Mariman has makeup artistry in the bag

Lisa Depies
Jenn Mariman of Geneseo owns and operates Jenn Lea Makeup. She does special occasion makeup for clients and also creates makeup tutorials for You Tube.

For women needing a primer on primping or a lesson on lipstick, answers can be found online, thanks to Geneseo’s Jenn Mariman.

Mariman, 22, creates and posts videos to the Web site You Tube detailing how to wear certain makeup and how to create specific looks.

“Some women are embarrassed because, for example, they don’t know how to put on eyeliner,” explained?Mariman. “People can be self-conscious about makeup and might be nervous to go to a department store makeup counter and ask. For many, it’s a lot easier to watch how to do it online.”

Mariman has loved makeup since her teens. “It’s a creative outlet. There’s an artistry to makeup. I love the transformation it can make. Wearing makeup can make women feel glamourous and self confident,” she said.

When she was 18, Mariman started selling Mary Kay Cosmetics, but left the company after two years. “I wanted more variety and more bright colors. I like to experiment with color,” she said.

She accepted a position working at the Prescriptives Cosmetics counter at Younkers in the Quad Cities. “It had been a dream of mine to work at a makeup counter,” Mariman said.

“Working at the makeup counter, I learned a lot about techniques and application, and I had the chance to work with many different types of customers,” she said. “It allowed me to learn so much about the whole makeup business.”

Her makeup counter job came to an end when the Prescriptives Cosmetics company went out of business.

Since that time, Mariman has launched her own company, Jenn Lea Makeup. In addition to creating You Tube makeup tutorials, Mariman is available to do makeup for  occasions, such as weddings, and also does special effects makeup.

Though she loves bright colors for her own style, Mariman said she can custom fit a makeup style for each client.

“A lot of brides prefer a more neutral look. They don’t necessarily want to change how they look, they just want to enhance it,” said Mariman.

She meets with bridal clients prior to their wedding for a run-through. “Having a run-through allows things to go a little quicker the day of the wedding. The bride and I are able to work together and see what works and what she likes.”

Mariman said she encourages customers to bring photos or magazine clippings of favorite looks. “That helps give me a better idea of what they like,”?she said.

On the day of the wedding, Mariman said she spends between 45 minutes and an hour applying a bride’s makeup. “I want them to be camera ready, since they’ll be having a lot of photos taken. I use products that will help eliminate shine.”

For more daring looks, Mariman can use makeup to create spooky or over-the-top looks. “One of the favorite things I did was create a zombie look for a friend. I?enjoy doing Halloween looks because it allows me to be so creative.”

Mariman said she also can recreate makeup looks from popular music videos. “I love Lady Gaga’s look, she’s always so creative, and Katy Perry has a vintage pin-up look I like.”

Being able to create new looks is what inspired Mariman to post her makeup videos online.

“I was going to an ‘80s party, and wanted to wear ‘80s-style makeup. I went online and discovered all these makeup tutorials. As I watched,?I thought, ‘I can do that,’” she explained.

Though her videos may only be a few minutes in length, Mariman spends hours creating the tutorials.

“I practice putting on the makeup and then write an outline so I?know what I need to talk about,” she said.

Mariman also spends time setting up her camera and lighted mirror. “I need to make sure all of the lighting is correct,” she said.

Once the film is shot, she spends additional time editing and adding background music to the clip.

In her tutorials, Mariman uses a variety of products, most available at local drugstores.

“If people are starting out, it’s easier to experiment with the less expensive products. You can find out what you like without spending a ton of money,” she said.

Mariman operated a previous You Tube channel, where approximately 2,000 subscribers would watch her explain everything from how to wear red lipstick to how to shape eyebrows.

She recently started a new You Tube channel,, and plans to eventually post all of her old videos to the new site as well.

Mariman said the long-term plans for her company include creating her own makeup brand and eventually opening a studio.

“My goal is to be unique. So many brands have things that are very similar. I want to create colors and products that are different,” she said.

A graduate of Sherrard High?School, Mariman and her husband, Troy, live in Geneseo.

For more information on her business, visit