I’m going to be a little vain here for a moment and just put it out there that I love makeup. I love spending time on my face creating looks, I love scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram for tips and tricks, and I follow many makeup artists on YouTube. I always feel a little better when I “have my face on.”
With a love of makeup comes a love of makeup artists, and I wanted to share the story of Lisa Del Rey, owner of BlackTie Makeup Studios in Kent, Washington. Lisa and her team can help you create the custom signature look you want for any occasion, and no doubt teach you some tips and tricks of the trade! Keep reading to find out more about Lisa and what inspired her to join the beauty industry!
Tell us about you! Where are you from, what was life like growing up?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My identity is shaped like the melting pot the city is. My home is multiracial – which means our customs and traditions are a blend of cultures and faiths. If I had to describe what my family is like in one sentence, I would say we are a bootleg version of the Kardashians. Each member of my family is an entrepreneur, highly opinionated, and often overwhelming.
Who inspires you the most and why?
My mom. She is the epitome of the American dream. She was born in Guyana, a country to which this day remains underdeveloped and impoverished. She immigrated to the United States alone and with nothing. It was with hard work and perseverance she became the successful business woman she is today. This achievement is compounded by the fact that my mother is a breast cancer survivor, divorcee, and a woman of color.
What made you decide to get into the makeup studio business?
I got into the makeup industry because out of personal need. As a professional living in Los Angeles, I desired to “look the part” for special events. At first, I went to makeup retailers such as Sephora and Ulta for makeovers, but often found the services were hit or miss. Since it was free with a $50 purchase, makeovers could be performed by beauty enthusiasts more so than trained makeup artists.
From there, I upped my game, and went to luxury retailers like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Ave, but felt the artists were pressured to sell product rather than provide exemplary service. I turned to social media to find independent makeup artists, but that presented a whole other host of issues. Were they to come to my house, or I to their house? How are they vetted and held accountable? And then there was the issue of price. On demand beauty is a premium service, with a premium price tag.
So I thought to myself, why doesn’t a blow out bar for makeup exist? I love going to DryBar because they prioritize quality, transparency and consistency in the salon. It is a wildly successful and proven business model in the area, and across the country. And voila, the idea for Black Tie Makeup Studios was born.
What’s behind the name Black Tie?
Black Tie is first and foremost, a service driven company. We pride ourselves on providing a luxury experience to our customers. I wanted our name to reflect the type of service you would expect to receive.
Tell us about your services and the signature looks you offer.
As a professional makeup studio, we specialize in makeup application, lash extensions and microblading. In addition to custom services, we also offer five signature looks. All of our signature looks serve as templates, and have been applied to a diverse set of women so that the client can have a better understanding as to how the makeup will look on them.
What can a client expect from the moment they walk into the moment they walk out with their radiant, confident and sexy face?
We want our customers to enjoy every moment of their experience. Upon arriving at the studio, a member of our team (also known as Black Tie Beauties) will offer you a complimentary refreshment and go over your desired look with you. Since we operate by appointment only, our sole focus is on you during the appointment. At the end, you can take a photo in our Now to Wow!™ photobooth to memorialize your experience with us.
What makes Black Tie different from similar makeup studios out there?
Empowering women through makeup is not a marketing strategy – it is the essence of our business. And not just our customers, but the women who make our products, our team, and our online presence. Our product line, Black Tie Cosmetics™, is free of over 500 questionable or harmful ingredients, and adhere to good manufacturing practices that protect workers’ rights, prohibit animal testing and reduce environmental impact. For the Black Tie Beauties we call our team, they earn more than industry standards and receive paid educational opportunities and quarterly bonuses. Outside of our walls, our social media features women who use makeup as a tool to overcome adversity and show that beauty has no boundaries.
What are some charities and non-profits that are near and dear to your heart?
We work with several organizations where our skill sets empower women. This month, we worked with Help Portrait in Redmond to style women in need of headshots for job applications. Makeup gives women agency over their bodies. When you feel like your not in control of your life, offering this service can make the difference in landing a job interview.
What are the plans for Black Tie in 2019?
Now that our private studio is open, I would like to grow our team and scale our business to maximum capacity. The initial intention of this business was to open a commercial location, which I hope to be able to do this time next year!
Black Tie Makeup Studio
Call 206-407-4661 or inquire at email@example.com
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.