With over a million followers on Instagram, talented makeup artist and web designer Laura Sanchez exemplifies the modern day Jefa. Learn how she moved from her home in Colombia to learn English in Vancouver, and become the trailblazing influencer she is today.

Video Transcript

Speaker 1: (00:00)

I’m like, I do videos online, and they were like, what kind of videos? And I was trying to explain like beauty and I’m sure they thought I was like a porn star or something because they didn’t understand what kind of beauty I was posting online. I was getting money. Right?

Speaker 2: (00:15)

They’re like short videos.

Speaker 1: (00:16)

They’re like, aha, they’re paying you for putting makeup on your face.

Speaker 2: (00:19)

Right and they’re like, we know what you’re doing. Yeah. Is that, she was like mhmm she started looking at me all weird and I’m like, even if it was porn, I’m making money.

Speaker 1: (00:28)

Right yup that’s right! Exactly!

Speaker 2: (00:35)

Welcome to this week’s episode of jefa status. I am your host Lucy Flores. This week we have my first, Oh my gosh. I know I say this every time you guys, but seriously, I just am so excited every single time I have these incredible women on the show, but I’m really extra excited because she’s my first makeup

Speaker 2: (00:55)

blogger. I love makeup. I know my audience loves makeup, but more importantly, I just, the talent behind these women is just so amazing to me. That’s, I just love it. So we have the very great privilege of having Laura Sanchez with us this week. She’s got all kinds of really amazing things that she’s doing, things that she’s done. She was the NYX face awards vlogger of the year in 2016-17 magazine has named her as one of the top five beauty bloggers. She’s just all kinds of awesome, all kinds of jefa. So that being said, welcome Laura it’s so incredibly exciting to have you. Everyone,for those of you listening, you can’t look at her face. So I highly encourage you to go to the digital version and look at her face cause her makeup is amazing.

Speaker 1: (01:47)

Hi Lucy, how are you? Happy to be here and thanks for the compliment on my makeup.

Speaker 2: (01:53)

So Laura , I definitely want to get into all of that. Your projects, how you got into blogging, makeup, etcetera. But we start at the very beginning on this show. So you are Colombian (Yes) And where were you? So where does it start for you? Are you born here? Where are you raised? Like what’s, how does, where does it start?

Speaker 1: (02:17)

Okay. So I was born and raised in Columbia and since I was a teenager I started like discovering internet right when I was like in maybe sixth grade or something. Uh, we got internet in Columbia so it was a big deal and I started like using a lot of internet social media. I remember at that time I was super obsessed with Myspace and I would love to like spend hours and hours customizing my Instagram page and putting music and everything. So at that point I thought I was going to be like a web programmer or something like that. Um, my friends from school would also like ask me to fix their websites and their Myspace and I will not sleep. I would like do other websites too, like until 5:00 AM and then get ready at seven to go to school. I was obsessed with it, but then I started realizing that I was not obsessed just with the, like the making the website but also the content in on myspace.

Speaker 1: (03:14)

That’s where I found like the first beauty bloggers or fashion bloggers, they didn’t really do videos, but they would post photos and that would make like really cool artistic videos. They would l have their own clothing brand. So I was really inspired by these young people that had really different looks, really different outfits. I remember that time it was emo and like rock and roll and it was like super trendy. I was one of those girls that would- I still dye my hair with colors, but like I, I was doing that back then. There was like 12,13,14 like that era and that’s when I realized that I really like playing with my image. I love doing my hair, I love doing my makeup. I was not good, my hair looked really bad, but I really enjoyed it.

(04:00)

And this whole time you’re still in Columbia? (I’m still in Columbia)

Speaker 1: (04:03)

I’m still in high school. So when I got out of high school, I really didn’t know what to study because I love makeup. I love hairstyling, but I didn’t see myself, for example, owning a hair salon or designing clothes or anything like this. I wanted to have like a career. That’s how, how people tell you that you need a diploma. You need to be a lawyer or something. I didn’t want it like such a serious career, but I did want it something creative. So I thought publicity or web designing or something like this. I graduated, I think when I was, I just turned 15, so I was really young and my parents, thank God they told me, you can take a year to see what you really want to study. We want to try to send you somewhere so you can learn more English.

Speaker 1: (04:47)

Um, I had my basic English from high school, same thing. It was just like I could read and I could understand, but I could not talk at all. Um, we found this program for international students in Canada where they just take you for like six months and they teach you really good English and you live there. So you also get the experience. You also grow as a person. You’re not a teenager anymore, you’re in charge of yourself and yeah, I left Columbia when I was 16 ,I just turned 16, I went to Vancouver and I stayed there for like six months studying English.

(05:19)

That’s a, that’s an adjustment. That was crazy. Vancouver’s not warm.

(05:24)

No, it was not warm. It was not warm, I went, I think it was like my first really well yeah, I was, I was alone for the first time and I also got there in winter.

