Moving from Jamaica to New York when he was six years old gave Director of Makeup Artistry Romero Jennings a dual heritage that offered him an eclectic and fruitful taste for both the fast pace of the city and the more wholesome approach of island life. He describes his style as having four main aspects – color, nature, futurism, and technology – a heady mix that he affectionately terms “organic alien.” Not the most typical approach perhaps, but certainly a winner that has propelled him to worldwide acclaim.
Since joining M·A·C in the 1990s, Jennings claims to have always felt at home among the brand’s team of dedicated innovators. After working in Japan, where he was offered a place to study and assist makeup artists such as Mitsuru Kohno and Savaro Watanabe, Jennings returned to the Big Apple with equally big plans. “Strategy is my best friend,” he confesses. “I always strive to innovate and to think about the next big trend. I constantly challenge myself to be more efficient, technical, and productive. This really can be seen in the organization of my makeup kit and my daily life.”
A die-hard fashion fiend, Jennings began drawing models and designing clothes when he was just seven years old to a soundtrack of glam rock. “Music is a big part of my life,” he concedes. “Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, and David Bowie were unreal, virtual, creative, shapeshifting inspirations to me, and even today I still listen to their music and look to their images for inspiration.”
In the spirit of his chiseled icons, Jennings’s preferred look involves a perfected skin with a strobing face effect and an architectural eyebrow. Master that, and combine with regular use of Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, and he promises to unlock the secret of eternal youth.
Landing a full-page interview in The New York Times Magazine was a standout career moment, second only to being interviewed by Kim Kardashian, whom he describes as “a living doll.” Jennings took The New York Times feature as an opportunity to explain the more painterly approaches to makeup while admitting that it was also a good platform for showcasing his (exceptionally) long fingers.
Perhaps that comes in handy for putting his horticultural skills to good use. “Gardening inspires me to create, social media is my research and provides access to high-tech apps and learning opportunities, while music allows my mind to dream,” explains this polymath, who is showing us that it really is possible to have it all.