Hi! My name is Lauren and I’m the owner of LA Page Makeup LLC, a Connecticut based beauty company catering to the needs of everything beauty! We offer a wide range of beauty services including bridal and special event makeup and hair, makeup lessons, lash lifting and tinting, facial waxing, and eyebrow tinting. I have been in business since 2010 and have been lucky enough to do this full time since January of 2016.
Let’s take a journey back in time. I realized I’ve told my story of why I started doing makeup on social media and in person before, but never has that story lived forever on my blog. I think it’s an important one. It can help those currently struggling with bullying see a light at the end of the tunnel. It can be encouragement to put yourself out there, take a leap of faith, and live your dream despite your fears. If I can help just one person with my story, it’s worth telling.
If you want to go way back in time, my first time playing with makeup was technically in elementary school. My mom gave me something that resembled a lipstick in a lipstick container and I felt so fancy. The reality? It was a totally clear lip balm/gloss type of product. But the fact that I thought I was applying real lipstick? I thought I was all that and a bag of chips!
My next key memory of makeup is a tie between the music video for “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and the music video for “Everybody” by The Backstreet Boys. Both videos include detailed special FX makeup that intrigued me more than I understood at the time. I may be a little bias, because I was (and still am) a huge Backstreet Boys fan, but “Everybody” holds a special place in my heart when I think about that little girl that gazed through that box TV with wide eyes and a curious mind.
Let’s skip a few years – now I’m in high school. This is where the real meat and potatoes of my makeup story starts. This is the time that shaped me, molded me, taught me some hard lessons, and showed me just how important this dream of mine was and could be. I was 15 when I first started truly playing with makeup. At the time, I just wanted to learn how to put it on correctly because I didn’t have anyone in my family that wore makeup, so I had to learn for myself. This part is interesting to look back on because this is when YouTube was in it’s early days. Today, people have the ability to learn how to apply makeup in so many ways – YouTube videos, makeup lessons, virtual makeup lessons, and the plethora of social media platforms that exist and will continue to be made!
While I was experimenting with makeup, I became interested in starting my own YouTube channel. It looked like a lot of fun! I could use a new hobby and I wanted to share my newfound love of makeup with the world. I was finding tons of inexpensive finds that I was super excited about and wanted to show in hauls and I was learning how to use eyeshadow and wanted to share my progress with others. At first, I didn’t show my face for a while. This was partly because my parents didn’t want me to fall into the traps of being online and partly because I was nervous. After all the content I’ve put online since, I think it’s safe to say I’ve gotten over that.
The summer before my sophomore year of high school is when I uploaded my first video featuring my face talking directly to the camera. I was incredibly nervous but also proud and excited for the future. I figured this was a step in the right direction, especially since I had grown to 3,500 subscribers pretty quickly. This, at the time, was quite the accomplishment, especially for a 16 year old.
That good feeling quickly turned to confusion, fear, and rejection as soon as the summer was over. Upon returning to school, word had spread quickly that I was the face behind that YouTube channel. Let me preface this by saying I was never lucky in the friend department, until senior year of high school when I met my life-long best friend. Although anyone that knows me will say I’m a people person and care for others deeply, that wasn’t seen as much back then I guess. I found myself surrounded by people that would call me a “friend” then act not so friendly behind my back. Add that to the fact that I was now starting to get bullied over an innocent hobby – making YouTube videos about makeup – I felt very alone. Looking back, I find it funny I was so ridiculed over this. Teenagers today probably have trouble digesting this information because of how big an industry the beauty community on YouTube became since then. Who knew I was apart of the start of something so massive without knowing it?
I was bullied throughout my whole school career, not just high school. But high school was hands down the worst experience because of the videos. If I hadn’t made them, I would have continued to be a wall flower, avoiding confrontation as much as possible. But I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Maybe that needed to happen so I could be forced to grow out of my shell, be more vocal, and become the person and business owner I am today.
When I tell you I was severely bullied, I’m not joking. I was lucky enough that I was never bullied physically. But I was stalked, sent death threat text messages, sent pictures of the entire class surrounding the teacher’s computer laughing at what was supposed to be my videos, and the subject of videos that were meant to impersonate me and mock me. It was constant. Sophomore through senior year of high school were anything but pleasant, so when people always say they would rather go back to being a child or teenager than deal with adult responsibilities, my quick response is, “No way!”.
