You may know her by her Youtube channel name, MakeupbyLeinaBaaaby but Leina is more than just a Youtube Guru, she is an intelligent, beautiful, passionate, and ambitious young lady who has amazing things headed her way. I became familiar with Leina by watching a few of her videos and formed a general interest but like all great people, Leina comes with layers. After watching a few of her videos I noticed that Leina not only had her own style but also depth to her character. When I decided I wanted to do a “Meet the Beauty” and feature Leina, I was honestly extremely nervous because–no joke– I thought she might not even respond to my request. I gathered from her videos she was a sweet person, but like many of you out there, sometimes you wonder whether what a person portrays themselves as, particular on the internet, is an accurate portrayal of who they are as a person. And I can honestly say, Leina is genuinely one of the sweetest and passionate people I have encountered. When I created this site, in the back of my mind I wanted to do interviews about people I respect and feel are a source of inspiration. And Leina is truly one of those individuals. Keep reading to get to know Leina’s thoughts on beauty, music, youtube,some details about her personal life and exciting news about this beauty guru.
Makeup artist Bobbi Brown has said that part of her philosophy on makeup has been built on an experience she had when she was 16 working at a small makeup boutique in Chicago. Brown recalls during her orientation when she was given a makeover session with the owner and she “looked in the mirror at the end of the session and, my excitement quickly dissolved into disappointment.” The owner “corrected” all her flaws which including altering the appearance of her nose, eyes, and lips to a point where she felt “I looked nothing like myself and couldn’t wait to wash my face off.” This experience helped Brown incorporate a simple motto into her company “Be who you are”. With that note, I wanted to find out a little more about Leina’s makeup philosphy.
We all do a little contouring and show off features we like about ourselves but, as an aspiring makeup artist, how important is it to you to enhance someone’s feature’s without completely eliminating all traces of ones self?
It’s VERY important that I don’t totally alter someone’s face. Usually on clients, I keep the contouring to a minimum. I don’t over-do anything unless my client wants me to. I personally LOVE to contour on myself because I have such a round face. I always tell my clients to let me know if they feel uncomfortable about the makeup I do on their face.
Have you ever had an experience similar to Brown? Or a bad makeup experience? How has it shaped you?
Yes. I’m very picky and particular about what goes on my face and how makeup goes on me. When I’ve had my makeup done, the makeup artist never really cared about what I thought. They just did their job and wanted me to love it regardless. When I’m on the job, I always ask the person whose makeup I’m doing if they like or dislike what I do. I tell them that it doesn’t hurt my feelings and it helps me understand what they want more.
When did you start getting into makeup? How did that impact you?
I first started to get interested in makeup when I was about 14 years old. A close family friend would use me to practice makeup when she was preparing for her interview with MAC Cosmetics. She really opened up my eyes to the GORGEOUS world of makeup art. The different colors, textures, products, brushes.. All of it excited me! Ever since then, I’ve been hooked on makeup.
Keep reading as Leina addresses personal topics…
You’re a Northern California Native, do you see yourself wanting to be based in California? Why or why not?
Yes! Southern California though, in Los Angeles. Or I’d even love to based in New York. Two of the biggest beauty cities!
Tell me about your upbringing, did you come from a strict household? Are you a Daddy’s girl or Mommy’s sidekick?
My parents have never been VERY strict, but they’d definitely put me and my sisters in our place. I’m very close to my parents, and I trust them both a lot.
What is one thing you would not tolerate?
I will not tolerate being USED. Don’t get me to do you a favor and then drop me. It’s not right.
If a guy were to pursue you, how would he get your attention and what qualities would you like him to possess?
I love when a guy has goals and dreams, and does his own thing. It’s sexy when a guy is VERY passionate about what he does. He needs to be respectful, spontaneous, fun, talkative, have swag. He most especially needs to be tall! VERY TALL! But that’s not too hard to find because I’m super short, hehe.
Have you ever been bullied? How did you handle it and how did it effect your self-esteem?
YES. A lot of girls hated me in high school. But I just always thought to myself “Don’t they have anything better to do than say negative things about me?” So I just keep my head held high. I don’t waste a second thinking about “haters”. That’s a second that I’ll never ever get back. Why not utilize my time on how to become successful.
If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
France. I took 2 years of French in high school. We learned about their culture and it all seems very elegant and interesting.
Pretend today was the worst day of your life, how do you recover?
