Last weekend was super busy & literally filled with unlimited alcohol to celebrate another year of life & this super cute networking mixer held by Elle the Foodie.
Held at The Baltimore Gallery, Elle created an event that was filled with bomb ass finger food, unlimited wine & a fire ass DJ which created a relaxing but lit vibe, perfect for mixing & mingling with other likeminded entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the event was to introduce her blog & personal brand to the blogger industry in Detroit & she definitely did it in style. The event was such a success she’s hosting another one this December which has an ugly sweater theme and I can’t wait to attend it again!
Now on to the lit ass vibes, my 24th birthday was a success. A couple friends and I grabbed a booth at the strip club enjoyed food, drinks & lap dances all night, the best way to enter a new year of life. I love my friends because I was having a shitty day and they literally made me go out and celebrate my birthday, they’re the shit.
So if you didn’t know, I have a cool ass podcast I’ve been doing for almost a year with my home girl Terricka B. A few weeks ago we interviewed the CEO of Good Wealthy Rashad aka Bald Jesus on everything business and the Detroit lifestyle. Make sure you check it out and let me know what you think.
Lilly Ghalichi is the petite super glam girl you’ve seen on many seasons of “Shahs of Sunset” on Bravo, and on just about every Instagram makeup page.
Celebs like Christina Aguilera and Kylie Jenner love her for her bomb ass lash line Lilly Lashes. What sets Lilly apart from just about any entrepreneur you’ve ever heard of is how she quit her job as a practicing lawyer to pursue her dreams in beauty in fashion.
Just think about all those years put into school just to be like, “this is definitely not for me.” If you want some major inspiration for how to follow your dreams regardless of the haters, check out our Q+A below.
What made you join the beauty industry?
I have always had a love and passion for makeup, beauty and fashion. I began designing my own clothes as a young girl, and I was always told I “wore too much makeup” (I’ve always loved to cake it on!).
My parents once told me if you love what you do, it isn’t really work. As I sat in my office one day, I realized I hated my life because I hated what I did — law. So, I quit my job and decided to take my parent’s advice and work doing something I love. They were right, I work 1000 times as hard today, but I love what I do, so I can’t get enough of work!
How did “Lilly Lashes” come about?
As a glam girl myself, I found myself very disappointed with all the lashes on the market. I would stack 2 or 3 pairs to get the look I wanted. It was expensive, and uncomfortable; so, one day I decided to make my own lash that was super full and glam so that I only had to wear 1 pair to get the look I wanted. After I made it, all my makeup artists starting asking for it to use on their other clients, and before I knew it, Lilly Lashes was born.
Would you ever join reality television again? Why or why not?
Never. It wasn’t for me. It’s very difficulty being on a reality TV show, and I’m not emotionally equipped for it lol. It drains you, emotionally, and therefore makes it difficult for you to have normal relationships, friendships, or even a regular work schedule. I love my fiancé, my family, my friends and my businesses too much to be on TV!
When you decided to start your company, what was your biggest fear and how did you overcome it?
My biggest fear was failure, embarrassment, rejection. I think that’s everyone’s fear. “What if people hate it?” I thought to myself, you know what, what if people LOVE it. Everyone has fears, and everything you do has risks. Many thinks I have done have in fact failed, and that’s ok, keep working until something you do succeeds!
Where do you see your company in the upcoming years?
We are expanding, quickly! The Ghalichi Glam label already has a clothing line (WantMyLook.com), a Lash Line (LillyLashes.com), and we are going to expand into cosmetics and makeup tools in 2017. Get ready! Lilly Lashes is my baby, so we are expanding quite a bit internally as well, launching many new exciting collections and tools.
What tips do you have for young women entrepreneurs?
DO IT! Don’t be afraid, the worst thing that can happen is you fail and you are right back to being where you are today, before you started. Chances are, you will succeed, imagine how sweet that will be….
Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on that you’d like to share?
Yes! Always. We are releasing the “Wedding Lash”, as well as a collection of lashes made specifically for MEN! It’s going to be sexy.
What’s something about you that many people don’t know?
Many people my not know that I’m actually engaged, and will be married in May, woohoo! I have kept my relationship pretty private, and I must say it is much sweeter that way.
What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?
I would love to inspire everyone reading this to follow their dreams. You are capable of so much, you just have to believe in yourself and START!
Mac Daddyy, a.k.a. Angel Merino, is a popping celebrity makeup artist, beauty influencer and business owner. He’s worked with everyone from Chanel Iman to Tinashe to Karrueche Tran, and many more. He also has an independent cosmetics line, Artist Couture.
