Real Opinions from Real Artists: Mari Shten, Should I Go To Makeup School?

Two days after I moved to New York, I was sitting in Mari’s class at the Makeup Forever Boutique. That’s how much I am in love with her work! This post means a lot to me because Mari was the first artist I assisted since moving here. I fervently follow her work and extremely excited to share this post with you.

Mari Shten grew up in Siberia and eventually moved to Moscow where she began doing makeup.  Art and performance have always been a passion for her. Following her dreams, Mari traveled through Europe and to the USA where she experienced beauty in many different cultures, greatly influenced her. After graduating from makeup school in Los Angeles, it was New York’s electric and progressive energy that inspired Mari to set routes in the city. Some of her clients including American Vogue, Glamour, Elle Italia, Sony, Make Up For Ever and Victoria’s Secret. She has been creating looks for social personalities of New York and worked with celebrities such as Mariah Carey and Cynthia Nixon. She is now part of  Artists’  Moxie, a group of 4 inspirational artists specializing in hair, makeup and nails. They will also be Key Note Speakers at The Makeup Show this year.


Jaleesa:  How was your experience at MUD?

Mari: I went to MUD when I already had over a year experience in makeup and retail. I knew basics and had a good knowledge about products. I took Fashion Artistry Program at MUD that had 3 different classes: Makeup, Hairstyling and Portfolio. The makeup class gave me more basic knowledge in makeup and a classic understanding of makeup. I can’t say I learned more then I already knew though, the hair styling and portfolio classes however, were amazing!

The teachers were very talented and I learned great techniques in hair! Plus during portfolio class I learned how to present myself, make an invoices, comp cards and how to put together a portfolio. Wednesday nights lectures definitely were my favorite because we had the opportunity to meet working artists. Another great plus, was the provision of the school’s website where you could find some work,  mostly not paid but invaluable working experience.

I took an airbrush class in addition to the program but from my experience, I rather Temptu classes. Overall, I would say – go to school if you are a beginner and have never done makeup before and if you are sure this is the career you want! because its not cheap!!!


Jaleesa: Would you say that makeup school molded you into the artist that you are today?

Mari: It’s definitely NOT the school who molded me into the artist. As any type of school it gives you basic knowledge and then you have to figure out your own way. Acquire experience in different types of makeup and for different types media will help you to understand what you like and what you want to do. Also, if you can assist other artists, its amazing opportunity to learn. Take advantage of the classes provided from The Powder Group and Make Up For Ever that will help you to learn new techniques.

Overall, Hard work and vision for what I want to do molded me into the artist I am today.

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artists moxie the makeup showLook out for workshops coming soon from Artists Moxie.


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Spec Ad with Photographer Jeff Rojas

I loved these shots by Jeff Rojas. Strecthing outside my comfort zone and did male hair on this one. Had a wonderful time with this crew!

Photographer: Jeff Rojas

Makeup & Hair: Jaleesa Jaikaran

Style: Man-e-Jay

Model: Jamie Kendrick – Wilhelmina

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Makeup Show Monday!

The Makeup Show is just a few weeks away, and its just the perfect time to take over the best day of the week #MakeupMonday!

Until then, I will be releasing exclusive content from past Makeup Shows Key Note Speakers and also Key Notes for May 2014 & more. I know, exciting!!!!!!!

The Makeup Show is equivalent to Christmas, your birthday, you get the drift…

Check for the hashtag  #MakeupShowMonday

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Real Opinions from Real Artists: Anthony Sinanan, Should I Go To Makeup School?

In continuation of the series, Real Opinions by Real Artists on the topic of makeup school, I wanted to be sure you see the view from many different angles. In the last post, we met with Monifa Mortis, who we love, and respect, but what about the artists with just a couple years in the business? Today, we chat with Anthony Sinanan, born in South Trinidad and a graduate of Ken Gordon School of Journalism & Communication Studies. Anthony got his start by just visiting his local MAC store in Gulf City Mall with his sister, (maybe we will cut out the part where I ran after him  by the elevator to ask if he does makeup and he then said no but I wouldn’t take no for an answer)   where the artists there took a keen interest in him and encouraged (or forced lol)  him to take a short makeup class with Sacha Cosmetics. After doing so, Anthony quickly began doing faces and landed a job at MAC Cosmetics, where he moved from Product Specialist to Assistant Manager in just a matter of time. Anthony, who I’m happy to say I know and have worked alongside, has truly shown that practice and perseverance pays off. 

Jaleesa: Seeing that you did not go to school for makeup, do you feel that you are to a disadvantage?

Anthony: When I started my career I always felt I was at a huge disadvantage because I did not attend a traditional makeup school. This feeling was compounded by the common belief that; formal training was the only credible way of learning. However, we often times discount the efforts and perseverance of those who are self-taught. Through my experiences, I have come to realize that we are unremitting learners, always looking to perfect our craft. We can always learn a thing or two from each other.