I would question myself as to why am I wasting my time sulking or being angry or depressed over a situation instead of FIXING it. I don’t like to waste time. Life is too short to be anything but happy!
Mary J. Blige has become proactive and is very concerned about women’s issues. What are some issues that you are concerned about?
I’m very concerned about child abuse. I hear so many crazy stories about mothers and fathers killing their child/children. It makes me SO angry that anyone would be so heartless as to hurt a baby/child, especially THEIR OWN. I don’t have any kids, but I have 3 nephews and 1 niece that I love as if they were my own children. It breaks my heart to see these crazy things happen to babies!
Leina on Youtube…
Say we logged onto your youtube for a day, who are some of the Youtubers out there that you watch?
Most public figures experience at least some degree of loss of privacy for taking on a public role. As a well-known Youtube beauty guru, how has your life changed up to this point?
It could either be a good or bad thing that people want to know more about me. I love that people are interested in me and my life. But it’s gotten out of hand because now people want to know EVERYTHING. Every little detail about everything in my life. It’s kind of creepy. Lol.
How do you feel about the term Youtube beauty guru being applied to you?
I feel honored to be considered a YouTube Beauty Guru. I’m very thankful to be looked up to. I get so happy when my subscribers take their time to message or comment me telling me that I’ve inspired them. It’s a priceless feeling.
Youtube is a community and just like everywhere in this world, there are people out there who are negative, only looks at flaws, or are just downright malicious. How do you keep Leina strong?
I ignore the haters. They aren’t worth my time. What keeps me strong is my wonderful supporters, subscribers and viewers. I’m striving to be the BEST. I don’t have time to worry about petty haters who have nothing better to do, but hate on me.
One of your subscribers, Sizzleyou said “You’re very relatable”, and for your “Rock the Boat” tutorial Glamourousdollface said it’s “nice to see others celebrating African American beauty”. With that said, the diversity of your subscribers and your relatability is apparent. What does that mean to you?
I love the diversity of my audience. One day I will be a global makeup artist. Doing everyone’s from light skin tones to dark skin tones all over the map.
Besides youtube, you are active on Blogtv, Facebook, Twitter, your own personal blog, as well as doing interviews and collaborating with Superexclusivekb for his cover of Drake’s hit, “Find Your Love”. How do you make time for yourself? How important is it to have time to yourself? What do you do to unwind and relax? What do you do for fun?
I make sure I have Leina time. I love going out to eat, going shopping, getting pampered at the spa, spending time with family and friends.
Leina on Music…
You are one of the handful of beauty gurus that consistantly put out Music Video related tutorials. You’ve done everyone from rapper Trina, Bajan beauty Rihanna, to the late and great Aaliyah, and recently Shontelle. To date what has been your favorite music video inspired look and why?
My favorite video of mine has to be the Nicki Minaj makeup from Bedrock that I did. The look is very colorful and I feel like I did a great job on color choice and blending the look together.
Obviously, Hip Hop and R&B are genres that have influenced you. What gravitates you to those genres? Why do you think people should appreciate those genres in particular?
I grew up around Hip Hop and R&B. I grew up listening to Boys 2 Men, Lauryn Hill, Brandy, and etc. That genre is very free of expression.
People probably ask you this a lot but can you sing or dance?
I can’t sing very good, but I used to be in my church choir. And I used to dance ballet/jazz/hiphop in high school. I don’t do either currently though.
Leina recently came out with a pigment line with Still Glamorus Cosmetics. The line officially launched on September 1, 2010. With four pigments currently in the line from a company that doesn’t test on animals, Leina is literally going from Youtube to your home with these products as you can watch her using them in her videos. Check out Leina’s channel for her collection of looks and try them out with her ‘highly-pigmented’ yet very ‘wearable’ pigments.
Tell us about your new line of pigments?
I thought of 4 different colored pigments. I made them very wearable and very “Leina”. There is a turquoise, lavender, gold, and dark brown. I love those colors so much! I recommend Glammed Up By Leina to all the makeup lovers out there because they are super pigmented, wearable, and all-around fabulous!
How do you feel about having your own line of makeup and working with Still Glamorous Cosmetics?
I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Still Glamorus Cosmetics. Kasey is the owner of the company and she is such a sweetheart! I’ve BEEN loving her cosmetics, so when she asked me if I wanted to have my own pigment line with her, I LITERALLY SCREAMED because I was extremely excited! It’s part of her permanent cosmetic company, so get your hands on them!