Posted by Vivant Skin Care




West Coast esthetician and celebrity makeup artist Gigi Jara on quick fixes and long-term commitment to skin care. 

Gigi Jara

As one of the top makeup artists in the Latin Television industry, Gigi Jara has put her expertise to the test in television, advertising, music videos, on runways, and in print. She has worked with celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Paula Abdul, Leelee Sobieski, Tori Spelling, and Denise Richards. Also highly recognized as an esthetician, she’s traveled the world to teach and train. And she can fix a Black Hawk helicopter. Gigi is a girl with some serious skills, a serious work ethic, and a lifelong passion for skin care. 



Gigi Jara on lifestyle, great skin and helicopters.

We heard you were a helicopter mechanic before becoming an esthetician?
Oh goodness. Yes. I grew up kind of in a military environment and one day I decided maybe this is a good idea. Maybe I’ll go to the army. And everybody laughed at me and called me a princess and said I was going to cry. But you can't tell an eighteen-year-old Leo that they can't do something. I went, and signed up by myself, and I left, and I did it. And I had the best time. I actually miss it. I didn't stay long-term because I knew, ultimately, it wasn't me, but it was a great experience.  

How did you transition to skin care?
Skin care was always in my life because of my mother. Every single night since I was a little girl, it was always tap, tap, tap, underneath the eye with her ring finger. It would seem like she would beat her face up, but later, I knew that was just to cause stimulation. My mom started me at a young age and taught me the importance of good skin care. At fifteen years old, for my quinceañera, I got a skin care regimen for my birthday instead of money, or a necklace, or shoes.

What advice do you give your clients about skin care?
Use it. That would be number one. Use the right products. Stick to your daily routine. Something else I hear myself saying constantly is, tone down the heat in the shower. I work with a lot of clients who are concerned with anti-aging and they have complaints about their skin tightening and drying, or they’re seeing broken capillaries. I always ask, ‘How hot is your shower? How hot is your bath?’ Tone it down a little bit. Have some warmth, but take away that excess heat and see what happens. And then I get the phone calls. ‘My skin’s not as tired and dry and my scalp isn’t itchy.’


Gigi Jara

What about a celebrity client who has an appearance coming up and needs to get her skin whipped into shape quickly?
I always say drink lots of water. Tone down the sugar. Stay away from acids, especially orange juice, because the skin won’t look as glowy. I normally try to clean up their diet as much as I can. Sometimes they're doing T.V. shows during the week and they wear a lot of makeup, so I have to remind them to take the makeup off. It’s especially important to stick to the routine. Don't skip a beat. And I try to pull alcohol away so they’re not puffy. Try being the operative word.

Which do you rely on more skin care or makeup?
Your skin is your actual foundation before your foundation. I have a lot of teenage clients, as well as older women. I always tell them, let's fix your skin first so that you're not using the makeup to cover. Makeup should be used to enhance, not cover. So one hundred percent, skin is the foundation to your foundation.

What’s the best thing about what you do?
I love helping men and women with their skincare concerns. Sometimes you have clients with really bad acne or really bad pigmentation and it’s something that they've suffered with for years. When you can help them a little bit, and just give them hope, that's probably what I love the most. I have one client that suffered with cystic acne for sixteen years and she had tried everything and seen everybody in the book, and then somebody referred her to me, and I gave her a treatment program. I thought she was going to need about eight or nine months on the program, and we had her cleared up in four months. She came to me with a bottle of wine and a bunch of roses and she was crying, and then I cried. I think at the end of the day, when you're in a line of work that can be so vain, and you get those moments, that's when you're like, ‘OK, I did something right.’

Other than product, what do you think has the most impact on the health of your skin?
I would say diet and stress are the number one triggers with skincare. One of the things I say to my clients is, you have the power every morning to decide how you're going to feel. You can fire yourself one day and rehire yourself the next. So if you're having a bad day, a bad moment, let it go. You have another day tomorrow. You have the control.