Makeup Artist Chat: James Vincent
What is your favorite part about being an educator and makeup artist?
Makeup has afforded me so many opportunities in my life. It has allowed this weird kid from a small town to travel and love all over the world, working with people I grew up admiring. This industry allows possibility for anyone willing to work. I love that. I also love the collaboration that happens. Working with other artists, educating and building communities. Watching someone find their passion or put a plan for success in place; helping them find the perfect mentor. This is my favorite thing to do.
How important is it to attend school for a makeup artistry?
I think education is crucial in order to be successful in this industry, but attending school does not guarantee your success. You need to be honest about your personal ambitions, and choosing a route that reflects that. When I started my career there were no schools, so we were self taught. Self taught meant doing the research, finding mentors, assisting and apprenticing under established artists, until they decided you were ready to go out on your own. Self taught meant finding information…credible information…finding opportunities, putting in long hours of hard work to become a working artist. Not every individual has the personality to do this journey without a structured education. I am a huge advocate for education, and find there are many schools I love and would personally recommend, however, an artist that attends school or is self taught can achieve the same goals. You still need to do your research and do the work. A license does not guarantee success.
How has the industry changed since you started?
The industry has changed so much. When I started there were a hundred artists and only a handful of agencies. Now there are thousands of artists with credentials that attend "The Makeup Show". There are more artists, and there is more access to information than ever. You can find anything, learn anything online, or attend one of the thousands of classes that happen all over the world. I also think there is more work. When I started there were three television networks, a handful of publications, and the opportunities for work in all areas of the industry are so vast now. I think it is an exciting time for our industry.
How do you continue to grow within the industry?
Me personally? I continue to surround myself with artists I admire who have the skill set and integrity that I look for. I educate myself constantly. I am always seeing inspiration as well as focusing on the idea of community and wellness in my life and art.
Who is your favorite beauty Icon, past, and present?
Present icon. Joan Jett. She is a mentor, a friend, someone I would call family… I am also a huge fan. She is such an inspiration in all she has done within the music industry not only in her own career, but for the career of others. After being turned down by 25 record labels, Joan Jett started the first record label in Rock called "Blackheart Records". In their first year they released multiple number one hits including "I Love Rock N Roll", "Bad Reputation" and other well-known classics. She believed in herself. She also produced other brilliant bands including "The Germs", "Bikini Kill" and "L7". She fights for what she believes in, and knows who she is. Now even her eyeliner look is signature, completely recognizable and referenced often in fashion and music. She is an icon and an amazing person.
My favorite past icon. I would say would be the "Bond Girls". They are strong and sexy with a bit of fantasy. I always find that inspiring.
An Icon we lost. Amy Winehouse. She was my client, friend and such a fragile, sensitive human, with an amazing talent. Her look also inspired so many, and her sound will continue to inspire for generations.
What is your favorite part of The Makeup Show, and what are you adding this year that is different?
Education. Education. Education. It is what separates us from other industry events. Education has been part of our foundation and vision from the beginning. But not just any information, its about giving the right information that will actually help the artists succeed. Some of the things we focus on is helping artists find their own style, building a better career by giving them business knowledge, and putting together a better makeup kit. This year we will introduce a new panel called "Here’s Where I Am", which helps artist find their own definition of success, and their own path. For many artists they do not even know what options are available to further their career.
Top 3 products you always carry in your kit?
Embryolisse Lait Crème, MAKE UP FOR EVER Flash Color Case, NARS The Multiple
Top 3 things that make you smile, often?
Iced Coffee, Great Eyeliner, A beer and a shot of Jameson, The Golden Girls…That is four but I do not know if you will print the whiskey thing.
What is your favorite quote?
“I will not retire while I've still got my legs and my makeup box.”
― Bette Davis
When I use my strength in the service of my vision it makes no difference whether or not I am afraid.
― Audre Lorde