Life Style

Meet 6 of the Best Female Groomers in Hollywood

Anna Bernabe

Today, masculinity (thankfully) is less rigidly defined than it has been in decades past. The new wave of masculinity sheds the traditional stereotypes of the “hyper-masculine” male and allows self-expression in all forms. With this, we’ve seen an uptick in men devoting more time to grooming and self-care rituals. “Now there is a new masculinity,” celebrity groomer KC Fee says. “We’re in a time now where men have been given the permission to care [for themselves].”

For many men in Hollywood, their skincare and haircare routines are left in the hands of female groomers. As niche as it may appear, the grooming industry is home to some of the most talented female artists in the beauty space. Ahead, we speak to six leading female groomers (they’ve worked with everyone from Drake to Leonardo DiCaprio) about their career and the products they love to use on their clients.

Janice Kinjo

Clients include: Idris Elba, John Legend, Drake, and Donald Glover

How did you get your start in the industry? What has your journey been like?

In 2007, I was assisting a few makeup artists and their agent was looking for a men’s groomer for LL Cool J. One of the first few times working with him, he was in an episode of 30 Rock (Season 1). After I groomed him, he asked me to be in every scene as his assistant. Two years prior, I had moved to NY from L.A. And now, here I was with LL Cool J on a TV show. I couldn’t believe it. I knew at that moment I’d found my career.

Daisaku Ikeda is my life and Buddhist mentor. He has shown me to never give up on my dreams and myself. I was born and raised in a very traditional Japanese household. As a person of AAPI heritage, choosing to live an artist life was foreign to my parents who only wished for me and my siblings to become a doctor, lawyer, etc. For years, my father would always question my decision to be a men’s groomer and makeup artist. Finally, I have been able to show him, and he’s been so supportive.

What are your favorite products to use on clients?

Jaxon Lane Bro Mask Eye Gels ($30) are great for helping puffiness and hydration and Beautycounter’s Mattifying Powder ($39) is great for all skin tones. It doesn’t leave any white residue or white cast. It’s totally transparent and removes shine instantly. I love Fresh’s Sugar Wonder Drop Lip Primer ($26); it smooths out lips without the mess of lip sugar scrubs and the clean formula melts into your lips as you work it in. Andis Slimline Pro Clippers ($56) are cordless and can trim beards, mustaches, and create a perfect hairline. For foundations, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64), Make Up Forever and Koh Gen Do are my go-to for evening out their skin. The Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops ($20) clears eye redness for hours—they’re the best.

Joanna Ford

Clients Include: Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne Johnson, and Liam Neeson

What is the best grooming trick you’ve picked up throughout your career?

Early in my career, I assisted many different hair and makeup artists. For me, assisting was the most important part of my training because that’s where I picked up a lot of my favorite tricks. For example, using mascara to darken sideburns and beards or using hair fillers to make the hair appear thicker, or contouring and highlighting to give a round face definition.

What are your favorite products to use on clients?

I like to prep the skin and hair with tonic because it sets the best canvas. I use my own tea tree oil and distilled water combination for the face. I spray it on as a facial mist and let it dry before starting with moisturizer. For hair, I absolutely love Bumble and Bumble’s Tonic Primer ($26).

Mira Chai Hyde

Clients include: Brad Pitt, Kendrick Lamar, and David Beckham

How did you get your start in the industry?

My grooming career started in London in 1991. I was sent out for a wash-and-go commercial by the Vidal Sassoon Art Department. After teaching myself makeup over several years, I eventually became the first male groomer in London for fashion and crafter. my signature style that to this day is still effortless and natural looking”.

What are your favorite products to use on clients?

For cutting, I like Zen Master Scissors, Andis Clippers, and YS Park Combs. I also use my own hair products I have been developing for the past three years called House of Skuff. On the grooming side, I like to use products from Tatcha, Hayejin, Barbara Sturm, Jaxon Lane, Tom Ford, Chanel, and Nars.”

Amy Komorowski

Clients include: The Jonas Brothers, Adam Driver, and Eddie Redmayne

What do you want people to know about the men’s grooming industry?

Men’s grooming is an undervalued art form that many people assume isn’t hard or takes five minutes. I love an effortlessly groomed man. That means their hair has been styled (usually with a hairdryer and maybe three to five products), neck and sideburns have been cleaned up, their skin has been prepped, and strategically placed makeup has been applied. It’s these simple steps that make a man feel more confident.

What are your favorite products to use on clients?

A few products that I’m loving these days are Furtuna Skin’s After Shave Serum ($145), Visione di Luce Eye Cream ($285), Chanel’s Boy De Chanel Fortifying Gel Moisturizer ($80), 111SKIN Sub-Zero De-Puffing Eye Masks ($105), Kenesko Diamond Radiance Collagen Eye Masks ($16), and Lashify Control Wax ($22) for brows.

Anna Bernabe

Clients include: Shawn Mendes, Billy Porter, and Mahershala Ali

How did you get your start in the industry?

About 15 years ago, I worked as a freelance makeup artist. One day, my best friend told me I should focus on working as a men’s groomer. I was so offended by his unsolicited advice because I thought he didn’t value my makeup skills. After much arguing, my best friend said, “I want you to take a look at your bookshelf and tell me what you see.” I paused and glanced over. My whole shelf was filled with nothing but men’s fashion magazines like DetailsNumero HommeGQ, and Esquire. He then said, “I don’t know of a single makeup artist that doesn’t own a copy of Vogue.” From that day on I embraced my love for men’s style and fashion and applied it to hair and grooming.

What are your favorite products to use on clients?

Less is more when it comes to men’s grooming, so I have a tight selection of products I love to use. These would be Kypris Anti-Oxidant Dew ($90), 111SKIN Sub-Zero De-Puffing Eye Mask ($105), Innersense Beauty Sweet Spirit Leave-in Conditioner ($26), Maybelline City Bronzer ($10), Weleda Skin Food Light Nourishing Cream ($19), Orlane Paris Magnificent Lip Balm ($45), Kosas Revealer Concealer ($28), Tom Ford Brow Definer ($49), and Tatcha Beauty Blotting Papers ($12).

Kumi Craig

Clients include: Justin Theroux, Chris Hemsworth, and Ethan Hawke

How did you get your start in the industry?

Professionally, I was very lucky to have worked with GQ magazine at the outset of my career. I got to work alongside some of the best hair stylists in the industry. I had the pleasure of doing many photoshoots with Losi and Thom Priano, who each have their own style but share the timeless skill of giving a good haircut. I learned from them that it is not only about giving instant gratification for the client, but also giving a cut that grows out well.

What are your favorite products to use on clients?

I am always thinking about how I can make my clients camera-ready. For this, I use the Tom Ford Bronzing Gel ($55) which works on all skin types. It warms and evens the skin tone perfectly for the camera. It’s sweatproof and doesn’t move on the face which means fewer touch-ups later. Another trick is to match the spot concealer to the client’s skin tone. I also do this with the under-eye area.

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