In this exclusive interview, Mac Daddy dishes on his start in the beauty industry, tips for aspiring celebrity MUAs, his goals and much more.
Where are you from?
I’m born and raised in Southern California! I currently reside in Los Angeles and my parents are [of] Salvadorian descent.
When did you join the makeup industry and why?
I’ve always been fascinated with makeup, ever since I was a little boy! My mom would take me shopping with her at department stores and I would just be in awe like a little kid in a candy store! Everything was so shiny and colorful! Throughout different jobs I acquired in my teen years I found myself always coming back to makeup. Dancing has always been a passion of mine and at one point I taught at different studios to make some extra cash. I took it upon myself to do all of the dancers’ makeup before competitions and performances.
I wasn’t very good at it at all, but at least they all looked equally as bad lol. I got more and more practice with each performance and even started doing some of the studio moms. The more I did it, the more I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the idea of being able to make people feel great about themselves. A couple of years down the line I got a job working at a department store in cosmetics. I worked for tons of brands and really was able to develop my skills and gain experience.
How long did it take you to perfect your craft?
I feel when you’re an artist you never stop learning and growing. However, it did take me a few years to really feel confident in doing makeup on other people and actually charge them for it. If I had to pinpoint a number, I would say four. And that’s doing makeup day in and day out, working at a makeup counter, freelancing, and practicing my techniques on myself when I had spare time. It takes a lot of commitment, hard work and dedication to master your art.
When did you become a celebrity makeup artist and what advice do you have for inspiring celebrity MUA’s?
Once social media actually became a thing I started to get a lot of attention from celebs. It’s crazy how many of them have been in my DMs wanting to work with me, but my first celebrity was Christina Milian. I met her at an event called Beautycon, I was invited due to my large social media following. We were in a press line right next to each other and we immediately connected. We took a moment to chat, she complimented my makeup, and she started following me on Instagram on the spot. I was totally freaking out.
A few days later I received an email from her assistant asking me if I was available to do her makeup for an HGTV shoot. And that’s it, that’s all it took. She kept booking me and I was able to network with different people (Hairstylist, makeup artist, producers) that eventually led to other gigs.
For anyone wanting to become a celebrity MUA, location and environment is everything. You have to align yourself to meet people who can be potential “plugs” into the industry. Networking is everything. Putting yourself out there and not being afraid of rejection is very important. Social media has become such a great platform that has catapulted so many people’s careers. I would strongly encourage creating a professional Instagram account to showcase your work with great quality images, you never know who could be watching.
What is the most challenging thing about your job and how do you overcome those challenges?
Theres a lot of challenging things about my job. As a makeup artist its making sure everyone feels drop dead gorgeous after a good glam session. Everyone is so different and picky. It’s all about identifying your client’s personal makeup style and taking it to the next level.
As a beauty influencer, the biggest challenge is conceptualizing new content. Figuring out how to stay fresh and interesting amongst so many other talented beauty influencers. I always push myself to step outside of the box and comfort zone. Whenever things become stagnant I force myself into creative space for a re-up of inspiration.
Where would you like to take your brand in the next few years?
One of the best things I could have ever done was start my own cosmetics line, Artist Couture. The growth my company has had in the past two years has been mind-blowing and I’m so proud that I’ve done it all with my own funding. I want to continue to expand my product line and develop amazing quality products that will enhance and improve the life of glam boys and girls everywhere.
I want to continue to spread the message of self-love and empowerment. Ultimately I would love to see my line carried at a high-end retailer like Saks or Bloomingdale’s. The day I’m able to walk into either one of those store to shop and can sashay across the cosmetic department and see my line will be the day my life has been made. Definitely working hard to check that off my bucket list.
What’s your favorite high end and drug store products and why?
My favorite high-end product is Blush Nude lipstick from Tom Ford. One of the most beautiful, creamy, rosy nude color I’ve ever worn. I get soooo many compliments every time I wear it. My favorite drug store product is Neutrogena makeup wipes. So affordable and literally the best cleansing wipes to remove makeup.
Where did the name Mac Daddyy come from?
The way I got the name “Mac Daddyy” was so random! I came up with it way before I even knew social media was going to blow up and become such an amazing platform for me. I was working at MAC at the time and we would always play music while we would clean. A song came on by Mikey Jarrett called “Mack Daddy” and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. It was a little corny, but so catchy. It kinda just stuck. I would have never imagined it would be what people know me as now.
What beauty brands would you love to collaborate with in the future?
