Jenny Patinkin is a Chicago-based makeup artist who launched her Lazy Perfection line of makeup brushes last year. Unsatisfied with mass-produced brushes, she developed her own line of luxurious makeup brushes, which are handmade by Japanese artisans.
In this interview, Jenny resolves the seeming contradiction in the name “Lazy Perfection,” discusses her hero products, and gives 2 makeup tips that are flattering to all women.
1. How did you get started in makeup? Do you have a background or interest in art? I’ve interviewed several makeup artists, and what they have in common is a background or interest in art.
I started in makeup kind of by accident. After being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, I wanted to go back to work and was looking around at beauty related business opportunities. Along the way I met a makeup artist who recognized some natural ability and she encouraged me to get some training. I’d always loved makeup, but my artistic abilities were previously unknown to me. Such a fun, exciting surprise to have discovered them at 40!
2. Your bio says that you were trained at the Jemma Kidd Makeup Academy in London, England. What motivated you to travel abroad and pursue training in England?
The focus of my time at JK was on makeup history. I didn’t see any other classes offered in the US quite like this one and I knew it would give me a foundation of knowledge that would support any style I chose to do.
3. How did you get signed by Timothy Priano only 3 weeks after graduating from the Jemma Kidd Makeup Academy? He has represented some of the most prominent MUAs in the industry.
The artist who trained me in Chicago recommended me to Priano and they brought me in to do 3 test shoots with some of their new models. It was an incredibly nerve wracking day, made all the more so because they expected me to do hair as well, something about which I know very little. But, as soon as the agency saw the test shots, they offered me a contract, which was very flattering.
4. Why the name “Lazy Perfection” for your collection of brushes? It sounds like a contradiction in terms!
The name is absolutely a nod to how easy it is to apply your makeup with these brushes! My collection is made from brush hairs so soft that they pick up less product from the pan and then bend and flex as soon as they touch your face, making the distribution of your product much more even. The easier it is to blend your makeup, the faster you can finish your look and get out the door. That’s Lazy Perfection.
5. Your makeup brushes are handcrafted in Japan. Are there any other aspects of Asian aesthetics that appeal to you?
I appreciate understated beauty and simplicity, so the minimalism in the Japanese aesthetic definitely speaks to me. There might be a lot of detail, but it never appears overworked or overdone. The traditional Japanese aesthetic has a purity and elegance that I very much admire.
6. Your top-selling brushes are the All Over Face, Domed Multi Blender, and Flat Fluffy Cheek brushes. Why do you think that these brushes are so popular?
The All Over Face Brush is my #1 best seller because it can do just so much – it’s a makeup brush Super Hero! Any complexion product you need to apply, whether it’s liquid, cream or powder, applies quickly, every and beautifully. From foundation to blush, to bronzer, contour, highlighter, powder or mineral powder, this brush is a multi-tasking powerhouse that couldn’t make your makeup routine any simpler.
The Domed Multi Blender Brush has a soft but dense tip, which is absolutely fabulous for buffing under eye concealer seamlessly. You can apply less concealer with a brush like this since it distributes the product so well, and that means less chance of creasing. The thinner the layer, the longer the wear! It’s also terrific for spot concealing discoloration on the skin and for applying a diffused blend of cream or powder eyeshadow.
The Flat Fluffy Cheek Brush is 100% Blue Squirrel and the softest, most luxurious blush brush ever! I was so tired of having scratchy dry brushes on my face that made me feel like I was exfoliating instead of applying makeup! The short edge of this brush can be used for contouring or highlighting; the broad edge gives a 1-sweep application, and the uncut tapered tips of the hair practically blend product for you.
7. What are your views about natural bristles versus synthetic bristles?
At the end of the day, the way a brush blends your makeup is what matters most. Uncut, tapered, natural hairs practically float the product onto your skin, and the ones in my line are amazingly luxurious and soft. People don’t realize that the same way there are different grades of natural hair, there are different grades of synthetic hairs, too. It’s the inexpensive synthetics I don’t care for, because they loose their flexibility over time, start to stick together, and get weighed down with oils and pigments which makes the blending process slower and more difficult.
8. Your brushes are sold not only through your web site, but also through premium vendors such as Cos Bar and SpaceNK. How did your collection get picked up by Cos Bar and SpaceNK?
I cold called them! Lily Garfield from Cos Bar and Nicky Kinnaird from SpaceNK understood immediately what I was trying to do and that my line of brushes is several steps higher in quality than a mass produced line. They both remain wonderful mentors to me.
9. What are your plans to expand your brand?
I am currently working on a range of innovative products, including a new brush concept that is designed to enable Lazy Perfection and simplify and streamline the makeup process for women.
10. As you live in Chicago, have you done makeup for Michelle Obama and Oprah?
I have met them both, but have never been fortunate enough to do their makeup. Michelle Obama’s skin is magnificent – I’d love to have the opportunity to work with her.
11. What is the biggest mistake that women make in applying makeup?
Too often, women obsess about the little flaws only they can see on their faces and pile on product to either cover them up or change them. Once you start messing with nature by trying to fight it or alter it, it can take you into tricky territory. I think we all have to be a little kinder to ourselves and realize that the little flaws aren’t worth the anxiety. That’s part of Lazy Perfection – eliminating the stress.
12. What makeup tips can you share with us?
There are 2 things I think are flattering on all women, regardless of age, coloring, etc. 1) Tight lining the upper lash line gives definition to the eye and creates the appearance of fuller lashes, and 2) very subtly highlighting the outer tops of the cheeks makes your complexion look naturally radiant.
13. Do you have any parting thoughts about beauty that you would like to share with our readers?
Applying your makeup doesn’t have to take forever or be stressful. It’s all about blending. Blend, blend, blend … and then blend some more.