Life, style etc. with Jenny McKinney

Makeup artist talks personal fashion faves

  • Jan. 24, 2020 8:30 a.m.

– Words and photographs by Lia Crowe

I photographed Jenny on the side of a mountain at the end of Boulevard’s fashion shoot at Big White Ski Resort just as the last light faded from the sky. But Jenny can light up a dark winter day with her radiant smile; she is also a talented makeup artist, a key member of Boulevard Okanagan and the heart and soul of our fashion team. She exudes beauty and style but, more importantly, the style in which she lives her life is inspiring beyond the exterior.

Asked how she got started as a makeup artist, Jenny said, “I started playing with and creating makeup in Grade 3 and quickly became obsessed with creativity and enhancing beauty. By age 12, I was producing and photographing my own photo shoots; putting outfits together, styling hair [which sometimes she cut] and doing the makeup.”

She’s spent more than 20 years in the beauty industry, so I wonder what aspect of her work fires her up the most.

“The trust and connection that is required to get the best result when doing makeup is precious. I adore meeting my clients where they are and taking them to where they want to go. When someone’s unique beauty is truly celebrated, I believe they look like the best version of themself.”

Asked what she is passionate about outside of work and what lessons she has learned from her passion, she says: “I’ve always been passionate about personal growth; I love learning, growing and sharing. I will often be listening to podcasts or books on Audible as much or more than music.”

She adds, “Attending events and workshops that enrich is absolutely life-giving. I’ve learned that life supports what supports life, meaning the power of gratitude and keeping my eyes and heart tuned to see grace in action have helped me peel away unsupportive thought patterns, choices or interpretations of events.”

And what does good style mean to her?

“It’s more about how seeing someone who is grounded in their truth and expression as a one-of-a-kind individual as opposed to what label they wear, what colour they choose or where they buy it.”

When it comes to her personal style, Jenny describes it as eclectic, evolving and intuition-driven. “I love monochromatic looks, colourful looks, statement pieces and flashy looks, as well as looks that are clean and simple. I guess I just love what I love and it doesn’t fit into a box!”

STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE

Style Icon: Chrissy Teigen for all the things.

Favourite artist: For makeup artists, I adore Nikki Makeup from London; so talented.

Piece of art: My late Great Uncle Larry Rosso’s four-foot panels that can be viewed at the Air BC Departure Lounge Gate A9 at the Vancouver Airport (specifically the beaver).

Favourite fashion designer or brand: I love the colour and opulence of Christian Siriano.

Favourite musician: Favourites are hard for me to choose, moods are easier and for now my mood is George Michael. Think Freedom 90.

Era of time that inspires your style: I can really get behind some ’90s vibes.

Film or TV show that inspires your style: I’m marvelling at the full blown ’80s-ness of The Goldbergs on ABC. It’s fun! It doesn’t inspire my style but sure takes me back.

Favourite local restaurant: Living my best avo toast life at Sprout Bakery by day and RauDz by night.

Favourite cocktail or wine: My fave choices across the board for white wine is from Indigenous Hee-Hee-Tel-Kin, rosé from 50th Parallel, and Red Icon from Painted Rock. For sparkling, it’s Fitz Brut from Fitzpatrick.

Album on current rotation: I’ve been on about a five-year fix on anything Kygo.

Favourite flower: love the smell of lillies.

Favourite city to visit: I loved the adventure I had with my husband in Havana, Cuba.

Favourite hotel: The Boca Raton Resort in Florida.

Favourite App: Instagram.

Favourite place in the whole world: My home.

FASHION & BEAUTY

Uniform: A-line, V-neck dress 24/7 day or night, regardless of the season, my size or the event … always a personal winner.

All-time favourite piece: I have a beautiful leopard print coat, a simple-cut slim fit. I found it 20 years ago and it is

STILL major.

Currently coveting: A one-of-a-kind piece by Alicia S Designs. She’s a Canadian First Nations artist that showed well at IVFW. Vogue magazine has since called on her for her fashion.

Favourite pair of shoes: My gold rock stud mule Valentinos.

Favourite work tool: My makeup brushes; they are my “babies”.

Favourite jewellery piece or designer: I’m LOVING onlychildhandicrafts (on insta) — they are big beautiful beaded earrings.

Fashion obsession: Personally I’m in a “let’s be cosy” mindset. My current fashion obsession is canine related. Finding the perfect fitting matching sweaters for my dogs — a big boxer and little rescue pups with such different body types — is a challenge. So far, I haven’t found the winning combo.

Accessory you spend the most money on: Years ago, I bought a crystal necklace by Rodrigo Otazu that I called my “I could have bought a couch “ piece. At the time, I really could have bought a small couch.

Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: Luxurious skin care and foundation. Worth the investment.

Moisturizer: I use a combination of Glo skin and beauty products and Luzern, mostly for dry skin because I love that supple feel of hydrated skin.

Scent: Mixture of Replica Beach Walk mixed with Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée.

Must-have hair product: Triple team of Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine hairspray, my round boar bristle brush for my fringe and Puff Me volumizing powder to lift and texturize my hair at the roots.

Beauty secret: Soft peach-toned eyeliner on the waterline for fast fresh eyes.

READING MATERIAL

Fave print magazine: I enjoy Frankie (from Australia ) and Breathe from the UK, Success and In Style … and of COURSE Boulevard Okanagan ( I CANNOT pick one. )

Fave style blog: For the minute, I’ve had fun checking out notdressedasalamb.com. I love going down the rabbit hole online and discovering creators that are new to me.

Coffee table book/photography book: François Nars.

Last great read: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.

Book currently reading: Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis.

Favourite book of all time: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Jenny McKinney’s website is here.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

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