There are so many brands that I absolutely love, but there’s one in particular that really has a special place in my heart and that is MAC Cosmetics. I worked for the brand a little over three years and those years were absolutely life changing. I was 19 when I was first hired and worked there till I was about 22, some of the most pivotal years of my life. I was becoming an adult and finding myself. I had always struggled with self-identification, mainly because I didn’t have anyone I could relate and talk to about the way I was feeling inside. MAC was the first environment where I truly felt like I could be my authentic self. I would show up to work feeling so creative, strutting across the counter wearing and looking however i wanted and my individuality was celebrated.
The company has done a fabulous job in creating such an amazing culture that has cultivated such a prestigious standard within the industry. I got to work with some of the most amazingly talented people i have ever met and learn from them too! The daily interaction with customers taught me a lot about myself and enabled me to fall in love with teaching others about makeup and how to apply it. One of my favorite elements of the brand is their Viva Glam AIDS Foundation. The fact that I was getting paid to sell a lipstick and the total retail value of it was going to charity was mind-blowing. Leaving the company was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life, but I can absolutely say I left a better person and artist than I was when I started. Completely transformed and confident, ready to take on the world. MAC has that effect on you.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment to date?
One of my biggest accomplishments that I’m most proud of was landing a National Campaign and tour with Macy’s during Hispanic Heritage Month. I couldn’t believe such a mainstream brand had chosen me to represent my community alongside Mario Lopez and Don Omar. It was amazing being able to travel and meet some of my biggest supporters. It meant the world to me to be able to inspire people like myself that come from humble beginnings to achieve greatness and success regardless of who are what you are.
What is something your supporters may not know about you?
My followers may not know that if I wasn’t a makeup artist and beauty influencer I would probably be on tour with Beyoncé right now. Hitting the stage every night breaking it down with killer choreography lol! Overall, I’m just an average guy with big dreams like everyone else.
Jasmine has made her mark on the city of Detroit in such a short time with the creation of her natural and hand-made body butter line, “Brooklyn Body Butter“.
Inspired by her 5-year-old daughter Brooklyn, I sat down with Jasmine to learn about her journey into entrepreneurship.
What’s your background and how would you describe what you do? Tell us your story.
I am Jasmine Matheney a self-proclaimed beauty pioneer that is changing the standards of beauty with my handcrafted Body Butters. My story is really no different from a lot of people who I know. I’m a full-time mother, full-time government employee, and full-time entrepreneur & creator of Brooklyn Body Butter.
For people who do not know, Brooklyn Body Butter is an all natural product made up of ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil, and grape seed oil. Brooklyn Body Butter can be used as a replacement to your typical everyday lotion. The reason that I say my story is no different from a lot of people who I know is because truly it isn’t. When I decided to start my business I was coming into a new season of life. I was working two jobs, unhappy, bored and I didn’t want my frustrations with my situation to get the best of me.
Often times we compare our lives to others unknowingly of the troubles and struggles that face and are facing. But I will be the first one to tell you.; it has not been a walk in the park for me thus far. I don’t have a fancy background. I’m the same woman that’s been attending community colleges for the last 10 years still trying to get my associate degree, I still cry when someone hurts my feelings, and I work my ass off wholeheartedly to reap the benefits that I have worked for. My story is being written everyday in this particular chapter of my story we could call it insane, rewarding, and fulfilling.
You’re currently growing your business while still working a 9-5, how do you balance your everyday work life, motherhood & Brooklyn Body Butter?
Learning balance has been my greatest test this last year. It is extremely hard but it is doable and manageable. Creating a written to-do list is a major key for my everyday work life. Phones are awesome to keep track of task but the best method is writing it down on an actual piece of paper. I write down everything that it is that I need to do.
Another way that I balance is through the support of my family and friends. I have a tremendous support system. I depend on my parents a lot they are the foundation that keeps me together. If it wasn’t for the two of them I would have lost it all by now. If you have people who are willing to help you be thankful and appreciative. A lot of people complain about people not supporting them yet they neglect the ones that are.
Being a mother happens so natural for me now, when I first had my daughter I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I wanted to do everything perfect for my daughter. But who’s life is perfect? Nobody! So I’ve been rolling with the punches for the last 5 years when it comes to motherhood. Anyone that is a mother knows that no two days are the same. The hardest thing about motherhood is that my daughter is a night owl and I am too.
While I’m up working at 2-3am on Brooklyn Body Butter she’s right there with me. I’m always telling her “Brooklyn, go get in the bed!”. Majority of the time she has a pillow and blanket and is literally right there next to me while I’m working late nights. Our late nights make it really hard for our early mornings. If I’m up until to 3 am then I’m usually back up at 7 am getting ready for work. But that’s something that we are trying to balance and work out now.
