Don't focus on what the naysayers have to say. You just do what you have to do to prove them wrong. I'm living proof of that.
Dalicia: It actually came out of nowhere because it wasn't something I was into as a child. When I finished high school, I just started playing around with it. You know, you start liking the boys and stuff; you want to look cute so I played around, and I'd always make up my best friends. Then, people started asking me to do their makeup so I just turned it into a business. I did art in high school so it pretty much came easy for me.
What three products can't you live without right now?
My Topaz highlighter from BECCA Cosmetics, my pro longwear concealer from MAC, and my Ardell Double Up lashes.
Where do you stand when it comes to the drugstore versus high-end debate? Is it misguided to opt for dupes instead of the real thing?
No, it's fine actually. There are a lot of drugstore brands that are really good and even, to me, better than the high-end brands sometimes. I really love L'Oréal and Revlon foundations. Those are some of my favorites, so I love drugstore makeup also. Living in Anguilla, it's easier for me to get ahold of them here because I don't have access to the likes of Sephora unless I go away.
How about the infamous natural beauty versus cosmetic beauty argument?
I'm on the fence about it because I don't wear makeup all the time. I don't even wear makeup every week. It's just what you prefer. I don't hate on you if you don't like makeup, and if you love your face beat all the time, then that's cool too. I do this for a living, so I understand if you want to look snatched, but I'm personally not one of those girls unless I'm going out. It's 50/50 for me.
Your reputation precedes you for good reason. What do you think sets your brand apart from other makeup artists in the region?
I'm confident in my work. I know that I'm good at what I do, and my clients are really, really supportive of me. I didn't really have much of a support system when I started because my dad wasn't really into it, but he and others realized how good I was at this as time went on. I love what I do even more now because I had to show people that I really could do something with it and make a living from it. My work stands out for itself.
There weren't a lot of makeup artists on the island when I started. There were about two older ladies that were doing it for a really long time. I was probably the youngest when I got my start at about 19 back in 2011, and people thought it was a bad idea for me at the time. They thought it would be better for me to further my education, but I was determined I could make this work for me, and I did. Now, I'm one of the most sought-after makeup artists on the island.
If you really love it, then you pursue a career, but if it's just something that you like to do and your heart isn't really into it, then you probably shouldn't. There are a lot of people who do makeup on the island now, but at the end of the day, I am me, and people know my work. When they come to me, they know what they're looking for.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced throughout the process of turning your passion into a business?
Coming from a small island, the biggest problem would be pricing. People would say that I'm too expensive. If you were to live anywhere else in the world, you would be paying double what I charge, so that's the biggest problem honestly--trying to have a standard for your work. You know what your work is worth, so I pretty much refuse to budge. I've lost clients because of it, but it's okay with me. You get what you pay for.
How do you approach your day-to-day during peak seasons, such as Anguilla Summer Festival?
Actually, Christmas time of year is more hectic for me.
Yeah. Carnival is just a week, whereas I work like crazy during the holiday season because it starts in November and goes into December. Today and tomorrow are the only days I'm not doing any makeup at all for the rest of the month. I'm going to St. Kitts at the end of December because I usually travel around the Caribbean for work too. They have carnival, so I'll be crazy busy over there, but work is really good.
Summertime is good too. It goes quickly though, so it's not as busy as many people would think it is. I do makeup for the shows and such during that time. The only thing I really get to enjoy is J'ouvert morning because that's the only thing no one really does makeup for. But then in the night, there's people that do makeup for the August Monday Beach Party. August is crazy, but holiday time is crazier. A lot of staff parties, holiday parties and birthdays.
Let's talk about dream clients. Who would you love to work with in the future, locally or internationally?
I've pretty much worked with everybody that I've wanted to work with locally. I did the Governor [of Anguilla]'s makeup. That's a big deal for me even though she took most of it off (laughs). I feel every makeup artist, especially coming from the Caribbean, would love to work with Rihanna at some point in time. That's bae.
What other major projects have you worked on since you started?
I worked on the "Diced Pineapples" music video that was shot here in 2012 with Drake, Rick Ross, and Wale. I've worked with a local magazine called Design Anguilla. I've worked for major fashion shows here like House of Panache. I used to work for the Feeloje swimwear show. I've done major weddings when we had Viceroy Anguilla here, but I will say the "Diced Pineapples" video was the biggest deal. I got to meet and hang out with Drake, so there's nothing that can top that experience so far. I met some really good people as well like some of the girls from the video, like Sophia Marie, that I'm still in contact with. It was the best thing ever in the world.
I know there are a lot of people who would love to be that close to Drake.
When I got that phone call, I was dying on the inside. I was so excited; I was so happy. It was lit (laughs). He's like the sweetest person I've ever met.
As you prep for another year of success, what's on your vision board for 2017?
I love being home, but for 2017 I'm actually trying to get out of Anguilla. Right now, I'm in the process of getting my papers together to go abroad for a little bit to do some work in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere. I'm trying to be more out there on an international scale rather than just regional.
What's your number one piece of advice for aspiring makeup artists?
Being from the Caribbean, a lot of people feel like there's not a lot of money to be made working in the beauty industry, but if it's your passion and what you love, then go for it. Don't focus on what the naysayers have to say. You just do what you have to do to prove them wrong. I'm living proof of that.
My father was not on board with my career choice at all. I was juggling jobs. I was working for him at his restaurant and still doing makeup on the side, and it was so tough getting his okay to leave. Despite everything, go out there and do it. The best things happen outside of your comfort zone. If you love it as much as you do, then you're bound to be successful.