We spoke to Jordan Liberty, professional Makeup Artist and YouTuber about his career and top makeup tips for men
DtL: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Jordan: I’m probably best known for my YouTube channel that shares my experiences as a professional makeup artist and photographer over the past 12 years. I share my work at Fashion Week, recreations of my magazine editorials, and I deconstruct ad campaigns I’ve worked on. I’m also an educator at industry trade shows and I’m currently teaching workshops on The American Beauty tour with The Powder Group.
No one ever believes this, but I’m extremely introverted – which has made my journey into the spotlight a slow one. I definitely prefer being behind the scenes, but social media has really expanded my world. I always joke that I’m the only person on YouTube who doesn’t want to be famous.
I’m also a lover of animals (I have a chihuahua and 2 sugar gliders), 90’s music, indie films, awesome hats, and great food. Total homebody. Total nerd.
DtL: When did you know you wanted to become a makeup artist & how did you get into the industry?
Jordan: Oddly enough, my entire career was born basically by accident. I was very unsure of what I wanted to do after high school, so while I attended college I also “art directed” shoots as a trade for free photos (at the time I was doing commercial modelling). One day, the makeup artist didn’t show up and there was a model that needed makeup. I filled in and the rest is history. Makeup combined several of my passions and talents; fine art, portraiture, fashion, and photography.
DtL: Have you ever experienced negative attitudes as a man working in the industry? If so how did you deal with that?
Absolutely. But let’s be clear; men have been in this industry for a long time. From Way Bandy to Max Factor to Kevyn Aucoin, men in makeup is hardly a new concept. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who reject or dismiss men in this business. Early in my career, I dealt with a couple of clients refusing my services because I’m a man – and sadly, even a few envious “friends” attributed my success to my gender. Social media has certainly opened me up to a few more sexist and homophobic opinions as well.
I believe people that bully or internet troll deserve my pity, not my tears. If someone needs to tear others down to feel better about themselves, that’s a reflection of their own insecurities. I’m proud that my mother raised me right. I’ve never had a desire or need to treat others that way.
4. Do you think there is still a stigma attached to men who wear makeup? Or do you think perceptions have changed/ are changing?
Across the board there’s a still a stigma, which is heartbreaking to me. Even in the gay community, which you’d think would be more open-minded, I receive very polarised reactions when I share my chosen career. I’m “lucky” because I present myself as a natural-looking man, but I see men wearing traditionally feminine makeup on social media getting ripped to shreds by commenters on a daily basis. People are so wrapped up in expressing their opinions that they don’t take a moment to assess the damage their words cause to others. Words are the reason LGBT+ teenagers are eight times more likely to attempt suicide – especially when those words come from a disapproving parent. Words are the reason that men, especially straight men, feel self-conscious about concealing a blemish without suffering ridicule from peers.
That said, in a world obsessed with social media and “reality”, I think the stigma has lessened. Men wearing makeup on social media are the subject of criticism, yes, but they are also receiving an unprecedented amount of support. Social media has undeniably made the image of men in makeup more commonplace than ever. Change is slow, but I’m optimistic.
Recently I had an amazing experience working on a makeup campaign for Anastasia Beverly Hills that featured male models. From model selection to the final looks, Norvina (President of Anastasia Beverly Hills) allowed me to be an integral part of the process. The ads showed men wearing makeup while still looking traditionally masculine. Breaking binaries begins with a few brave pioneers, and I’m so grateful that Norvina allowed me to blaze the trail alongside her.
5. You have a lot of views on your YouTube videos – what has the reaction been like to your Men’s Makeup Tutorial?
Overwhelmingly positive. I have the best followers on the web – seriously. They “get it”.
6. What makeup tips would you give to men who want to wear ‘natural looking’ makeup?
I’m lazy when it comes to my own beauty routine – so 6 steps is about all I have patience for! I like a naturally perfected complexion that doesn’t look cakey or heavy – and I have to have bushy brows! This is how I get myself camera-ready for YouTube videos and TV appearances.
1. Using a fluffy synthetic face brush, I apply a mixture of 2 parts moisturiser and 1 part foundation to create a sheer wash of colour that doesn’t leave a cakey texture on the skin. (This just evens out discolouration).
2. Instead of concealer, I apply a peachy corrector to the under eye area and blend out with my ring finger. Peach kills darkness and doesn’t require a lot of product to do the job.
3. Instead of setting with powder, I set with a light amount of matte bronzer to warm the complexion. Powdery skin looks less natural – so always avoid applying too much powder.
4. I like bushy, dark brows. I’ve even put serious thought into microblading lately as a more permanent solution! I tint my brows because they are lighter than my beard, and on a daily basis I fill them first with a skinny brow pencil to give them more fullness.
5. To give my brows more density, I apply a volumizing brow gel.
6. Hydrated lips are happy lips! I apply a not-too-glossy lip balm to keep them looking and feeling hydrated. I even keep lip balm on my night stand to hydrate while I sleep – I hate chapped lips!
To see more from Jordan Liberty, subscribe to his YouTube channel!