What do you think made your brand grow in popularity in such a short time?
I feel like my brand has grown in popularity in such short time due to the unique characteristics. I think Brooklyn Body Butter is a catchy name, the colors are fun, the scents in my opinion are amazing, being creative with photo shoots and themes has helped, but the important thing has been creating a product that people have loved and actually need. I’m not the first person to create a body butter and I am certain that I will not be the last. But, I really enjoy the feedback that I receive about Brooklyn Body Butter.
Where does the inspiration from all of your scents stem from? Do they have a significant meaning or is it based off whatever comes to mind? What are some of your best-selling scents?
The inspiration from my scents come from familiar scents as a child or feel good memories. I love when people smell a scent and they associate it with a good memory. That is why I created a lot of my scents. My best-selling scent is Baby Powder Butter. It is originally one of the first scents that I created and it sells the most. Other popular scents are Almond Coconut Milk Butter, Strawberry Milkshake Butter, and Bliss Butter.
What was the most challenging time for your brand? Did you ever have to stop everything for a while or start over?
Everyday for me is a challenge. The most challenging time has been the start-up. Convincing people to try a product on their skin was not easy. I didn’t expect that to be easy either. It’s like please trust me if you don’t like it you don’t have to use it again. I really think that Brooklyn Body Butter is a small investment for a great return. Just recently I had to stop everything for a while. I kind of worked myself into this funk. I was just draining myself out big time not getting the proper rest, doing everything that people threw my way, and it literally made me crash.
I didn’t make butters for like three weeks and that was unusual for me. But I refuse to make body butters if I’m in a bad mood. My slogan is “Spread Love, The Brooklyn Way.” And I’m big on energy and vibes. Energy is contagious (good and bad) I was not going to make body butter and I wasn’t in the best mood spreading my bad vibes. I never want a bad vibe I’m carrying to come in contact with anybody. I like to stay to myself when I’m in a funk and when I’m ready I come back full throttle. I’m so glad I’m out of my funk. As far as starting over, I haven’t had a need to do that yet. However, I make changes as I go and based on feedback that I receive.
What void do you feel you’re fulfilling in the skin care industry?
The void that I’m fulfilling is a simple solution to some complex skin problems. My ingredients are easy to pronounce, they’re natural, they are simple. Brooklyn Body Butter is literally a head to toe body butter. You can use it from the top of your scalp to the bottom of your feet. It has provided relief for itchy scalp, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and many other skin conditions.
Tell us about a difficult time in your life that you overcame and explain how you did so.
A difficult time in my life was the decision to become a mother. I remember being like 23 pregnant, not where I thought I was supposed to be at in life and juggling the decision of having a baby. The most difficult thing that I did was walking into an abortion clinic at 4.5 months pregnant and saying “I’m here to have an abortion.” I sat in the clinic for hours and when they did my ultrasound I saw my baby on her stomach kicking.
I raised up and I looked at the sonographer and was like “is that my baby?” she goes “yes.” I immediately told her I was making a wrong decision by being there and I didn’t want to have the abortion. I remember going to sit down and talking to an intake worker who proceeded to tell me that if I wasn’t going to get the abortion then I needed to pay like $50.00 for the ultrasound. I remember with pride saying “OKAY that’s fine!” and I literally ran out of the office.
That was a difficult decision at that time because I didn’t know what the hell was next or what I was supposed to do. But, that day I made a promise to myself and my daughter that I would not let us down. She just turned 5 this year and she has been my right and left hand person.
We have literally been through it all together. I owe her a lot and I’m not talking about financially she really made me grow up. You never realize the sacrifices your parents make until you become a parent. I am so thankful I have her in my life and she always tells me that God picked her from the clouds especially for Mommy, she tells stories of how she was in heaven with God and the other children and the sun was shining in her eyes. My eyes well up with tears when she tells me that story of being in heaven with God, because for some reason I know it’s true.
Where would you like to see your brand in the next year? Tell us some of your short-term goals/aspirations.
In the next year I would like to partner with more local boutiques to sell my product in their stores, I would like to offer some small classes for young girls where they can come and make their own personal body butter, and I would like to open up a Brooklyn Body Butter warehouse so that I can move my business from out of my home and make home a home again lol.
What’s something about you that many people don’t know/can’t find out online?
I don’t have a favorite scent when it comes to Brooklyn Body Butter. I’m always asked this question. It’s so hard for me to decide. I use butters based on my mood. Depending on my mood for the day is the scent that I’ll use.
