Like many young men, Dimitri James was guided into the family business. The only difference between James’s family and many others is that the business involved helping people look their best.
Following in the footsteps of his mother and grandmother, both aestheticians trained in Europe, James also became a licensed aesthetician and went on to work as the makeup artist for brands such as Estee Lauder, Chanel, Revlon, Lancome and Borghese. His work was also seen on runways from New York to Los Angeles and on shows such as “The Office,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Sex and the City” and “CSI.”
On top of working as a makeup artist, James has also found time to launch his own line of products, called Skinn Cosmetics, in 2002. His line includes a range of skincare products and color cosmetics that seek to maintain the high standards of quality his mother and grandmother learned and practiced.
The beauty guru is also an author – his most recent release, “Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls,” explains how beauty and sex appeal give way to confidence that woman can enjoy in all aspects of their lives. Here, he shares some of his beauty know-how with us.
Q. Helping people look their best seems to be in your blood. How does the work of your mother and grandmothers still influence you in your profession today?
A. It influences me in terms of remembering that beauty and great skin is something you earn and you have to keep working at. You have to be diligent and keep using products … and take time for yourself to look beautiful and give time to your beauty ritual.
Q. What is your personal makeup philosophy?
A. I look at the person’s unique [face] structure and bring out their most beautiful feature.
Q. What are some of your favorite parts of your job?
A. The favorite part of my job is discovering new ingredients and creating new products that satisfy customers’ needs, as well as helping correct beauty problems.
Q. You recently released a book, “Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls.” Why did you write this book?
A. My inspiration for “Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls” came from my frustration in dealing with my best friend Jill, who always plays it safe with everything from clothes to hair and makeup. She was always overlooked. This book shows women how to be the girl that gets the promotion and the guy, by looking confident and putting the whole package together.
Q. What would a “naughty makeover” for a “nice girl” entail? Why is it important?
A. A naughty girl knows the power of suggestion. She knows how to put the whole package together with her hair, clothing and makeup while looking and feeling confident and sexy. The naughty girl knows whom and what she wants, and goes and gets it.
We all know that when you feel self-confident and turn heads you feel more powerful and behave powerfully. Channeling your inner naughty girl isn’t really a monumental task. It does require a shift in mindset, but there are small, surprising things you can do to jump start the process.
Q. Why do you believe makeup is important for the average woman?
A. Because makeup makes you look beautiful, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t [wear it]. I know it’s the inside that counts, but a little pre-package never hurt anyone.
Q. What are some of the best ways to hide signs of aging with makeup?
A. It’s “never go heavier.” Some of the best ways are to go with anti-aging formulations in eyeshadows, powders and lipsticks that are geared toward more mature skin and more mature women.
Q. What are some of the most common makeup mistakes you see the average woman making? What would you recommend to help them?
A. Not taking care of their eyebrows. The best thing a woman can do to is go to an eyebrow specialist and have them professionally done. It’s not that expensive and it is the most important investment any woman can make.
Q. If a woman had five minutes to touch up her makeup, what should she focus on? Why?
A. Mascara, lipstick or gloss, and a little bronzer or blush. These items, although they may wear off during the day, when reapplied, can really recreate your face and freshen it up.