Q&A With A Fab MUA

Johnequa Furby NYC MUA, tells how she became a makeup maven with her own personal issue.

MUA Jonequa Furby
MUA Jonequa Furby

1.) Why did you choose to become a makeup artist?

I got into makeup, because when I was in high school I suffered from a skin disorder that made my nose darkened, almost like an extreme version of hyper pigmentation. Doctors really didn’t know why it happened or how to cure it. So it was left up to me to find a solution on how to conceal it. I mean, just as fast as it came, it went away but in that process, a makeup artist was born. I was always an artistic person so the shift in interest came naturally. It was just another canvas for me to paint on. I fell in love with it all, and I’ve been doing it ever since!

2.) Did you attend a cosmetology school?

Actually, I didn’t but like I said before, I’ve always been a creative soul. Above anything else, I am an artist. I identify with art in any field. I essentially studied fashion design in college before making the transition to makeup artistry.

3.) Do you work with a team or solo?

When it comes to makeup, I am a freelance solo artist. I work alone! The beauty of that, to me, is I’m only responsible for myself. Any mishaps, displeasures or whatever, is solely of my own faults. Not everyone understands the concept of professionalism andwhen working with a team sometimes, you tend to be held accountable for another person’s incongruity. Now when my clientele starts to expand, then I will seek assistance. But until then, I am a lone ranger.

Her work speaks for itself
Her work speaks for itself

4.) How did you get your first big break and how did you achieve it?

If truth be told, I still don’t believe I’ve had that “big break” yet. I’m steadily working to get to that point. I’m patiently paying attention to and learning from my counterparts in this industry. Now, I did have the honor of assisting and learning from one of my idols in this field; the incomparable, Emmy award winning master artist, Valenté Frazier. I’ve worked on a couple of projects with him, including the Tyra Banks presents Fifteen exhibit, that debuted during fashion week S|S ’14. In the little time that I’ve known him, I’ve acquired information that has sharpened my eye for detail and encouragement to help shape me as a better artist.

5.) What MUA would you love to work with and why?

Besides my mentor, Valenté, who was first on my list even before meeting him, I would love to work with or assist any of the greats. Sam Fine, Reggie Wells, Pat McGrath, Francesca Tolot, Bobbi Brown, Porsche Cooper, Sir John, Romero Jennings, Gucci Westman, I mean the list can go on & on. But quite frankly, known or unknown, I would love to work with anybody that’s a beast in this field. People who have studied & mastered their craft and do it all with a humble heart. To quote Mark Twain, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” I’m ready, willing and able to work with anyone I can grow from.

6.) What celebrity or celebrities would you like to work with and why?

There’s no celebrity I would like to work with in particular. I mean, I would love to join forces with them all. But whoever God sees fit for me to work with; he’ll bring them in my life. Everyday people, men or women, are the ones I would love to utilize my skills on. The fact that I can make someone feel good about themselves, even if it’s for a moment, makes me feel justified as a true artist.

7.) Who has been your biggest influence in the makeup field?

I can’t really say one person in particular has been a huge influence to me in this field, but I can say I’m galvanized by the artists who are willing to put in the legwork to become unparalleled in their profession. The ones that do the research and comprehend the basics. I don’t believe attending an institution is the only way to become a guru. But doing your homework and actually taking the time to understand the how’s and why’s, is what separate amateurs from professionals.

Soft but Bold
Soft but Bold

8.) As a MUA, do you find it difficult to get your brand out to potential clients?

Yes and no. I mean with social networking, I reach out to a broader mass than I do locally. However with so many makeup artists, it can be a little difficult to project amongst the crowd. That’s why I’m always challenging myself to learn many facets of this trade. I want to be able cover all grounds; from glamour to avant garde.

9.) Where are you located and how can the public access you for your services?

Well I am located in NYC but the beauty of freelancing is I can travel wherever my services are needed. Currently, I’m working on my website and rebuilding my portfolio. But I can be reached on Instagram @jsf_makeup (makeup pg) & @jsf_nyc (personal pg), on Facebook as Nequa Furby and my email address is jsfmakeup@gmail.com.

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Written by 

Stephanie Fairfax is a fashion stylist, personal shopper, and fashion writer from the NJ/NY area she specializes in men's styling but also has women clients. She is a graduate of the Misa Hylton fashion academy in New York. She has worked with celebrities such as R&B group Intro ( styled "I didn't sleep with her video and live performance) Ed Lover, Mr. Cheeks, Black Rob, Gregg Wayans and Summer Wayans. She has contributed to jmariemagazine.com and fashionnymag.com.