Kansas City Fashion Week Make-Up Artist of the Year Jessica Andrews is inspiring NextGen Students to follow their dreams and unleash their passion!
After working her magic at New York Fashion Week’s fall 2018 and spring 2019 shows, Bellus Academy director of make-up artist Jessica Andrews brought her talent – and her Bellus Academy design team students – to Kansas City Fashion Week. On April 13, the Junction City Kansas native took home top honors as Make-up Artist of the Year at the KC Fashion Awards.
Following acceptance of her award, Jessica spoke about how her career is evolving and how Bellus Academy students are joining her on this journey.
How did you get involved with Kansas City Fashion Week?
Jessica: Bellus Academy has partnered with Kansas City Fashion Week for several years. The show’s organizers have made it standard practice to reach out to the Bellus Academy team, and a great event/education partnership has emerged.
Can you describe how you led the Bellus Academy design team to develop this year’s looks?
Jessica: As a make-up artist, it’s important to be able to interpret the fashion designer’s vision on the model’s face. We still created some classic looks like the smoky eye, but this year, there was a lot of bright pops of color on the lips and a general trend toward very bold, dramatic and avant garde looks.
Was there a look that particularly stood out?
Jessica: Yes, the Devil Doll by Audrey Lockwood collection presented vivid contrasts and bright hues of fuchsia, sapphire, emerald greens and scarlet. The Bellus Academy design team created strong makeup looks that played off the bold and forthright fashion statement.
What is the biggest challenge makeup artists face when working a live event?
Jessica: It’s definitely the clock. New York was a much more hectic environment. Sometimes, you’ll only have two minutes to create a model’s face. At Kansas City Fashion Week, we had time to get inspired and review designers’ looks in advance of the show. Still, most of my students will tell you I was a bit like a drill sergeant racing around backstage and making sure looks were right and ready on time. At New York, it’s another challenge to work with models who are walking at multiple designers shows and are often projecting dramatically different looks.
Where will you be taking your talents next?
Jessica: I’ll be part of the 18th Street Fashion Show in Kansas City on June 8, but my next big audacious goal is to get to Paris Fashion Week. Then there are also huge shows in America like LA, Miami and various fashion week events in cities coast to coast.
What advice do you offer next-gen make-up artists?
Jessica: As an educator I tell my students to be prepared. Stay humble. Expect to do pro-bono work tp build your connections. Eventually, you’ll see the fruits of your labor. It takes time to build a following so stay patient. Success also takes a willingness to travel and be exposed to new experiences and opportunities. I’m getting to a point in my career where the connections I’ve made are starting to open up doors for me. And it’s exciting!
Have you got any additional projects in the works?
Jessica: Yes! I just launched a line of 3D mink strip eye lashes marketed on my website, JMAMakeup.com.
Where can we follow you on digital channels and social media?
FB: Jessica Michell Andrew’s