Speaker 1: (05:35)

It was also like Christmas time, my birthday. It was sad. It was really hard. And also my parents kind of made me go cause I didn’t want to go. Of course I wanted to stay with my friends, with my family, but I also knew it was, it was going to be super cool. I was going to be able to do whatever I wanted to and while I was there, I made, I made some friends and a little group of my friends were guys that were studying film in Vancouver. I didn’t know this, but when I got there I noticed that there’s like filming happening everywhere in Vancouver and I was like, I feel like I’m in Hollywood. I came to Vancouver not to Hollywood and I learned there that a lot of people go to Vancouver to do all the Hollywood productions . Productions you think are Hollywood are Vancouver productions and they do that because it’s cheaper. They also have like different sceneries like forest snow and sea like right there in the same city. So I started to help my friends that were studying film, doing makeup for their assignments for, I don’t know, their little short videos that they would make. And I was doing zombies, I was doing shotgun, shotgun wounds, whatever, and I didn’t know how to, but I was Googling how to make blood.

Speaker 2: (06:50)

So you’re actually doing theatrical type of special effects? More so than, yeah, and more so than makeup. It’s like actual special effects.

Speaker 1: (06:59)

Yes and I realized that I really liked it and I was kind of good at it. And when I was Googling because it was there …(How do you make fake blood?) You can do it with corn syrup (Oh okay that’s practical) and I found a makeup school doing my Google search on how to do makeup and special effects. I found a makeup school, it’s called Blanch McDonald Center and that’s when I was like, “This is what I want to study,” and at least in Vancouver at the moment, it was like a really trendy career. Everyone, everyone wanted to be a makeup artist and it was an actual career where I was going to get a diploma and I was going to make my family proud.

Speaker 2: (07:36)

Right, right. So that would, that would at least satisfy the parents. Yeah.

Speaker 1: (07:40)

So I, I show them, they were super excited about it. I went back to Columbia to renew my Visa again. I went back to Vancouver and I stayed there for another year starting my, my special effects makeup career. I finished my diploma and I came back to Columbia. My plan was go back to Columbia again, renew my visa again, go back to Vancouver and I was going to enter the union. The union is like this organization where they have makeup artists, hairstylists, people that do, um, sets and all of these to create like uh, I don’t know, videos, music videos, whatever you want with production. Right is that how you say it? (Mhm yeah) . Um, so that was my dream at the moment. But when, when I went back to Columbia because there was not many special effects, makeup artists, I started getting so much work and I ended up staying there for two more years.

Speaker 1: (08:34)

And while I was there working as a makeup artist, normal makeup parties and photo shoots, I was doing web series, I was doing, I even did makeup for like a, a guy, a photographer that was taking like nudes photos. That was interesting. But it was fun. And yeah, so when I was in Columbia, I started seeing like these new influencers. It was not like before and now they were doing videos and they were posting them on YouTube and I couldn’t find anything in Spanish. So that’s when I was like, I have to start making videos and I have to make them in Spanish because we also want to look nice. People who speak Spanish also want to look nice and learn. Um, I searched for videos in Spanish and I only found one guy in my country. I’m friends with him right now. He’s named Nicolas and he was doing like comedy and then I found Juja which she’s, she’s a really big influencer in Mexico and she was doing more like DIYs and more lifestyle.

Speaker 1: (09:34)

So it was like “Oh, I want to be the first Colombian doing videos.” I’m not sure if I was at first, but that I know. And that’s how I started doing makeup on YouTube and I was doing more, same thing, like special effects, maybe a little smokey eye. But if you see my first video I was like so serious and like “HI, I’m here to teach you how to do makeup. Don’t ask me what my personal life, I’m not gonna make jokes. I’m just going to do my face and look super serious.” (Like a classroom) Yes. So that’s how I started to get also aim to- (Is that first video still there?). Yes. But (That’s the first one I’m going to search for!) It’s so weird. And that’s how I got into beauty makeup because I was not into beauty makeup. I like more like some zombies, monsters. And when I started posting videos on YouTube, I got into beauty makeup cause I got a lot of questions and how to play and how to do my countour. How to match my foundation and I’ve been doing that for the past nine years.

Speaker 2: (10:36)

Yeah, that’s a long time. Yeah. So let’s go back just a little bit. Um, in terms of your family, they sound like they were really supportive of most of everything that you were doing. Um, was there ever a time when you had to convince them that what you were doing was going to lead somewhere? You know, and so it’s just so often that Latino parents, you know, are just like, they, they want you on the, on what they think is the right thing to do. Like you just mentioned being a lawyer or something like that. And you, when you try to do something that’s a little more creative, they, it freaks them out, you know? So was there ever a time where you felt like, “Oh man, I really want to do this, but I’m getting pressure to do what, you know, quote unquote they think we should be doing? “

Speaker 1: (11:22)

Yes. Um, that happened when I told them I wanted to be a makeup artist. They were really supportive. Um, my parents are really young and they’re open minded. My dad has a skate shop in Columbia and he, he’s a skater and my mom is also super young and open-minded. So they were supportive. But of course when it came back to Columbia, they, I feel like they thought I wanted to be a makeup artist, but I was going to be something else. And makeup was like something on the side. So when I, when I came back, I got a lot of work, but I was not getting paid enough and it was really hard because it was like a makeup artist, a schedule like 3am, 5am. You have to start working and then you’re done at 12 at night. So it was a lot of effort. I was not getting paid enough.