As you began to grow in popularity, did you have to change anything about yourself or your mindset to become successful?
Success is not always about money and I think a lot of people always associate success with how much money you’re making or made. Success to me has been about not giving up even on the days that I wanted to. For the most part I’ve always been one of those people who didn’t take anything for granted. I’ve always worked hard. I literally had a job since the age of 8. So I know with hard work comes results.
The biggest thing that I have changed is working smarter. In the beginning of starting my business I wanted to do every sip and shop and every Pop-Up shop that was presented to me. And I was thankful for every opportunity but I was exhausting myself. I finally learned to start declining events. But, I would always beat myself up about declining the events because I’m like well what if people think I’m acting funny now. Honestly, it’s a lot of work to be the maker, packager, shipper, and show up to events.
I was exhausting myself beyond belief. So with that being said I’ve definitely had to adjust my mindset and say “hey, you’re beating yourself down, slow down.” Being successful isn’t always about being on the go and always in grind mode. Your mind needs some time to regroup and rethink. What’s for you will always be for you!
What do you really want your supporters to take away from this interview?
The biggest thing that I want supporters to take from my interview is that anything is possible. As cliché as it sounds and we hear it all the time it is the truth. Look around you for a second. Everything around us once started out as a thought, that thought manifested into a thing. Be conscious of your thoughts, pay attention to the signs that are around you, and whatever you want go get it!
Where do people go after their business ideas are rejected by “Shark Tank?” Well, some probably go back to their boring, non-entrepreneurial lives, but some persevere and still do whatever the fuck they were going to do without help.
Take Melissa Butler, for example.
Melissa quit her job on Wall Street to follow her dreams and create an affordable vegan cosmetic line. She was denied funding by “Shark Tank,” so she funded her business all by herself. Now, her brand is known as The Lip Bar which is also available in various Target stores. Did I mention she’s from Detroit?
What made you create The Lip Bar?
I grew frustrated with the beauty industry. Instead of complaining, I wanted to be that solution. Seeing linear looks of women throughout media and most cosmetics being filled with chemicals frustrated me. I wanted women to feel beautiful and have representation and that’s what made me start and keeps me going.
When you decided to become an entrepreneur, what was the most difficult aspect of it?
Nothing was difficult because I knew what I wanted to do and was passionate about it. You have to have tunnel vision because you will face adversity and have struggles throughout your journey. To be an entrepreneur, you really have to want it, because it’s hard work.
As a new entrepreneur, how did you fund your vision?
I’ve ben self-funded, even to this day. No investors at all. I took my savings and put it where I wanted it to be. I worked for Wall Street and was able to make a good source of income. If you don’t have a good cash flow, you have to start with what you have and start small. Focus on being local and locking down that market before expanding. I started with what I had because I wasn’t a trust-fund kid, but my own personal income was sufficient enough to give me that initial boost.
Why did you leave Wall Street?
I really wanted to focus on my business. In order for my business to give me 100%, I had to do the same. I was making great money at a young age, but I didn’t want to be the person that worked on Wall Street for 30 years. I didn’t want to spend all my energy building someone else’s brand.
What made you continue to keep going after being rejected on “Shark Tank?”
With everything in business in general, you’re going to be told no a lot. Everyone won’t believe in you and that’s ok. People just saw it happen to me publicly. Just because they said no, it didn’t cause me to doubt myself. Instead I was like, “Okay, this door isn’t opening, but cool, I’ll figure it out another way.” When you get no’s, it shouldn’t make you stop. It was tough because no one wants to be told that their dreams are invalid, but that person only has power if you give it to them. I wasn’t allowing the judges on “Shark Tank” to say my dreams weren’t worthy.
What tips do you have for young women interested in starting their own makeup line?
In any business you start, be passionate about whatever you want to do and have a strong team. The money and other things don’t matter if you have doubt and try to do it all by yourself. Not your friends or people who are easily accessible, but people who want to see your brand grow. In the beginning you kinda wear all the hats, but you won’t grow if everything isn’t getting executed in a timely manner.
How does your company celebrate beauty through diversity?
We believe that beauty doesn’t look like a certain thing. Our shade range and imagery with our models all speaks to a very diverse beauty world. We are all about increasing representation. So if you see a dark skin black woman, an asian woman, a plus size women on a campaign, it isn’t shocking, it’s a norm, we are setting a new beauty standard.
What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?
I want them to take from The Lip Bar that they are enough, everything that we do is with our customers in mind. Try to accept your flaws and accept it as an extension of who you are. Everything you like and dislike is still a part of you. Learn how to appreciate the things that make you whole. Brands like my company exist to target that goal. Also, follow your dreams and don’t ever settle.
