Q & A With MAC Director Of Makeup Artistry, Romero Jennings



FINALLY! Yes, finally I got to meet Romero Jennings who I was supposed to have interviewed last year but couldn’t as I was out of the country at that time but as they say, better late than never. Romero has been with MAC Cosmetics for 22 years and that’s a long time with any brand. Romero looks a lot younger than his actual age. He’ older than me yet I thought he’s in his 30s but of course he can’t be unless he started his career at MAC when he was in his teens. Anyway, some of us had the opportunity to witness Romero presenting MAC’s A/W 2014 trends yesterday and thereafter had a chat with him and believe me, it was a chat worth waiting several hours for. I would do it all over again just for another 10 minutes with Romero.

How did you get started in makeup and what made you decide that you wanted to be involved in makeup artistry?

I majored in women’s fashion design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and was playing with my friends’ makeup. I went to Japan to asssist makeup artists and this was in the 80s when designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo were influential. It was a magical time. I joined MAC when I returned to US and have been with them for 22 years.

What is the source of inspiration behind your creativity?

My mother who is almost 80 and gardening as I like to work on the space in my home.

In your opinion, which facial feature should Asian women emphasise?

In Asia, most women emphasise their lips but in my opinion, they should emphasise their eyes, they should use MAC Paint Pots as liners as they don’t smudge or run.

In Asia, having smooth skin and a fair complexion is considered priceless hence the obsession in this part of the world with whitening and brightening products whereas in Western countries, bronzing and tanning products are always in demand. In your opinion, can both these trends be reconciled in defining the meaning of beauty? What is your definition of beauty?

We are defining beauty everyday, just look at Lupita Nyong’o who is the new beauty icon. Now is an important time for beauty, beauty is about approachability, being real, undetected and transparent. It’s about magical makeup, as if there is something there but nothing.


You have had the opportunity to travel around the world. Based on your observations, what would you say are the major differences between how women wear makeup here in Asia when compared to their American and European counterparts?

Americans/Europeans want instant impact, big and what you can see right away, not as approachable and natural. Women want to be more cute looking in Asian countries. There’s a balance of wanting equal things now. Sexy mixed with cute, this effect is the most approachable.

What are your top 5 must-have MAC products and why?

1. Prep + Prime Refined Zone for retouching makeup, helps cloak visible pores while controlling oil and shine.

2. Mineralize Skinfinish in Landscape highlights and gives a 3D effect to skin.

3. New Mineralize Lipsticks which are cushiony, easy-to-wear, lots of colour pat-off and long-lasting.

4. PRO Longwear Lip Pencil keeps everything in place.

5. Marine White Softening Lotion is a treatment, lightens and brightens skin.

Which are your favourite MAC brushes which you always carry with you?

1. 109 Small Contour Brush for applying foundation and moisturiser.

2. 224 Tapered Blending Brush for applying eye shadow.

3. 168 Large Angled Contour Brush for application of cheek contour.

4. 116 Blush Brush.

5. 219 Pencil Brush for precision shading on lid, in eye crease or along lash line. 

How do you lead and motivate a team of makeup artists who are working with you during Fashion Week? How much planning and co-ordination is involved in the entire process before the actual event?

Lead by example, show up prepared and treat them with respect. There is a feeling of family, sisterhood and brotherhood. No one is ever going to fail. We will help each other accomplish the show. To be as professional, organised and prepared as possible and protect and help each other.

As far as preparations are concerned, the first thing we do is the makeup test. Sometimes I have only a day, a week or a month to prepare before the event as it depends on my schedule. The designer will inform us what his inspiration is and then we will look at the clothes. It’s all about technique and technology.



  1. Amazing tips here and all the brushes that we should be using! Yes, definitely getting the MAc paint pot as eye liners! The mineralize lipstick is equalling fantastic. Thanks Junioer for all the brilliant tips here especially coming from such famous makeup artist!