I had the pleasure of meeting the amazingly talented Natalia last month in Trinidad and Tobago during carnival, where she pampered me silly and got my sleep-deprived face beat for the gawds for two fetes. I enjoyed chatting with the Bajan native about her inspirations, her passion for the glow up and her vision for her growing beauty studio, Studio Beauty Cosmetics.
SM: The next carnival you’re gracing is in Jamaica just next week. How’s that coming together?
NF: First of all, thank you for featuring me on your blog, it’s an honor. Jamaica Carnival is coming fantastic. It’s my very first time and the response has been overwhelming, so much so I’ve had to extend a few more spots for my amazing clients.
SM: Your appointments start as early as 12am. How do you manage working all night?
NF: I honestly ask myself the same question, but when you LOVE what you, it never feels like work.
SM: I absolutely loved the gorgeous gallery you occupied in Port of Spain. Tell me about your space in Jamaica.
NF: Oh, thank you. Our location in Jamaica is a hotel this time - the Knutsford Court Hotel. It is very close to the starting point of the carnival.
SM: Why do you invest in that luxury?
NF: It’s definitely a standard STUDIO BEAUTY COSMETICS has developed from day one in Barbados, ensuring each client is 100% satisfied with their make-up experience. It’s not just lipstick and glitter, we also take into account the atmosphere, safety, your comfort. I put a lot of thought into the quality of my craft.
SM: Are you touching down at any other carnivals this year?
NF: YES! Jamaica is next and then Barbados for Crop Over. We haven’t let the cat out the bag yet, but Labor Day Carnival (in New York City) & Miami Carnival are in the lineup as well.
SM: Obviously you are more than a carnival makeup artist. What else is in your repertoire?
NF: In the carnival off-season, I’m usually doing bridal makeup, 101 classes, media makeup for commercials, etc. My schedule is booked year round.
SM: Let’s talk about your journey. How did you become interested in the beauty industry?
NF: Well, at a very young age I was always fascinated by cosmetics. I would hide just to get into my mom’s makeup bag and experiment. At 14 years old, I started working with my aunt who was a senior make-up artist at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation. After school, I would go there and get all the TV personalities glammed for the evening news. This truly was a great experience at such a young age, to actually see my work on television. From that moment I knew this was definitely where my heart was when choosing my career. I started doing other gigs such as Bridal make-up, photoshoots and more. Four years later I landed a job at MAC COSMETICS in Barbados and it was an absolute dream come true, because I always wanted to work at - what was called - the biggest make-up company in the world. There, I met so many amazing people and learned so much about being in the beauty industry. Three years later, I decided I wanted to spread my wings and take my career to the next level and so far, it’s been nothing but great success!
SM: How do you know what types of products use? Do clients sometimes give you their preferences?
NF: The occasion definitely determines what products I use. For example, for carnival make-up I would go for more waterproof formulas. However, discovering each client’s skin type, features and personality plays a major role in choosing the absolute best products!
SM: What are your top 3 tips to have healthy, makeup-ready skin before application?
NF: Tip #1: Eat healthily and drink lots of water.
Tip #2: SKIN CARE! It’s the first thing you should invest in before buying cosmetics.
Tip #3: Always use a moisturizer before putting on complexion products!
SM: What do you think sets you apart from your competitors? In Barbados and across the world.
NF: I am not competing with anyone else. I find in the beauty industry, there’s always competition between artists but that’s so distracting from my true purpose.
SM: How do you stay ahead of makeup and beauty trends and develop your craft?
NF: By practicing everyday and challenging myself with difficult looks. I also attend make-up classes & trade shows. Last but not least, Instagram! It’s one of the best platforms where you can find makeup artists from around the world and just appreciate art and learn from each other.
SM: Who inspires you?
NF: Pat McGrath. Her work is purely from her heart and is true creativity at its finest.
SM: What is your vision for Studio Beauty Cosmetics?
NF: To be a globally-recognized brand with both products and services for make-up consumers and professionals in the beauty industry.
Thank you Natalia for sharing your journey and process! If you haven’t booked your makeup services for Jamaica Carnival, Natalia has very, very limited spots left!