The thin line between brains, beauty and books

Photo Submitted by Jayla Brooks

For centuries, makeup has been a way for people to use their own faces as a canvas. Georgia State student Jayla Brooks uses her makeup skills to make her clients feel beautiful while also juggling her studies. 

Brooks has spent countless hours perfecting her craft since she started in 2012.

“I’ve always been the artsy type,” Brooks said. “My creativity always seemed to pacify my anxiety, so if there was ever a chance for me to be creative, I took it.”  

Brooks has branched out from makeup by offering hair styling and custom henna tattoos as well.

She currently works in a beauty salon and also commutes to her clients. Brooks operates under her makeup brand name Grand Aesthetics ATL, which she created in late 2018. 

“During my three years at Georgia State, the university has helped me expand my clientele,” Brooks said.

Brooks’ key to managing school while doing makeup is to always put school first. She focuses on school from Monday to Friday and is open to clients through the weekend.  

“It is vital to have balance,” she said. “If the balance is not there, then there will be chaos.”

Makeup is a creative outlet for Brooks, but she doesn’t see herself doing it for much longer. Once she earns her degree, she sees herself working towards her dream career as a physical therapist. 

Grace Davenport has been doing makeup for seven years, transitioning from artwork on canvas to artwork on skin.

“Makeup makes me feel confident and creative, and I enjoy making others feel the same,” Davenport said. 

She does freelance work around Georgia, specializing in weddings and photoshoots to showcase her work. She shares most of her work on her Instagram page

Like Brooks, Davenport has received a lot of support from Georgia State students. 

“I’ve obtained most of my clients through networking at [Georgia State],” she said. “One of my bigger gigs was through a mutual friend in the theatre department.”

 Davenport confidently navigates the line between school and work life but admits that it can be difficult at times. 

 “Managing them both sometimes becomes overwhelming for me,” she said. “School comes first so I try to make sure I have that as my top priority, even if that means turning down a client or rescheduling an appointment.”

 Although makeup is something Brooks only sees herself doing for the moment, Davenport is different. 

Davenport expresses that her love for makeup is something that she will never stop doing. She wants to spend the rest of her life practicing the art. 

“Even though I will continue to do makeup, I have to make sure that it is balanced and doesn’t get wrapped up or tangled in the rest of my life’s plans,” she said.