Making a mark in the world of appearances is hard. It goes beyond looks and into a combination of luck and hard work. Jeannie Mai has definitely done the work, and she’s had her share of luck to go with it.
The result is that she’s been able to establish herself as a genuine star, with so many premiere gigs that it’s hard to guess where she’ll turn up next beyond her own show.
Her journey has definitely been a process, so let’s trace her path. In some ways, it’s a blueprint rags-to-riches story of how to make it in the entertainment world, and it has allowed her to build a tidy fortune. As of 2022, Jeannie Mai has a net worth of $4 million.
Jeannie Mai was born in San Jose in 1979. Her mother is Vietnamese, and her father is a bit more of a mix, with his ancestry consisting of Chinese and Vietnamese influences.
Mai launched her career when she was 18 as a makeup girl for MAC Cosmetics. Her work stood out, and within a few years, she was traveling the world working for different celebrities, including Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys.
She crossed over into TV in 2003 when she began appearing for local networks, and once again her work got noticed. Shortly thereafter, she became a celebrity makeup stylist for the MTV show “Total Request Live,” and around the same time, she started working for a Los Angeles TV station, KCAL.
It was only a matter of time before Mai landed a prime-time gig, and it turned out to be on USA hosting a show called “Character Fantasy.” That led to entertainment news segments on a number of networks, including NBC, Lifetime, E! and TLC.
She was a member of the beauty squad on TLC’s “10 Years Younger,” and in 2008 Mai landed one of the ultimate visibility gigs in her field when she hosted the Miss America pageant on TLC.
Her climb up the ladder continued when she finally got her own show, which was called “How Do I Look?” It debuted on the Style Network in 2009, and while makeover shows have been a staple of reality TV for a long time, Mai’s was a hit that quickly rose above the others.
That vaulted her into the world of genuine mainstream stardom. Mai has appeared as a correspondent on “Extra TV,” where she’s appeared on the NBC show with Mario Lopez.
She also served as the fashion consultant on yet another production, the NBC weight loss show “The Biggest Loser,” and she’s a regular on “The Real,” a prominent daytime talk show.
Mai continues to rack up entertainment show credits on a constant, ongoing basis, and awards have entered the picture. She even appeared as a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” but had to drop out due to a health issue.
In 2018, she won a Daytime Emmy for her work as an entertainment talk show host, and she was a co-recipient of the NAACP Image Awards in both 2018 and 2019 along with the other members of her team.
Mai’s path to personal happiness hasn’t been quite as smooth. She married Freddy Harteis in 2007. The marriage eventually fizzled into a divorce that occurred in 2018, but by that time Mai had started dating Jay Jenkins, the rapper who is better known as Jeezy. They got engaged during the pandemic, then tied the knot last year.