Sasha Layne-Robertson was told at an early age that being black and female put her at a disadvantage. She understood that to become the makeup artist she wanted to be, she would have to work two times as hard as others in the field.
Suburban Sassy (SS): Sasha, tell us a bit about yourself.
Sasha Layne-Robertson (SLR): I am a makeup artist, with eyebrow maintenance as my specialty. I am 37, born and raised in Brooklyn, living in Queens. My passion has and always will be, beauty.
SS: You’re a MUA and the creator of a products line, how do you balance it all?
SLR: I balance by incorporating my lip products into all of my makeup services. On Sunday’s and Monday’s I work by appointment only, and use those quieter days to fill orders.
SS: What sort of sacrifices have you made to survive as an entrepreneur?
SLR: A steady pay-check!!! Weekends off! I also live with my partner and her family to save money, so privacy is non-existent.
SS: Makeup takes its hits in the media. It is often described as helping women deceive men – what is your response to this?
SLR: Men do not know the difference between makeup and no makeup. If you haven’t shown your significant other your real face, you need to check your self-esteem. And if the man doesn’t like you without makeup, you know what to do.
SS: How long have you been practicing makeup and what has been the hardest part of being a MUA?
SLR: I have been doing this full-time for five years. The hardest part is building a clientele. Getting a woman to trust you with her face, especially a bride – is not easy when you are first starting. It gets a little easier once you have some good pictures to show of your work. So, makeup your friends and relatives, anyone who will let you. Take good pictures, it will help. Assist a makeup artist and pay attention to what they do, and how they are doing it. Go on Craigslist and Model Mayhem, work for free sometimes just to get pictures. It will help your confidence and you can get paying clients from it.
SS: You are a self-taught artist, are there any particular MUAs that you mimic?
SLR: I won’t say I mimic. I will say I take the tips and tricks I learn from YouTubers like Platinum D, Tyme the Infamous and Nitraa B. But I love the simplicity of any artist from magazines like Allure and InStyle. Then I inject my own skills!
SS: What is success to you? How will you know when you’ve reached the ultimate peak in your career?
SLR: Success to me means no longer having to introduce myself. Being able to support my parents in their older age. Things like that.
SS: Tell us about Mz Pink Cosmetics, where did the inspiration come from?
SLR: The inspiration was two-fold. Firstly, my own struggles with eczema as a child and as an adult. Dealing with the burns from lip products I purchased and ones in which my skin was just too sensitive for. Also, the pushing of my significant other to just stop talking about it and do it!
SS: All of your ingredients are natural and well-known, how did you go about finding the perfect ingredient for your products?
SLR: Oh my, so much label reading and testing. I was my own test subject!
SS: What is your favorite product from Mz Pink Cosmetics?
SLR: My favorite has to be “Sweet Lips Gloss Balm” it smells and tastes so good. Guaranteed kisses with that on. And just the right amount of shine without being greasy or sticky.
SS: Are there any new trends for Fall 2015 we should be on the lookout for?
SLR: All the girls are waiting for the dark lips! Vampy purples like my BDSM or Gee Gee Couture, I will have a black lipstick coming for the fall as well.
SS: What is one makeup product you absolutely cannot live without?
SLR: I cannot live without lip balm.
SS: Any beauty tips for women?
SLR: Please take care of your skin. It goes back to the “trickery” because your skin is bad, you won’t remove your makeup. Drink water, wash your makeup off at night, wear moisturizer with SPF (yes women of color too)! And of course the best makeup tip, smile.