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Jake Bailey: makeup artist who specializes in editorial fashion and beauty

 Jake Bailey: The Makeup Artist Behind LA's Most Fashionable Faces


In an industry where trends change as often as the seasons, makeup artists who specialize in editorial fashion and beauty are needed to help keep the world’s most beautiful celebrities looking fabulous from one week to the next. Jake Bailey, one of Los Angeles’ most prominent makeup artists, has spent years honing his skills and working with some of Hollywood’s biggest names, all while working on expanding his portfolio in new and exciting ways. Here’s what you need to know about this leading makeup artist who keeps LA looking so fashionable and beautiful every day.

Jake Bailey: The Makeup Artist Behind LA's Most Fashionable Faces

Exclusive Interview with Jake Bailey

Jake Bailey is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist who specializes in editorial fashion and beauty. Jake’s work can be seen all over Hollywood on actors for film, TV, and stage as well as top models, supermodels, and high-profile celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid. We had a chance to talk to Jake about his new brand of skin care products called Skin Changers – a line of oil-based serums designed specifically for skin tone change. I know you’re focused right now on your Skin Changers project with Kim Kardashian West but I wanted to start off by asking you what are some things that every woman should have in her makeup bag?

When did you realize that you wanted to be a professional makeup artist?

Once I got tight and held a pencil in my hand, I was drawing. There was no other career path in my mind for me. The make-up artist wasn't even in my vocabulary! When I finally took a makeup course at university, everything fell into place for me. But it wasn't until years later that I realized makeup could be my job and that I could make a good living by doing what I love to do – making people look and feel beautiful! That is when Jake Bailey Cosmetics came to life; five years ago when there were no celebrity makeup artists or Instagram beauty bloggers or YouTubers just starting out online.

What inspires your work?

For me, it’s all about balance. When I approach each photo shoot or job, my goal is to make sure everyone’s looking their best—from makeup to styling to lighting—while also not overwhelming them with a crazy number of products and unnecessary shine. At a certain point, you have to ask yourself if all that glitter is helping or hurting your client. But like any aspect of filmmaking, it comes down to people’s expectations. If a client asks for shimmery lips because that’s what they saw on TV last night, I can either point out that they might be making an unfortunate mistake or go along with it and help them get exactly what they want (and deserve).

What is the biggest challenge you face when working on someone?

What is it like working on other actors, as opposed to your own clients? A lot of people talk about how competitive a job like mine can be, but I don’t think that’s true. It doesn’t matter what agency you work for or what stars you’ve worked with—we all just want to do our best work and help each other out. One time, for example, I was doing makeup for an actor who had a particularly hard skin tone to match. So I asked another great artist who had worked with him before and she gave me some helpful tips. In situations like that, you learn from one another—everyone benefits!

What would you say separates an amateur from a professional makeup artist?

Professional makeup artists have a mastery of their craft, experience, and skill that amateurs just don’t have. For example, to do my job well as a professional makeup artist, I need to be familiar with many different types of products and brands. I use different products for oily skin then I would for dry skin. Additionally, professionals also learn how to apply makeup in a way that will look natural and appropriate depending on what you are doing. Someone who is getting married wouldn’t wear glam-heavy makeup like they would if they were going to an important meeting or gala event where they wanted to look as put together as possible.

What are some of your favorite trends right now?

New Zealand-born Jake Bailey is quickly becoming one of Los Angeles’ favorite makeup artists. His work has been featured in some of your favorite magazines, from Elle to Italian Vogue, and he’s worked with some of your favorite celebrities (we see you, Kendall Jenner). If you’re a member of LA’s fashion set, chances are you have seen him out and about around town at events or on social media. Lucky for us all, he agreed to sit down with Cogent Journalist recently and give us an inside look into his world as a makeup artist...

Are there any tips/tricks that you'd like to share with our readers?

Sure. I think it’s important to remember that even with makeup, you don’t have to hide behind a mask. It can be so much more powerful and beautiful when makeup enhances your natural self rather than masks it. A lot of Jake Bailey’s looks reflect that idea, using makeup to enhance features or bring out certain aspects of a person’s look rather than changing their overall appearance altogether. Think about enhancing your best features as opposed to covering up what you think is your worst ones. Also, don’t worry if you mess up your first attempt at applying makeup; everyone does! You just need practice and lots of patience—and eventually, you'll find yourself totally comfortable with putting on makeup.