Interview Sebastian Latiolais
LSW: Hi Sebastian, we are so happy to welcome you on board as a Beauty Influencer. How does your brand “Brows by Sebastian” and “The Leading Salons of the World” connect?
S: For the past 16 years in the Beauty Industry, I have worked with women from all over the world. Their definition of Beauty is exactly the same as mine, and yours. It is really all about the way you feel. Once you feel Beauty, you feel confidence… This is probably the most beautiful thing for a woman to have. You say: “Your Beauty is your #1 Asset”. It just seemed to me that it is a natural match to partner with LSW. Our principles and our philosophies are the same.
LSW: Can you describe your idea of Beauty?
S: Absolutely. My idea of Beauty is the way a woman walks and holds herself, the way a woman holds her shoulders high with confidence, the way a woman’s chin is up with every ounce of pride and just showing her self-esteem through how she conducts herself. I’ve seen women with no hair, no make-up who had more confidence and beauty than women who have total makeup on.
LSW: What’s your contribution to a woman’s Beauty?
S: My contribution is to help a woman make the most of her own Beauty. And usually it’s from the eyebrows because a lot of times when you are with the right shape of eyebrows it makes the face look younger, it makes you look refreshed, more awake, it makes you look thinner.
LSW: You are also a makeup artist?
S: Yes, I’ve been a makeup artist for 15 years now, which has allowed me to travel the world. I started doing eyebrows because when I smoke up one eye, I had to smoke up the other eye more because one eyebrow was different from the other one. I used makeup on the eyes to adjust that. I think brow shaping is really important in the hand of a makeup artist.
LSW: Actually it seems that the Beauty Industry has just started to realize the importance of eyebrows.
S: Absolutely. Well… In the 30s, we really got the importance of eyebrows and then what happened is we started trying to find a shortcut. That’s why we got introduced to the wax for the last decades. And we are just now coming to realize the amount of scar tissue, how it breaks all the collagen in the eyelids and causes crow’s feet.
LSW: Is there any training, any kind of Certification? How do you get to become a Master?
S: To become a brow guru you really have to intern under one… It’s nothing you can teach. The first two things which make a brow artist successful are passion for beauty and passion for makeup. I can’t teach passion to anyone.
LSW: What is your approach?
S: My approach is sculpting but I’m using our brushes to fill it in, or pencils. It’s still bringing up whatever features you are working on. We are thinning the chicks, popping chick bones, all of that is controlled through eyebrows.
LSW: So tell us about this wave, at least in NYC, the threading.
S: Threading is hair removal. There is no brow shaping. So, no consistency; when we tweeze we remove the hair. When we thread, your hair follicle sometimes breaks off. Now what happens is that the root grows back in the opposite way and the hair doesn’t match with the rest of them. Tweezing is proper.
LSW: Do you cut also?
S: Absolutely. Sometimes that’s all a woman needs, just a nice trim down. I work with razors, scissors, tweezers and brushes.
LSW: What’s the normal time that you spend on it?
S: 8 minutes, yes I tweeze like a kind of machine.
LSW: How does a guy like you end up in the Beauty industry? What was the trigger?
S: My ex-husband was a celebrity stylist and we were shooting on Lake Michigan at a yacht club. I was just sitting, watching the models for hours and I noticed that the way the makeup artist was working looked like a dance. I was so fascinated by the transformation. I saw makeup as artistry. So I hired a makeup artist to teach me the basics of doing makeup. I thought I would do it as a hobby or a stress relief but after the second week of teaching me the basics… I never put the brushes down.
LSW: That is passion!!!
S: Yes, it was just what unleashed it. Passion was already there. And I think the key to life is finding a hidden passion and let it come out, then your entire life changes.
LSW: Right. Let’s talk a bit about the evolution of your business. You have been doing it pretty much on your own for fifteen years and now you are really taking the step to becoming a brand and building a team…
S: That started last year in 2014. I was a little bit intimidated by starting my business here in NY because of the competition. In Michigan, I was pretty much the only fish in the aquarium. Here there are 10 000 makeup artists outside. I also realized that New Yorkers like true quality. When you want quality, the work speaks for itself.
LSW: What about your workplace in New York?
S: It’s a brand new space. We opened November 1st to the public. Later this year, we will open our first brow and makeup studio somewhere in Midtown.
LSW: Another one?
S: It’s gonna be a solo one, strictly a brow studio by Sebastian. We are growing incredibly.
LSW: First stop is NYC and second stop is Miami, what comes next?
S: After Miami, we will do Chicago then LA. We’ll open in a major city every six months.
LSW: You also mentioned your own makeup line. What is new about it?
S: What my makeup line is going to do is to treat the skin when you wear it. I am working with natural ingredients like avocado oil and olive oil for hydration and those are going to be the base of foundations and powders... So, even if you fall asleep with your makeup on, it treats your skin overnight, instead of damaging it. I am really getting into the more organic, healthy skincare because I see the damages of all these chemicals working on a woman’s face every single day.
LSW: I get that. What about the eye makeup?
S: All mineral and all organic and natural. No more chemical. Chemical free!
LSW: When are you launching?
S: No. We are doing the soft launch at the beginning of the year with Sebastian Makeup Studio, a private label that I absolutely love.
LSW: You are focusing on the eyebrows. What about your makeup artists’ team? What are the directions?
S: Everything in the makeup department runs on our same philosophy of accentuating. No woman is allowed to walk out looking like someone else and she doesn’t feel like herself. It’s just bringing out the best features.
LSW: You also offer make-up consultations.
S: Starting in January, all the women will bring their own makeup and brushes. We work with each client to get rid of bad makeup, old makeup, makeup that’s not great for them. We actually take their own makeup and build a kit that is appropriate for their face.
LSW: Wonderful. I heard also that you think about contributing to a charity…
S: Yep. Our charity is based on the makeup lessons that we provide at the salon for clients who want to learn how to do their makeup. We are also going to start working with Battered Women Shelters because again, my philosophy of beauty is about self-esteem and self-confidence. So… my charity will be working with abused women and helping them getting back on their feet.
LSW: That’s really such a beautiful idea.
S: Thank You. I am excited about it.
LSW: You are building this big global brand that is gonna stand out in the world of Beauty. I think it’s so spot on. It’s not about glitters and colors and stuff but it’s about you, and your confidence. It so major! Where do you see yourself in ten years?
S: In ten years I want to be just fulfilling my biggest dream which is motivational speaking. I started last year giving Beauty lectures, working with groups of women, teaching and educating on the true meaning of Beauty. We are living in a society now where the fashion industry has taken over the Beauty industry and people don’t understand the difference. Size zero is not Beauty. Size zero is a called hunger for fashion. And there is the side of Fashion makeup and the side of Beauty makeup. And people get really confused.
LSW: Very cool. Thank you very much Sebastian and good luck!