I recently sat down over Zoom to chat with celebrity MUA Jamie Greenberg, and boy was it a fun one! If you’re not familiar with Jamie and her work, she paints some of the most lovely faces to walk the red carpet including Kaley Cuoco (my personal fave!), Rashida Jones, Kristen Stewart, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jessica Alba, and Chelsea Handler. She’s also the creator behind (and face of) Jamie Makeup, the indie beauty brand that she launched in 2020 with a single hero product, a blush-highlighter hybrid aptly called the Blighlighter.
But Jamie is also a migraine sufferer, which was actually the impetus for our conversation. She recently teamed up with the folks over at Excedrin to help raise awareness amongst undiagnosed sufferers through the very clever #MYgraine campaign. As a creative and visual artist, she used her years of professional expertise in makeup to create two unique looks “inspired” by her migraine pain. As someone who doesn’t suffer from what can be such a debilitating disease, I was fascinated by this concept and wanted to learn more.
But of course we also talked all things makeup during our lively call from essential kit products, to how to cover a zit, to what’s launching next from Jamie Makeup later this year. Let’s dive in!
WANT MORE INTERVIEWS?
TELL ME ABOUT WHY YOU DECIDED TO PARTNER WITH EXCEDRIN ON THIS CAMPAIGN. DO YOU OFTEN ENGAGE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS ON MORE PERSONAL TOPICS OUTSIDE OF MAKEUP?
I talk about everything with my audience from migraines to plastic surgery to allergies, and even family stuff. Nothing is really off-limits with them, I pretty much talk about everything. I think that’s why I connect with them. They know everything isn’t perfect all the time. The reason I partnered up with Excedrin is because I am a migraine sufferer. I started to get symptoms when I was in high school, but I had no idea what it was; it really scared me. I actually kept it a secret at first, but it got progressively worse. In college I came home from break once and had a really bad one. My mom got really worried. She’s from New Jersey so you can imagine the accent on that one! “We’re going to the doctah, let’s go!” Immediately I was diagnosed with migraines, but there was a huge gap in the time period in between. I think that’s one of the biggest problems facing young sufferers. In fact, the diagnosis gap is an average of six years, so that means that people are dealing with this for over six years alone. So many people suffer with this alone because nothing is seen and people that don’t have them often don’t believe you. It’s all internal, so it can be super isolating, frustrating, and anxiety-inducing.
Teaming up with Excedrin just made so much sense to me because together we can encourage sufferers to share their stories and help raise awareness by using makeup as a visual expression, which is what I do every day. Makeup is great for self-expression, so to be able to explain to people who have no idea what migraines are, how they make me feel in a visual way, it was like a no-brainer. We want to encourage other sufferers to post their self-expression on social media and hashtag #MYgraine. For people who have been diagnosed including myself, they all know Excedrin Migraine as the wonder drug for them. I carry it in small bottles, in large bottles, I have it in every bag in case it kicks it when I’m on set. Once you start to understand the disease more and its symptoms, you can really help improve your quality of life with it.
WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON MAKEUP PROBLEM YOU HEAR FROM FOLLOWERS? HOW DO YOU TELL THEM TO SOLVE IT?
I get a ton of requests every day; sometimes it’s skincare, sometimes it’s makeup, some days it’s even about a recipe I posted once. Some of the most popular ones are picking the right foundation – which is always going to be an issue for people – or concealers that don’t exaggerate wrinkles, mascaras that don’t run down the face, or how to cover a zit. I really try to create content based around what people are asking me for.
I did the zit video on Instagram because it was so highly requested, plus I had a huge one myself to demonstrate on. I like to grab a very fine-pointed brush, almost like an eyeliner brush and dot the entire coverage on. Then I take a brush that I’d typically use to blend out eyeshadow and gently blend the product out, that way so you don’t see any lines. So I’m not smearing anything or using my finger. Then I just dab a little bit of translucent powder over the area with a fluffy brush, so nothing moves around throughout the day. But make sure you think of the face as a whole; all the textures need to blend in together.
