Phase one: Believe in yourself

I never really figured out the ‘proper’ way to write this for my readers, or maybe specifically to the people who are interested in what I do or the area I specialize in.

Truth is, there is no proper way. And it’s better this way because now you get my honest, original and deep-hearted feelings for this. 

My goal is to inform and inspire you. Get you out of that comfort zone, because living starts when you leave that sheltered circle and experience life the way you only dreamt it to be. 

All I know is the beauty/wellness industry is making an all-time high in both product/informational profit and services itself. Which is why I chose this opportunity to take it and to chase it down as my own. 

It’s actually pretty crazy to not see many people doing what I do, but I think that’s because no one really knows it’s a thing. 

And that’s where I come in – to brag how this was the best discovery I ever made. 

You may not want to be a writer, but you may want to be a chemist whipping up the next hit foundation recipe for Too Faced Cosmetics or you may want to travel to Australia to discuss the product expansion of Paul Mitchell Hair Care, didn’t know that was a thing or even a job? 

Welcome to the beauty industry. 

So when did this start for me? It really all began in 5th grade when my mom took me every week to get my nails done – best woman ever by the way. 

Since then I just sort of fell in love with the idea of being  glammed up and feeling beautiful. I was the girl in middle school trying out blue eyeshadow and wearing wedges to school on the daily (nothing wrong with that, obviously). 

I felt pretty, and sort of invincible. Like no one could break my confidence because the lip gloss I wore made me feel beautiful on the outside and on the inside. 

So why did I not go to Cosmo school? Hm, long story. Since I was a little girl I really only pictured myself going to college. I’m a first generation to go to school in the United States so this was a certain value and achievement upheld by my family since basically birth. But make no mistake, my first few months in college I was confused as hell walking around campus with not a damn clue what I was doing with my life. It’s okay, we all go through that. 

I joined The Rotunda, my school’s newspaper led by students, right before winter break because I knew I had a knack for writing. I don’t know what it is, but my thoughts flow together on paper better than they do when I speak (working on that though very slowly lol). 

My first article was about cats vs dogs and which one suits your personality better. I know I know, great pitch Pauly. 

My editor-in-chief said my first piece was great but it lacked substance, and that really stuck with me. 

It lacked substance because it wasn’t the real me. And it was crazy how my editor-in-chief, whom I had just met at the time, knew this wasn’t my real work; this wasn’t my blood on the paper. 

For days I tried to think of my next pitch and nothing stuck with me that I actually wanted to write about. I thought to myself, what can I write that would be appropriate for a newspaper? What can I even contribute to this team with?  

And a light bulb flickered in my head. 

What have I been so deeply passionate about my whole life? Makeup. Seriously, I could write for hours on any topic about this. 

I thought deeper into this idea and realized, why not write about all things beauty/wellness? That was me taking it one step further. 

And of course, I had never seen or heard of a big-time beauty journalist or even a column for this in a newspaper. This was out of the blue, new and kind of terrifying.

When was the last time your school wrote about the best place in town to get a bikini wax? Probably never. And I wanted to change that. 

I approached this idea to my editor-in-chief and she was actually ecstatic about this beauty column. She wanted me to do this. She saw potential in me. And that was all I needed to start something revolutionary. 

So now, I’m writing Longwood University’s first beauty column. And yes, I’m a freshman. 

Over the weeks, I became so obsessed with the idea of writing about what I loved and being GOOD at it. Writing and beauty. Who would’ve thought? 

 My beauty column was a success, but how do I continue this adventure? I didn’t want it to end outside of my newspaper meetings once a week. 

So how can I turn this passion of mine into a dream career? 

One night I simply started researching real, in-demand careers around this field and BOOM, an industry I had no idea had so much behind-the-scenes work. 

Women and men in this industry bring themselves to the table as the business itself, the entrepreneur and the glam-life dream for all us beauty fanatics. #Goals

Let me list some careers out there specifically in the beauty/wellness industry.

  • Makeup chemist
  • Beauty and Fashion journalist/editor
  • Social media manager 
  • Photographer 
  • Public Relations representative
  • Global strategic marketing coordinator
  • Styling and Visual coordinator
  • Retail and e-commerce operations 
  • Software engineer/graphic designer
  • Financial and data analyst 
  • Production planner 

I mean the list goes on and on, seriously. For every company out there selling products or information associated with makeup, hair, skin, nails, clothes, etc. There’s a whole world out there I was oblivious to and it’s mind-blowing because I was a part of it all along. Just as the consumer. 

