I sat down with Jennifer Damminger, owner of Beauty Inside You Makeup Design, to learn more about what she does as a certified makeup artist. Jen is 29 years old and from Deptford, New Jersey. Not only did she receive her certification at Robert Fiance beauty school, she also has a clinical psychology degree and she is going to nursing school.
She has been doing makeup for a few years in the South Jeresey area. She does all types of makeup looks whether it’s special effects, proms, or weddings. Jen does it all. She does it well too.
One of her favorite makeup products are the Ardell 113 Glamour lashes, which are currently buy one get one half off at Ulta.
Below is an edited audio clip of the interview, and I have also typed up the interview for those who prefer reading over listening. Talking to Jen felt like talking to a friend, which is something I like.
Besides makeup, what else are you passionate about?
I went to Inspira. Then once I was in the medical lab, I was there for five years. I was so miserable there so I decided to leave and go to makeup school. I’m actually back doing phlebotomy at LabCorp. I’m also going to nursing school.
I’ve been wanting to do nursing for a really long time but I was never really ready for it—but I’m ready now. I love helping people. I love caring for them. That’s been a passion of mine since I’ve graduated high school. It’s really important to me. Art and makeup is a hobby and a passion—don’t get me wrong—but first and foremost I’m a care-giver. I love taking care of people, talking to them, and making them happy. With makeup, too, I love to just make them feel good about themselves.
What got you into makeup?
I’ve been an artist my whole life. I draw. I paint. I do it all. I started doing my makeup and people would come up to me all the time like, “Jen you do really good makeup.” And I’m like, “Maybe it’s something I should look into.” Then I started having a midlife crisis. I was like, “I don’t know. Should I go back to school for it?” My one girlfriend was like, “Yeah just do it.” So I did. It’s like another art outlet for me. It just another medium to work with.
(Photos in slideshow by Jen Damminger)
*How did you come up with the name Beauty Inside You Makeup Design?
If I’m going to start my own business freelancing, I got to do something that represents who I am. So I asked my husband and he said, “Beauty Inside You.” It has a nice ring to it and I like that. I also wanted my attitude and appearance not to be about just making people look pretty. You have to believe that you are beautiful first inside you and then I can help with the rest. That’s where the idea came from and the story behind it.
*Tell me a story when you made someone feel beautiful.
There’s been a lot of those moments. Recently, I’m doing my best friend Tara’s wedding. There are 14 girls that I’m putting makeup on at this wedding. When I did her makeup trial the other day for her surprise shower, she looked in the mirror and was like “Oh my God! I love it!” She was so excited and to know that one of my closest friends could trust me with their face made me feel really good.
What is the step-by-step process when you are doing someone’s makeup?
First, I always make sure everyone is moisturized. Once everyone is moisturized (good makeup is good skincare), I prime the face, get it ready, and then conceal anything under the eyes. I do color correction, and I conceal over any blemishes or dark spots. And then it depends on what kind of makeup you want. Either you want traditional or airbrushed. I airbrush a lot of my clients. I’ll airbrush you, get the foundation on, and then I start the contouring process where I contour and give that lifted effect to your face. After that, I do brows and eyes. And then I work on your lips. After all that, I do the lashes. Lashes go on last. After everything is done and they’re happy with everything, I set it with setting spray and they’re good to go. Every routine is different and every makeup artist is different, but that’s the routine I found is the most comfortable for me.
Do you have any makeup tips you would like to share?
My tip for people doing makeup is just do what you like. Don’t do anything else just because it’s the new trend or it’s what someone at Sephora told you. You don’t have to put pounds of makeup on your face to look beautiful. Just do a little bit to enhance what you already have and that is enough. Don’t feel like you have to pack it all on. I do because I like a nice mannequin face but that’s my style. My advice for anyone for makeup tips is just do what makes you happy.
What would you like to do in the future?
I would like to eventually maybe do a dead person. I would love to be a mortuary beautician here and there because I think that would just be cool. Maybe I’m really morbid for saying that, but I really would like to do that. I think it’s definitely something that would be different.
I would also like to do a nice special effects look on someone eventually because I do special effects looks too. In five years, I hope to be right where I am with my makeup.
Since prom season is coming up, are you getting a lot of bookings?
Proms tend to book last minute, so I’m just waiting. Prom’s are one of my favorite though because my prom girls always let me go ham on their face. Bright colors, lashes, deep contours. They don’t want anything natural. They just want it all. They want it to match their sequenced dresses and I’m cool with that.
You also do weddings.
Weddings are really good, but they are also very stressful. This is that person’s biggest day of their life so the expectation is really high. It can be very stressful, so my tip to any other makeup artist out there, especially with weddings, just stay calm.
Would you like to share one of your experiences with special effects makeup?
I’m currently working on a Freddy Krueger look. For his whole scarring and his face, you have to use a special silicone. It’s a two based silicone. I’ve never worked with it before, but it’s two steps. You have to mix it together like a science project. When you mix it together, it becomes this gel. Then you have to apply it to the face and let it set and dry. It’s something I never worked with. It’s called 3rd degree silicone and I’m really anxious to see how it turns out, but I don’t know—we’ll see.
It was hard finding makeup artists in South Jersey. Many artists are in North Jersey and Philadelphia. Do you see yourself expanding your business out of South Jersey?
I’m not about that scene. The big scene. I like staying low key. I like staying local. That’s just where I’m at. That’s who I am. If I ever go big, then maybe I’ll head up there and be a part of that scene, but I’m good with being in South Jersey and just being local and taking care of my girls down here.
*asterisks indicate additional questions excluded from the audio