Transparency post (long):
The single most asked question I get from clients is, “How did you get into Makeup”?
It is such a simple question but one I could never answer. I typically respond with “I started beauty blogging and fell in love with it.” Very short and sweet, because the back story is a bit more heavy than I care to share with clients. It’s also a time in my life I don’t like to revisit. Even now, I started this post on December 10th in hopes of posting on December 14th. It’s been 2 weeks and it’s taken a lot more than I realized to revisit that time in my life, and process trauma I never got over. So, when you see this is when I finally finished.
Growing up, I was the oldest in every traditional sense. Fairly mature, even-tempered, and overall just trying to please my parents.
You can imagine the disappointment of dropping out of school just to be broke, 21 and pregnant. I had chosen wrong. I had every opportunity to go home to parents who loved me. But what is pride, if not to suffer in silence? I was very naive about love at 19, to the point I stayed in an abusive relationship and withdrew from friends and family. That story’s 8 years long, and destined for a Grammy nominated album lol…but anyone who’s experienced that kind of pit, understands the dedication we have to “pushing past” trauma, with the idea that the relationship will eventually hit a turning point (Spoiler alert: it does, just never for the better). We were living in the hood, in a basement room of his friend’s house. Everyone’s next best suggestion to getting my life together was a desk job. 35 hours a week making $11/hr; With hard work and dedication I could work my way up to 40 hours with benefits. Yes, depressing…but I took whatever I could get.
We didn’t have much to our names, but I would take what little money I had and every 1-2 weeks buy myself a new lipstick or palette. Not the best way to save money, but when you’re at rock bottom you have to go out of your way to create dopamine 😵💫 It was exciting choosing the lipstick that screamed the loudest, and a glitter that made a statement. It was everything that I was not in that moment. I didn’t know how to do makeup, but what did that matter when it was the only thing I could wipe away and start anew? I would sit in that basement and attempt look after look. We didn’t have TV, so my main form of entertainment was YouTube makeup tutorials.
A few months pass and I received my 2017 tax return. After paying debts and bills I had $500 left for myself. I was invited to a L’Bri Skin Care party. We were able to try products, and of course were pitched to join the sales team (similar to other companies like Avon and Mary K). The largest sales package included their makeup line of foundations, blushes, eyeshadows, etc. and a big makeup train case. When I tell you nothing in that makeup line was even close to matching my skin tone…But I threw my entire $500 at it. At no point leading up to that moment had I ever thought of being a Makeup Artist. I enjoyed the bit of beauty blogging that I had done, but by no means did that qualify me. Still, in that moment I remember it feeling “do or die”. Either change course or go back to the routine of struggling with no end in sight. Yet, you can imagine the argument that came with that decision; my ex thought there were better things that money could have been spent on. We were back to broke and I was just sitting in that room “playing” in makeup.
It’s been 5 years since that basement, 3 years since my first fashion show, 2 years since my first publication, and just 3 months ago I formed my first LLC. There are many more moments I’ve shared with you throughout the years. What I rarely share is the money, planning, and time that I’ve put into a vision no one else saw. My mission is to dedicate my art and platform in empowering women and individuals to be whichever version of themselves they choose… regardless of who they were the day before. As we step into the new year, I wish us all the clarity and grit to get what’s ours.
Here’s to 2022.