Danica Jardien may or may not be a name you are familiar with but she is a woman to recognize, not only for her beauty but also her talent and personality. The Colorado-based makeup artist has worked with countless celebrities, photographers, and brides. She has trained with some of the top cosmetics innovators including Lancôme, Shiseido, Chanel and even touching up the beautiful face that belongs to Top Model herself, Tyra Banks while at MAC Cosmetics. I first came across Jardien through a tutorial of hers where she beautifully applied an Arabic-inspired makeup application. I quickly became a fan of her and her work through her ability to educate, entertain, and most of all be a voice that is neither intimidating or timid but rather congenial and relatable. Jardien comes across as a sort of magician as she is able to fluidly work with all ethnicities, ages, skin types, and pay extra attention to the needs of mothers (she herself has a son) without missing a beat. Which is why it is more than an honor for me to interview Jardien to get to know her a little bit more and even get a little beauty tips along the way.
Jardien is born in bred Colorado-girl, being raised in Littleton with her younger brother (only by 17 months) and currently calling the great city of Denver home with her little boy Amir. While Jardien is a freelance Makeup Artist by trade, she should also be seen as an entrepreneur as well; she has combined marketing, networking, and accounting skills which has helped grow her business to the level it is today. With all the reality shows highlighting personalities in different professions, I couldn’t help but as if Jardien were given a reality show, what network would it be on along with her title. Jardien shared “Even though I love E!, I am not a very dramatic person so I don’t think I would fit in with that network. I think the Style Channel would be a great fit! My show would be named ‘Beauty with a Conscious’. I believe in being a friendly person with compassion.” Her answer fits how I perceive her; as a woman with a lot of layers who is calm, sweet, fun-loving, and truly cares about her clients and people as a whole.
Whether its makeup, sports, film, everyone who has a deep love and passion for what they do, knows when it began and can reflect upon how they crafted their skills and talent from the good, bad, and ugly, to the start and never-quite finished. Bobbi Brown of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics had her start at a makeup counter which developed her philosophy on makeup while living legend Sugar Ray Leonard got his start in boxing at Palmer Park recreation center in 1969. While Brown and Leonard have had their fair share of downs and many successes, I wanted to know a little about Jardiens’ own experiences with makeup and how she got into it.
What was your first makeup experience that got you hooked?
I was a late bloomer when it came to makeup. I began experimenting at 14-15, but didn’t really blossom until I realized the connection between painting and makeup. I loved that makeup was another form of art and creation for me. Using color and texture theory is really what gave makeup artistry a little more soul and made me become hooked. Seeing Gwen Stefani at the age of 14 was when I first discovered red lipstick and nail polish. I would say that was my signature look for years!
From overly done blush, caked on foundation, spider-lashes, we’ve all seen the “bad”, and sometimes the “bad” is staring back at us in the mirror. Whether we did this look to ourselves of possibly an over zealous makeup artist who gave us goth when we asked for a natural smokey eye, we’ve all been there. Have you been there? What was the worst makeup experience you’ve ever had?
I think every woman has been through a bad makeup phase or two in her life. I look back at my early years when I felt the need to wear so much makeup including a minimum of 6 eye shadows, bright or dark lips and really an excess of everything. Makeup should never be in excess!
As far as with a client, I feel that I attract amazing people who respect my artistry, but I did have one experience that I may never forget! A couple of years ago I was working with a bridal party who insisted on spending a minimum of 10 minutes building their mascara after I had finished creating their look for the day. By the end of the 10 minutes the bride as well as a couple of the bridesmaids had the chunkiest and clumpiest lashes that I have seen to date!
If you were only allowed to wear three makeup products for the rest of this year for every season, what three detailed items would that by and why?
I would have to say Christain Dior Blackout Mascara, MAC Moisturecover Concealer and Nars Angelika Powder Blush.
If you have a minor breakout, what is your go to product or trick?
Usually when I notice a breakout I take lysine and oregano oil supplements. Lysine is great for inflammation and Oregano Oil acts as a natural antibiotic, so my skin does not feel so congested. Usually when my digestive tract is off, so is my skin. As far as topical, I love my Image Clear Cell Cleanser and Clarisonic Facial Brush. I can’t live without them!
What or who makes you feel beautiful and why?
My son makes me feel beautiful. Being a mom has been the most rewarding experience and something that has made me blossom and become a stronger woman. Feeling comfortable and confident is the most beautiful feeling.
If there is one beauty tip you could plaster on a billboard, what would it be?
“Invest in your skin.” For over a decade now, I have seen woman covering up, covering up and covering up some more. Most women want to look natural and radiant, so a lot of makeup is not the answer. When your skin looks great, then you don’t have to use as much foundation, etc. Your face is the first thing that people see when you meet them, so take the time and energy to have great skin.
While, Danica Jardien is an amazing makeup artist and creative mind. One of the most amazing things about a having the right makeup artist or even a hairdresser is finding one with a great personality. Jardien, friendly demeanor and professionalism provides the ideal balance of what most brides-to-be are looking for in a makeup artist. A person you can rely on to give you a perfect look for your big day and still be relatable and elevate the mood, making getting ready both a learning and fun experience. I wanted to get to know a little more about her guilty pleasures, interests, and a bit more about her personality and how she thinks.
