|(From left: Jaja & MizzNina)|
Strong, feisty and visionary: the three most powerful words WoM would describe her. Jaja Radzwan is a professional make up artist and hair designer who possesses a huge amount of talent in the line of hair and make up artistry.
WoM was fortunate enough to have Jaja as the make up artist for a few of WoM's celebrity guests and public figures such as Nadine Ann Thomas (Miss Universe Malaysia 2010), Winnie Loo (Founder of A Cut Above) and Malaysia's hip hop princess, MizzNina.
WoM: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you begin your journey into the make up and hair design industry in Malaysia?
Jaja: My career started about 5 years ago. Started off with hairstyling, took a course in KL and continued working for about a year or so. Starting off in KL didn't mark my entry into the beauty or fashion industry in Malaysia. After sometime, I noticed that there is still something BIG missing in this industry. I didn't automatically think that make up was that missing piece of puzzle, however I did consider mastering the art myself. I then moved to Paris to further my education on make up. There, I learnt more than just make up.
Technically, everything starts from Paris.
WoM: What can you say about the standard of make up and hair design industry in Malaysia? Are you satisfied with it?
Jaja: No, I am not satisfied with the level of the beauty industry in Malaysia. Nothing close to satisfied.
I may not be the most experienced make up artist in Malaysia, not even in KL. But I do know that the
Professionals in this country have taken beauty into the wrong direction. Beauty is not just the colours you put on your face. Beauty is not the brand of make up you buy. Beauty doesn't even lie in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty beholds itself. The problem I see here in Malaysia is that women want something artificial and the professionals who "advise" the women do not have an understanding and solid knowledge on what beauty and make up are all about.
Therefore, the problem continues. Upon my return to Malaysia, this has been a big obstacle for me as I came in with a whole different set of mentality about make up and the people here don't seem to appreciate nor accept this change. I may not be able to explain to you why my techniques and approach are different, but if you would just take a look at my work (see www.jajaradzwan.com), I think you will discover what I'm trying to say.
And here, when the word "beauty" is mentioned, people will automatically put on an image of fairness, sleek black hair, super high cheekbones, glossy lips, super long-flarey-thick eyelash and everything pink.
Not that I have anything against cheekbones and lip gloss, but I do have a limit on how things should be.
We, as Asians, have a unique face structure that can be just as, or even more beautiful than those with a sharper feature. We just need to know how to bring out the best in us. And this is the issue that I'm trying to expose to the Malaysians.
My experience with clients,models,talents have opened my eyes on how serious this artificial mentality has
become. And FYI, I don't think that make up can ever be replaced with mad skills in photoshop.
Nor do I believe that all wrinkles and lines should be hidden or completely erased. I keep this "essence" alive in my work as everything tells a story. I'm an artist, not a perfectionist. I create, not humiliate.
WoM: What or who inspired you to venture into this field? Why?
Jaja: Nobody pushed me to do hair nor make up. This was something I had to do for myself. However, there are a few people who inspired me to sustain and go deeper with this industry. Those people are my former professors, Jerry Ong and Sylvaine. Not forgetting all my hair gurus Laurence, Véronique, Thierry and Christine of L'école de maquillage et coiffure Fleurimon.
WoM: Do you have any plans of expanding your business into something bigger in the future?
Jaja: Yes, I do plan on having a "Salon de Maquillage" (make up salon) and a hair salon in both Paris and KL
WoM: Why is it important for women to wear make up?
Jaja: Importance of wearing make up? May I just say that if you can groom yourself, the brows, the facial hair, the skin, well, you don't need make up for every occasion. Allow your skin to breathe, give credits to yourself for being able to take care of your skin so well. But yes, a little help from make up is important to just push that better side of you to come out. It might even bring out that extra confidence you never knew you had.
WoM: Lastly, is there any personal message or advice that you would like to share with all the young women out there in Malaysia?
Jaja: My advise to all the women of Malaysia is that whether you're old, young and anything in between, you have one life, one face and one you. Own it, work it.