A conversation with Portland skincare and makeup expert Jessica Johnson
Jessica Johnson’s love for the art of beauty began in a California ranch house beside her grandmother’s vanity. As a little girl she watched her grandmother set her hair with rollers, powder her nose, and carefully apply her lipstick. “I would sit there just fascinated, and I can still smell her perfume, Chanel No. 5. Sometimes I’ll buy it just for the nostalgia,” Johnson says.
Johnson has spent her career in the beauty industry, starting as a makeup artist and evolving to focus on skincare. After moving to Maine with her family in early 2014 she opened a pilot eyebrow studio in the Old Port. “I wanted to see if the market was here for just eyebrows, and to my surprise it is,” Johnson says. In April 2016, she launched Jessica Johnson Beauty at 15 Middle Street, offering a menu of brow shaping, 30-minute facials, and makeup application. “What we’re doing with Jessica Johnson is really helping women find their authentic voice while owning their beauty,” she says. “Whatever their comfort zone is, that’s what we’re trying to inspire in them.”
Jessica Johnson shares her beauty tips
How can women improve their skincare during this time of year?
Holidays are stressful. Take a break, treat yourself to some good skin care, and get your brows done. It’s getting drier so I would recommend using a richer, oil-type cleanser. Also, it’s a good time to do something more intensive and rejuvenating like a night cream mask.
What are your holiday makeup tips?
The holidays are the time to explore and have some fun with different makeup. I think that for women who typically don’t wear makeup, this might be time to have some fun with that. A good highlighter, a powder illuminator, a great holiday red lipstick, and a black eyeliner are all you need. That little hint of darkness around the top of the eye, an illuminator, and a jewel-toned lipstick is really all it takes to bump up your look for a holiday party.
How important is sleep and exercise when working towards achieving healthy skin?
You can see someone’s lifestyle in his or her skin and sleep is a huge factor. Plenty of sleep translates to vibrant, healthy skin, so try and shoot for at least eight hours a night and stay on a regular schedule. Exercise and a nutritious diet are also key. Breaking a good sweat helps release toxins, firms muscles, and gives the skin a healthy glow.
What is your daily facial routine?
Your daily routine doesn’t need to be elaborate, it just needs to be consistent. Mine is quite minimalist. I take off my makeup with the oil I created, wash my face at night with it, and then re-apply it as my treatment. That’s it. That’s all I do. In the morning, I don’t rewash my face. I shower, use a little of my spray serum, and throw a little bit of the oil on. I really do live what Jessica Johnson Beauty is talking about. I love beauty and I love taking care of my skin but I’m exhausted. So, that’s what gave me the thought that other women must feel this way too.
What is the No. 1 beauty tip you want women to know?
Great brows and healthy skin are the key to your face looking pulled together and polished. You can have gorgeous skin, but if your brows are off, it looks like a crooked picture. Women find that when they get their brows done they use less makeup and feel more polished instantly. What I like to communicate to women is that you’re beautiful without anything on.