What is your guilty pleasure “junk food”?
Chocolate and coffee are my two weaknesses. I splurge on Vosges dark chocolate a couple of times a week.
When you’re not working, what is your typical day like?
I workout at least 5 days a week, so being active and fit is a huge part of my life. I am a busy bee, so I am always on the go and trying to check everything off of my to do list. I love new experiences, so if it is a coffee shop, restaurant or a retail store I have to have interaction with new people during the day somehow.
What is one question that people ask you or assumption that people make all the time that you wish you could make a magic button to eliminate it from their thought process?
Most people assume that I am much younger than I am. (Jardien turned the big & beautiful3-0 in May) but I am usually mistaken for being 21 or so. In this case, people are not as likely to take you seriously. I let my work speak for itself.
What is one thing you do that most people wouldn’t assume you do?
I grew up collecting classic cars and working on them. My dad did not want me to grow up being a helpless woman stranded anywhere, so by the age of 16 I knew my first car in and out. I have taken that same mentality into as many areas of my life I can. I thank my dad for teaching me to be independent and self sufficient.
Pretend you just had the worst day ever, what do you do to bring yourself into a better mood?
Most of the time an intense workout can help me shake things off while listening to my favorite music. A warm bath to follow always helps too! The older that I become I have learned that those days that seem so horrible really do help me to appreciate the good days.
There is a beauty tag going around on Youtube. So we’ll pretend this is your tag video. Name three physical things you like about yourself and three things that you consider ‘flaws’
I love my demeanor, my Italian nationality and my petite frame. I consider my small voice, tattoos and eyebrows as my flaws.
Bullying is a topic that has been in the media a lot lately. I believe at one time or another we’ve all been bullied at one point. I strongly feel even in negative situations, positive solutions can occur. Have you ever been bullied? How did you deal with it? How has it shaped you as a person today?
I was brought up to never treat everyone with respect. My parents were very strict about how my brother and I treated mentally and physically disabled individuals and the elderly. I love my parents for being so mindful of how we were to treat others. I could never understand people who bullied. Growing up my hair was green, pink, blue and every color that you could imagine. I made my own clothes and stood out growing up in the suburbs. I was bullied constantly through middle school and high school. It is very cruel and I have zero tolerance for people who mistreat others. Love and accept people for who they are.
To date, what has been your happiest moment?
Becoming a mother, hands down.
Since becoming a mother, how have you changed?
I am a more loving person for sure. Having an active toddler with a big personality, I have been put in many public situations that would have made me so embarrassed. I love how my son has taught me to enjoy the simple things in life and not worry so much about what others think. We are just as important as the next person.
What is one quote or saying that keeps Danica going?
“Nothing is a coincidence and everything happens for a reason.” I have complete faith in God and know that he only wants the best for me… for us all.
If you weren’t in the beauty industry, what career do you think you would be doing?
I love to work with my hands and be creative. Growing up with a very handy father and having owned a couple of properties, I love remodeling and decorating homes. I actually love to get dirty and build things.
In Sarah Jessica Parkers’ latest role in the film I Don’t Know How She Does It based off the book with the same title by Allison Pearson, Parker must juggle her career with motherhood which at times can be seemingly impossible. While both aspects of her life has positive rewards, there are also constraints. Jardien, like many women around the world has a child to take care of and a career to nurture as well. It makes me curious about how motherhood has changed her professional life and how she came to have her career.
Since becoming a mother how has your role as a professional makeup artist changed?
Before my son, my career was everything to me. I am constantly trying to find a balance in life. I want to be an amazing mother and an inspiring makeup artist with time for my son and I have to eat healthy and enjoy life. I have to really manage my time and try not to get carried away with my career. That is all easier said than done!
When and why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?
My first makeup job was with Lancome at a counter in a department store in 2001. I took the job because I thought it would be fun. I honestly would have never imagined that I would have accomplished half of what I have. Once I worked with Lancome I decided to push myself and try to work for MAC Cosmetics the following year. The industry became more and more interesting and I would set new goals as I went along. I still love what I do to this day and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What is your proudest or most exciting moment so far in your role as a makeup artist?
When women look in to the mirror and can’t believe how they have been transformed. When a woman says that she feels so beautiful and it then inspires her to spice up her hair and wardrobe, that is truly amazing. I know that feeling and I have to say, when you look good you feel good. I always feel like I can accomplish anything when I look my best.
In terms of the business side of makeup, what industry leaders do you look up to?
Gina Brooke is one of my biggest inspirations. She was the creative director for Shu Uemera and now for Hourglass Cosmetics. She is also Madonna’s personal makeup artist. I love how clean and classic she looks while working and never over done. She is a true artist.
You’ve been known to do makeup on all ethnicities, which you do extremely well. If you were to have an apprentice who wanted to follow in your footsteps, what would you tell them is the biggest challenge and best reward for being a makeup-artist that doesn’t rely on one skin tone or one look?
