Jessica McKane Interview

Professional makeup artist, entrepreneur, and incredibly hard worker, Jessica McKane finally slowed down long enough to talk about her least favorite subject: herself.

The fact is, McKane would rather talk about you. It’s a quality that makes her perfect for her position as the professional makeup artist and at the newly launched Day Spa in Naperville, IL.

You recently hitched your rising star to LuxeSkin Day Spa. Why?

Bringing my artistry together with skin care, exclusive products, and high-tech equipment in a luxurious spa is a dream come to life through this partnership. And a boutique spa with specialized expertise is ideal.

There is the magic of makeup, but we also offer services that bring dramatic changes—especially in the area of smoothing and brightening.

Everything we do has been researched, tried, and tested and our clients see results. We know skin and can help achieve your goals better than anyone else.

Do you feel like you chose your profession or your profession chose you?

Both. I wanted to do makeup since I can remember so it seems like a natural passion, but I have also chosen to work hard.

I remember watching mom use a bronzer when I was 10 and being so fascinated. She sometimes gave me her old makeup and I would put it on my dog and my stuffed animals.

I realize other kids do these things, but I wanted to keep doing it. I was hired by a very artist-driven makeup company, promoted to management at 25, helped the company open a new location, then ran a bigger store.

Building my own makeup company happened mostly through word of mouth. And becoming a licensed aesthetician and offering skin care services was just a natural extension of growing professionally.

Oh yeah, and somewhere along the line I was able to quit that corporate job, have two children, work numerous fashion shows, train new artists, and do makeup for Groupon photo shoots.

When people come to you, what is it that they most often want?

No matter what age, people want an enhanced version of themselves—still them only better, and I like that approach.

What do you do when clients ask for something that isn’t the best look for them?

As a professional, I am being paid for my expertise, so I need to be honest. For example, when a 50-year-old wants to appear 25 and they want a dark Smokey eye, I have to teach, modify, and negotiate. Darker eyes make you look older. So let’s do a Smokey eye in a mid-tone, not black.

And when a bride wants a dark eye and a red lip, I ask questions and tread lightly. I never want a client to have regrets. I’ve found the clients will trust the artist if you gain trust with honesty.

There is a limit to what I can do but my goal is to give clients their vision of what they want and make them as happy as possible.

Do you have a makeup pet peeve?

The super-bold block brow is ridiculous looking. It’s out of control. Like the overdrawn lip. And super strong contouring. I’m not a fan of anything too much; anything that will make you look back in 10 years and wonder, “What was I thinking?”

And there’s this trend toward makeup with no rules. But it’s art and the rules of lighting and nature apply!

What is the biggest mistake young people make with their skin?

Not moisturizing. Every age needs it and even super oily skin needs it; you just have to find the right one. And please use sun protection. A 24-year-old with wrinkles makes me sad.

And the biggest mistake of the more mature?

Wearing too much makeup. Less is more. Really.

What movie star would you like to work on and why?

Jennifer Lopez because she is beautiful and ageless and her skin … wow. She seems to have a natural glow and I want to see that up close.

You seem to excel not only making your clients beautiful, but also making them feel comfortable. How do you do that?

I ask questions. I tell a funny story about myself. I have so many stupid stories. Like when I broke my knee at my wedding in Vegas.

Rumor has it that you are so good, clients have scheduled with you at 4:00 in the morning. Is this true?

Well, yes, I’ve had a couple of those.

A bride-to-be called me to do her make up for a wedding but I was already booked. She had already fired one make up person and I came highly recommended from a family friend so she would not take no for an answer. I said I could do it at 4:00 a.m. and much to my surprise she said, “Great!”

I’ve also heard you’re fast. How long does it take you to do event makeup?

Usually 30 minutes at the most. I’ve done a bridal party of 13 in a few hours. Sometimes people think it will be better if it takes longer, but that’s not always true.

If we’re chatting a year from now and celebrating what a great year it’s been at LuxeSkin, what was accomplished?

Because I am so excited about it right now, I believe we will be celebrating a successful grand opening that was over the top at reaching out and bringing people in to see what we have to offer. In addition to services and products, every inch of the environment is part of the experience. It’s elegant. You have to come in!

And as clients see results and feel cared for, people will talk. And we will be talking about being blown away by our growing clientele.

Personally, I am going to be excited about being more knowledgeable in advances in the industry better at translating that knowledge to my clients, and a better artist. Because I haven’t arrived. Every day is a new chance to be better at helping someone be their best.