Entertainment

Meet Priscilla Ono: The Mexican-American Who Learned To Glam Rihanna From Watching Her Abuelita Get Ready For Church

It was a routine afternoon, I was organizing the office when the silver elevator doors chimed and out walked a fiercely real, beauty, carrying tons of bags. She had a gorgeous glow, a simple beat, and was wearing an all-black outfit with fabulous, pointy claws. There was a joyful presence about her, as she said hello and asked, “Is Jen here?” 

I was an intern at FENTY Corp and was blessed with the opportunity to witness the talent behind Rihanna’s billion-dollar empire. Little did I know, I had just been graced by  Priscilla Ono, the Global Beauty Brand Ambassador for Rih’s latest venture, FENTY Beauty.

I would have never guessed that the little girl who would lock herself in a bathroom after snatching her abuelita’s makeup bag to recreate looks, would go from doing $25 makeovers in Lynwood at Plaza Mexico, to becoming Rihanna’s key makeup artist. We are talking about a jefa — a woman who has created an empire for herself with Priscilla Ono Beauty Makeup Courses, and as a fashion designer with her latest fashion collab with ELOQUII

The reality is, you can see her heart in everything she does and it’s no surprise that her hard earned success is a living testament that with hard work, faith and determination, she se puede. Here are some lessons I learned from her success story.

#1 Find Purpose In Your Passion

Priscilla did not grow up with a vision of becoming a makeup artist, she grew up with a strict Mexican abuelita, who did everything she could to get her family to the United States for a better future. Priscilla’s grandmother had big expectations for Priscilla to become a doctor or a lawyer. However, Priscilla fell in love with makeup, interestingly enough, while trying to get her now-husband to fall in love with her, she revealed in an interview with Dazed Digital. He was a photographer and music video director and she, as an amateur makeup artist, accepted the makeup artist role for this particular project to impress however, she then went on to realize makeup artisty is something she enjoyed more than just a hobby.

#2 Sometimes You Just Need To Jump In

The revelation of Priscilla’s destiny stirred some uncertainty. Set on her new path, Priscilla told Pop Sugar, that she dropped out of community college to pursue makeup as a full-time career and landed a gig as a cast member at Sephora. She totally took a leap of faith and faced her fears head on — and what do you know, they paid off!

 #3 The Sacrifices Are Worth It

Priscilla’s interview with Pop Sugar, also revealed that her grandmother was disappointed when she learned Priscilla quit school. This decision almost cost her relationship with her grandmother; they stopped talking for two years. Eventually the fruits of her labor led her to succeed in her field and her grandmother recognized that this was not just a capricho but something much bigger than that. 

 #4 You Have To Put In The Work And You Have To Put In The Time

Priscilla is a hustler. Her success journey was no real quick 0 to 100. She’s been grinding for over 15 years. After perfecting her craft for three years at Sephora, she revealed to Pop Sugar, it was the $25 makeovers she did at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood that led her to meet a Univision producer that then took her to become their on-air beauty go-to-girl for advice. That’s when abuelita saw Priscilla on the Spanish-language television channel and finally put the harsh silence treatment to an end. 

“That’s when my grandma knew I’d made it. She would get all her girlfriends to come over and watch me. I could tell her that I’m working Fashion Week with Rihanna and that still wouldn’t prove to her that I made it quite like being on Spanish TV does,” the beauty guru spilled to Pop Sugar.

#6 Fight The Standards That Are Meant To Oppress

Priscilla still had strides to make fighting against exclusive beauty standards in the industry. She came up the ranks at a time when the beauty industry was even more discriminatory than what it is now. Priscilla revealed to HOLA!  that her colleagues often treated her like she was inferior. She recalls being discriminated against because she is Latina but that’s when her abuelita’s advice came into play. Her abuelita once told her she needed to work three times as hard because she is Latina and a woman. 

#7 Secure The Bag And Build Your Brand

Priscilla began teaching in 2007 and what started off with a small community has grown into an empire.  She often hosts Masterclasses and courses that are hosted in L.A. and New York. Her classes will set you back for about $1,500 — some consider this investment a good price for what you get in comparison to other beauty programs. Attendees have mentioned that they learn more during this three-day course with Priscilla than what they learn after taking semesters in makeup school.

