Jacen Bowman is a celebrity makeup artist and ballroom house mother based in Atlanta, Georgia. You may have seen some of his talent on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “POSE” on FX, “Good Day Philadelphia,” and more.
Bowman is also a Booksy Ambassador, and Halloween is one of his favorite holidays. So, we were delighted to catch up with Bowman to chat about all things Halloween, costume makeup, and even tips for having an amazing Halloween makeup look at home.
Check out our interview below to find out more about Bowman, ballroom, and just exactly how many uses of lip gloss there can be.
Booksy: Do you have any costume plans for indoors or any cute Instagram looks that you have in the works?
JB: I just posted at Halloween last year on one of my models, but I’m just trying to figure out if I want to go alien crazy or super-duper villain but also conscious.
Booksy: Do you have a favorite past Halloween makeup look?
JB: I work for “Good Day Philadelphia.” We get the opportunity every year to change a news anchor into different people. Like, one year she was Nicki Minaj. Last year was fun because I got to turn her into a gremlin. And I had literally 15 minutes to turn around full costume makeup!
Booksy: That sounds like it would take no less than three hours! Did you have a vision for it?
JB: I did, but it was more or less one of the things where I had to literally think: “Okay, get this done. The line might not be perfect, but when you’re able to get the color placement, the texture, tone and the look on camera, it will read well.” And working on TV is good because sometimes you get lucky with the camera.
Booksy: Do you have any tips for how to master Halloween makeup at home or makeup looks in general?
JB: The best thing that you could ever do is practice and just trial and error. I had no idea how to ever apply prosthetics. But I was gonna figure out how to do it. I was like, “Okay, well, I think this looks like it.” When I look back, it all worked out.
I always say there’s not a right and wrong way to apply makeup. If it makes you happy and it brings a smile to you, you’re on the right track. And if you do it the first time and it makes you feel good, you do it again to make you feel better. Going to keep going you’ll get better and better and better.
Booksy: So what is a go to beauty hack that you always use but you wish more people knew about?
JB: Clear lip gloss. I actually started using colored lip gloss if there was ever a situation where I wanted a glossy tint. “Why don’t I do a purple eye and then go on top of it with purple lip gloss?” If you are somebody that doesn’t want to carry a lot of things in your kid, or might not have the finances to buy all the items a makeup artist will carry, you can turn your lip gloss into anything. The other thing about the lip glosses is they give your face more texture with your cheekbone. So there’s so much you can do if you want to look dewy.
It’s all about applying it in moderation. And also making sure that you’re using the correct fingers.
Booksy: That’s so interesting that you said the correct fingers, which fingers would you recommend using for lip gloss application on the face?
JB: I always like to use the thumb finger and middle finger. When you’re rubbing it together, you’re able to get a great consistency. Initially, gloss is tacky. If you warm it up, it’s not so gooey. You can dab it on your face to work it in with the middle finger to the middle of your hand.
Booksy: Do you have a favorite Halloween movie?
JB: I love, love, “Halloween.” Yeah. I really love blood and gore.
Booksy: So, can you just tell me a little bit more about your background in ballroom? So, I am just so interested in just how you got started in it.
I got started in 1999. It was my senior high school and someone, Mr. Bernier, introduced me to a world that was full of color and acceptance. Twenty-one years later, I became the entity that you’re talking to today. We all say ballroom ‘houses’ are kind of like a fraternity and sorority. You have different chapters across the globe. My house, the House of Prodigy, has members that are in Paris, Sweden, Malaysia, Japan, Egypt, Australia, Finland, Germany, and the US. I have a chapter in Chicago to Texas, we’re multicultural, and it’s really great we’re not-so-underground. But, for so many years, a lot of celebrities would come to the ballroom scene and steal our aesthetic, dances, costumes, makeup and hair, and we wouldn’t get credit. So it’s important to recognize where things originate from, as well, and credit all artists who make it come to life.