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Valley Trailblazers

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around the Valley that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

D’Ana Joi

For years, I felt that I would never find success unless I chose one thing to focus on and get really good at. However, when I chose one thing, I am neglecting so many other parts of myself. Feeling like I had to only focus on one of my many creative outlets had a paralyzing effect on me. Read more>>

Carla Victoria Flores

I began practicing makeup on my friends and cousins back in high school when I realized that’s what I wanted to do. Following high school, I started promoting myself and my work on social media platforms which lead to me freelancing. Read more>>

Terrionna Styles

On a leap of faith, I moved from Flint, Michigan (before the water crisis) to the big city of Los Angeles, CA. Originally, I came to study film and to create opportunities for myself. During my film studying years, I fell in love with the camera and in love with turning real beautiful things into imagery, and that is how makeup came into play as a passion of mine. Read more>>

Emma Schwimley

Fast forward to high school, I’d find myself in the bathroom trying out new makeup looks, different ways to style my hair and amp up my everyday look. I started offering free updos and styling for my friends for prom and homecoming and a lot of my friends started taking me up on it! I’ve always enjoyed making others feel beautiful inside and out. Read more>>

Ande Castaneda

I was lucky enough to be exposed to art early on with a family of artists. I think because of that, I’ve always loved beauty and photography. My Grammy was a big influence on me. She always had bright, colorful costume jewelry and makeup. She was one of my inspirations to go to beauty school. Read more>>

Felicia Mesadieu

I am originally from Omaha, Nebraska. I started out as a fashion blogger in college and I majored in broadcast news in college. I always the loved beauty and fashion. I also knew that I would somehow end up on television. I just wasn’t quite sure how, I know that I didn’t want to be a news reporter, but I also didn’t know how to make my love for media, beauty and fashion a profitable career. Read more>>

Lindsey Cheers

I’m originally from the Midwest, Ohio is my home. I grew up in a small college town called Oberlin, not many people have heard of it, but occasionally I’ll run into a few gems that have. I wouldn’t consider myself your average ‘girl next door’ due to my upbringing and how its affected my overall lifestyle. Read more>>

Shelley Kommers

I’ve been an artist — cutting up paper and painting — since I was a small child. I knew I’d be involved in the art world somehow, but wasn’t sure exactly where I’d land. I majored in Advertising at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, then went on to create an apparel line for kids, run a small hand-made greeting card company and design movie posters for film festivals. Read more>>

Shaina Nussbaum

A California Native, born and raised, self-taught by watching videos on YouTube. Working as a make-up artist and hairstylist for 6 years, I then decided to attend Make-Up Designory in Burbank, California to further my education in beauty and special effects. From there, I decided to attend the Cosmetology program at West Valley Occupational Center. Read more>>

Dana Kraft and Jennifer Smith

Jen and I had taught together as guest lecturers in numerous teacher trainings and we both had wonderful experiences in our own 200-hour teacher trainings. After hearing from students again and again, how when we came in to lecture, it was their favorite experience in the training, we decided to put our heads together to create our own teacher training program that encompassed both mine and Jen’s experience. Read more>>

Liza Siegal

I am a millennial mommy and a blogger (my blog is But first – my story: as many other wannabes, I came to LA to pursue career in film. I studied screenwriting and acting, wrote a few screenplays and worked as a screenplay analyst at a talent agency. Read more>>


I have always known that I would need to integrate traveling in my full-time job — I just never could have imagined that I would be ‘blogging’ for a living. I can pinpoint a few different events in my life that were undoubtedly the catalyst for the path that I’m on. Read more>>

Kate Eipl

I started off as a kid wanting to pursue my passion for art. I was convinced I would be an artist and live in California, despite what my older brother said. (I was born and raised in Chicago.) Over the years, my path was filled with twists but they were all necessary for me to grow into the person I am now. Read more>>

Marisa Reyes Trujillo

Having grown up in North East LA, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by the all the art and culture that this city has to offer. After years of working as a costumer and running through the streets of LA’s fashion district admiring all the fun prints, I decided to stop just admiring and start building. Read more>>

Nairie Aintablian

My journey started before I even considered makeup as a profession. I was definitely the artsy kid in my family. Drawing, painting, music, you name it. When I was in middle school a girl had shown me a picture of a “wound” she had created with glue stick and red food dye. Read more>>

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