Meet our October muse: Dominique Lerma

October muse Dominique Lerma

Dominique is as talented as she is beautiful. I had such a great time interviewing her and hearing her inspiring story. When thinking of women who I wanted to feature for our October Muse, I knew it had to be Dominique. I hope you walk away from reading this feeling as inspired and motivated as I did!


Tell us how you got your start as a makeup artist?

 Funny this I can’t recall a time I wasn’t doing makeup. I was that little girl who was always getting into my Mom’s makeup (the little that she wore, bless her heart! Shout out to you Mom!)

 I attended an all girl high school and was introduced to MAC cosmetics by my older sister. I was that friend that had quite the collection of makeup. At 16 years old, a Sophomore in HS I began doing makeup applications for my soccer teammates who were attending formal dances. I vividly remember the day I had 4 appointments and still had managed to allot myself enough time to get myself prom ready.

 In 2006, I landed my then dream position of becoming a MAC makeup artist. At the time, I considered it to be the perfect place for a Fashion Merchandising student. Fashion and the beauty industry are easily correlated. Little did I know what God had in store for my future. I grew with the company for almost 5 years and took a leap of faith and haven’t looked back.

 It’s been 11 years since I’ve professionally embarked on this beautiful journey that I consider my lifestyle. This October I will be celebrating my 2nd year being represented by Wilhelmina Artists. I know it might sound cliche but time really does fly when you’re doing what you love.

What’s your go to everyday makeup look?

 I like to keep things clean and dewey and take a major focus on my skincare. My current go-to’s are:

  1. Epicuren Avocado Moisturizer
  2. Tizo 2 Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40
  3. It Cosmetics CC+ SPF 50
  4. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (for spot concealing)
  5. Laura Mercier translucent powder
  6. Glossier Boy Brow
  7. Mac Eyelash Curler
  8. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
  9. Any lipbalm I find in my purse or a bright lip. Tom Ford lipsticks have been my current jam!

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Is there a makeup trend you wish would go away?

 I thought you would never ask! BROWS, this sharpie looking, overdone, anything but hair looking brow trend needs to stop once and for all! I’ve gotten to the point where I want to appoint myself the makeup wipe bandit and run around wiping these brows off in hopes that these women would trust a complete stranger and allow me let me fix them (no really though, I’m not kidding!) I completely understand that some people can’t grow their brows out a la Brooke Shields but there are plenty of products out there that give off the appearance of natural looking eyebrows. Life hack, Castor oil is used to stimulate hair growth. It has proven to help bring eyebrows back to life. Women take note!

 I think this trend is going to be similar to the 80’s trend of puff sleeve dresses whereas they will reference back to these images, have a good laugh and hopefully think…what in the hell was I thinking? But please, it’s really starting to hurt my feelings. I’ve been praying for it to stop. Jesus take the brow!

 Who are some women who inspire you and why?

I thank the heavens everyday for the power women that have been put in my path. I often work alongside the kindest creative women who are ridiculously talented at what they do, but are also Mother’s, sisters, daughters, friends. They are those gentle reminders that you can be well versed in your field, juggle a balance between life and work and they look damn good doing it.

 My Mom and my sisters are living proof of the type of future working Mama I wish to be. They hold great positions in their fields, are women of God and make sure they allott themselves the time to do the little things that keep themselves happy.

 In all honesty, I fall in love with every single model that sits in my chair. I feel an instant connection with them because they are trusting me with their face, their skin, technically their brand image. They are young women who come from all walks of life, moving across the country or globe in a constant pursuit of chasing their wildest dreams. What’s more beautiful than a woman who carries that degree of courage? I’ve grown a fondness for their stories, they have been some of my greatest teachers.

 Thank you to all of you beautiful souls for sharing your light with me and allowing me to play your set Mama. The love is so real. I am forever grateful. <3 Dom

 Any advice for a woman wanting to take the leap and chase her dreams but needs a little push?

 Girl, you are running your own race. I feel like most people think of how much time it’s going to take to accomplish something but in reality, the time is going to pass anyway. Focus on yourself and your goals, don’t get distracted by what other people are doing and one foot in front on the other. A wise woman I met in my hotel gym in New York recently told me. “Well darling, there is only one way to go and that is straight ahead so keep going.” I think that can pertain to all aspects in life.