Jaleesa: Do you think that your success (now or in the future) is dependent on whether you went to makeup school or not?

Anthony: I don’t think your success is dependent on anything else other than hard work and determination.

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New Editorial in GlassBook: Gold Mess

Listen, I cannot even BEGIN to explain how grateful I am for this publication. I had an amazing time with a great team. I am understanding more and more everyday that everything happens in its own time and always in the right time. In preparation for this shoot, I grabbed some gold paint from an art store in Brooklyn and put together all the pigments and gold makeup in my kit.

What worked best for me was the ever famous flash palette and it was used a base and a bit Metal Powder from Makeup Forever. I love the ruggedness of the images and hoping you love it too! Find the full Editorial on Glassbook Online

P.S You can PIN my photos, just lightly scroll over!

Model: Milan (Major Models)
MUA: Jaleesa Jaikaran
Hair: Julia Elena
Stylist: Sarah Boom





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Real Opinions from Real Artists: Monifa Mortis, Should I Go To Makeup School?

There are many roads that lead to becoming a makeup artist, what’s most important to know is that all of them start at lots of different points but essentially lead to the same place. In this series “Real Opinions by Real Artists”, my goal is to share the wealth of knowledge from artists you know and the ones you SHOULD know.

In the year that I have been in New York, I have been exposed to an array of artists and what was most valuable to me is the knowledge that they shared.

The first topic for this series, we’re focusing on the question of makeup school. Has someone ever asked you “So what makeup school did you go to?” and you’re left with an awkward silent pause, or you confidently and boldly say I didn’t go to school with a reply of “oh, nice”

I’ve had several people ask me “Should I go to Makeup School” and because there is no right or wrong answer, I wanted to dig in deeper to help you with this question. Many artists are self taught, but everyone learns differently, a class room setting may or may not be for you..

The first artist I interviewed, is one I am honored to feature on my blog. Monifa Mortis has been a heavyweight in the industry for over 15 years. A fantastic artist, educator and speaker. She is the holder of a Bachelors of Science in Fashion Merchandising where she graduated from of The Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in Manhattan, New York. She has touched the faces of countless celebrities you might know, Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Queen Latifa to name a few. She has had her work grace the pages of magazines like Marie Claire, Essence, Cosmopolitan. I was blessed enough to hear Monifa Speak on “Finding Your Niche” at Crystal Wrights Packagaing Your Portfolio Workshop. (that’s another post!) I was so moved by what she had to say, it compelled me to share her insight with you.

Monifa Mortis Celebrity Makeup Artist Advice NY makeup artist

Jaleesa: Do you think its important to go to makeup school?

Monifa: It believe it depends on what you are seeking to learn and what is your personal learning style. If you thrive in a classroom environment and need more interactive teaching techniques then perhaps formal training at a makeup school would best suit you. Also, if you are seeking to learn more complex forms of makeup such as airbrush or special effects makeup then a beauty school would provide an advantage.


Jaleesa: Did you go to Makeup School? Why or Why Not?

Monifa: Was it seen as necessary to you? I did not go to makeup school.  I am completely self taught. It was not seen as necessary to me because I was working as a makeup artist and earning income before I even decided to pursue this full time.  My friends liked how I wore my makeup and were willing to pay me to do theirs – voila! A freelance career.   I also have a bachelors in Fashion Marketing, so a lot of my college experience (art history, history of fashion, color theory, fashion design, etc.)  provided me a great foundation to build my career on. I am also a die-hard beauty junkie from way back!

Be sure to follow Monifa on Instagram at @monifamortis. She will also be at The Power of Beauty Trinidad in May, an event all makeup artists in Trinidad should be sure not to miss.

Stay tuned every week for more of Real Opinions by Real Artists.

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Afiya Bennett

Portfolio update

Model: Afiya Bennett of Marilyn Agency / The Face Season 2

Photographer: Bellezza Moda

Hair: @genie_glam

Makeup: Jaleesa Jaikaran

nyc MODELS marilyn agency makeup artists in nyc beauty Afiya Bennett Jaleesa Jaikaran

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Top 10 Instagram Makeup Artists to Follow During NYFW 2014

Fashion Week is undoubtedly here. So far we’ve seen countless collections with many more to go. While I’d love to get into the fashion, today, it’s all about the makeup. As mentioned on my Instagram @jaleesajaikaran, last night, I wanted to share my top artists to follow during New York Fashion Week. Now hear me out, there are countless artists to follow but THESE?, these are my favorites. You know the type that makes your phone have no storage left because of the incessant screenshots? yeah, those. These folks are found behind several designers and brands and deliver the best makeup in the industry- point.blank. period. I’ve come to the realization that some of my favorite artists hardly have any pictures on their instagrams backstage (because they’re so busy!) so I would highly suggested searching the hashtags included on the list. You will also find posts from the artists working on their teams.

