Make-up artist, Jacob Stella, has a no holds barred approach to both life and makeup, proving there’s no gender when it comes to beauty. The 24-year-old from Melbourne founded his company Bocaj Beauty (pronounced Bouquet) by spelling his first name backwards.
“I didn’t really know what to do,” Stella told host of the SEEN by Anita podcast, Anita Anabel. “And then I flipped my name backwards and it just worked.”
Bocaj Beauty is a vegan and animal cruelty makeup brand, born after Stella worked for some of the biggest cosmetic houses including Benefit Cosmetics, Napoleon Perdis, MAC Cosmetics, and Esteé Lauder.
Now, he is a freelancer and social media influencer who uses his social media presence to be a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community, mental health, and male representation in the beauty industry — and he owes it all to his mum and dad.
“I’m lucky to have good parents who just allow me to be who I am,” Stella said. “They may not understand what I am doing 97% of the time or why I am doing it but in the end, they’re like, ‘Oh okay, that makes sense’.”
Being a male in the beauty industry has had its downfalls, however, Stella has always been “very lucky” that his parents, grandparents and family, have always been very “accepting” of whatever he has chosen to do.
“When I have conversations with my grandmother about stuff like this, she always says that I am the karma for the older generation of men if that makes sense.
“Because for my grandfather to see his grandson in a full face of makeup on the internet, he’s probably thinking, ‘What the hell is going on?'”
With an Italian background, Stella believes that it’s just a “more traditional way of thinking.”
“That’s how they’re brought up you know, it wasn’t a normal thing for them to see. I was lucky enough that my grandparents never said anything and they don’t really,” he said.
“I don’t think they really feel the need to. It’s more like, ‘Oh, that’s just Jacob now,’ because I’ve always been unapologetically myself.”
“As for his confidence, he’s not quite sure where it comes from, but to be honest, he’s “just never given a s**t.”
“When it comes to me being who I am, I would have to say I definitely have very good parents, I think I owe it to them.”
To hear the full story and to listen to the full episode of SEEN by Anita with Jacob Stella, click below.