Jennifer Brent is a NYC makeup artist and groomer for the Fab Five on Netflix’s show,Queer Eye . She has worked in the beauty industry for 20 years, and also counts John Legend and Joshua Jackson as clients. The following story was told to Kelsey Castañon and edited for length and clarity.
I’ve always loved cutting men’s hair. It’s a niche category, but that’s why working with the Queer Eye cast has been such a great fit for me. I met all the guys for a photoshoot back in November before the show aired. At first, I didn’t think anything of it — it was just another job. Then a month later, I was in L.A., and Jonathan [Van Ness] hit me up on Instagram and mentioned that he had a lot of press coming up, and I’ve been working with them ever since. We all just fell in love with each other.
Even though there isn’t a set groomer on the show, I may go down when they film season two just to hang out on set. I’ve really gotten to know them all from working with them these last six months. They’re all beautiful, beautiful men — both on the inside and out.
Who Requires The Most Grooming — & The Least
Certain people require more time than others. I always groom Jonathan first; he takes the longest in the hair and makeup chair — about an hour and a half. Blowing out his hair alone takes a solid hour! He’s got this really thick, really curly hair — you almost wouldn’t guess how curly it is just by looking at him. After we blow-dry, sometimes I’ll go over it with a flat-iron or curling iron; other times we’ll just throw it up in a half updo or low bun.
If you take his hair out of the equation, though, his routine is really simple. I’ll trim his beard, and apply a little makeup. Jonathan takes good care of his skin so some days he’ll be like, “Let’s just skip the makeup.” Bobby [Berk] also likes to be groomed. Those two require most of my time and attention.
I’ve gotten so many DMs on Instagram from people asking how Tan [France] does his hair, or to compliment me on his cut and style, but I don’t do a thing. He does his own makeup; he cuts his own hair. Tan blow dries it himself and uses a little pomade. He has a set skin-care ritual that he’s been doing for a long time. Only recently, at our last photoshoot, did he let me tame a stray flyaway and blot away shine in between his eyes.
The Beauty Products She Swears By
I always prep their skin with a spray toner that I created, which is infused with a few different essential oils like lavender, rose, and calendula to calm the aura and freshen up their spirit. Then I’ll use a jade roller — Jonathan has actually become a big fan himself. The Nerium Eye-V Hydrogel Patches really help with any puffiness or water retention. Sometimes I’ll run to Antoni [Porowski] and Bobby’s room just to give them the eye pads before I get started on Jonathan. They’ll wear them around for an hour or so until I see them for makeup.
With most of the guys, we keep their style the same day by day. I’ll use Kerastase’s VIP Volume in Powder on Jonathan’s roots all the time, because he has the most hair. But I also use it on Antoni and Bobby to give them texture. Karamo [Brown] doesn’t have any hair — he’s recently started fully shaving his head — but he has beautiful skin. He loves translucent powder. The Ultra HD Powder from Make Up For Ever is a staple in my kit.
I’ve also gotten Karamo using the PerriconeMD Instant Blur. I’m obsessed with it. It helps mattify the skin, but without me having to go over and over it with powder all day, which can feel pretty gross. When it comes to the rest of their makeup, I usually keep it pretty light. I like Tom Ford’s bronzer and RMS Beauty’s Un Cover-Up, which is a coconut oil-based concealer with natural pigments. I’ll also use the Intelligent Nutrients Lip Delivery Nutrition — it’s an all-natural lip balm that doesn’t leave the lips shiny. Working with men, you want them to be hydrated, but you never want it to look too glossy. It’s a genius product.
Why Queer Eye Is More Important Than Ever
Each individual character on the show is a genuinely deep person in real life — they’ve all had a hard past. These are very kind, powerful, and positive men, and what they are doing on Queer Eye is so real. They are addressing each corner of people’s personalities, and showing them their potential. They’re giving them space to open up and feel safe to get in touch with who they really are. And that is what’s really beautiful.
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