Courtesy of Teen Vogue
Words by: Nia Shumake
If you’re a super user of Twitter you’d have to be aware of the account @MakeupforWOC. The social media page is dedicated to providing makeup hacks to the women that the mainstream beauty industry has neglected to serve. Today, in the age of independent beauty brands, black and brown women alike are creating for themselves in response to the lack of representation and brands that cater to them. Somehow, the face behind MakeupforWOC, 16-year-old Tiara Willis has become a social media personality that has plateaued from this. When she was eleven years old, her love for makeup was started by watching YouTube tutorials and then secretly buying and wearing it until her mom gave her permission at 13.
Ultimately, it appears as though her rebellious ways have paid off in the end as she launched @MakeupforWOC and has since been featured in Teen Vogue, Allure, Vice’s ID and Elle (just to name a few) before attending esthetician school this fall. The idea to start Makeup For WOC was sparked by her friends asking for makeup advice and her realized aspiration to make tips available to provide guidance to help and inspire all women. We were ecstatic to get the opportunity to chat with this lovely babe on when she feels most magical, self-awareness and of course lipstick hacks!
Brands now available in Target STORES: Makeup Geek, Coloured Raine, Hue Noir, The Lip Bar, EveryHue, Sexy and Eye Know It Lashes, Haleys, Reina Rebelde— Makeup For WOC (@MakeupForWOC) April 26, 2018
TLB: When did you fall in love with makeup?
TW: My love for makeup was inspired by makeup tutorials on YouTube. I’ve wanted to wear makeup ever since I was 11 years old, but my mother only allowed it until I was 13 (even though I had already been secretly buying and wearing it!).
TLB: When did you start becoming aware of yourself physically? How did that make you feel?
TW: I started becoming more aware of myself in middle school, like many girls. There went many minorities in my school, so I was insecure about my skin tone and hair color. My hair was always straightened and I wish for lighter skin and eyes. As I went into high school, I became more interested in makeup, fashion and natural hair. These things helped me to love who I really was.
TLB: At what moment in your life did you feel magical?
TW: A moment in my life I felt most magical was at my high school graduation. My hair in a healthy fro, my makeup was on point and I loved my dress. Not only did I feel beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. Sophomore year, I made it a goal to be able to graduate high school early as a junior. My educational journey had never been the easier, so walking across that stage and accepting my diploma made me finally feel whole. I was proud of myself. I was proud of the young woman I’m becoming and all that I have accomplished.
Is short hair for me? pic.twitter.com/iFFYHshbmB— Makeup For WOC (@MakeupForWOC) May 26, 2018
TLB: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten on wearing lipstick?
TW: The most life-changing advice I’ve gotten is contouring the perimeter of my lips before lipstick application, it creates the perfect pout.
TLB: How do you create a bold lipstick look?
TW: When creating a bold lipstick look, I like to use a darker lip liner (brown is my personal favorite) and apply the bold color in center to tone down the look.
TLB: What is your secret weapon when it comes to getting a nude lipstick that works really well for you?
TW: When getting the perfect nude lipstick, I love mixing brown lip liner and mixing different lipsticks. Sometimes I’ll even include eyeshadow in the mix!
TLB: What unconventional ways do you use your lipstick or lip products?
TW: I love to use cream lipsticks as blush which creates harmony in the face. I also enjoy using liquid lipsticks as eyeliner and eyeshadow vases.
TLB: What’s a lippie rule you enjoy seeing broken?
TW: I love seeing women with dark skin wearing bright red lipstick after they’ve been discouraged not to.
TLB: What’s a life-changing lipstick hack that you hold close?
I’ll always use concealer to clean up the perimeter on my lipstick.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Tiara is certainly making major moves in the beauty industry and continues to advocate for women of color as she has expressed inequalities within the beauty industry. We're so excited for what the future holds with Tiara and wish her all the luck in esthetician school this fall!
For more of Tiara and her insane beauty hacks just follow her on instagram + twitter @MakeupforWOC