Today, we are honored to introduce you to Kevin James Bennett, one of the most celebrated and beloved makeup artists we have had the honor to meet and learn from. Kevin James is a five time Nominee and the Winner of Two Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Achievement In Makeup”. In addition to his remarkable work, he is a sought after mentor and educator in the beauty world because of his unique ability to connect with audiences far and wide.
T: How did your love affair with beauty begin?
KJB: I was a Performing Arts major in college. Most stage actors apply their own makeup, so learning theatrical makeup was a given ...but it never thrilled me. Fast forward to my short career in display design at Bloomingdale's NYC. I occasionally worked on the fashion windows where the mannequins were "painted" with real makeup to cross promote clothing and cosmetics. Suddenly art and makeup became entwined and my obsession began!
T: You’re a multiple Emmy award winning talent in the beauty world. What is your personal beauty philosophy and how do you continue to hone your craft?
KJB: My beauty philosophy often pisses off corporate cosmetic companies. I'm the first to say, "Stop being so darn serious ...it's only makeup". Honestly, if you can't have fun with makeup, you really shouldn't use it. But I also respect the power it has. I'm in awe of it's ability to immediately and profoundly elevate self esteem. As for 'honing" my craft ...simply, I make a lot of mistakes. No, really - I tell students that the most important part of growing as an artist is to constantly challenge your ability and never be afraid to fail. Working through failure is what usually uncovers that next "ah- ha" moment.
T: You’ve expanded your role from an award winning celebrity makeup artist to writer, public speaker, and entrepreneur. What advice would you give to an up and coming makeup artist to expand their talent and reach?
KJB: Network, network, network ...oh, did I say network? As you've noted in the question, I have totally diversified my career and continue to add layers and facets. This can only be done by immersing yourself in the industry, exposing yourself to new people and experiences and constantly evolving and re-inventing yourself. Simply being a good artist is no longer enough.
T: TATCHA is honored to be featured in your celebrated reference guide, “In My Kit”. What are your tips for creating exquisite skin?
KJB: It's no secret, I'm obsessed with with creating perfect complexion. "Blenderella" is the nickname i was given due to my preoccupation with creating custom colors, textures and finishes for each face. I rarely use a product straight out of the bottle or jar. I invariably combine a a curious cross-section of products until I achieve the exact finish I envisioned. TATCHA is the perfect addition to my "tool box". Many times I've meticulously created the perfect complexion color, only to have it ruined by powder that added a tint of it's own or even worse, a dry caky texture. TATCHA sheets absorb the shine and leave nothing behind but soft, natural looking skin. LOVE that!
T: We love that your goal is to be the Tim Gunn of beauty. What’s in store for Kevin James in 2011/2012?
KJB: There are so many exciting projects on the horizon or already underway. Unfortunately I can't talk about many of them due to a pesky legal thing called Non-Disclosure Agreements. But in homage to Mr. Gunn, I assure you that I will "make it work"!