Welcome back for another installment of Local Spotlight! It’s no secret that I’m a local-first person and I love that this platform allows me to shout my favorite local people, places and businesses from the rooftops. When I had to start thinking about my author photos it was important, on a personal level, to use local people. Today’s post is all about the amazing woman who did my makeup (and so much more). If you’re ever interested in learning about makeup and skincare or want to try Younique products, I hope you’ll check out Erin Liimatainen.
Who Else Struggles With Confidence?
I’ve got a pretty face. I’ve known this pretty much my whole life but I was definitely the weird kid (I was picked on and bullied throughout elementary and middle school… pretty brutally) and only knew it because when I was away from school people would say it. I’m no model, but I’m pretty cute. In high school (where 0 people from my elementary and middle school were) I finally started feeling it, and really hit my stride in college and beyond. It wasn’t anything other than realizing that we are all gorgeous in our own right — It’s amazing the difference in how you look when you feel good about yourself and surround yourself with others who value you for yourself — but those outside voices can seriously fuck with the voices in our heads and make us doubt ourselves.
In my late thirties I gained a substantial amount of weight (thank you, soul-sucking, 24/7 job!) and started to lose confidence again. I stopped wearing makeup completely at 40 and despite the fact that I’ve been losing weight pretty steadily for a year, and left that job that meant being in my car eating fast food several times a week at 11 pm, I still wasn’t feeling super attractive.
A Chance Encounter
A few months ago I was mindlessly scrolling Facebook and came across a FB Live of a woman putting on makeup. She engaged with her viewers and explained every single step. I’d heard of Younique and bought their gateway drug a few years before (you know the one I’m talking about) but had never purchased anything else because, yeah, I wasn’t really wearing makeup at all.
Watching Erin Liimatainen’s live I immediately wanted to see more. And I found myself tuning in every morning at 7 a.m.
Soon I dug out my makeup bag and started trying out one of her techniques daily. Eventually I bought a 99¢ brow pencil (you gotta start with your brows every day!). The difference in how I felt about myself was insane. I won’t even take the dogs out without doing my brows now.
Next, I bought a super cheap contour compact and some brushes. Now as those run out I have started buying Younique products. (For those of you who are freaking out about Younique being expensive, a multi-level marketing enterprise, and run by Mormon siblings, please read through to the end before making your judgement – I am sharing Younique as an ethical product.) What Erin did for my confidence, is insane. So I messaged her and asked her if she would do my makeup for my author photos. And she did.
An Interview With Erin Liimatainen (Bennington, VT)
First off, a HUGE thank you to Erin. She was more than responsive, setting up a trial run ahead of time and then coming out the day of the shoot to do my makeup – she evedn brought a stool to make sure I’d be on the right level for her to work her magic. She stayed the entire time in case we wanted to change anything. In addition to the trial and the shoot, Erin also answered a ton of questions so that I could write this up. With such thorough answers I barely had to do more than cut & paste.
What Got You Interested in Makeup and Younique?
I have always played with makeup here and there throughout growing up; Younique caught my attention because of the quality, the ingredients and their cause being to uplift, empower and validate women.
How is Younique Helping Women & Girls?
Younique is an amazing company that was formed by a brother & sister. They wanted to help women survivors of sexual abuse. Younique was started to fund The Younique Foundation & Retreat. This turned into a movement to uplift, empower and validate women across the world. When I joined this company and movement I was suddenly surrounded by a huge family! We are all Y-sisters and we help anyone and everyone we can.
Every time you purchase from Younique you can round up your order to the next dollar to make an easy donation to the Foundation.
You do a live video on Facebook every morning – what’s that like? What effect do you think it has had? How have you changed since starting?
I started doing lives on Facebook 8 months ago; at first, I was completely terrified! I dreaded pushing that “Go Live” button. I’m a very shy and anxious person; I have never been good at standing up in front of others and in big crowds I am extremely quiet. Lives were a huge push for me but I am so glad I did it! I am so much more confident now.
Going live is fun now – I can interact and chat with my girls. I get messages from other women thanking me for being on and teaching them about makeup and skincare. I have had both women and men message me to tell me that they love my positivity and watch just because I am smiling and happy! Women also message me telling me how much I have helped them improve their own confidence and how I have helped them feel beautiful, too. I am extremely grateful and honored to be a part of so many different people’s lives helping them smile and feel better!
When did you start doing makeup for other people? What’s that experience been like?
After joining Younique and getting my amazing starter kit I was mainly focused on my own makeup and gaining skills and techniques. A few months in my daughter had a dance, so I started with her. For Mother’s Day I did my mom’s and daughter’s makeup and posted the before and after photos on my page. After that friends asked me and then some others I have only met through Facebook. In the beginning, I was extremely nervous — again I am shy and being that up close and personal with someone was a little uncomfortable for me. Now I am much more comfortable, and I am able to let myself shine through!
You’re the epitome of hustle, what’s your inspiration for working so hard?
My family is the reason I hustle and work as hard as I do. Our life has always been a little rough. I was a teen mom and moved out with my now husband at 17 with a baby under a year old. We have fought and struggled to keep a roof over our heads and to be able to provide for our family. I do anything I can to give my kids what they need and want and if that means I have to go to bed a little later and get up a little earlier for the chance to change our entire situation then that’s what I am going to do.
What are the three makeup/skincare products you cannot live without?
Ahh!! 3 products? That’s a hard decision!!! I am in love with the 3D+ Fiber Lash Mascara. That is the product that hooked me. The Foundation is the best I have ever used. It is extremely light weight, has amazing coverage and looks natural. Uplift Beauty Serum is amazing for hydration and reducing fine lines & wrinkles. That is one skincare product I live by; it has drastically changed the way my skin looks and feels.
What beauty/skincare/makeup secret does everyone need to know?
I found that taking the time to do my makeup has shown me my natural beauty and made me more confident. Makeup doesn’t make you look beautiful it allows you to see the beauty that is and has always been there.
What’s the biggest myth you want to set the record straight on?
A lot of people think there are rules to doing your makeup; there are no rules! You do what makes you feel good and what you think looks beautiful.
What’s your favorite eye look? Color combo? lip look?
I love all different types of looks but currently I am working on mastering cut crease eye looks. Of course, I also absolutely love sunset and halo eye looks. My favorite lip look is an ombre because it makes the lips look fuller and plumper.
Leave Your Concerns Behind
For what it’s worth, I’m generally not into businesses that follow a multi-level marketing structure. This is a personal choice based on what I have seen too many times: friends who invest and commit only to have little control over quality and saturation. Younique is the first brand I have found that doesn’t make me nervous. Their makeup and skincare products are extremely high quality, safe and they are doing something to empower and help survivors of sexual violence – a cause that I care about deeply. No one has tried to talk to me about Jesus yet, either. I am comfortable buying their products and don’t feel like my money is going someplace I’d rather it not go (I’m lookin’ at you, FedEx!).
You can learn more about Erin Liimatainen and Younique by following Erin on Facebook and Instagram and checking out her Younique site. If you’re local, and even if you’re not, reach out to her with any questions or if you’d like a color match. She’s always willing to help!