by Michron Robinson
To improve every inch of beauty is what drives Shariece Mayers.
This is what led her to start her business – Liezel Artistrii.
The 20-year-old Mayers, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounts from the UWI’s Cave Hill Campus, stopped working as a secretary to pursue her first love- the art of makeup.
“When I do something I like to be happy and makeup does that, it helps me to express myself,” she said. Speaking with a Barbados TODAY team at her Players Barber Shop, River Road, St. Michael business yesterday morning, the entrepreneur with a bubbly personality was visibly nervous initially speaking quickly, but the more she spoke about what got her started and her love for it, she relaxed and made jokes here and there.
Mayers noted that she had her share of disappointments during her short time as an artist but used that to drive her towards reaching the pinnacle of her journey.
“Disappointments keep me going,” was how she explained it. She said that getting into the makeup business was not as easy as she thought it would have been and one of the biggest let downs for her was that people were trying to take advantage of her because she is young and is new to the field.
“They say ‘she is a makeup artist, she is trying to build clientele so I want my makeup done, let me go to Liezel and get my face done for free’. I mean you have a whole kit full of products that you had to buy on your own and people think that because you are now starting out that they could just come to you and exploit you, and even want to come and get free makeup, take a picture and talk about advertising on Facebook– that is one of my biggest challenges,” she voiced with a hint of sadness.
However, Mayers added that Facebook is one of her main means of advertisement and information and photos about the business can be found on her page, liezelartistrii.
But where did it all start. That love and passion to transform a plain and basic face into something attractive, fancy and uniquely elaborate?
“I started to apply the makeup to myself with foundation and I liked how my face was looking so clean and smooth. Then I went to the eyebrows and did the other facial works and then I just found myself with a whole box full of kits. I had friends who wanted me to do their makeup and they inspired and encouraged me to start my own business,” she explained.
As she spoke to the Barbados TODAY team, Mayers was transforming the face of one of her friends by carefully applying foundation to Crystal Mars’ face, aligning and shaping her eyebrows and applying blush with the finishing touches of diamantés.
She said that between this time and last September when her business started, the growth of her clients was unexpected. The Alleyne School old scholar mentioned that she is also a model and that makeup was like her birth into the fashion industry.
“Anything beautifying the body like hair and nails to make a woman look good I love, and makeup does that. I know a woman who said that doing hair relaxes her and you know what, makeup application does that for me,” she said.
Mayers said that some of her family members were disappointed in her for wanting to pursue something such as becoming a celebrity makeup artist but others encouraged her and urged her on saying that if it is what she really wants to, go and they could see her going far.
”I could really see myself flying to Hollywood to do theatre makeup. I really want to go far in makeup, I could see myself in two years if not in a year flying to Trinidad to do carnival makeup. I see myself getting far with the makeup. Right now I am on contract with Kirk Brown and I have to do the makeup for the Waterford Music Festival, Soca on de Hill and makeup for the Ranch,” she added.
She was hopeful she would be booked solid for Foreday Mornin’ and Grand Kadooment, but that has not happened. She wants everyone who is looking to get their makeup done, they can still make appointments.
Her packages go from Basic Soca which includes eye shadow glitter and eyebrow grooming, at $25 to the full package Ah Ready which at $65. She also has Behave Pon It Glam, Dibby in a Fete Dazzle packages.
One of the challenges the St. Joseph resident said she faces is trying to decide the perfect look for her customers. And with her love for colours, another is deciding the best look with her large cross section of colours.
Eyebrows which are not perfected properly are one of those issues that Mayers has with bad application of makeup. “It just irks me to see upsided down smiley eyebrows,” she said, her voice filled with annoyance. “It is just one big ugly line on top of the eye and I also do not like to see dotted cheeks with blush.”
Her advice to other people trying to get involved in make up is to believe in themselves. “If you do not believe in yourself you cannot get anywhere and you must have ambition because that is the key. Another thing too, you do not buy everything one time. You take your time and you invest and do not rush things. You always start off making a loss not a profit,” she advised.
Mayers added that her motto, which always keeps her going, is to always keep her eyes on the prize. Whatever she might go through in life, she will always try to never lose sight of her goals.