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Life and Work with Emily Nguyen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Nguyen.

Emily, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Ever since I was young, I wanted to be successful. The only problem was I didn’t know what. In school, I would go through the day learning, but enthusiastic about any subjects. I went through many different jobs, trying to find my passion — food industry, fashion, even accounting. It was not until I was 23, that I found my calling-makeup. From that day on, I took classes, I practiced on family and eventually booked my first client. I was an amateur, trying to learn more and more, and be the best I could be because frankly, I finally found my passion. Since my first client with my first real paycheck, I never looked back. I had a drive and I couldn’t stop. Being a makeup artist is not just about helping someone be the best they are, it’s also about business, being active, forever learning, and simply being a hustler.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t been hard but definitely not easy. It takes passion and dedication to get where I am today. Waking up at 3 am on a Saturday, giving up weekends to do what you love. My advice is to young women if you love what you do, and you’re passionate about it, go for it! The reward is indescribable, best feeling ever!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Faces by Emily – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are most proud of the fact that we serve a wide range of clients from: weddings, production, fashion, photography, runway, red carpet, film, and more. Because we work in so many different fields with so many different people, it is inevitable that styles will be different; they will change, overlap, and evolve.

A philosopher named Maimonides says, “May there never develop in me the notion that my education is complete. But give me strength, desire, and zeal continually to enlarge my knowledge.” Here, at Faces by Emily, we live on this model and are always searching and learning new techniques, materials, ideas. We believe in sharing knowledge and often have our make up tutorials with each other and with clients. We attend classes to broaden our artistic views. We research different makeup brands and experiment. We force ourselves to work in different environments to experiment and to learn.

Makeup and hair is a small part of this industry, and that’s why we love it. We’re constantly stepping outside our comfort bubble and gaining more experience for our clients, and we’re always having fun doing it. The best part is, we’re only getting better at what we do.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
I feel that the biggest barriers to female leadership are a general public resistance. However, through strong leaders like Sheryl Sandburg and Michelle Phan, society has become more aware and more welcoming through history. Though resistance is always present, seen through distrust or discrimination, it helps the female leader be more resilient and work even harder.

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