Luisa Duran: Skincare Secrets from Drake’s Personal Groomer

Our latest Jaxon Journal takes us into the world of makeup and grooming with Luisa Duran. Charting almost two decades in the industry, Luisa's journey is a mix of passion, hard work, and unexpected twists - leading to her role as Drake's personal groomer!

Join us for this deep dive into the grooming industry, then score Luisa’s skincare tips for easy at-home application.

JL: Thanks for joining us, Luisa! Take us through your path to grooming and men’s skincare.

Luisa: I graduated from makeup school with the goal of getting into film because I loved special effects so much. I even figured I’d have a film career… however, life had other plans! After graduation, I was living in Toronto and I met a lot of people in the film industry while working as a waitress at “The Black Cat" on College Street. I booked many of my first jobs that way: indie, commercial, weddings, you name it. So much of this job is based on word of mouth, and my career progressed based on my growing reputation with those clients. Grooming wasn’t specialized back then in Canada, as it was just part of the job. Unfortunately men got glossed over and processed quickly, much different than how we do it today.

JL: What were those first jobs like?

Luisa: I’ve really done it all, from stage makeup to zombies! I actually did a The Walking Dead book cover. It was so much fun. I made myself up and modeled in it too! My early roles were mainly working on music videos, commercials and some editorial work as I made a name for myself. Then, I would say the biggest turning point in my career was when I started doing Nelly Furtado’s makeup in 2005, just before her “Loose” album dropped.

Nelly Furtado's "Loose" album cover

Courtesy of Luisa Duran @luisaduran.mua

JL: Nelly!

Luisa: Exactly. Once I started working with Nelly Furtado, things really picked up, and most of my work was stage makeup for her shows. It was such an exciting time and we were on the road almost entirely between 2005 and 2008. I loved getting to travel the world - we even went to places like Kazakhstan and Russia. Nelly was such a huge deal, she was an international artist and star. I did multiple magazine covers and worked globally on every main awards show! What an experience. 

JL: What was next for you? 

Luisa: I’m half Spanish, so I really wanted to utilize my foreign passport. I decided to move to England, and there I worked on editorial shoots with publications like British Vogue and Tank Magazine. I loved getting to travel all over England for those shoots! Eventually, though, I wanted to come back to Canada and have a bit of a break from that life. It was certainly a transition to move from traveling with Nelly and booking British Vogue to the much smaller market in Canada. But that is where I’m roots are there!

JL: Right, that must have been a big contrast. But your relationship with big names certainly didn’t end there…Tell us how you landed your spot as Drake’s go-to groomer! 

Luisa: For a while after I came back to Canada, I went back to working on commercials and music videos - really whatever paid the bills at that point. I even branched out past grooming. In 2014, I took over a coffee shop that I still run along with another new location. Check out Mercury Espresso Bar if you’re ever in Toronto! In 2015, I got a call from a great friend of mine from the music industry, who had been a production assistant and is now a global producer. He was producing one of Drake’s videos, and asked if I could assist on a Drake video . Fate would have it, two days before the video shoot, I got another call saying the director wanted me to work on Drake's grooming and not assist. 

JL: Wow, what a great opportunity. 

Luisa: Yes, it was incredible - they even shot one of the scenes of the music video in my coffee shop! I was trying to play it cool but I was  nervous internally trying not to micromanage everything. 

[You can check out the music video here: The “Jungle” Music Video]

JL: It’s probably safe to say you did manage to play it cool - because things took off from there, right? 

Luisa: Yes, my relationship with Drake really blossomed out of that experience. It was a two-day video shoot in the freezing cold. Drake kept asking me if I traveled, but didn’t say more than that. I guess you could say he was playing it cool, too! When the shoot wrapped at around 5 am, I gave him my business card. I got a call the next day from his team, and was asked if I would be his personal groomer. Which was an immediate YES.

Drake groomed by Luisa Duran

Drake groomed by Luisa, courtesy of @luisaduran.mua

JL: Incredible. You clearly made an impression of the best kind.

Luisa: Yes, I feel so fortunate! Before I knew it, I was on my way to L.A. the next day. This was back in 2015, so we’ve been working together for almost 10 years now. 

JL: What have been some of your favorite moments?

Luisa: It’s hard to pick just a few! The projects we’ve worked on together have been phenomenal, like working with Director X [sought-after music video producer and protege of hip hop pioneer Hype Williams] and Karena Evans [director and actress, currently directing Mr. and Mrs. Smith]. One particularly fun project was in South Africa, working with Anthony Mandler [Director]. Not only was the destination and partnership incredible, but I was able to use my special effects skills! My most honorable mention though has to be getting to work with Dave Meyers [Director} - what a creative force we did “Sicko Mode” with Travis Scott, “Laugh Now Cry Later” and “Spin Bout U” with 21 Savage just to name a few  - I did a cute little tattoo for Savage too.. It was so fun.

JL: Your expertise can’t be summed up in a few sentences…but maybe you can help us out with a few of your top tips. What are some key takeaways from your craft?

Luisa: Consistency is key. A lot of people lack consistency with skincare products - I myself am guilty of trying new products all the time, and you can miss out on results that way. What I really like about your line is that it’s simple and effective, so it’s easy to keep up good habits. 

Also, sunscreen is so important. People need to start implementing sunscreen into their routine on a regular basis. Your Rain or Shine is a fantastic product because it’s so lightweight and doesn’t leave a white cast. A good sunscreen like yours makes that daily habit so much more achievable. 

