NAHA 2017 Finalist: Makeup Artist of the Year

The North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) honor the professional salon industry’s top talent each year during the Cosmoprof North America show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In anticipation of this year’s event, we talk to the nominees who share their inspiration, excitement and advice.

Makeup Artist of the Year Nominee: Jalia Pettis (@jaliadp)

What was the inspiration for the collection?

My inspiration in creating this collection was to highlight women of color. I love natural and clean makeup artistry. My concept was to combine clean work that still had a meaning. In doing so I came up with the concept “Warrior Princesses.” Each of model’s individual looks and features made me think of Indian, African, Polynesian, Asian and Aboriginal descendants. In creating the looks of the three women I wanted to show gentleness as well as strength.

How did you create the looks?

My hairstylist and I started going through images of artwork, and in doing so it brought the concept to life. After landing on the looks and expressing the theme of the shoot with the photographer we did a test run to work out the kinks as far as skin, products, hair and how it came across in the final image. I even had one-on-one with my models with regard to skincare.

What inspired you to enter NAHA?

I actually didn’t think I was ready to enter NAHA—I’m very critical of my work. In my mind there is always something that can be better. However, I had a conversation with another beauty professional, an educator and men’s stylist. In that conversation he told me it was time to take this next step in my career.

What was your reaction when you heard you were a nominee?

I was home in bed as I was trying to recover from a 24-hour bug. I had my laptop propped up in my bed, ready to watch the video announcement. When Makeup Artist of the Year came up, I took a huge breath and when I saw my name flash across the screen, I screamed, I cried and just threw my hands up in the air in utter thanks.

What advice do you have for others who are thinking of entering NAHA?

My advice would be to get out of your own way. That is honestly the first obstacle, especially as a first-time entrant. Remove the self-doubt and stand firm on the passion that first brought you to why you wanted to be a part of the beauty industry. Plan with purpose, execute the vision and then let everything else work out as it may.