It got to the point that I was authentically worried to walk at graduation because I thought someone would scream something when they announced my name. That didn’t happen, but the thought and fear surrounding that “what if” was still very present. I had a terrible pit in my stomach every single day walking into the school and always made sure I was super early so I could go to my locker and be ready for class while avoiding people first thing in the morning. It’s sad to think of the things I did instead of trying to enjoy my younger years, but that’s survival mode, right?
Despite everything, I stuck true to what I loved and earned my makeup artistry certificate the summer before senior year of high school, 2010. After that, I was glad to be done with high school and start the next chapter of my life, which ended up being college. I knew since then makeup was meant to be my life-long career, but I ended up going the “typical” route to college because I felt that’s what I had to do. Long story short, I originally majored in nursing but due to science being my worst subject, that didn’t work out. I ended up graduating with an early childhood education degree. Sensing a theme? Between all three career paths, it all comes down to wanting to help people.
Throughout the years, I got certified in theatrical makeup, which is how I learned how to do Halloween makeup applications. I began networking and doing tons of photoshoots (many for no pay) just to get my foot in the door, meet new people, practice my skills, and build my portfolio. It’s amazing to look back on my journey and see how far I’ve come in my makeup application skills. At the same time, I worked many part time jobs – from CNA to receptionist to warehouse packer to preschool teacher. I always made sure I did what I had to do to be able to do what I wanted to do. I hope that’s a huge takeaway for anyone hustling for their dream, but feeling discouraged that it may be taking “too long”. Your dream is yours alone and your journey is different than anyone else’s. Don’t rush the process, always be curious, and celebrate the little wins along the way.
I went full time with my makeup business, back then called Lauren Anne Page, MUA, in January of 2016 when I started freelancing doing wedding makeup for another company. I knew this would be a turning point in my career because I had done all the editorial photoshoot gigs, I had dabbled in TV and film, but I just hadn’t found my calling yet. The wedding industry was where I was meant to be. It makes so much sense because I’m an emotional person and the wedding industry is an emotional business. I absolutely love everything about weddings, working with people, and working with my hands. It was the perfect fit.
Ever since then, I rebranded to LA Page Makeup, I’ve added multiple new certificates to my name, continue educating myself, have met so many amazing entrepreneurs, both in the beauty and wedding space and outside of it, and so much more. I have been blessed to see my business grow from just myself to a growing team of people, working with some of the most talented, ambitious makeup artists and hair stylists I’ve met. And there’s so much more to come – a couple things specifically very soon. When the time is right, those will be announcements because they’re among some of the things I’ve been dreaming of for so long and working on the hardest for many years.
2020 marks my 10 year anniversary in business. I started hustling the moment I earned that first makeup certificate back in high school, which isn’t that surprising in this day and age. I’m seeing people discover makeup younger than ever and honing their talents to become the next out-of-this-world makeup artist and that excites me. This is an art that is growing by the year, ever evolving, and I’m incredibly proud to be apart of it. That goes for the wedding space too. I’m beyond thankful for each and every bride that trusts in myself and my company to take the best care of them on the most important day of their life. It’s always the best rush to be able to work on a wedding day and make your mark.
This blog post has certainly been a journey. When I first sat down to write it, I knew generally what I wanted to discuss and the words came flowing out because I lived it. I remember everything like it was yesterday. But I wasn’t exactly sure how long it would be or where it would go. But I’m proud of it. If there’s only one thing you take away from this post, please let it be that you are unstoppable and capable of absolutely anything you put your mind and heart to. There’s so much more behind the scenes I’ve overcome to make this dream a reality, including health problems. But I promise you, once you’ve found your dream and calling in life, there’s absolutely nothing that can stop you from making it a reality, despite every circumstance that may try to tell you otherwise. One of my favorite phrases is, “Do what sets your soul on fire.” That’s exactly what I believe in and why I absolutely love going to work every single day. Even when I haven’t slept well, even when I’m dealing with other stuff emotionally, even when I have a headache, the moment I greet that client and pick up my first brush, it’s like everything is okay again. I hope each and every one of you reading this gets to find the career that is your safe and happy place because I firmly believe everyone deserves it.
Remember everything happens for a reason, you are so special, and someone needs whatever it is you offer to the world.