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Tiara Willis — known on social media as Makeup for Women of Color — is a New York-based aesthetician, makeup artist, and influencer. Here, she shares how she began her career in beauty as a high schooler and quickly became one of the most trusted voices in the skin-care industry. This story was told to Danielle Jackson and edited for length and clarity.
I started my platform when I was about 14, when I was a freshman in high school. That was the year that my mom started letting me wear makeup to school — I had always wanted to wear it before, but she hadn’t let me. When I was finally allowed to wear makeup, I was so excited that I started watching a lot of YouTube videos and doing so much research. I would literally write things down on my phone and go to the store and buy all of the things I wrote down. I kind of became a source for makeup advice for all of my friends during that time, especially a lot of my friends on Twitter.
That’s kind of why I wanted to create this platform. It was just a source for them to use. I would post my favorite foundations, different videos that I liked, and photos of other peoples’ makeup that I was really inspired by because, at the time, there wasn’t really a platform like that on social media in general but especially on Twitter highlighting women of color in the makeup industry. I really wanted to be a voice in that and really highlight that niche. My career started to grow but I was also just a regular teenager in high school, so I graduated high school early at 16 and then, after high school, I decided to go to aesthetics school.