Reflecting on my childhood, I recall my grandmother's fondness for Mary Kay and Avon. Another vivid memory is exploring my aunt's personal makeup stash from her job at a beauty production plant. Each eyeshadow and lip gloss fueled my passion for beauty.

Between the passing of my grandmother at age 10 and high school, my view of makeup changed. As bullying took its toll on my confidence, I found myself losing interest in the things I loved... every day, feeling smaller and smaller on the inside. Being called "Shamu" for years likely had much to do with it.

In high school, I'd ironically tease childhood friend Alysha for having a daily makeup routine, often giving her the good old "Girl, you are already beautiful! I don't know why you wear makeup." However, her response never swayed: "I like wearing makeup and it makes me feel good." In retrospect, I see my advice didn't age so well!

As the summer before college approached, I felt a yearning for reinvention. Falling back in love with makeup became my outlet for self-discovery. From mastering eyebrow techniques to finding the perfect lipstick shade, I loved my new feeling of polished and self-assurement.

But it was during my stint with a global beauty brand on the Las Vegas Strip that I truly found my calling. While the experience was enriching, I couldn't ignore the glaring gap in shade inclusivity.

I was motivated to become a freelance makeup artist, and even started my own beauty brand named "TUL Cosmetics," which specialized in bold and vivid colors for every complexion.

Today, as the owner of iAirbrush Makeup Studio, I celebrate beauty in all its forms by empowering my clients to radiate confidence.


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