Lesbians do wear make-up
Make-up is not about altering -“ it’s about enhancing and empowering women.
I was brought up in New York and I’m the eldest of five children. Since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to be a make-up artist and a lesbian too.
New York allowed me to open up and explore the various fashions -“ giving me a sense of style and independence.
My family was far from traditional. We moved around all the time, as my mother was more into working and my father stayed at home. My mother gave me the inspiration to find my own feet as she had a more prominent role.
I’m a behind-the-scenes girl. I used to do my brothers’ and sisters’ make-up and watching mum putting it on gave me this passion to join the beauty industry.
I started interning at 16 but my mother didn’t want me to become a make-up artist, so I studied pre-law and did the beauty thing on the side.
When I was 17, I started to dabble with girls. I had the most amazing relationships with men emotionally, but physically I wasn’t attracted. When my family found out, they weren’t happy at all.
At 18 I got my first girlfriend’s name tattooed on my back. My family woke up -“ it wasn’t a phase any more. My father said that I was too pretty to be a lesbian.
Sometimes the African-American culture doesn’t embrace many of the alternative lifestyles, which results in many people hiding their sexuality. I’m a Scorpio and I’ve always spoken my mind. My culture has never dictated if I was going to come out or not. You have to be honest with yourself, family and employees.
My first break actually came from a friend. She couldn’t do a video shoot, so I was the replacement -“ it was for Puff Daddy’s video.
It was an amazing experience but nerve-racking at the same time. Luckily I had another artist there as well.
From that experience I’ve worked on many sets from The Scorpion King to various indie films but it’s a tough competitive job.
When my father passed, I said, Life is short and I’m going to further my career, so I quit law school. I didn’t want to be a starving artist so I worked in retail management and worked my way up.
Four years ago I started at Cargo Cosmetics and now I’m the sales and education manager and oversee the training throughout the world. I went through many different titles but now people call me for tips and tricks of the trade -“ I’m a part of the beauty authority.
When I first got the job at Cargo, I met my girlfriend at an ex’s party. After two months, she asked me to marry her. I only had one month to put it together.
In March 2004, we got married at a meditation garden in Los Angeles. It was a small wedding with only 15 guests. We decided that on our fifth anniversary we’re going all out and renewing our vows.
She’s my life partner and the funny thing is that she’s one of those lesbians who don’t wear make-up. We’ve bought a house together and travel all over the world.
My sister has six kids and, when my mother passed, my girlfriend and I decided to have joint custody of my nephew because he was only four years old and started to raise a child together.
Whoever you are, beauty is in your own hands. Everyone is beautiful and you can use make-up for your own pleasure. It’s not about the trends, it’s about what you think beauty is.
As told to Sunny Burns