Online Makeup Academy graduate and Certified Makeup Artist Jessica Thomas is taking the steps to create her dream career; but not without working hard to establish her portfolio, education, and even building her own personal makeup brand (Bombshell Beauty)! We had the honor to meet Jessica during a visit to NYC at Nina Mua Makeup Academy (our physical NYC school), we sat down for an interview and photoshoot - where she created one of her signature makeup looks! Read below for her video + written interview, behind the scenes during our photoshoot, and the final stunning editorial beauty images!
Jessica is a true OMA Success Story; her hard work, talent, and dedication shows through in everything that she does - from studying to receiving her Physics + Electrical Engineering degree (a double major!), to following her artistic dreams and delving into professional Makeup Artistry; working at MAC Cosmetics, and creating her own makeup brand - Jessica shares with us her educational and career journey, her career milestones, and words of wisdom to inspire your own creative dreams and career success!
Online Makeup Academy: How did you find and pursue your network of creatives to collaborate with?
Jessica Thomas: I started reaching out to people within my personal network first and then branched out to using social media to find like minded creatives. From there, I would introduce myself, my brand and inquire about creative collaboration for the future. Eventually, I was able to get my name out there and be invited to participate in Ohio Fashion Week and featured as a key artist in Haute Ohio Magazine.
Online Makeup Academy: How has creating editorial beauty images changed your outlook on makeup artistry (how do you bring this inspiration to your freelance clients, etc)?
Jessica Thomas: I believe that creating editorial beauty images has taught me there is no true definition of beauty and there are no rules to makeup application. With every job, I try to push myself to take looks to the next level and continue to elevate to not only create beauty editorials but art. Just recently, I did an entire makeup look with sugar and it has been one of the most creative, fun, and interesting shoots to date.
Online Makeup Academy: How do you suggest reaching out for collaboration for other artists?
Jessica Thomas: I think stepping out of your comfort zone is key. For myself, I had to get comfortable with talking about my brand in conversation and handing out business cards as well as reaching out to creatives I was interested in working with. Another suggestion is to also invest in your craft and yourself. I have scheduled photo shoots with photographers just to get my foot in the door and build that initial relationship for future collaboration.
Online Makeup Academy: What has your experience been launching your own cosmetics company along with being a makeup artist?
Jessica Thomas: Currently, I am still in school so I have not been able to release as many collections yet but with the collections currently on my website, I have quite a few recurring customers. After graduation, I plan to take my cosmetic line to the next level and combine both my love for physics/ engineering with makeup artistry and create products like no other.
Online Makeup Academy: How did you begin working with MAC as a makeup artist?
Jessica Thomas: After taking the course and freelancing for a while, I decided to apply to be a MAC freelance artist in the Cleveland area. I think for myself I was very fortunate to have a great connection with my managers from the moment we met as well as having the talent that MAC requires. To anyone looking to become a MAC artist, I would suggest being your true authentic self and wear all black during the interview process!
Online Makeup Academy: What were you doing before deciding to pursue your Makeup Artistry career / education through OMA?
Jessica Thomas: Before deciding to pursue education through OMA, I was practicing on my friends, family and anyone who would let me practice on their face using different products.
Online Makeup Academy: What inspired you to break into the beauty industry?
Jessica Thomas: Ever since I could remember, I was interested in makeup. In high school, I started to wear makeup and build up my own personal makeup collection. From there, I fell in love with the process of putting on makeup and the freedom to create any look or style. As I started working on other faces besides my own, I realized that through makeup I could do so much more than create a beauty look; I had the ability to also inspire, encourage and uplift others.
Online Makeup Academy: How did you decide to pursue professional Makeup Artistry / how did you discover OMA?
Jessica Thomas: I decided to pursue professional makeup artistry because I found a genuine passion in it as well as uplifting others through my artistry. To ensure I could be the best artist I could be, I searched for a makeup course that would be able to teach me about the different aspects of the beauty industry and proper technique/etiquette for makeup artists. Luckily I found OMA while scrolling on social media and I immediately enrolled as OMA was one of the few courses that had excellent quality and flexibility.
Online Makeup Academy: How did OMA stand apart for you?
Jessica Thomas: I was very attracted to OMA because of the quality of education the course offers. I was amazed at the range of topics/lessons covering the fundamentals such as makeup artist etiquette to classic looks such as red lip and wing liner applications.
Online Makeup Academy: What was the moment that you felt that Makeup Artistry was your calling / how did you feel after you received your professional education?
Jessica Thomas: I think there were a series of moments where I was not able to stop thinking about the next look I wanted to create and then one day I just told myself that I was going to give it my all and try to pursue makeup artistry. After I received I my professional education, I was extremely excited and proud; I hung up my certification in my studio and added it onto my website.
Online Makeup Academy: What is your biggest achievement in the beauty industry so far? What are your continued goals/dreams?
Jessica Thomas: My biggest achievement in the beauty industry thus far has been able to take Sir John’s masterclass in Chicago. He is one of my biggest inspirations and I am a huge Beyonce fan so it was such a great opportunity learning from him and listening to his experiences in the industry. A goal I have for the future would be to work at NYFW as a makeup artist.
Online Makeup Academy: Do you agree that online education can be as valuable as offline courses?
Jessica Thomas: I believe online education is very valuable and I think what I loved personally about OMA was that I could refer back to the course module system while practicing my application on my model or family member.
Online Makeup Academy: How has your OMA certificate helped you reach your goals/provided value for you as you pursue your careers in the beauty industry?
Jessica Thomas: My OMA certificate has helped me feel more secure and competent in my artistry. I also think being a certified makeup artist has established credibility with my clients. I have also been able to apply for pro cards with my certification through Sigma brushes and Frends Beauty.
Follow Jessica’s work on Instagram for additional editorial beauty inspiration: