Brimming with love and eternal gratitude for the busy life she’s created for herself in Canada, International Makeup Artist Jana Bizzarri is exactly who you’d want to be the person doing your makeup – especially if you were nervous! Used to putting people thousands of feet in the air at ease, the former flight attendant from Italy has no trouble making sure her clients and models feel just as safe in her makeup chair. With an ever-growing portfolio from places like Vancouver, Russia, and Italy, combined with features in nearly too many magazines to list including Stell Magazine, Trend Privé Magazine, and TOKSICK Magazine, we have no doubt that Jana is bound for international stardom!
We can’t wait to ask – how did you go from being a flight attendant to deciding makeup was something that you’d like to pursue?
I was a photographer in Milan, which I did on the side of my main job as a flight attendant, and I saw all kinds of fashion makeup and I thought ‘I want to know and understand the magic these people are making on the models’ faces.’ Shooting advertisements and backstage photography really started my love of fashion makeup.
I did some research and Blanche Macdonald just looked so interesting to me. I came in and did an interview with (Admissions Director) Jaye and she told me so many interesting stories about the school and its students and graduates and so I enrolled right away!
Such a great story! So how did you end up at Blanche Macdonald from Milan?
It was all a big coincidence, actually. I knew I wanted to travel the world and visit Vancouver, especially. So I came to Vancouver thinking ‘Oh, I’ll live here for a couple of months, experience it and keep traveling.’ But I really loved it here and after only two months I realized I wanted to stay longer. I just loved the city and its energy. Of course, as an international person, I had to find something to do here if I wanted to stay longer. Everyone told me to study tourism but I had no interest in that and so, I thought ‘I’m here, I might as well try to realize my dreams and do something I’m happy with.’ So I did some research and Blanche Macdonald just looked so interesting to me. I came in and did an interview with [Admissions Director] Jaye and she told me so many interesting stories about the school and its students and graduates and so I enrolled right away!
The thing I loved about the Global Makeup program was all the product knowledge it gives you. They teach you wedding and bridal makeup, editorial, aging makeup, beauty, and fashion—it’s just such a massive knowledge base they give you! They teach you how to work quickly and do a good job which is the most important thing when you’re working.
And how was your experience in the Global Makeup program?
It was a VERY strong program. The thing I loved about the program was all the product knowledge it gives you. You understand how the brushes work and this gives you the ability to work with every single brush you have or could want or maybe you only have two to do a look with but still, you can do anything. They teach you wedding and bridal makeup, editorial, aging makeup, beauty, and fashion—it’s just such a massive knowledge base they give you! I did three fashion week seasons with Vancouver Fashion Week because of my fashion makeup knowledge. They teach you how to work quickly and do a good job which is the most important thing when you’re working.
That’s incredible to hear! What are you doing now? Has it helped you get to where you wanted your career to go?
Before I started Blanche Macdonald, I had no idea that I could do what I’m doing now. And I’m just at the beginning, really! One year from now, I could be doing anything and that’s SO exciting. I’m always getting better too, I can see in my work from last year that it’s different from what I do now and that makes me very happy. But this year I’ve been doing lots of photo shoots—they’re my passion and what I want to focus on—but I want to try everything so I’ve done some indie films, short films, and theatre productions. I’ve also done makeup retail! That was a little hard for me but it was such a wonderful atmosphere to be in and I learned so much. When I come back to Vancouver, I’ll probably do some more!
Europe and Russia beauty is all about translucent skin, fresh skin, glowing—almost like you’ve just washed your face in the morning... it’s more natural and simple. Canada, especially Vancouver, is very into obvious makeup that is still beautiful but exaggerated.
Right now you’re in Russia working and visiting family, and you’ve worked in Italy along the way! Can you tell us about some differences in the beauty world between the three places?
Makeup trends in Russia are very influenced by Europe I’ve found and Europe is very different from Canada. Europe and Russia beauty is all about translucent skin, fresh skin, glowing—almost like you’ve just washed your face in the morning. They might be wearing a full face of makeup still but it’s done so that no one can tell, it’s more natural and simple. Canada, especially Vancouver, is very into obvious makeup that is still beautiful but exaggerated. I’d never worn lashes in my life before I came to Vancouver, nor did any of my friends! But lashes are a staple in Vancouver and Canadian makeup.
You must be amazing at complexion work then!
Complexion work is absolutely my favourite thing to do. I focused a lot on perfecting those skills because no matter what kind of makeup you’re doing—even if you’re doing a crazy colourful look—you still need a solid skin foundation to build the look on. I still think of all the things [Makeup Instructor] Oz [Zandiyeh] told us, she’s my biggest inspiration! She taught me how to do what I’m doing now.
I still think of all the things (Makeup Instructor) Oz Zandiyeh told us, she’s my biggest inspiration! She taught me how to do what I’m doing now.
You’ve done SO many shoots! How did you connect with all these people?
Lots of it has been a really lucky coincidence! I collaborated with the Fashion program’s final exam photoshoots with [Photographer] Matthew Burditt and [Fashion Instructor] Lyndi Barrett because they organize real photo shoots to teach students what it’s like on a set. It was always amazing and Matthew is a genius—I just loved doing it. We worked so well together that I did a few photo shoots with them and different classes. I made sure to meet the students and keep in touch with ones that I hit it off with so we could collaborate again. But it’s really just about finding someone you’d like to work with and asking. Networking is so important.
What do you see for yourself and your Makeup career in the future?
I see… just makeup! That’s all I want to do. I just want to work in makeup. Maybe I will try Film, fall completely in love with it, and become an IATSE member. Wherever life wants to take me, I will follow, but it will always be makeup forever.
Photos courtesy Matthew Burditt, Nanae Nishimura, Azayna Zina, Liz Dungate