Coffee Talk with Beke Beau

There are few things better than coffee and conversation which is why we try to set up a coffee date with a different person every month. It’s a great way to catch up with old friends and chat with people we’ve been dying to meet.

We had a chance to sit down with Beke Beau, Philadelphia’s renowned makeup artist in her Manayunk studio. Beau who is getting ready to launch her latest endeavor  “Paint School of Make Up” this fall says, “I continue to evolve. I’m committed to the idea that makeup is a tool, not a toy, and I’m taking the opportunity to develop what is really an agenda to help women.”

I quickly realized this was going to be both a fun and inspiring conversation because Beau, much like her studio, is full of life. Passion flows freely when you follow your dreams, and to hear Beau tell her story, is proof in the pudding {or, in this case, makeup}.

Beke began her journey in beauty in New York City, as an assistant to cosmetics mogul Laura Geller. She later freelanced for makeup artist Kimara Ahnert. High-profile events Beke has worked on include the weddings of actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, author Jennifer Weiner, and pop star Joey McIntyre. VIP clients include actresses Gemma Chan, Ali Larter, Karla Souza, Kelly Preston and Jordana Brewster, tennis legend Billie Jean King, actors John Travolta, Martin Short, and designer Nicole Miller.

The concept and design of the school have evolved naturally over time. “I wanted to create a practical curriculum for people who want to work in the field of makeup.  There’s way too much out there on social media that confuses the idea of beauty with what is essentially entertainment. Real women aren’t going to benefit from thinking that piling on layers of makeup is going to be useful or flattering and I want my students to carry that message.”

Her weddings have been featured in publications such as Martha Stewart Wedding, People Magazine, The Knot, and Philadelphia Wedding Magazine.

Photo: Lorraine Daley

Beke goes beyond just gorgeous wedding makeup – book a workshop or take a class! Her beauty blog, the beautysagist, is cosmetic wisdom for the frustrated, overwhelmed and confused. REAL LIFE ADVICE to help you look better. Follow Beke @bekebeau. @bekebeaumakeup @paintschoolofmakeup

Coffee Talk With Makeup Artist Beke Beau

1. How do you take your coffee? With soy creamer.

2. Favorite coffee shop? Shout out to Pilgrim Roasters Coffee, right down the street from my studio.

3. What makes you smile without fail? Poetic justice.

4. What’s your guilty pleasure? Saying “no.”

5. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be? Tough one. Either The Black Stallion for its sheer beauty or Gone With the Wind – it’s long.

6. What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekends? What’s a weekend?

7. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, for free, where would you go? If it’s free, then New Zealand.



Boss Lady: Jen Pinkston

Jen Pinkston

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we talk to wardrobe stylist Jen Pinkston. Amazingly talented with an incredible eye, Jen dresses clients for the red carpet, styles photo shoots and has worked with international brands like Gap, Ritz Carlton and Fiat. She’s also the creator of The Effortless Chic, a lifestyle blog that publishes daily features to inspire stylish closets, savory meals and inviting spaces.

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles.  I love well styled looks and spaces that look effortlessly pulled together and chic.  Two years ago, after leaving my job as a stylist on a television show and launching my freelance business, I started The Effortless Chic.

What prompted you to leave the Ellen DeGeneres Show and start your own styling business?
I absolutely loved my time at Ellen and learned so much about styling and the entertainment industry there.  I think that change and taking on new challenges, though, is paramount to growing in business and as a person.  After four years it was time to do just that!

What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Everything.  Sitting on the floor of my office and going through a stack of magazines.  Unplugging from everything and traveling to a new destination.  Conversations with other smart and ambitious women that I am lucky enough to call friends.  Reading true stories of successful creatives and their journey.

What is your most successful form of marketing?
I think in order to determine what is most successful you have to know how you are measuring success.  For me it’s more about quality over quantity.  You can reach a lot of people with social media, but the meetings that have been the most significant for me as a business have been the more personal, one-on-one relationships with brands that I have been able to establish.  Sending one genuine, personal email to a brand that aligns perfectly with my own can procure more successful results than spamming 2000 people at the same time and keeping my fingers crossed.

What would you recommend to those looking to start a business?
Do your homework.  Be patient.  Lay the ground work.  Every job I have ever had has given some skill or insight that I have been able to take on to the next one.  I am so grateful for all of those experiences before starting my own business.

More about Jen Pinkston
website | blog | twitter