Celebrity Makeup Artist Jemma Kidd: a tFS Exclusive

Jemma Kiddjemma kidd

There's nothing worse than meeting someone who has developed a skincare line or cosmetic brand and finding out that they have, for example, acne-plagued skin. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to a number of beauty events over the years and, believe it or not, this happens quite often, which is why meeting Jemma Kidd is all the more reassuring. Kidd took her experience as a model, which often requires layers of heavy makeup, and developed a line of light, breathable products called the Jemma Kidd Makeup School Collection. Then, in 2008, she launched a second line, JK Jemma Kidd, exclusively for Target.

Kidd’s background includes working with top brands like Max Factor, Stila, and Rimmel London, and she took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about her beauty essentials, what we can expect for Fall 2011, and more.

The Fashion Spot: Did you always know you wanted to work in the cosmetic business?

Jemma Kidd: Creating a cosmetics line was always my dream, right from the start of my career, so launching the Jemma Kidd Make Up School and JK Jemma Kidd ranges felt like a huge personal achievement. I’ve always been very driven and entrepreneurial.

tFS: Can you tell us about the Jemma Kidd Makeup School and why it was created?

JK: Setting up the Jemma Kidd Make Up School was an idea that came to me after an Indian girl flew over from Delhi to be taught by me for a week so that she could work in Bollywood. When I was a session makeup artist, I used to get inundated with requests from friends to do their makeup and constantly got asked by mothers to show their daughters how to apply makeup. I realized that millions of women wear makeup, but very few of them have been taught how to apply it. I felt there was a need for a place where women could come and learn about makeup without the pressure to buy.

tFS: How did your background in modeling help you when developing your line?

JK: Modeling was the best training I could have had. I learned from incredible artists and, having been on the other end of the makeup brush, I know how it feels to have makeup applied badly and which products simply don’t work. I’m sympathetic to models and spend months developing every single product to ensure ultra-light, breathable textures and wearable colors.

tFS: You now have a space in the Plaza Hotel's underground mall. What attracted you to the space?

JK: The Plaza Beauty space was the perfect location to showcase the full Jemma Kidd Make Up School line. They carry unique collections of beauty and jewelry and cater to a global clientele. The shopping level of the Plaza Beauty is surrounded by many designer brand boutiques and an award winning Todd English restaurant — it's nice company to keep! The hotel also hosts many exciting events in the surrounding ballrooms which allows us to reach an even larger crowd. It's a great introduction to New York and provides great exposure for the brand.

tFS: Aside from price, what are the main differences between your Jemma Kidd Makeup School line and your JK line at Target?

JK: The Jemma Kidd Make Up School line is a highly edited collection of everyday makeup essentials, combining professional performance with simplicity, innovation, luxury, and step-by-step teaching. The aim is to give women the know-how and confidence to do professional makeup for themselves. With the JK Jemma Kidd line, I wanted to bring the catwalk to the curb without breaking the bank. The line is my personal expression of style and design, incorporating high fashion, statement color and all the latest runway trends.

Jemma KiddJemma Kidd

tFS: What products/tools can't you live without?

JK: Products: I won’t leave the house without mascara. I have very fair lashes, so without a coat of black you’d hardly know they were there!

Tools: My fingers! I have a very hands-on approach to makeup so I couldn’t do my job without them. I’d also be lost without tweezers, as well-groomed brows really help to frame the face.

tFS: Any favorite makeup tips/tricks you can share with us?

JK: I’m sure something we’ve all experienced is trying to create the perfect smoky eye but ending up with eye shadow halfway down your face, ruining your foundation. However there’s a simple solution – always apply your eye makeup before foundation. That way you can wipe away any fall-out with a cleansing wipe and apply your foundation to a fresh, clean face.

tFS:  What can we expect from your Fall 2011 Jemma Kidd Makeup School and JK lines?

JK: There’s lots of emphasis on the eyes in my Fall 2011 collections. Look out for innovative new ways to create smoldering smoky eyes and feline flicks, inspired by the strong sixties influences we saw on the autumn/winter catwalks.