Jackie Aina is a professional wedding makeup artist from Southern California. Servicing weddings throughout the Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego areas. Also specializing in editorial, commercial and beauty makeup since 2009.
Tons of people that are new to my channel have been asking me, what the heck are you doing in Kuwait?! I thought it would be great to re-introduce the newbies to why I am here and what I do!
So many of you know when I started doing YouTube videos I had just began to explore makeup professionally, I had been living in Hawaii and was working for MAC Cosmetics. Shortly after I moved back to Los Angeles, I began freelancing as a makeup artist on my own and continued my duty as a US Army Reservist. And then a friend of mine got a job here in Kuwait and I sent in my resume and got the job! The company I work for is an American aviation company and we work WITH the US military. That’s all that needs to be said about what I do, no disclosing the company name or my salary, so please do not ask!
I was so excited! My job here is not a military deploment, it’s just like any other job except I live here in Kuwait. We work FOR the US goverment but we’re not actually here as servicemembers. So I put my military career on hold to except the job here. Which is great, since it’s not a deployment I have the luxury of living within the city versus on a military base, I have the freedom to travel on my free time if I’d like.
Some of the other places I’ve been blessed to visit while I’m here: Paris, Germany, Bahrain, Dubai, Qatar, and hopefully many more in the future.
I wanted to talk to you guys a bit about the culture here and show you guys what a typical mall here in Kuwait looked like. First of all they are VERY accepting of American culture and lifestyle, for the most part. NO as a woman I don’t have to be fully covered. We just have to be mindful and respectful. So sure I can wear a skirt or a short dress and they really cannot do much to punish you, but you just have to be willing to deal with the awkward stares lol but it’s really not as strict here as you may think it is.
Alcohol is illegal in Kuwait, which doesn’t really effect me since I don’t drink much
The men here when it comes to approaching women can be quite aggressive! When they ask you for your number and you tell them no, it’s like they don’t take “no” for an answer lol it’s quite funny actually. But do I worry about my safety here? Yes and no. There is danger ALL over the world, even in the US!
The cost of living here is quite expensive, the Kuwaiti dinar is almost 3 and a half times more than 1 US Dollar. The Kuwaiti Dinair also beats the Euro, so Kuwait is FAR from third world living, contrary to what most might believe.
The religion here is Muslim, there is actually a mosque behind my apartment! They pray all throughout the day and the prayer is played over a loud speaker during certain times of the day. We also observe Ramadan here, which basically means for a whole month in the summer, mandatory fasting until sunset, not even gum chewing! But this really doesn’t effect me since I sleep during the day, because I work over night, thank God lol
As for the demographics here, Kuwaiti’s are surprisingly more like the minority here. There are tons of Filipinos, Ethiopians, Somali’s, Egyptians, Nigerians, Brits, Americans, Indians, Pakistani, and other races here as well. It really is quite a nice mixture of people
Did I tell you how much American culture is accepted here?! They have everything we have and much more: Krispy Kreme, Chili’s, PF Changs, Applebee’s, Buffalo’s, McDonald’s (of course) and ALL of them deliver.
I also love how the culture here is so beauty obsessed. Makeup artistry, plastic surgery and all things beauty are all the rave here. People are always looking for the next best thing, we have everything state of the art with beauty and cosmetics. Which makes the makeup artist like me fit right in
People have asked do I get homesick, OF COURSE! I have a man and a family as home! My boyfriend has visited here for Christmas and he spent a few days here with me and we spent Christmas in Dubai which was amazing. But fortunately I have been blessed to have made some friends with locals here, I have a photographer and have met a few models and even done makeup and photoshoot. Luckily for me and the freetime I have I am also able to still do makeup (and videos) with my freetime, which is awesome.
Thank you guys for allowing me to share this experience! You will see more videos like this in the future, and I will try to take you some place else next time For now here’s some footage of me at my favorite mall, the Avenues Mall here in Kuwait.
This MAY come as a surprise to most, but I’m SUCH a tomboy when it comes to my nails!! I work so much with my hands and am constantly washing them that nail jobs for me are seriously pointless because within hours they are already chipped. If I do have them done, I usually keep the color nude or neutral because as wild as my clothing and makeup choices can be I really don’t care for all that color on my nails throwing everything else off.
Every now and then I come across a nail color that’s obsession worthy and this month it’s China Glaze Peachykeen
I’m somewhat of an ex-nail biter, I’ve been able to (for the most part) kick the habit while here in Kuwait, China Glaze has this BOMB formula that makes your nails super hard!!
Isn’t this THE perfect color for summer?! If my nails don’t match all my outfits I get annoyed, which is one of the reasons why I stay away from color on my nails. Nail color is a little bit more a commitment versus makeup; which washes off at the end of the night, but I love how this looks on my skin and the fact that it’s neutral enough to be everyday wearable with just the right amount of color.
And the Seche Vite top coat does exactly what it claims – super fast dry time in like five minutes, and the SHINE?! Who needs a professional?! I love this stuff! Whenever my nails look THIS cute, it really encourages me not to bite them, how can you rip apart something this fab?
Expect to see more nail looks from me!! But don’t expect them to last longer than 48 hours, I am warning you in advance LMAO
How stuningly gorgeous is Nicola from Pixiwoo in this Cheryl Cole makeup tutorial?
Don’t know who Cheryl Cole is, but the look was fabulous and I had to do a version for us.
MAC Oil Control Lotion
Makeup Forever HD Foundation in 177
E.L.F. Mineral Infused Primer
E.L.F. Powder Brush
Sumita Brow Pencil
NYX Jumbo Pencil in Black Bean
MAC Contrast Eyeshadow
MAC Reflects Transparent Teal Glitter
MAC Feline Eye Kohl
Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara
Ardell Wispies Lashes
MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in Deep Dark
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder
NARS Dolce Vita Blush
CoverGirl Queen Collection Bronzer in Q120
MAC Cork Lipliner
MAC Fleshpot Lipstick
MAC Viva Glam V Lipglass
LISTEN UP LADIES!!
If you find yourself getting frustrated out of the foundation you are wearing this post might be the one for you. I believe firmly that some of the issues I am addressing here has lead to some of us purchasing and buying and wearing the WRONG foundations for not only our complexion, but our skin types and skin issues.
I really hope this helps a lot of you out there, please keep in mind my opinion is definitely not the end be all, I am addressing that now. But based on some of the things I’ve encountered and what clients have complained about with makeup, they are sometimes due to things that can be so simple, using a “common sense” approach to finding the right foundation for you. Some of the common mistakes and assumptions we make about buying foundations have GOT to stop! Here let me share with you what I believe a lot of them are:
1. “My friend wears this foundation and we are the same complexion, so I’m going to buy what she uses”
I know that sounds logical in theory, but when you say you say you both are the same complexion did you take into account your undertones? Undertones are the underlying colors that make your complexion. Example: if you wear to completely strip the brown from your skin, what color would be there? Common undertones are either pink, golden, yellow, or neutral. I won’t get in too much detail about undertones because they can be a bit complex, but in a nutshell sure you are your friend can be the same shade of brown, but YOUR undertones can be comprised of pink while hers may be golden. If your undertones are pink and you’re using a foundation that is yellow based, it will make your complexion look gray. Also, did you take into account your skin type and her skin type? Do you have oily skin, combination skin, dry skin? If you have dry skin using a foundation that has a matte finish is a no-go, it will literally just sit on top of the skin and appear, yup I’m gonna say it, cakey. So what it all boils down to is be sure to investigate skin concerns not just the way it appears on the outside.
This brings me to another concern…
2. “Jackie you and I are the same complexion and I want to use what you use, can you tell me which foundation you wear in MAC?”
I can completely understand wanting to know something like this for the purpose of color comparison. Let’s say you are ordering something online and you have no idea how dark or light NC35 is so you ask someone who may wear that shade so you get a rough idea. But that’s exactly all it is: a rough idea. What you see me wearing on camera and film should in no way be a guideline for what you decide to purchase for yourself! You may think you and I are the same complexion, but what you’re not considering is what I look like in person. What lighting I film with, MY undertones, flash photography, what I look like when I’m already wearing makeup. You can’t assume that you and I are the same complexion when you’re looking at a photo of my skin WITH makeup on. That’s not showing the true color of my skin!! Again, considering what I look like on camera (a bit lighter) versus what I actually look like in person should in no way be a personal guideline for what foundation shade you should wear.
3. You shade matched on your wrist and not your face
Swatching foundation or any cosmetic product on the wrist is great when you just want to actually see what the product looks like. But it wouldn’t be very accurate to assume that your wrists and your face are the same color. Different parts of the body can get different sun exposure, thus making the face darker than the body or vice versa.
4. A reader or YouTube viewer writes me this comment in response to one of my makeup videos: “I use all the same products as you, I use the same brushes and I am blending properly but my makeup doesn’t look like that when I do it, I can’t be doing something wrong!”