With the uncertainty that comes with freelancing, it is often nervewracking. Priscilla jumped into personal projects that ultimately led her to create a brand for herself that hundreds of thousands of industry leaders now reconize and respect.

#8 Landing Fenty Beauty & The Power Of Intent 

In 2011, Priscilla met Rihanna on the set of Rihanna’s music video for S&M. she was set to assist a makeup artist and while doing so an opportunity presented itself. If you look closely at the video about 23 seconds in, you will see a blonde, pixie-cut Priscilla in a leather corset with a whip in hand bouncin’ around with Riri.

 This was the start of a genuine relationship with the superstar. Priscilla would then run into Rih at award shows when was doing makeup for other celebs like Amber Rose, Iggy Azalea and more. The two then showed more signs of an everlasting friendship like DMing from time to time. When Priscilla caught word that Rih was working on a makeup line, she reached out to her Creative Director Cierra Pardo, a boricua, and pitched her services to aid in any way she could. 

Priscilla told Pop Sugar that before she knew it, she moved past thousands of applicants and was in a room with an hour to beat the face of Rihanna as the final audition. 

“Afterward, I was in an Uber on my way home and I started crying,” she told Pop Sugar. I was like, ‘This is f*cking amazing. Even if I don’t get the job, the fact that I made the cut out of thousands of people is amazing.’ That night, I didn’t sleep at all. You ever just not want to go to sleep because you’re living a dream and you don’t want to stop reliving what you just did over and over again? That’s what it was like. To think that I was doing $25 makovers at Plaza Mexico and now I’m here doing Rihanna’s makeup. And then I made the cut. It was just a cherry on top — I couldn’t believe it,” said the superstar makeup artist.

Priscilla told Dazed Digital, that it was a YouTube video that hairstylist Danilo Dixon made where he made a list of everyone he wanted to work with and eventually he worked hard enough to make that happen. Priscilla was inspired by his vision and she then made a list of her own dream collaborations. Rihanna was at the top of her list. Fastforward and Priscilla’s vision came to life.

Life Since Fenty

Priscilla continues to travel the world training, shooting campaigns and servicing the lewks of Rih.

In the midst of all of this, Priscilla continues to expand her business and her opportunities. When executives from fashion retailer ELOQUII called  Priscilla for a collab, she added designer to her resume. 

Design Director Yesenia Torres, told forbes, “Priscilla has been a long-time customer of ELOQUII, so for both of us, this has been a truly organic partnership.”

The limited-edition Priscilla Ono x ELOQUII Collection is fire. It includes 12 pieces spanning across dresses, jumpsuits, mini waist bags, sets and accessories in bold colors and silhouettes. The collection dropped April 2018 and its success was solidified by the large amount of units that were sold.

All this success and Priscilla still pays homage to her Latina background. Her latest magazine features with Amazing Magazine and Dazed Beauty feature models adorned by chola makeup. When you look at Priscilla’s work it is easy to see her love for 90s glam and adoration of her tias who rocked that classic chola look. 

She continues to inspire the next generation of industry disruptors.

Priscilla has inspired women and men of all colors around the globe to strive and embrace their own identity and find their mark in the beauty industry. Here’s what some up-and-coming makeup artists are saying about how Priscilla Ono has influenced their careers. 

“Priscilla Ono’s success is not only inspiring but, proves to young Latin girls and boys that they can accomplish their dreams”  — Brandon 

“Seeing her incredible talent transform the beauty industry and break down barriers has been an honor to experience. She works hard and makes her dreams a reality; that is who I strive to be. ” —Valerie Pamela 

Priscilla Ono isn’t slowing down and we don’t want her to.

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Christina Haswood Wore Traditional Navajo Clothing Made By Her Bisabuela To Her Swearing-In Ceremony And It Was The Most Powerful Look Of 2021 So Far

Fierce

Christina Haswood Wore Traditional Navajo Clothing Made By Her Bisabuela To Her Swearing-In Ceremony And It Was The Most Powerful Look Of 2021 So Far

H. Armstrong Roberts/ Getty

Newly elected member of the Kansas House of Representatives, Christina Haswood, paid tribute to her heritage on the day of her swearing-in ceremony with the ultimate power look. Dressed in traditional Navajo attire, the 26-year-old made history on Monday when she became the  youngest member of the Kansas legislature, and only its second Native American member. 

