Jill Harth: Professional Makeup Artist


She comes to the studio armed with a small arsenal of supplies with which she will work her magic to make my subject look and feel beautiful. She does this all the time and when she leaves, the images that follow her bear the imprint of a professional. Her “magic” is often so subtle that you have to look hard to see what she has done. Yet, that’s the whole idea of her art. She enhances her subjects so that the enhancements themselves seem to fit like parts of a jigsaw puzzle that bring the whole image together. They form the basic parts of my images of beauty. 

The artist is Jill Harth. She is a makeup artist. And, I use the term “artist” in its truest sense. The human face is her canvas. She understands its textures, contours and colors and adds dimensionality to the total picture of the human face. She makes it easy for me to do my work of lighting it and capturing it for the camera. 

Jill has been obsessed with beauty most of her life. She is a beautiful woman herself and as such, she was interested in sharing her ideals of beauty with the world. She says, “My interest in beauty started as teenager. I was keenly attuned to the modeling, beauty, and fashion worlds. I constantly people watched and thought that most people were good looking, yet with a little touch here and there they could be beautiful.  I researched and read every article about makeup products and what I could do to attain beautiful skin in real life and for the camera.”

Her career in the beauty pageant world began with her ex-husband, George. According to Harth, “My ex-husband had an existing business when I joined his company in 1979. He had a motorsports magazine with a pull-out calendar in it that featured different types of racing cars on it. English Leather, then a men’s cologne, was an advertiser in the magazine and the sponsor for the calendar and they wanted to do something to spice up the photos. They wanted to add models, but my ex-husband wanted the models to compete to be on the calendar pages, just as the car winners did.” Thus the Calendar Girl Contest was born. “I was there at the beginning.”

“I worked on coordinating, then eventually directing the Calendar Girl Modeling contest/pageant from 1979 to 1998, nineteen years. It started out very small with just a few, local competitions with models in swimsuits at racetracks. Then it expanded to a network of race tracks and car shows across the country. Back then there weren’t many pageants or modeling contests. But ours finally went nationwide and became a very popular attraction for the events and on its own. 

Jill and her ex-husband had a close contact who was associated with Donald Trump. “He brought the idea to my ex about bringing the American Dream Festival, a larger competition event that the Model Search was a part of, in Atlantic City and have it sponsored by Trump at the now defunct Trump Castle. We already had regional contests at the Trump Taj Mahal and other casino hotels in Atlantic City before we actually met Trump directly. It was being around and involved in our pageant that gave Trump the idea to buy the Miss Universe franchise. He wanted to purchase our pageant, but my ex didn’t want to do that.” 

After her “run-in” with Mr. Trump, and divorce, she then began to re-focus her life on doing makeup and on the manufacture and sales of a line of beauty products for both men and women. All her products are hypo-allergenic, cruelty free and made of the finest ingredients available in the beauty industry. 

She sells her products online through her website: http://www.jillharth.com  as well as other portals. You can also contact her directly to order any of her products or to book a session. 

Jill’s approach to makeup is kind of a holistic one. She has a great intuition for what would work with one’s particular complexion and overall skin tone. She also has a professional approach to doing makeup for photographs, having worked with many well-known photographers. She knows what works and what doesn’t. 

Jill and I have worked on many projects and we continually bounce ideas off one another in our continuing effort to be creative forces in our businesses. 




William Lulow

William Lulow is a commercial portrait and corporate photographer in the Greater New York Area. His clients include IBM, Swiss Re, Westchester Magazine and Michael Baker International (Engineering), among many others. William is also a certified teacher of photography having been an adjunct professor at New York's New School For Social Research. He publishes daily blog articles on photography. His goal is to raise people's awareness of photographic principles in order to better their photographic efforts.

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