I truly believe that if you have great intentions that good things will come to you. Using unsafe sanitary practices or a bad attitude will not get you anywhere. In the beauty industry customer service and talent are everything. Continuing to grow as an artist is just as important as continuing to grow as a person.
From your time spent working with MAC Cosmetics applying makeup on Tyra Banks and throughout your career working on individuals such as actress Tatyana Ali, rapper Big Boi from Outkast, NBA star Carmelo Anthony, our current President Barack Obama, among many other talents, who is one face you would love to get your palette on, dead or alive.
This is a difficult question!! I would love to work with someone tough like Madonna. She is known for having extremely high expectations and usually can show a makeup artist a thing or two about having her makeup done. Those tough situations can really make you grow as a person and an artist. I love a tough critic!
Blush Beauty Tutor is a full line of DVDs created by Jardien which offers tutorials and support from those who are just beginning in makeup to those who have experience but need a little help in creating some of the most sought after looks. If you’re like me, you love playing a bit of music while you put on your makeup. However, when you’re just learning how to create a smokey eye, apply false lashes, or attempting a look you’ve never tried before sometimes you would rather have a voice giving you steps along the way. I love Youtube for the variety of beauty gurus available to give you a tutorial. But sometimes a DVD meets all the needs to really put you on the right track in terms of control, quality, and ability to stop and go along the way. My favorite part, is Jardiens’ ability to communicate effectively at a pace that is perfect for everyone to follow. There are several tutorials available including Basic Application, Complete Looks, Vintage Looks, Enhanced Eye Makeup Looks, and more, as well as sets to help you save time and money. I wanted to discuss with Jardien the inspiration behind her line of DVDs and some insider details. Check out what Danica has to say.
You have a new line of DVDs out which shows everyone from beginners to even the makeup savvy, how to apply makeup. What inspired you to come out with a line of DVDs?
To be honest, I have wanted to create a line of dvd’s for years now! I started creating an outline years ago on my own, but between working a lot and my little man, I really lost track of time. Last Summer I was contacted by a wonderful producer, Will Wernick and he pitched the idea to me. He and I work well together and we came up with some really great quality products. There is a need for quality instructional makeup DVD’s out there. YouTube is wonderful for simple makeup tips, but I wanted to show women how to start from the basics and make applying makeup very simple. This has project was so much fun and I am really excited about them!
One of my favorite attributes about you is your personality, you’re so personable, and that transcends into your role as a makeup artist. I’ve had my makeup done before on several occasions, my favorite pros have always been able to leave me with more than just a ‘beat’ face, they leave me a bit more educated with a tip or secret. Why do you think it’s important to not only just apply makeup on a person but also educate them?
As a makeup artist you are creating an experience for your client. I want my client’s to feel comfortable with me most importantly. I love to learn about them and ask questions about their lives. I have learned so much from all of the amazing people that I have met.
Out of all your dvd sets, which was the funniest to do and why?
The Eye Makeup Looks DVD was really hilarious! The looks were really intense. I loved to glance at Will after finishing a set and seeing his face. The skin around my eyes were completely raw for days after creating the looks from removing the makeup so many times in one day.
Was it hard being in front of the camera? Did you ever get nervous throughout any of the process? How did you deal with it?
I am more of a behind the scenes kind of girl, but honestly I felt pretty comfortable. Will helped me to feel comfortable and because of creating YouTube videos for years it wasn’t so bad. I had a lot of fun creating all of the looks!
One of the great things I love about your tutorials especially now that you have a set DVDs is I’m able to follow along with you, pause if I need to, or rewind. It’s definitly a lot easier than following those little cards that come with eyeshadow palettes that look nothing like my eyes. It’s almost like having a personal instructor in front of me. Of course, I could just go to Youtube, and nothing is wrong with that, but your DVDs are professionally shot which allow me to really see details and follow you. Was that one of your goals in making the DVDs? What were some other goals?
Yes, I really did want amazing quality with these DVD’s. YouTube is great, but the quality is missing. Also, you are correct, the DVD’s make it easy to stop, rewind or fast forward, so it is much easier for women to really get the information that they need. There is also no time limit and you can follow each step as I move slowly so each technique is very easy to understand.
Who would you recommend certain DVDs for?
I think every woman needs the Makeup Basics DVD’s! I go over all information from the very beginning, such as correct skin care and tools to how to apply different foundation formulas, groom and define your eye brows. It is always a good idea to know your basics and build from there.
Danica Jardien is a true talent in the beauty industry helping to highlight the beauty in many of the names and faces we already know, brides-to-be, mothers, men and women. She is a mother, a friend, a daughter, among a number of things. One of the most beautiful aspects of Jardien is the way her inner beauty radiates and how her maternal nature helps make her one of the most compassionate and motivating educators of beauty. Beauty is more than skin deep and Danica channels that message from her palette to her client. Check out Danica’s website as well as Blush Beauty Tutor to see Jardiens’ talent and how she can help make your beauty routine a little less work and a lot more fun.