Welcome to Jaxon Journal, where we share the latest and greatest in revolutionary skincare and invite you into our conversations with our favorite members of the Jaxon Lane community.
Our latest Journal features Jessica Ortiz, a celebrity men’s groomer.
Her clients include but are not limited to actors Donald Glover and Jeremy Allen White, fashion designer Brandon Maxwell and race car driver Daniel Ricciardo.
She has also pampered celebrities in preparation for editorial shoots with GQ, WWD, New York Times, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and many more.
In the ever-evolving world of grooming and skincare, professionals often find themselves exploring various paths before discovering their true passion. Our first Jaxon Journal guest, groomer to the stars Jessica Ortiz, carved her niche in the industry by transitioning from a focus on women's makeup to her present stellar career in celebrity men's grooming. Join us as we delve into Jessica’s journey and the evolving nature of men's grooming. Oh, and keep an eye out for Jessica’s pro tips on products and techniques you can easily incorporate into your own routine. (Red carpet optional).
First blush: Jessica’s start in women’s makeup
JL: Tell us about yourself! How did you begin your career?
Jessica: I kicked off my grooming industry career early on in college, but in a very different space from the one I’m in now. I worked for MAC Cosmetics for many years, and particularly loved the training I received there regarding trends, techniques, colors and formulations. Based on those experiences, I initially thought I would go into the world of cosmetic chemistry.
Jessica’s next few steps brought her closer to that goal via further industry experience, including an Estee Lauder scholarship and studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology. But after completing her marketing degree, Jessica had to make a crucial decision: accept a sales position at NARS, or venture into the freelance makeup artist world. She ultimately chose the less stable but more exciting freelance path, which led her to meet Daniel Martin, a renowned makeup artist who became her mentor. Under Daniel’s tutelage, Jessica honed her skills on fashion editorial sets and gained invaluable experience working backstage during fashion weeks. Through her connection with MAC Cosmetics and introductions made through assisting, Jessica ended up on various show teams led by industry giants like Peter Philips, Diane Kendal, and Charlotte Tilbury.
Transitioning to men’s grooming
Despite her success in women's makeup, Jessica found herself excited to explore something different and unexpectedly found herself drawn to the world of men's grooming. As she explored this uncharted territory, Jessica discovered a refreshing atmosphere on set and a growing interest among men in taking care of their appearance.
JL: How did you find yourself in the men’s grooming space after all your time as a makeup artist for women?
Jessica: I didn’t even know that men’s grooming was a thing until I was offered my first grooming job! I dived in feet first, and started to make connections in the grooming space. One amazing introduction ultimately became my agent. From there, I started taking on grooming jobs ranging from photoshoots to red carpet celebrity appearances - and found myself realizing that I loved this new path.
JL: What appealed to you most about men’s grooming?
Jessica: I loved the amazing vibe on sets and the great talent all around me. The grooming space also includes a focus on hair - cuts, styling, facial hair, etc. - in addition to skincare and makeup, and that was a new, exciting space for me. Now I’ve been in this space for almost 10 years!
JL: What’s changed over the past ten years in men’s grooming?
Jessica: I love to see that men care more these days about their skin, hair and overall self-care. They’re much more excited about a spa-type experience, where they can relax, be pampered, and learn about new techniques and products. That’s a great trend to see for my industry, and one I love supporting.
Jessica’s product recommendations
In case it’s not clear from her wealth of experience, Jessica’s a pro when it comes to techniques and tips for men who are at the top of their game - or want to look like it. With esthetician and barbering licenses under her belt, she fields plenty of questions from clients about how to keep up their skincare and grooming regimen when she’s not around to help them look red carpet ready. Luckily, she’s willing to share her expertise with us - and with you!
To create that coveted glowy skin look, our expert makeup artist relies on a combination of tools and techniques, and emphasizes the importance of using eye masks and facial tools to rejuvenate and prep the skin. Time for grooming 101!
Skincare and prep
JL: Okay, onto your secrets for glowy skin! How do you keep your clients looking camera and red carpet ready?
Jessica: When prepping clients for appearances or photo shoots, my main focus areas are smoothing and plumping the eye area, reducing inflammation, and overall hydration. I try to give my clients a holistic experience by helping them not just look better, but also feel better, so I work on eliminating tension and nervousness and helping them feel fresh and rejuvenated.
Jessica loves eye masks and face masks to target key under eye concerns, like fine lines and overall skin condition. She reaches for the Jaxon Lane Bro Mask when she’s on a photoshoot. For assignments with more of a time crunch, like with red carpet appearances, she uses the Jaxon Lane Bro Mask Eye Gels.
JL: What’s your favorite thing about the Jaxon Lane masks?
Jessica: I appreciate that the Jaxon Lane masks don’t create any pilling when I’m prepping for makeup application. I also love their hydrating effect. My clients notice a visible difference and feel more confident about how their eyes look when their skin is hydrated.
Jessica also reaches for key tools to reduce inflammation and puffiness, like the SolaWave Wand, jade lymphatic drainage rollers, gua shas, and the SkinGym T Bar. Another go-to are face rollers, which Jessica uses on the neck, jaw line, and shoulder area as well to reduce tension.
Product Roundup: Jaxon Lane Bro Mask, Jaxon Lane Bro Mask Eye Gels, SolaWave Red Light Therapy Wand, SkinGym T Bar
Makeup and grooming
JL: What about grooming products? What are the products you always have in your kit?
Jessica: I like to change up my products pretty frequently to keep things fresh. Here are some of my current favorites!
Jessica always insists on a good makeup and skincare wipe. She gives them to her clients all the time to remove their makeup and wash their face, and particularly likes Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes because her clients love the smell.
Jessica reaches for the Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation as a thin, light option for her client. She always carries Lumify Eye Drops to reduce eye redness, and La Mer Hand Cream for a luxurious instant nourishing effect. Jessica typically looks for a matte lip balm, but currently uses the Jack Black Lip Balm which provides a natural appearance and SPF protection.
Product roundup: Ursa Major Wipes, Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation, Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops, La Mer Hand Cream, Jack Black Lip Balm
Lights, camera, action!
Before we let Jessica go, we couldn’t resist pumping her for a little celebrity intel. After all, it’s not everyone who gets to hang out backstage at SNL!
JL: Okay, as a special treat for us, can you share some of your favorite grooming memories?
Jessica: During the pandemic, I got to work on an episode of SNL with the host, Regé-Jean Page, which was so exciting. It was my first time meeting him, and working on something like SNL for a full week of work is pretty high pressure. That week was a true bonding experience for us, not to mention a bucket list item - I’ve been watching SNL since I was a kid. A little icing on the cake was that Bad Bunny was there too.
Photo Courtesy of Mary Ellen Matthews at @thevelobarber's Instagram
JL: Memorable indeed! Any other moments you’d like to share?
Jessica: My client and friend Brandon Maxwell was a correspondent on the red carpet for the Oscars, and I got to be on the carpet watching the arrivals. Just like SNL, I grew up watching Hollywood’s biggest night from my couch at home - I never imagined someone like me would ever have that kind of access and it was a surreal experience. I love being a fly on the wall and watching these incredible moments come alive!
That’s all for now!
We loved having Jessica join us for this conversation, and look forward to bringing her expert tips to life. From her humble beginnings in makeup sales to becoming a sought-after grooming expert, our talented interviewee has had a remarkable journey!
As the world of men's grooming continues to evolve, Jessica remains dedicated to providing exceptional experiences and helping her clients feel their best. So, take a cue from this expert and indulge in some of these tried-and-tested techniques to unleash your inner groomer.