Making Up A Strong Name in Beauty: Helene Headley

I met Helene at BCC over 5 years ago. *sigh* I’m really getting old. Who would have thunk (my word) that little seed would have blossomed into this beautiful make-up guru? 🙂

Helene Headley has been doing this for a little over a year and I have to say based on all of her work I have seen she is really fantastic! Her signature clean but classy look is a must have for any extra special occasion. Helene gives us some insight into her work ethic and how she really started making waves for herself below. She also told us of some of her future goals whilst working her magic on Gadal’s top model Kenyah Hope.

This is a MUST READ interview. It’s so intelligent and engaging you just know this lady is going places!

Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the beauty industry?

I have always had a keen interest in fashion and beauty so I guess you can say I was predestined to travel this path I just didn’t know it. I got in to the beauty industry in a roundabout way after taking some time off while studying for my Associate Degree in Fashion design. I did a beauty therapy course at the polytechnic (SJPP) and found that I liked the make up aspect. And after doing that course a friend of mine asked me to do make up for a photo shoot she was having and as they say the rest is history.

Did you have an interest in beauty prior to your bang on the scene?

 I wouldn’t call it a bang more of a gradual progression,but yes I always loved seeing beautiful things, interesting clothes, colourful nails, women and men looking and feeling their best is and has always been a passion of mine.

You work with all the cool and hip fashion photographers on the island. How did you get this link?

 The cool and hip photographers all seem to know each other and after I did the shoot for my friend; designer Kesia Estwick with her young photographer friend Logan Thomas; the calls just kept coming from there and I was very excited to work with some of the great photographer because each photographer individual style helps to showcase my work in many different ways and that is great when you are learning it helps to open your eyes to different techniques.

Has it translated into more business for you?

 Yes! It has but you can never have too much business, lol!!

Did most of your experience come from formal training or on the job training?

Most of my experience came from on the job training but that is because I know and practice the basics, so I would never turn away from being trained at my craft because once you know the basic you can enhance them and get more and more creative

What is your favourite facial feature to apply make-up to? Why?

 I love working on the eyes. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul and I guess I can agree. Your eyes tell your mood and show your emotion and expression. They are usually the first thing people notice so I like to make sure they look beautiful. 

What are the must have beauty products for women of colour?

 I believe the must have beauty products for any woman is a good foundation powder, mascara and a nice lip gloss. So therefore the same would apply to women of colour if you have on a little face powder and 2 or 3 coats of mascara and a cute lip gloss you can look beautiful and more importantly you can feel beautiful. Those are the 3 items I carry with me all the time a nice face powder or bronzer, a mascara and a lip gloss.  

Has it been hard breaking into the beauty industry with your fashion background? Alternately has it helped any?

 I would say it hasn’t been hard in fact I think it might have helped me because the majority of my clients/ contacts are people I met while studying fashion design and the knowledge of trends and colour  coordination etc which I learned during my course has helped me to be able to combine colours which many people would think don’t match. Also training in building a line of clothing from concept to fruition has helped me when conceptualizing ideas for make up looks. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years in the beauty industry?

 In 10 years I want to be at the top of the game. I want people to know my name and my work and I would love to have made a difference of some kind in the way that people view beauty. It would also be pretty cool to have developed a high-end make up line for women of colour which can compete with the MAC’s and the LOREAL’s and MAYBELLINE’s of this world.

Do you have plans to get experience on the global scene?

Of course I do. As much as I love my little island in the sun Barbados is way to small a place for me to create the dream I envision for myself. I intend to branch out internationally but I do want to come back home at some point and maybe teach or offer some courses in make up artistry for people like myself who are starting out and need a helping hand.

Any Make-Up trends you saw on the runways of A/W 10/11 Fashion Weeks that you think would translate perfectly for Black women?

The trend which I am in love with is the dramatic and artistic eye liners which have been showing up on the run ways. Also I am liking the bold lip colours which have been making an appearance as well. I love colour and creativity so those to trends have caught my eye.


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