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JCI Makeup: Ones To Watch at IMATS Vancouver 2016’s Battle Of The Brushes

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Meet JCI makeup graduate, Samantha St John. Her out-of-this-world makeup ideas, hard work, and dedication has landed her a spot in IMATS Vancouver 2016′s Battle Of The Brushes competition in the Beauty/Fantasy category. If you’re at IMATS this weekend, come cheer her on this Sunday 17th, 2016. In the meantime, we sat down and got to know Sam a little more. Read on!
Describe the moment when you found out that you were accepted into IMATS Vancouver 2016’s Battle Of The Brushes. The moment I found out I was accepted into IMATS Vancouver 2016’s Battle of The Brushes was unreal for me. I didn’t find out at the same time as everyone else because the acceptance email actually never reached me. When Jennine, the JCI Makeup Program Liason, reached out to me a week later letting me know they’ve been trying to contact me I was speechless. I went from being upset and trying to tell myself that “everything happens for a reason” to, “holy crap you need to start preparing right now”. It was a nerve racking time in the best of ways.

What inspired you to get into makeup artistry? Originally I was meant to attend KPU for Psychology. I wanted to be able to help people but the idea of ever being stuck behind a desk in a small little cube all day made me question myself. In the back of my head I always wanted to do something that would make people happy, but also something they could enjoy. Picking a career is one of the scariest things we have to do, so picking one that’s outside of the box takes a lot of guts that I really didn’t think I had. Towards the end of high school I got my acceptance letter into KPU and I felt very low; a little bit disappointed. Days later I got a call from John Casablancas Institute saying they received  my email expressing my interest and wanted to meet for an interview. It was in that moment I realized I’m just following the norm, and that’s just not for all of us. All through high school I spent my days in the art room painting, or in the halls writing poetry and doodling, something not many people are going to say “hey why don’t you turn your doodling into a career!” Someone who finds joy in wearing yellow lipstick and painting on their body should never be stuck behind a desk, this world needs as much imagination and weirdness that it can get, or it’s just bland. With that being said, I had more doubters than supporters going into makeup school , especially at 17; but plan B will always distract from plan A so I put my trust in myself and did something a little scary. I graduated early and went straight into JCI the next month, where for the first time I felt completely supported, free and like myself.

Do you have signature or a favorite makeup look that you enjoy doing? If I had to say I had a signature look for myself it would have to be a long, dangerous, cat eye and my eyebrows because my left one has a scar through it, it’s definitely a statement that everyone sees fist. As far as creative makeups on myself & others I really have enjoyed mixing things up and doing far from ordinary looks. For example; a big cut bleeding glitter or a bald cap, but covered completely in sparkles.


Name 3 makeup products that you can’t live without. Three makeup products that I cannot live without would have to be my first, my NYX liquid black liner, it constantly keeps my wings fierce and ready to attack at any moment. Secondly, I would say my Mehron water activated paints because they do so much for me. I sometimes use them for colored liners but I can also use them for a complete fantasy look. Thirdly, I would have to say 3rd degree silicone. It’s my favorite product to use when I have to make wounds.

Tell us about your experience while attending JCI’s Makeup Artistry Diploma Program. Do you have any favorite moments? My experience at JCI was unreal and I completely love everyone who works there. I could tell all throughout the school that they didn’t just care about your money;  they were genuinely interested in you as a person and your work. It’s really hard to pick a favorite moment in school because I honestly loved the entire program, but if I had to choose, I loved when we got into the fantasy airbrush makeups and special effects.

With IMATS coming up soon, can you tell us about how you’re preparing for the big day? I’m still shocked that I have this opportunity! With two jobs and freelance beauty makeup on the side, getting ready for it is going to be a challenge but anything worth doing will be. To prepare I’m going to be spending a lot of time at JCI thanks to Jennine, who is helping those of us who are in IMATS to feel so prepared as possible. In my own time however, I’m just going to try my best not to stress out too much, listen to some music and doodle my life away until the perfect idea comes to me.

The Makeup Artistry Diploma Program has gained an industry-wide reputation for excellence, giving students an exceptional network of contacts and resources when they enter into the marketplace. During the 10-month full time program, students study everything from glamour and special occasion makeup to special effects makeup and prosthetics application techniques. With classes limited to 16 students, individualized attention and encouragement foster each student’s personal  and professional growth potential.

John Casablancas Institute is the pioneer of prosthetic lab techniques and face casting in Western Canada. This advanced level of training affords our graduates amazing opportunities and a significant advantage for a career in film, TV or theatre.

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