By Dymond Mumford
Born in Washington, D.C., Temple University freshman, Jaya Bolden is setting her mark as an upcoming make-up artist. As we sat down in the Howard Gitts Student Center, Bolden answered each question diligently with a smile. Bolden opened up as she explained her make-up journey.
Q: How old were you when you first started doing make-up?
A: 16. One day, after getting my eyebrows done, I noticed they took too much of them away and I immediately wanted to fill them in. So my first experience with makeup started with filling in my eyebrows. I began watching YouTube videos, bought eyebrow pencils and the concealer. I became more interested in other products, started making lists of products for my mom to get.
Q: How did your mom help with your project?
A: When I made the list for her, she went and bought products so I could achieve the look for myself. This was September 2013, in November she asked me to put make-up on my little sister. I was like “What?” (Bolden chuckles). She became my baby doll after that.
Q: What were your inspirations?
A: Mainly YouTube, I do have an aunt who works at Sephora who taught me the basic foundations and then shortly after that one of my friends ask me to put eye shadow and foundation on her. I put the picture on Instagram and after that more people started asking to do their makeup.
Q: Since YouTube was your first inspirations, who are some of your favorite artists to watch?
A: @Nitraab, until this day I still watch her. She doesn’t do many exotic looks, fairly simply and shows how to apply the products easily. I recommend her to my clients very often. When I finish one-on-one sessions, I give my clients a list of artists to look at on YouTube. It contributes to your growth! Yes you need hands-on and guidance but watching videos also contributes to your growth.
Q: What are some opportunities that you have gained by doing make-up?
A: My senior year I was asked to be apart of Bowie State’s Kush Modeling Teams to do make-up. The head of the team knew I wasn’t as good as the others, so she put me on lipsticks. I had a huge kit but I just couldn’t utilize my products as well as the others. I was upset when she put me on lipsticks because I wanted to do more. I eventually quit the team, not because I was put on lipsticks, but because I had another job. Being on the team did open up other opportunities though! I did Morgan State, Howard and Towson’s fashion shows and also worked with BET Networks.
Q: What did you do at BET Networks?
A: I was a makeup assistant. I applied makeup to about three females and over twenty males. They trusted the assistants more with the males. I was able to do Tye Tribbett and Byron Cage’s makeup.
Q: When did you start realizing you were receiving a high buzz?
A: I started September 2013 and had my first client March 2014. After March was prom and my first weekend I had five clients and
only charged $25 per face. The buzz began to develop after time, more
clients came and then I realized that I couldn’t develop on m
y own. I had to grow other ways besides being on YouTube and watching my auntie. I reached out to @LoNicely (A DMV artist) on Instagram. She was
having a session, and provided a Christmas deal. My father helped me pay for it and I took one of my friends as my models. She helped me grow. She told me the dos and the don’ts, gave me advice on what products I should and shouldn’t use. It was very beneficial.
Q: What are some products you would recommend for starters?
A: If you’re just starting out I would recommend NYX. Their products are good for starters and pros. Sleek makeup is also a good product I would start with. Colourpop, their lipsticks are $5. Those products are all affordable.