By Eleanora Morrison
On every production set, no one realizes how much they need a makeup artist that just knows when to appear between shots…a beauty ninja who keeps everyone looking their best without asking, until you experience one shoot without them.
For our productions, that artist is Jade Dagsaan. The glowing beauty guru behind every character we bring to life, Dagsaan is the piece of the puzzle whose importance is paramount to a shoot’s success, and her impeccably detailed eye is a secret weapon to our styling. Her work and expertise can be seen in every photo of our ‘S.H.E Is’ visual storytelling features.
An expert at using her subjects’ natural beauty and enhancing just enough but never too much, she has made each woman in our publication look and feel their best on every production day, and is never without two staples: her shimmering makeup fanny pack, and a loving smile that brightens your day no matter what. Dagsaan shares on her craft, her favorite tools, and her philosophy on true beauty.
EM: Did you always know you wanted to become a makeup artist? How did you get your start in the industry?
JD: I have always been creative and artistic. In school I took every art and class offered. It took me a few years as an adult to discover that makeup could be my medium. I have always experimented with my look, turning to art and fashion as an expression and outlet. While going to cosmetology school I worked as a makeup artist for Bobbi Brown at Nordstrom. Back then, the company sent you to a week-long makeup boot camp with one of their most experienced artists. I credit that experience as the beginning of my formal training and where I met my mentor and boss, Lisa Weller. Working at Twirl has changed my life. I have grown into the hairdresser and makeup artist I am today because of her support and opportunities I have been given through Twirl Salon.
EM: What defines your personal style, in fashion and in the way live your daily life?
JD: Ease with embellishment. At the heart, it has to be comfortable for me to want to engage with it on the daily–be it my wardrobe or my beauty routine. That doesn’t mean without flavor, however. I love accessories, makeup (of course), art, music and travel. But I never want anything to be fussy.
EM: What has been one struggle you did not anticipate about your career, and how have you worked to overcome it?
JD: Finding my identity in such a huge field and growing my self confidence. I am my own worst enemy and am constantly thinking about my work. Comparing myself to others and thinking I have to emulate a style to be successful–it was difficult to work myself out of that headspace. Having a mentor that encourages me to work hard and be my authentic self is the only way I can flourish in my craft.
EM: What has been the most rewarding moment in your career to date, and why?
JD: I helped a client on one of the most important days of her life before a major event to fight for women’s rights. Getting ready is such an intimate process–it was an honor to spend those moments helping her. Later when I watched news coverage, I felt so connected to her and proud.
EM: What is your preparation process for visually styling the makeup looks for our “S.H.E Is” features?
JD: I am constantly looking at images and studying our subject for each feature. It all starts with collective brainstorming and collaboration. Understanding the entire creative perspective and the essence of the woman whose story we are trying to tell is the only way I can even begin to contribute to the shoot. I read about these amazing women from history and become so incredibly inspired to transform another remarkable modern-day woman into a beautiful, almost fairy-tale like visionary. It’s a dream come true. Then I prepare my makeup kit, which is also like caring for a messy pet that I love and cherish.
EM: Where do you find your inspiration when you hit a creative roadblock?
JD: I absolutely have to travel. Spending time away from daily life and outside of the salon recharges my batteries and breathes life into what I can give to my clients.
EM: What makeup product(s) do you never leave the house without?
JD: I will never leave my house without lipstick. Dior Addict Lip Glow Lip Balm and Sephora Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Always Red is in any handbag I have, in multiples. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner and Glossier Cloud Paint Cheek Tint will jazz up any after work happy hour cocktail look for me.
EM: What is your philosophy on true beauty?
JD: It’s emotional and personal, not a codified set of traits or features. True beauty elicits me to feel love and inspiration. I have felt it listening to a woman’s life story, watching a modern art performance and getting goosebumps, feeling the positive energies of my best friends and forgetting what I was going to say. I have felt true beauty listening to the perfect song for the exact moment and watching someone deep into their work element. True beauty is in the heart of the beholder.
Behind the Scenes Photography by Courtney Weller.
Featured Artwork: Juana Inés medallion by Giovanna DiZurita.
Featured Accessory: Rosary by Cassandra King Polidori of Cassandra Collections.