I was dragging my head through the mud before this discovery thinking welp, made it to college…what do I do now? 

Well, I hit the jack pot. 

I got the best of both worlds. My passion for beauty and an industry needing people like me. 

Why does no one know about this? Why isn’t my Twitter, Facebook or Instagram raving about this booming industry?! 

That’s because everyone associates the beauty realm by just its services and store retail. 

I’m here to break the news, there’s a whole corporate level out there needing people like you and me to work for them. You know, the whole reason why brands and stores are running the way they are, it’s all behind the scenes work by headquarters level. 

The jobs I listed above for the most part require a Bachelors or Associates degree. But that’s the audience I want to target the most for this article, if you’re a beauty enthusiast like me and in college or hope to attend college, why not dive into this industry who need to spread the word. Surely, you don’t NEED a degree to break through. But that’s beside the point and I can talk about that later. 

Imagine driving to your first business meeting in Los Angeles, California to talk about the new YouTube ad for your brand, Smashbox Cosmetics? 

Imagine flying first-class to Paris, France to coordinate and cast models for Dolce & Gabbana’s Summer fashion show? 

If that sounds exciting to you, there’s a world out there desperately trying to find creative and fresh minds like yours to work for their leading-businesses. 

Bottom line, this leap of faith I took to combine my strength (writing) and my passion (beauty) together was a courageous act. To be honest, I had no idea if it was going to work. And that’s the beauty of it all. 

Take chances. 

Live with minimal regret. 

Research and inform yourself.

Find a way to sculpt your dream career. 

Connect with people who have your dream career already and don’t be afraid to reach out.

Anything is possible.

If it’s not out there, create it. 

The world is yours to take. Literally. 

I can’t believe months ago, I created this dream for myself. And I hope to see that in you too even if it’s not in this industry. 

We tend to look at successful individuals as aliens and ponder how they did it. Truth is, they’re regular people just like you and me. The only difference is they’re on phase two: committing to action. 

So I have a lot of people asking me how I did it and what I do. 

As far as what I do, I write all things beauty and wellness. For people like you and me. 

Why trust me? Like I said, I’ve been in this beauty realm since I was 10 years old. So yeah, this isn’t some hobby I picked up one day on Instagram. 

It’s been my life and I’m heavily informed of it. I stay up to date with companies, brands, social media and beauty/wellness publications everyday. 

What I hope to accomplish? Tough question. I just opened this gate to a whole new industry, so there’s a lot more to explore. My major in college gives me a lot of leeway to really do anything in the digital-ish business aspect of it all.  Who knows what I’ll end up marketing myself as by the time I graduate. 

For right now, journalism has been my niche, specifically the focus of beauty and wellness. I hope to write for a lifestyle/beauty magazine or company, attend fashion week in Rome and conduct interviews with the masterminds of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit and their gorilla glue eyebrow gel. -Seriously, have you tried it? It’s magic glue for your eyebrows- 

Point is, I never let these goals stop emerging from my head. 

I created my very own website to publish my work and solidify myself as a respectable journalist for readers all over the world. 

Maybe one day, I’ll be the CEO of my own magazine publication. Who knows? 

So you’re one of the few people who’ve read this far? CONGRATS. Is it because I’ve opened your eyes to this industry you’ve been so desperately trying to stay a part of but not so sure how to make a career out of it? Mission accomplished. 

Whatever it is, go for it. 

Don’t be afraid to take chances. 

Whatever major you’re studying right now, alter it to fit your passion in life. 

Invent something new. 

If I was truly terrified and doubtful, I wouldn’t be here writing about how this is the best job a girl like me could ever ask for. And sadly, you wouldn’t be here trying to create your own wave. 

You have the spark deep inside yourself, let it loose and let it take you to where you’ve always wanted to be. 

Most importantly, don’t let the fear of judgment prevent you from pursuing this. 

I can’t stress this enough. As of lately, I’ve really been trying to sell myself on social media as an educated beauty journalist. If I let the fear of other people judging boil inside me for one second, I’ve already lost sight of the dream. 

Who cares what other people think? 

If what you’re doing makes you happy, ride that thing till the wheels fall off. 

I know self-advertising can be kind of awkward but that’s the hardest phase of it all. Break through it. I did it and so can you. 

Your real friends will stay and support you. Don’t worry, by the time you’ve made it big, you’ll be thankful for the people who left your life and for the people who uplifted it. 

