Today we’d like to introduce you to Karissa Nabbie.
Hi Karissa, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m 24 years old. I’m an actress, model, makeup artist, and entrepreneur. I was born and raised in New Jersey to two immigrant parents from Trinidad. My family and I had extremely humble beginnings. When we first moved into our house, we all slept on a mattress on the floor. Over the years, I’ve watched my parents work endlessly to provide for their kids and try to get us anything we wanted. My parents came here with nothing and gave us everything. Their sacrifices and hustle influenced me to follow suit and chase my dreams.
Growing up, I was such a bookworm. I would read novels or watch movies and get so immersed in the characters’ lives and the fantasy worlds. I loved the idea of making the words on the page come to life and wanted desperately to be in the movies and T.V shows that did that. I knew at about eight years old that I wanted to move to LA to pursue a career in acting. I started doing theater and plays at school and in the community from elementary school into high school. I did everything that my schools and town had to offer. Theater, musical theater, summer camp theater, dance classes, piano, and vocal lessons.
Another favorite pastime of mine was watching my mom, god sisters, cousins, and brother’s girlfriends do their makeup. I would be right up in the mirror with them watching in awe. I was so fascinated with the beautifying process and how these seemingly regular cosmetics could transform you and the way you feel. This is what really sparked my interest in makeup. I started obsessively watching makeup tutorials on Youtube at around ten years old. In high school, I began taking clients for prom and doing makeup for the Jr. high school’s musicals. I loved making my clients feel beautiful and stunning. Seeing their faces light up when they looked in the mirror was so fulfilling for me.
After high school, I moved across the country to LA in October 2015 at 18 years old. I attended AMDA College & Conservatory in Hollywood and graduated in June 2018 with my B.F.A in Performing Arts Acting. Outside of my acting classes, I was taking makeup clients, started modeling, and began doing eyelash extensions as a side hustle. This is where my business Lash Tings was born. After only a few months, I decided to stop doing eyelash extensions because I was focused on graduating.
After graduation, I auditioned for my first project in January 2019 and booked it! I booked the lead role of a supermodel serial killer in an independent film called Neurotic Beauty. Filming that movie was such an incredible and unforgettable learning experience for me. I was able to bring my director’s vision to life by working with some talented people and have so much fun while doing it. In March 2020 when the pandemic hit it, I decided to go home to New Jersey for the year to spend time with my friends and family.
At the beginning of this year, I started working again and booked some of my biggest gigs to date by myself with no representation or agent. I had the honor of modeling for a cosmetic brand whose mascara has been an absolute favorite of mine since high school so modeling for them was a small part of my dream come true. I booked a modeling job for a big skincare brand whose products I used throughout the whole pandemic. (Unfortunately, I cannot disclose the brands due to NDAs). But never in my wildest dreams did I think my face would advertise for some of the brands that I actually use and love.
Currently, I am working on growing my luxury strip eyelash business, Lash Tings. I decided to give new life to my old eyelash extension service business and make it product-based instead. Since Covid, I wanted to create a business where I didn’t have to come into contact with anyone but still be able to make them feel beautiful. Lash Tings now sells premium cruelty-free mink lashes and quality adhesives.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it has not been a smooth road at all. There’s a song by one of my favorite reggae artists, Buju Banton called, “Not an Easy Road”. He says “It’s not an easy road! And many see de glamour and de glitter so dem think a bed of rose! Me say, who feels it knows!” I relate these lyrics so much to this city. You think it’s all glitz and glamour in LA and then you get out here and begin to feel and live the struggles firsthand.
At the very beginning being away from my family, friends, and everything I’ve ever known was hard. But I always knew I would live in Los Angeles so I quickly got over that. I still miss them every day and it still hits me hard from time to time.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been crying, screaming, or almost falling asleep in this infamous LA traffic. Or wondering what I’m doing out here if I’m wasting my time or lying to myself. Then immediately having to shake the thought and switch gears because I can’t even afford to think like that. Tuning out the critical voice in my head has always been my biggest struggle. Realizing that some days all I have for a support system is God and the praying mother he blessed me with to check on me and keep me aligned with my goals.
I had to get out of my own way and have full faith in myself and my abilities. I once had a teacher in college ask me in a student-teacher conference, “Are you afraid of owning all your greatness?”. That really stuck with me.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My work is all things beauty and art-related. I’m most known for acting and modeling but I specialize in on-camera acting. Secondly, I’m known for being a makeup artist and entrepreneur. What sets me apart from others in every facet of my work, no matter the creative outlet is my intuitiveness and deep empathy.
Besides following through on pursuing my acting dreams and never giving up no matter what. I’m most proud of my brand Lash Tings. Our mission statement is: Look Your Best, Feel Your Best, Be Your Best. We are dedicated to inspiring a sense of inner beauty first by providing high-quality, exclusive products that give back to our communities and protect women everywhere. My brand is designed to shine a light on culture and raise awareness on human rights issues all over the world. In every collection, I drop there will be one product where 100% of the proceeds of that product go to a different non-profit organization/charity. Right now, I am doing my research to find a credible organization but every “Trinidadian Cream” sold will be donated to protecting women in Trinidad and Tobago against sexual assault and gender-based violence. Cosmetics and beauty should be more than being vain or wanting to look good for other people. It’s about empowering and uplifting yourself and others while creating something beautiful.
By the way, I need models if anyone is interested!
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
That’s a really tough question because I was blessed with such a big family and an amazing childhood. I’m the baby of five children. I have three older brothers and one older sister. I was always surrounded by them, my parents, many cousins, aunts, uncles, god sisters, and my godparents.
Summers were the best at Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, Point Pleasant Beach, Atlantic City, etc. And winters were always my favorite with big Thanksgiving dinners, festive Christmases, and New Year’s were always celebrated at my house. But what I really hold dear is the regular day-to-day, just trying to be like my older siblings and seeing what they were up to. My oldest brother Shane would take my sister and me on shopping sprees or to the movies. I’d take long drives with heartfelt conversations with my brother Damien. Assisting my brother Adil grill or paint and spying on my brothers or doing something mischievous or artsy with my sister Abigail are some of my most cherished memories with my siblings.
- Makeup – $80 Full Face Glam
- 3D Mink Lashes – $15
- 2-in-1 Liner & Lash Magic Wand: $8
- Lash Adhesive: $6
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://lashtingsllc.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karissajasmine_/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNoyCcQ36LFXTYRvC-qQXqg
- Other: imdb.me/karissanabbie
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