Joanna Leigh is a creative gem when it comes to make up artistry. She enhances a woman’s assets making her the most beautiful version of herself. This is her creative outlet, she is playful, daring and a master at visually expressing your personality and mood. Joanna is cool, fun and truly beautiful inside and out. We recently got together to talk about when her love of make up started, her beauty icons, her favourite make up items and how cruelty free products are the way to go.
CG: Have you always been interested in make-up? Is this something you saw yourself doing at an early age?
JL: I’ve actually always been interested in make-up, when I was a little girl I went to preschool wearing red lipstick. I wore it every day…(laughs).. My parents would let me!
CG: You did start early!
JL: A little later I got into modelling and my agent would always tell me that I was so good at makeup and that she thought one day I would become a makeup artist. In High School I would have girls that were older than me want me to their make up for their grad.
CG: I remember doing girls make up in High School during class and tweezing their eyebrows …(laughs)…and not doing the best job either…I feel bad about it now..(laughs).. My next question is what is your make up philosophy? Or do you have one?
JL: Yes, whenever I meet a client I really want to connect with them and enhance their natural beauty. The best thing is when they look into the mirror and can’t believe how good they look. It’s such a good feeling, making these girls feel confident. It’s not about hiding or covering their flaws it’s about building their confidence.
CG: Especially if its someone that doesn’t normally wear make-up, it doesn’t take a lot to enhance what’s already there.
JL: Seriously all you have to do is a few things to make their natural beauty pop.
CG: Who were your beauty icons growing up?
JL: I loved Julia Roberts, one of my favourite movies when I was younger was Pretty Woman…sounds kind of bad…(laughs)
CG: She was gorgeous in that movie, with her wavy red hair.
JL: But I was so young that I didn’t understand what the movie was about…(laughs)
CG: That she was a prostitute ….(laughs)
JL: I had no idea! My Grandma would let me watch it because I was obsessed with how she went to these High End stores, trying on clothes and her makeover transformation. I watched that movie as many times as I could.
CG: On repeat. As kids we can watch movies over and over and over again and never get tired of it.
JL: Julia Roberts was definitely one of my idols growing up, she is just naturally beautiful.
CG: She still is beautiful
JL: She is such a great actress too.
CG: Describe your make up style.
JL: I’m really well known for giving a dewy skin and I use a lot of different products to create that without making it look caked on. I use a really nice primer by Becca Cosmetics that has a nice sheen to it. First I prep the skin with eye cream and serum to make the skin very hydrated then I put the primer on. I use a few different foundations. One that I love Stila foundation, it’s skincare and foundation in one. It gives your skin a beautiful glow. I love the Becca highlighters and also MAC has some really good highlighters as well and NARS. I mix everything to make this perfect dewy skin that I’m known for.
CG: It’s your like trademark. Do you think that there is a beauty mistake that is commonly made?
JL: There are a few I’ve seen, one that is quite common is the contouring.
CG: It’s really big right now.
JL: It is. I remember in school contouring wasn’t a thing, it was mostly for Drag make up. That’s what we learned for Drag make up but I think the Kardashians made it really big and a lot of girls don’t understand how to contour and it looks ridiculous. It looks like Drag, usually it’s not blended and the placement is wrong. That’s one of the biggest mistake I see walking around, sometimes I see someone and I just want to fix them ….(laughs).
CG: Are there any make artists that you admire?
JL: I love Bobby Brown, she’s been around forever. I really love her philosophy of makeup. It’s very similar to mine, enhancing the natural beauty. I remember I wanted to work at her counter so bad when I was younger working at Holt Renfrew. I had six interviews.
CG: Six interviews?
JL: Yes the interview process is really intense there. I eventually was placed at Lancome which I love their skincare but Bobby Brown was my favourite makeup artist and I wanted to sell her products. She seems so cool and I would love to meet her.
CG: She’s not all about covering up.
JL: Yes, very natural that’s what I really like about her. I also like Charlotte Tilbury, she is from the UK.
CG: Her packaging is really nice.
