Breakups to Makeup – How Latina Makeup Artist and Entrepreneur Angelique Velez Holds True to Her Roots and Feeds the Beauty Industry
Angelique grew up with a rule that kept her from her love of makeup until she reached 16 years of age. After graduating college, she went after her passion with a fever and has since worked as a celebrity makeup artist with celebrities like Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Fallon, Andy Samberg, and Taylor Lautner.
In June 2013, Angelique expanded her reach in the beauty world and launched Breakups to Makeup. A business that is emphasizing the expression of makeup as art. I caught up with the busy mom for some Q & A.
First, thank you so much for making yourself available. I know you’re busy despite COVID restrictions. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
CR: Could you describe Breakups to Makeup for those who haven’t heard about it before? Why Breakups to Makeup as a title?
AV: Breakups to Makeup is a beauty accessories brand that empowers and inspires others with our makeup mantras. We are known for our makeup clutches and our sassy slogans.
I created the brand after going through a difficult breakup. As a makeup artist for over a decade, makeup has been my creative outlet and the way that I express myself. When I was going through that really hard time, doing my job, aka applying makeup to others, was literally the only thing that got me out of my apartment and kept me going. Applying makeup onto others and seeing their reactions and seeing how much it helped boost their spirits inevitably started to make me feel better about myself and my situation. As an artist, I already knew the power of makeup, but this solidified it even more for me.
I wanted to create something that spread this message outside of our community. Showing others the power of makeup and that it’s not “just” a lipstick or “just” a mascara, but a form of art. Hence, the birth of Breakups to Makeup (and the brand name).
CR: I read a statement on your Breakups to Makeup website. It read, “Makeup serves as a creative outlet to those applying and livens the spirits of those wearing it.” Would you say this is also part of your mission statement? To show the world how makeup affects us all?
AV: Yes, absolutely! I feel like as artists, we know the power of makeup and how it serves as a tool for us, but those outside of our industry may not see it that way. Makeup is so much more than just a product. It is such a powerful tool for us. As artists, it brings our community together; it is our therapy, our medicine.
CR: You’ve worked on some famous faces. What are your “go-to” products for when you can’t afford to have makeup melt off your clients’ faces?
AV: Such a great question! I use a lot of various brands, depending on what I am doing. As far as longevity and staying power, I am currently obsessed with prepping clients (and myself) with skincare from B3Balm & Limelife and setting the makeup with Skindinavia. Skincare is so important to help the makeup last. For primers, I like Smashbox and Skindinavia. For foundation, I use products from MAC, Makeup Forever and Limelife, and concealers from Kryolan and Kevyn Aucoin. Also, powders are a must for setting everything as well; my favorites are from MAC, Makeup Forever, Eve Pearl, and Kat Von D.
CR: How do you manage being a wife, mother, and entrepreneur?
AV: It is not easy, and honestly, balance goes right out the window! I try to give myself a bit of grace, especially with everything going on right now. Planning for me is key, I focus on what absolutely needs to get done on a daily basis, and I make sure to do that first.
I also make sure to carve out family time where I am not doing work or looking at my phone. Right now, with our new normal and my little guy being home, it has been hard. He barely lets me get things done, so to be honest, I get a lot of my work done when he goes to sleep. It has definitely been a learning experience.
The most important thing is to not be hard on yourself. If I can do it, so can you, you just have to be kind to yourself and understand that we are all learning right now.
CR: What kinds of items are sold on your website?
AV: On the Breakups to Makeup website, we have accessories like makeup bags, clutches, totes & pens. We also have t-shirts and the option of custom making your own slogan on a t-shirt as well. I am also launching a program this fall called “My Makeup Mastermind.” It will be an educational program and a new direction for the brand.
CR: Do you take requests for items to sell on your site? I’d love to see masks, tank tops, headbands, and bandanas.
AV: Yes, I am always open to suggestions and input from our consumers. We have had all of the above on our site before! We actually just recently sold out of our masks/bandanas and headbands. Our tank tops usually sell out every summer.
Most of our products are limited edition, so I always encourage clients/followers to purchase as soon as they see them because they might not be there when they go back.
CR: As an entrepreneur and educator, what do you have next on the horizon?
AV: I am launching a new educational program called “My Makeup Mastermind” this fall, and I am so excited about it! I have been teaching and mentoring for a long time, and I am combining that experience with my educational background to create this new course for makeup artists and entrepreneurs.
This is something for those who are feeling lost and looking for direction, especially right now. I feel like so many people are looking to pivot or start a business/brand, and they feel alone and don’t know what to do or where to start. I want to use my experience and my journey to help them, as I’ve been doing this for a while. I just want others to know that if I can do it, so can they. They don’t have to “glow” alone.
CR: Would you say that these courses are for the novice or professionals?
AV: The “My Makeup Mastermind” program is for anyone who is looking to start something new or pivot their current business. We will be focusing on goal setting and getting you out of your comfort zone to achieve the things that you want. You can be a novice or professional, as long as you have goals you are looking to achieve, it will be helpful to you.
CR: For Latina’s out there who are thinking of dipping their toe into the beauty industry despite COVID-19, where would you suggest they start?
AV: I think it is so important that you start looking for and following artists whose work you love and admire on social media. Especially with everything going on right now, it’s important to find a community that has the same goals and interests as you. For me, I love being involved with The Powder Group and The Makeup Show communities as there are so many programs and opportunities to be around like-minded individuals, even now virtually.
Depending on what you are looking to pursue, I would also look for entrepreneurs and artists who are doing something similar and follow them. Reach out and ask questions. Listen to podcasts, watch videos. Immerse yourself with information on what they’ve done and how they’ve done it. I am constantly educating myself, whether it’s paying and taking programs, attending free seminars, or watching lives. I have mentors that don’t even know I exist. It is important to constantly keep yourself educated about what it is you are looking to do and also to have a community to support and push you through when things are tough. My biggest piece of advice is just to start. Seriously, DO IT! So many people wait, or second guess themselves or say that they will do it later—and the moment passes them by. Don’t let the moment pass you by! If there is something you want to do, do it! You got this, I promise.
CR: That’s excellent advice! Thank you so much for sharing your passion with our readers and me. Stay healthy!