Conversation with Make-up Artist Jodi Balfour
Updated: Jan 16
Makeup addict that I am, since my early teen years, I’ve always tried new products and different looks to see what works for me. From my heavy eyeliner and clear lip-gloss (it was the early 2000s and emo was a thing) to learning to properly contour and the difference between a bb cream and tinted moisturizer, I’m always trying to learn new tips and tricks as well as inspiration for new looks. With the popularity of social media over the past few years, it has been easier to keep up with trends, and make-up artists and as of recently “beauty influencers” and that is how I came across Jodi Balfour’s Instagram page. Balfour’s feed, is full of beautiful feminine looks that accentuate the natural beauty of her clients. After reaching out, Caribbean Essence had the chance to exchange and learn more about the Trinidad and Tobago based make-up artist and her foray into the industry and share some tips you can incorporate into your beauty routine.
Photos provided by Jodi Balfour
CE: When did you start getting into makeup?
JB: I started getting into makeup at the age of 22, for all the wrong reasons, I liked a guy at the time, he was living in Trinidad and I was living on the other island which is Tobago. Because of my strict parents, I needed an excuse to visit the twin island so I could see him more often. My bright idea at the time was to take a makeup course I saw was being offered at Sacha Cosmetics. It didn’t work out with the guy but it sure worked out with makeup.
CE: How did you develop your skills artistically over the years?
JB: I developed my skills by training my eyes to only gravitate to a certain type of makeup, continuous practice and attending classes offered by international well skilled professional make-up artists (MUA).
CE How long have you been a make-up artist, and what are some trends that you’ve enjoyed incorporating into your routines?
JB I have been a MUA for fourteen (14) years. Some trends I’ve enjoyed incorporating into my routines are:
A) Feathered eyebrows
B) Highlighting and contouring
C) Ombre lips
CE: What are some ways you get inspired, before you create a look?
JB: I get inspired by looking at work from other MUA whose work I admire, getting new makeup also inspires me
CE: How do you feel about the popularity over the last couple of years of “beauty gurus” on YouTube and other social media platforms and do you follow any of them?
JB: I like it, as a matter of fact I love it. When I started out with makeup, it wasn’t as popular as it is now, it was harder to get products and clients, now that these beauty gurus on YouTube and other social media platforms are influencing the world. It has definitely been a positive for me and the beauty industry. I do follow a lot of them.
CE: Do you have any advice on how one should take care of their skin, so as to have a clean and clear canvas so to speak?
JB: I too do struggle with always keeping my skin perfect. However, what I know works as a charm (when I’m not being lazy) is having a skin regime that works, staying consistent with it and having monthly facials.
CE: What are 5 products you can’t do without when doing your daily makeup routine?
JB: The five (5) products I cannot do without when doing my daily makeup routine are:
1) Milk of magnesia, to keep the oil in my skin at bay;
2) Clear Eyes eye drops, so my eyes always look white and alive when I’m finished;
3) Eyelashes, no look is ever complete without them;
4) Soft color lipstick, to keep a youthful look on my face; and
5) Powder highlighter, for glowing skin is a must.
CE: How can one find the perfect shade of lipstick for their skin tone?
JB: I don’t think any color is a bad color for any skin tone. I believe that once the lipstick is lined and applied properly, it would look great. So my advice is always line the lipstick with a lipstick or lip liner that’s two shades darker than the lipstick color and blend seamlessly.
CE: Do you have any advice you young women, or men even trying to get into the beauty/makeup industry?
JB: My advice for anyone getting into the beauty industry would be, don’t do it because it’s popular or the “thing to do” do it because you are truly passionate about it, do what you love and love what you do.
CE: What celebrity would be a dream client to work with?
JB: The day I get to do Rihanna’s makeup, I would consider myself having lived my life to the fullest and fulfilling my purpose, lol.
Six Tricks and Tips
Only take classes from the best in the game, to unlearn is one of the hardest things to do.
For natural looking brows, dip your spooly in a clear bar soap and brush your brows upward, fill in the sparse areas only and then clean up with foundation. This keeps the hair in place all day and gives it a very natural and effortless appearance.
Milk of magnesia if you don’t know already, once applied to the skin before makeup, keeps the makeup looking fresh for a longer period (especially my oily skin girls).
If your eyes are looking tired, avoid eye shadow, use eye drops and use a soft pink lipstick (fresh look guaranteed).
For that skin like look, use very little powder.
Makeup can cover flaws but it cannot cover an ugly heart, live good, do good, look good.
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