Speaker 1: (12:09)

I was doing also a lot of free work at the beginning cause I wanted to build up my portfolio and I needed people to know who I was and get more- get more work like that. Um, so at the beginning they were happy that I was busy, but then they wanted me to have something for myself. So their idea of being a makeup artist was you need a salon. Are you going to open a salon? (Right,something very traditional)Yes (That they know of) And I was like, I’m not going to open a salon because I don’t know how to cut hair. That’s not what I said. I was trying to explain them. They kind of understood, but every day they were like, so when are you going to open this salon? And I was like “Never”.And yeah, so when I got into YouTube that was also super new in Columbia. They didn’t understand why I was spending hours and hours on the computer.

(12:58)

And how is it that you ended up. So you know, you, we often, I spend a lot of time kind of going through the details because so often we hear about all of these incredible women, especially Latinas. And first and foremost we-There’s just not that many of us, you know, that are, that are visible. There’s, there’s 29 million Latinas in the U S and we’re doing really incredible things all over the place and yet we still are not seen. (Yes) Right. And so, um, you know, we tend to kind of gloss over or move really quickly beyond, uh, through these stories where we’re like, Oh, this Latina that she’s doing this and there’s this amazing, she’s doing that and there’s this crazy, you know, and, and you’re like, “Oh, well then I got into this and then I got into that.” But it’s really like, so many people have the very basic questions of like, but how, you know how, so when you were, say your parents want you to open this, this beauty salon, which you’re never gonna do, um, and then you kind of stumble upon YouTube.

Speaker 2: (14:02)

But what in you says, “Hey, this is something that other people are doing, or like this thing, YouTube, it’s like pretty new, but there’s these things going on.” Like what makes you think “maybe that’s something I can experiment.” And also recognizing that at the time you’re just hustling, right? Like you’re not making money and you’re not immediately famous. You’re not Insta famous, you’re not a YouTube celebrity, you know, you’re literally just grinding. (Just starting) Yeah. Yeah. So like what, what does that kind of the at the impetus or you know, the reason that you thought to yourself, yeah, this is something that could work.

Speaker 1: (14:41)

I think it’s different for everyone and for me was that I used to watch these girls on myspace sharing, sharing something they knew, but they, it was not something that they went to school for. Yeah. It was just like super natural and super organic how they were showing it. Um, I felt like I wanted to show people and I actually went to school for it. So it was like, I think I’m good at this. I want to show people how to do it professionally and how they can achieve it with whatever they have at home. Also for me, it was very important, the fact that I couldn’t find anything in Spanish. So I was like, it’s not fair because not everyone speaks English. There’s a lot of people that speak Spanish and they don’t know. They don’t understand one word in English. It was not fair and I, that’s why I wanted to do the videos and also just the fact, I don’t know, just sharing, just sharing what you know. I thought it was nice and I was doing it also for the people that knew me because I was posting my content on Facebook and they were asking me there. I couldn’t explain just writing, so I was like, it’s better if it’s a video and this is a new platform, why not doing it there? That was my reason for starting my Youtube.

Speaker 2: (15:50)

So you really didn’t even think about the fact that you could make money. You’d like how to monetize like you didn’t know really any of that.

Speaker 1: (15:59)

Well that is funny because when I started my YouTube channel, we didn’t even have a Google offices in Columbia. It was four years later that we had Google in Columbia, so there was no way for me to get paid or knew that I could get paid or I could make money. I did think maybe at the beginning like, well a lot of people are sharing my videos and it was like 20 views but for me that was a lot because only five people had asked me they’re gonna go watch the video right there and didn’t know they were gonna share it. So I did think like, well this can go like super good if I start getting more views and more people watching me, but I never saw that good as money. I just saw it as more people are gonna see me

Speaker 2: (16:38)

And probably more work and people would know you and it would create more opportunities.

Speaker 1: (16:42)

Yes. And it was hard too because before it was not cool if you were, I get to where people didn’t know what was, what was a YouTuber,people didn’t know what YouTube was and Oh my God, this was so funny. I remember the first time I was going to get paid for something doing videos. Right. And I went to my bank in Columbia and I had to explain the person helping me why was I getting paid for and why was someone sending me money from out of the country. And I’m like, I do videos online. And they were like, what kind of videos? And I was trying to explain like beauty and I’m sure they thought I was like a porn star or something because they didn’t understand what kind of beauty videos I was posting online that I was getting money for.

