Jenn Streicher, Makeup Artist


"[My sisters and I] grew up in a very small town in northern California called Grass Valley. My first job was for Estée Lauder at the counter in Sacramento, which was the biggest town near us. I feel like I’ve worked at every makeup counter—Bobbi Brown, MAC, Make Up For Ever. I did that through college, and then I moved to San Francisco. I dabbled in hair a little bit, and then I moved to New York on a whim, without having ever been there, when I was 25. I started working at Warren Tricomi, assisting the owner and doing hair. There was a makeup artist who worked there and did makeup, but also freelanced. That’s when I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s what I want to do.’ A lot of models were coming into Warren Tricomi to get their hair done—it was a big model-y destination back in the day—and we would do their makeup. I thought I was doing great, and I was assisting once in a while, and then 9/11 happened. I was in New York—a bunch of us had left the city for a photoshoot for Martha Stewart Weddings or something, out in the Hamptons. Things kind of got turned upside down, and a lot of my friends moved back home. The person I was living with moved back to San Francisco, so I had to decide whether I was going to continue to do it. I knew I couldn’t continue what I was doing in San Francisco. That's how I just decided, ‘This is what I’m going to do,’ and I stayed in New York for seven years.

People always ask me, ‘How did you break into doing celebrity makeup?’ But there wasn’t one thing. It was just years of working in the industry. Right before I left New York, I started dabbling in celebrity stuff. A lot of men, but it got my foot in the door with publicists—that’s the key. And then I was kind of over New York, and I knew I wanted to come back to California. Those relationships I made with publicists really helped carry out over here [in LA], but it was still like starting [my career] over. It’s a completely different business—there is editorial here, but not like there is in New York. It was a good two, maybe three years here before I gained traction back. I started with a lot of grooming, a lot of men. I did Paul Rudd, Jack Black, and John Krasinski, which is how I met Emily [Blunt]. I still work with Chris Evans, because I’ve been working with him for so long. [Grooming] is a nice break sometimes, but it’s not very creative. I definitely need to be creative, so that was the need to do makeup. Just to do different things.

At Striiike, [my sisters' and my] aesthetic is pretty similar. We really love to do low-maintenance beauty—bringing out your best features so it looks like you’re done, but not too done. I think women sometimes just need permission or somebody to tell them like, ‘You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to spend 20 minutes on your makeup—you just don’t.’ There are ways you can still do it and look finished and not spend so much time. Working at Striiike really taught me that nobody teaches women how to do makeup. YouTube is huge, but it’s like YouTube makeup. It’s definitely a look that not everybody can do, and not everybody wants to do. The majority of women went to the MAC counter in the ‘90s and got their makeup done, and are surprisingly are using the same things because nobody has told them otherwise. Yeah, you can go to a makeup counter and get your makeup done, but they’re selling you something. They’re not thinking, ‘You should use this because your skin type is like this.’ That’s where Striiike is different. Lately we've been doing events about every six weeks. Those are great because they've introduced us to so many new people—local women, business women. It’s really expanded our world in terms of what we want to do. How it works is, it’s all women, and usually there’s a little wine tasting that goes along with the theme. Sometimes we tie in a beauty situation. We had the women from Supergoop come; we’ve collaborated with a jewelry line. It doesn’t sound like it would be exciting, but it’s so educational and you get so into it. We love hearing everybody’s stories.

I take a shower in the morning. If I wash my face at night, I usually don’t wash it again, just because it dries it out. I use ExfoliKate a couple times a week as a scrub. Right after I get out of the shower I use P50. I like it at night, but only when my husband’s in the other room. I like anything that I can feel on my skin. I do that every day. I’m also a big oil cleanser. The Erborian is one that I like to travel with, because it’s solid. I mean, I love to use the Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil, but you can’t really travel with that. At night is when I usually do my thing. I will remove my eye makeup, and then use my oil cleanser and rinse it with a hot washcloth. This Cellular Repair is good, too. I feel like it’s working more than most. Usually I’ll do Vitamin C and Renew Cellular together. I love using Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I don’t even know what it does, but it makes your skin look pretty. I use a lot of Caudalie, this is my second bottle of the essence. That’s my favorite product, I think. And Melanie Simon vitamin C. I don’t use it all the time—once or twice a week. She always says to use it when you can leave it on without putting anything else on for a while. So, if I’m home in the morning and know that I’m not doing anything for a while, I’ll put a bunch of it on and leave it on. Usually I’m in a hurry, so I can’t. I was into these Barbara Sturm Glow Drops for a while—people love these. But I don’t really think they did very much. And they’re so expensive! What’s worth it to me is La Prairie. Ice Crystal Crème Cellulaire is really good, and it’s really expensive. Sometimes if I’m feeling dry I’ll put an oil on, but I always use the SPF from Supergoop that comes in a tube. The new Supergoop clear one is a little chalky. But it’s also super matte, and it has SPF 40, which is nice. Caudalie Beauty Elixir, always. I usually do my moisturizing at night, and then I don’t really do too much in the morning.

Personally, I’m very quick—I don’t like to spend more than seven minutes on my makeup. For foundation, I usually use Cle de Peau. Their foundation is really good—also ridiculously expensive, but very nice. I do love this Giorgio Armani. Or, I’ll use Erborian CC Cream—it gives a decent amount of coverage, but it comes out white and then matches your skin. It’s supposed to be like—I mean, they all say this—like a treatment, more of a skincare product. But it does give you some coverage, and it’s kind of glossy looking. I do a little concealer—I’ve been using Cle de Peau forever, which is really matte, but I always apply it with a wet Beautyblender so it goes on really sheer. It still gives you some good coverage, but it doesn’t settle in the lines. I really love the Glossier one too—it’s really nice. I put that one with a wet Beautyblender everywhere, more as a tinted moisturizer. It gives that nice, glowy finish. I use Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for any blemishes.