In theory, if you are using the correct tools to accomplish something it SHOULD work for you. If not, perhaps you should consider the following: did you chose a foundation that’s right for ME or ones that’s right for YOU? And, it could actually be that perhaps you aren’t actually properly applying the foundation. Nobody is going to get it right on the first time, that’s definitely a given. You cannot expect a perfect result on the first try! You’ve got to come to realization that YES you might be doing something wrong, and it simply may just be investigating those products a little further, or your technique, and making sure they are right for you and whether or not you just simply need a bit more practice. Clearly something must be wrong if you aren’t satisfied with the end result! If you were doing everything correctly as you say than it wouldn’t turn out to be unsatisfactory, now would it?
5. “I want a foundation that’s dewey, yet matte. I want a foundation that’s going to make me look flawless, but I want it to be natural. I want to look like Kim Kardashian, but I don’t want my makeup to look heavy. You know what I mean?”
Think about this one for a minute and really evaluating what you are asking for in a product, you are asking for things that are completely opposite. “Natural, yet flawless?”, you want to look like Kim K, yet you want your makeup to be natural? Not going to happen girl! This is a huge problem for makeup artists because I really feel like it discredits a lot of us as artists. If you fail to properly communicate as a consumer what you’re really looking for in a foundation it can lead to frustration, and money down the drain. Understand that there is no miracle foundation that’s going to give you a miracle in a bottle. Sure I like fuller coverage foundations, but I understand that full coverage usually means a heavier formula so it’s something I am willing to sacrifice that. Investigate exactly it is you want your foundation to do for you or at least what means more to you, and be willing to compromise a bit. Example: You want a full coverage foundation, yet you also want it to have a lightweight feel. The artist may recommend you something that is lightweight on the skin, but instead of a full coverage it will be medium coverage so that at least it meets one of the requirements you are asking for. In a nutshell, being realistic is crucial.
6. You’re not wearing a foundation that’s specific to your skincare needs
Wearing a dewey foundation, when you have oily skin. Wearing a matte foundation when you have dry skin. The list goes on and on. Investigate a little further. Asking questions like “is this product ideal for oily/combination skin?” will help tremendously when wanting to find out what a product can do for you. And as always recommended: Try before you buy. When in doubt, take a sample home! I NEVER purchase a foundation on the firs try, what if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients? What if the foundation oxidizes? What if an hour later you turn into a shiny disco ball because the dewey finish was a no-go for your oily skin? These are all things to consider.
Here are some helpful tips to get you to better applying foundation
Using a foundation primer will give you a nice smooth surface to apply your makeup, which will help make it easier to apply, thus, making it appear less “cakey”.
Using makeup brushes and sponges I know a lot of people are okay with applying foundation with your hands, I am not one of those people. Use your hands for moisturizers, not your makeup. Otherwise it will look streaky and it definitely won’t look blended. Unless of course you’re using something with a very very light formula or a tinted moisturizer and you don’t really care about the finish anyhow. Investigate your skincare needs Ask appropriate questions, be very clear and concise and be sure you know exactly what it is you want to eliminate confusion between you and the artist that’s helping you choose your foundation. When you are asking questions don’t ask anything that could be open for interpretation. Bring a photo of the makeup look you are trying to achieve helps tremendously also!
Now asmuch as some of the things I have addressed make me giggle, on a serious note a lot of our issues with foundations are not really OUR fault. I still believe strongly that the majority of the cosmetic industry REFUSES to acknowledge women of color. You know like when you buy a product and they only offer shades for Fair to Medium? Yea, what exactly does that say to us? To me it says, you don’t count, you don’t exist. Well you know what, I’m hear to say otherwise. How can we find foundation shades for us if the brand refuses to even offer them?! That’s the biggest problem right there. We’ve come a long way in this industry but we still have much more work to do!
That’s it for today’s post guys, have fun foundation shopping!!!
I’m on a role with the bridal tutorials! This look is a women of color friendly pin-up bridal makeup tutorial, because there aren’t many versions that are appropriate for us
Here’s what you’ll need
MAC Oil Control Lotion
MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation
Beauty Blender Sponge Ben Nye Matte HD Foundation for contouring
Sumita Eyebrow Pencil in dark brown
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Palette
YSL Faux Cils Mascara
MAC Chromographic Pencil in NW25
MAC Studio Finish Concealer
Miss Adoro #307 half lashes Ben Nye Banana Powder
Ben Nye Translucent Face Powder in Chestnut
Covergirl Queen Collection Bronzer NARS Dolce Vita Blush
MAC Cork Lip Pencil
MAC Russian Red Lipstick