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Celebrity Glam Squads Share Their Best Tips For Making It In The Business

BOSS UP

When we see every celebrity grace red carpets and attend highly publicized events and parties, we sometimes forget that their whole look from head to toe is often handcrafted by artisans and professionals who work behind the scenes.


From Beyonce's famed makeup artist Sir John to Cardi B's publicist Patience Foster, the team behind the talent are key players in how we experience celebrities. There is a whole team of people that exist beyond the celebrity, and without them, the stars that we know and love would not be quite the same.

I sat down with celebrity wardrobe stylist Jayne Do, celebrity publicist Kiki Ayers, and celebrity makeup artist Camara Aunique to get the scoop on what these behind the scenes queens contribute to celeb style, appearance, and reputation.

The Stylist: Jayne Do

Jayne Do Celebrity StylistPhoto by D. Hinez

How She Got Her Start:

I was a baby when I started, literally. At the age of three was when I created my first design. I have ALWAYS wanted to be a fashion designer. Throughout grade school, I designed clothing and accessories for many competitions, showcases, and fashion shows. You could say I was the "go-to girl" in Houston for a very long time. I was 14 when I began fashion styling, completely by accident. A Missouri musician loved the way I dressed and paid me to dress him and his then girlfriend for an event. I've been a stylist ever since that day."

How She Honed Her Brand:

"Instagram has been very instrumental in that regard. Over the years, I've experimented with many aesthetics. It wasn't until this year that I found one worth sticking with. When styling my celebrity clients, I incorporate my artistry by simply enhancing what they already have to offer. I am very minimal in my approach, many of my clients come to me to aid in cleaning up their image or to take them out of their comfort zones and into the next level of their careers."

Draya Michele for PLEEZER MAGPhoto by Jarrelle Lee

How She Overcomes Job-Related Obstacles:

"Getting consistent clientele as an unsigned artist and figuring out my value were the biggest struggles for me. In addition to that, I am not the most social, hence the alias Jayne Do, and you have to be sort of 'in your face' in this industry. Each of my clients/gigs add a new lesson for me to learn. Some valuable and some completely unnecessary but the industry is too flawed to ever be perfect so I just roll with the punches."

"Each of my clients/gigs add a new lesson for me to learn."

Her Career High Point:

"My greatest accomplishment today is my debut fashion guide, DEAR STYLISTS: A Guide to Upgrading Your Fashion Styling Experience Vol 1., it was the second book I've written, but my first to be published. DEAR STYLISTS is a seven-book series that features Draya Michele on the cover and literally tells you everything you need to know as a beginner stylist. I genuinely believe that this series will change the course of fashion styling forever. I am super proud because for many years, all I've ever wanted to do was create jobs and expand the fashion styling industry and I truly believe that it's a step in the right direction.

Jayne DoPhoto by D. Hinez

Her Advice To Up & Comers:

"Do not let celebrity styling be your initial focus because it is not as glamorous as it seems. Style your everyday people first, learn the industry, and master your craft because once you're in the industry, your reputation is all you have and you will ruin it fast by not knowing what you're doing."

Click here to follow Jayne Do on Instagram.

The Makeup Artist: Camara Aunique

Camara Aunique, Celebrity Makeup Artist

How She Got Her Start:

"I got started working at Macy's. I used to ask other artists to show me how to do makeup. No one wanted to so I taught myself. As I've grown, I've had some amazing artists take me under their wings and [continue to] show me the way."

How She Honed Her Brand:

"The celebs I work with, we always seem to mesh well together. I ask a lot of questions and always make sure I'm giving them the look they want and if it doesn't go well the first time, I keep trying until I find something that makes them happy. It's not about me when I'm working with anyone. It's about how I make them feel."

How She Overcomes Job-Related Obstacles:

"I think a lot of people look at us artists that work with celebrities and think they've made it. That's the end result so they look like, 'Okay, move over my turn.' (Laughs) It doesn't work like that. We're all out here with families to feed. Some days, we're not working. Some days, we're crazy busy. Everything takes time. And know that it could take 10 years for that one year of success!"

Her Career High Point:

"My most recent accomplishments is partying at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture with Lisa Price, founder of Carol's Daughter. Having dinner on the patio to celebrate 25 years of Carol's Daughter and having a private tour of the museum while it was closed meant the world to me."

Her Advice To Up & Comers:

"Take your time, relax, don't overthink it. Ask questions, but be the expert."

Click here to follow Camara on Instagram.

The Publicist: Kiki Ayers

Kiki Ayers, CEO of Ayers PublicityPhoto by Sana Nodelman

How She Got Her Start:

"I am a self-taught publicist, so I got my start by watching what I would see publicists do as a journalist. I had no experience prior to starting my own company, so everything is trial and era. I learned how to write press releases and pitches by reading so many. I learned how to obtain clients by just reaching out to people I wanted to work with. I feel like in 2018, there's nothing you can't learn how to do. Everything you need to know is just a Google search away."

"In 2018, there's nothing you can't learn how to do."

Why Publicists Are So Needed:

"Publicists are vital for celebrities because when you're in the public eye, it's absolutely important to portray to the public the best image for your career. That's what PR is. Publicists make sure everyone knows all the latest projects you're working on and make sure that you're seen. We do damage control, set up interviews, press runs, secure interviews for TV shows, radio stations, magazine covers, and anything where you can promote yourself or product. It's vital to a person's success."

How She's Overcome Job-Related Obstacles:

"The unseen obstacles you face as a publicists is that nothing is routine. One day, you might be pitching for hours and the next, you might be flying out of the country for a major movie premiere red carpet your client is in. You could be on vacation and then it's cut short because your client is caught in a media scandal and then you have to do damage control. It's a very hard job but very hard and rewarding too."

Her Career High Point:

"One of my greatest accomplishments and celebrity collaborations is doing the gift branding for Jamie Foxx's 50th birthday party, as well as being hired as head of PR for Floyd Mayweather's 41st birthday party. I had one day to get media to come out and it was a huge success."

Photo by Sana Nodelman

Her Advice For Up & Comers:

"The best advice I would give is to not be afraid to put yourself out there. I think people often wait for opportunities to come to them, but in this industry you will have to make a lot of things happen. It won't happen right away so you shouldn't get discouraged. Just be persistent and continue to put yourself out there. Instead of looking for recognition, you should try to create opportunities and the rewards will come to you."

Click here to follow Kiki on Instagram.

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My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

Fortunately, no!

This week, before watching Gina Prince-Bythewood's incredible The Woman King, a featurette for Till played in place of a trailer and it soothed my fears.

"There will be no physical violence against Black people on screen," the film's award-winning director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says in the featurette. "I'm not interested in relishing in that kind of physical trauma. We're going to begin and end in a place of joy," she says.

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Mamie's story of courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy deserves to be told--especially as we continue the fight for civil rights today. Knowing that the Black filmmakers behind the film are centering Black joy and aiming for our empowerment through the film makes a world of difference.

TILLis in theaters October 14.

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