My go-to routine would be to use a Caviar Stick or something like a Caviar Stick on my eyes, because it’s quick and easy and lasts forever. These Sisley Phyto-Eye Twists are really good. I usually do one color, then mascara, and I’m done. I like Burnished Bronze from Laura Mercier, or the Sisley beige-y one. I don’t always do mascara, but personally I’ve been using L’Oréal Voluminous for the longest time. On clients, I use Charlotte Tilbury a lot, or Marc Jacobs Velvet. Traveling, I like to just take one thing, and this Charlotte Tilbury thing is good. It’s called Instant Look in a Palette—I have this color on my eyes. I definitely use the blush or the bronzer. I have this Hourglass Ambient Light palette too. If I want to get really fancy, I put the Charlotte Tilbury Contour and Highlighter on. I don’t put anything on my brows—Kristie just micro-feathered them, so they’re very dark. This is the first time I’ve ever done it. But before that, I would use this Hourglass tinted brow gel. I really love the brush—that’s why I like it. You can use the other side too. Then I do a pop of color with lipstick. Smashbox Fireball is the most beautiful orange-y red ever. I have all the samples of the new Laura Mercier matte lipsticks—we carry them at Striiike, so I end up wearing a lot of those colors. I don’t wear glossy very much. I like the Nars Velvet Matte pencils, and I use them a lot on clients—those are in my kit. I exfoliate my lips with French Girl Rose Sugar Scrub. There was some yesterday in the Striike bathroom and I was like, ‘Oh!’ If it’s there, I’ll do it, but I forget the rest of the time.

Jenny Patinkin makes really nice brushes—this is the Multi-Blender. They’re all luxury non-synthetic brushes. I love the Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt brush. I use it a lot on clients—it’s supposed to be for contour, but I use it for touch-ups, or even powder. I love this brush that Troy Surratt engraved for me—it’s personal, but it’s also just very soft. I like the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder, but I sometimes use that Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Powder. It’s a little bit more coverage. I love an angled blush brush—this one’s from MAC, and I love it because it’s pink. I don’t use too many brushes on myself, usually just the Beautyblender. But I use that on clients too. I use it every day—I’ve wondered what my life would be like without it. I forgot my personal one once, and I was with Ashley, [my sister], we were in the back of the car, and she was like, ‘You need to blend your foundation in today, what is happening?’ And I was like, ‘I forgot my Beautyblender!’ [Laughs] It just proves the point.

So, I just designed my own makeup bags. It was something I made out of my own personal need of traveling and taking all of my stuff. I love that I can lay this on the counter and it all kind of stays together. It’s pleather on the inside, so you can wipe it down, but then nice leather on the outside. You can just kind of put it all together and it’s ready to go. It has a bunch of pockets on the sides, so you can keep your toothbrush and toothpaste and stuff like that, and then all the bottles kind of stand up. I really am proud of them.

Right now, I’m using a lot of True Botanicals. I feel like it’s the first all-natural line that actually kind of does something. This True Botanicals Resurfacing Body Mask is pretty cool. Even before I turn the shower on, I’ll put this on first, and let it soak for like 10 minutes and rinse it off in the shower. I always use those exfoliating gloves in the shower. I buy them at the Korean spa—they’re like $2, and I buy a whole bunch of them. I use them with cleansers. Sisley randomly gave me the Gentle Bath and Shower Gel with Botanical Extracts and it smells so good. Malin + Goetz Peppermint Body Scrub is really good. Body Hero is really good. Caudalie shower gel…I love shower gels. I use a [bar] soap from Dove first to really clean my armpits and, and then I scrub with a cleanser. Then I get out and lube up my body, right out of the shower. I use True Botanicals Pure Radiance Body Oil, this is body oil that my sister Kristie made, or this one from Lina Hanson, it’s all-natural. I love when body oils are kind of herbal-y. I’m trying to find a fragrance that smells like that. And I’m really into this Facile retinol. I use it on my chest for sun damage and it really helps.

I’m a big bath hoarder. I have a bath as often as I can—a couple times a week, at least. I feel like I got into the habit in New York, because you feel so grimy at the end of the day. It was always maybe a cooler bath, because it was so hot. But now it’s just become a habit. I love to bathe. Moroccan Rose Bath Oil is my favorite. This German brand Kneipp does tons of bath stuff, and it’s all herbal. There are a few places I’ve seen that carry it, like Larchmont Beauty, but I just buy it online. And when I go to Europe I always grab some. I love Susanne Kaufmann too. Weleda is another good German brand, and Santa Maria Novella is good. And, oh! This one’s great—Mustard Bath. It smells really yummy—it doesn’t sound appealing at all, but it’s very savory.

I’ve used this Kristin Ess Purple Shampoo every once in a while. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub is really good. I hardly ever wash my hair, but I have to wet it every day. It just dries straight. I brush it to comb it back. I use a Tancho Stick—it’s a men’s product, it’s Japanese. It’s really sticky and tacky, like a wax. I just buy it at the beauty supply store. It just lays everything down, because my hair is sort of frizzy—it’s worse when it’s short, because then it’s basically just a big cotton tip. [Laughs] This product doesn’t really wash out every day, which is good because I don’t have to use it as often. This is probably about day five, and finally I’m like, ‘OK, it’s starting to look good.’ For the most part Brianna, who works at Striiike, cuts my hair. She’s the only other person besides Ashley who works there. If I’m desperate, and I beg Ashley, and if she feels like it and the moon is full and the stars are just right, she will chop at my hair. But normally it’s Bri—she does really good short hair. It’s hard to do short hair."

—as told to ITG

Jenn Streicher photographed by David Cortes in Los Angeles on July 30, 2018.