DCFunemployment: So… Who Are You?
Alexis Arenas, Owner and Lead Artist, The Beauty Expert Group. Over 18 years’ experience in Makeup and Hair styling specializing in Film, TV, Print, Male Grooming, and Events.
(DCF: Alexis was being modest so I went to her page and pulled some more tidbits about this rock star!)
Alexis Arenas has more than 18 years experience working as a makeup artist and hair stylist in the United States and United Kingdom. A Venezuelan-American with a strict upbringing in the US and UK, Alexis became enamored of makeup as she was forbidden to wear any! Her lifelong love of David Bowie and his use of cosmetics to create unique and memorable characters further fueled her passion.
Alexis trained in Makeup and Hair Styling for Film, Television, and Stage at the renowned Greasepaint School in London, under Julia Cruttenden and her team of BBC trained artists. She studied Airbrush Makeup, Tattoo, and Birthmark coverage with Temptu Cosmetics in New York City. She is skilled in HD ready makeup for TV and Film, SFX, Beauty, and Events.
She has held leadership and artistry positions with MAC, Smashbox, Prescriptives, Trish McEvoy, Clinique, and Colorlab Cosmetics teaching men and women how to take care of their skin and bring out their best features with cosmetics. She also worked under the National Training Director of Clinique Cosmetics (UK) creating training programs for all Clinique counter staff in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
For Alexis’ full bio, check out her page!!
DCF: Why do you love what you do? What makes you funemployed?
AA: Being funemployed to me means being excited everyday for what lies ahead. It’s doing what I love, learning everyday, meeting new people, creating new work, chasing my dreams, and making (and achieving!) my goals. My path to funemployment was circuitous – I have been a makeup artist for 18 years – but there was an extended period that I had to relegate my dreams to a sideline to do for my family. After I finished my BA in History, I moved back to the UK to train as a Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist for Film, TV, and Stage at the incredible Greasepaint School. After I graduated I worked for major brands as a pro artist, traveling the UK and the USA on the Pro Artistry Teams, and later in Head Office for Clinique in the UK as an intern (during my MBA studies) working in training and education. After I completed my MBA I returned to the USA – where (in Baltimore) there were not the same opportunities available as there were in London. I decided to branch out and spent time in enterprise software and later hardware sales. The tech industry was incredible – but I always missed my true calling – BEAUTY – and working as a creative. With an incredibly supportive husband by my side, I finally quit my job and started my own company. In the first 6 months, I have had the incredible opportunity to work with heads of industry, celebrities, I have headed up makeup, hair, and special effects on two television shows, have appeared on TV as a beauty expert over 6 times, have been published, and now INTERVIEWED(!!) by you – probably the best year ever.
DCF: Who was your first cheerleader?
AA: My husband. Hands down. When I am weak, he is strong, when I have doubt, he pushes me further. He is the best friend I have ever had and there is no way I could have made this the burgeoning success that it is without him. (DCF: A friend recently asked me what I was looking for and I said someone who makes me a better version of myself and it sounds like you have found just that!)
DCF: What experiences in your life prepared you for where you are now?
AA: My Father was from Venezuela, and he was extremely driven and organized. He and my Mother were entrepreneurs that through discipline, creativity, and hard work, created their own, unique empire. My parents always valued education and sent my sisters and I to excellent schools – and I ended up going to boarding school in England. My school was exceptional, but boarding schools in the UK in the 1990’s were still, ahem, rustic, by American standards. I was punished for pretty much everything, was cold 99.9% of the time, and made the best friends of my entire life. I have ended up spending over half of my life living, working, studying, and visiting the UK. It is my second home. Moving away from my family at 12 years old changed my life, having an entrepreneurial family showed me what was possible, being a global citizen shapes my ideas of what is possible. So, in short – everything I have done and experienced have brought me to where I am today – and although there have been (many) missteps – I would not change the path – I am exceptionally lucky – and really happy. (DCF: Sounds like you were blessed with the fruits of their hard work, and then your own so I believe we make our own luck!)
DCF: Where do you get your inspiration and/or motivation?
AA: I love looking at other people’s work, speaking with people from all different walks of life, reading, music is a huge inspiration for me – David Bowie provided the soundtrack for my life. I am motivated by my goals and dreams – I need to make these things happen for so many reasons. My father passed away suddenly in 2009, right after I came back to the USA. I was pregnant with my first child and in a dead end marriage. My fathers’ death shone light on my life, and I knew everything had to change. I wish he could see what I have made of my life – it’s 180 degrees from where I was. It took a while – but I made it.
DCF: What does balance mean to you and how do find balance?
AA: Balance is not an ever fixed mark. I treat every day as a new set of goals to achieve: Kids to school, Work out, Network, Work, Spend time with my family, Walk my Dog, Organize something. There are days I excel at getting stuff done, and there are days that I am less successful at getting things done. My mantra is “Every Day is a New Day”. (DCF: This is SPOT ON!!)
DCF: What did you have to sacrifice to get here?
AA: Entrepreneurship automatically denotes the sacrifice of security. The security of a JOB. Once you get past that, and you see the true commitment it takes, then you sacrifice time with your family, food (you wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I miss meals!), sleep (Oh, I miss sleep), activities I’d like to take part in, etc. I have had to turn down opportunities for other opportunities and just hoped I made the right choice. I sacrifice time with my friends – as if I have any time, it HAS to be spent with my family as I miss them. But at the end of the day – it is all worth it.
DCF: What struggles have you faced as a women in your industry?
AA: I hope I am raising my children well, so that they contribute, and become good global citizens. I donate my time to other artists, I donate my expertise to people who want to learn about what I do and how to get into the industry. I have formally volunteered my time to organizations that help the homeless and cancer patients. I run races that support charities, and I have raised money and run races for organizations that are close to my heart. I try to give back. Every day I try.
DCF: What is the early advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you had?
AA: I wish I hadn’t spent so much time trying to revive my first marriage. I wasted to much effort! I wish I had realized how strong I was and pushed myself harder earlier. At the same time – I wouldn’t change the path I have taken – I would not be where I am now.
DCF: What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
AA: Ugh. I have failed so many times. “Bright Side”: I have tried so many times! You can’t fail if you don’t try! From my failures I have learned to step back and breathe – this will save you time and time again: bad relationship – stop being an emotional wreck, step back, breathe, reevaluate. Not happy with your job: step back, breathe, reevaluate. Unhappy client? You got it – step back and breathe. Also: LISTEN. (DCF: This answer is exactly why I ask this question!!)
DCF: What was your proudest moment to date?
AA: I’m really proud that I am actively chasing my dreams and making my goals a reality. Some of the coolest moments over the past 6 months have included doing Tim Gunn‘s makeup and grooming for his incredible appearance on PBS News Hour, I’ve been working with incredible companies on a really wide variety of projects, and I have a huge super top secret launch that I can’t wait to be able to share! 2017 is looking exciting 🙂
DCF: What are you Currently Conquering?
AA: Right now I am finishing the season up for my 2nd TV show on Investigation Discovery, I’m booking into 2018 for bridal work (crazy, right?), I am in some very exciting behind the scenes talks for some Big Projects, and have work coming out in The Washington Post, a Hearst Publication (OMG) and lots of commercials – so TOOT TOOT, there goes my horn. 😉 xx
DCF: Let’s Get Social (Media)!!