Nicole Jacob | Professional Chicago Makeup Artist
Allure Magazine

Not long after Nicole Jacob began working for Lancôme in the early '90s, she discovered she had a talent. "I saw old faces, young faces, African-American faces, Asian faces," Jacob says. "That's what I loved most about that job." Women of all ages and colors lined up to have Jacob do their makeup and it wasn't long before she had a regular clientele. From Lancôme, her experience continued to grow as she worked with a variety of makeup lines from L'Oreal to Elizabeth Arden. She developed her own makeup style early on. Her look was natural, classy and fresh rather than overly trendy or over-the-top. She quickly mastered an everyday look, but also specialized in makeup applications for bridal parties, black-tie events, magazine photo shoots, runway and hair shows. Her ability to enhance her client's best features, while still making them look like themselves is what draw so many high profile ladies—from designers like Nicole Miller to professional athlete's wives—to Jacob's makeup chair.

Working with so many different makeup lines throughout her career taught Jacob one main thing, she wanted to develop her own. It was during her days at Tiffani Kim that she learned how to create a custom makeup line and launched her own in 2002 while she was working at Studio 110. She sought out only high-quality manufacturers to create her own line of eye shadows, lipsticks, custom-blended foundations, lip liners and lip-gloss. While she buys her black mascara and concealer from Paris, everything else she uses in her kit is her own custom creation. Her 20 eye shadows and 10 blush tones tend to stay very neutral, with an emphasis on natural, warm hues. "I hate brown," says Jacob. "It makes everyone look dead."

When it comes to makeup, Jacob pays special attention to her client's skin. "If you don't make your skin look great, then no one is going to look at your eyes or lips," she explains. Jacob's 12 custom blended oil-free foundations can match virtually any skin tone and type, and can be enhanced with SPF 25 lotion and a special ingredient to make the consistency thicker for more coverage or thinner for spot application. She finishes off all of her foundation applications with a dusting of her custom pressed powder bronzer, which she uses all year round for a natural glow.

For her 12 lip-glosses, Jacob stays away from red and leans closer to nudes, pinks and roses. Her glosses, many enhanced with a subtle mint flavor, are constantly selling out—especially colors like Mint Apricot and the playful Mint Baby Doll. And for her 24 lipsticks, Jacob mostly uses nudes and neutral pink tones for the most natural pout.

Jacob's signature makeup looks vary, from a soft pretty eye for a cocktail date or interview to a strong smoky eye for an elegant night out. But one of her favorite and most popular requests is for her "Want Look," a look she created for women aiming to be the object of someone's desire. "It's a strong eye, pale glossy lip and pale pink cheek," she explains. "It works."

Jacob is available for makeup applications, photo shoots, events, touch-ups, lessons and to share a good laugh.

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