You’ve heard the horror stories. Girl goes to get her makeup done. Girl asks for something fabulous. Girl walks out looking like a circus clown. Girl cries and off comes the mascara.
In a saturated market where many “artists” claim makeup supremacy, only a handful can actually stand by their work. It takes a very skillful and gifted artist to know exactly what will work best on you without taking away from that very natural beauty you want to enhance. Not every makeup artist can do that. But when Jessie Diaz, Founder and CEO of Makeup Artistry By Jessie, takes a makeup brush to your face, you can rest assured that the final product will be a work of art.
I call Jessie a makeup guru. She’s someone who sees your face as a canvas and creates a beautiful masterpiece that can often seem unattainable. Let’s face it. We can try and try to do that cat eye or that smokey look on our own, but the end result is usually hot mess of eyeshadow and eyeliner smeared across our face. When Jessie brings your makeup vision to life, she gets excited with you. And this excitement comes from a place of genuine passion because she truly loves what she does for a living.
With a schedule that has booked through the summer, it was hard to tie down one of Miami’s best to answer a few questions for this blog. But being a client and a friend has its advantages. Jessie’s infectious and straight up funny personality is easily detected when she chatted all things makeup with me, the Freshly Squeezed Fashionista!
Read on to get the scoop.
FSF: I am so glad this interview is finally happening! I have been dying to share you with the world! Not that you don’t already have a crazy legion of fans, but you should have more. You’re like my very own Pat McGrath and the world needs to know about you! Do the compliments ever get old?
MABJ: Haha, no they don’t. It’s an honor to be your Pat McGrath.
FSF: Makeup has been a hobby of yours for such a long time. But when did it become the front and center in your career?
MABJ: I always worked a regular 9-5 job and did my bridal trials at night. On Fridays, I would leave the office early so that I could make it on time to make up my brides. Saturdays and Sundays were my time to shine! Makeup has always been front and center in my life. I basically worked 7 days a week for many many years. I built my business, made a name for myself, and loved every single minute of it! In 2010, when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I decided that it was time to refocus. Being a mom was going to be a tougher job than anything I had ever done before, so I left my office job and never looked back. Within a few months, I went from being a one-man show with an assistant to having a full staff of professional makeup artists and hair stylists working for me.
FSF: When did you know you were actually good at what you did?
MABJ: I always knew. I was born with the talent…really! Since middle school, I was painting all my friends’ (and even some dolls’ ) faces. In high school, everyone wanted me to do their makeup. I was the go-to girl. I remember when I was 17, I charged someone $20 to get their makeup done, and they paid it! I remember thinking, “WOW, this is nuts! I can actually get paid to do what I am most passionate about.” It was beyond me!
FSF: Anyone that meets you knows you have a big personality. Why is that important in a job like this?
MABJ: People like to feel comfortable around the people that surround them, especially on such a special and intimate day. My outgoing and candid personality allows me to provide that comfort for my brides. I love people, weddings, and makeup. It’s the perfect combo for me! When you love what you do, it always shows and exudes a positive energy. My clients feel that energy and are attracted to it.
FSF: You’re big in the Miami wedding scene. How did you get started?
MABJ: After I graduated from Florida State University in 2001 and moved back home to Miami, I began working for my family business because I needed a job that would pay my bills. That’s when I started peeking my way in to the wedding industry. People started finding out that I was back in Miami, and in several months, I was getting booked for months out. Word of mouth is a pretty powerful thing.
FSF: What is your most favorite thing about working on brides?
MABJ: I am wedding obsessed! When I meet a future bride, I instantly become part of her life. I become immersed in her journey toward the biggest day of her life. I get phone calls, texts, and emails asking what photographer I like to work with or who is the best for floral arrangements. I’ve even been asked to be their wedding planner! But that’s where I have to draw the line. Weddings are full of happiness, joy, and laughter, and I LOVE that! I don’t usually see a bride’s bridezilla side. I am the one that makes them look and feel beautiful, so it’s always happy times with me.
FSF: You have also done commercial, fashion, and television gigs. Which has been the most exciting for you?
MABJ: I don’t have a favorite. For me, it’s always exciting to see a face I’ve made up on TV or on a runway. It’s like having my masterpiece on stage for the whole world to see!
FSF: Let’s talk beauty tips. What’s one makeup trend that doesn’t work on anyone?
MABJ: I don’t think there is one particular trend that doesn’t work for everyone because every faces is unique. Everyone‘s face structure and skin tones are different. Something that might look terrible on one person might look absolutely fabulous on another. The key is to know what works well on each person individually and then execute it beautifully.
FSF: Have you ever had to tell a client that something isn’t working for her?
MABJ: YES!! I am really really honest with my clients. If something doesn’t look good on you, I will tell you and then recommend something that does look good. I feel like I would be doing a disservice to you and to my myself as a makeup professional. I would hate for someone to let me walk out on the street looking like a clown and not tell me.
FSF: What makeup tools should every woman own to get her through the day?
MABJ: A good blush applicator and blush. Please use blush. It brightens up your face and makes a world of difference.
FSF: What do most of your clients ask for? I’m going to guess it’s the smokey eye.
MABJ: Yes, everyone asks for a smokey eye. The funny thing is that the word ”smokey” means something different to almost every single woman. Some girls end up with a black eye and some with a soft earth tone eye. My job as a makeup artist is to find out what it means to them and provide the best version of what they ask for.
FSF: What’s your beauty routine when it comes to your face?
MABJ: There’s a Spanish saying which really doesn’t translate into English well at all, but here it goes, “en casa de herrero, cuchillo de pala.” I think the English saying is ”the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot”. It’s a lot funnier in Spanish, though. Pretty much the saying says that a skilled or knowledgeable person fails to use their skills for their own benefit or the benefit of their family. In my case, I don’t wear too much makeup in my day-to-day life, but when I do, I make sure I have a lot of blush on.
FSF: What makeup trends are we going to be seeing for spring?
MABJ: Corals, corals and more corals!