Victoria Makeup Artist Alexandra Andrei's Self-Discovery Lessons on Developing Confidence
How did you discover your passion and turn your vision into reality?
To inspire you, I asked millennial entrepreneur and recent graduate from Royal Roads University, Alexandra Andrei to share how she turned into reality her passion to “make people feel beautiful and self-confident by using makeup.”
I met Alexandra randomly when I sat down beside her at a bus stop waiting to go to the ferry. We started chatting, but then spent the hour-and-half ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria on the outside deck in the sunshine talking about self-worth, entrepreneurship, and pursuing our dreams. At that time, Alexandra was nearing graduation and was so excited about what the future had in store. We became friends and empowered each other to dream big and pursue our dreams. I got off the boat reminded of how essential confidence and community are in fueling us on our journeys.
Today, I am excited to feature this strong, smart, and kind woman as our guest speaker at The Self-Discovery Retreat to keep you moving forward on your dreams and feel more confident doing so!
Welcome, Alexandra. Tell me a little about yourself. How did you turn the idea for “ Glaamistry: Teaching Beauty on a Budget” into a reality?
Hmm, well to start, like any other woman in the 21st century, I went through my own issues with confidence. When I was a teenager, I had problems with my self-esteem; I had bad acne for a few years and I wasn't fond of my body either. I started wearing foundation and light makeup when I was as young as 12. Of course, I would sneak my mum’s stuff and put it on at school and take it off before I got home so that my parents wouldn't see.
As I got older, my mum started to take me makeup shopping and it became a big part of my identity. I started to experiment with it and found that it made me love myself more, because as makeup does, it would manipulate my "natural look."
At first I wasn't very good (I thought I was, but looking back at photos I know I was oh so wrong. Everyone starts somewhere right?), but as I got better people started to come to me for advice on tips for makeup application, products I used, and even for makeup lessons.
Fast forward a few years to when I was 20. I was on the bus one day with my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) and he looked at me and said, "You're actually very good at makeup. I think you should seriously consider trying to start a business and sharing your talent." I didn't give it much thought at first, but he kept mentioning it for a few months afterwards until one day he gave me a call and said that a small business owner, who was one of his close friends, was looking to hire a makeup artist for a photoshoot they were having the following weekend. It was Tuesday. He went on to say that he showed the business owner my Instagram (which did not have any ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures as I had not started the business yet, but it did have pictures of the makeup I did on myself and collages of my eyes and lips), and he wanted to do business with me. My boyfriend didn’t tell him I was his girlfriend, so that was a confidence boost as I knew the owner wasn't interested only because of his loyalty to my boyfriend. I had to decide fast as I only had a few days before the shoot. I was terrified but I said, “Yes.” So I did practice makeovers on my friends and got the supplies I would need, and that was it. I went on to do the shoot with my stuff packed in regular small makeup bags and even a pencil box, and I made it! The event was when I got the confidence to actually start my own business.
Your passion is to “make people feel beautiful and more confident using makeup.” How do you do this?
I truly believe that everyone is beautiful. However, societal norms and the media’s definition of beauty are constantly changing, becoming more and more unrealistic. Many people become insecure and fail to see how beautiful they really are. Makeup can help boost their confidence, because you can do anything you want with it. You can change your face shape or your eye shape; you can create illusions with shadows; and you can completely hide features that bring you down. The possibilities are endless, and confidence is the most important thing that will lead to success. People are already beautiful, but my goal is to make people FEEL beautiful and in turn confident, so that they shine wherever they go and be their 100% happy and positive selves.
Who taught you about makeup?
I taught me! My mum’s style of makeup is a little lipstick sometimes, maybe some mascara, and a little colour on the eyelid. So I definitely didn’t learn from her. As I grew older and got more comfortable with makeup, I started watching YouTube tutorials, for colour inspirations and new tips. But YouTube wasn't big when I first got into makeup. I learned everything by trial and error.
What is the most common question you get asked by new clients?
The most common thing new clients say is, “You have perfect skin. I can tell it’s naturally perfect - it can't just be the makeup!” I always reply, “Believe it or not, it is the makeup. I don't have cheekbones. I have acne scars. I just know how to apply my makeup.” Their next remark is usually, “I could never do my makeup that well!” My answer is always, “It's easier than you think!”
Why is it important to be confident? And what does the word “confidence” mean to you?
Confidence is the key to success! In the workplace, you have to somehow stick out above the crowd to be promoted. You have to make yourself seen. You will never be seen if you sit back quietly at your desk; you have to have the confidence to stick out and to make people really SEE you.
