Sasha Bowie: Makeup Artist, Guru, Boundary Pusher

Sasha Bowie is a multi-talented makeup artist, stylist, and fashion consultant based in Kingston, Jamaica. Her work has been featured in the prominent Jamaica Observer, at multiple fashion shoots and runway shows, and in Bacchanal Jamaica’s Road March, which annually draws people to Kingston from around the world and tops off Jamaica’s Carnival season. Taking inspiration from numerous and eclectic sources, Bowie’s work ranges from Glam to Avant-garde, from dark to jubilant, but consistently impresses. Curious to know more about her experiences and process, I had the honor of interviewing Sasha earlier this month.

“Bloodbath”. Model: Donalee Curtis. Photographer: Uliana Afanasenko. Makeup Artist: Sasha Bowie.


Tell me about your route to Makeup Art. I know it wasn’t a straight path. What were you doing before makeup and what led you into your new career?

I was studying for my Masters degree in Counselling Psychology and found it very boring. One day my sister’s friend commented on how beautiful my makeup looked. After that, random people started stopping me on the road and in malls and kept asking me if I was a makeup artist—based on how I looked. Since I was bored doing my Masters degree, I told my mom that I wanted to do courses and get officially certified in Makeup Art simultaneously. She paid for it, and I did both at the same time. I was certified after a number of weeks—a few months actually—and I started to work in Makeup Art immediately, still studying for my Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology.

“Bloodbath”. Model: Donalee Curtis. Photographer: Uliana Afanasenko. Makeup Artist: Sasha Bowie.

Now that you are an established figure on Jamaica’s fashion and culture scene, what are you working on as a makeup artist and beyond?

I do all kinds of Makeup work—Glamor Makeup, Avant-garde Makeup, Carnival Makeup, and High-Fashion Makeup. I have done makeup for music videos featuring local and international music artists, PSA’s that air on our local television, and more. I promote Carnival through my Carnival makeup work and personally have the largest clientele for the year on Carnival day. And sometimes I just find it fun to be creative. I have an ongoing series of antagonists and protagonists that I have been working on based on fairytales soon to be released. I am also in a position now where I direct shoots.

Model: Alecia Muir. Makeup Artist: Sasha Bowie. Photographer: Jovian Blair. Jewelery design by Duane Bennett of Reve Jewelry


 Model: Charlotte Salabie. Makeup Artist/Stylist/Director:         Sasha Bowie. Photographer: Wade Rhoden

As a director, what is your aim and approach to working with both models and photographers and making something happen?

Given the opportunity to do so, I also direct—depending on the photographer or project. Being a director makes my vision come to life when all those on board trust me. I know exactly what the end product will be like. As a director, I see myself as the one that comes up with the concept to sell an ad or music video or Carnival shoot. Being able to direct gives me that freedom along with being the makeup artist.

I know you have a particular love for Avant-garde makeup. Tell me about that. What makes it something special to you?

I love makeup, and I love pushing boundaries. I never saw myself as a bridal makeup artist. I saw Glam Makeup as easy to accomplish, even though that was where the most money was—booking brides. My sister introduced me to Carnival Makeup. Her best friend’s parents own Bacchanal Jamaica—Carnival headquarters for Jamaica. So soon after I was certified, I explored that area as well—through my sister and her best friend—and I fell in love with Carnival Makeup, which, in itself, is quite Avant-garde—but I took it to a whole new level. It was almost like this was what I was meant to be doing. Soon, my work was being featured in one of our biggest national newspapers [the Jamaica Observer]. I must thank Novia McDonald Whyte for that, the editor, she was very welcoming of my ideas. Then out of my uniquely creative Carnival makeup work, came a series of concepts of an ‘out of the box’ nature—my ‘Girl in Blood Bath’ work for instance. I prefer it, and I love how I can use it in music videos, fashion shows, and editorial photo shoots. I simply wanted to say, I can do much more than glam. Ironically I am now focusing on Glam Makeup again, that flawless Kardashian look, but I will never stop my Avant-garde work. I wanted to do what no one else had done before, and I succeeded. I have done several Avant-garde works of Makeup Art. A photographer and I have spoken about opening a series of work we did together for Avant-garde Carnival style to be featured in a gallery. That would be the next step.


What do you think is the best role that makeup can play in our everyday lives?

Simply enhancing one’s beauty. Makeup is seen sometimes as this crazy witchcraft that girls do to trick guys. That’s not true. Makeup can make a girl feel so much more self-esteem-wise and why not? Your boyfriend is NOT going to leave you when he see’s you without makeup. If he does, you did not need that boyfriend. It is fun. It is something that brings out our best features.

Model: Charlotte Salabie. Makeup Artist/Stylist/Director: Sasha Bowie. Photographer: Michele Hamilton

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