Speaker 2: (17:25)

They’re like short videos.

Speaker 1: (17:28)

They’re like uhuh. They’re paying you for putting makeup on your face. (We know what you’re doing.) Yeah. She was like, she started looking at me real weird. I’m like, like even if it was porn, I’m making money. (Yup that’s right exactly!) So yeah, that’s how I started. I had no idea that I could make money or have contracts with brands or even moved to the States one day, because of that.

Speaker 2: (17:51)

Yeah. So then, okay, so you’re posting these videos, you don’t even kind of realize what it could become and then when do you realize like, “Whoa, this is actually something, I have something here.” Like when did, when does that set in?

Speaker 1: (18:06)

I think the first time that I was in a mall and I was going to watch a movie and someone came to me, a girl and she was like, “Are you Laura?” And I’m sure I freaked out because I didn’t know it was because they saw my videos. I was like, yes. And she was like “Can I take a photo with you?” And I’m like, “Why?” And she’s like, “I love your videos.” And I’m like, what? Like wow, okay, that’s cool. So I started to get fans and that was crazy because I didn’t, yeah, I didn’t know. It was like maybe if they see me and they see me in the street they’ll be like, “Oh that’s the girl that makes videos”. But no, like I want a photo with you. I like what you do. I like it so much that I want to have a photo, like a celebrity.

Speaker 1: (18:45)

I was like Whoa. And that was the first moment and my mom was with me, so I was like, “See mom that’s what I am-I am not just sleeping and just like wasting time on the computer.” And then when I realized that I can actually live off it was my first contract with a brand and that was in Columbia. So that was also really cool cause like I didn’t expect that. And of course it didn’t pay that well. Of course they, they didn’t even understand well what I was doing but they were actually super supportive and thanks to that brand. It’s a department store in Columbia, like a Macy’s. What? They’re um, they helped me a lot. They took me like on a little tour in Columbia, they took me to the store to the live makeup tutorials and they gave me a bunch of free makeup. That was the first time I got free makeup and the first time I got high end makeup cause they had Dior, they had Chanel, they had all these brands that I was dreaming to get one day. Yeah, that was super exciting. We also made like videos for an app on the phone so that that company that, that brand gave me like so many tools also and show me things that I didn’t know I could do doing videos on YouTube.

Speaker 2: (19:55)

And this is how many, so that first brand deal in Colombia, how many years from the time that you like that first video with 20 views, how long has passed since that point and this brand deal? (Maybe like three years.) Three years. That is, that’s, yeah, that’s another thing that people don’t realize. You know, like people think that they’re just going to make a video. And, and I know, and I’m obviously generalizing, not everybody thinks that, but again, it’s just like, I think we have also, cause we developed this concept of what people’s lives are and, and people, you know, we have these manufactured realities on social media, which, you know, sometimes can be very bad for us, you know, because we don’t think about all of the hard work and the years of, um, of not being paid, or even when you do land that very first like big time quote unquote big time brand deal or just a client in general.

Speaker 2: (20:56)

And it doesn’t even really pay that well. You know? Um, and, and I think it’s just a really important reminder for people, you know, to just like constantly be aware that just because someone is here and they have a million followers or 5 million followers or whatever and their own makeup line and all kinds of really amazing things that that didn’t happen overnight. It was literally years and years of working and just hustling and staying focused on the thing. And, and you know, I think what’s really interesting about your story is that you started to discover things along the way. You didn’t start out like knowing exactly. You know, like with actresses or comedians or business owners, you know, you start out and you know, exactly,

Speaker 1: (21:45)

yeah. And now you have like management companies specialize on influencers. They show you like, they kind of like show you the way. Yeah. Before it was so new that it was not even a way

Speaker 2: (21:55)

Right. And you were just figuring it out along the way and saying like, Oh, wow, yeah, I can do this and I can do that. And, and, but, but I think what I think strikes me the most about what you’re, what you’re talking about in your story is that, um, it was always based on that thing that you really wanted to do. You loved special effects and then you loved make up and you loved sharing that passion and that experience with others. That’s it, right? Like that’s, that’s what it has, how it started. And I’m sure that’s how it still is. Right? So, so then you land this brand deal and what happens after that?

Speaker 1: (22:37)

So I land this brand deal and before that I was working with smaller brands, smaller deals, something really small. Anyway, I say work, but it was more like collabs. Like I’ll send you this for free. And you post a video. Yes, of course. And after this brand deal, because this was such a big company in a big department store in all Latin America, um, I felt stuck. I didn’t know what it, what else can I do in Columbia? What is bigger than what is bigger in Columbia? And the next step was TV, but TV was also dying at the same time. It was like in Columbia was like, yeah, TV’s dying but we’re not going to put social media on TV was like TVs, TV, social media is social media. We’re not gonna mix them yeah, so like I don’t want to be on TV.