The same thing applies to everything you do. Personally, I know that when I go out looking good, I feel good; when I feel good, my personality is different. I smile at people, start conversations, and simply put myself out there. If there happens to be a day when for some reason I don’t have “my face” on, I'm very introverted; I don't like to talk to anybody; I don't smile; and I can seem ‘down.’ I’m just not my regular happy self if I don't have “my face” on. Not because I'm not happy with my natural self, but because when I go out into the world I like to be confident. Makeup makes me confident.
Makeup is a part of me. It's who I am. It comes off at the end of the day and I am happy to be around my few selected people in my natural way, but makeup gives me the confidence that I need to be successful out in the world. We all have a persona that the public sees, that our bosses see, that our friends see, and that our partners see. I want that person who people see to appear confident. Confidence will always lead to success. Makeup and looking good make me confident.
How did you learn to love yourself?
This is a really interesting question because when you hear someone say “love yourself” you think of yourself in your natural form. Naked. Makeupless. At least that's how I tend to think about it. But then you look at the media and nobody is their true, unphotoshopped, extensionless, makeupless self. So who are you really? Who is the “yourself” who you should be loving?
You are exactly who you want to be. For example, I am a girl who loves to be dressed up. I love to be healthy. I love to keep my hair done, my nails painted, and my makeup on. I go out with false lashes 95% of the time. That is me. I am also the girl who likes to snuggle in bed with the person I love, makeupless, in comfortable clothes and fuzzy socks. That is me too. When I finally accepted that YOU don't have to be one OR the other, I began to love myself for me. I don't believe that “women who wear a full face of makeup are insecure about themselves and fake.”
Makeup makes me more secure, it makes me confident, it sets me up for success, and it makes me a better person overall because of these things. I don't care what people say. I am the all-natural girl as well as the full-face makeup girl. I love me, in all of my forms.
What would you tell someone who is struggling with insecurity?
Everyone, and I seriously mean EVERYONE, is insecure to an extent. There will always be someone who has something “better.” But at the same time that they have something “better” in your eyes, you have something that is “better” in theirs. We are human; we can't have it all! But you are beautiful. You are you, and there is no one in this world like you. That's amazing! There are 7 BILLION people on this planet, and you are the only one that is you. So be the best you that you can be. I believe this is achieved by being confident.
First, wear clothes that make you confident. Eat healthy. Remember that there is only one you, so your body will never look exactly the same as somebody else's. Just eat healthy, exercise, and as long as you do these things, it shouldn't matter how you look. Next, learn how to apply your makeup. In order to be confident, you have to take the time to make yourself feel and look good. Take time to put yourself together. Taking an extra 30 minutes to get ready for your day could make you look and feel so much better, which in turn will make your days better and your life happier. The third thing I would suggest is to read a book. I personally love self-help books. They put things in perspective for me and remind me of the little things that really matter in life. One I highly recommend is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. These suggestions will make you confident. With confidence, your insecurities will fade and you will be on your way to a successful and fulfilling life! I promise.
Tell me your 5 beauty must-haves for a busy young professional woman to carry in her purse.
1. Lip Liner
3. Chapstick (Blistex 100%)
4. Setting Powder
What are your top 5 beauty products?
There are so many that I love and consider must-haves, but here are some of my top recommendations:
1. Telescopic mascara
2. Revlon Photoready foundation
3. Nyx concealer
4. Nyx matte lip cream
5. Fit me compact setting powder
Lastly, tell me about a favourite client of yours who really illuminates why you do what you do.
Good question. I don't have one particular client who I can pinpoint. Instead, I think of the girl whose makeup I did for her big day, graduation from high school; she looked so happy in her dress, all dolled up feeling like a princess. The bride who couldn’t contain her joy before she walked down the aisle. The 80+ woman who couldn't put down the mirror because she was amazed at how beautiful she looked and tears of joy glossed over her eyes as she reminisced. The woman I complimented on her beautiful skin, who started crying because she hadn't been complimented in far too long. These women all have one thing in common: They were all beautiful from the beginning; they just needed to have a little something extra to be able to FEEL as beautiful as they really are. That's why I do what I do.
Thanks so much, Andra, for sharing why you are so passionate to teach others to be confident through makeup. Your passion to help others feel beautiful shines brightly! Thanks for your presence at The Self-Discovery Retreat. We are all so grateful to learn from you.
Thank you all for reading! Your presence at The Self-Discovery Retreat fuels us all in our personal and professional development.
See you at the beach!
I’d love to hear from all of you, how can we help you be more confident? Share your insight in the Comments section below.