Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Duerr.
Christina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
About two years ago, while working at a digital entertainment company as their Director of Talent Relations, a preexisting autoimmune condition had dramatically gotten worse due to the long hours I was working and the amount of stress I was putting on myself. I eventually was put on medical leave and was ordered to take a year off from my position to focus more on my health. After a full year of doctor appointments, medication, and focusing on getting the correct amount of rest, having a specific diet and completing routine workouts, I came to the realization that I was still not well enough to go back to a full-time job. I noticed I could no longer choose whatever I wanted and that I had to put my body and health first with every decision in life.
I am currently in my second year without a full-time job, but for the first time, I am experiencing confidence and happiness with where I am in life after leaving my entertainment position. It began this past October, which is my favorite month of all. I decided to use my art background from school, to play with makeup and create Halloween inspired looks on myself all month long. I have done this in years past but was so consumed with other work or life events that I didn’t pay attention to how much I enjoyed doing makeup. This year, it was a whole other story. I felt more relaxed and able to enjoy the process of each look. After posting a few makeup transformations on social media, I immediately noticed the overwhelmingly positive response from friends, family, and even strangers. Instead of stopping after October, I made the decision to continue. I am now reminded daily that even though there was a moment life where I felt hopeless and lacked control of my own body, I was able to push through my own negativity. I only hope I am able to inspire and support others, the way my friends and family did for me.
Has it been a smooth road?
As I mentioned previously, this has definitely not been the smoothest road for me. I started to experiment with creative makeup looks like something to help keep me busy and to have fun while doing it. Not until I had numerous people come to me and point out how much they loved my work, was I fully aware of the fact that I could make this a form of living.
I have come across many times when trying to complete a look where I don’t execute it the way I had hoped or visioned it to be. Of course, it can be very frustrating and upsetting, especially since these looks can take up to two to three hours each time. Sometimes, I even doubt myself but through the months I have learned that each time I sit down to do makeup, whether it turns out well or not, it is still a learning experience and good practice. We are all still growing in life and my biggest advice to women starting their journey is that even if there are setbacks or negative experiences along the way, it doesn’t mean that something positive can’t come out of it. Completely messing up a look for me, isn’t a waste of time, its practice. Struggling with my health a few years ago wasn’t a setback, but a push towards a new beginning.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with your business – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Although I love doing everyday makeup, my favorite form of makeup is one where there is more room to explore and have fun! I started out doing Halloween themed makeup for a couple reasons: one, it’s my favorite month of the year and two, Halloween is a time where people are able to transform themselves to be whoever and whatever they want and not be judged.
I get my inspiration from other amazing and talented makeup artists on social media. Sometimes, I recreate others’ work or I use them as inspiration to create something new. My looks range from a full face transformation or sometimes just a partial face. A few examples would be making my face into a skull, a jack-o-lantern, a reindeer, a galaxy scene, a snowman or drawing paint splats, bats or rain on my face along with more subtle makeup underneath. I specialize in doing my own face, however, I have also been creating looks for others during the holiday seasons.
I am most proud of not giving up throughout any point of this process. There are so many talents artists out there already and I know I am justing starting out which can be intimidating at times. I just feel like I have so much more than just makeup that I want to share with people. For me, it’s about creating looks that others will enjoy, supporting other makeup artists, and also sharing my story so that maybe it can give at least one other person out there the hope that they can work to a new beginning as well.
What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
Women should not compare themselves to others. Ever. There may be people out there that we are jealous of or intimidated by, but we should all remind ourselves that it’s not that others are better or worse but that they are just different. Everyone has a different story: a different beginning, different daily routines, different struggles, etc. which have a part in where they are today. So, focus on your own story, work hard but also never forget to live life and have fun.
- Instagram: @christina.duerr
Stephanie Saias (image of me in front of the car)