Today we’d like to introduce you to Yaritza Melendez.
Yaritza, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was never the girl who was always into makeup. I never played with my mom’s lipsticks and mascara, nor did I beg her to take me to a makeup counter for latest lip gloss. I was a socially awkward kid, who was always into art. I loved to paint and draw, I love analyzing colors and its shading. I would look at a leaf and wonder how many colors I would need in order to turn it into a painting. Art was always my passion.
One day, I stopped at a local Sephora to finally “grow up” a little and learn about makeup. I was around 20 years old at the time. At the checkout area, I saw a flier for a job fair, and thought to myself, why not? I was in need for a new job anyways and I kind of needed to learn the dos and dont’s to makeup. I applied and showed up to this job fair where I ended up getting hired as a seasonal cashier for the holidays. Within four years, I was able to not only become a makeup artist, but also a Sephora University Beauty Class Facilitator, and now a Senior Makeup Artist. With the skills I gained, I started my own small freelancing business. If you would have asked me five years ago where I would be in life, I would have never guessed a makeup artist. It’s kind of funny where life takes us sometimes.
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?
Becoming a makeup artist or even trying to start your own business is definitely not a smooth road. No matter what you decide to do in life, you come across some hurdles. It’s just up to you how you handle them if you jump over them or let them stop you in your path. My biggest hurdle was actually myself. I doubted my own abilities a lot, never thinking I was good enough. It took me a little while to realize that I am this amazing talented makeup artist, who doesn’t need to compete with everyone else. Once you overcome your own mental roadblock, your confidence will give you the strength to do whatever it is you want to do.
My biggest advice to anyone looking to become a makeup artist or even starting your own small business is to just do it. The only decisions you’ll regret are the ones you don’t make. If it’s truly something that will make you happy, then just take a leap of faith and do it.
Never be afraid to ask for advice either, and always try to learn something new each day. Makeup is constantly evolving and it’s so subjective. One of the greatest qualities of a talented makeup artist is that you’re always open-minded; it shows you’re willing to grow and evolve.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
At Sephora, I’m a Beauty Class Facilitator. that being, I teach classes to clients who are looking for beginner or advanced makeup techniques. I am also now a Senior Makeup Artist, I’m in charge of training and certifying aspiring makeup artists for the company.
With my own freelance business, I specialize in event makeup, specifically bridal. I believe in customizing each and every experience according to the person. Makeup isn’t something that’s cookie cutter, each bride has a vision on what they’d like to look like on their wedding day. It’s up to me, as an advanced makeup artist, to understand what’s needed and successfully deliver that.
What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
In general, I believe the biggest barriers to female leadership is the lack of support and being underestimated. There are men who don’t believe women deserve to be in positions of power, but even worse there are women who feel the same way. We, as women, can do a better job at lifting and supporting one another. It can be as easy as teaching our daughters to love themselves because once that love and confidence are instilled in them, they are able to spread it and use it to uplift others.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ritza_mua/
Photographer Hoover Tung