Speaker 1: (23:20)

I don’t like TV, what else am I going to do? I don’t have money right now for I’ll make a brand or anything like my, my step right now, I was like, okay, still I need to stay on social media. I still need to be working at some makeup parties, freelance how I, how I’m working, but what, what else I’m going to do. I also had like, I was not experiencing contracts so I also had exclusivity with these company so it was like what am I going to do now? And I was working with them. It’s not like I was, the work was done but I still had exclusivity.

Speaker 2: (23:49)

And for people who don’t know what that means, it means that you literally cannot work with anyone else. You are stuck with this one brand, you can’t promote anything else. You’re stuck.

Speaker 1: (23:58)

Yeah. And it was me, 17 years old signing contracts that I had no idea about it. So that happened and I was a little stuck. I didn’t know what to do and that’s when I met my manager. Uh, her name is Debbie Ohanian and she’s Aremenian and she was born -and her family’s Armenian. She was born in Boston and I met her in Columbia yes, I met my boyfriedn which is now my husband and he’s Argentinian. He went to Columbia to film to record an album. He’s a singer and that’s how I met him there. We dated and then he met Debbie, my manager online cause she was managing also salsa artists and Latin artists. He met her online and then she came to Columbia to meet us to meet him.

Speaker 2: (24:46)

By the way, I love how like your entire life is, is digital.

Speaker 3: (24:50)

Yeah. We’re like my manager’s online. Everybody’s online. Oh and I met my husband on Twitter. That’s great. I know that is fantastic. Your entire life , like everything that’s happened to you is because of the internet.

Speaker 1: (25:03)

Yes. Okay. So she went to Columbia and I went to one of the meetings she had with my boyfriend and she was like, Oh my God, I love your hair. I love your clothes. What do you do? So I show her my YouTube channel. She was like, Oh my God. A week ago I had a meeting with this guy that he’s helping Michelle Pham with her YouTube channel. She was like, you know who Michelle Pham is? And I’m like of course I know who she is. She’s the founder of beauty videos on online, on YouTube. And it was like meant to be like this, these things happen in life. You don’t, you don’t understand how, but they happen. And then she told me, um, I wanna work with you guys, but you’ll have to be in Los Angeles because I’m there. I can’t do much here. Right. So, yeah, a, week later we were in Miami, we went to billboard awards that she got us into. I don’t know how we walked the red carpet

Speaker 2: (25:57)

and before you go there, um, one of the things that, that we often talk about are social issues including immigration. So, um, I always like to educate people about what that process looks like because it’s so different for everybody, especially now because the system is just so broken. Um, and when people say, you know, a week later I was in the States, a lot of other people, people who have bad intentions towards our community, that gives them the excuse to say, um, see why don’t, why don’t people just do it the right way? Not understanding the complexities of the immigration system. So how, how did that work out for you? You had already had visas, but how did you end up in the, in the U S where did you come with a work visa? Did you apply for work visa or how did that initially work out?

Speaker 1: (26:48)

Um, I came to the States first on my normal visa because I went first to Miami. Um, I stayed there for like maybe two weeks cause I was going to the billboards. I went back to Columbia. That’s when I, that’s when I had to start like figuring out how am I going to go legally and yeah, like how am I gonna go because he’s, yeah, I know it sounds super easy. Next week I’m in, in the states and the area. It was a process. I’m still in the process. It’s been like I’ve been here for five years and it’s a whole process. So I apply for a work visa then being here in the States already when I was working with my manager and with her company, I got married to my husband here. He’s a citizen.

Speaker 2: (27:31)

Got it. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, and that’s the thing. I thank you for sharing that because you know, I think it’s just, it’s just so easy for people to attack our communities and, and they think that, um, that anybody can just put in an application and just come on over and that’s just not the case. You know? And even you, you’re like five, five years later you are, you literally still working through it

Speaker 1: (27:56)

I’m like, well no, I didn’t marry for papers. But yeah, like the rush of getting your papers and not being in trouble and not being judged or, so like show me that you have a green card. How are you here? Yeah, like yeah, it’s a whole process. It’s expensive. It’s not, it’s not something that everybody could do and thank God I’d been working hard and I’d been saving up for my process and I had lawyers helping me. But it is a hard process is expensive and he’s not, I hate when people say like, why don’t you do things legally? It’s just, it’s hard. It’s not easy. It takes a year and it’s so expensive

Speaker 2: (28:35)

and it, and it’s, and also circumstantial. I mean, you didn’t, you didn’t get married for papers, but um, you happen to meet someone on Twitter and you fell in love and they happened to be a U S citizen and that just worked out for you.

