Happy 2019, everyone! I hope you are having a great start to your 2019 so far. We are gearing up for some really amazing things with What It Takes for you all, and one of the things is bringing back the Artist Features!

I always love to give praise for emerging artists around the world, and this week’s featured artist is nothing less than amazing. Her story is so inspiring, and her growth has been one of the most exciting things to watch from across the country. Within only 3 years, Jenny has been published in magazines and most recently on the cover of Modern Salon Magazine, become an educator for Ultimate Face Cosmetics, and met/worked with the biggest names in our industry by networking like a f**kin BOSS!

Jenny has been a part of the WIT family for a while now, and is truly unstoppable. Read about her journey of pursuing makeup as a freelance artist fully over the last year, how she stays motivated when times get tough, words of wisdom to other aspiring artists and more!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am a Navy Veteran, born and raised in NJ, and I’m currently working as a freelance makeup artist in the greater NYC area. I served 6 years as a Nuclear Reactor Operator on an aircraft carrier, where I met my husband. I tried college but it wasn’t for me so I used the rest of my GI Bill to attend Parisian Beauty Academy a Paul Mitchell Partner School and Make-up Designory in NYC. After completing over 3000 hours of education, we moved to Florida where I taught makeup and cosmetology at Paul Mitchell the School Fort Myers. Working for the incredible Tina Black, a motivational speaker, author, and John Maxwell coach, taught me to live intentionally, constantly seek growth opportunities, and to respond to life versus react. Through the school I was able to launch my career as a lead artist and national educator for Ultimate Face Cosmetics! After 2 years in Florida, we moved back to Jersey, both went back to school, bought a house, and started new careers. I am currently working on my requirements for joining the union and building my freelance business.

What inspired you to be a makeup artist?

I was a tomboy my whole life so after the military I did a complete 180 and became a girly girl. I started selling Mary Kay and I loved the feeling of helping transform my friends. Seeing their confidence and smiles was addictive and I knew I wanted a career that served people and made them feel like their best selves. I knew Mary Kay had professional makeup artists so that became my dream job and here I am, 7 years later, living my dream!

How long have you been doing makeup for and what type of makeup do you enjoy doing the most?

I have been doing freelance makeup on the side for 3 years and I just began my full-time freelance career in September. My favorite beauty makeup to do is clean beauty with a pop of color and my favorite FX makeup to do character makeup with prosthetics and hair work.

Who is your biggest inspiration as an MUA?

Vivian Baker is my idol! She works on the coolest movies in the universe (Marvel), she won an Emmy for Grey Gardens, and she’s Chris Pratt’s personal makeup artist. Beyond her work as an artist, she takes the time to participate in social media groups and share her knowledge, and she has the most loving relationship with her husband. She is my inspiration professionally and personally.

How do you push past any self doubts or hard times?

My doubts and fears are 100% self imposed and usually stem from spending too much time on social media comparing myself to others. If I take the time to focus on myself I can start to put things into perspective. I do this several ways; I talk (or cry) to my husband, I go to yoga and then usually take a nap, I reflect on past experiences and lessons that I’ve learned from books or seminars, and I smoke weed. Taking the leap into a full-time freelance career has been scary and it took me the past few months to figure out that I have what it takes, I am doing the right thing, and that I can’t look at what other people are doing because it will literally drive me crazy.

What do you do to keep yourself inspired?

I am a lifelong learner. I can’t get enough education, motivation, or demonstration. I am a human sponge for knowledge and I am inspired by everyone’s stories, their approach to our art, and by the way their hands move as they work. I spent so much money on education this year I think I scared my husband but it keeps me motivated and inspired.

What advice would you give to other aspiring artists?

Focus on taking your journey one day at a time. It’s important to have goals and want to work towards them quickly but in this age of instant gratification and social media, it’s easy to lose focus. This career is a marathon and just like any other small business, it will take at least 3-5 years to become profitable. Focus on growing yourself one day at a time and if you need to compare yourself to anyone, look at where you were last year or 2 years ago and see how far you’ve come. Focus on yourself first, take it slow, and enjoy the journey.


Connect with Jenny and continue watching her amazing journey by following her on Instagram @Jennythomasbeauty or in our Facebook Group! We are proud to say that Jenny is one of our group moderators. Drop in and say hi!!!

Love continuing education and always staying motivated? Join our Facebook Group “What It Takes Makeup Artistry Platform” where you will find other like-minded, manifesting makeup artists just like Jenny. Every week our creator, Amber Talarico, offers free trainings just for the Facebook community. We would love for you to join!