Jay Manuel: Classic? Iconic? or Avant-garde?

Maybe I was under a rock somewhere, but I had no idea Jay Manuel and Iman teamed up to launch Jay Manuel Beauty in 2015. Mainly sold on HSN, the brand recently collaborated with Simon (as in Simon malls) to introduce the Jay Manuel Beauty Retail Experience.  Then what do you know, I’m walking in the mall and boom I see the Jay Manuel Beauty experience stationed right in the center.  

 Source: Jay Manuel Beauty 

Source: Jay Manuel Beauty 

I’m usually in-the-know when it comes to the latest must-haves in beauty. This one, however, caught me by surprise. Jay Manuel has a makeup line? Since when? And why isn’t it in Sephora or something?  It’s nothing like your traditional beauty retail store; this experience is far more interactive. A Jay Manuel Beauty shopper’s experience may include accessing the brand’s app, using virtual services for shade-matching or simply tuning into the screens that play exclusive content. Knew I’d do my research later to find more answers, but since I was there I figured why not test out these products and see if they’re up to par. 

I swatched a few products: the face tuning primer, the highlighter, and an eyeshadow palette. First impressions are everything and my first thought was, what is this magic made of?  The primer literally made my hand look airbrushed, so imagine what it’d look like on a face. Neither the highlighter or eyeshadow swept me off my feet in terms of color, but the application was flawless. Each swatch glided on my hand so gently but managed to remain extremely pigmented. Know what that means? Bang for your buck, that’s what. 

 Source: albertoinnyc on Instagram

Source: albertoinnyc on Instagram

 Source: Jay Manuel Beauty

Source: Jay Manuel Beauty

When you test a dash of shadow and it shows up like you just completed an entire eye look, that’s usually an indication of longevity. No one wants to buy a palette that is done after three swatches, especially when these prestige brands aren’t necessarily easy on the pockets. Jay Manuel is after all a respected Makeup Artist, so I wasn’t shocked to see some luxe ingredients used in the formula. Behind the super soft application are crushed gemstones and diamond dust. Imagine highlighting with diamond dust? That takes the glow to a new universe! 

 Source: Jay Manuel Beauty

Source: Jay Manuel Beauty

The beauty experience doesn’t end in-person though. The website stays consistent with the interactive theme. On the home screen, there is a quiz to determine your style, you’ll fall into either the classic, iconic or avant-garde category. If you explore further, you’ll find simple steps on how to achieve certain “filter finishes” using the brand’s products. What millennial would say no to that?

 A screenshot of the homepage.

A screenshot of the homepage.

I haven’t purchased anything (yet), but I was really impressed with how engaged the brand seems to be with its consumers. There’s also just a natural level of trust given two veterans in beauty are the geniuses behind this prestige brand. Jay and Iman are obviously not new to this. Definitely looking forward to adding Jay Manuel Beauty to my ever-growing collection. How about you?

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Jakira Shaw
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