While most recent theater grads are happy to book a commercial or a TV pilot, Chante Adams booked a moviewith Nia Long and Mahershala Ali less than a year after graduating + has a new movie dropping this Fall.
The film, produced by Pharrell Williams and Forest Whitaker, is called “Roxanne, Roxanne” and it’s about an 80s hip-hop legend, who Chante plays. With her 2nd film “Monsters and Men” coming to theaters October 5th, I sat down with Chante to learn about how she did it.
How did you get your start acting?
Freshman year of high school, my friend wanted to audition for a play and I tagged along. I wasn’t interested at the time, but in order to stay with her I had to audition for a role in the play. So I went ahead with it never looked back.
What is your dream role?
I definitely think I got my dream role with my current role and [it] has pushed me as an actress to go harder. My character has an emotional rollercoaster which is every actor’s dream and I definitely feel like I got that with this role. I would love to play a superhero though, that would be awesome.
What has been the best part of your newfound success?
Wow, this is such a good question. I feel like the people under me now think this is possible because of me. Being an inspiration to people and them telling me that following my dreams makes them want to follow theirs makes me feel good.
Tell us about your role in the film “Roxanne, Roxanne”?
“Roxxane, Roxanne” is about the 80’s female hip hop legend and her rise to fame while dealing with issues in her home life. She had an alcoholic mother, raised her three sisters, and was involved [in] an abusive relationship with a man 18 years her senior, played by Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali. I play the star Roxxane Shante, who is 14-18 years old while all this is going on.
What have you learned from working with Nia Long and Mahershala Ali?
I pretty much learned everything from them, since this is my first role coming out of school and being from a theatre background. Just watching them on set everyday and seeing how they interact with the camera and the directors taught me a lot. Also, seeing how humble and gracious they are [even though they are] so famous made me realize I definitely want to be like them as I continue with my career.
Give us three tips aspiring actresses need to land a gig.
1. Don’t hold back in the audition room, because you will regret it later.
2. Don’t be afraid of criticism, it will only make you better.
3. Always remain humble and grateful because it can be taken away at any moment.
Who motivates you to never give up during challenging times?
Honestly, all of the little black girls coming up under me that I know that I’m helping pave the way for.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
I would love for my student loans to be paid off.
Which celebrity’s career do you admire?
I love Gugu Mbatha-Raw. I love the fact that she’s a person that does it all, like her roles bring forward voices that we haven’t heard yet. I also admire the greats that helped me fall in love with acting just by watching them; like Viola Davis, Angela Bassett, and Kerry Washington. My absolute favorite actress is Octavia Spencer because she always plays characters that we love and can always root for.
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?
That I won the “Special Jury Award” for breakthrough performance at the Sundance Film Festival this year. And I’m super excited about it because I get a trophy, well really my mom [get’s a trophy] because she won’t let me have it.
Tell us about your upcoming role in “Monsters and Men”.
I play Zoe who is the local community activist. She helps guide Zyric, a promising high school baseball player, on his journey to get involved in the community after the shooting of an unarmed black man.
What made you take on this role following your success of “Roxanne Roxanne”?
I actually shot this movie before “Roxanne Roxanne” came out. I was drawn to Zoe because of her strength, resilience, and her ability to use her voice and stand up for what she believed in. In a way, I took on the role of Zoe because I was inspired by her.
What do you want your supporters to take from this interview?
I just want them to know that they can do anything and the sky is the limit. I just graduated school a few months ago and I just wanted to book a commercial or something small, but when you shoot for the stars anything is seriously possible.
You may know Lira Galore from her sexy Instagram photos, or from being talked about on gossip sites, or from her ex-fiancé Rick Ross.
At first look, it’s easy to judge Lira and assume she’s just another Instagram baddie, but if you talk to her one on one like we got a chance to, you’ll realize there’s more to her.
In fact, if you want to know the real Lira, and what she thinks about the gossip surrounding her right now, read on. You’ll realize she’s just another hustler trying to make it, and that she’s actually down to earth af.
Can you describe what you do for a living in your own words?
I would def say model and socialite because I have to be social, go to events, represent brands, influence people to buy products, etc. I’m a jack of all trades.
What were you doing before and how did you get to where you are now?
I was dancing, and went by the name “Philly” in the strip club. I wasn’t always in character, I had to transition into “Philly” and work all night. I joined the shake-life at 18, fresh out of high school and I did it because working retail for two years and making $300 every two weeks wasn’t enough to support myself. My friends were in the club and seeing all the money they made had me like, “I’m bad, I can do this shit too,” so they were like, “Just try it.”
