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SEMO international student shares journey in love for makeup
Everyone has that one thing that is held near and dear to the heart, whether that be a beloved sport, a childhood television show or even a favorite collection of songs to listen to on repeat. That thing for Isabelle Nakamura is art; more specifically, the art of makeup.
Southeast sophomore Isabelle Nakamura is an international student studying international business. Nakamura was born in Brazil and moved to Japan for her father’s job when she was three years old.
She came to the United States during Spring 2020 for school, but was only able to stay for a few months due to COVID-19. She then traveled back to her hometown in Japan until the following year, returning to the United States in Spring 2021.
Nakamura said she doesn't remember exactly when she began liking makeup.
“I just remember I always liked makeup,” Nakamura said. “I think I started using “makeup-makeup” [more extensive types of makeup] in high school. I started watching YouTube videos and learning. When I started having foundation, contour, everything, it was in high school.”
Nakamura said she gets inspiration for most of her makeup looks through popular social media influencers.
“I get inspirations — I follow a lot of influencers, both Brazilians and Americans. If I find a look and I like it, I try to recreate it,” Nakamura said.
Nakamura attained two certificates last summer for completing both an online makeup course, as well as a makeup workshop to help her learn to do other people’s makeup. Since then, she applies the gained knowledge for different skin types and skin tones when practicing makeup on her friends.
While Nakamura completed both of the courses, she still finds doing someone else’s makeup can get difficult.
“The hardest thing would be doing [makeup for] someone else, because I'm still in the process of getting all of the materials,” Nakamura said. “When people have skin tones that are too much lighter than me or too much darker than me, I don’t have all the materials, so it’s challenging for me. … Like, “Oh, I need a contour for this skin, and I have to create with what I have, and sometimes, I don’t have, so that would be the most challenging.”
Nakamura said she’s thinking of taking makeup further than practicing it only as a hobby. Nakamura said she initially started doing makeup for fun, until she came across the teacher that led the online course she took.
“[The teacher] was telling about her story, that when she started, everyone was kind of making of making fun of her … ‘Do you think you can eat doing makeup?’ But she kept going, and now she’s really successful and makes a lot of money,” Nakamura said.
After listening to her teacher’s story, Nakamura said she started considering turning her hobby into an actual business.
“That’s why I bought her online course, and that’s why I call my friends to be my models, so I can practice on them and start doing it as a business,” Nakamura said.
Nakamura plans to just do clients out of her home and promote her services through social media in hopes to build clientele and be able to open her own shop in the future. She would also like to create her own makeup course to teach people how to apply makeup if they want to learn.
“Even though there might be some days that I’m not feeling good, when I apply makeup, I feel more confident,” Nakamura said.