ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS
Ashley Jayne Meyers is a petite and beautiful makeup artist. She is known in downtown circles for her mesmerizing vintage style and fantastic makeup skills. We first caught sight of this New York City beauty some years back at one of Kelle Calco’s groovy parties at the Hudson Hotel, where the coolest downtown rock ‘n’ roll kids flocked uptown to hear the best music and be seen. Ashley’s doll-like facial features are reminiscent of 60s super-model/actress Marisa Berenson. Her impeccable personal style is her own combination of Anita Pallenberg meets Stevie Nicks. We shot Ashley in New York City’s Central Park, with the onset of Fall, as the leaves changed colors. It was a perfect magical backdrop for this beauty to be photographed wearing some of her own personal favorite looks. We could go on and on about Meyers’s enchanting looks, but perhaps even more enticing is the love that she shares for stray, unwanted felines. A savior and foster parent of cats, we are absolutely spellbound with Ashley Jayne Meyers. Photography Alexander Thompson.
PONYBOY: You’re a fabulous and talented makeup artist. How and when did you get into doing makeup?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Why, thank you for those kind words! I have been doing it since 2008! It wasn’t something I ever really thought about, it just kind of happened. After a two-year local college, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was, well still am a bit, all over the place with my interests! One of my friends from my hometown had told me about this makeup school she was going to called Makeup Designory. It was one of the top schools for that. Being I already loved painting, it sparked an interest in me and I thought it seemed like a good idea for me! So I gave that a go and it is still going! I Lived in NJ still at the time so I got up every morning and took the bus into the city during the early morning and evening rush hour commute. It was really exciting, minus the commute, lol. It was my summer in Soho. It was a lot of hours crammed in a short amount of time, so it is something you can go do and be done with right away. I already knew a few photographers so I was lucky enough to get out there and start working right away all while building a portfolio. Back then we still had prints made and put books together! I also met an agent from one of the biggest agencies at the time that represented makeup and hair stylists, at a lecture she gave at that school. She saw something in my work and set me up with assistant work within the agency. That is also how I ended up on the team for shows during NYFW and it grew from there. The experience of throwing yourself out there is where you really learn…
PONYBOY: Tell our readers. Is being a freelance makeup artist in New York City as exciting and glamorous as it sounds?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Exciting, yes! It is always something new and different and that keeps it exciting! Glamorous? I don’t know about that. Ha. At least that is not how I always feel by the end of some jobs. That is okay because as a makeup artist you are there to create it and sometimes that can be a bit messy, but that is also what makes it fun! Not to mention there are also a lot of stairs involved in New York and it can be a struggle carrying and wheeling around a bunch of heavy bags. That would be my least favorite part. lol. I guess it really depends. Maybe if you are someone’s personal makeup artist traveling around with them on a private plane? I can’t speak for all!
PONYBOY: Tell us some of the photographers that you’ve worked with.
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Hmm…well there are too many to name but I will mention who comes to mind first! Well, it is exciting to have had the pleasure of working with Mick Rock who as we know is behind most of the greatest images and album covers of the greatest artists of all time! All my favorites! Thinking back to my growth, Eric Fischer is an amazing photographer who I worked with for a long time on a more consistent basis. I have such lovely makeup shots from our shoots! I will also never forget my first ever shoot at the beautiful Tavern on the Green in Central park pre-renovation, with photographer Morgan Miller. We had always joked about how neither one of us realized it was both one of our first actual official shoots. I was so nervous as it was still all new to me, but completely played it off. I love working with my dear friend and film photographer Kristin Gallegos who now lives in LA. It has always been a pleasure to work with you now as well! Alexander Thompson. It’s great to work with and find easy-going people who you feel more on the same page with!
PONYBOY: Who are some of your dream clients?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Anyone who isn’t staring at their phone or turning to talk to others the whole time while I am doing makeup! lol. Any makeup artist will relate here! Ha. Okay, on a more serious note, anyone who gives me the opportunity to do something fun and creative really. Any job that leaves me feeling fulfilled with the time we spent, whether it be helping someone feel more beautiful within their own skin and teaching them a trick or two, or helping someone feel more confident to go out and perform and fulfill a dream. It feels good to be a part of helping make a special day happen for someone. I love meeting and connecting with good-hearted people that are passionate about making a difference in this world. Those are my dream clients honestly.
PONYBOY: Every shoot is different, but tell our readers what products are your “go-to” on jobs/editorials?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: You can always find a bottle of Heritage Store Rosewater and Glycerin spray in my kit as well as in my personal bag and in my refrigerator. It’s great to refresh and moisturize the skin, before and after makeup, as well as a little wake-up boost throughout the day when you are feeling tired. I am a fan of all their products!
– Thayers Alcohol Free Witch Hazel Toner to cleanse the skin first.