Girl, I put on my little dance clothes and I was so shook when I got on stage, I didn’t even know I couldn’t dance until I got on stage. My first night I made $1,200 and fresh out of school I was like, “damn, I can get used to this.” I hid it from my mom and one day she came in my room and saw me counting a bunch of 1’s. She sat me down and told me to not get sucked into it because [there are] women 37 [years old and] still dancing. She told me to make a plan and stack my money and go, and that’s what I did.
Do people claim you’re only famous because of your ex-fiancé Rick Ross and if so, how do you respond to that?
People always try to downplay why you’re popping and have their own opinion as to why you are. Yeah, I get that all the time, “Ross made you this,” and that’s a lie cause I had over 2 million supporters on social media prior to dating him. I don’t even pay attention to negative stuff, because I’m so used to it and it’s like, “Okay, here’s another hater with an opinion.” People always bring his name up and I don’t like it because it’s not how I became known. I always get the gold digger name too, when I was still working, traveling etc.
Why did you two end your engagement and how has being single helped with your personal brand?
It was a lot of things that led up to us breaking up. I can’t really go into detail because I’m not comfortable about it, but I still have love for him. Me being single helps me focus more and put my energy into what I really want to do. When you’re in a relationship you cut your personal time in half, and now its all about me because I can work and focus and create more ideas.
I wanted to go on her show because I’ve watched it and seen how she really digs out what’s the problem with the person, not to say I felt something was wrong with me, but I felt like I needed to know more about myself. Not like I needed therapy, but being so young I really wanted to help myself more. She’s amazing because she helped me bring out feelings I never knew I had.
I got to the root of the issue which is my father not being in my life. Just going through life thinking I don’t need him and realizing these underlying emotions of pain and abandonment was the cause for my relationships failing. So that’s why I went on her show and I definitely feel like it was beneficial.
How did your up-bringing shape you into the young women you are today and what advice do you have for girls struggling to not let their past determine their future?
I would never promote the shake-life or for anyone to follow my footsteps. Coming from the strip club taught me a lot, like how some people are bullshit, and it grew me up. It gave me street smarts and taught me that I could get played. Because of those experiences I went through, I’m quicker on my feet. My advice to girls is that regardless of your situation, if you work on your craft you can make it out. If you have a dream and are passionate you can make it out, just don’t let anyone play you. Nothing can hold you back and if you honestly wanna change your situation, you can. Don’t let it keep you stagnate. I could have kept dancing and that could have been it. My mom always told me that the decisions you make now will shape your life forever. That’s why I get on social media a lot and interact with my followers because people think I’m bougie and weird lol.
Being a public figure, you deal with just as much hate as you do love, how do you handle this and how long has it taken you to adjust to this lifestyle?
I don’t pay attention to the negative shit because I don’t be needing that energy in my life. What used to happen is people would say mean stuff and it would ruin my day and make me feel sad and honestly it took Ross to tell me look whose page are they on, like, they really love you they just don’t know how to show it. It took a few times of hearing that for me to be like, “Yeah, you’re right.”So now I acknowledge the positive comments by liking it or saying thank you.
It probably happened last year when I realized who I was to people. My mom used to be like, “I don’t think you understand the level you’re at, you’re bigger than a lot of things.” Like arguing with people online, she would be like, “You’re bigger than that.” I’m just getting used to this life and there are still times when I’m like, “Damn I can’t even have privacy for real.”
Your personal sex-tape leaked and you handled it publicly very well, how do you deal with things like this happening and what did this situation teach you?
I can’t say much about it because it’s an open case, but what I will say is that I couldn’t let it get to me because of what was happening in the video. It wasn’t intentionally leaked and it was my man at the time. Everyone had boyfriends and the fact that it was so normal, regardless of what I was doing, it’s still like an everyday thing. Since I work and travel so much, sometimes you gotta keep shit spicy and send him things to remind him don’t forget what you got! I’m sure people have stuff in their phones as well, so it’s like, “come on.” It also comes from not letting how other people feel about my life dictate my reaction to things. I wasn’t going to let everyone else make me feel bad about it.
As you transition into a businesswomen and entrepreneur, what plans do you have for yourself?
The brunch of course, Galore Cosmetics and Laid By Lira [hair products]. I want my makeup in Sephora and my hair care line in drug stores. I overall want to be wealthy and successful with my businesses. That’s it for me, that’s what I’m really aiming for in life.
How do you plan on using your platform to uplift women, specifically women of color?
