As much as we love Fenty, let’s be honest, we might not always have the coin to cop her $35 foundation and although it’s cheaper than other brands every now and then it doesn’t hurt to be frugal when you have to be.
We sat down with Ociera, a.k.a. “FreshFaceHoney,” to talk about why she lives by this product, entrepreneurship and everything in between.
How did you get your start in the beauty industry?
When I was 18 years old, my best friend called me before work. Her older cousin was doing her engagement photos and her makeup artist backed out on her last minute. She called and said, “You’re really good at makeup, bring some stuff and come do her makeup before you go to work. She’ll pay you.” I was really depressed at the time from being homeless and it lit a spark for me. I gave her cousin the ugliest Beetlejuice smokey eye. But we thought it was so bomb. After that I started working with her photographer in my spare time.
What do you pride yourself on as a business owner and what are some mistakes you’ve made thus far?
Happy customers are a way of life. If my clients aren’t happy, I’m not happy. I take the time to listen to them, their expectations and fears. Makeup is usually fun until you get a handful of clients who were unhappy with their last artist because it was “too much.” Or until you get a client that’s flat out scared of makeup but wants to try something new. So listening is extremely important to me. It’s gotten me far. The biggest mistake I’ve ever made? Getting so caught up in my personal life that I brought it to work with me. It happened once and I was lucky enough to have a great mentor around, to check me and encourage I get it together. I’m a fast learner and usually very reserved. I’ve been very successful by keeping quiet and staying out of drama. I think the worst thing you could be known for is being the “Messy Makeup Artist.”
What changes are you pushing for within the beauty industry and how are you helping these changes become a reality?
Inclusion. I know there are some brands who suddenly want to say they had a wide variety of shades before the release of Fenty Beauty in 2017. And that may be true, but where were the advertisements, campaigns, and wide variety of black faces? I know some brands think if they get one light skin black girl and one dark skin black girl, it should be enough; but it’s not. You can go to a brands website and social media pages and see that they don’t market towards POC that much, if at all. Not only is that discouraging, but it’s send a very negative message.
When you’re shopping for anything, you want to see people that represent you. When I’m shopping, I want to see people that represent my clients and my family members. It lets you know the brand cares and they see you too. Another thing that bothers me is the majority of big influencers that turn a blind eye to the companies they work with when they’re displaying racism. It’s more than just a PR box. If you have millions of viewers that tune into you weekly, speak up for the people that seem to always be forgotten. Especially when this audience puts a dollar in your pocket.
The best way I think I can have an impact on change is through beauty education and my versatility. With education, I’m starting my YouTube channel soon, FreshFaceHoney. I want to use mostly POC as models. Not just the strikingly beautiful muse either. I think all people are beautiful and I want to showcase that while helping them get flawless results. I also have a lot of black-owned brands that I work with and I’m very fond of their products. If I shared how wonderful some of their products are with the world, maybe their brands will grow into something amazing. Lastly, I want to use my platforms to be more vocal about shady brands and the industry. Accountability is the keyword for 2018. Someone has to encourage big brands to be accountable.
You specialize in delivering bomb beats while using various drugstore products, what are your highly recommended drugstore brands and what do these products achieve?
Elf Cosmetics, Wet n Wild Beauty, and Maybelline. Elf hands down has the best brushes I’ve ever come across. And because I have a high volume clientele, I don’t mind replacing brushes (sanitary reasons) after a while because they’re so affordable and perform well. Wet n Wild released brushes last year and they’re also amazing. The $1 blending brush is something I use on all of my clients. They also have great highlighters and finishing spray. Maybelline was one of the first mainstream drugstore brands that really pushed inclusion when they released Fit Me foundation. The shade range extension they did really solidified it for me. I never have to worry about running out of the right shade of foundation for a client because the drugstore is right up the street from my studio. I appreciate Maybelline for that.
Tell us a secret hack/tip you use on your clients that you’re sure no other MUA probably does.
When I look at my client, I look at their whole body, the parts of skin that I can see, and that’s how I match them. Some people may match clients by the center of their face, their chest, their hands, or maybe even the confusing rule of understones in skin. But I always take a second to look at the parts of them that are exposed as a whole. And I go from there.
How do you plan on using your platform to uplift women, specifically women of color?
Uplifting women comes easy to me. I understand that we don’t all start at the same place, so I take the time to help as much as I can. Everything I do is affordable and sometimes free information I feel the need to share. I post all kinds of women, not just the typical client with a pretty face and great skin. It’s important for women, young women especially, to know that they’re all beautiful and have something to offer the world. And I think my work embodies that.
As a working MUA and entrepreneur, what do you struggle with most? What’s the most difficult aspect of being your own boss?
Not having enough time in a single day, not being able to sleep as much as I’d like, and even though I’m self employed, I can’t just go whenever I’d like. I have 20+ appointments to show up to weekly and a separate accessory company now. I have to plan ahead for everything, including a nap if I can afford it. The most difficult part of being my own boss is communication. It’s interesting being a successful freelancer, dealing with inquiries, client communication, brides, teaching aspiring MUA’s when they fly in to me, creating content, working with brands, testing product, owning a studio, owning Accessory Honey, shipping orders, being the provider for my family, being a girlfriend, being a friend, being a mentor to some, and managing the fact that some people, young people, look up to me. There are days where I can’t even stop what I’m doing to talk to my mom. Lol. I won’t say it’s the worst, but the responsibility of it all can weigh someone down at times. And if you overthink it or if something goes wrong, you risk making yourself depressed. If you take those few spare moments and plan, it’ll work out for you. And always believe in yourself first. Nobody else can do that for you.