COVID has flipped our world upside down, causing suffering and pain for far too many, so when we heard about an inspiring story - the finding of one's true purpose in life amidst so much uncertainty, we knew we needed to share and get involved.
Joy Fennell, a sought-after, NYC-based makeup artist, has big plans for the next chapter of her life and we're here for it. As a Black woman in the fashion and commercial makeup industry, she's learned quite a lot about the art of negotiation and why playing on the sidelines is a lost cause. The confidence she exudes is contagious and her clients have benefited from her ability to enhance the beauty that is already present.
She's now taking this philosophy to lift up Black creators all over the world, empowering them to use their skills, voice and beauty to realize their worth and potential.
Read on to learn more about Joy - a woman we greatly admire!
What inspired you to become a makeup artist?
I have always enjoyed coloring and painting since I was a child. I would doodle here and there but it wasn’t until I wanted to take a break from college that I realized makeup was for me. I would always walk past the MAC counter and look at all the fun everyone was having and wanted in on that action. So I went for it with absolutely no experience and somehow, someway I got it. And like they always say, the rest is history.
How has the industry changed since you started?
When I started, there were hardly any Black people in the fashion industry, let alone doing makeup. I was the only Black person on many sets, including fashion week, for years. Now, I see a lot more Black people in the industry. I see us on set more but it’s still not where it should be. There’s still a lot of work that must be done to level the playing field.
What has been your motivating force being in an industry and culture that hasn't seen your beauty as the standard?
My motivating force is that I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through as a child or take that with them into adulthood. I want to champion the person that was counted out before they even got started. I want people to truly know that their uniqueness is what makes them special. To lean into that.
How can the beauty community show up for the Black community?
It’s simple, hire Black artists and pay us what our white counterparts get paid. Respect us and our contribution to the industry. It’s not a hard concept to get.
When COVID happened, you started All Black Everything. Can you tell us more about this new venture?
The All Black Everything Summit was born out of the COVID 19 pandemic. When the quarantine first hit, I started to do an Instagram Live video series called, “Conversations with Global Pros” on my account, “The Joy in Beauty” and it started to do very well. While I was doing this series, I kept wondering how this pandemic was going to affect Black people in the creative field. My first thought was that it will definitely affect us in a disproportionate way. This question spun into the All Black Everything Summit, a 3 day virtual summitt. My goal was to gather thought leaders within the photo industry (my low hanging fruit) to come together to discuss ways to come out on top when the doors open back up. Little did I know that George Floyd’s murder would take place just a few weeks later and send this country into a tailspin.
How do you take time to rest and care for yourself? Do you have any self-care rituals?
Right now, showers and brushing my teeth are my self-care rituals LOL!!! I take my time in the shower. No rushing in and out. Really using water as my therapy. The water calms me. Brushing my teeth makes me feel like I’m doing a “normal” activity.