Rhode Island born Makeup Artist James Vincent has an extensive celebrity clientele, including everyone from Former United States of America President Barack Obama to Courtney Love and Miley Cyrus.
Lauren Malone catches up with him to discover more.
As I wait my turn to meet James Vincent for an interview with Magpie.ie, my palms began to sweat, and I can feel myself getting anxious at the prospect of meeting the celebrity makeup artist to the stars.
But my nerves soon melt away as he approaches me with a beaming smile and warm hand. In his soft American accent, he apologises profusely for not being on time, due to running over with other members of the Press “I’m just too chatty! I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting.”
The ‘Makeup Maestro’ as he is described, has flown into Dublin, especially to host a Makeup Masterclass in collaboration with Makeup Forever, which is a rare opportunity to watch the A-List Artist in action.
And, as one of Fashion Weeks most influential people, this is an event that all of Ireland’s serious Makeup Artists are at.I’ve never seen more glossy lips or perfectly arched eyebrows in one room.
James tells me that he began his career as what he describes as an ‘accidental makeup artist’, while studying for a degree in social work. ” I stumbled into makeup, and I fell in love with it,” he says,” I was writing a dissertation on how the ‘Beauty Myth’ affects women for Women Studies, and I decided to look at makeup.”
It was to be a turning point in his career. Soon after he was hired to be a part of the team that launched the first round of MAC cosmetics, and then he simply fell in love with makeup “I never finished my Masters Degree” he adds “It’s now 23 years that I’ve been doing makeup full time”.
It is apparent to see why James would have suited a career in social work, and also why he is so successful as a makeup artist. His easy personable manner and laid back charm are assets in a business where tension and theatrics are part of the gig. “We (as artists) deal with peoples vulnerabilities and insecurities, ” he explains. “” We make people feel better about themselves. We work with them on their most important days of their lives”.
“Makeup kind of opened up my eyes to what was possible in life, but MAC opened the door” he reflects, “MAC was how I started working with celebrities and how I started working in the Music Industry”.
Some of his best-known clients in the music industry are Florence and the Machine and the Foo Fighters, as well as Lady Gaga.James explains how he met Lady Gaga, who is undoubtedly among the best-known Musicians for experimenting with Avant Garde style looks.
The Rhode Island native now lives in New York and has done for the past 20 years, which is where he met the 6-time-Grammy-Award-Winning-Artist.
“She’s a New York girl, her best friends are makeup artists, and her ex-used to own an Irish bar called St. Jerome’s and I used to DJ there” he explains, giving the nod to his Irish connection. James lived in Dublin for 2 years, and with a hearty laugh tells me that he used to live above his local pub, where chairs would regularly be thrown through the windows “That was how I knew it was going to be my local!”
“Gaga, I’ve worked with a number of times, I’ve done three of her videos” he reveals “Love Game and Born This Way were probably the biggest. She is a very exciting person to work with, I am very inspired by what she has done.” he adds.
“President Obama was completely different scenario for me, I did not work with him after he was elected, I worked with him on his campaign trail, he is one of those people who changed my life, he was such a gracious person.” So what was his most memorable experience from the campaign trail I ask?
“I think the thing that impacted me the most was that he would remember every person’s name, so from the person who was doing his hair or makeup to the person emptying the bins.” he says with a smile, “He would thank them by name and I think people would appreciate that. I thought that’s the kind of kind of leader I want to be”
With such a diverse portfolio of work under his belt, from fashion to politics, I asked James what is his favourite style of makeup to do is. “I don’t know if I really have a favourite, for me skin is probably what I am known for” “I do a lot of work with L’Oreal and Sephora.”
With this love for natural beauty in mind, I ask him does he ever feel disheartened with the Makeup Industry, as so many Artists are feeling lately with the surge of ‘Instagram Style Makeup.’
“I’m going to be completely honest and tell you that the people who were my mentors, that were kind of the Titans of the industry a few years ago, some of them are at the top, and some of them are struggling to pay their bills,” he explains. “This is a constantly changing industry.”
So, what does he predict the new trends for the makeup industry are going to be in the coming months?James thinks that we are going to be seeing less Instagram style full coverage matte, and that makeup for Autumn/Winter 2017 will embrace contrasting makeup that is much more Classic and wearable for everyone. What a relief!
Expect to see:
* Classic Reds, Berries and Burgundies on the lips, which are empowering colours.
Softer brows, using mid-tone colours, which is much more flattering for women of all ages.
* Non-tour which is the opposite of Contour. We will still see highlighter on the high points of the face, with without the grey or brown drawn on harsh lines that have dominated social media. The idea is to create structure and shape the face without contouring products.
* Complexion will steer away from full coverage matte as seen on Instagram, and will return to a soft matte, which is much longer lasting than dewy makeup but much more flattering than fully matte finishes.
* Blush has finally made a return to the world of makeup, expect to see flushes of colour added to the apples of the cheeks throughout Autumn/Winter 2017.