We had the good fortune of connecting with Aundrea Uriarte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aundrea, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The best way I can describe my thought process on starting my own business was: “I’m scared, intimidated, don’t have all the answers, and don’t quite see the full picture but I’m going to do it anyway.” Sometimes, you’re the only one stunting your own growth and standing in the way of your own success. Once I realized that, I pushed my own doubts and fears out of the way and forced myself to trust the process.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, and what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I like to say that I didn’t choose makeup because makeup essentially chose me and it was as if it chased me down even if I kept trying to go in another direction. I genuinely never thought that being a makeup artist would ever be possible for me because I struggled to see what others saw. My passion for makeup started at the peak of the YouTube beauty guru era, which was about 2007-2008. At the time, I actually wasn’t allowed to wear makeup so I did what most girls did and snuck into my mom’s makeup bag to play with her MAC Cosmetics products whenever I could. As I grew older, I was addicted to trying out products for myself. Around my Junior year of high school, one of my friends asked me to do her makeup for homecoming. She posted the look I did on her and soon enough more of my friends asked me to glam them up too – that was the start of it all! It was all pure fun, I never thought of ever making money from it! I didn’t post the makeup looks I did or even call myself a makeup artist for many years because I let imposter syndrome get the best of me. As more people found out about me through word-of-mouth, more and more people encouraged me to post my work. I ultimately started gaining a clientele, but it wasn’t quite enough to make a living off of it full-time. So for many years, makeup was just a side hustle, and something I did on the weekends. I missed out on many events and family gatherings for the sake of pursuing my passion. For a while, I even went to college to pursue a career in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing because I thought I needed a backup plan in order to be “successful”. I eventually landed an Account Executive position and later realized the corporate world was fun but it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t easy, but at times doing makeup was my only means of survival and my main source of income. It was the only way I was able to live on my own at 19, the only way I was able to fill up my gas tank at times, put food on my table, and support myself in between jobs. I think that’s what sets me apart from others, I worked for all that my business is today even when it was just for fun and I didn’t see the full picture. I had to work full time to support my part-time, and build from the bottom up. The crazy part is it’s almost as if my destiny found me long before I knew what I was looking for. Most people spend half of their lives waiting to find the right career and I was fortunate enough to have it fall on my lap without me even realizing it! That doesn’t mean that there weren’t any ups and downs, but regardless I’m so grateful for it ALL. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the hard lessons I learned along the way. One of the lessons I learned quickly was that finding the balance between work, life, self-care, and creativity is so crucial for an artist. It can get easy to feel burnt out when you constantly sacrifice your time, health, and energy while not having any boundaries for yourself or your business. As soon as I start to feel burnt out or overwhelmed, I take a step back to take care of myself or try out different makeup looks and products. When having a creative job, it can get easy to get caught up in the “job” part of it and lose that creative spark that originally started it all – that’s why checking in with yourself is so important. The support I got through my clientele and community was literally my lifeline because I couldn’t have done it alone. I’m so proud of myself for eventually deciding to take things seriously and pushing myself to pursue my passion despite the struggles, fears, and insecurities. I recently decided to further my education by becoming a licensed esthetician and continuing to explore my opportunities in the beauty industry. I’m set to graduate mid-August of this year, and I’m so excited to continue to help my clientele feel like the best versions of themselves! I want the world to know that chasing your dreams is never easy. You might have to work twice as hard just to have the same opportunities as others but believe me, it will all be worth it. Sometimes the bumps in the road are meant to be stepping stones, so don’t dwell on the minor setbacks because they will eventually make for bigger comebacks if you stay determined.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a homebody at heart and love homecooked meals but if my best friend was in town we would never be home! Although I’m from the Imperial Valley, I spend most of my time in San Diego so our day would most likely start at Better Buzz in La Jolla where I would order my favorite – iced vanilla latte with oat milk and cinnamon. Then we would make our way down to Windandsea Beach and take in the fresh air. I would most likely take them to Snooze because their breakfast is unmatched! We would go for a short hike in Torrey Pines, hike the Ho Chi Minh trail (a MUST), or get our adrenaline pumping at the Gliderport. Javier’s for a classy dinner then drinks at Raised By Wolves afterward! Some of my other favorite places to get drinks are False Idol, Altitude Sky Lounge, and Noble Experiment.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe the majority of my success to my clients! I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without their unending love and support. There were times when I wanted to give up and my clients wouldn’t let me! They were some of my biggest cheerleaders when I felt the lowest sometimes. I even moved across the country for half a year and truly thought I lost my clientele and thought it was the end of my makeup career – but I’m so happy that I was wrong about that! As soon as I returned from New York, I had the most successful year of business that I had ever had at that time. My clients, friends, and family are the core of my business and the reason I still get to do what I love! There are far too many people to thank because so many people contributed to my success whether it was a client referral, a reshare, a therapy session, or even a complete stranger. All of their support truly changed my life!
Sergio Bastidas, Caleb Fernandez, Ary Singh, Bianca Navejar, Stephani Dennis