IF YOU ONLY HAD FIVE PRODUCTS IN YOUR KIT TO MAKE UP A FACE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Definitely an eyelash curler. It really opens up the eyes and makes a difference, even if you don’t put mascara on.
A really amazing moisturizer because radiant skin looks healthy on everyone.
Some kind of 3-in-1 product, like my Blighlighter. You can throw it on your eyes, lips and cheeks for a monochromatic look.
I really do think you need a great mascara; putting on that little tint on your lashes makes a big difference.
The last one may be a little controversial to some, but a brow pencil. I don’t have brows myself, so if I don’t put them on everyday something is definitely missing! They really do set up the symmetry of your face.
WHY WAS THE BLIGHLIGHTER THE FIRST PRODUCT IN THE JAMIE MAKEUP LINE?
A couple of years ago I worked on a line with someone else, but I ended up walking away for a few reasons. It was a bummer that it didn’t work out, but I always knew that I wanted to create something of my own one day. So every day after work I’d sit and ask myself, what did I use that people don’t have?
I feel like cheeks are the underdog when it comes to makeup application. No one really spends a lot of time talking about them. The Blighlighter was something that I concocted from about three to five different products depending on the person. I’d take a highlighter, combine it with some sort of wet, sheeny product, plus some color, and then put it on the cheeks. I’m surrounded by women who don’t wear a lot of makeup in my personal life, so I wanted to create something that was easy enough for them to use without being intimidated. I really marketed it as a blush/highlighter hybrid but people tell me all the time that they put it on their eyes and lips too, which is great. That was the impetus; I just want to create things that are easy, good for you, and look great so you can be your own Hollywood makeup artist.
DID YOU PURPOSEFULLY GO RETRO WITH THE JAMIE MAKEUP PACKAGING?
I draw inspiration from both artistry and expression, so we wanted to use artists from different walks of life for each product in the line. There’s an illustrator in Amsterdam named Yeye Weller and he designed both the Blighlighter and the Jamie Makeup logo. I equate the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with the blooming of the beauty industry. Now we’re in this period where everything is crazy, and everyone is trying to be on trend with what influencers are selling.
I remember when I first started this process with Jamie Makeup. I told the company that I work with that I wanted the images to be pale pink with black writing. But you’re fun and approachable, they said, why are you trying to be so serious and chic? I thought, you’re right! What’s great now is when someone posts their makeup set-up on social media, my packaging completely sticks out because it’s so unique. That’s a celebration to me. My next product will have a different artist.
CAN YOU SNEAK-PEEK YOUR NEXT PRODUCT COMING FROM THE LINE??
This is really all me. Jamie Makeup is a business run by me, my husband and another manager so it’s not laid out like most brands with very scheduled launches. We launched the brand during the pandemic in October of 2020 with the Blighlighter. My next product is a lip gloss/lip balm hybrid. It was originally supposed to launch now, but anything that could go wrong did go wrong. That’s OK because there’s a bigger plan so when it comes out this winter, it’ll be just as great! I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this, but I’ll say it, it’s called Bloss. I guess we’re going to have to name the third product starting with a “bl” too, like “blighshadow”!
I love makeup but I feel overwhelmed with the amount of SKU’s coming out from each brand. I just want to silence the noise and focus on one thing and one essential at a time with my brand.
YOUR BELOVED MAKEUP SHED IS ON FIRE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE 3 PRODUCTS. WHAT DO YOU SAVE??
Well, my Excedrin of course! Back in the day I did a collaboration with Colourpop before they got really huge. It was called In Bloom and it was a collection of three lip colors, a highlighter and two blushes. It sold really well so I knew I had something when it came to product development. I’d have to save that because that’s a piece of personal makeup history. Oh, and my Sport Sunscreen bottle!
I hope you enjoyed my chat with celebrity MUA Jamie Greenberg! You can find out more information about the #MYgraine campaign, the Blighlighter and more by visiting @jamiemakeup.
xo, and be well, Erica
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