What the hell am I doing?

 

The first question I usually get asked when working with a client is:

"So, how did you get into doing makeup?"

So, here's my story, for those who are sweet enough to be curious.

When I was little, I loved watching my mother get ready for work in the morning. She'd load up her lashes with Lancôme mascara, and the scent of Esteé Lauder's Double Wear still brings back memories of those days. My mother was single at the time, driven as hell, and a successful businesswoman. There was something magical about when she would finish up her routine. She'd give her hair one final "fluff," smack her lips to blend her lipstick, spray some Cartier into the air, and it was time to go. She was ready to face the day with confidence and a little sparkle.

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It's that moment of transformation that I've always loved. One minute, you're tired and unsure of how the day will go. After a few mindful minutes of applying makeup, BAM!, you've just become the boss of your day. You're ready to hustle, with a newfound glow, radiating through you. It's not your makeup; it's your confidence (okay, maybe those Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighters help).

Fast-forward from my awkward teen phase, into my equally-as-awkward adult phase. Ah, to be 21 again. I was a few months away from getting my bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in marketing at Chico State University,  and I had no fucking (can I say fucking?) clue what I wanted to do. Somehow through our career center, I caught wind of a retail management internship with Nordstrom. It described a program composed of management training, visual merchandising education, and the unique opportunity to work and learn from Nordstrom's top executives. It sounded fun. I went for it.

Nordstrom Exec. and I

Nordstrom Exec. and I

Out of thousands that applied, I was somehow selected (they probably felt bad for me tbh), and I joined a small group of fresh-faced newly grads at the San Francisco store in Union Square. Before our first day, they let us know that part of our program would include working the sales floor, and each person in our program was assigned a department. I was placed in cosmetics – the first intern for that department...ever. 

Let me tell you about my eyebrows back then. Actually, let's skip that, it's a sad story. Let me tell you about my first day in the cosmetics department. If you ever feel intimidated walking into the cosmetics department with all those girls, times that feeling by 100 to imagine how I felt because I was about to work with them. However, I was greeted by the sweetest angel, Kevin Sifflet (@kevglam–give him some love). He immediately ordered me a makeover and taught me the basics. It was a total Princess Diaries moment. 

My eyebrows lived happily ever after (eh, that's not true, we've had our weird phases).

Current work situation at  Column Five  in Orange County

Current work situation at Column Five in Orange County

After the internship was over, I stuck around Nordstrom Cosmetics for a couple of years. I enjoyed the artistry and liked sales. But, I could see my college degree getting dusty, and I knew retail wasn't my "forever." So, I found another job, then another, and a couple of hops/face-plants later, I discovered my passion for content marketing. It's been a few years riding the waves of this industry, and I love it. Brands that I used to sell in cosmetics, I'm now directing major campaigns for. It's challenging, of course, but it's mostly a dream. 

If you've made it this far, bless you. I'll try to wrap it up.

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I got back into this world by accident, really. A close friend of mine, Katrina, asked me one day if I'd want to do her friend's makeup for her wedding. A part of me was like "girl, no, I'm rusty as hell, and I have twelve client campaigns going on right now." The other part of me was like, "fuck yeah!" 

I listened to the other part of me and did it, and I knew I had to keep the side hustle going. It was too fun not to. After watching some of my amazing friends start their own businesses (cough... CRASH, Xenia, and Best Lives Retreat), I was completely inspired. So, here I am. I've been back doing makeup part time for about a year now, and since I build brands at work regularly, I thought it'd be fun to experiment with my own. You'll see a lot of non-makeup related posts from me here... because let's be honest, that shit gets boring after awhile. I'll try to keep it fresh with things I'm currently into, lessons learned, yadda yadda.

Feel Pretty,

Des