This week we get to know celebrity make up artist and ambassador for cruelty-free cosmetics, Justine Jenkins. Having worked in the City for eight years as a dealer on the stockmarket, Justine (also known as JJ), retrained to become a make up artist and has since worked with celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Whitney Port and Sienna Miller. Justine emphasises balance and her Positive Life is a tribute to feminine qualities such as grace, poise, dignity and kindness.
One word that describes you?
In your own words, what do you do?
I’m a celebrity make up artist and an ambassador for cruelty-free cosmetics
Who is your greatest influence in your career/life?
I’ve been blessed to share my life with some wonderfully wise women, but I will pick 3:
1) My mum, who is the personification of dignity and kindness and my Grandmother who taught me grace.
2) My dear friend Eve Ritscher, who is sadly no longer with us, but her spirit lives on. She was an amazing creative soul and force of nature. She was an holographer, lazerist, exhibition director, lighting designer, and event producer extraordinaire. Eve taught me the importance of balance in life. She also taught me that you can say ‘No’ firmly and kindly, without having to justify yourself if something does not feel right or you don’t want to do it!
3) I would also say another big influence in my life is my client and friend the interior design guru, Kelly Hoppen. She has been a great mentor to me, and what she doesn’t know about business is not worth knowing. She also has a very naughty sense of humour.
Which is your favourite part of your job?
To empower people’s self esteem by enhancing their vision of themselves. An increase in self esteem can have a domino effect on all aspects of their lives.
Which is the part that you enjoy the least?
The unsociable hours and extensive travel mean I miss out on a lot of time with family and friends.
What is your greatest achievement?
Choosing to be an ambassador for cruelty free beauty. 9 months ago I discovered that the majority of brands in our make-up bags are tested on animals and these brands are misleading us in quite a major way. I work with PETA and Cruelty Free International. My mission is to make the consumer aware of the ‘real story’ behind the products they are buying and to teach people that you can be glamorous whilst retaining a moral compass.
What was your Plan B?
I’m too determined to have Plan B’s.
What is your most prized possession?
My cats; although clearly in this equation I’m the ‘possession’.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
The two pieces of advice I always return to are:
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” Its a quote by Goethe and such a good one to remind yourself of when you’re feeling a bit sluggish!
I also love the axiom: ‘Stand for something, or fall for everything’. This could not be more important in these times, when our liberties, rights, and voices seem to be eroding on a daily basis. We have become far too impassive, and insular as a society. We lose power with separatism, it is when we come together that our power is realised.
Please complete the sentence… I could not live without…
Humour. Laughing blows away all the cobwebs in life. My partner Lee is my rock and makes me howl with laughter every day.
Favourite restaurant? In which city?
La Lucciola, Seminyak, Bali. It’s a beautifully rustic traditional Balinese building, wall-less and with a palm frond roof. It is literally on the beach and the food is divine. The last time I was there – it was a full moon; along with the food and one of their amazing cocktails – it was utter bliss.
Sustainability and consumption are two words you will hardly find in the same sentence – which brands do you think are good quality and are doing their bit for people and the planet?
Neal’s Yard Remedies are an inspirational company to me, both in their ethics and their amazing products.
Do you support a charity or cause?
PETA and Cruelty Free International. Animal testing in the cosmetics industry is totally unnecessary in modern times and I’m working alongside these great charities to raise awareness. It literally breaks my heart to see the pain and cruelty we impose on animals all for the sake of a new face cream or mascara. Ghandi said that: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – I could not agree more!
What’s on your Xmas wish-list?
A log cabin in the country.
What is your personal luxury?
Aroma. I make my own facial oil blends and natural perfumes using amazing essential oils for my clients and myself. I’m constantly in awe that Mother Nature produces such beauty. Also regular osteopathy treatments and massage. This job takes a toll on one’s physicality so keeping back and neck pain at bay is a must.
What steps do you take to make your life more positive?
Reminding myself to keep my mind in the present; meditate regularly; spending time in nature – a powerful tonic. Forgiveness and kindness to others. Surrounding myself with inspiring and loving friends and loved ones. If none of that works, a large goblet of Rjoca and a You’ve Been Framed Double Bill
What does positive luxury means to you?
For me, its a state of mind rather than anything material. I think deep down we all crave a simpler life and the madness of modern living is a big cause of stress. It’s doing whatever makes you feel bliss, even for a moment.
For others, it could mean the concept that we can be consumers of the fine things in life; HOWEVER, it is our responsibility to know the story behind the products that you we buying. If you are a company owner in the luxury goods market, it is your role to ensure that the value chain of your goods or services is honourable, ethical and as sustainable as possible.
Justine Jenkins’ Website can be found here.