Recently, one of the great NYC Makeup Artists, whom we know for his beautiful works and awards, opened a Center of Makeup Artistry and Design – please meet Jonny Polizzi and check out our interview.
– Jonny, how did you become a makeup artist?
Oddly enough I was browsing through a magazine about 13 years ago and came across a Maybelline ad. It was a dramatic blue smokey eye and a bold lip. I thought it was amazing how this makeup was the focus on the ad yet no one knew who did it. That’s when I realized I wanted to be the face, behind a face. I wanted to create beauty but not be in the spotlight. I love that people can be influenced by art and not even know who did it.
– Who is your role model?
I have worked several shows with James Kaliardos, a veteran celebrity makeup artist known for creating Linda Evangelistas “look” in the 90’s. He loves women and loves making women feel confident and sexy through his makeup and I can relate to that so much. I love being able to give people the courage to go into a big meeting or step in front of a camera and own it!
– What inspired you to open your makeup school?
What I noticed after being an educator since 2009 was that makeup is something that cant have rules or boundaries. It’s an art, and with art, there are no rights and wrongs, just what looks good and what doesn’t. It seems that all the programs for makeup artistry are the same and have been the same since the early 2000s and it was time for a change. I have developed an amazing program that grooms artists in an intense, short program that allowed students to learn through EXPERIENCE. Not a step by step format.
– How is your school of makeup different from others?
Ah, so many things make CMAD different. One being that I am still an active makeup artist. I travel to Europe twice a year for fashion week to bring back REAL trends and REAL experiences to my students. I still work on set with several designers, work big campaigns and constantly trying new products so I can be completely transparent with my students on what works and what doesn’t. I have also developed a curriculum that is theory based. This means no step by step makeup applications. We teach makeup as an art which means finding the right color, texture, and coverage palette for your clients. Rather than repeating the same steps over and over again. Lastly our students learn from a studio kit curated with our sponsored luxury brands which include Kevyn Aucoin, MAC, NARS, and Kay Von D. Oh and did I mention all of our students get a complete brush set and The Makeup Light Lighting System so they are always prepared to work in any situation?
– What are the biggest challenges in makeup artist work?
I think breaking into the industry is a challenge at first. Finding jobs can be rough when you are trying to make a name for yourself and that’s why I like to help connect students with agents, makeup companies, and retail employers so they can at least get a toe in the door and create their own network.
– What’re your favorites makeup and hair styling products?
I love Kevyn Aucoin for their amazing foundations and highlighters. They really have a beautiful texture, on camera wear, and longevity. I also am a HUGE fan of NARS. Their sexy packaging and up to trend products really help make doing makeup easier.
– What’s your skincare routine?
I am a pretty simple guy but I am picky with skincare (who isn’t). For years now I have been using a brand called Eminence, which is an all natural organic company from Hungary. Everything smells clean and fresh and most importantly, is natural. I cleanse with a probiotic cleanser that is activated by simply rubbing it on your skin with no water. Then I use a night serum from Caudalie (every time I go to work in Paris I stock up on all their products). I also love Good Genes from Sunday Riley in the am to prep my skin for the day!
– What’s your favorite makeup look?
I have to say I love a classic smokey eye. There are so many ways to wear it, so many colors to chose from, and you can really wear it anytime!
– How do you prepare dry and oily skin for makeup application?
Dry skin is tricky, I don’t want to give away all my secrets but I will tell you this! Hourglass makes an amazing primer called NO28. Its great for dry patches and helps to create what I call a “second skin”. For oily skin, I like to moisturize heavily in the beginning. I often use a light face oil to counteract the oil and give the skin what its missing. I also use oil blotting strips oppose to powder to keep oil at bay.
– Tell us about your experience as a makeup artist?
Makeup has taken me to many amazing, beautiful places. I have traveled the world doing what I love and now have the opportunity to teach makeup the way I feel in my heart is correct and actually going to prepare artists for the real world. Some of my closest, dearest friends I’ve met through the industry and they have helped me grow my work and my clientele. After 13 years I can say I have one of the most competitive rates in the bridal market, have worked with every well-known makeup artist on the planet, and have worked so many fashion shows I could literally do it with my eyes closed and love it more and more! I can’t wait to share all of these things with my students and help them grow!
– What is the difference between makeup for a video shoot and applying for a photo or going out?
It’s all about the products and your knowledge of them. There are different concerns for different things. 1 big concern with video is oil. Because of the harsh lights, even the most matte foundation can have shine, so understanding how to control that and what to use is very important. As far as evening makeup, we want to shine! Lights are low and dim so you might want to add more to your look. Also, most shoots don’t like heavy lashes. They weigh the eye down and can be distracting.
Oh after EVERY use! You should not be using the same brushes on different clients if they haven’t been sanitized.