On the scene at VFILES Presentation

With a jam-packed schedule and the ever changing – newly restricting industry protocol it’s become increasingly hard for a young member of the press, such as myself, to find the excitement I once had during this time of year. However, VFILES has managed to reignite that dwindling light of New York Fashion Week enthusiasm.

Since it’s conception in 2012, the brand is known for it’s unconventional – for the people by the people business motto. This fashion democracy gives young emerging talents the opportunity to showcase their work on a professional platform during fashion’s most important time of the year. For its eighth runway iteration, VFILES took over the Viacom building in Time Square. Hitting us with a live-streamed pre-show, show, featuring performances by Cardi B, Lion Babe, Playboi Carti, and Zara Larsson.

The main event – Runway 8 included an opening performance by Chicago rapper Joey Purp, accompanied by an entourage of models who turned all the way up with him. Next followed the three winning designers: Snow Xue Gao, Danielle Cathari, and Strateas Carlucci. Finally the spectacular ended with a somber 21 Savage, performing “No Heart”.  Such an elaborate production could not be done without the many hands behind the scenes, that we don’t always get to see. Along with designers, the VFILES team and their  mentors, choose a team of key stylist who are crucial to creating the complete looks for the show.

I got a chance to chat with this season’s key Makeup artist, Jaleesa Jaikaran. Born in Brooklyn Jaikaran moved to the South of Trinidad when she was only a baby. She remained in Trinidad for most of her life until she returned to New York City in March 2013.  In 2014, only a year after coming to the states, Jaikaran snagged her first official NYFW gig and now works the international Fashion Week circuit.  Check out the exclusive interview below.

Jaleesa Jaikaran

When or How did you discover your passion for makeup?

I always loved playing in makeup in my teenage years. After I got my makeup done for Secondary School Graduation (High School Prom) I decided to take a short course. There weren’t many options at the time so I took a class with a local makeup artist at her home studio. After just a couple classes, I started working with her assisting her on jobs and never really finished the classes. I was working full time in an office then and every weekend would try new makeup ideas I would find on Youtube and in books. I discovered I had a natural talent for makeup but at the time I really didn’t think of it as something I could pursue as a career. 

How did you come to be the Key MUA for V Files Runway 8? How did you feel about it?

I’m part of the V-Files online community. I worked on their show 2 seasons ago. I saw that It was coming up again and had it in the back of my mind. While visiting LA, the lead of the last show reminded me to submit for the competition over dinner. I did a week later and funny enough I was in LA again when they called me to tell me I won. It was such a surreal moment. The weather was perfect, I was having a wonderful day. I felt really ecstatic and humbled. The opportunity to work with V-Files was such an incredible honor and especially because I was told that Pat McGrath chose me!

What was the makeup inspiration for the show? 

The designers for the show each had an individual look. We played around with colors and textures and came up with 3 amazing looks that suited their aesthetic.

For Snow Xue Gao – Beautiful, clean skin with a tauped rimmed glossy eye.

For Danielle Cathari – The vibe of her collection was super sporty yet chic, we did a graphic liner that was simple yet creative enough to compliment her vision.

For Strateus Carlucci – We created faux freckles for the guys that gave them a different look that was more than just male grooming.

What brand of makeup did you work with for the show?

I had amazing support from Makeup Forever and Alison Brod PR that provided Urban Decay and L’Oreal.

There were tons of makeup goodness happening backstage at the show. For me, some of the standout moments were the pencil over the eyelid look, the faux freckles on the male models, and the wet eyeshadow look. Of course, I have to ask, what were some of the techniques you used to achieve those looks?

For Snow Xue Gao – We used Makeup Forever’s Taupe eyeshadow in 240 and buffed the color around the eye with Makeup Forevers Clear Plexiglass to gloss the eyes.

For Danielle Cathari – We used Makeup Forever Brow Gel. For the liner, we used Makeup Forever’s Graphic Liner and their Aqua XL Pencil in black for the water line. We set with Urban Decays Translucent Pressed Powder using MUFE’s 160 brush.

For Strateus Carlucci – We used MUFE’s 240 Taupe Eyeshadow with a tiny brush to dot on the freckles and different eyebrow pencils to add in a multitude of shades.

What are some top makeup trends to try this coming Spring 2017 season?

We’re definitely seeing bold blush and bold lips. I love the concentration of color on one feature. It’s minimalistic and effortlessly beautiful.

What are your three most important makeup tips you could give to everyday non-professionals make up user?

  • Always focus on your skin first. Moisturize and protect. Once your skin looks good you really don’t need a lot of makeup.
  • Less is more. Foundation isn’t always necessary, a concealer or BB cream gives a nice light finish that does not feel too overdone. 
  • If time is of the essence, lips and brows can make the world of difference. A well-shaped brow frames the face. I usually use only brow gel on myself.

You can stay up to date with Jaikaran and all her makeup/fashion happenings on social media @jaleesajaikaran

Check out my photo coverage from the show below. Notable front row attendees were, Fabolous, Ty Hunter, Cardi B, Shaun Ross, GiGi Gorgeous, Michael Lockley, Aleali May, and breakout wardrobe stylist Mikiel Benyamin.

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