This is your journey. Why are you letting other people steer for you? 

If I was the CEO of a company, I’d definitely hire the individual giving 100 percent into their proud work, rather than the shy candidate embarrassed to tweet about their own article. These successful individuals are confident, motivated and FEARLESS. Get the picture? 

I’m very passionate about this and I’m surprised to see not many people informed about this industry. It’s out there and it’s waiting for people like you and me. We just have to find it and sculpt a career out of it with our resources. 

So now I’m a Communication studies major with a concentration in Digital/Mass Media and a minor in Business Administration. This may sound like a lot of work, but all I know is I’ll have a career out there waiting for me to take my throne by the time I graduate.

And as much as I have loved making my first mark on Longwood campus, I can’t wait to start my own revolution in the industry I know I was made to be a part of. 

Because I know I can. And you can too. 

But whatever you do, start now. What are you waiting for? 

Talk soon beauties, XOXO ~

Questions about this article? My field specifically? How to get started? How to self-advertise? Reply in the comments what you want to hear me talk about next!

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Spring allergies: Give them your best fight

It’s that time of the year again and no, I don’t mean the beautiful side of Spring. I’m talking about the coughing sensation, runny nose and sore throat dilemma we face this time of the year. If you’re not prepared for the outdoors, consider trying my tips and good luck!

First, Spring means the flowers blooming into your favorite dandelions and the trees standing tall and green. April showers bring May flowers, right?

With all the wild-life blooming, that means pollen is growing and flying everywhere to fertilize other plants as far as the wind can push those small particles. So it’s no wonder you see everyone around you sneezing up a storm and grabbing the nearest tissues, it’s allergy season!

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Try Vegan 

Getting your allergies taken care of can save you the hassle of not being in bed all day. Allergies can affect your ability to work, study and even sleep. Especially this time of the semester for all my student readers, you can’t afford a sick day.

My first tip is to close your windows, especially at night before you fall asleep. Having your windows open gives any pollen or dust the opportunity to sneak in and disturb your breathing pattern. This tip is one of my favorites because from personal experience, if I leave the windows even cracked at night, my throat will suffer the consequences. I’ve even seen people use masks when they’re outside which doesn’t sound like a bad idea. You can’t escape the great indoors, so might as well work around it.

My next tip is to take a hot shower before you go to sleep. Although there are some suggestions saying you shouldn’t shower before you sleep, I think for allergy season it’s a must. Giving yourself a hot shower will allow the steamy temperature to relieve your dry pores and give your nostrils the necessary moisture it needs. After stepping out of the shower and hopping in bed, you can go to sleep in peace knowing your nose has been washed and revitalized for the next day.

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Self Magazine

I’ve had numerous questions on how to get rid of a sore throat and since my allergies result in solely sore throats- yay me- I have a few tips for this one. I really recommend drinking water, and so will any other medical doctor advise too. Think of water as your body’s personal shower – moisturizing your throat after a rough day of mucus clogging your glands. Not only that but water is key to life, essentially. The water you drink today is the water your body will use tomorrow, so fuel up!

I also suggest trying salt and water gurgles, like mouthwash. You can use it at room temperature but I usually boil my water, add salt and then wait for it to cool down for use. After a few gurgles and spitting it out, my throat no longer feels raspy or even that insane itch no one seems to be able to reach with their tongue – we’re all guilty of that. My theory to this is the salt acts as an exfoliator on the throat, cleaning all the old, mucus cells away when you spit it out.

My last tip for a sore throat is purchasing Claritin ($19) or Zyrtec ($14)

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Model Images

from your local drugstore. I’ve personally never tried either but there seems to be a rave about these two allergy-focused medications. They claim to last four to 12 hours when you’re outside in the pollen-infested fields and according to many reviews on Target and Walmart, it actually works. Now, in no way am I telling you to purchase it – I just gave you 2 D.I.Y tips at home so don’t waste money if it’s not necessary.

My last tip is probably the most important when it comes to things you can actually take care of. You can’t control the amount of pollen outside when you’re walking by your favorite florist shop, but you can control your space at home and keeping it clean. I’m not talking about the dinner table you clean every day after a good feast, I mean the furniture you haven’t moved in months – collecting dust and debris over time. Any furniture or fancy paintings you haven’t touched in ages need a good clean too. Even wetting a paper towel and swiping the dust away does just the trick.

