With over ten years of experience under her belt, a solid network in the beauty industry, and an impressive list of clients, Jennifer Dockendorf knew it was time to take the leap of faith and go full-time with her career as a professional Makeup Artist. Jennifer takes us on her journey to pursuing her passion and tells us how she’s come so far in her career.
How long have you been a Makeup Artist?
I have been a makeup artist for over ten years.
What sparked your interest in doing makeup?
I have always loved makeup and art. My first spark with makeup happened when I dipped into my mother’s mascara. Being a natural redhead, my lashes and brows were completely see-through. Adding color to my lashes made my heart sing, I felt like a brand new lady! I was way too young, about 9 years old, and would battle my mother for the next few years until I was “allowed” to wear it in public. Aside from my love of blue eyeliner (also a great find), mascara became new best friend.
What inspired you to pursue being a Makeup Artist full-time?
I had been working as a part-time makeup artist for so long that a little over a year ago I decided to take a leap of faith and take the plunge. I had developed enough clients and contacts in the industry I thought it was time to go all in and dedicate all of my passion to it.
What is one of the proudest moments in your career so far?
One of my proudest moments thus far was working on a TV show with Lin Manuel and the rest of the Freestyle Love Supreme crew. They were all so talented and fun to work with. It was a great experience and a great summer!
What do you love about being a Makeup Artist?
One of the many things I love about being a makeup artist is being able to use my creativity as a career. Also, I’m a trained fine artist and love people so I get to combine all of these things when I’m at work. I also get bored somewhat easily, but with this career I never have the same day twice. I may be on set for a commercial, doing makeup for a personal client, or working in a beautiful old brownstone in Brooklyn for a designers fashion shoot. The scene and team is always different so it remains fresh and fun!
What’s your ultimate professional dream?
My ultimate dream professionally is to do more traveling on set for campaigns, show, or movie. I would also like to get more involved in Creative Production/Directing, really becoming part of the creation and vision of the shoot.
What is one of the toughest parts of building your name and brand in the beauty industry?
One of the challenges I face with being a makeup artist is that the market has become pretty saturated. It seems like almost everyone today is calling themself a makeup artist. Social media has been amazing for so many reasons professionally, but it can also be the source of a lot of false advertising. Therefore, creating and maintaining a reliable brand is an ongoing process. Being completely confident in your brand image is essential, and delivering an authentic message has become a necessity. Fortunately, old fashion word of mouth and job referrals help immensely. Competition can be discouraging, but it’s healthy and exists in all careers. It keeps you on your toes and working as hard as you can.
How do you over come that?
You can’t allow yourself to get too discouraged by the competition or saturation. I just try to keep focused on myself and working hard.
Do you have a “good mood” song?
I have a many “good mood” songs, but I love older music best and my ultimate good mood song is Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest.
What’s one tip you’d give someone who’s just starting out as a Makeup Artist?
I suggest for anyone starting in the makeup industry, do the hard work. Make sure your producing quality work, not quantity. Your work is your brand. Also, having a positive attitude is huge. No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t give off good energy.
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