And her mother was right. Jewel, started portraying individual costumes and entered her first Carnival competition at the tender age of just 14 months, coveting the title “Babes in Arms”. Jewel began dancing at age 3 when her mother insisted that the ballet school accept her at that age. She went on to model with that same ballet school at 4 years old. At age 7, Jewel began playing the piano and also joined the church choir, where she became a soloist at 10 years old and started playing the guitar, around the same time she auditioned for, and was accepted into her primary school’s folk and classical choirs. From there, she went on to sing for her high school choir, the Love Movement Youth Choir under the directorship of Bernadette Scott and the Lorna Myers Chorale, under the directorship of Lorna Mae Myers. In the midst of it all, she still found the time to nurture her love for sports, representing her school at Track & Field Intercol, winning quite a few medals for short and long distance races.
In 1990, at the tender age of 14, Jewel started experimenting with braiding and makeup artistry. Her mother, being an Yvonne Popplewell trained makeup artist herself, helped to nurture her talent in that area, and encouraged her to practice and perfect her skill for braiding. In1994, while studying for her A’ Levels, Jewel created a braid she is internationally known for; a similar braid to the Senegalese twist, which she designed to look and feel like your natural hair, and lasts as long as up to two months. Some nicknamed it “the Jewel Twist”, but in 2005 she officially named it the Bijou Twist. In 1998, her passion for graphic arts and makeup artistry led her to the Beauti-bank, where she graduated top of her class as a makeup artist, under the directorship of Lester Rauseo. She then incorporated the makeup artistry into her already existing hair braiding business, lending expertise from one area to the next.
So where did Jewel go from there? In 2003 Jewel set off to England, where she balanced working in corporate London, and her profession in braiding and makeup artistry. She was privileged to work at the offices of Unilever Cosmetics – home of Calvin Klein Cosmetics - while working at a beauty consultant for the same company on weekends. Jewel took part in the Afro Hair & Beauty Show in May 2005 Alexandra Palace, London where she received overwhelming response. There she met two Senegalese braiding artists who eagerly looked on as she demonstrated her work on live models. One told her she should give her style of twists its own name because she felt it was more exquisite than the traditional Senegalese twists; hence the name "Bjiou Twists" (Bijou is French for Jewel) was born right then in May of 2005.
Jewel also holds the title of 2nd runner up in the Miss Trinidad & Tobago UK pageant 2005. Her fast growing clientele prompted her to expand her business. Maximus Dan, Precious and Nadia Batson were added to her clientele list in 2005 and in 2008 Destra Garcia started sporting the twists while on tour, and her innovative ideas lend much to Jewel's creativity. Other artists who have had their hair braided or styled or locks twisted by Jewel include Producers Ken Holder, Daryl Braxton, Nas-T, Carl Jacobs, Patrick 'Vybe' Gordon, Claudette Peters, Kenne Blessin and Sleepy (formerly of Da Bhann, Antigua), Mr. Dale of Barbados and Kevin Lyttle from St Vincent. She freelances as a publicist (works actively for Maximus Dan and Olatunji Yearwood), make up artist, natural hair stylist, voice over talent and model and is available internationally.
Also on the agenda is a top of the line website which is presently being constructed by the young genius known as "Swayo" whose vast portfolio includes projects done for Motorola, Cable & Wireless,Pizza Hut, Republic Bank, TIDCO, France Telecom and the list goes on... You can soon log on to www.bijouxsalon.com. On facebook she can be found as BIJOUX SALON. Here are the links to her group and fan pages:
2010 - BACK IN THE GAME
Jewel returned to Trinidad at the end of 2006. Although she is pursuing studies in Psychology, Jewel continues to practice PR and remains the publicist for Maximus Dan and Olatunji Yearwood. She also gets involved in several projects and events, noting that her favourite company to work with is Unlimited Resources, under the directorship of Charlene Clarke.
Jewel is a model, makeup artist, publicist and sales representative for ELF Cosmetics Trinidad and the fast growing local brand Ambrosia Cosmetics, whose innovative trends in makeup artistry are making waves in Trinidad and Tobago, alongside esteemed colleague and creator of Ambrosia Cosmetics herself, Vanessa Hosein.
Jewel also continues to practice, as well as share her talent in the areas of makeup artistry and braiding artistry providing training in makeup artistry through certified tutorials featuring the "Fundamentals of Makeup Artistry" and "The Art of Contouring" utilising ELF and Trinidad’s Ambrosia Cosmetics.
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