– A great fragrance-free moisturizer. I love the ones by Eminence! I tailor the skin prep products to their skin type so it depends.
– I recently switched out my usual setting powder for 100 Percent Pure, Bamboo Blur Powder. Not only is it amazing, but it makes me feel good to know that all those particles that poof out into the air during application are chemical-free! I also use their Bright Eyes liner pencil to brighten up the inner rim. If a white pencil is too powerful, you can use a yellow or flesh tone to counteract the pinky-red color, making tired eyes look brighter!
– I always have a good set of natural-looking lashes on hand, both stripes and individuals. All about the lash!
– My go-to for glitter is LEMONHEAD gels. It’s important to only ever buy biodegradable glitter!
– Lately, for lips I have been into the OHII lip smudges when a natural lip is needed. Prior my Ben Nye natural lip color palette was my go-to.
– I am currently trying to transition my kit and use as many products from more natural lines as possible and I will only ever invest in cruelty-free brands! Our skin is our biggest organ and I care about what products I use on my clients and what brands I support. Luckily there are way more options out there than ever before! As a makeup artist, I am promoting what I am using, so it is very important for me to use only products I would be passionate about suggesting.
– I have had all sorts of high-end makeup in my kit but I am switching most of it out little by little as I find my best replacements! I don’t care what label something is or how good it works. It is what is inside and what it supports that counts. If it tests on animals it’s garbage to me. There are plenty of amazing products that do not and that are healthier choices for us!
PONYBOY: What make-up brands do you use personally? What’s in your make-up bag?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Oh now I get to talk more about my favorite brands! Well as you can imagine, I only use more natural lines. I keep it simple and my personal kit is tiny.
– Let’s start with the first question I always get asked! What mascara do I use. For a long time it was hard to find a good one amongst the healthier options that didn’t smudge or run. So when I found mineral fusions mascaras I stuck with them for years! They even make a waterproof one which is rare to find without the harsh chemicals etc, But lately I have switched over and been using Burt’s Bees! It’s actually really great and only 12 bucks!
– I love the line 100 Percent Pure. All of their products are made of natural ingredients and fruit pigments! I would pretty much recommend anything by them because so far anything I have tried I really like! I love and use their long last concealer compact, the bamboo blur powder and their powder foundation when I want more coverage. I am also currently using a blush by them in the shade of Mauvette and I have some matte lipsticks I love, that I look forward to using.
– I also switch on and off from 100 Percent Pure concealers to Au Naturale’s concealer stick. This is another one of my favorite makeup lines and one of the few that makes a concealer in a porcelain shade. I sometimes use their powder foundation as well. They offer a lot of great colors to match most skin tones! And you can always blend shades to find your perfect match is needed. I also use their creme shadow sticks which can be multifunctional. This is a great line for anyone who loves a dewy, more natural look with a glow!
– I also like Pacifica which is a great affordable makeup line with lots of fun options! This is a great line to make it easier to switch over to healthier options when you decide to leave your old toxic products behind!
– For skincare, I keep it simple! I love Thatcher’s Rose Witch Hazel Toner to clean my skin and when my skin is more problematic, I use Heritage Store Blemish Treatment Toner, which contains colloidal silver which is so great and healing for all sorts of skin issues. They sell it straight up in a gel form as well. Then I moisturize with straight-up carrier oils like Jojoba, Argan, Rosehip and Evening Primrose oil. I also use these oils on a cotton pad to remove the leftover eye makeup after splashing them with warm water first.
– My favorite on-the-go skincare products are in stick form. I am obsessed with Evan Healy’s balms for multifunctional moisturizing and they also make an amazing natural coverage SPF stick which I love in the summer. Another favorite is the MyMatcha Moisture stick.
– For scrubs and masks, I usually make my own! But that is a whole other thing to get into. It’s so simple and fun and I would suggest anyone to try!
PONYBOY: Your personal 60s style is out-of-this-world! When did you start dressing in this manner and what inspired you? How would you describe your style?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Thank you so much!! I would say I dabble around within the ’60s, ’70s, Edwardian, and renaissance era. Certain times, seasons, moods, bring out more of one over another. I absolutely adore folk art and calico prints and patterns, velvet, lace, fringe, chokers, oversized hats, capes, etc.
My style came about the very first day I ever walked into a vintage shop. At first, I will admit I was grossed out at the thought of everything being used but once I came across all those amazing pieces, that feeling went straight out the window! Of course, I am still super into washing anything and everything. I have ruined many things this way. I will never learn! lol. Now thinking about the possible history of each piece is so fascinating to me! Times when I would buy a piece straight from a direct source it would make me appreciate it even more and want to make sure it goes to a good home if it’s something I sell. Vintage shops are such a great way for someone to find their personal style. I just wear and pick out what feels like me and nothing of these modern times do it for me.
