Jemma Kidd was born in 1974 in West Sussex, England. The daughter of polo star Johnny Kidd, she isn’t the only famous family member. Her elder brother, Jack, is also a well-known polo player, and her sister, Jodie, is a renowned model.
Jemma’s modeling career began when she signed with Models 1 and was featured in advertising campaigns. In a 1999 Pretty Polly campaign, she bared just about everything. She also modeled for Chanel and Ronit Zilkha. But Jemma found being a model overwhelming, and left the catwalk to her sister. “Jodie is really good at strutting,” she says, “but I know I’d just rush on and rush off again and no one would see the clothes, because I’d just be a blur.”
Jemma worked as a stylist as well, but it wasn’t until she took a course at a London professional makeup school that she found her true calling. An agent from Premier Hair & Make-Up spotted her at work, took note of her developing talent, and began representing her in 2000.
Jemma’s first advertising campaign was for Gianfranco Ferre. She landed the lead make-up artist position at the catwalk shows of Jasper Conran, Philip Treacy and Scott Henshall. She also worked with many actors, including Joely Richardson, Colin Firth, and Jane Seymour; models, such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Erin O’Connor, Liberty Ross, Laura Bailey, and her sister Jodie; and other celebrities, including Jerry Hall, Jade Jagger, and Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York.
Her clients range from Max Factor to Marks & Spencer, and her work has been featured in magazines such as Elle, FHM, Glamour, GQ, Red, Self, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. Her skill with a makeup brush got her nominated for Makeup Artist of the Year.
In 1999, Kidd decided to try the East Indian technique of Ayurveda. Coming from the Sanskrit term, which means “life knowledge,” Ayurvedic treatment ranges from dietary philosophy to nude hot-oil rubdowns.
In 2003, Jemma decided to make her expertise available to others. After dispensing advice on the Internet, she opened a professional makeup school of her own. With the help of Ginni Bogado, she opened the doors of Jemma and Ginni’s Make-up School in London’s Covent Garden. One six-week session with 10 hand-picked students has already been completed, and expansion is being planned.
Meanwhile, Jemma continues to mingle with the rich and famous, as her new endeavors thrive. In 2001, she dated dashing Italian construction heir Giorgio Veroni. As well, rumors circulated that she was briefly engaged to Lord of the Rings star Orlando Bloom. Jemma is currently dating Arthur, Earl of Mornington, heir to the Duke of Wellington.