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Shutterstock

Now that we’re practically done with Winter, when was the last time you used your fan? You’re most likely going to start using it again as the weather gets warmer and more humid, but before you turn it on, stop and clean the wings of the fan before you start walking around in dust-infested air.

Lastly, if you truly do suffer from allergies with severe symptoms, consider visiting your doctor and have them test/diagnose you for allergy implications. Even if you don’t suffer from allergies all-year round, some bacteria build up from the pollen/dust can hide dormant in your system and cause serious allergy episodes later down the road, get that treated now instead of waiting for next Spring!

The good thing about getting ready now for Spring allergies is you’ll have a stronger immune system for Summer weather. Isn’t that what we’re all waiting for anyways?

 

Virtzy: A Revolution

Imagine an app that can be your beauty destination for all things inspiration, business, wellness and so much more. Sound like your kind of personal app?

Beginning of March, Isak Mirzak and Kristina Aran came with the idea to build a social media platform devoted to the beauty/wellness industry.  Think of it as your personal realm to stay in touch with artists and their ongoing creativity.

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But it doesn’t stop there. I had a phone interview with the two co-founders in the concrete jungle of New York City.

www.virtzy.com

Download the app here!

“Our main goal (the mission) is to help beauty and wellness professionals run their businesses better…beauty professionals are able to build their portfolio from scratch and include their education, specialties and share videos/photos,” Kristina said.

Who better to trust than individuals who have been themselves, working in the industry?

Isak Mirzak is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a specialization in advertisement and graphic design. He is also a professional hair stylist with 20 years of experience.

Kristina Aran is a psychology undergrad from Queens College and later took her studies to a Masters at NYU in mental health counseling. Juggling all of that while working as a skincare and makeup researcher for private companies.

Follow their journey on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram here!

Isak mentioned the struggles he faced working as a hair stylist and managing all his portfolio work in several places at once. He also noted it was hard to balance his personal and professional life under one platform. As Isak and Kristina emphasized, your audience determines your business.

With Virtzy, your profile is strictly professional keeping new on-coming clients interested in your creativity. Making this your one-stop resume galore.

“We understand the challenges these professionals face. With this, we created a platform…We want to study the behavior of the professionals and think of how else we can make this platform a better place,” Isak added.

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How is it possible to get the right audience for the right business? These strategic experts have confessed their secret. It’s all about the tools, behavior and feedback. AKA people like you and me!

“For right now we want to focus on the individuals, not businesses. We want individuals to be able to express who they are and share their unique touch/specialty,” Isak explained.

And that to me, is one of the best catches. Beauty professionals can sometimes feel swamped and overlooked by huge advertisements from businesses on other platforms. But to Isak and Kristina, it’s about us, the producer and consumer.

No gimmicks, no lies. Just truth and creativity. No more cringe-worthy ads popping up about the latest Fit Tea plan 20 percent off if you use someone’s code; This platform is about your purpose and contribution to the industry and clients.

Ok but what if I’m just a raging beauty junkie? What’s in it for me?

Virtzy has been discovered as a two-sided market, meaning it was made for you and me.

By having more professionals use Virtzy, you can stay connected with your favorite stylists and see what they’re up to. If you had trouble remembering who did your nails last week, you can look them up if they have a profile on site. Never miss out!

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Use their profile to hunt for your next look as they upload their pictures or even book an appointment right on Virtzy.

Ahhh, a new weight has been taken off your shoulders. Search for professionals by location, name, industry or specialty. You won’t have to rely on how to search for a certain niche (like Google or Facebook) because with Virtzy, one click is all you need to find your destination.

“We have more than enough professionals to give something clients to search,” Kristina added.

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What if you’re not ready to make a commitment? Virtzy has organized their app to give you a Pinterest-feel even when you’re not so sure what to look for yet. Scroll through specialities listed at the top with endless pictures and profiles like makeup, hair, tattoos, nails, personal trainers and more! 

“Our purpose was personal. I put in my 20 years of cutting hair and four years of college learning how to market and advertise. I want to do this not only for myself but for others. I have a gut feeling we’re going to be successful and make it big,” Isak concluded.

My time away from blogging and reading has mostly been spent on Virtzy just scrolling through pictures for my next summer-glow hairstyle. Not only is this app free, but it’s reliable when you’re on the search. Virtzy has you covered.

