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Check Out Selena Ruiz’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Selena Ruiz.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My story starts when I was 16 and lost my mother, Gwen, to stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. I hated the way people treated me with sympathy, so I always made sure I looked my best so that no one would think that underneath the paint, I was actually suffering and afraid. I’ve been masking my sadness and grief with makeup since. I was already a makeup gal thanks to my emo phase (wasn’t a phase, I’m am still very emo), so I already had that up my sleeve. When I was 18, I discovered Roshar, TheAlexBox, Isamayaffrench, Pat McGrath, and it changed the way I saw makeup since. Already being inspired by the punk scene since a young age, I thought how cool it would be to merge 70’s-80’s punk makeup, glam, and editorial. and that’s how my style was born. I wanted to combine “wearable” makeup with a touch of avant-garde and that’s when all my best and memorable looks were created, graphic eyeliner, huge top/bottom eyelashes, and an overdrawn dramatic cupids bow was my signature look for years. I would post new random looks literally everyday. I was very inspired by clean lines and shapes so would walk around with huge literal rectangles and triangles on my eyes.

But along with my makeup posts, I’d also post raw photos/videos/captions of my life along the way which attracted a huge, very supportive audience. I enrolled myself into makeup school when I was 19 but dropped out after two months due to personal reasons… but I took what I learned there and applied it to my first makeup gig about a year later. I didn’t take it too seriously since I didn’t think I could ever make a living doing it, so I’d say my work from 2017-2019 was more like practice and for fun. It wasn’t until 2020 when I really started to take it seriously. I quit my job and dedicated all of my time and devotion to makeup since. I’m still learning and am very new to this compared to the greats who’ve been in the game for decades. I feel very blessed and honored to be in the spaces I’ve been in and the people I’ve met/worked with this early on in my career and am very excited for what’s to come 🙂

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Definitely not smooth at all. But I think that’s what makes my work more meaningful. Since makeup was more like a side hustle, I still had my day job. I was a budtender for six years and worked ALOT to support myself. So whenever I would get hit up for gigs, I’d have to make sure I wasn’t working that day since calling out often would get me fired, and most of the time I wouldn’t be able to accept the job which really sucked. I’m from Riverside, California (about an hour from Los Angeles) and commuting to LA to work was a huge hassle. I finally moved to Los Angeles when I was 21 after a really bad breakup and that inspired me to make things happen. I had to move four times in the first two years of living there and was really struggling financially. I was always very stressed out about bills and that killed my motivation. It was very hard to show up to gigs because my mood reflected with my work and I was never 100% happy with it. I wanted to quit many times. Although I’m not financially struggling anymore, I still struggle mentally. Some days are better than others but I am never going to give up.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Hmm… I think I’m known as “the girl with the crazy makeup”. Lol… I’m proud of myself for showing up to gigs I would of never dreamed of working on despite my severe anxiety. I know how hard it is to show up for other people when you can barely show up for yourself most days. I’m not sure what sets me apart. Personally, I don’t like to compare myself to any other MUA because we are all on separate paths. I guess that’s up to whoever wants to perceive me.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
The only makeup book I’ve ever owned is Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin and like many people know, he is a makeup genius and that book is absolute gold. As far as life, I found peace like I’ve never felt before after reading ” The Power Of Now” by Eckhart Tolle and ” The Four Agreements ” by Miguel Ruiz. Both books about how to remain present and practice mindfulness, which I think in this crazy industry we could all use.

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Image Credits:

Damon Baker

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