We had the good fortune of connecting with Nessa Lily and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nessa, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born and raised in San Diego and grew up in a very diverse family. However, the diversity didn’t stop at the differences in culture. We all had our own unique talents as well. Some were gifted with singing and dancing while others specialized in culinary and visual arts. There was so much creativity around us and it’s something that has had the biggest impact on who I am. Being creative is a huge part of my identity. I feel like I can do anything with makeup. Whether I’m going for a more soft glam style or creating a bold and detailed makeup look, I’m always using a variety of color combinations and blending techniques. Seeing the end results come together and being able to share that with my audience is always very exciting. It makes me want to brainstorm more ideas and see how I can have those new visions come to life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started posting beauty content on YouTube because I wanted a creative outlet. After being on there for a while, I decided to start posting on Instagram instead. That was the best decision I ever made. It opened me up to a whole other world of makeup artistry that I didn’t even know existed. Something I saw that sparked my interest were face charts (sketches of various makeup looks and layouts). They were so detailed and intricate that I not only felt inspired to recreate them but also wanted to explore what my own makeup style would be like. I mainly use affordable makeup because I didn’t have the money to splurge on the expensive products that you’d find in Sephora. Despite that, I found a way to achieve great quality makeup looks on a budget and I wanted to show my audience that they can do it too. That appreciation of affordable beauty has gained the attention and content repostings from various indie brands on Instagram as well as other makeup companies like e.l.f cosmetics, L.A Colors Cosmetics, and Shop Miss A.
Getting to where I am today hasn’t always been easy. It took hours of makeup practice, testing out different products, and studying various aspects of social media to keep this journey going. Other things that also played a major role behind the scenes was believing in myself and the many pep talks I received from those around me. When you post your work online, it is easy to doubt your capabilities because you feel like you’re not as good as other content creators out there. So a friendly reminder now and then to keep hoping for the best, and just enjoy doing what I love is super important.
I’m so grateful for all of the amazing opportunities I’ve had this year. My work has been recognized by brands I’ve used since the start of this journey and ones that I’ve recently discovered. It makes me so excited to see what the future holds and what opportunities lie ahead.
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.
The one thing I love about San Diego is that it has an endless supply of food hot spots. My family and I love all kinds of food and have favorite places in pretty much every category. For Mexican food specifically, I suggest going to Silva’s Taco Shop in El Cajon because they have really good tacos and super supreme quesadillas. Then there’s Miguel’s Cantina that has amazing queso blanco and fajitas. Also, El Indio in Old Town has this dish called Mordiditas that is so delicious. It’s taquitos that are cut up and made into nachos so that’s definitely worth a try. Other places I’d highly recommend are Royal Mandarin, Tita’s Kitchenette, Lestat’s Coffee Shop, Chicago Fire Grill and the Daily Grind Cafe.
If you’re trying to find cool places to check out, Balboa Park has endless opportunities to have fun. From the various museums, to the organ pavilion, to the restaurants, you will definitely be entertained and learn a bit more about the city. Waterfront park has also become a new favorite of mine. The fountains look so beautiful during the day and it’s a great place to take your family. It’s right in downtown as well which makes it accessible to see more of San Diego’s popular attractions, especially if you go at night. If you want a fun night out, there’s 2 bars you should know about: Triple Crown Pub and Coin Op Game Room. Both of them not only have great drinks but they also have arcade games too. It’s the best of both worlds.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First off, I want to thank my amazing followers and fellow content creators. The love they have shown me over the years has never gone unnoticed. The connections we’ve built are like no other and they mean so much to me. I also want to thank my family and the people closest to me. From those who encouraged me to start my makeup journey to those who have been there in my moments of doubt, I’m so blessed to have had you in my corner. Lastly, thank you so much Shoutout SoCal for reaching out to me and giving me the opportunity to share my story.
Facebook: Nessa Lily
Other: TikTok: @nessalily_20