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Hidden Gems: Meet Caprice Monique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caprice Monique.

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?

I couldn’t honestly say when my love of beauty began but I know it was when I was a little girl. I would sit and watch my step-grandma apply her makeup in her bathroom any chance I could. Her drawers were filled with products. I can remember the countless lipsticks, compact blushes with those tiny brushes and the pink and green tube of mascara by Maybelline. It was little girl heaven when she’d clean out her stash and send me home with a bag of my own to play with. But I was never really playing when I was putting it on myself, my little sister, or one of my dolls. I was practicing. I was teaching myself about one of my passions. Teaching myself how to create, use my imagination in a new way and add touches of beauty to everything I do.

I learned quickly that makeup was more about how it made you feel than just look. My sixteenth birthday, my uncle Tyler took me to Nordstrom and bought me my first products at the MAC counter. It was like a right of passage for me. I picked out Studio Fix Powder in NC42, a peachy blush, Stripdown liner, and Love Nectar gloss. He looked at the total and asked me if I was sure I didn’t want a pair of shoes or a whole outfit but I had exactly what I wanted. Even till this day, sixteen years later I can remember almost every shade and how special that birthday was for who I was becoming.

Somewhere over time, I let people who were guiding me make me believe it was kind of frivolous or vain to be so into beauty and with very little insight as to what you can do with a career in that industry my head was moving me into other directions for college. Luckily, I always end up going with my heart over my head because the long, winding road I took landed me right where I was meant to be. I earned my degree from Arizona State University in Communications and was fortunate to work for three industry-leading brands before transitioning into the public relations field where I thought I would ultimately stay. I was working in Washington, D.C. when an unexpected move home to California put me back in the beauty industry in sales, education, and events with the biggest global beauty conglomerate in top luxury retailers. Without me knowing right away, it was the perfect blending of my skill set. I was able to work with luxury retailers and brands, educate beauty advisors on products and techniques, grow artistry skills, meet incredible people and throw beautiful events.

But there were times I began to hate the beauty industry. I was over the corporate politics, people will subpar skills moving ahead because of their people-pleasing, disgusting unrealistic standards, and when you get up close you see how little people matter to these companies. They don’t care about the people who buy their products, the ones that shop in their stores, or even the ones that work for them. Up close it’s not as pretty and leaves people feeling expendable. It’s like if I stayed at any one of those places long enough it would be in direct conflict with my soul. I usually parted ways after speaking up loudly about the opportunities to be better to humanity as a company which was typically nowhere on the quarterly goal sheets.

Once I satisfied this almost subconscious craving of becoming a beauty professional and doing really well at it, might I add, I realized the sense of community beauty brought into my life was more impactful than any job, product or party. It was connecting with people in this space that helped fill up a place in me that has struggled with my own identity and sense of community. It gives everyone who has struggled belonging a colorful, sparkly place to exist. It made me think about the little girl Caprice again who was trying to figure out what it meant to be Black and White in a home with a Hispanic step-father in a predominantly Hispanic area. The girl who was never “Black enough” to be Black or “White enough” to be White and was being influenced by Mexican culture. Little Caprice who grew up feeling lonely as the stepchild in an abusive home borrowing the family’s last name. Caprice who turned into the young woman fighting to kick barriers down to become successful enough to one day create spaces for other little girls from by places like Pomona.

It was after these moments of deep self-reflection and setting out on a path of healing that I realized my next calling was to say goodbye to corporate beauty and take the expertise I had acquired to establish the community I had been looking for and that I have unknowingly been co-creating with other artists and professionals I have met in my career. So, I started Caprice Monique Collective Beauty or CMCB.

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?
The road to becoming a business owner-founder is one that does not come with a clear map. No matter how many people you connect with and learn things from you realize their experiences are for a completely different journey. One of the biggest obstacles has been my own self-confidence. For the first year I wasn’t even confident enough to talk about my business with people and when I did I was “trying to run a business”. When I said it it was downplaying the fact that trying is running a business. Every day I have to get up and try to make my name known. I have to try to exceed the expectations of my clients. I have to try to appeal to people that don’t know me to gain new clients. I have to try to find the money it takes to keep growing the business. When I learn and perform new services I try my hardest to be the best. When I am planning someone’s dream event or wedding I try my best to bring their visions to reality. I have to try my best to shut out the constant inspiration, ideas and plans that swirl around my head day and night even when I don’t want them to. That’s what being an entrepreneur is for me and it’s f*cking hard. But I think I was made for it. That each day my life that was hard leading up to these points was preparing me to step into my calling and I wouldn’t have traded a single day of my childhood for an easier time.

As you know, we’re big fans of Caprice Monique Collective Beauty- CMCB. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
“Welcome to the Creation of Beauty Community” Caprice Monique Collective Beauty or CMCB is a beauty services and event planning company based in the Inland Empire. We specialize in bridal and event makeup, semi-permanent makeup, beauty education courses, and other beauty services. Post-COVID we have grown back into the event space that started with Beauty Parties and are offering full-service event and wedding planning, design and direction. We are beauty and style consultants with you through each step of your beauty or event journey.

Our intention was to grow slow and connect with our clients to focus on the creation of a community alongside the brand. It has been a beautiful thing to watch come into fruition and it is really only the beginning. Keeping people first has worked with gaining the trust of our clientele. It means everything to a CMCB artist that our clients know when they leave our chair they will look and feel better than they could have imagined. At CMCB, your face is safe in our hands.

We look forward to growing our footprint in the Inland Empire, Orange County, and Los Angeles areas for now. It means a lot to Caprice to build where she is from and is looking to open a physical location in the Inland Empire in 2023. She is also excited for the launch of CMCB products inspired and created by true makeup artists.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I am thrilled to say the influencer trend has been slowly dying. Nothing was harder as a true makeup artist or beauty diehard than to have had to live through the many Youtube and Instagram “sensations”. I think the shift we need to see is beauty in simplicity and originality. If it looks different than everyone else’s but makes you feel like your best you then there’s no way you’re doing it wrong and there’s certainly no reason to do it like “her”. After the influencer and surgical enhancement craze heads out the door I am excited to see where we can all collectively steer beauty. I know my contribution will continue to be in celebrating the uniqueness of an individual. To me, beauty is synonymous with love and we know it’s best when it is true.

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Image Credits

Priscilla M. Photography

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