Tuesday 20 October, 2020

Cheek to Cheek: Johvae Moo

Model Monepha Chin brought Moo's idea of Afrocentric Jamaican avant-garde to life. (Photos: Shawn Barnes)

Model Monepha Chin brought Moo's idea of Afrocentric Jamaican avant-garde to life. (Photos: Shawn Barnes)

We’ve come to the end of the Loop Lifestyle series Cheek to Cheek, a look on Jamaican avant-garde make-up.

And though it’s the last out the gate, the youngest make-up artist of the feature Johvae Moo, is by no means least and squares up evenly alongside her contemporaries.

Since her debut, she’s been steadily building her Glow by Jo make-up company. She is currently a teacher of the art and is on a daily quest of growth and evolution.

Cheek to Cheek: Johvae Moo

Moo chose model Monepha Chin - who recently got the nod of approval from supermodel Tyra Banks.

Naturally, we asked: ‘What comes to mind when you think of Jamaican Avant-Garde?’ Moo answered below…

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

Johvae Moo (JM): The look was inspired by an original look I did for a student’s portfolio in college.

It seems as though my slight obsession with abstract art and shapes is still a recurring theme.

The assortment of squares represents the imperfections of life. Our nation is not perfect but though partially tainted there’s nothing more beautiful than our rich heritage and the evolution of our culture.

LL: Describe your idea of Jamaican Avant-garde.

JM: Jamaica is art. Our colourful culture makes the evolution of our creatives effortless.

From the awesome personalities to music, and even our state of the art cuisine, opens a continuous stream for inspiration from just about anything.

It’s said that Jamaicans are extra...extraordinary in my opinion, we are God’s people and so we ought to be seen.

My brush belt is a must, brown eyeliner, my Morphe350M eyeshadow palette and full coverage concealers are some of the tools I can’t live without.

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

JM: There are so many to choose from but I admire Jackie Aina’s work and a new YouTube influencer PaintedbySpencer. 

I teach professionally so it’s always refreshing to see these artists pay attention to techniques as opposed to just selling products.

LL: What is your go-to eyebrow/eyeshadow/lip tint/blush shades?

JM: I’ll always reach for an orange pigment, whether it’s eyeshadow, loose pigment or even a creamy lipstick used as a blush on melanated skin.

Normally, if I’m packing light for just one client, I’ll take an eyeshadow palette that has an orange shade because nothing makes a beautiful foundation look even better than by adding warmth to it — to bring back some ‘life’ into the skin. 

According to Moo, the five products she swears by are…

1 Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder, 2 Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara, 3 Morphe 350M Nature Glow Matte Eyeshadow, 4 Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, 5 Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF 30, 6 BECCA Cosmetics Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, and the list goes on.

LL: What's your make-up pet peeve?

JM: Tardiness is my biggest pet peeve! Normally I’m busy, so when there’s a setback in my schedule, my day stands a chance of crumbling.

Tardiness makes me anxious so the respect for time is a big deal for me. 

LL: Who/what inspires your art?
My art is inspired by my conception of daily activities and how they can relate to my life. God has just about everything to do with my daily artistic capabilities.

He gives me a higher and a more complex perspective on life and by slowly discovering and learning more about life each day, therein lies my inspiration.

LL: What is your legacy?

JM: My legacy is a wealth of knowledge. I always say that I am life’s greatest student in more ways than one.

However, in my industry, I have taken on the gift of teaching professional make-up artistry over the past two years.

Imparting my knowledge has become one of my greatest passions because there’s nothing more fulfilling than leaving knowledge in someone knowing that it has a great chance of growing and blossoming into something that is life changing.

Some artists see it as an escape route, some see it as the love of their life or even just a hobby/skill.

Whichever it may be for them I am fulfilled just the same. I believe that teaching is a part of God’s purpose for my life.

My life is an ongoing lesson so as long as I remain the student I’ll never stop teaching.


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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