New launch of false lash brand, Baby Coco Lash

When it comes to false lashes, you either love them or you can’t be bothered to poke your eye out by them. Not only is getting into the crevice of your eyeball intimidating and terrifying, but having to pay more than $10 for a long-lasting pair is not ideal – not to mention when shipping fees aren’t included, not exactly how I imagined spending all my money.

Breaking news, a new lash brand is in town and ready to save you of your false lash nightmares! Internet sensation and CEO of Baby Coco Lash, Courtney aka Coco, has just revealed her secret project with a purpose. “I practiced (false lashes) for months and went through dozens of different brands and styles…only to find they were almost all overpriced, too short or just too heavy,” Coco explained.

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The new lash brand has claimed to be 100% cruelty-free, high quality and long-lasting all while keeping your wallet and budget intact.

“How is your lash line set apart from the rest?”

“The Baby Coco lashes are aimed for ladies and gentlemen who want beautiful lashes

while still keeping their look casual enough for everyday wear. Natural but noticeable, and most important: COMFORTABLE,” Coco said.

It’s no secret Coco has had such a huge hit with her upcoming brand. With a strong social media background, Coco has 51,500 followers on Instagram and 42,000 on Twitter making her launch that more public to her fans and viewers, including myself.

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Instagram @glitterytearz

Coco reached out to me and sent me her lashes to try and review for the past few weeks and the results were stunning.

Before applying, I trimmed the lash so it could fit my eye prior to application (I encourage you to measure the band length and trim it best to fit your eye shape) and applied my Ardell lash glue adhesive to the band, which I might add, was so incredibly thin! Having a thin lash band made the application process easier and gave it a natural look opposed to a thick lash band anyone can see from a mile away.

I managed to apply the lashes so quickly, it cut down mascara time by half! I applied eyeliner (NYX Matte Liquid) over the lash band to hide any traces of left-over glue and finally, curled my lashes to blend in with my new falsies. Voila, all done!

As far as comfort and longevity goes, these babies stayed glued to my eyes for well over five hours and I did not feel a thing. I usually have a hard time finding false lashes that don’t look heavy on my top lid as I have hooded eyelids (skin that drapes over your crease making your eyelid nearly visible) but to combat this, I applied mascara to my bottom which seemed to balance out the semi-volume and length I had going on with my falsies on top.

I found that I was obsessed with the lash length – practically touched my eyebrows which to me gives that extra, flirty look. They’ve lasted me eight wears and to be completely honest, they could be used for a few more nights out.

“How do you see your new brand influencing your mark in the beauty industry?”

“I am not a makeup artist by any means but I do know what I like and I think you guys will love how light-weight but poppin’ they are. I am so thankful for all of you who stand by me, I see you and thank God for you,” Coco concluded.

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Instagram @alexiskenzie

These lashes are perfect for nights out and days in. The lash design created by Coco was intended to space out the lashes, giving room to see your bomb eyeshadow at any time of the day. Although Coco has not released an official date, be prepared to hear anything sometime soon early April. I know, I can’t wait either!

Click here for Baby Coco’s official Instagram page & official Twitter page to stay up to date with new launches and giveaways!

Congrats Coco!

Mandi Fisher : Hair Stylist

Born into a family of artists, Miss Mandi Fisher described in a personal interview her creative soul from her roots emerging into the beauty industry and how she was able to become a success story. image2

Realizing Mandi’s full potential at an early age, she enlisted into a cosmetology program during her high school career and began working at a salon at 17 years old. WOW.

“I specialize in creative color, balayage and undercuts in the Westminster, Maryland area from Tuesday – Saturday,” Mandi added.

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Balayage: actually french for ‘to sweep’. A digression of color from dark to light in natural strokes from ear proximity to ends.

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Undercut: A buzz-cut appearance usually on the lower half of the head. Many artists offer designs to the undercut like the one pictured below styled by Miss Mandi!

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Miss Mandi Fisher along with several other stylists will be hosting a hair education class in Washington, D.C on April 23rd. This special event will include workshops ranging from creative color techniques/skills to building strategies for social media and clientele.

Click here to purchase your ticket!

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“What would you say is your favorite part of your career?”

“My favorite part is building relationships with my clients and making them feel great. This confidence has helped me chase my dreams and reassured me I’m good at it and to trust in myself no matter what,” Mandi concluded.

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Not only are these transformations out of this world but Miss Mandi has gained 14,000 followers on Instagram for her unique style of service.

Follow her on Instagram here!

I know I’ll be seeing Miss Mandi plenty more in the future. If you see her at the workshop, tell her I sent you!

Xoxo

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