Jeannie Mai is an American makeup artist, fashion expert, actress, and TV personality. She is most known for her work as the host of How Do I Look? (2004) on the Style Network and Character Fantasy (2006) on the USA Network. As a fashion expert, she is frequently featured on numerous television programs, such as The Today (1952) Show, NBC’s Extra with Billy Bush (1994) TV and E!’s The Daily 10 (2006).
Mai grew up in San Jose, CA, the daughter of a Vietnamese immigrant father and Chinese mother. Taking after her mother, a local celebrity, Jeannie began entertaining at an early age, using her mother’s makeup to glitter herself up before leaping out to “interview” one of the 16 family members living in her three-bedroom home.
Mai started out on Disney’s “Suite Life of Zach and Cody”. At 18, Mai launched her career as a makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics, while still living in San Jose. As a trainer, she worked her way from face to face until she was eventually traveling the world to dress the face of celebrities, such as Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and Rosario Dawson. She has served as a celebrity makeup stylist for MTV’s TRL, KCL-Los Angeles and Good Morning Sacramento.
In 2003, Mai began auditioning for local television networks with self-written scripts to demonstrate her unique hosting talents. She landed a gig co-hosting the Emmy-nominated Asian American Magazine-Style show, Stir TV (2004), on International Channel Networks. Soon after, the San Francisco local music channel, CMC, invited her to become the first female VJ to host her own music countdown. After gaining attention for her spunky personality and knack for style, Mai became an entertainment reporter and producer of the WB’s “Daily Mixx”.
In 2005, Mai landed her first primetime hosting role on Character Fantasy (2006) on the USA Network, where she inspired guests each week to live their fantasies. Following this, she appeared on MTV’s “Granted”, alongside Frankie Muniz, and hosted various segments related to fashion and entertainment news on networks such as E!, Lifetime, TLC and NBC.
In 2008, Mai took part in TV history’s first-ever attempt to revamp Miss America’s 52 hopefuls on TLC’s Miss America: Reality Check (2008). She also starred in “Dude, Where’s Your Style”, a Style-special turning men from cute to couture, and toured the world as the official spokesperson of “Never Accept Ordinary”, a line of cosmetics that promotes individuality through color.
In 2009, Mai took over as the host of the Style Network’s popular and Emmy-nominated show, How Do I Look? (2004). More than just a “makeover show”, Jeannie empowers women to discover their true beauty, overcome their insecurities, and employ fashion to achieve their career goals. She also serves as a correspondent and weekend host on NBC’s Extra with Billy Bush (1994), with Mario Lopez.
Mai frequently takes annual mission trips to Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. While abroad, she works with “Heartbeat Vietnam”, a nonprofit devoted to improving health care for impoverished children, and “NightLight International”, an organization committed to rescuing women and children from sex trafficking and prostitution rings by providing employment and vocational opportunities.
Mai is also deeply committed to supporting females who face obstacles in their careers. She is a supporter of “Seven Bar”, “Dress for Success”, “Sister To Sister”, “P.A.T.H”, “Respect RX” and “The Good Shepherd”. As a popular stylist and fashionista, Jeannie also uses her recognition as a platform to promote fledgling female designers and entrepreneurs from around the world by wearing their designs on the red carpet and How Do I Look? (2004).
On August 11, 2007, Mai married Freddy Harteis, host of The Hollywood Hunter (2011), airing on The Sportsman Channel.
In 2010 Jeannie created a Prayer Box that she placed on Runyon Canyon, a popular hiking spot in Los Angees. Hikers are asked to leave a personal prayer and take another that has been left in the box. Using the term “pray it forward”, the box encourages visitors to open their eyes to the prayers of others and share their own, displaying the power of faith in action. The box has received much attention and has become a popular destination for residents of the city as well as tourists.
Mai currently live in Los Angeles.
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