Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali Anderson.
Ali, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I fell in love with makeup and dress-up at a very young age. I remember always dressing myself up as a different character every day, and getting into my mother’s makeup whenever I could. Upon graduating college, I worked in NYC for a fashion showroom. Through that, I got to travel the world, attend fashion shows, and mingled with photographers and magazine editors. After a few years, I left to become a Stylist for celebrity and editorial content. I worked with various publications and celebrities such as VICE magazine, Bite Magazine, Selena Gomez, Kofi Siriboe, and Nastia Liukin. At every fitting or shoot, I always found myself chatting away with the makeup artist, and watching them work in awe. I realized then that I wanted to be a makeup artist. After searching for the right school, I landed at Makeup Forever Academy. It was so hard-harder than college! It was a 6-month intensive program, 5 days a week, where we learned everything from basic beauty to SFX, to body painting. Upon graduation, I started freelancing in NYC for any job I could get. I did weddings, SFX, editorials, celebrity – I never said no to anything. While freelancing, I became an assistant manager at Birchbox, where I helped run their beauty bar. After ten years in NYC, I moved back home to Boston, where I freelance fulltime.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road, but it has been fun! I have come across various obstacles, such as sexual harassment, cattiness, not being paid for a job-the list could go on. But my biggest obstacle was believing in myself. I always compared myself and my work to others, and it made me less creative. Remember that everyone has something different to offer and that includes yourself! My advice for young women would be to treat everyone how you would want to be treated, stay humble, never be afraid to stick up for yourself when you are uncomfortable, and never say NO to a job. Each job brings you closer to your goals, and each job provides a learning experience.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Styled By Ali story. Tell us more about the business.
My main focus for my work is just making people feel more beautiful, and to embrace their look. I specialize in weddings, where I offer luxury skincare prep and goody bags for each bridesmaid and bride day of the wedding. I also love going to peoples home and doing one on one makeup lessons and skin consultations, and lessons for big parties for a girls night! I also love just doing makeup for special events, and I try to always enhance each client’s beauty-not cover up. I always say makeup is to enhance and make you feel braver going into the world, instead of being a mask to hide behind. We are taught from a young age that we need to “fix” or change ourselves to be accepted into this world, and that is not the case. We all have the beauty that was given to us, and makeup is just a tool to enhance it! I want to empower every person in my chair to feel like a beauty queen and make smart decisions when they shop for beauty products that work for them, instead of being told what they need to buy. It’s all good vibes with me! 🙂
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Finding a mentor is usually an organic process, but if you see someone you think you could learn from, reaching out is always the best option! I know for me, I felt very alone in my journey, because everyone in NYC is so competitive. So when I see someone who needs guidance, or they ask for my help, I always do. It is important to pay it forward! I know for me, saying yes to everything, introduced me to some really cool people that I wouldn’t have met on my own. I also found guidance later in my life by joining groups on facebook having to do with business women in my area, taking a class or two in a field I am interested in or going to seminars and conventions. These are great places to meet people and network who are willing to help you in your journey.
- Website: Coming soon!
- Phone: 339-788-0284
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @styled_byali
Meg Urbani Photography, UK Photographer, Miguel Herrara