Speaker 1: (28:49)

And I didn’t know that, I knew he was Argentinian, I didn’t know he was a us citizen. And yeah, it’s like the decision is not I’m gonna marry for papers is do I want to leave with this person here in this state for the rest of my life and share my life with this person. I was not going to also like ruin my, my boyfriend at the time’s dream telling him I’m not gonna move with you here. You have to go visit me at Columbia or you have to stay in Columbia with me. So it was a decision, (immigration), yes it was a decision for both me, for his career and then he ended up being super good also for my career and our future together. (Right, right.)

Speaker 2: (29:26)

Exactly. Yeah. So, um, thank you. Thank you for going through that. Um, I wish, you know, I, I wish that just one of the bigger things that I, that we really try to to do is just, you know, really challenge and change the narrative out there about not just immigration, but also, you know, what it means to be a Latina here in the United States. And dealing with the different things that we deal with. Um, the way in which we’re treated the way, especially now, you know, um, if we have an accent, if we don’t, if we speak Spanish in public, if we don’t, you know, there’s just so much, unfortunately, hate and misinformation and ignorance and all kinds of terrible things that I think it’s our obligation for those of us who do have a platform to clear it up, right? To clear it up and to, to challenge those, those inaccurate narratives and those inaccurate beliefs that people have about us.

Speaker 2: (30:28)

And, and just like put it out there, you know, like, these are the facts. Um, and I just think it’s amazing that you have this incredible platform, you know, and you’re very open about, you know, literally everything. So that being said, um, you’re, so you’re here and you are living in LA, you have much bigger opportunities now with this amazing manager that you now have, which also, uh, you have collaborations and you’re working in partnership with various things that she’s doing as well, including a clothing line. Right. Okay. So, but before we talk about the clothing line, um, uh, tell me more, just a little bit about how then you switch from Spanish. Um, cause you also do English language stuff. A lot of your videos on Instagram are in Spanish, but are they 100% still in Spanish?

Speaker 1: (31:18)

I do all my content, 100% in Spanish. And this is something really important for me because I don’t want the transition to be, forget Spanish on my channel any in my whole life. And I don’t speak Spanish no more. All my social media is still in Spanish. And even when I enter that contest that you mentioned, I did the whole thing in Spanish. That was really important for me. I can speak English, I understand everything, but I was like, no, I, for me it’s really important. It’s Spanish. And also I can show more of my personality in my first language, of course. So everything in Spanish and I try to add, um, English subtitles or an English caption just to be also inclusive and also to work with the brands that I work here.

Speaker 2: (31:59)

And so are you producing or do you have any intentions or plans to start creating English language content at all or doing more things? Um, predominantly in English versus Spanish or like what’s the plan there?

Speaker 1: (32:13)

Um, the plan is keeping Spanish being predominant. How do you say that? (Predominant. Predominantly) I want to keep the Spanish. Yeah. And English is something that I have extra that I can give. And I love creating content in English too. But yeah, I wanna keep having everything in Spanish.

Speaker 2: (32:34)

Yeah that’s great. Um, and then so weather. All right, so that, let’s talk about the, the clothing. So how does that come about? And that’s recent, right? This is, uh, the, let’s see. Uh, I have the name, I have the name. Yes. Meet me in Miami. How does that come about?

Speaker 1: (32:51)

So Debbie had these clothing brand back in the 80s and she Debbie is my manger. She used to dress celebrities like Madonna and it was really cool and like edgey by that time. And she stopped her clothing brand. But he’s always been her passion, fashion, music, everything, especially Latin. It’s super funny cause she lives in Miami so much and she speaks Spanish and she has like a Cuban accent and super cute and she is in love with Latin culture. Um, so she launched again her, her brand recently. And it’s perfect because she has me as her artists and I don’t know, like I have an event and she’s like, here you go, I have a dress ready for you. And everything is so nice and he’s so flowy and we, we are partners but not, we didn’t plan for this. It was just like super natural that she wanted me, she wanted me to look nice for these events. So she made me a dress. And it’s also cool because when you go to these beauty events, they usually tell you the theme is gold, color or something. So she makes me a gold dress and nobody’s going to have that dress only me. So it’s super nice and we both help each other, but he’s not something that I’m obligated to. I was on a contract. It’s it just, happen.

Speaker 2: (34:03)

Got it. I see. And then the, how does someone go about launching a makeup line that seems so, okay. So the thing is, is that again, I mentioned at the beginning that I absolutely love makeup. I’m not, like I would say I’m, I’m good at it. I’m, I’m good at it in terms of I can do my own makeup for the TV.(your skin looks really nice) Thank you. Thank you. Oh my gosh, that actually means so much.

Speaker 1: (34:26)

It’s really nice.

