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Behind the wonder brushes of Sue Gregg

Published:Monday | February 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Make-up has long been considered a classic art form for the young and old, as well as the rich and famous. In recent times, many have developed a fascination for putting brushes of palates to faces, painting a picture of true beauty. One such make-up artist (MUA) doing just that is wonder woman Sue Gregg.

It was only natural that this make-up extraordinaire would have journeyed into the glamorous world of beauty. "I have always been a beauty fanatic but my passion for make-up artistry blossomed in the summer of 2011 when I really started to research and practise and really delve into it," noted the make-up artist. Her career began in late 2011 out of a pure love for make-up. The artist executed her first photo shoot in October of that year with renowned photographer Brian Rosen and landed her first paying client the following month, December.

Before make-up artistry, Gregg led a normal life in Jamaica with her parents, being the only child until age 10. Referred to as the 'girliest girl', she took every dance class at her preparatory school, and it was there that her make-up obsession began.

Participating on the make-up team for Caribbean Fashion Week 2012 and freelancing for L'Oréal Paris, Milani Cosmetics and Sasha Cosmetics locally, she continues to build on the knowledge she had gained thus far to better herself as an artist. "I love making women feel confident. It's amazing how a good make-up job can really transform someone inside out," she confessed.

pleasant experience

Some of these women include local artistes such as Spice, Stacious, Heather 'Brown Sugar' Grant, Denyque, Jamaican actress Camille McDonald and international actress Vivica A. Fox. She explained her working experience with Fox, "I was actually referred to Vivica through one of her colleagues. It was a very pleasant experience. To be honest, I was pretty nervous at first. I was so worried about potential issues like hotel lighting. However, once I got there, super early might I add, she was very nice, an absolute pleasure and ease to work with. At the end of the day, working with Vivica boosted my confidence because she loved her make-up, especially since she has worked with some of the best artists in the industry," she revealed.

These successes have, of course, met their fair share of challenges. One of which, she says, is her age, being a young member to the make-up-artist profession. "It's not an issue with clients but rather within the industry. I must say my age has been a challenge with persons taking me seriously. I have to go the extra mile to prove myself. Another, she pointed out, has to do with sourcing quality local make-up products for her work, "Professional products are so hard to find locally that I find myself ordering 95 per cent of my products from overseas."

She went on to positively state, "I think persons are beginning to respect the craft a lot more locally. I think also, we have begun to realise that make-up artistry is multifaceted and fields such as special effects make-up are being explored by more persons," she ended.

Sue Gregg will continue to climb the ladder of success within this field, both locally and internationally, working hard and doing her best to maintain her self-given title of 'the earliest make-up artist in Jamaica. Our fab fashion insider and Gleaner contributor Heather Elliott asked Gregg about her five top make-up trends in the world of beauty and fashion for 2014 and she revealed:

"1) Soft berry lips

2) I am not sure what the fascination is with bright orange, but everybody had that on the runway in their Spring/Summer collections. So, definitely more Orange Lips. Fellow Jamaican Keyshia Kaoir of Kaoir cosmetics, known as the coloured lipstick creator, is very happy I am sure ...

3) The one thing I dreaded the most years ago is making a comeback. Blue eyeshadow is coming back folks.

4) White eyesshadow and liner. I think this is a very cool trend, but I would be very careful with this. The skin tone has to complement it.

5) Glowing skin. Jennifer Lopez is known for her glowing skin on the red carpet and I think people really loved it and decided to make it a hit this year. This gives off a very natural and radiant appearance. Lots of moisturiser and illuminator is used to create this look."

If you were glued to our style pages some time ago, we featured 'radiant orchid' as a mix of fuschia, purple and pink undertones, so a skilled MUA will know how to blend colours to create this Pantone-inspired look. However, we will list step by step how you can easily achieve this at home. Gregg took us along with Model Candice Belnavis and photographer Novia Prince to Edna Manley School of The Visual and Performing Arts to her portfolio shoot, where we asked her to use the colour of the year to create a look exclusively for our readers. We asked our make-up 'phenom' to use affordable brands that are easy to access and are super affordable. This is what she came up with.

Get the look

How did you achieve Candice's look?

SG: I prepped Candice's face with Mac Stobe Cream and Graftobian anti-shine HD Primer. I then applied Graftobian foundation all over the face. I used Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer to highlight and Ben Nye foundation to contour. I set the make-up using Ben Nye powders as well. I then applied Mac Mineralised Skin Finish in Gold Deposit to the high points of her cheeks, then I applied La Femme's 'Golden Rose' blush. I filled her brows with Milani easy brow pencil in dark brown. Then I applied Mac Paint Pot in 'Layin Low' as an eyeshadow base. After which I applied black, purple , pink and blue shadows to the eyes and topped it off with lashes. On her lips, I applied Jordana Carbernet lipliner and Milani lipstick in hot pink rage.

Additional reporting and interview by Heather Elliott.