A-List Face

A-List Face

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After learning the ins-and-outs of the makeup artistry biz in Los Angeles, Zoë Custom Cosmetics owner and Fairfield native Jocelyn Sparks brought her expertise home to Greater Cincinnati so that local women can enjoy some of that Hollywood limelight!


Covington-based Sparks, a grad of the prestigious Make-up Disignory in Los Angeles, now offers professional advice, tips and techniques, as well as eyebrow shaping, makeup lessons and consultations, and special event makeup.


The makeup maven sat down with Cincy Chic to answer all of our pressing questions, from celebrities to her past job working at General Motors.


Cincy Chic: Tell us about yourself.
Joceyln Sparks: When I finished high school, I went to college and studied (brace yourself) ONOW. This is also known as the study of non-traditional occupations for women. I studied blueprint, drafting, tooling and many other very “manly” skilled trades. Following this, I immediately went to work for General Motors working in production and training. I worked at GM for almost eight years. As you can imagine, my “girliness” really showed up in a factory of 4,000 blue-collar workers.


Cincy Chic: How did you go from automobiles to eye pencils?
Sparks: Early on in my GM career, I became sought after by my female colleagues for advice on overall appearance and makeup applications. This ignited my love for helping women feel good about the way they look.


Cincy Chic: How long were you in LA studying makeup?
Sparks: I squeezed a 16-week program into a six-week period of time. It was an immense amount of work. I have a wonderful family I was missing and eager to get home to. I studied and worked many 16-hour days, but the payoff was worth it. I am trained for film, television, high fashion, runway, print, avant garde, beauty and of course advanced airbrush cosmetics.


Cincy Chic: Wow! What happened during those (very busy) six weeks? Did you meet anyone famous?
Sparks: I worked a lot. Right away my instructors noted a motivated business person in me as well as a talented artist. However, the celebrities I was working with were not the kind of celebrities you’d expect. For me, celebrities were the most well-known and established makeup artists in the business, not necessarily the actors and models. It was key for me to align with these makeup artists and that is what I did!


Cincy Chic: OK, OK, but did you run into any TV or movie stars?
Sparks: I worked closely with makeup artists at “The Tyra Banks Show” while I was in L.A. Tyra is nice and bigger than life. Very tall, huge hair, lots of makeup. To tell the truth, each taping of her show takes over two hours to shoot, because she stumbles over her words a lot. Take two, take three, take four. You didn’t hear that from me!


Cincy Chic: How did you come to create your own cosmetics line?
Sparks: Some of my first friends in the business are responsible for creating the most successful airbrush makeup lines in the world. However, back then they were just getting started, but now their airbrush label is famous. I am the kind of girl who knows that if they can do it, so can I. So my key to building my own line was paying very close attention to all the artists before me who have done it, too!


Cincy Chic: And just why should women consult professionals for their makeup?
Sparks: It is definitely important for weddings, special events or when photographs will be taken. Beyond that, I don’t believe that every woman needs to consult a pro. I tell women I meet that when they feel they need advice or an updated look, they probably do. The truth is women know when they need help in the beauty department. In addition to that, I say be careful who you seek advice from. With certain other cosmetic companies, it is more than likely that you will be talking with a mere salesperson with zero training. I offer two-hour makeup consultations in my studio tailored to each individual client. It is a real one-on-one with lots of advice and techniques.


For more information about Sparks and her “celebrity connections” or to schedule a consultation, send her an e-mail here jocelynsparks@msn.com


Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Gateway Quarter