Celebrity skincare and makeup artist J’ai Lone is known as one of the best in the business for over thirty years. She talks to The Daily Pamp about her amazing career as a pioneer in both fields of color and skincare, from playing around with the MAC founders to experimenting with airbrushing, to the creation of her own successful line of products.

You are equally successful as a makeup artist and as a skin specialist, how did it happen?

I got my esthetic diploma at 18 in Toronto. I just aspired to become a makeup artist, but my mother insisted that I get an education and it was the best thing I ever did. I learned about the structure of the body, the skin and a science called psychofigurism, which teaches how facial proportions can reveal the character of an individual, a technique I use to this day.
My first job was in department store with the people that created MAC, and we experimented a lot at the time. There were no makeup schools thirty seven years ago, so I created the first makeup professional artist program, a sixty hour course for aspiring makeup artists which was very successful and was followed by a book.
While I was working on set for high fashion editorials and magazine covers, I realized that with a large format camera I needed to find a better way to apply face makeup so I started playing around with airbrushing techniques, that was thirty years ago!
In the meantime, I still did facials for loyal clients, and created eventually the first day spa in Toronto, featuring treatments designed by major skincare lines such as Chanel, Borghese, Christian Dior, Erno Laszlo, Clinique, Clarins and Lancome.
Eventually I decided to leave Toronto for LA, where I started working with major celebrity clients such as Farah Fawcett, Elizabeth Taylor, Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Abdul and the Olsen Twins.
What was the highlight of your career?
I did makeup for a woman in Hawaii that had cancer and went through many treatments. When I was done, she looked at herself in the mirror and started to cry. She told me that it was the first time that she felt beautiful. And she truly was, she radiated from the inside. When I did the Town & Country cover it was also a great moment in my career, but it didn’t “fill me up” as the experience with that lady.
What inspired you to create your own lines of makeup and skincare, and what came first?
I created the makeup line first and the skincare followed. I wanted products that could deliver great results for all my clients, including individuals with problem skin, and they really give results! Estheticians are big fans of my products because they can also give them to their clients for maintenance at home.
Which are your best sellers?
Any funny episode on set?
I have few, like forgetting my brushes at a major shoot with a celebrity photographer (I had to use my hands). But, the funniest was with two major female stars who hated each other and were together for a shoot. Right before the closeup, one turned to the other and said: “Oh, are you not feeling well, dear?” Classic.
A very interesting experience was with a difficult actress. I don’t work with a mirror, and only let my clients look at themselves when done. She clearly didn’t love herself and at the end, the beautiful makeup “turned” on her, it showed all her negativity, it was very strange.
Who is a person who has inspired you in your career?
Harry Blake, makeup artist for Johnny Carson’s show. He was a lovely man, and gave me specific tricks and tips that I use to this day.
Your favorite celebrity client?
Linda Gray, I have worked with her for 25 years. Not only is she beautiful, but it’s who she is as a human being. She is good to everybody around her.
If you were going to a deserted island, which products would you bring?
For skincare, the Gentle Cleanser, a scrub, Oxygen Cream, Silk Serum and the padsFor makeup, the lipstick ‘Hush’, a volumizing mascara and tweezers!
To learn more about J’ai and her stellar product line, connect with her Pampadour brand page today!