Saturday 26 September, 2020

Cheek to Cheek: Glamnelle Make-up Artistry

Jamaican avant-garde make-up by Shenelle Gardner. (Photos: Orville Spence)

Jamaican avant-garde make-up by Shenelle Gardner. (Photos: Orville Spence)

Loop Lifestyle introduces Cheek to Cheek, a series of images created by Jamaican creatives, comprising a make-up artist, a photographer, a creative director, and a model/s.

Expect to see vibrant artistry that is as thought-provoking as it is inspirational. 

Each week is different. From the make-up artist to concept and from model to location; it’s all intended to leave you in awe of the varying interpretations of Jamaican Beauty. Enjoy!

Cheek to Cheek with Shenelle Gardner. (Photos: Orville Spence)

What comes to mind when you think of Jamaican Avant-Garde?

Well, for 23-year-old make-up artist Shenelle Gardner, avant-garde make-up involves ‘adding cultural expression’.

This is a feature of the stunning images you’ll see in the Jamaica Mi Born & Glo-titled editorial below.

Jamaica Mi Born & Glo

Loop Lifestyle (LL): What inspired the look, and why? 

Shenelle Gardner (SG): A combination of the vibrancy of Jamaican culture and the colours of our land was a starting point for me. I knew I wanted to do a male and female shoot but how to execute it however proved a challenge for me, initially.

After a few attempts and practising several techniques on colour application to the face at the University of YouTube, Shenelle found the formula! ‘Whenever I am creating a look, I’ve learnt to picture the end first – I think of what I want to achieve then figure out how to make it work.’

LL: Describe your idea of Jamaican avant-garde. 

SG: Avant-garde to me is taking life and transforming it into art; it is not defined or restricted to one particular idea or demographic, but instead, is spontaneity and true freedom of expression with no rules or expectations, while ensuring my signature is consistent in every work I produce.

Jamaican Avant-garde, for Shenelle, is really just adding cultural expression. ‘It is being genuine to who I am and my interpretation of what Jamaica means to me. I love to use old and new techniques to bring a [concept] to life.'

LL: List your top four tools of the trade. 

SG: 1 Make-up brushes 

2 Brush cleaner with a high alcohol concentrate 

3 Disposable makeup wedges 

4 Spatula and palette

LL: List two make-up artists that you follow incessantly. 

SG: I watch Danessa Myricks and Alexandra Anele religiously.

LL: What is your go-to product, and why? 

SG: My favourite products are eyeshadows because they are multipurpose. Any palette that contains hues of brown and orange is my utmost favourite.

LL: List five products you swear by.

SG: 1 Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Cover foundations

2 Juvia's Place eyeshadow palettes 

3 LA Girl Shockwave Neon Liner 

4 RCMA No-Color Powder 

5 Any liquid lipstick really because I use them for so many different things. 

LL: What's your make-up pet peeve? 

SG: My biggest make-up pet peeve is incorrect foundation matching. This is what persons see first and if the undertone or shade is wrong it throws everything off.

LL: Who/what inspires your art? 

SG: I am mainly inspired by past make-up trends from the 1930s to 1980s. Make-up in these eras was simple yet made a big impact and paved the way for all the current trends of today.

I have a passion for editorial make-up and how much it says about the artist.

Having an amazing support system is also extremely vital in my growth and development as an artist.

Every day I am encouraged and reminded how talented I am by my friends and fellow MUAs. 

My true inspiration for what I do comes from, to name a few, Orville Spence, Vanessa Barrett, Rasine Hamilton and Teeah Anderson.

LL: What is your legacy? 

SG: We all want to be remembered for something… I want to be remembered as a creative, an artist who used make-up to create art – someone who made a real difference.

By choosing to focus primarily on editorial and avant-garde styles, I hope to [spark] the conversation in Jamaica about the art form. I hope for it to be at the forefront of the minds of those in the entertainment industry when considering promoting brand Jamaica in a fresh, innovative way. 

I hope for other young artists to embrace their passion and showcase their talents, not being afraid of how society will view their interpretation of life and just do what makes them happy.

People sometimes consider things they don’t understand to be weird or wrong; art is about freedom of expression.


Makeup Artist: Shenelle Gardner (@glamnelle)

Photographer: Orville Spence (@10.06studio)

Model (F): Shanique Singh (@queen.singh)

Model (M): Tamichael Watson (@tamichaelx)


See you next Friday!

Cheek to Cheek Avant-Garde Make-up series is a celebration of Jamaican art through various forms of beauty. The series was conceptualised and produced by Kadeem Rodgers and Shawn Barnes. The purpose of the series is to showcase six up-and-coming Jamaican make-up artistes, who have presented their interpretations of avant-garde artistry each week. These alluring images were intended to provoke thought and spark conversations on the myriad interpretations of Jamaican beauty. What comes to mind when you think of Jamaican Avant-Garde?

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