There is no doubt that when you look at stars like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Elle Macpherson you see beautifully poised women, but what you also see is often the work of famed Makeup Artist Troy Jensen. He has been working in the industry for 26 years and in his words, “I came here with a dream and nothing else. I thank God I ended up how I did.” He tells me the story of how he arrived at his first makeup job with a paper bag full of Revlon products (he still has a soft spot for Revlon) and thought: “What am I doing? I have no business being here.” He knew he had something that set him apart: a love for his craft and the knowledge that he was just genetically programed to make women beautiful with a makeup brush. Based on his portfolio, plethora of magazine covers and high profile clients, the years of hard work and determination are paying off.
To start the interview, I ask Troy what he is currently doing and what he has coming up. He tells me that he is currently on a short lunch break on set and has budgeted this time to speak with me. I get butterflies because it hits me – I am speaking to an incredibly talented man who has reached a level of success I can only dream of. He tells me of his excitement for the entrance of fall because this is the time that Makeup Artists find most of their inspiration and are trying new trends.
“All makeup trends start on the runway, make their way to the red carpet, and are finally solidified by the average consumer – the women wearing them and owning them daily.”
He tells us of his new adventures coming up: his collaboration with and love of a new brand called Sindulge (sindulge.com), a cruelty free makeup line that has highly pigmented formulas that perform perfectly. Troy will soon be doing tutorials and offering tips with the line, so stay tuned to their site and www.troyjensen.com.
“If I could fill my kit with only products that were cruelty free, I would. How great is it to be using products on clients and know that they weren’t produced in undesirable circumstances? Stay tuned because as I discover it, I will share it.”
One trend Troy is really loving is the Bordeaux lip. Many of us have seen it but are often too intimidated to try it. Troy’s tip to make this deep, sexy color wearable and easy to apply? Your finger! Apply the color with your finger (not from the tube) and smudge it into the lips rather then applying it on top of the lips. Follow with a clear gloss. There is no hard line (read: lip liner) and no worrying about your hair getting caught in the color and smudging it all over your face. Yes, we have all been there. For a look with just one step, swipe on Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Black Tie Plum.
Another loved trick of Troy’s is to apply an illuminating product like Benefit’s Whatts Up in specified spots to achieve the look of an inner glow. Apply it down the center of the nose, on the inner corners of the eyes, the cupids bow on the upper lip, just above the cheekbones, along the ridge of the jawline, on the clavicle bone, the shoulders, and down seem of the legs. This can be applied under foundation, on top or both. The effect is glowing skin that doesn’t look shiny or overdone. Troy has filmed a really fun and charismatic video with Benefit for their illuminating products, see it here.
Troy’s most loved makeup technique is something he calls “The Troy Jensen Smokey Flair” which is basically a fool proof way to get a smokey eye with a sex-kitten edge. He breaks down the steps for us:
- Curl your lashes.
- Line the upper lid with a brown/bronze pencil then smudge it a bit.
- Using a dampened small, soft, and narrow brush to apply bronze/brown shimmery shadow over the line.
- Use the brush to extend the line to the thickness and length (winged, cat-eye, etc.) you want.
- Apply lots of black mascara, at least two coats.
- Draw a thin line very close to the lashes with a black liquid liner.
- Using your brush, blend it all together.
He tells me of how he has one room in his house dedicated to just makeup, but that it has found its way into each and every other room as well. “It’s in every room of my house! Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it all and think ‘I’m going to get rid of the stuff I don’t use’, but I just cannot part with it. What if I do want to use it? Makeup is like my baby, I am attached” he says. He then talks about how refreshed he feels after a recent return from a two year break:
“I’m starting over, that’s amazing. I’m walking back in with bright eyes and professionalism. Waiting for that opportunity that I can say ‘bam here I am'”.
I think it is pretty safe to say that Troy Jensen has solidified his name in the beauty industry, yet he remains humble, open, eager and passionate about his craft. His humility is shown when I ask him who his favorite celebrity to work with is and he responds with, “I appreciate every face I work on. It’s all rich. Every person brings something special. Some make me laugh, some are sweet, they are all incredible. I am going to be 47 this week (October 6th. Ahem, Twitter: @itstroyjensen and Facebook: troyjensenbeauty, birthday wishes!) and I am still in awe of my job and my clients.“
We ask him for some advice for fellow Makeup Artists out there trying to succeed and he says, “Beauty is life. We’re effecting people! Listen to your client and listen to yourself. What you achieve belongs to you and is yours, no one can take it away”.
Please follow Troy on Twitter and ‘like’ him on Facebook! It was a pleasure interviewing such a joyous and kind man. Troy is a true gem and we are honored to have had the opportunity to speak with him.
Photo Credit: Brandon Showers www.brandonshowers.com.