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Meet Maryam Remias

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maryam Remias.

Maryam, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After years of working in the corporate world as a graphic designer, I became a mom and made the decision to stay home with my daughter. A few years went by and I was desperately looking for something to give me a creative outlet. I started watching makeup tutorial videos to get out my own head and to pass the time.

I became obsessed with collecting makeup and learning from these videos online. I had started my gray hair transition at the same time and was experimenting with makeup colors to see what looked good with gray hair. I looked for inspiration on social media outlets like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube for anyone in their 40’s that had natural gray hair and loved putting on colorful makeup.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone out there like that at the time. What was popular were young girls dying their hair gray and they had the best makeup looks! These younger girls with dyed gray hair were the ones who inspired me to do bold makeup looks and rock the natural gray hair.

I thought of creating my own YouTube channel for two years, but I was too scared to start. I knew that I wanted to do makeup tutorials and talk about my gray hair transition. However, being in my 40’s, I felt that I was too old to do makeup tutorials. I was scared to put myself out there and I felt vulnerable talking about gray hair. At the same time, I was frustrated that there were not a lot of people on social media talking about transitioning to gray hair.

With my husband’s encouragement, I launched my first video in January of 2015. After a month of creating content, I realized that this was my calling and what I was meant to do. I shot the videos, edited them while my husband helped me with SEO, tagging, growth strategies, etc.

Making videos made me feel happy. Sharing my thoughts and ideas with my followers was gratifying. I started getting messages from women who were starting their own gray hair journey. They shared their struggles with me and told me how much my videos inspired them to keep going with their transition.

Six months into creating my YouTube channel, Michelle Phan, she’s like the Queen B of beauty influencers, started a program called IPSY Open Studios. I was accepted to the mentorship program and realized that becoming an influencer was going to be my full-time job.

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 a smooth road for me. It’s not easy being your own brand because you put yourself and your life in front of millions of people. Being a 40-year-old gray-haired woman trying to break into the beauty industry has its challenges because most beauty brands don’t promote their product on mature skin.

I was getting a lot of hateful and hurtful comments on social media from people for being older and putting on colorful makeup. It was really sad and some of the comments hurt but I thought if they’re hating on me, I must be doing something right. The hate-fueled me to keep going!

Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
The business I’ve built is branding myself as a beauty influencer. I specialize in creating colorful makeup tutorials for women over 40 and sharing tips on gray hair transition. On Instagram, I create colorful makeup and hair tutorials to inspire people of all ages, and on YouTube, I put more focus on makeup for mature skin and gray hair.

I’ve been blessed to have worked with some of the biggest brands in the beauty industry. Companies such as IPSY, Ulta Beauty, IT Cosmetics, Tatcha and Sephora to name a few. In 2019, Sephora started its very first beauty influencer program #SephoraSquad with Fohr. Out of 16K applicants, 25 people were handpicked by Sephora. I was one of the ones that got picked for #SephoraSquad.

A big part of my brand is sharing the message that you’re never too old or too young to follow your passion and dreams. Do what makes you happy and don’t give up on yourself!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m working on an online course to teach how to become a beauty influencer. I plan to speak at events and conferences to help other beauty creators and businesses. I also hope to create my own makeup line one day.

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