PONYBOY: Who are some of your favorite designers/labels?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: BIBA! The Fool Design Collective, Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock, Candi Jones, vintage Betsey Johnson, to name a few. Some of my favorite pieces are also just handmade from DIY vintage patterns, which I now collect!
PONYBOY: Who are your style icons?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Stevie Nicks, Jane Fonda, Grace Slick, Kim Moon, the GTO’s, Marianne Faithful, Holly Hobbie. =)
PONYBOY: Tell us about your Scarlett Willow Boutique.
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Scarlett Willow is the first thing I put together that is entirely me! It is my little online vintage shop which is slowly becoming a label as well! I also add my own little creations in. I really enjoy putting little shoots together and bringing my visions to life! I get to play photographer (when I’m not wearing the pieces), makeup, of course, styling, props, everything! Recently I had the honor of you photographing a fun shoot we did! It’s been a bit on pause lately, but it will resume up again soon! A couple of years ago my friend Hayley Gianoli and I started putting on our own vintage flea market called the Foxy Flea and Festival. Getting everyone in the community together was really special and so much fun. So we hope to one day put that on again for everyone soon!
PONYBOY: Tell us about your obsession with cats and rescuing cats.
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Best question yet! Yes, I certainly am obsessed with cats! lol, I love and connect to all animals but there is no denying I have a special connection with cats. I guess it all started from childhood. I grew up with mostly cats around. I did have a bunny, hamster and a dog along the way though! I learned at a very early age to take care of the strays and have compassion. When a little black cat who we named Midnight started coming around, that was the start of it all. My first furry true love! My dad would set up a heated house and leave food and water out on our deck. Then another came. You should have seen the lifestyle my little hamster had! All life is equal, no matter how small. No life has more or less a right to be here than another. Most of one side of my family are vegetarians, animal activists and one of my aunts also use to rescue cats as well! It runs in the blood I guess.
When I moved into my apartment that I am in now (with no cats of my own yet), little did I know about the sad overabundance of strays in the neighborhood. The first bunch that started it all was my Mary (Mommy cat) and her three babies, Autumn, Susie and Earl. A neighbor saw me feeding them one day and ended up putting me in touch with a rescuer that lived nearby named Renee, who I will forever be grateful for! She does TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release). I took the class to become certified myself and she helped me with my first project, with getting the ones I just mentioned neutered, spayed and vetted. This story from then till now could turn into a novel, so long story short, that was the beginning for me. Many cats started showing up to me after that. It is like word gets out in the streets where the food is and they come find you! lol. Since then I have had so many cats fixed, and put off the streets and into homes, as well as collecting a few of my own along the way that are my absolute pride and joy!
I invite everyone to get involved and become TNR certified! You can make such an impact in your feral community and save so many lives and future lives from suffering! This is something anyone can do.
TNR prevents future litters that will then become more starving litters and so on. It improves the cat’s health and protects them more while out there. For those who complain about them? Well, guess what! This benefits them too! They will no longer spray and leave an odor. They will no longer be howling out there with mating calls and fighting others. From someone who has gone through hell from neighbors dealing with all sorts of nasty notes, threats, etc., to hear your landlord say years later, “I see the difference you are making” and actually be happy about it is amazing! You just need to stay calm and educate. If this is not for you, you can be an enormous help by donating to your local rescue groups! Or become a foster! There are so many ways to help!
When it comes to smaller wildlife and birds in NYC, The Wild Bird Fund is a remarkable place you can bring them to, as well as donate to.
PONYBOY: You started a line of soaps with your friend and neighbor, model Kirra Hughes. What brought about this collaboration?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: Yes! So I have been making candles for quite a few years now, just for fun. I never thought about selling. Kirra and I are both hands-on crafty DIY people. That is how we bonded, over crafts and cats hence (Kitty Kraft ;) ). We started having little get-togethers making stuff and then I had her over for a candle night and we started talking about making soap! Before we knew it we were both going down the rabbit hole ordering all sorts of molds! We ended up having a great opportunity with The Curio, which is an amazing one-woman-owned vintage and antique jewelry business, to mass-produce some special batches for her clients. We still don’t have our website up! But we do have sweatshirts and matchbooks with our logo. Ha. This is just how we work. Stay tuned!
PONYBOY: With coronavirus vaccinations and the world reopening in the not-so-distant future, what do you see for yourself?
ASHLEY JAYNE MEYERS: As of now it looks like I will soon be going on a special adventure and living in a new place for a while. Then hopefully in a beautiful scenic place, living in the woodland in a cozy little cottage, with land for a rescue sanctuary, creating, growing my own food and working on my own business. I look forward to live music again and having occasions to dress up for! It’s all about a balance.