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Meet TJ Felts of Art of Vanity Waxing & Makeup in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to TJ Felts.

TJ, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I originally moved to LA 20+ years ago not having a clue what I wanted to do with my life. After a few years of odd jobs, I decided I really loved the beauty industry. After working for years as a makeup artist for many Prestige Cosmetic companies, I needed a break and with the help of my hubby, decided to go to esthetics school. I really only went to learn brow shaping. But while there I found that beauty and self-care was my true calling.

After graduation, I returned to retail cosmetics only to be disappointed again. After much thought, I took a leap and went to work for a corporate waxing company. It was HORRIBLE! I called it the cootchie sweatshop. They wanted us to wham, bam thank you ma’am of waxing. Coming from a high-end background, I felt clients deserved so much more to a service than what we were offering. So after leaving the sweatshop, I went to work for a great lil boutique waxing studio.

There I felt like I was home! I loved my co-workers and clients. I probably would’ve never ventured off if the owner hadn’t closed down. I’d always had a dream of opening my own wax and make-up studio but didn’t have the financial means to do so. But after four months of hard work and sacrifice, I took the leap and opened my own studio in Santa Monica.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve had many bumps in the road from financially funding to licenses. As a beauty professional/Creative, we dream BIG. Not realizing that getting started is all about those small details that can make or break your business. Wearing all of the hats has also been quite challenging.

I am staff, bookkeeper, housekeeping, inventory, handywoman, and painter. All while still trying to be a wife, friend, sister, and daughter. And let’s not forget that as this business is being built, I am also working two other gigs to pay for my bills.

Being a business owner is a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions. One hour you’re crying, feeling so overwhelmed and are questioning your reasons for doing this. Two hours later, you are smiling and feel so proud that you’ve don’t something this fab.

Truth be told, I LOVE what I do and I wouldn’t trade this in for the world: the Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Art of Vanity Waxing & Makeup – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Art of Vanity is a place where you can get waxed, get glamified or just swing by to say hello. My clients are like family, free to speak about everything from love to work. From medical issues to the reason Cardi and Offset split. I try to make waxing fun, easy and as pain-free as possible.

I specialize in Hard Wax, a form of European wax that adheres to the hair and not the skin. Thus making waxing a lot less painful than traditional wax. I do use traditional wax for legs as it saves time. Brows are big business for me also. I create natural, soft brows that can be filled in for a more dramatic look or left alone for a natural, timeless appearance.

My makeup style has been called Naturally Glamorous. Things look awesome on the runway or latest music video but may not translate for the everyday woman. I adapt the current trends to each client and her comfort level. I don’t recreate my clients face, I simply enhance the beauty that lies within and conceals the things we don’t want to be shown. I am available for weddings, parties, award shows, photo shoots, and on-camera media projects.

What’s your favorite memory from childhood?
I have many, but I think my favorite is when we would go camping and fishing with my mom. I was quite the tomboy growing up, but at some point in my 20’s, I blossomed into a somewhat girly girl.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Nadirah B Photography

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