Author Ordinary Day With Milena. All photos are the property of ODWM.
I started getting creative with makeup when I was 14. One time I purchased about 5 different eye liners ranging from blues to pinks and white. I loved experimenting with the colours and applying them according to my outfits. If my outfit had pink, blue, white and green then I used all those colours on my eyelids! Sometimes I would use lipliner on my eyes because it was just the right shade of mauve! I loved bright lipsticks and I wasn’t afraid to make a statement. Of course at that age I needed reigning in often from my mother and I had to learn how to apply makeup with a better hand.
I eventually went to a college in Toronto for Makeup Artistry but I still remember my early days (up into my 20’s!!!) as a self-taught makeup artist. I can honestly say I’ve always loved makeup and as my mother taught me, it’s a pallet that is waiting to be painted.
When we moved to Belize there was a whole new set of rules. The humidity was intense, not just the heat. So would I wear makeup? Partial makeup? Full foundation? It was going to require a lot of experimenting and testing products to see if they lived up to their name. Through a friend and an amazing well-established makeup artist, I was introduced to a great line of makeup made in Toronto Canada, called Pari. I loved the product because they use high quality pigments. They have a minerals line, offer paraben and talc free makeup, a great skin care line and most of all is really affordable. I tried it out and discovered it held up amazingly in the heat. I would apply the makeup to my face and it would stay on all day long. They have an eye primer that kept my eyeshadow in tact so there were no more creases at the end of the day! The lipsticks have vitamin E in them and covered really well.
I wanted women in Belize to have access to quality makeup, not some product from China with unregulated ingredients or old Revlon makeup that’s been sitting around for years. So I eventually bought a large supply and shipped it down to Belize.
I had a little shop above the famous gelato shop Tutti Frutti in Placencia. Despite having odd hours I did quite well at selling it. I did begin to notice that a lot of women bought the makeup but didn’t know how to apply it. So I began twice monthly makeup classes, teaching simple application lessons. It was a lot of fun teaching and I loved being able to supply women in Belize with a quality makeup.
In time I started getting more into services, other than makeup classes. I had a small area in a local spa where I offered mani/pedi services and also sold the cosmetics. I also was the lead makeup artist with my team of 2 others, for a fashion show in Placencia show casing some amazing Belizean fashion designers.
In looking through my photos I came across some great memories of when we sold cosmetics. I still have clients who buy cosmetics from me from time-to-time, but I did go on to do other things after that in Belize. But that’s for another post!