When you’re interviewing a celebrity makeup artist and mother of two, the first thing you want to know is what exactly is in their makeup bag?
How do they look so fresh? For LA based Rosie Jane Johnson, her makeup bag is filled with a mix of fail-proof, loved products that are easy and effective. Her hit list includes: Rosie Jane Cheek Gloss, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Leila Lou fragrance oil, Laura Mercier mascara, Aquaphor, Avene Micellar Lotion and bareMinerals Warmth All-Over Face Color and, most importantly, dry shampoo. Johnson made the move from Sydney to LA over 15 years ago. She met an American. Married him. And the rest is history – she never left the City of Angels. Her two girls – Leila, 8, and Matilda, 5 – arrived around the same time as her business was born. In 2010, she created By Rosie Jane, an apothecary and lifestyle brand. “I was a freelance makeup artist and with clients all over the world, I spent a lot of time travelling. Most evenings were spent schmoozing with publicists,” recalls Johnston. “After having babies, I wanted to be at home. I wanted to create a lifestyle where my kids had stability and I could control my schedule a bit more. By Rosie Jane arrived just in time.” We visited the stylish Johnson at home in LA to chat makeup and motherhood… Photography: Monica Wang
Can you tell us about your background and how you came to launch By Rosie Jane?
I am a makeup artist by trade and I have been working in the beauty industry since I was 19. Fragrance came as a bit of a surprise though. I made a fragrance with a girlfriend of mine one night over a bottle of wine as I wanted a signature scent. It was very similar to Leila Lou. Clients and friends would ask me to make it for them, which I did. I had a friend that owned a very popular clothing store in LA and she asked if I would make her some bottles to sell over the holidays – it sold out in two days and it snowballed from there.
How do you juggle your work commitments with being a mother?
I have a pretty tight schedule but one of the greatest things about owning your own company is that you can make your own rules. If I have to be somewhere with the girls, then I make up the time away from work somewhere else, which sometimes means answering emails at 10pm. I also have a wonderful support team, my husband and my amazing marketing director and our “can’t live without” nanny. It takes a village. Having a husband that cooks and makes amazing cocktails nightly makes everything easier too.
What are your tips for achieving balance?
Flexibility, organisation and multi-tasking. You have to be ok with just letting some things not happen but also keeping a pretty organised schedule. It’s like a dance. We try to keep weekends totally free from work (not always possible), so we can spend time with the girls, friends and each other.
What do you miss about Australia?
Whenever I’m home I feel more like myself there than anywhere else in the world. It’s just a part of my soul. I love Sydney. I miss my family and my childhood friends.
How do you procrastinate?
Amazon and reality TV.
And how do you focus?
Meditation and exercise.
Can you tell us about your home?
I do love interiors. I love searching Pinterest and Houzz for great ideas. I think my home is comfortably stylish. At least I hope it is! I love our home but it is on the smaller side and with two small children every room has to be functional. We don’t have any areas that are not played in, drawn in, snacked in and so on. I want the whole house to feel loved and lived in, but with style.
What tips do you have for busy mothers on beauty?
The most important thing is to keep it simple and effective. I try to not complicate it with too many products. I love the feeling of a clean fresh face. In the morning I use a hot face cloth and lay it over my face for a few seconds – that is my favourite part. Then a great moisturiser and very light foundation. Maybe a little bronzer. Eyebrows, cheeks and mascara are key. If nothing else, wash your face, groom your brows, fill them in if need be, put mascara on and give your cheeks a healthy glow. Done!