Posted by Sharon Auld
I’m super excited to be sitting down with the very talented Jenna Andersen, owner of Canmore & Banff Makeup Artistry. Jenna is originally from the heart of Toronto and though she may have big city roots, she’s mountain through and through. She’s as comfortable on a solo mountain hike or heli-touring the rockies, as she is working major fashion shows. Aside from being the mother of two, Jenna is first and foremost an artist. She’s highly creative and passionate about her art, whether it be her makeup artistry or music (she’s the daughter of a professional musician and has serious musical talents herself).
Jenna has garnered much attention for not only her makeup artistry, but also for her professionalism. She has worked for several major fashion and beauty companies and her work has been featured as a bridal makeup artist by Martha Stewart Weddings, WedLuxe Magazine and Flare Fashion Magazine.
Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to becoming a makeup artist?
My father is a drummer, from birth. Playing with Anne Murray, Alice Cooper, Rough Trade, Peter Gabriel etc. When I was born, he was touring Japan with Anne Murray and they stopped the tour to fly him home on the red eye. It was an interesting and eclectic life. I grew up believing that nothing was impossible, on both a business and creative level, I was surrounded by eccentric, amazing people most of the time. I also grew up very fast and found drive early to be my own success, find my own talents, whatever they were going to be. I also sing and have put out multiple underground electronic tracks globally and worked as A & R for a vinyl label out of Toronto that I owned and ran with my partners for a period. The Arts were my everyday, my father’s music video shoots and backstage at concerts, surrounded my beauty and creativity. I met Michael Jackson when I was 8 and it blew my mind from a creative arts standpoint. My sister was a model, always on top of the trends, also in magazine and videos. She was immaculate with makeup and hair – perfection and beauty. She was 7 years older, I watched and learned.
Makeup artistry makes me feel completely free. My mind doesn’t think it just creates. I get to be completely my visions of beauty and push my boundaries for perfection with other peoples’ faces, it’s amazing. I am a perfectionist and it serves me well in this trade for my clients. Every new face is a new palette, new ideas, new canvas, none of them are the same and it comes from my mind. For me it’s art and the world stops when I’m painting.
You’ve worked in the beauty industry for over a decade and have worked for an impressive list of companies. Tell us more about that and what brought you to Canmore?
I was relocated out to western Canada (Alberta) from Toronto by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey) to become regional manager of their cosmetics division. I insisted on having a condo in Canmore, because of how beautiful it was, I was in love with the atmosphere and mountains.
What are some of the services you provide to mountain brides?
Mobile, onsite professional makeup applications for weddings, events, personal interest or learning, tailored makeup lessons, individual skin care consultations, makeup trials, personal shopping + consulting within the beauty niche, and vendor referrals.
I think we all have something creative in us, that we share as artists and creatives. I can’t say how I am different though. I can say what I bring to my work and that is heart and a high level of professionalism. I genuinely care about quality and what the person I meet gets from the experience with me and a little piece of me is left at every occasion. Because its art to me, like any artist you get attached to what you’re giving out. I love what I do and when you care about people genuinely, it creates something kind of magical.
How important is it for a bride to have a wedding makeup trial?
A makeup trial brings a client’s vision to life in real time, this is a great thing.
What’s the best beauty advice you can give to a bride planning her wedding?
Eat healthy & drink a lot of water, your skin is a reflection of what is happening on the inside of your body, in most cases. Invest in quality skin care appropriate to your needs and have a consult with me, to get you there.
What products are in your makeup kit?
Working for L’Oreal + LVMH, I love my Lancome and so many various prestige lines within the SEPHORA environment. I have a little bit of everything in my kit. From Dior & Anna Sui to Benefit & Urban Decay. After so many years in beauty, it’s not just about one great line, it’s finding the best products that work the best in each individual line and compiling a kit of the top products. When you look into my kit, you see 20 different lines, that’s because I have tried it all and now have what I love from each. It’s a really personal thing, it’s over a decade of trying everything to find the best, I’ve got it now. It’s like my secret box of amazing, at this point, I think.
What do you like best about being a makeup artist?
The feeling I get from my clients being happy. It’s beautiful to make someone feel beautiful and to give them exactly what they envisioned. I feel completely myself when I am being creative, so whomever is around me is getting the most authentic version of my personality, that makes it genuine.
What are some of your career highlights so far?
Working for L’Oreal Fashion shows, being a regional MUA for Lancome in Toronto, running western Canada for LVMH beauty, being featured in WedLuxe Magazine, having forty “5/5” scored reviews on Martha Stewart Weddings, and being listed as a top Wedding Vendors for 2014 by Flare Fashion Magazine.
What are some of your most exciting projects to date?
I have been working a lot with helicopters incorporating Heli-Weddings and fashion photography shoots in the mountainous backcountry. This has been an amazing addition to my career most recently. You are on top of the world, doing what you love, with other amazing creative people – it’s surreal.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning when you aren’t working a wedding?
I am with my two children, probably eating sushi in Canmore or at the local bookstore reading, I am a big reader. XC skiing, snowboarding, hiking are also on the list. I am also a huge music nerd, so take any of the above and add a cool soundtrack to it and that’s our day.
What’s currently on your playlist?
Bon Iver, Modest Mouse, Led Zeppelin, Jedi Mind Tricks, Iron & Wine, Of Monsters and Men, Sia, Roo Panes, City and Colour, The Cinematic Orchestra, Souls of Mischief, Drake, The Rolling Stones, Beethoven, Rose Cousins, Aidan Knight, Death Cab for Cutie, Wiz Khalifa, Frank Sinatra.
What’s the best part about living in Canmore?
The calm and humbleness the mountains bring without trying. The majestic presence puts you back in your place and reminds you how minor you are. That’s a great thing.
Where and what was the last great meal you ate in Canmore?
Crazyweed – Tender Tartar & the Sun Gold Alberta Lamb Rack Chop.
What’s Canmore’s best kept secret?
Canmore itself, is the best kept secret of the Canadian Rockies, I think.