JL: Her lipsticks are so hydrating and I have all the colours.
CG: If given the chance what other celebrities would you like to work with?
JL: I’ve always wanted to meet and work with Angelina Jolie.
CG: She is so beautiful.
JL: Emma Stone, after I saw La La Land I fell in love with her.
CG: She’s got this really personable vibe to her.
JL: She seems like such sweetheart, she is so beautiful and has this great energy to her. I would love to be someone’s personal make up artist. It would be awesome if it someone like Amy Schumer or Emma Stone both seem so chill and nice.
CG: You can create so many different looks together and have fun. Working with Amy must be such a riot.
JL: Another celebrity would be Charlize Theron.
CG: A natural beauty.
JL: I know exactly the style of make up I would do on her. A nice golden bronze look.
CG: You never know. One of these days you might be making that happen. What are the top five products that you believe every woman needs in her make up bag and why. Also what is in your personal make up kit?
JL: Concealer, I really like the Tarte concealer. Their line is really great, it’s almost completely 100% natural.
CG: I don’t think they test on animals either.
JL: No they don’t, so their liquid concealer is awesome. Great coverage that leaves a very dewy look. Nars has another great concealer called Custard, it’s a great colour for Caucasian skin and it’s a matte finish. It has won many awards.
CG: I don’t like looking like I’m wearing a lot of make up on my skin. I like looking very natural.
JL: I think you should try Tarte.
CG: I’ve tried Tarte and liked it, my skin is very sensitive and someone at Sephora recommended it.
JL: It’s more of that dewy look. Some girls like the matte look.
CG: I like dewy, its more natural.
JL: I love the Benefit Brow Wiz, it has little fibers in it and they have different shades. I use shade #3 and its this little wand and you can brush up your eyebrows. It fills them in and the fibers actually create length on your eyebrows so girls who don’t have a lot of brow it will extend your brow.
My third one would be mascara, Smashbox Full Exposure mascara it gives a nice volume. Tarte also has a great one if you have sensitive eyes that I recommend.
I love lip liner, Mac has some great lip liners. You know how Angelina Jolie always has the neutral browny tones which is very 90s, I love that.
The fifth would be a nice bronzer, I love the Anastasia Bronze kit, it’s a palette and it comes with three shades of highlight and three shades of contour colour so you can match it different skin tones and create different depths.
CG: I’ve never tried contouring. I don’t know how to do any of that.
JL: Really? We need to do a make up lesson…(laughs)
CG: I would love one! I’m obsessed with black eyeliner, I’ve been wearing it for years and I have yet to master it.
JL: That’s another one! Can there be six?
CG: Of course!!
JL: I’m obsessed with Stila’s black eyeliner pen.
CG: I love that one too. It lasts so long.
JL: I use intense black.
CG: Is there anything on the pricier side that you would be worth investing in?
JL: There are some really high end make up products out there and I will treat myself very month for my kit. I’ve recently indulged in a Kevyn Aucoin concealer and a Charlotte Tilberry’s lipstick. Her lipsticks are expensive like $40 which is crazy. I’m trying to get away from lines that test on animals, there are some things from Mac that I love but I think I can find them elsewhere.
CG: At one point MAC was so anti animal testing when they were a Canadian company. I think MAC was bought out by an American company that’s when that stopped for them.
JL: I’m starting to become more aware of what lines are tested on animals. I love animals so much it bothers me.
CG: Testing on animals is so unnecessary.
JL: There are other options!
CG: When I went to Sephora I asked what lines didn’t test on animals and there was only a few lines that didn’t. There was lines that didn’t test on animals but they were owned by a company that do test on animals. There was only a few lines that had no association to animal testing and one of them was Kat Von D, she is completely opposed to any animal testing.
JL: That’s good to know. I’m going to start switching over everything in my kit slowly.
CG: Me too.
JL: I don’t want to support any line that tests on animals. There is absolutely no need for that.
CG: I don’t want to be a part of it. Boycott!
JL: Yes! Love animals! No testing!
You can contact Joanna at: Joannaleighmakeup@gmail.com