Made Up Careers ~ Jaz Garner
Jaz has been experimenting with makeup since she could reach her mother’s black lipstick
at age four. Nowadays her makeup artistry is splashed across the pages of magazines and
featured on our TV screens. Her bag is stocked with the likes of Yves St Laurent and Giorgio
Armani and a stack load of MAC. And she doesn’t like to leave the house without a
few lashings of mascara, under-eye concealer and “a nice little lip stain”.
At the family home, you could probably still dig up some ‘Oompa Loompa shots’ of a teenage Jaz trying on her mum’s Thin Lizzy. “Oh gawd…”
But Jaz’s diary was packed with enough clients that she managed to turn freelance at the tender age of 21. She earned her stripes at the MAC counter at Auckland Airport, having initially left her New Plymouth home for the big smoke at 17 to study dance at the Excel School of Performing Arts.
The modelling came a bit later, through contacts she picked up from her other two careers. “It just fell into place,” Jaz says. “Makeup was always something I liked. I was that girl who would do everyone’s makeup for shows.”
“When you’re doing someone’s makeup you see their smile – they’re happy, they feel beautiful. I love making people feel good about themselves.”
Jaz’s main client is World Organic Skincare, for which she speaks at conferences and creates video tutorials on makeup application and brush styles that are shared with staff.
Then there are the corporate dance gigs through Momentum Productions, and modelling for fashion store Et Vous in New Plymouth and a flatmate’s label Guru Knows.
On top of that she works admin at The Dance Studio in Sandringham and makes people up for the pages of NZ Woman’s Day and NZ Women’s Weekly as well as for weddings, school balls, you name it.
It was through her dancer boyfriend, Richie Cesan, that she scored her first magazine gig. He was in
for an interview and photo shoot when he got chatting with the resident makeup artist and
It opened a door to a plethora of exciting opportunities for Jaz.
She’s prettied the faces of presenters and contestants on TV3’s The Block and TV2’s Dancing with the Stars. The latter was particularly memorable for Jaz, though not for the best reasons.
“I made up Chrystal (Chenery) from the Bachelor, for DWTS and I’d heard things about her, everyone who saw her on TV would know what she’s like,” Jaz says.
“She was not having a bar of me. She didn’t want me putting makeup on her, I was not allowed to put any heat products near her hair.”
“Usually when you’re doing someone’s makeup you have a bit of chitchat but she just didn’t want me to talk. She was short and snappy but when there were other celebs around she was a different person. I just think she was over having her hair and makeup done.”
Another hairy moment came when she was applying foundation to a young model for an ad when she
experienced her biggest faux pas to date.
The makeup wouldn’t sit on the model’s skin.
“I had to take it off four times and reapply using different primers and moisturisers. Nothing. It was the first time that had ever happened.”
So even though the campaign was to showcase a particular product, Jaz had no choice but to go with a different brand.
It was another lesson for Jaz. Always stock more than one brand in your beauty bag.
Jaz swears by MAC, having learnt it inside out in her former job. But she also opts for more high end brands like YSL and Giorgio Armani, particularly for weddings.
And here’s where she wants to challenge a common misconception.
Wedding’s take time.
“I often see people complain about having to pay more for wedding makeup, but there’s a lot more pressure.
There’s a lot of build-up, lots of communication and a trial run.” She’s been in situations where a thrifty customer has tried to get around the additional cost by not mentioning it was their wedding day. It can be stressful, though Jaz has had no option but to roll with it.
“There’s no room for error. You need to take more time and use higher quality products.”
Speaking of products, at the time of writing this, Jaz is reeling from having her entire makeup and hair kit, worth an estimated $10,000, stolen while she was out for dinner with Richie.
Insurance won’t cover it, she hadn’t known that she needed to apply for commercial cover for her prized products which included GHD straighteners and curlers, each worth hundreds of dollars.
“I wouldn’t normally carry my kit in the car but I’d just come from a job.”
Her plight made headlines on national news sites and a Givealittle page was set up by a friend. When we spoke, donations had been pledged of up to $3000.
“It’s just crazy. I’m so, so thankful.”