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Meet Jessica Ladrow

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Ladrow.

Hi Jessica, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Born and raised in Oregon I was inspired as a child by all of the beauty that surrounded me. Growing up as an artist is probably how I found the path of make-up artistry. It kind of sounds like it was an easy thing for me and I just fell into make-up, but let me just say nothing happened perfectly. It took me a while to let myself follow my passion for make-up. The make-up world was just a hobby something that I enjoyed doing in my free time, but never really knew I could make into something more. So I went about my life and graduated high school with no real idea of what I wanted to do with my life, that’s terrifying. So I did what everyone who doesn’t go to a four year does, worked for Starbucks and just hoped one day I would have the realization of my future career. Finally deciding to pursue my dream of make-up artistry I signed up and attended Cosmetology school in the Portland Metro Area. While attending this school I not only learned how to do hair, esthetics, and nails, but I was able to take a short MUD make-up course in Oregon. Taking this course re-blossomed my love for make-up and made me consider actually attending Make-up Designory in Burbank, CA to follow my true dream.

After finishing cosmetology school and then getting licensed in that field I was ready to work and save money to attend make-up school. Sadly, COVID-19 hit the world like a tidal wave and everything came to a screeching halt. Everything I worked so hard for seemed to shatter and I had a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Being able to do small make-up looks on myself during this worldwide isolation kept me afloat and reminded me of my ultimate goal. When everything in the world started to lean back into normalcy is when I started up my small business working for Charbonneau Salon & Spa. At this salon, I worked as a hairstylist and the key make-up artist for them. Working at the salon I learned how to run a business and how to work with clients and create special moments with them. It was something that brought me so much happiness and was another thing that showed me I was choosing the right career path. Working there was amazing but there was still something in me that felt unfulfilled. I knew that I would never feel 100% fulfilled if I didn’t at least try to pursue my ultimate dream in the make-up industry. So I had many important conversations and then one day finally chose a start date to attend make-up designory.

With the help of my wonderful parents, I was able to move to Burbank, CA and attend my dream school. Moving from my small hometown and all of my friends and family was hard but I knew I needed to make the move. Arriving in Burbank in September 2021 I knew right then and there that this was the right place for me and my blossoming career.

Make-up Designory was the best choice I could have made for myself. At this school, I went through the simplistic makeup of basic beauty all the way into very complex special effects make-up looks. While spending the majority of my time at this school for the last six months I met so many wonderful people and was able to learn from some of the most amazing teachers. Once I got into the last months of my schooling was when my special effects courses started. At the time of my schooling, my teachers Ray Shaffer and Cat Paschen helped me learn many new techniques and they solidified my decision of wanting to work in the special effects world. Their ways of teaching inspired me to push myself past what I thought was capable of myself. Now as a recent graduate of MUD Make-up Designory I have been working on many short films and photoshoots. With the skills I now have I’m applying and hoping to work in a special effects lab to create prosthetics for big-name movies and shows.

All I can truly say is moving to California has been the best choice I have ever made in my life and the best choice for my career.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Growing up with many family struggles has made making choices for myself hard. But ultimately has made me who I am and created the strength I need now. But moving to a new city and not knowing anyone is one of the hardest things you can do as a young adult. Wanting to pay my way through school with as little help as possible has been hard but with loans and the abundant amount of help from my parents has made any struggles easier for me to cope with.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a fully licensed cosmetologist and a certified make-up artist. I worked in a salon in Oregon for just under a year a hairstylist who specialized in color and as the salon’s key make-up artist. There I mainly did bridal make-up for the Portland Metro Area. Even with my experience in Bridal most people know me for Special Effects Make-up. I’m the Halloween girl, the one who will always say yes to creating a monster. Being known for FX created my drive to attend Make-up Designory in Burbank, CA. There I now have the skills to make molds and take life casts of people to create perfectly matched prosthetics to each talent.

I am the most proud of the way my skills have enhanced in the last year. Being able to create a full makeup from start to finish and executing the desired outcome as perfectly as I can is what I’m proud of.

Setting myself apart from everyone else in my career is my drive to always do better than myself. I like to work my hardest and then the next time I do a specific task I’m able to push even harder and do better than I had done the previous time.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Risks are something I like to say I do on a daily basis. Even if it is something small I like to make sure I am taking a step in a direction that slightly scares me. My most recent risk that I have taken is moving away from my safety net and without any stable job set up for my future. Working as a freelance make-up artist is something that isn’t stable at times and that is a risk in itself because you never know when you’ll be out of work or not.

If you’re not scared of the thing you’re doing it’s not a true risk that you are taking. Life is full of risks and everyone should take at least one in their lifetime.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Instagram: jjlcreations
  • Other: tiktok: jjlcreations2

Image Credits
Pictures of burn prosthetics on firemen were taken by Deverill Weekes Picture of model in black shirt were taken by Omar Guerra

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