Jung Saem Mool was a makeup artist before she attended Academy of Art University’s fine arts school. Since leaving in 2012, she’s become a one-woman makeup industry in her native Korea. But she credits what she learned in her studies at the Academy’s School of Fine Art for expanding her vision of what makeup artistry is, and how it enhances the women who wear her products.
“I have been a makeup artist for 27 years now,” she said in an interview in the Vancouver Sun. “But in the middle of working as an artist, I went to San Francisco to study fine arts for four years.
“With makeup and fine art mixed together, it became very clear. I was able to see my art.”
Nonstop Talent…and Growth
Built upon a philosophy of “natural beauty,” Jung Saem Mool’s professional activities today encompass running her makeup studio, producing a line of cosmetics under her name, and running an academic institute—Jung Saem Mool Art & Academy—where hopeful makeup artists study. She is the go-to artist for the aristocracy of Korean film stars.
She has two product collections so far, Müle, and the eponymous Jung Saem Mool (JSM) collection.
In addition to her flagship store in Seoul, South Korea, her brand is retailed in a number of stores in Korea, Thailand and Singapore (and the list is always growing).
With more than 410,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel and some 70,000 followers on Instagram, she’s a familiar face online. She’s also known for her distinctive personal style, featuring eclectic, stylish eyeglasses (often chunky) and lipstick (often bright red). And she still finds time to practice fine art in a variety of media.
Jung Saem Mool has built her makeup aesthetic on a less-is-more approach to discovering each woman’s facial characteristics such as shape, skin type and coloring. In fact, what she learned studying fine art is critical to all of these aspects.
She says that when she paints, she only uses six colors, which she maintains that in makeup can also convey skin tones for all women, regardless of race. Yet she is adamant that makeup must be customized for every customer’s face and skin.
While already an established makeup professional when she went on hiatus to study at the Academy, she says learning the basics of facial structure, muscles and skin in fine arts school allowed her to take the fateful next step to becoming a global phenomenon in her industry.
All images courtesy of Jung Saem Mool