Ever wondered what it takes to create a ‘red carpet-ready’ celebrity?
The process of choosing the right outfit, deciding on hair and make up and all those little details that work towards creating that final masterpiece. We delve into the lives of the artists behind the scenes to find out more
Growing up in the beautiful island of Hawaii, Jen Atkin started her career in Los Angeles as a salon receptionist and made her way upwards to become the manager. She wante to learn the business side of things before assisting as many hairstylists as she could. Working in top salons in Beverly Hills (such as Chris McMillan and Andy Lecompte Salon) was a key platform for advancing. She did this to learn their several different techniques and then adopt one that she would call her own. “I had many influential mentors but Andy LeCompte really stands out,” says Jen. “He enhanced my skill set while giving me the platform to dive off of. I knew my career had taken off when he took me on tour with him and I got to do Madonna’s dancers.” Some of her career highlights are: shooting with Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez ‘I LuhYa Papi’ music video, and working on Dior and Galliano shows with John Galliano. She has worked her magic on several celebrities including the Kardashian sisters, Chrissy Teigen, Nicole Richie, Gwen Stefani, Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sophia Vergara, Katy Perry, and Jessica Stam. “When it comes to a major red carpet moment for a high profile client, the overall look is definitely ollaborative,” says Jen. “We vibe off the look as a whole. So considering the wardrobe as well as the desire; it’s a giant group effort!”
Jen is a big believer of being fearless and putting herself out there and says that she had to work really hard for everything that she wanted to do and ask for it. But she isn’t one to let anything simmer her flame. “Don’t get discouraged,” she advises the young and hopeful stylists of the future “It takes a lot of hard work but it’s definitely worth it.” After her visit to Dubai, Jen couldn’t stop gushing about her opinion on Middle Eastern women. “Loving, caring, immaculately flawless; do you want me to keep going?” she asks. “The list goes on and on as Dubai women are on another level. They carry themselves proudly in an unpretentious way.” One can fix an appointment with Jen, as the artist makes it a point to occasionally drop by the Belle Femme Beauty Salon in Dubai.
To keep a healthy head of hair, especially in the strong heat of the city, Jen dishes out some of her simple yet effective tips. “Regular trims and weekly deep conditioning is a must,” she states. “I obsess over the Intense Moisture Mask by Oribe and the L’Huile De Leonor by Leonor Greyl. Both are great for rehydrating, repairing, and reconditioning what daily wear and tear strips away. For coloured hair, colour protecting shampoos and conditioners are of utmost importance. If your hair is exposed to the sun, products with UV filters are a smart way to go. I love Hair in the Sun and After the Sun by Sachajuan.”
JEN’S MUST-HAVE HAIR ESSENTIALS