I’m always eager to hear from hair and makeup artists- one little tip that is incredible can really change the way I do things and the way I feel about myself. Jemma Kidd is a true professional. Not only is her successful makeup school a hit amongst professionals, but her own makeup range is too! It’s full of fun and bright packaging, but great quality too (so you can get a professional look, at home). Jemma Kidd products are available in Australia through Kit Cosmetics.
Tell us a little bit about you? Your background?
Originally I worked as a backstage artists, working extensively at New York and London Fashion Weeks and with leading fashion designers, photographers and an array of famous faces.
I was also appointed to act as brand spokesperson for beauty giants Max Factor and Rimmel, and was requested to become a features writer for The Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine, Elle, and S Magazine and performed demonstration and give advice on the UK’s leading morning television programme, ITV’s This Morning.
It was during this period that I realised many women buy and use make-up, but only few know how to apply it. I founded the Jemma Kidd Make-Up School in 2003 to help real women understand and use make-up and later I launched my first book, ‘Make-Up Masterclass’.
How does your experience as a model influence your make-up range?
I started out in the industry as a model, but I was never really comfortable – unlike my little sister Jodie! When I discovered what it was like being on the other end of the brush, I knew I’d found the right career. I was lucky to work as an assistant to make-up guru Mary Greenwell for five years and then was spotted by Premier Hair & Make Up Agency and taken on their books in 1999. Since then I’ve worked with leading fashion designers, photographers and a host of prestigious magazines, including American and British Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle.
What is your own special occasion makeup routine?
A good skincare routine is the key to healthy, glowing skin. I always advise people that their twice-daily regime should be to cleanse well and then moisturise. Skin should be spotless before you apply moisturiser or make-up, otherwise pores will become blocked and lead to breakouts. It’s also essential to exfoliate skin once or twice a week and use an appropriate treatment mask – deep cleansing, hydrating, nourishing or calming – once or twice a month. If you get to know your skin you can select the right moisturiser.
I am always on the lookout for products that will help achieve a flawless finish in less time, as no modern woman always has time for lengthy beauty regimes – I absolutely adore tinted moisturisers to give sheer coverage – be sure to pick one with an SPF for example my JK Pro Finish Tinted Moisturiser is SPF 20, so in one go I can get immediate results and skincare protection.
When you’re a mother, the most valuable commodity is time: make-up needs to be super quick to apply, and that is why most of my products are all about instant gratification and all-in-ones. One of my morning must-haves is a touch of a lip & cheek flush or stain, like my new Red Carpet Lip/Cheek Gloss, to give a bee-stung pout and a ‘pinched cheek’ effect that will last through the day. A favourite tip to brighten tired-out eyes, is to dab a little flesh toned concealer or primer on the eye lid to neutralise the skin-tone and reduce redness.
A clever trick to draw light into the eyes is to add a touch of sparkle to the inner corners with a sheer pearl or shimmer shadow, like my I-Design Eye Colour in Elle, so that you look ‘bright-eyed and bushy-tailed’, even though you’re only functioning on only a few hours’ sleep! I then like to dress up natural eyes with a shimmering powder eyeshadow which can be easily applied over existing eyeshadow, and then add key sculpting pieces that create shape and definition for a hint of tailored catwalk glamour.
How should make up compliment a bridal gown?
Ivory and gold-toned dresses look great with beiges and brown, but if you have a white dress then a grey palette of eye shadow looks great and it is easy to glam up for the evening – line the upper and lower lash lines with a crème liner or pencil, like the I-Conic Eyes Pencil Liner for definition, before applying lashings of Ultra Plush Volumising Mascara in Stage Black for long, defined lashes. Be sure to prep the eye area with a primer to give the look a lasting finish.
Purple seems to be this season’s colour. It’s a very bold colour, how could a bride use this?
In my opinion, you don’t want your wedding photos to look horribly dated a few years from now, so make sure you opt for natural make-up that isn’t trend-driven. Your husband-to-be wants to see the woman he knows rather than a stranger walking down the aisle. A professional make-up artist may provide a slight slant on your usual look, maybe by using different shades, so if you do have a make-up artist, make sure you do a test run before your wedding day.
Ensure that you keep your look as subtle as possible – daylight is not very forgiving. For brunettes however, you can add a touch of purple with your choice of lip colour – A lip and cheek stain is a perfect solution for brides as they are long-lasting and give a fresh-faced finish – try applying my Red Carpet Lip/Cheek Tint & Gloss in Dress Up. Lip gloss can be added on top of a stain for a glossy finish. For an even, long-lasting finish just remember to prepare lips beforehand; try my Perfect-Pout Exfoliating Treatment Balm for a lipstick-ready pout.
Fair coloured people can use a touch of high pigment contrasting colour on the eyes to bring out the colour to complement and accentuate the iris – a touch of purple on green eyes really makes them pop, without looking too high-drama.
Do you think there’s any overall rules for make up for a bride in her 20’s 30s or 40s?
My top tip for wedding perfect skin is to prepare skin well in advance! Have facials about a month before and follow up by using plenty of hydrating face masks. Get your eyebrows professionally plucked a few days before – you’ll be surprised what a difference this can make.
If you are applying your own make-up, take care not to pile on the foundation as that can highlight rather than mask even the smallest imperfections. Skin should look flawless, so use cream formulas rather than powders, but nothing too heavy – the key to natural make-up is to blend, blend, blend! To create a flawless complexion, avoid using foundation to disguise discolouration, rather opt for a tinted moisturiser and use colour correctors to target specific areas of concern – I call this type of make-up ‘stealth make-up’, as it ensures you look fabulous but not too ‘made-up’.
Skin illuminators are great for creating a youthful ‘lit from within’ effect, as they contain light-diffusing particles which give skin a lovely dewy finish – Recreate Kate Middleton’s radiant glow by using an illuminating base, like Mannequin Skin Complexion Enhancer in Canvas, or carefully apply touches of crème highlighter to the brow, cheek and collar bones to accentuate your features. Finish the skin with a light dusting of bronzer, and avoid the tell-tale signs of tears by using a waterproof-based formula like my JK Show Stopper Water Resistant Bronzer. Set with finishing powder.
How did you come to establish the Jemma Kidd Make-up school?
In 2003 I launched the make-up school to serve as a launch platform for aspiring make-up artists to develop their skills and equip them with the industry expertise to help progress their careers. It was an idea that came to me after an Indian girl flew over from Deli to be taught by me for a week so that she could work in Bollywood.
I suddenly realised that thousands of women throughout the world wear make-up, but few have been taught how to apply it. I founded the Jemma Kidd Make Up School as a place for people who want to learn how to apply make-up, be it professionally as a make-up artist or just women wanting to look their best.
What’s next for Jemma Kidd?
I am starting to work on a new book which is so exciting.
Thank you for joining us today on Polka Dot Wisdom Jemma! Check out the Jemma Kidd website for more information, or buy her products through the Kit Cosmetics website.