to stay very busy with work most of the time because even if I am not shooting or working with a personal client I have to invoice and keep on top of all of my office duties! I do step away from makeup when I have the opportunity to. Last month I organized a team that participated in the Colon Cancer Challenge in Central Park. Last summer I trained for and ran in the Chicago Marathon and since then running has become a hobby of mine. I am currently planning a Memorial Walk and 5k run in Doylestown for a high school friend and classmate, Colby Umbrell, who was killed in Iraq last May. I also make necklaces if I have some down time. It's pretty safe to say I keep myself busy all the time ... it's hard for me to sit idle.


  1. Fabulous interview! I really enjoyed reading it, and especially her Must Have products.

  2. Brilliant interview, Jamie!

  3. great interview! i enjoyed this a lot.. she could have shared 1 tip with us!!! great list of her fav products!

  4. Thanks so much, ladies! So glad you enjoyed the interview!