Hi, my name is Amelia and I am the owner, founder, and artist at Alexandrite Beauty. My journey started in healthcare, business, and the tech industry but the one thing that has always sparked an interest to me is everything beauty and permanent makeup. However, in my 20’s, I was fully focused on finishing school and becoming the first person in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
My mother became a single mom when I was of age 17 and my mentality became wanting to make her proud of every single thing that I did in life. In my 20’s I tried stable jobs with great benefits and found myself living paycheck to paycheck. I started in the healthcare industry then later worked for corporate jobs. I worked very hard to earn a “cool title” and found myself underpaid, overworked, and under appreciated.
At the age of 27, I decided to get my permanent eyebrows done. When I walked into the salon I was so amazed at the space, decor, crystal chandeliers, and my lovely brow artist, Leann La from Fuzion Artistry. As she was treating me, I was truly inspired by her story, leaving her 9-5 to pursue building her own business in permanent makeup - immediately, there was a sparkle in my eyes but in my 20’s I was fearful and afraid of what people would think of me and I didn’t want to be a disappointment, especially towards my mom. Being afraid totally distracted me from what I was really passionate about.
When Covid-19 hit, as unfortunate as it has been, thankfully, my 9-5 allowed me to work from home. This took away my hour-long commute and saved me time getting ready! I decided I wanted to make use of my time and finally built the courage to sign up for a permanent eyebrow class with my savings. The night before my live training, I couldn’t sleep as I played scenarios in my head about what it was going to be like if I finally became a permanent makeup artist. I’ve dreamt of this 5 years ago... and now at 33, here I am today.
To attain everything in order for my salon, the obstacles presented itself, I just had to figure out how to get through it, overcome it and learn from it. The top two struggles I have encountered so far were getting my business license and doing free work.
In school, I was never taught how to apply for a business license so I used our trusted Google search. I went to Torrance City Hall with a check in my hand and the clerk asked me if I have forms X, Y, Z. She turned me away when I said no and I was a little frustrated. With all frustrations aside, I made the effort to get all three items done and re-apply in one week because at this point, since this is what I really wanted, there was no option for me to give up.
After my permanent makeup training and becoming certified, I was fully on my own. I started creating a logo, Instagram handle, and offered my services for free or super discounted to friends and family. As a beginner, I feel that it is super important to do free work in order to create a buzz, produce content, and to build an audience through my social channels. My goal was to turn my audience into clientele and with consistent, hard work, I’ve been blessed with many referrals and even stranger clients!
I specialize in permanent makeup - specifically eyebrows and lip blush. First I assess, shape, perfect symmetry, and make sure the client loves the shape before I start the tattoo process. This procedure is done with a handheld rotary device with a needle configuration to deposit pigment into the skin. The results are subtle, natural, and flawless. Each service comes with two sessions: the initial session + complimentary touch up. After these two sessions, the permanent makeup should last you between 2-5 years depending on your skin type (oily, combo, or dry).
I am really proud of my work and grateful for the feedback I receive. My clients tell me how many compliments they’ve gotten and how much time and money it has saved them. Buying makeup can be very expensive and getting ready can take a lot of time. If I can change how women look and feel and save them time and money, I feel like I am doing something good for the community. If my clients are happy, I am fulfilled, satisfied, and happy to be of service to them.
What sets me apart from others is my attention to detail, color correcting of previous work (depending on how faded it is), and offering a newer trend called Lip Blush. This service defines your lips, creates volume and fullness. It also corrects any asymmetry or darkness, giving your lips a very youthful appearance.
I was raised as a Muslim and in the Muslim community, having tattoos and being a Muslim just cannot co-exist. Growing up, I’ve thought about getting tattoos but my parents never approved. Funny story, my mom has mentioned that if I get a tattoo, she would immediately send me for a tattoo removal. Now here I am, blocking the noise and performing cosmetic tattooing on peoples faces. To my surprise, my mom has gotten her eyebrows done by me and this really meant a lot because regardless of all the cultural, religious, and social pressures, she wanted it just as bad as I did. If it meant to look and feel good for us, why not? Special shoutout to my mom - Thank you for your continuous love and support throughout my entire journey.
The one thing that this season in life has taught me is that you can create the life that you want. Keep showing up. Block the noise. Never stop trying. Never stop believing. And never ever settle for less.
- Ameila Ismail