For Olivia Villa of LivBeautified, life’s most exciting opportunities were born from the most unforeseen circumstances. A math and science mind by education, Villa explored a more traditional path before unexpected challenges corrected her course and unlocked the pursuit of her lifelong passion as a full-time career. Now an award-winning makeup artist in San Antonio, recently recognized as Makeup Innovator of 2018, Villa shares on her journey, her persistence and how her mother’s fortitude and courageous spirit has led her to success.
On her career journey:
I fell in love with makeup at five years old, playing in my mom’s cosmetic bag without permission. Her mascara and red lipstick were my favorites. I would often admire her beauty by standing next to her and watching her get ready for her day. I was fascinated by the visual transformation, and how putting color on her face enhanced her already natural beauty.
While I studied to find my professional calling in life, I never considered makeup artistry as an option. I pursued nursing, but I discovered that this career path was not a fit for me during my first year of college. I explored a number of industries to find myself, none of which ignited an inner passion. My final attempt at a traditional career took me from my native Bay Area in California to San Antonio in 2006, with an offer in the finance industry (and the chance to move to the same city as my husband).
We worked for the same company, and were both laid off with the economic downturn of 2008. Not only that, but we had just found out we were pregnant with our first child and had recently closed on our first home. Even with this turmoil and uncertainty, we decided that it was best for our new family for me to stay home and raise our daughter while my husband took over the financial duties to provide for us. In 2011 we had twins, and decided again that it was best for me to stay home and raise the children. I rediscovered myself during this time, and I was fortunate to be trusted by friends and family to get them ready for their events, which was my lifelong hobby. This eventually built my confidence and reignited the fire in me to nurture makeup artistry as my passion and career. I established Liv Beautified, LLC in 2016.
On what makes her unique in her industry:
Unlike most artists, I do not reside in a salon, nor do I have my own permanent location. In my experience, I have found that most of my clients enjoy being in the comfort of their own homes to get ready for a special occasion, so I travel on-location to all of my clients. I bring the salon experience to them. Something else that sets me apart in my industry is that I am a self-taught Makeup Artist. Because of this, my continued education is never ending. I take online courses and attend seminars to keep up with trends and tricks of the trade. Additionally, I pride myself in listening to my clients intently and doing whatever it takes to bring their desired look to life, as opposed to telling them what I think is best for them.
On her passions outside of work:
Beauty, fashion and the arts are my passions. The donation of my services and my local community involvement have given me the opportunity to support the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, Fashion Group International of San Antonio and various other organizations.
On her personal female hero:
My hero is my mother. She is intertwined in every facet of my life. She took her life’s challenges and struggles and made them her victories. Teresa, the amazing soul I call Mom, was born in the Philippines in the late 1950s and decided to take a chance early in her life to move to the United States for a better opportunity for she and her family. When she migrated to the U.S. she was pregnant with me and was venturing into this new land and country she only had heard dreams about. She ventured to the land of opportunity with my grandmother (her mother), and no one else. I can remember nights as a young child when my mom would work all day, and then go to night school. She was a jack-of-all-trades: a seamstress, party planner, you name it..she did it all, and through my life’s journey I have carried her spirit with me.
This profile was (Em)Powered by LivBeautified, LLC.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.