As a makeup artist and influencer, it’s Natalia Issa’s mission to empower each of her clients and her followers to understand their individual worth and to do what makes them feel the most beautiful.
Natalia first discovered her love of makeup and beauty eight years ago, when she was helping her friend do her makeup at a party. “At the party, there was a professional makeup artist,” she recalls, “and she said ‘I thought you were a professional because you do makeup so well. You should come and work with me.’ And from that day on, I realized how much I loved it. It’s everything I love. It’s people, it’s service and it’s art.”
Since discovering make up, Natalia has been able to travel the world, styling models and shooting photos for Magnolia Rouge, Martha Stewart Weddings and many others. Having built a career that heavily depends on her appearance, she admits that maintaining her aesthetic can be a challenge. But when she feels overwhelmed, she prioritizes self care.
Read more: Jake Thompson reminds followers to Compete Every Day
“For me, looking good comes from my heart,” she says. “I understand the business that I’m in; that people look up to me and that people have certain expectations of me. Before I do anything, I’ve got to make sure my heart is good, my mind is right and then everything else just kind of comes from there.”
While some influencers struggle with maintaining a healthy balance between their personal lives and their online lives, Natalie manages to keep a happy medium. She has two Instagram accounts. One for her makeup and beauty business, and one where she shares pictures with her family, which includes her son, her husband, and her three pitbulls: Dolce, Angel Cake and Sir Muffins.
“People see that I’m all about the glam life, but I’m also all about fostering life,” she says.
Read more: An empty Collin Creek Mall makes for a cool Instagram photo-op
One of Natalia’s favorite makeup brands is Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, whom she cites as an Influence. “I love what she has done for her brand. She has included shades no one has ever created before and she has made it so accessible to the public, in that the prices are not out of control.”
Most of Natalia’s inspirations are immigrants. As a Colombian immigrant herself, she is grateful for the opportunities she has been given in the United States.
“When I came in, I am glad that I was able to come in legally as a student and obtain my rights through the system,” she says. “It hurts me to see people who are so talented but can’t do much with their talents because of their status. But once you’re here, everything is possible. I still believe in the American dream.”
As someone with a large platform, Natalia believes it’s important to stay true to herself and stand up for what she believes in.
“It’s easy to get carried away,” she says. “You just always have to ask yourself: ‘Is this really the life that I represent?’ ‘Is this really the role model that I want to be?’ ‘Is this really what I want people to know that I love and care about?’”
This summer, Natalia will be working in north and south of France among other creatives in the wedding world. In the future, she would like to hold master classes for other makeup artists who want to launch their own businesses and companies. “I see a ton of talent everywhere and I want to create a course on how to create a sustainable and successful make up artistry business,” she says. “This generation needs people who are in touch with themselves and know their value, that way they can love others the way they deserve to be loved.”
Originally published as part of the May 2019 “Influencers” feature