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 for more of Real Opinions by Real Artists.

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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!

nyfw pat mcgrath artists to follow jaleesa jaikaran makeup artists

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

lot star


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

birthday post jaleesa 4 birthday post jaleesa 5

bite beauty lip lab 1 bite beauty lip lab 2

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sis sis

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One Year Wiser!

So yes, it’s my birthday! I have so much to share with you all, especially my trip to Bite Beauty to customize my very own lipstick – I named it “Cree” which means “highly spirited”. Stay tuned! Still blushing from some of the people who wished me Happy Birthday today! I love you guys so much!

Thank You!


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Val Garland World Tour NYC

MAC World Tour with MAC Cosmetics

Val Garland’s creative inspiration is magical. Her perspective is always a breath of fresh air. I accompanied my friend, Merli Desrosier to MAC’s Masterclass held at Milk Studios in NYC. While this may be a few months old, great work will always live on and will inspire for years to come. Val has been an inspiration to me for many years, sitting at my laptop in Trinidad searching for the latest in the beauty world. I would have love to see the looks as they came to life, but seeing these up close were enough for me. Val shows us that truly an artist is paid for their vision!

Enjoy the pictures, save them, use them as inspiration!

Follow Val on Instagram @thevalgarland

IMG_1269 IMG_1267 IMG_1245 IMG_1236 IMG_1253 IMG_1266 IMG_1263 IMG_1262 IMG_1261 IMG_1254 IMG_1255 IMG_1239 IMG_1238 IMG_1237

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New Year Kit Evaluation – 5 Tips For a Smarter Kit

I had a draft post entitled “Another Eyeshadow Palette!?” and was inspired to write this post as I was talking to my best friend earlier, I told her how in my December goals, I made it my business to evaluate my kit, decide what I’m not using, what I don’t need and what I do.

You see, for the new year we always make resolutions. I’m going to do this, or hmm I’m going to do that. Aside from personal goals, we also need kit goals as it will be a reflection of how we work and how effective it will be. Though I am a professional makeup artist – I  just love makeup and always have the urge to fall in I must have it mode with the newest product! but.. I hardly find myself purchasing new products that I just don’t need. Now, don’t get me wrong – trying new products is good.

Keeping abreast of what industry trends and innovations is a must in my book. But, how do you start January saying you need to buy an airbrush machine, but yet in February, March & August you buy tons of lipstick and eye shadow that your kit does not necessarily need because you have the dupes already but you just didn’t know because you don’t reevaluate your stuff. What would make sense is creating an actual plan or budget to reach your kit goals. Whether it be utilizing the things you already own in new of different ways, dumping old makeup that you know you should not have anymore, or creating a lighter  kit.

Here are some tips for creating a smarter KIT in 2014:

1. Check Expiration Dates Surely there are things you haven’t used in a while. Check for old makeup, broken products that you don’t use and things you’ve just been holding onto for a long time. I know it might be hard, but trust me, you will be happier if you start your year fresh by cleaning out your kit and using products like Beauty So Clean to sanitize everything you own from powders to shadows.

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2. Condense Taking public transport in New York is no joke. You never know when you just might have 100 steps to climb. With that said, no matter where you live, you want to condense your kit to make travelling more convenient but more importantly, creating an effective kit. Find a place for everything. We will be chatting about this more in a later post. photo (13)

3. Create a goal list and work towards it Let’s say you wanted to buy an airbrush machine by May 2014 before your Bridal season heats up. Just for example sake, its costing you $500 for the machine & products combined. You’d need additional product  and an airbrush class at Temptu cost $150, so you add that to your total.

Assuming you want to purchase in atleast 3 months so you can practice, You would:

Need: $660 Time: 3 months Per Month: $660/3 = $220 per month

How: Skip the extra fancy dinners, refrain from buying unnecessary products and clothes.

Attainment: $660 will cover machine, tax, product and education.

You can always set your time periods but breaking down goals like this, make them SMART & easily attainable. kit eval 3

4. Better Brush Decisions Some folks hate to spend $ on good brushes but good brushes make your job easier. I always say, if you had a brand new house and you bought the best paint you could find to paint it, would you use crappy paint brushes to paint it? Probably not. There are countless brands now that carry affordable brushes that work as good as the other brand, but know when its time to invest in high quality brushes to begin to diversify and strengthen your kit. More importantly, maintaining the brushes that you do own with proper care.. Yup we all hate that #brushduty but somebodys got to do it!

