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Meet Trailblazer Saharai Álvarez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Saharai Álvarez.

Saharai , can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always loved art, bright colors and music… and since I was a little girl, I’ve loved makeup. I remember myself borrowing… well, I confess, “stealing” my mom’s lipsticks and secretly applying them in the bathroom when I was just a kid. I also remember enjoying the “carnavales” and all its exotic customs that were typical of my home country of Venezuela. And at any school plays where actors were wearing makeup, I was there.

My mom, my youngest sister and myself, took oil painting classes and we became the “painters” of our family, always surrounded by the music my dad used to play on the violin and my brother on the piano. I was really blessed to grow up with art and music around me.

Back in Venezuela, I was a preschool teacher and when I moved to the US in 2004, I continued teaching for over twelve years. I really enjoyed teaching and interacting with kids and was actually really good at it. But, I was that kind of “colorful” teacher who loved dying my hair, tattoos, piercings and of course, wearing makeup. I think something inside me and my personality, was telling me to explore other professional avenues. My husband who is a film composer (I guess art has been always in my life), one day suggested me to take some makeup classes since he saw how much I liked the makeup industry. Since then, I discovered a new passion and decided to become a makeup artist by enrolling in a makeup school. For a while, I was teaching preschool and freelancing as a makeup artist until I decided to become a full-timer in the makeup industry. I then decided not to only be a makeup artist but also become a permanent cosmetics specialist. Today, I’m really proud to have my own makeup and permanent cosmetic studio located in the heart of the playhouse district in beautiful Pasadena, California.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s important when you start a professional venture that you ask yourself which area of the industry you want to focus on first and then, you just apply ‘laser-like’ focus to that particular area. Once you’ve done that, you can start evaluating and deciding if you want to stay within the area of the industry you started with, move on to a different area or incorporate something else to become more unique in what you do. It’s a process that you need to go through.

Being the mother of two and a wife, while being a makeup artist at the same time is definitely not an easy ride. But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to do both. I think that when you are that busy, you become better at organizing yourself and also at managing your time the best possible way. Also, since I went from being a preschool teacher to becoming a professional makeup artist, not knowing too many people in the industry has been quite a challenge for me as well. But this is just part of the game, you just need to go out, believe in yourself and do your best. Clients, relationship and referrals will come, you just need to work hard for it.

Every step in the right direction and even errors or failures you may find in the way will bring you a little closer to achieving your goals. Make sure you always ask questions, surround yourself with the right people and be true to yourself.

We’d love to hear more about Makeup by Saharai.
As a makeup artist, I specialize in editorial, live action, beauty, weddings/events, music videos and CD covers. I’m known for my artistic and glamorous approach to makeup and for making each of my makeup applications unique and effective for all of my clients. I love being creative and thinking out of the box with my makeup art approach while understanding the different personalities and needs of people I work on.

I also decided to expand my makeup artistry career and became a certified permanent cosmetics specialist. I studied under the tutelage of Daria Chuprys and Kim Casey White. My specialties include Microblading, powder Brows, eyeliner and Tattoo Removal. I practice hygienic guidelines from California’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and State Health codes. The sterile needles and the materials used during the procedure are one-time use and 100% disposable and the pigments (Li Pigments) are hight in quality and do not turn color over time.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
* Three of my most used applications are Planoly, Facetune and Typorama.

*  “The Hair Makeup & Fashion Styling Career Guide” by Crystal Wright’s always is by my side. She provides clear and helpful information about getting started, tools of the trade, marketing yourself, photographers, agencies, freelancing, resources, etc.

* Art books are a must-have for inspiration also to re-educate me about the story of makeup, “Face Paint” by Lisa Eldridge.

* Melissa Street known by epic makeup on Facebook and Instagram always post useful photos and videos regarding makeup, freelancer and organization.

*In the permanent makeup field Daria Chuprys and her husband Kostas as well Teryn Darling and Tina Davies, they are great resources. Their knowledge, experience and vision meet the high standards and they love to teach!

* Last but not least, I love inspirational and encouraging quotes. Here is one that I always read, “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen”

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Carolina Carvajal

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