Aundrea Salinas is a hair and makeup artist who has been licensed for 16 years. Passionate about confidence and self-esteem, she's even working on an anti-bullying film on top of her many projects.
How did you start?
Growing up I was always the ugly duckling. I had a big black fro and was 200 pounds by the 8th grade. When I found hair and makeup and how confident it made me feel, it was really important to find a career path that would lead me to helping people look and feel good. That's why I do it. It's all about self-esteem.
How did you come up with the name?
I had always wanted to name my daughter Velocity -you know, light and speed kind of describes my energy. People say I have genie energy, like I just grab people's wishes. Whatever they need, I make it happen.
Who has helped you along the way?
My mother has helped me the most by supplying me with the foundation of, "Always put your best foot forward." There's a quote that goes, "Get up, show up, dress up and never give up." My mom taught me about presentation, being polished, and how important it was. When I was younger, I didn't understand. I thought she was being nitpicky but now that I go out into the professional world I'm prepared. I feel like my mother has helped me the most.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Growing up my grandmother had a sewing room. It was always me and her time -making the impossible real, bringing things to life, and teaching me how to build things with my hands. She taught me how important it was take care of everything that's placed into my hands, because everything's a blessing. I feel like my grandmother has inspired me by making sure I value everything that crosses my path.
View this post on Instagram
So many hours spent on this design. Paying tribute to my local surroundings and memories that the mesquite wood ment to me. . . . #velocitydrea #mesquite #mesquitewood #texas #creatives #nature #woods #family #ranchlifestyle #ranch #love #corpuschristi #corpus #bbq #sweet #aroma #growing #time
Have you ever wanted to give up what you were doing?
Yes. There's been so many times in the industry. I'm very passionate about anti-bullying and I have an anti-bullying film I'm producing right now. Being in the hair and makeup industry can get a little catty. Even in school before I had gotten my license, girls were throwing away my mannequin heads and slashing my aprons. I told my teacher, "I'm done. I can't do anymore." She says, "Baby when it's your time to arrive you're going to arrive at the right time every time no matter what time. Whether you're early or late, you're where you're supposed to be. Don't let anybody stop you from arriving." I've kept going and I've always kept that with me. When I want to give up, I know there's something more. I always know that there's something more. Every time that I've fumbled and dropped the ball, there's always a lesson and I build upon that. It makes me stronger and wiser. I'm thankful for the hard times and the good times. Those hard times teach me. It's not about giving up, it's about picking up and putting out your best.
What has been your favorite part?
Making people feel good. That one-on-one personal time and catering to my clients needs, whether it's a bride or young man getting a haircut. Spending time with them, teaching them how to feel confident and exactly who they are. It's amazing connecting with my clients and finding out what makes them tick and what lights up their eyes. Whether it's their dog or a TV show it's so wonderful being able to connect with people.
What's something you've learned that you wish you would have known when you first started?
Definitely being more confident in who I am. I wish I would have picked up on that sooner. I've always had talent, but didn't know how valuable it was.
What do you think makes a good artist in your industry?
Being personal. The one-on-one experience. The catering that I do is going above and beyond. I had a client the other day whose grandmother's 97. They really wanted to make sure those pictures with grandma were special. Not only do I do hair and makeup but I do the set design and props. I work with other local vendors to make that picture that much grander. Bringing all the right elements to give that person is important to me.
Which part is your favorite?
It's so hard to say. I see the whole picture all come together in my mind. I let artists express themselves because as an artist I don't like to be put in a cage and told this is the way it needs to be but if I'm able to create the hair, makeup, and wardrobe then the model comes in as the character -she does that best. I can't put my finger on one thing. I love it all. Anything to bring a skip to somebody's step, to light them up, to meet that expectation. It's all my favorite because pleasing people to me is right across the board.
What would you tell someone thinking about starting a business?
Have all your ducks in a row. A lot of people tell me to hone in on one talent but I don't think anybody should be told what they can and cannot do or how they're going to be successful. You just have to play the game to learn it. Get your feet wet and get out there. Don't miss any opportunities to learn. If people are difficult, that's okay because they're going to teach you to have a backbone. They may challenge you but you're going to learn, grow, and be able to do that skill or service you were afraid of in the beginning. Try everything and go into it with your full heart.
If you couldn't already tell by her words, you can definitely tell by her work: Aundrea goes in with her full heart.
Where would you like to be in the future?
Continuing to provide for my family and showing my daughter that she can take on any challenge. I just want her to continue to see me build. Having your family and everyone happy in the household is success to me.
What are your dreams?
To work at Disney World. It's always been my dream to build costumes, work with characters, and maybe movie sets. Right now I'm taking care of my family, raising them in a small town. I'm involved in my daughter's school doing the online stuff, staying close to home. My dream is to take care of family.