Today we’d like to introduce you to Elsa Lopez.
Hi Elsa, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
For years I wanted to start my own makeup company. I fell in love with the beauty industry when I was in high school. I used makeup and hair to express myself, I used it as an outlet. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had really bad anxiety when I was a kid. With that being said, whenever I would feel either depressed or anxious I’ll just start doing my hair or play around with makeup. I would zone into what I was doing to get my mind off of things. I would play some of my favorite bands (Paramore, Pierce the Veil, The Strokes, etc.) and get creative. Growing up, I was never 100% happy with the makeup options that were out there. Either they didn’t provide the dark aesthetic I was looking for, some companies STILL test on animals, or the CEO’s/owners of the companies were involved in controversy. In the alternative world, it’s hard to find a makeup company that you can really stand by. So, I took matters into my own hands.
I started doing research three years ago to get an idea as to what and where I can start. When I calculated the expenses, I couldn’t do it. I had no funding, $0, and I was a college student in debt. There was no way.
Move forward to early 2020, I jumped the gun and invested a whole paycheck from my part-time job (TMobile salesman at the time). I started small, I started off with lash strips. It was all I could afford at the time. I also factored in my logo design, license, packaging, stickers, printers, etc. When I spent my entire paycheck, I was MORTIFIED. I was hoping that what I was trying to build would catch on.
Today I have successfully launched lashes, an eyeshadow palette, and my now new liquid lipsticks. It took so much resources, time, effort, and tears, lol. I don’t have the biggest following, I took a break for a few months due to life obstacles, school, and my (then) full-time job as a store manager for a CBD company. It’s been difficult, and there were times where I wanted to give up. But I’m never letting myself get discouraged again.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
NO. During my first launch in October 2020, I was successful but I did loose traction after a few months. In November of 2020, I was hospitalized with covid for Acute Respiratory Failure. I was on oxygen and then discharged five days later. It was scary, and my body still hasn’t fully recovered since then. I’ve been in and out of the hospital because of my lungs and chest pains. I’ve been dealing with Long Covid for almost a year now. I was trying to juggle my health, my full time.
Job, AND finals week. I vividly remember emailing my professors about my absence due to my hospitalization! I felt so guilty emailing them for some reason. But yet again, I remember that none of them made any exceptions to my assignments that were due. Like, HELLO?! I almost died.
December rolled around and it was prime season for retail, my former job took all my time and energy.
January of 2021 my grandfather, my father figure, passed away due to covid and it took a toll on me. I wasn’t motivated or inspired to do anything. I was depressed and my anxiety attacks were nonstop. I was also in and out of the emergency room because of my anxiety attacks. While this was all happening, I was trying to juggle my manager job, a social media management internship, AND 4 classes. The start of 2021 was hard on me and my mental health.
Once I grieved properly and graduated college, I was able to pick up where I left off with Pretty Dead Cosmetics.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’ve been focusing on Pretty Dead Cosmetics since this summer. From product production to social media management, I do it all. The only thing I do not do is deliver the packages to my customer’s doorstep. Besides that, I also work under my mother’s business as her assistant. I’m a part-time lash tech at her business Confidence in Lashes, located in Moreno Valley.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Oh no, not this question. So I haven’t had the best luck last year or this year. However, I’m turning it around! I’m still healing both physically and mentally with how covid impacted me and my families life. I’ve had nothing but support from my family, friends and lover. Support from my business and my well-being. And that’s something that I treasure. It’s what’s keeping me going.
- Lash Strips $10
- Liquid Lipsticks $15
- Eyeshadow Palette $25
- Email: Info@prettydeadcosmetics.com
- Website: PrettyDeadCosmetics.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/prettydeadcosmetics
Photo with the lips: @jeremi.x.x.makeup on Instagram