That’s where the brunch comes in and making that a big thing for women, especially women of color. Making woman feel like they have something uplifting to look forward to every year. Getting inspired and being around young women with businesses like Angel Brinks and Blac Chyna. Like Chyna came from the same situation as me, and look at her now. Young girls being able to see that is inspiring.
What do you want my readers to learn from this interview?
I just want everyone to really understand and grasp the fact that I’m just like y’all. I get sad, I dream, and don’t let what you’ve heard or seen on Instagram alter your perception of who I am. Who I am is who you just read about. I care about women and inspiring them and letting them know that don’t let where you came from make you feel like you can’t get anywhere better than that.
Aside from her celebrity friends, Karin is dedicated to all things beauty and creating a strong brand that represents her goals and values. In my exclusive interview, Karin dishes on her start in the beauty industry, her future goals, tips for growing your personal brand and so much more.
How did you get your start as a brand ambassador and social media influencer?
I started my brand by getting pretty, take pictures and posting them onto my Instagram account. I started to get the attention of hundreds of companies and they would reach out to me. Then I’d pick and choose which ones products I liked and work with them. Initially I just received items as payment but then that changed to money.
Where do you see your career going in the next 3-5 years?
I see myself releasing a couple different lines designed by myself solely and signing with a modeling agency and/or major clothing, makeup, or footwear company.
What advice do you have to young women looking to grow their brand?
Always be yourself and be consistent!
Why did you start a YouTube channel and what are your plans for your channel?
My supporters would always ask me how I do my makeup and what products I used so I decided to make a channel. I intend on posting tutorials more frequently and getting more personal on my channel.
What is your favorite high-end and drug store product and why?
What would you like your supporters to know about you?
That I am the most genuine, authentic, sweet, modest and down to earth person ever. I know sometimes I can seem “cocky” but it’s just that I’m in a good space with myself.
Where did the term “Life-Sized Bratz Doll” come from?
When I was younger my friends would tell me I looked like the Bratz Doll Yazmin and I thought so too, so I ran with it. I feel a Bratz Doll is more accurate for my facial features and style versus a Barbie.
What are some tips you have for young women who are just starting out in the beauty industry?
Have confidence and believe in yourself because that’s the first step to any and everything you do.
Who is someone who motivates you to keep going during difficult times?
My two little brothers. I’m all they’ve got and they look up to me. I want to be a positive role model for them and be in a position to help them do what ever it is they desire.
What is a project you would love to do one day?
I want to travel the world and give back to young ladies and boys that are going through hard times.
What advice do you have for people looking to increase their social media following?
Always post images/videos that work in your (or your brand’s) favor and always do different things to spice up your feed.
Being a women of color, it can be damn near impossible to find your perfect foundation shade. We have to mix a light and a dark shade, use a bronzer to darken our skin, or settle for a BB cream.
With many companies limiting the shade options for black women to two to three shades, it can be stressful trying to remain on fleek. Check out my eight amazing foundations that are great for women of color.
This is most makeup artists’ go-to foundation. MAC is known for catering to all skin types and have very deep shades, it might suck if you’re in between shades because it sorta goes light brown, medium brown then dark, but for women who fit that, this is perfect.
This is very pricey but worth it. This foundation has a smooth finish and a little definitely goes a long way. Many beauty bloggers of color use this foundation, so it won’t be hard to see some reviews and decide for yourself.
Here is my absolute favorite drug store foundation. This foundation has so many shades for women of color and has an amazing finish. They also have a dewy version for those who doesn’t really do the matte look. I recommend everyone try this foundation.
With 40 shades & 2018 Redbook winner this brand is super brown-girl friendly and if you’re confused on your skin tone you can take a quiz on their website to help guide you (not sure how accurate it is but it can guide you in the right direction for sure).
When I say that no women of any color, any race, can go wrong with this product, I am not lying. It comes in 20 shades (their newest one comes in 33 but I haven’t tried it yet). This is my favorite ever, I’ve been using it consistently for the past two years, (my shade is New Guinea-medium dark with red undertones) and I recommend this to everyone I know.
Honestly, one of the best foundations out. You can’t go wrong with damn near anything from MUFE, but this foundation is a must have for women of color being that they have 40 shades. Whats great about this is that it works perfect on normal skin and you can pop into your local Sephora to get matched and check it out for yourself.
Everyone knows Fenty Beauty came and shook shit up not because of their diverse shade ranges because other brands have had 30+ shades for years, but Rih’s marketing has been diverse from the start and it’s so refreshing. Believe it or not I haven’t copped her foundation, only lipsticks because I’m not into super drying foundations but I think I’m going to cop for the culture.