 I am a lover of books and am constantly feeding my brain with self-help books and business reads. I have listed a few of my highly recommended must-have’s for you power women below!

  1. The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
  2. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
  3. If You Have To Cry Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone
  4. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

 What are some of the goals you’ve set your sights on this year?

 Going into 2017 my ultimate goal was to go on more “workcations” what I consider to be a perfect cocktail of work and vacation because I live for a life of adventure. It has been one heck of a ride, you can say I have been living out of my suitcase I’ve been on 34 flights thus far and there’s always room for more.

 My biggest fear is to become comfortable, I never want to feel comfortable in my work. When I first dove into this industry I vowed to myself to always be a sponge. There is so much to learn in makeup artistry and business. I am continuing to aim for growth, I study the greats in the makeup world. God willing, one step at a time I hope to continue to have those pinch me moments when I book my dream clients.

 Three things you can’t live without?

 This is a hard one!

  1. My family, they play such a huge role in keeping me balanced and forever humble. I am so close to them. My Mom is my best friend and gives the best life advice and my father is a CEO and I can always reference to him for steering me in the right direction when it comes to anything business related. My 3 siblings Je t’aime, Angelique and Adrien they’re my biggest supporters and best friends and have made me the proudest Auntie. I love them so much!
  2. I find it funny that I went to 13 years of Catholic School and never had a relationship with God like I do now. I am constantly working on myself spiritually and know that I am never alone. My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
  3. Soulcycle/Sweat sessions. I firmly believe that when you feel good, the goodness radiates from the core of your being. I have been an avid spinner for over 5 years now and was a competitive soccer player for 19 years. I live for high intensity workouts. I was introduced to Soulcycle when the DTLA location opened about 2 years ago. I of course love the results of treating your body well but I do it all for the mental stimulation. It is my number 1 go-to for stress relief. Not to mention I absolutely fell in love with my favorite Instructor Dani R. She embodies everything beautiful in this world, her uplifting words will bring you to tears during your tap backs and last but definitely not least her music selection NEVER disappoints. 

If you weren’t a makeup artist what career do you think you would’ve ended up in?

 I wanted to be a Dentist my entire childhood. I think I might have been one of the only kids who loved the dentist. I loved my Dentist, I went to school with his kids. I did my fair share of research from 2002-2004 and learned that at the time Dentists had a high rate of depression.  I couldn’t imagine myself checking into the same white office everyday and I quickly changed my career path. In all honestly, I can’t imagine myself in another place than the one I am now. The moment i embraced makeup artistry, I hit the ground running.

How do you unwind after a crazy day on set?

I live in LA, so I spend a lot of time in my car. On my drive home, I either listen to something relaxing like reggae or a podcast. I take self-care very seriously. If time and space allows it, depending on how I’m feeling I either book a bike at Soulcycle or I run a bath. When I’m traveling, I won’t leave home without my sage spray, a candle and a bath bomb. I’m an aquarius and find it extremely important that I have my alone time and have those moments where I can turn it off, allow myself time to refocus and recharge. 

What does “living your truth” mean to you?

 I recently had a deep heart to heart about this with a group of my creative friends. I consider living your truth to be something along the lines of staying in your own lane and embracing your own journey. When you manifest in your own lane, there is no room for competition or comparison. It is so easy for one to get consumed in what other people are doing but in reality that steals your joy because that isn’t your path, it’s theirs.

 Something that I am constantly practicing is the power of saying NO. Such a short and yet powerful word. It has taken me years to embrace it. I recall the days, that I used to be the yes girl. I would take every job that was thrown in my direction and while I am appreciative of all the experience and contacts I made in my early stages of my career. I can count a few that I could’ve done without. You see the way I see it is, if you say yes to something that you know deep down in your core and your intuition is telling you no. Then who are you benefitting? You already have a negative mindset going into it so the outcome is not going to be what you expect. Think about it this way, when you say yes to a job that you initially should have said a simple No to, you are self sabotaging and if YOU aren’t taking care of yourself, then who is? Every opportunity that comes before me, I ask myself, “is this beneficial to your brand?” I encourage you all to practice the power of saying no, it is so liberating.

 Finding balance in this industry is a continuous battle but the uber talented and incomparable Alex Box said it best, “Work will always be there. Life won’t. Don’t miss life.”

October Muse Dominique Lerma

Find Dominique HERE

Photography by Scha Sadozai

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