Interview: Beautifully Confident James Vincent Talks Makeup.
by Julia Dalton
Makeup Artist James Vincent and The Makeup Show have one very important thing in common: They are both an integral part of the makeup world. Just speaking on the phone with James Vincent, who is Director of Artistry for The Makeup Show, The Powder Group and On Makeup Magazine, he speaks with soft kindness and beautiful confidence.
He tells you what he knows without seeming cocky. I mean, let’s be honest, with the roster of clients he has worked on (from Renee Zellweger to Joan Jett to name a few), the number of world wide Fashion Week Shows he has worked and keyed (Alexander McQueen, True Religion-key, Michael Kors -body art key) and the too many to count TV/Film, Print/Media campaigns he has worked on he has the credentials of what could make an arrogant man, but that is far from the truth.
James Vincent isn’t about bragging about his own career, he is about reaching out and teaching. He isn’t someone who is possessive about his craft, he truly wants to help artists reach their potential… and then strive higher. I guess that is why it was not hard for him to be part of The Makeup Show.
Personally, having gone to The Makeup Show for numerous years, something that is so significant about The Makeup Show is that it gives makeup artists a place to further themselves. It is not only about going somewhere and buying product. It is about being fulfilled as an artist. Not only can I go and meet my mentors and hear them speak and be inspired by that, but I’m able to learn and then submerge myself in the products around me. To really play with them and learn about them and that is what being an artist is all about.
I was able to speak with James about The Makeup Show (which comes to New York City May 15-16, Chicago June 12-13 and Europe September 17-18), which is in it’s sixth year and really hear about all the new and amazing things that are going on.
Julia: This is the sixth year of The Makeup Show, is there anything new and special going on?
James: We are bigger than ever before. We are introducing a brand new floor that is called the career and resource floor and it is taking the show to a different level. What I’ve noticed, is that there are a lot of shows geared toward cosmetologists or makeup artists that are really about letting consumers in now. And, at our show we really want it to be a place that people can go and get the inspirations, the education, the artistry, buy the product and meet the industry insiders that are making a difference in what we do as makeup artists everyday.
The career and resource floor is on the 2nd floor at the Metropolitan Pavilion, which is a new green floor and we are going to have new vendors up there and education that focuses on career and business and branding yourself. I think it’s a great partnership with the artistry that we’ve become known for. We also have more artistry than we’ve ever had like keynotes like Reggie Wells, Billy B, Patty Dubroff and Jeanine Lobell . I’m also introducing a panel called women in the industry.
I think that even though women have come a long way, there is still a glass ceiling that exists in an industry that is primarily for women, but that is still dominated by men in a lot of the leadership positions. So, we are going to address that. And we have brand new vendors, prestige vendors. Brands like like Yves Saint Laurent, NARS and Kevyn Aucoin that have never offered an industry discount.
Julia: I saw that, I am incredibly excited.
James: Me too, as a makeup junkie myself, I’m really excited.
Julia: One of the things I love about The Makeup Show is that you really embrace and show new brands and new product lines. Is there any one specifically that you’re excited about?
James: There are so many. I think Glamcor is one that everyone is talking about. It is a lighting system that really deals with the needs of makeup artists and their lighting and carry bag. All of these things that are really geared toward artists. I think that having Yves Saint Laurent is huge for me and Kevin Aucoin because they are a back bone of a lot of my applications and, probably, the only products that I pay for.
I think they are really looking at artists now and see The Makeup Show as place not only to sell some product but build their pro business and build their presence in the pro makeup artist community. There are so many new brands this year, it is hard to pin it down. Like Rosemary Swift, RMS Beauty I think is a great line, it is socially responsible, it’s organic. She is such an inspirational woman herself that to have her speaking here and her brand here for the first time is really exciting.
Julia: You work on a ton of projects during the year to help push makeup artists to new levels, do you enjoy a huge production like The Makeup Show or something smaller like Evolution?
James: It is kind of a split personality. I do love the show because I think it is a really easy way to bring people together and I put a lot of pressure on myself and it kills me when people say ‘oh I never heard of The Makeup Show’ or ‘That would have been great had I known about it’ so we really work to get the word out. And, I think it changes live. It is a great way for makeup artists to find people to support them and to find the brands so that they can accomplish whatever it is that they need to accomplish. However, I also do things that are a little more intimate like Evolution, which is probably my favorite program that we do. It is also the most emotionally exhausting for me.
It kind of tears you down and builds you back up. It is trans formative, it literally changes people’s lives and that to me is kind of the most exciting. But, i think the makeup show is a similar thing. For that artist that is Billy B’s assistant and then is brought on to a music video or celebrity things.
Julia: Are there any new artists this year that we should be on the look out for?
James: So many, I’m so excited to have Patty Dubroff here. She is someone who inspires me and who is just one of the most amazing woman working in the industry. I think Jeanine Lobell who is here for the first time is someone who is a mentor to me. I don’t even know if she knows that…I think that Dany Sanz from Makeup Forever is always here and a true artist. Reggie Wells, 25yrs on Oprah, he’s done every cover of O Magazine.
He is a legend in our industry and has never spoken in New York, so that is very exciting. And, I think some of the younger artists we see on the seminar floors or on the career and resource floors. To have people like Victoria Stiles, Crystal Wright, Felicia Walker Benson from This That Beauty available to talk to people.
To have the Working In NY panel and have artists that work in all areas in NY like Joe Dulude the makeup artist who designed Wicked and Justen Brosnan from Pricilla Queen of the Desert on stage with Eddie Cruz who is with Timothy Priano who is primarily fashion. It kind of blows my mind.
Julia: But that is the impact you guys have brought on this industry.
James: I hope so.
Julia: You are doing your seminar on Kit Focus with Kevin James Bennet. You mention putting your personality into every product you carry, can you tell me what your number one product is and how that represents you?
James: Ohhhh, that’s a tough one, that gets me in trouble… the number one products in my kit are my skin care… without good skin you cannot have a good makeup application and for me the Embryolisse Le Creme is one of those products that I always use, I carry it with me everywhere. I use it on myself and it really is an amazing product.
Julia: How would you say they represent you?
James: I think because they are all about bringing out skin and bringing out the natural and bringing out the face in front of me instead of covering, instead of hiding, instead of restructuring. Those products are really all about beauty and the beauty that exists there and kind of focusing on that. To me, it’s not about changing someone or hiding things it about celebrating them and I think that those products really allow me to bring out the best of what exists.
Well, you really cannot end on a better note than that. I love a makeup artist who really works from his/her heart and who is passionate and respectful of all aspects of the craft and that is certainly Mr. James Vincent.