Haswood took her oath of office wearing traditional Diné regalia which she made with the help of her mother, and partner.

Wearing moccasins, a velveteen skirt, and a red blouse embellished with silver string made a point to highlight her heritage and identity. Speaking to Vogue in an interview about her clothing, Haswood explained that she “wanted to honor my ancestors and all their sacrifices for me to be here and in this job. I wanted to honor my family, who has taught me how to be a strong, young, Diné woman while growing up in Lawrence, Kansas.” 

In addition to her dress, Haswood wore heirlooms given to her by family members which included a squash blossom necklace, a belt given to her by her uncle, and an additional belt given to her by her shimá sání (grandmother). Her great grandmother also gave her the earrings she wore. In addition, she wore a tsiiyéé (a Navajo-style hair tie) that she made with her shimá sání.

“The significance of these pieces are priceless,” Haswood explained to Vogue. “Many of the pieces I wore that day only come out on special occasions, because of how old they are. I don’t have the funds to be a collector, so many of my pieces have been passed down to my mother, who lets me borrow them.”

Haswood gave a behind-the-scenes look of her swearing-in attire on a TikTok video that has gone viral with more than 500,000 views.

In the video, Haswood readies her hair and does her makeup before eventually getting help from her mother and grandmother to get dressed.

Haswood won the Democratic primary after running unopposed for a seat in the Kansas state legislature that represents District 10.

With degrees in public health from Haskell Indian Nations University and Arizona State University, Haswood also received a master’s degree in public health management from the Kansas University Medical Center.

At the moment, she also serves as a research assistant with the National Council of Urban Indian Health and the Center for American Indian Community Health. There she studies nicotine addiction in tribal youth and researches the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous groups.

“Just two years ago I was in graduate school, and my greatest worries were about getting a job and student loans,” Haswood said in an interview with the Daily Kansan. “Today, the world has changed.”

According to Esquire, four Native candidates ran for office in Kansas. This week, each of them won their primary elections.

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In Majo Molfino’s Debut Book, The Argentine Author Teaches Us How To Break Free from the Good Girl Myth

Fierce

In Majo Molfino’s Debut Book, The Argentine Author Teaches Us How To Break Free from the Good Girl Myth

It’s not uncommon to hear women share that they’ve sacrificed their career aspirations or passion projects because they didn’t align with the standards someone else set up for them. Majo Molfino wants women to stop subscribing to these external guidelines and, instead, follow frameworks that fortify their gifts and dreams.

In Break the Good Girl Myth, the Argentine-American author identifies five self-sabotaging tendencies she believes women need to relinquish in order to unleash their power and lead lives of purpose. 

HarperOne

According to Molfino, also a designer and women’s leadership expert, there are five so-called good girl myths: the Myth of Rules, following authority instead of trusting ourselves; the Myth of Perfection, demanding perfection in ourselves and others instead of accepting reality; the Myth of Logic, choosing logic over intuition; The Myth of Harmony, seeking harmony instead of embracing conflict; and the Myth of Sacrifice, putting other people’s needs ahead of our own.

“We pick these messages up as little girls, and that follows us into adulthood,” Molfino, who is also the host of the women’s empowerment podcast Heroine, tells FIERCE. “It’s the subconscious and self-sabotaging beliefs about ourselves that I believe hold women back in becoming their fullest expression.”

In her book, which was published this year by HarperOne, Molfino leans on mindfulness and practical design tools to help women first understand the myths that most actively thwart them from enjoying the lives they’re meant to be living as well as help them build the creative confidence they need to break free from these limiting myths and share their talents, visions and joys with the world.

“There are a lot of women who are brilliant and who are sitting on incredible gold, but they can sit on that gold for weeks, months or years, and part of the reason that they delay sharing their gifts is because of the five good girls myths,” she says. “I want women to read this and feel ready to become the women they’re meant to be instead of the women the world wants them to be.”

