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Meet Trailblazer Elaine Barnett

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elaine Barnett.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My interest in makeup started at an early age but I never once thought I would make a career out of it. I started working at Sephora as a Product Consultant in High School and I worked on and off for them for almost ten years. During that time, I went to college (in Texas – I’m originally from the outskirts of Dallas) but decided to drop out of college to pursue my dream of being a freelance makeup artist. I had already started my freelance career in Dallas, mainly doing weddings and test shoots for modeling agencies, but I had my sights on LA. Once in LA, I started freelancing as a makeup artist while also working part-time at Sephora to pay the bills. I desperately wanted to get out of retail so I tried to network the best I could and my freelance jobs started increasing slowly. My main jobs were commercials, editorial, event makeup for an entertainment company and I even dabbled in writing for a lifestyle blog called The Everygirl for their beauty section.

One of my freelance jobs was to work a Revolve Beauty Pop Up off of Melrose and little did I know it would completely change my career! The Beauty Pop Up was orchestrated by a company called Beauty Barrage, which I now work for in their corporate office today in Newport Beach. Not only did I move my entire life but I also changed my career path. I now work as an Education Manager for Beauty Barrage that contracts with major cosmetics brands to help source their in-field sales and support teams. Never once did I think I’d work for a corporate company, let alone one that would have me go around the US to facilitate training for some of the biggest cosmetics brands in the industry. I have had so many full-circle types of moments at my current job and I am so thankful for where I am today in my career.

Has it been a smooth road?
It was definitely not a smooth road. When moving to LA from Dallas, I put my sights on pursuing a freelance career in makeup artistry but freelancing when you don’t know anyone in a new city, and no one knows you… that’s not going to pay the bills. I had to resort to working at Sephora like I had in Dallas. Nothing against Sephora but being stuck in a retail setting when you know you’re meant for something bigger is literally soul-crushing and was one of the hardest struggles in my career. I was becoming an adult, but I was still working at the same retailer I had when I was 17 and felt a little bit like a failure. I would cry to my mom on the phone about feeling stuck and uncertain about my future and where my career was going because I so desperately wanted to get out of retail. I look back at that time now and think of how silly I was to ever question what I was doing or where I was going. Every step of the way, struggle or not, has prepared me for what I do and love to do today. My advice to anyone starting out with a dream of doing something bigger is to stop worrying about the future. I was so stuck in what I wanted my future life to look like that I forgot to be thankful for all the freelance jobs coming my way, which by the way, my freelance jobs got me to where I work today. We get so wrapped up in the identity that our careers give us that we forget to really just let what is meant to be, be.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Though I still freelance in my free time, I am currently an Education Manager for Beauty Barrage, which is a full-service strategic sales management team with over 300 employees servicing over 3,000 doors in North America. We provide training, education and in-store support to drive sales for major and indie cosmetics brands in retail. What sets us apart is that we exist to slay the archaic retail support model with a modern sales force that stays and plays with the customer, increasing sales, brand awareness and loyalty. Not only do I educate our Brand Ambassadors throughout the US on our client’s products via webinar, but I also write education material, help with marketing within our social media outlets and travel around the US to hold corporate facilitation for our clients within retailers like Sephora and Ulta. I am most proud of the growth of our company. We turned four years old this past December and so much has changed within the last two years I have been with them, so I am so excited to see what new and exciting services will be implemented as well as where my career path will go with the company in the future.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
I was always a kid on the go. Playing multiple sports, taking art classes outside of school and when I wasn’t doing that, I was always with friends. I remember my mom having to tell me to stay home, not because I was in trouble, but literally to rest because I always felt like I needed to be doing something. I think this shaped me into how I pursued my freelance work, as well as how I work today. I don’t like to be stagnant mentally or physically. I like being able to travel, meet new people for what I do and to think of new ways or ideas to elevate my current work to make it fun and exciting for the future.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Model @kavokavokavo, images @aseaoflove; model @jesilerae, image @hannahillierphotography; model @tashimrod, image @baz

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