JL: Thanks - that’s definitely what we aim for! What are some other suggestions for people who aren’t international music stars?

Luisa: I love hydrating products. Hydration and moisture is so important to the health and appearance of your skin. I’m always reaching for the Bro Mask and the Bro Mask Eye Gels. The benefits of the eye gels are fantastic - they give you depuffing, hydration and tightening of the skin. Then the Bro Mask is a perfect prep step before moisturizer, so you can treat your skin and then lock in the benefits. 

I’m also a big fan of your Shake and Wake cleanser. It’s easy for me to use as a groomer because you can control the texture completely with the amount of water you add. That makes it great for personal use, too. 

Of course, skincare is as much about self care and treating yourself as it is about results - a ritual I have with Drake is using Amandine Sol Botanicals Dew Dream. It’s a moisturizing spray for the face, it’s a Canadian-founded brand like Jaxon Lane, and the scent is relaxing, so it’s kind of like aromatherapy too.

JL: We love the Jaxon Lane love! So, what has life been like for you in L.A.? What was the transition like from Canada?

Canada will always be my home and my community, but as a makeup artist, I always want to explore new avenues. I chose L.A. as my base because, I’ll be honest, I don’t have the energy for New York! What I love about L.A. is you can go hard or go slow. The weather is great, and you can work as hard as you want and then pull back when you need to. 

JL: Can you speak to the growing interest in men’s skincare? What’s Drake’s perspective - does he have any favorite products? 

Luisa: Over the years, we’ve definitely seen a shift in men’s skincare and grooming. It’s now become a thing outside of the world of makeup. Now, men are much more willing to say they were prepared for the camera and speak about the experience - I think it’s much more desired and accepted now, which I love. Drake has always taken great care of his skin, so he was ahead of the curve that way. He’s been loving these Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops recently. 

JL: Okay, just a few final tidbits! You’ve had such an outstanding career - are there any stand out moments that come to mind? 

Luisa: One of my first jobs with The Wall Group [Luisa’s current representation] was at the Toronto Film Festival with Tilda Swinton. What a fantastic intro to The Wall Group for me - Tilda Swinton couldn’t have been sweeter or kinder. I’ve been so inspired by her as a person and an artist, so I was definitely a bit nervous to do her makeup, but she put me completely at ease with her warmth and kindness. I then joined her for the N.Y. and L.A. film festivals, too, so we had a 6-week run together covering everything from interviews and magazine shoots. It was such an honor to work with her, and moreover, to come away from the experience with an even higher regard for her.

Tilda Swinton with Luisa Duran

Courtesy of Luisa Duran, @luisaduran.mua

JL: Luisa, thanks for such a great chat - you’re an inspiration yourself! We look forward to watching your career highlights for years to come.

Luisa: My pleasure! Talk soon.

But the good stuff’s not over! We compiled some of Luisa’s top tips for you to put into use at home and on the road. Good news: you don’t have to be an international star to have great skin or star-quality skincare.


Luisa’s tip for makeup and grooming at home: 

Prep is the first step!

Prep is so important! You can certainly do last-minute fixes before a big event, but setting the stage well before your big day makes everything easier. Hydrate with products like Super Serum, then layer SPF like Rain or Shine on top to lock in moisture and keep your skin protected as you go about your day.”

Pass on pimples

“You can’t cover the shape of a pimple, so the best way to go is color correcting and setting it with a powder. I don’t love to use a lot of makeup, and want my clients not to feel overly made up, so I use products where a little bit goes a long way, like Dermablend. It’s made to cover tattoos, so it’s highly pigmented but I can use it very lightly and it will look like next to nothing. For a bit more of a fashion-y look, I like Georgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Face and Under Eye Concealer. I love the colorways and mixing them up!”

Blot versus powder?

“I try not to powder men too much - I prefer blotting paper. But I go back to prep - skin preparation and high quality products are the way to go. Finally, natural light is your friend! Try to find a natural light source when you’re putting on a product to get the most natural-looking effect.”


→ Shop Luisa’s favorite products

“I love the Super Serum. I love using it and how hydrating it is. It creates a barrier to prevent and repair dark spots from reappearing.”

Jaxon Lane Super Serum, $46


“What’s beautiful about your sunscreen is that it’s really light weight, doesn't leave a white cast and it is not oily. I’d say this is a great SPF choice for people with oily skin in particular.”

Jaxon Lane Rain or Shine, $32


“Time is of the essence in my job, and the Jaxon Lane eye gels and face mask are among my favorites. What I use on the job depends on the person I’m working with and time allotted -  I use the eye gels every time since they are quick and easy. If I have more time I’ll use the Bro Mask. Both masks are super hydrating and easy.”

Jaxon Lane Bro Mask, $28

Jaxon Lane Bro Mask Eye Gels, $30


“I like to use tonic moisturizers - more for the essence because I like the ritual of sprays for the face. It’s something I do with Drake all the time. For essences, I love Amandine Sol Botanicals’ Dew Dream – it’s a Canadian-founded brand and the scent is relaxing so it gives a bit of aromatherapy.”


Amandine Sol Botanicals’ Dew Dream, $86


“I use highly pigmented products with a very light hand to color correct pimples, super dark circles or dark spots after shaving.”


Dermablend, $40


Georgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Face and Under Eye Concealer, $42