Speaker 2: (34:28)

um, but I, um, I’m, uh, you know, I, I’m afraid to get too creative or whatever, but absolutely, absolutely love makeup. But it seems that like everyone, it feels, it feels, I’m not saying it is, but it feels like a lot of different people are launching makeup lines and it seems like it’s like, it’s, to me it feels like it would be very difficult. Like, how do you go about like actually, you know, thinking about the colors and, and not only that, but the chemistry behind it, you know, because there is, we can tell the difference between cheap makeup and good makeup, you know, and makeup that makes your skin break out or you know, just sits like too heavy on your face and you know, all of that stuff. So we can tell the difference. So I know that there is science behind it, you know, it’s not just like, Oh I like this color here, you know? So what is, what is the first step? Like how do you, how do you figure out how to launch a makeup line and not just the line but the product itself?

Speaker 1: (35:34)

Um, the first step was the dream. I wanted to do this one day and I know I’m not going to be a YouTuber, or an Instagramer my whole life and this is. This is what I want to create. So the dream was the first step and then it was like a like two years straight probably. Or just just investigating, just finding out the best labs and where do I get the components, which are like the actual little packaging or bottles where you put the makeup or the pans where you put the makeup and how to make them. And do I hire a chemist? Do I mix myself the product? Like how do you make it so it was investigation and then you ask me like you see so many people now creating brands and that’s because one makeup is super trendy right now, right two,

Speaker 1: (36:17)

There’s so many beauty influencers and three right now. There’s so many options to create your own line. Um, there’s one option where you just do everything yourself. Uh, and I’m not saying you go to the lab, makes the products yourself because you actually have to be a chemist to do that. But yeah, basically you do everything yourself. You pay for everything yourself. You did sign everything yourself, you decide the colors yourself. There’s another way where a big makeup company hires you as an influencer and they create like your own palette. So I dunno, the brand Apple, Apple is a make up brand. And Apple hires Loda Sanchez and we have the Apple palette by Loda Sanchez. So that’s a collab. That’s also a really nice way to do it. It’s easier in terms of you don’t have to create the brand yourself, but it also has some risks.

Speaker 1: (37:06)

And I’ve seen online like so many dramas and so many problems. (Like what, give me an example.) For example, you launch a pallet in the pilot, they send you to show in your channel. It’s amazing quality, pigmented and everything looks nice, but then the product that people are actually buying is not the same quality that thee influencers show. They find this out later (Oh my gosh yeah, then that’s your reputation) Yes your face, your credibility years of your working. (I would die) So this happened also, another girl went up, made a brand in collab with another brand. She sold some lipsticks and they never deliver the lipsticks to the people. So yeah, they basically stole their money. (Oh my goodness.) And yeah, again, your image, your credibility and the other way, which is something that I discovered recently and it was actually offered to me, and I think it’s really kind of sad, is you go to a lab, they already, they already know.

Speaker 1: (38:03)

There’s influencers wanting to create their own lines and they offer you makeup that he’s already done, ready, fabricated. And what you do is just put your name on it and your brand in it and that’s it. And don’t get me wrong, it’s like another business mode. It’s fine. But he’s just sad when they influence her, tells their followers. I worked for two years on this brand and I put all my money on it and all the designs and the colors are mine when its not. And I’ve seen this happening because I go to the same and I get the same samples they do. And I’m like, Oh, that’s sad. But okay, like talking about my brand. Yes. I wanted to do everything from scratch because I didn’t, if I made a mistake, I know it’s my mistake and I can, I can talk about it. I’m not under a contract and I’m not going to get in trouble telling people what happened. Cause there’s a lot of things that can happen. Um,

Speaker 2: (38:57)

it’s like your quality control. Like you can make sure from the very, very beginning that everything is to your standards, to your liking, that the customer is getting exactly what you promised them. Yeah. It seems like it’s, um, it’s more work, but it also feels (More genuine, and more. Yeah.) And it feels very safe and it feels like you’re (I love my products.) protecting your own, your own brand, but you’re also caring about your customer. You know, like you’re taking, like you’re putting, you’re making sure that that what you are putting your name behind is also something that people are gonna really love.

Speaker 1: (39:35)

Yes. (Yeah.) And also it’s very important to let people know that it’s not like I’m going to create a makeup line is not the influencer or the artist who actually goes to the lab and makes, I don’t know, chem chemicals and create a formula. You actually have to go to a chemist and tell them what you want. So I know about makeup, I know about good ingredients, bad ingredients. I know the texture that I want. I know certain glitters make your pores look bigger and some just float on your face. So that’s, that’s what you can give or the knowledge you can give. Or you can put in your makeup brand as a makeup artist or as an influencer, but you’re not a chemist. So that’s a lie. If anyone tells you, I made myself my, my brand, unless they are a chemist, you need to help you as the team also, um, like the art on my products. I wanted to have, um, Latin artists creating the art. (Oh my osh I love that.) And even though I can draw a little, I can paint a little, I know how to do it digitally. I wanted to have other people involved in my brand and also support all the artists.