Understanding how some of these good girl myths have seeped into Latin American culture, and still permeate in many Latinx houses, Molfino breaks down some examples of how these good girls myths manifest for Latinas and how we can all work to resist them.

HarperOne

1. The pressure to take career paths we aren’t passionate about:

“In Latinx homes, there is the pressure to follow a conventional path, an economically secure path,” Molfino says. For the first-generation Latina, it looked like this: Getting the highest degree possible of education, like a Ph.D. or an MD, and reaching as high as possible in order to make money and elevate in life. “Forget about risky paths like entrepreneurship,” Molfino was told. However, she says she ultimately found her sense of purpose when she chased her dream and started her own business.

2. Feeling like we have to have babies:

In Break the Good Girl Myth, readers are introduced to one of Molfino’s clients who feels like she “should” be trying to have a baby with her husband, even though it’s not something she feels she wants at the moment. “Whenever I hear the word ‘should,’ I get a little suspicious,” Molfino says of the case. “There was so much ‘should’ in her language that it was clear she was really gripped by the Myth of Rules. This good-girl programming was really impacting every area of her life. She was choosing obligation and approval from her family, and what was done for generations, instead of what she truly wanted, and it was making her miserable.”

The author tells FIERCE that this isn’t uncommon in Latinx households, where there is a lot of focus on family, something she says, while beautiful, could force women into making decisions they aren’t ready for or that don’t align with their authentic self. 

One of the reasons Latinas self-sacrifice in this way is because of our desire to belong and connect. “Think about it: if you follow the rules, you’re going to gain approval from your tribe, your family, and you’re going to get that sense of belonging. So it’s hard to break away from it, because the benefits you get from following it are so high,” Molfino notes. 

3. Doing things we don’t want to do in order to make our parents proud:

If there’s one thing that ties the immigrant, or first-generation, experience in the U.S., it’s this urgency young people feel to make their parents proud given all the sacrifices that were made for them. “I’m the daughter of immigrants. I am an immigrant. And my entire life has been about being the best: be the best I can be, be the best daughter, be the best sister, be the best friend,” Molfino says. While it’s not wrong to want your parents to be proud of you, Molfino believes the pressure this puts on Latinas to be high-achievers in everything could be detrimental. “These are part of the pressures that we feel to be good instead of powerful or who we really are,” she adds.

4. Adopting self-sacrificing gender roles passed down through generations:

Growing up, our parents’ behaviors oftentimes send us louder messages than their lectures. As a child, Molfino knew that her mother gave up her law career in order to follow her husband’s career and become a mother. For Molfino, the message was clear: women make big sacrifices; men don’t. “If we saw our mothers putting families in front of their own dreams, their own goals, their own care, that’s our expectation now. We are going to feel the pressure that we need to be like that,”  Molfino says. While her mother has questioned surrendering her career in her later years, Molfino wants Latinas to push back on gender roles and expectations our mothers and ancestors were forced into in order to save us from leading lives where our passions aren’t being fortified and our dreams aren’t being realized. “It’s interesting to see how something like the myth of sacrifice gets passed down through generations. We’re talking about big stuff. It’s not something that’s going to change overnight. But it’s something we can start to bring awareness to: where was my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and where am I in that lineage in terms of progress,” she says.

5. The pressure to look perfect:

The historic fetishization of Latinas has made many of us believe our worth comes from our appearance, and it has created a pressure to look flawless at all times. For Molfino, this ties into the Myth of Perfection. “There’s a lot of pressure for us to feel like we have to be the perfect wife, mother, the beautiful woman. You can feel the pressure to be that perfect woman. We’re walking on a tightrope,” she notes. For those struggling with this good girl myth, she offers a simple mantra: “I am worthy simply because I exist.” Molfino urges Latinas, and women everywhere, to understand that their worth is not conditional.

If any of these cases of good girl myths look familiar to you, you’ll benefit from picking up Break the Good Girl Myth, which is available for purchase where books are sold. Departing from these disempowered rules, Molfino warns, isn’t easy and won’t occur overnight. But she wants readers to take comfort in knowing they’re not alone in this journey of unlearning and encourages them to be patient and gracious with themselves. 

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