Artist develops unique makeup style

Senior Jake Henry expresses his art, passion


Malaika Bigirindavyi

Senior Jake Henry experiments with different shades to make his special effect make up more realistic. Henry works at Midwest Makeup Supply in Uptown.

Evelyn Nelson

How did you first begin doing makeup?

I just wanted to do it, but I could never could figure out why. Then I started watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and I started getting into the drag aspects of that.

Who inspires you when creating your makeup looks?

Instagram. I follow a lot of different accounts. Most of them aren’t even drag queens, they can be just random makeup artists that I find or performance artists with full makeup.

How do you express your technique to others?

For daily life I don’t wear makeup just because it takes so much time. I work at a makeup store, Midwest Makeup Supply, and when I’m there, it’s a lot of playing around. I do a lot of special effects makeup along with drag. I love blood and gore, or burns, plus other things like that. So when I’m at work I try to do a lot of special effects, and when I’m at home and I have more free time, that’s when I can do drag makeup.

Have you faced any challenges when doing makeup?

Finding time. Specifically brush cleaning time because cleaning brushes just takes a lot of time. Also, learning that I’m growing. At the beginning, (my makeup skills) weren’t very good and it was kind of a mess, and so just giving myself time to develop and knowing I have to be bad before I’m good was something that took a lot to learn.

How have you overcome the obstacles you have faced with makeup?

Part of it was working — it was a validation for the makeup I was doing and it made me feel more efficient. Also, recognizing what I did good and talking positively to myself as opposed to saying ‘this is bad’ and saying ‘this is just an area I can grow in.’

How can students get involved with makeup?

You can stop by (Midwest Makeup Supply). I work pretty much regularly every Tuesday. Or join theater — sometimes we have fun makeup, I made lesions for one show. Honestly starting on your own is the best, being able to know what the makeup vocabulary is, it’s just a good place to start.

What are the main styles of makeup looks you enjoy creating?

I am primarily a special effects artist because I consider drag to be special effects, but I do all types of makeup. I can do glam makeup, I can do everyday makeup, I don’t like body painting but I can do it. Anything that is really character-based and involves the use of special effects and color, I love colorful makeup, I love anything that is not everyday makeup.

What would you want to tell students who also aspire to do makeup?

If you want to start makeup, (Midwest Makeup Supply) is great. We work a lot with people who are going through transitioning or performers or if you are just curious about starting. Honestly, Walgreens or NYX even has really great products that you can start out with. Plus, YouTube is a great way to start.