Jeannie Mai is a very busy women, not only is she a co-host on The Real, she is also the host of How Do I Look? and Style Pop. She loves any chance that she can get to make women feel better about themselves; Mai makes it her priority to motivate, inspire and educate them. She knew at an early age that she enjoyed making women look better inside and out and that is what lead her to become a makeup artist; after that her career just blossomed from there. Since then she has been empowering women through fashion, make-up and conferences. After learning about all the passion she puts into her work and helping women, I wanted to know more about her career and what she thought were the best beauty products on the market. Mai agreed to take a moment and chat with Cliché about her career, passion and inspirations.
Cliché: You recently became a host of The Real. How is working on a talk show different from being the host of How Do I Look?
Jeannie Mai: Co-hosting The Real compared to hosting How Do I Look? is like comparing sequins to velcro–they’re both completely different! On HDIL, it was never so much about me as it was about my guest, helping her to identify herself and to discover how a sense of personal style could change her life. The Real is completely about me–my thoughts, my experiences.. It took me awhile to adjust to talking about myself so much!
Do you ever feel intimidated when working alongside any of your co-hosts on The Real?
Intimated wouldn’t be the right word.. I’d say more in awe. These 4 ladies are all hustlin to pursue their careers, care for their families, and still put a strut to their step. I love it. We’re all very different which makes it fun to tear any topic apart.
As host of How Do I Look, do you feel that you change more than just a woman’s style?
I actually feel the show ends up not being so much about their style at all, but completely about their life. What most women don’t realize is that a sense of “bad style” is really the RESULT of having neglected to give yourself the time that you’re worth. It’s an understandable slippery slope- women today have kids, jobs, husbands, dating… all these focuses that make them concerned about the “other person” besides themselves. You rush through your morning routine to throw on anything to look decent and the next thing you know you hate the way you look in the mirror and you’ve forgotten your best assets. That’s where I come to save the day through HDIL.
Would you say you’ve spent most of your career empowering women and showing them that they can be confident? Does that give you a sense of fulfillment?
Absolutely. When I decided to move to LA, I created “mai” mission statement to keep me on track of my direction: Jeannie Mai celebrates women’s potential. Whether its through makeup, styling, or a talk show, I’m here to show you not just who you are, but what you can become through the blessing of your life.
At what age did you realize you wanted to be a makeup artist? Who were your inspirations?
I knew I had a skill in makeup at around 9, when I began to take a really invested interest in women’s unique features. I love seeing what makes a woman smile, why she’ll crinkle her nose at a funny thought or why her eyes will glaze over at a fond memory. All of these emotions on a face are meant to be colored in and celebrated through makeup! So I would say people, and their individual stories, inspire me most.
How would you compare your style to other celebrities’ style? If you had the opportunity to style a celebrity who would it be?
First, I don’t really compare my style to another person’s. That’s like comparing signatures. They’re both completely different! However I would describe my style as a celebration of sharp confidence. I would love to style Jennifer Lawrence because she has a bod that won’t quit and can wear so many different looks.
Read the full interview in our Oct/Nov issue!
Photo courtesy of The Style Network