“Still want to run out of the house without combing your hair, go to bed without cleaning the brushes in your makeup kit, or think you can graze over the notes for tomorrow’s big meeting on the subway into work, and still shine like a star?” – Crystal Wright 30 Days to 100 Percent  brushes

5. Do Your Research Always do your research. Look at the fine print, check out the ingredients, where you can buy it, are there any discounts (The Makeup Show). Find videos, reviews from fellow artists and consumers to help you make your decision. A blog that I love is In My Kit by Kevin James Bennett, he gives the low down on almost every product I either own or want to try. While this post is geared towards artists, this goes for everyone who buys makeup. What are your kit goals this year? I’d love to know! Respond below or follow me on Instagram @jaleesajaikaran

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Top 10 Moments of 2013

Its good to take sometime to reflect on what the year has taught us about life. 2013 has been a whirlwind of many things. Both good things and bad things that has made me grow tremendously.  There were countless moments where I was in a state of “IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW” . Sometimes we worry about what is going to happen next, but when you do good, good will always come back. 2013 was a living example of that. Here are my Top 10 (summarized) moments of 2013. With belief, hard work and positivity I believe all things are possible and I am excited for 2014 because it is going to be filled with blessings and yes, lessons too. I wish you all the best for 2014 and heartfelt thank you for keeping up with my blog. I really do appreciate it.


So you know I got the job with MAC & moved, you may not have known how, when, what or why. I love what I do and I’m good at it. MAC has taught me so much, a great company to work for and a great training ground. I’ve learnt about so many complexions in the last two years and most of all speed! lol. I can’t say how grateful I am to move from Trinidad, where I had just wrapped up my role as Product Specialist to JFK working with a dynamic team, who I am loving learning and sharing knowledge with. The end of 2012/beginning of 2013, I created a countdown calender to stick up in my room, all my coworkers were asking what it was for. I started counting down the days to move to NY. I didn’t know IF I got the job, I didn’t even have my interview yet! By that time, I had already started collecting suitcases and sending  stuff off to NY (seriously), not to get all biblical on you, but FAITH is the substance of things unseen! and this is great reminder for both you and I, starting off 2014. Oh yes



  2. MEETING PAT MC GRATH It’s different when you’re accustomed to watching someone online and fervently following their work. I attended IMATS Pro Only Hours, not expecting to meet anyone really, then there she was. It was a rather cool moment and spending the little time that I did further concreted why I loved not only her work  but who she is by the way she interacts with others.



I have this thing where I stayed in my room, dived into the world of makeup and stayed there. I cannot begin to describe feeling of once looking at these people as strangers to seeing them at events, taking their classes and assisting them.  I am so grateful.

working with


To tell you the truth, the only modelling I was ever interested in, is the type I do behind my own camera, popularly known as selfies 🙂 The day MUFE asked me to be a part of their new ProFinish Powder Display, I hadn’t even plan to go into MUFE, I had a gift card and was killing some time before I visited a friends aunt. Oh universe, look at you working. I must say I had fun and I would do it again! I certainly won’t be pursuing it as a career but it was fun. I had my makeup done by Patrick Eichler (wow!)

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  5. THE ARTIST SUMMIT I seriously cannot summarize The Artist Summit in this little post. I wasn’t sure I would have been able to attend, but I did. A friend of mine and makeup artist Elesia Diva and I were roomies. The Artist Summit exposed us to all different types of artists – they shared their stories and their journey. Often times we see people at the pinnacle but we don’t see them at their pit. These artists showed us that failure is a part of success. I enjoyed every single speech given at the Summit, from artists like Linda Mason, Sarah Lucero of Stila, Micheal Duenas Hairstylist, Sebestian Smith Photographer, Crystal Wright and more.  While I think TPG was doing this as a makeup/industry event, I feel that in the end it was really showing us how to be better people, work hard and do good.  I met a very special woman there who I look up to, admire as an artist. The Artist Summit was truly dear to me!

artist tas

 6. Crystal Wright PACKAGING YOUR PORTFOLIO WORKSHOP Right after the Artist Summit, I headed to Crystal Wrights PYP Program. Researching her class for quite sometime & seeing her in action on Youtube and at The Makeup Show,  I knew it was time to take the class. A lot of your favorite artists who are constantly working on magazines and celebrities, films and TV shows have been blessed with the Crystal Wright experience. Her approach and presentation is always refreshing and she will set you UP for success. Crystal,a fellow Capricorn is a no nonsense type of woman & that I appreciate. My life & perspective changed after taking her class and I use her book 30 Days to 100 Percent to keep myself in check.  The PYP Family is like no other! (Full post about book & class testimonial to come)

 pyp grads
I started off in the blog world using a simple template from blogger. I remember what I spoke about & have countless photos of makeup. I realized while I loved reading & looking at product blogs – this route was not for me. In January 2013, I changed over my blog domain to my portfolio website & haven’t blogged for the year. I thought about it, prayed about it and I finally realized what I wanted to talk about. I also took a step I’ve been wanting to do awhile now, recording tutorials on others and getting proper lighting. Ending the year off with 0ver 13,000 subscribers and over a million views. That’s amazing and I am so grateful, especially because I was a couple 100 off just last week.
A step closer to my NYFW goal, I had the humble pleasure of assisting Viktorija Bowers and James Vincent’s team on 2 different shows/presentation.

No new friends might be catchy song but its not a way of life for me. New relationships can teach you new lessons and I have met some great people, even before I moved who are now my friends and that I am very grateful for! ( and not forgetting the ole of course)



Left the best for last, at the bottom because it is the foundation for all that is happening and all that will happen.

 Here’s to 2014: a prosperous, positive year filled with life, love & blessings!!!

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