Interview with Romero Jennings
Updated: Mar 30
Born in Jamaica and raised in New York, Romero Jennings has worked for M.A.C. Cosmetics for thirty years. Diana Ross gave him his first recognition in 1998. A makeup artist, he is an artist. By demystifying eyelash application, he gives his creations a dramatic feel. Additionally, Romero encourages inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry. During Fashion Politique’s photoshoot with Albert Watson and Carmen Dell’Orefice, he said:
NYC is a melting pot of many cultures. I felt welcome as an immigrant from Jamaica when we moved to Brooklyn back in the 1970’s. As a final note, he added: I consider inclusivity a priority when selecting products for my kit and designing looks.
Here is the full interview with Danilo Venturi, Director of IED Firenze and author of Brand Persona: The Four-Step Method.
Courtesy of Romero Jennings
How is it to live in New York as a Jamaican? In what ways has the pandemic changed fashion and the city?
NYC is a melting pot of many cultures. I felt welcome as an immigrant from Jamaica when we moved to Brooklyn back in the 1970’s. My parents worked hard to help make the American dream come true. Life back then was uncertain, difficult and had many obstacles, but we all persevered. They taught me that hard work pays off. My parents said choose a career that you love, then you won’t feel like you’re working. I listened and that’s how I feel today. I enjoy all aspects of the creative process and look forwards to the continued growth.
What do you think of the digital photography we see on social media nowadays? Is software becoming the new cosmetic?
Technology and software have a place in our industry. It can help enhance and create new worlds. No technology can compare with the personal connection between the artist and client. Human interaction and the co-collaboration that happens on set is priceless and magical.
We hear more and more about you. What is your approach to creating a makeup look?
Creativity for me comes from everyday life. I get inspired from gardening, architecture, fabrics, music, technology and even watching people while riding the subway in New York City. I take many things into consideration when creating makeup looks for shows, editorial shoots, red carpet, or social media. I always do research and usually arrive with a few makeup concepts already created in my head. The hair, clothes and accessories play a huge role in inspiring the final looks. The models unique facial features and vibe also guide my hands when applying the makeup.
What makes you unique?
What makes my artistry unique is the ability to think outside the box. I love using products with unexpected tones, textures, and placement. I love creating makeup out of unconventional items. My go to makeup product is Glow-Play Blush from M.A.C. in Rosey Does It! This universal shade works well on many skin tones and looks great on cheeks eye and lips. I’m considered a beauty innovator and known for creating couture eyelashes, eyebrows, and eye appliques out of paper, metal and plastic and crystals. I am always looking to for new products, technology, and materials to motivate my creative process.
Cosmetics come from ancient Greek, and they represent how we interact with the world. What is the difference between face and gaze?
I watched my mom transform everyday back in the 1970’s. Her makeup gave her protection from the world and the confidence, beauty, and glamour to be her best. Then I could understand the power of makeup and working in the beauty industry has brought it full circle.
When it comes to diversity and sustainability, what ethical considerations do you take into account as a makeup artist?
I consider inclusivity a priority when selecting products for my kit and designing looks.