Name: Jessie Yarborough
Facebook: Makeup By Jessie
Tell us a bit about yourself
I grew up in Charlotte, NC with two sisters and a brother. I moved to Orlando, Florida my freshman year of high school and lived there until graduation. I moved back to North Carolina soon afterwards, I missed the south. I did, however, learn my love for makeup and got my career started while I was living in Orlando.
What first inspired you to get into makeup? Was there a specific aha! moment that you can remember?
Growing up, I was always intrigued with the entertainment business and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I thought I wanted to act but never felt right as I did so. In my junior year of high school, I tried out for a play and didn’t get a part so I decided to do the makeup instead. I ended up falling in love with the artform and never looked back.
What are you enjoying most about your Master Makeup Artistry course with QC?
I went back and forth between deciding if I would do school or not but I am glad I did. I taught myself most of my skills and picked up many of my techniques by assisting successful makeup artists in the business. I wanted to create my own technique from learning the correct application, which I am getting to do through this program. My tutor Nathan is always very real with how he feels about my work and I learn something new every unit. I feel like I am truly growing from this school.
You’ve worked in so many areas of the makeup industry—from movies to weddings and everything in between! Do you enjoy one type of job more than the rest?
My favorite thing to do is photo shoots. I love every aspect, but I feel in photoshoots I play such a big part in the entire project and am constantly working and involved in the project. On other projects, I usually do my job in the beginning and then I am done for the day, only needing to do subtle touch-ups.
I’m sure many of your fellow students would love to know—what is it like working on a movie set?
I love doing movies because on each one I am challenged and learn so much. I love the fact that I have to do so many different types of skin. On movie sets, they seem to always want something last minute and you just have to go with it and do the best you can. I learn the most from these situations and they make me grow as an artist.
On your website’s homepage you’ve shared some exciting information! How do you see your upcoming move to LA changing your career?
I am so excited about my move. I know it will change my career in a remarkable way. I have been emailing and reaching out to people in LA the past two years and have a lot of opportunities waiting for me there. I know moving there will increase my income and allow me to work full time as a makeup artist. It’s all about doing it. I could sit around and think about how I wish I had moved but be comfortable in a “safe place,” or take a risk and believe in myself and give it my all. Making the move to California is definitely the next step to progress my career since there is so much work there.
We couldn’t help but notice your impressive following throughout your social channels. Do you have any advice on how to begin building connections and networking for those who are just starting their makeup artistry careers?
My biggest advice to someone starting in the career is to not be scared of denial. Any time I see someone on Instagram, Twitter, or in a magazine that I believe I could learn from or work with, I find a way to email them. I email celebrities that have personal emails and see if they would ever give me a chance as a makeup artist. Last year, Katie Saria, from MTV’s Buckwild emailed me back and said she would love to do a photoshoot. I told her I would fly her down to Orlando, and planned a whole weekend for her full of photoshoots. I was only 18 years old, promising her all this, and had no money. I somehow ended up pulling it off by bringing together a bunch of people who wanted to be a part of this, and we all put our money together. Now I am actually really close with Katie until this day!
You never know where something could lead. Talk to people, post about your work, spread your name, and believe in yourself. A lot of people told me I was crazy for wanting this when I first started, those are the people who now are the most proud and tell everyone about my success.
And last but not least! What product can you absolutely not live without?
I honestly love so many products but I think the most important aspect of my kit is Vaseline. It can be used for so many things and is such a quick fix for dry lips, skin, and creating last minute lipstick colors.
Interested in pursuing a career in makeup? Read more about our Master Makeup Artistry course here!