Speaker 2: (40:40)

I love that so much. So speaking of that, so this is, um, you brought me a little gift, Im so excited. So this pallet is called moods by Laura Sanchez, and you have other pallets named Mamasita and Diosa . So this particular, um, and I’m showing folks the, um, front of the pallet. So this was designed by some of the Latino designers that you worked with.

Speaker 1: (41:07)

Yeah. So that was the saying by a Mexican artist. He, his name is Jorge Serano , he’s amazing. I met him actually in a beauty event in Miami and then I follow him and I was like, one day when I have my makeup line, this guy has to do the first design, I love his art.

Speaker 2: (41:23)

Very cool. I love it. And then let’s see, what do we have here? Martini prep? A serum primer. Oh yes. Primers are very important. Um, and also same artist. Same. Okay. This is incredible. So how many, how long is, how long ago did you launch? (I launched in December of last year 2018.) Okay. And like how many products now are in your line?

Speaker 1: (41:45)

I have those still right now and right now in November, December we are coming with four new products.

Speaker 2: (41:52)

Amazing. So I’m assuming it’s going pretty good.

Speaker 1: (41:55)

It’s going good. But being independent and doing everything myself is, it’s a situation where you’ll invest, you have to get all the money back, pay your debts or whatever and then invest again in the new products. So it’s not like big companies that I can launch six products in a year. I have to like get the money. But reinvest, reinvest, reinvest.

Speaker 2: (42:18)

Which is you know why? It’s so important for, for you to be so invested in your product because the people that are buying these products, um, that’s the only way that you’re going to be able to grow is by making sure of course that people are buying, but also recognizing that when they support you. And this is something that I, you know, that I’m really, really committed to and passionate about is Latinas supporting each other. You know, and our purchasing power, the amount of money that Latinas spend every year is half a trillion dollars. So like $500 billion that is minimum on the low end. The amount of money that we spend. Yes. And shouldn’t we spend that money helping one another grow? You know, I mean it’s just like, it’s, we could be so powerful.

Speaker 1: (43:12)

I’ve got the chills right now.

Speaker 2: (43:14)

cause it’s just like we could be so powerful if we just spent a fraction of that supporting one another’s products.

Speaker 1: (43:21)

I remember one night, as soon as I got in the state, it was really hard for me to find, um, yes, one stores or work with brands that wanted content in Spanish. Everyone wanted content in English. And I was like really sad because I also knew these statistics. I knew, I knew Latinas when women in heels in nice clothes and makeup and hair extensions. And I’m like, why are no beauty brands like focusing more on Latinas if we love beauty, we love makeup and yeah, it’s getting better and better because they are getting a little better. Yeah, it was hard in the beginning.

Speaker 2: (43:55)

But I also think, you know, like the way that I am, we have to close because we’re running out of time. But I, you know, I recently launched a digital media and production company called luz collective and (congratulations) thank you. And we center not only our content and our stories on Latinas, but we also of course tailored to that demographic. Right. And a big part of that is um, also recognizing that it’s one thing to be treated as just a consumer, right? It’s one thing to have brands recognizing the, our purchasing potential, but it’s another thing also to ensure that not just the brands, but then also the work that we’re doing, you know, like to build up our own brands or, or even to build up other people’s brands. Um, that, that’s a story that’s just as important and a way for us to continue building, you know, because I think it’s like, okay, that’s great that L’Oreal and you know, all these other, maybe like these major mainstream, huge, huge brands are starting to spend money marketing to us.

Speaker 2: (45:06)

But I want you also to spend money investing in us. Right. And working with and paying someone like Laura Sanchez and others, you know, to do collabs with them, et cetera, but to actually give them an opportunity to build wealth and build their businesses and bring others with them, you know, as opposed to just kind of looking at us as (Ca-ching!). Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Um, and I think that, you know, by you launching your own, not only just you as an influencer, but also your product and building a business for yourself and teaching others how to do it too. Um, is part of that, you know, it’s a part of saying, yeah, no, we’re not just your wallet. We’re not just a a bank for you. Like we can, we can actually figure out how to do this ourselves too. And I think that’s just amazing. Yeah. Well thank you so much for being here. I didn’t want, I didn’t even get to, I wanted to talk to you about like actual makeup things, but it’s okay because you have a ton of videos .

Speaker 1: (46:13)

I have more than 400 videos on my Youtube channel.

Speaker 2: (46:13)

We don’t, you don’t need to do that here cause you do that every day. Um, but if you want to find Laura, you can find her on Instagram. She’s @Laura_makeup. Um, her makeup brand is also on Instagram @LauderSanchezXbeauty (Editor’s note correct Insta: @lauramakeuplabs ) and her clothing line that she’s helping to promote is meetmeinmiami.com if you want to check that out. Um, and, and please support, support, support. Because not only is she amazing, but the product is amazing. And, um, yeah, that’s what we do. We help each other, so thank you, Laura. Thanks.

Speaker 1: (46:50)

Thank you so much for having me, thanks.