Can’t wait any longer right? Let get into it!

1. Pat Mc Grath @patmcgrathreal #patmcgrath Pat always give us the latest and greatest behind the scenes. With years and years of experience in fashion makeup, it’s refreshing that Pat never ceases to blow us away!

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2. Romero Jennings @romerojennings #romerojennings

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  3.Val Garland @thevalgarland #valgarland

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4. Gisel Calvillo @giselcalvillo Besides great makeup, she is a wonderful person.

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  5. Charlotte Tilbury @ctilburymakeup

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6. Mari Shten @marishten #artistsmoxie

7. Stephanie Flor @stephanieflor #artistsmoxie You can find the entire moxie team in action at @artistsmoxie  - Love them!

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8. Kabuki #KabukiMagic #Kabuki

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9. Lottie @lotstar

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While these are not artists, they are avenues that we could see our fav artists in action, see sneak peeks of new products, upcoming and current trends.

10. MAC Cosmetics @maccosmetics

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BONUS! Fashion TV @fashiontv

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Find me on Instagram at @jaleesajaikaran ,  Now tell me, who are some of your favorite Fashion Week artists?

Photo Credit: All artists mentioned, MAC Cosmetics, Fashion Tv

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The LOVE Project

My random scrolling on Instagram is never in vain. I came across a post by photographer, Jason Setiawan about something called “The Love Project”, it sparked my interest, and just like you, I wanted to know more.
What is the Love Project? 

“The “LOVE” project’s purpose is to bring more LOVE to our world. LOVE has the power to create something magical and beautiful. Everything in our world today was created because of LOVE.

By promoting an awareness of LOVE in our individuality as human beings, we hope to awaken the collective spirit and energy of LOVE in all humanity. Ultimately creating an even more beautiful Universe filled with LOVE.We choose to create this awareness by asking people for their quote of what they believe LOVE IS; Followed by portrait sessions with Jason Setiawan. We hope that by doing this, each and every one of us who donate our quotes and portraits, will remember our own quotes, and become even more aware of the LOVE we already have within. In addition, we hope that these portraits and quotes will inspire others to LOVE and to share more LOVE to our world.

Here are some images that you can see of people that have been helping us spread the LOVE”

What I love (no pun intended) about this project is that they are taking time out of their busy schedules to stop and spread a positive message. We live in a world that is concentrated on so many other things. We focus on success, the accumulation of material things but when you really think of it, it would mean NOTHING without love. Moments to share with people you LOVE, creating memories by doing things you LOVE. They are very right, it really just comes down to LOVE.

In celebration of LOVE, there will be an event on the 6th of February with Special Guest Nikita Chopra. You can find all information on it here

What’s cool as well, is that anyone can take part in this project and anyone can attend the event. Give Love.. Be Love! ~



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Customize Your Own Lipstick with Bite Beauty Lip Lab

What better way to celebrate your birthday than to customize your very own lipstick? While looking through some reviews on where to get my birthday body scrub and massage with my friend, Frances, I somehow came across the Bite Beauty Lip Lap on Yelp. They had really good reviews so I jumped on it! I’ve only seen this briefly while scrolling through Instagram and from other artists who have visited. Bite Beauty is sold exclusively in Sephora and the brand is raved for their versatile lip colors and their hydrating, creamy consistency. The natural progression of things would be that I added it as one of my birthday activities right after Taryn of Taryn Brows revived my bush-tastic brows (shame face). I decided to share this special moment with my sister and style aficionado, Shari Phillip Mimms. (I think she was more excited than me, all of her coworkers were waiting to see to results lol)

First off, I love that area so it was a breeze to get there, granted you have to walk  couple blocks to the get there, it was an easy find. (The new NARS boutique is over there as well). Upon arrival, I got to picking my shades immediately. You see, I have an infatuation with nude lipstick. Now don’t get me wrong, I love brights but a nude just does it for me. Some of my favorite shades are VIVA GLAM II, Honey Love, Myth, Half & Half & Spirit. If you know any of these colors, they’re basically all nudes with some being lighter than the others. I will usually mix 2 of these to get my perfect colour and then top with a gloss.

I had the opportunity to try and mix any shades I wanted and choose my preferred scent. My sis and I have similar yet very different tastes, so she went for a pinker nude. I ended up naming my lipstick, Cree. The service was fantastic, and I will be visiting them soon to show you guys hows its done – this will be featured on my Youtube channel.

Cost: $40-$48 (Will update on this, I read a review that said $28, so clearly it was a typ0, but altogether we paid $103 – totally worth it however)

You can find out more info on Bite’s Lap website here.

Cool fact: You can have a private party here (you get 3 products with wine!)


meaning : Highly Spirited

Mix of Shades: Rotsina, Honey Berry & Pepper

Scent: Vanilla

Finish: Creme’ Deluxe

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