Iconic Makeup Artist of the Month: Jaimee Thomas
1. What prompted you to get into make-up?
I’ve always had a love for makeup, whether it was in the realms of fashion and beauty or film and special effects. I loved the work of Stan Winston (Aliens, predator and Edward Scissorhands), Nick Dudman (Harry Potter, Legend and Labyrinth) and, of course the legendary Dick Smith (The Godfather, The Hunger and The Exorcist). If I wasn’t mixing latex with breadcrumbs to create a mummy like mask on my face, I was trying to emulate the makeup of the supermodels in the 90’s.
2. What is the toughest part of your job?
I feel like the toughest part of my job has been getting to where I am today. You work a lot for free and for little and that’s why it’s vital that you are passionate about getting into this industry. There’s a lot of rejection too and I think it’s more competitive now that it ever has been with makeup schools popping up all over the place promising students there will be glittering career at the end of it. There’s no fast track. Take the time to develop your own style and nurture contacts you make along the way. If you want it enough and are prepared to put in the time effort it will happen.
3. How would you describe yourself in three words?
Dreamer. Dedicated. Driven
4. What’s a typical day like for Jaimee Thomas?
I don’t think that there is such a typical day in this business but I’ll give you a general idea of what it’s like for me on an editorial shoot.
I like to arrive before my call time if I can but you are at odds with public transport in London at the best of times! Turning up early gives me time to set up my kit and have a breather before the rest of the team arrive. Once everyone’s on location or in the studio we have a quick brief and brainstorm ideas. It’s essential that we’re all on the same page so that everyone knows exactly what they’re doing as time (especially in a studio) isn’t always on your side! In saying that, there’s always room for a few tweaks here and there.
Depending on the brief make up can take anything from 30 mins. Even if it’s a minimal make up a great, skin prep is essential so I like spend time getting the models skin at its best. Generally on an editorial you aim for around 8 images so throughout the day the makeup may need to change or stay the same but you need to make sure you do your best to keep the makeup as fresh as the first shot.
During the day I’ll get phone calls regarding other jobs that I’ll be optioned for so you never really know what your schedules going to be like from week to week.
When we’ve got all the shots we need and everyone’s happy, it’s time to pack up the kit and battle my way home again!
5. What inspires you?
I have so many ideas floating around in my head. I’ve always had a vivid imagination that stemmed from books and films I used to be into as a kid. As I’ve grown up I’ve found other makeup artists whose work I love and what their inspirations were. You just keep building upon what you’re already inspired by. I’ve got scrap books from old magazine cut outs, books that cover not just fashion and beauty but religion, science and nature also. I think if you just focus on fashion books and other artists as a source of inspiration you limit your imagination and end up producing copies of what’s already been and done. There’s a whole world of colour, sights and sounds out there.
6. Do you usually follow trends or just play it by ear?
I’m both but It’s important for me to know what the trends are for each season, especially on beauty shoots where you generally work on a story that’s inspired by looks across the catwalks during fashion week but then again rules are meant to be broken…I often like to put my own twist on things.
7. What do you recommend women should wear this season when it comes to makeup?
I'm loving all the sugary pastel shades for SS12 but a lot of women won’t necessarily want to wear these colours on their lips and eyes but on the nails is a great alternative. Bolder brows are a great beauty statement this season.
8. What’s the biggest beauty mistake women make?
I pretty much committed every beauty faux pas going when I was young but it amazes me today that women still buy foundation that’s too dark/orangey and then proceed to trowel it on.
9. What is the classiest make-up look that will always stand the test of time? If there is any.
You’ll never go wrong when creating just a beautiful natural base with neutral tones on eyes and lips, a flush of colour on the cheeks, groomed brows and a slick of mascara.
10. If you could work with any model/actress/personality in the entire history, who would you choose?
It would have to be someone who wasn’t afraid to experiment with makeup and perhaps someone who works well across fashion and film. I think Drew Barrymore would be a lot of fun to work with!
11. Do you agree that “less is more” in your business?
I think it depends on the job inhand, sometimes it’s more and no less.
12. What are your favorite products that you’re never found without?
Lucas Paw Paw lip balm, Egytian Magic Balm and Lancome’s comforting cleansing milk. Everything starts with Great skin!
13. Where can readers find your work and contact you?
You can find me at www.jaimeethomas.com where there’s also links to my blog and twitter.