Welcome to my world…
On June 7, 2013, I was a hair model at the “Health, Hair and Heritage” event located Smithsonian- National Museum of African Art. During the cocktail hour of the event I met a lovely lady named Latavia. Over chardonnay, we chatted about African American culture, her work at AfricanAncestry.com, hair, makeup and more. After meeting up with her again for drinks at Bus Boys and Poets, I found out that she is talented young entrepreneur with a story most of us can relate too.
Ladies and gentlemen I would like you to meet…. Latavia Alise
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Latavia Alise, Creative Artistry Director/Founder of Elle Alise, Hair & Makeup Artistry, LLC. But more importantly, I am a loving daughter, sister and new auntie! “Hey Prince Ayo!”
What or who inspired you to pursue a career in hair and makeup?
I grew up admiring my mother’s dressing routine. I’d watch her apply her makeup in the mirror every morning and spend long hours with her in the salons. Consequently, I fell in love with the culture of hair salons, being able to turn someone’s day around with a beautiful look, and the bond created between stylist and client. When I realized there was no job security in my former profession, I was inspired to transform my hobby into a career.
What are your favorite makeup and hair trends this season?
I love the versatility the natural textured style of the Marley Twists. Some people call them Havana Twists but ever since Solange starting rocking them, many women have adopted their own flavor with styling them. In makeup, the only trend that’s important to me is understanding your own skin type to have beautiful glowing skin at any age. Makeup trends come and go, but when that skin turns its back on you, all the makeup trends in the world won’t conceal unhealthy skin once the products are washed away.
Describe your dream shoot.
My dream photo shoot location would be in a beautiful rainforest of Sierra Leone. My style icon, June Ambrose, would garb Eva Pigford in African couture and I would probably faint while styling the hair and makeup in awe of the talent and beauty that would be produced lol. Pretty pretentious dream shoot, right?
If all my clients came with freshly groomed eyebrows and exfoliated lips the world would be in harmony! I’m capable of grooming eyebrows but it does add an extra step… and the lips? You can see where I’m going with this. For the life of me, I can’t understand how the rocky road of chapped lips is acceptable on a day to day basis, but is especially annoying when shooting or trying to give a client a special occasion look. Here’s a quick tip: brush you lips with a toothbrush and gentle exfoliating mask and apply lip balm. (Where’s my easy button?)
While you attended Paul Mitchell cosmetology school, you quickly learned that their product line did not suit the needs of your natural hair clients. What products did you bring to the school to better serve your clients?
7. You received a business degree at Howard University to please your parents and immediately followed your own dreams by receiving a cosmetology degree right afterwards. You described these events as a blessing in disguise, what is your advice for young adults whose dreams differ with their parent’s vision.
I actually pursued a career in pharmaceutical sales for 3 years after receiving my degree. But my advice to those who have dreams that aren’t aligned with their parent’s vision…I would say, your parent’s want the best for you and won’t put you in harms way. Listen to what they have to say but remember that you are your own person and have to live with your own decisions.
8. Any advice for up and coming make-up artists?
My advice for upcoming makeup artists would be to get the proper education so that you have the appropriate credentials to claim your profession. And DO NOT make free YouTube videos teaching potential clients all your tricks! You’ll be broke and won’t have any clients seeking your professional touch.
I hope I wasn’t too wordy!