Most companies have a Human Resources Department. At Southwest, we have a People Department—because people are our passion. Hanging on the wall in the People Department at our Headquarters in Dallas is a big picture of a Dinosaur drawn with a simple black outline, much like a page from a child’s coloring book. The dinosaur is colored-in with an array of colors that go far beyond the intended lines. The picture is the definition of “coloring outside of the lines.” Under the picture are the words, “Johnny shows a propensity to work for Southwest Airlines.”
My makeup journey began in 2004 when I worked as a makeup artist in San Diego. In 2008, I made the move to New York to train under the incredible Bobbi Brown, a team I continue to work with to this day. I have been fortunate to participate in and lead shows at New York Fashion Week, in television, magazines and with designers and amazing photographers.
I love being inspired and seeing beauty everywhere. Travel, different cultures and beautiful images are just a few of my passions, and I love finding a balance between editorial and everyday sensuality. I approach everything, from my friendships to my work as a makeup artist, with a sense of fun and style.
Tell us about your organization or those you work with:
I work for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics at its corporate offices in Manhattan as a Resident Makeup Artist. Working for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, whose philosophy is built around celebrating a woman’s natural beauty, is both empowering and inspiring. Bobbi teaches that a woman is most beautiful when she is confident and looks like herself, something I have grown to not only appreciate but translate into my work. I love helping women feel their best by giving them the tools and knowledge to be not only pretty, but pretty powerful.
What is your background and how did you get to where you are today?
I am Mexican- American and was born and raised in San Diego, California and graduated from SDSU. I never thought about working in makeup until a friend suggested I give it a try because I was always doing makeup in my free time. My first job in makeup was actually when I was still in college; in 2004 I worked at the Bobbi Brown counter in downtown San Diego. A month after graduating, I packed my bags, hopped on a Southwest Airlines plane and moved to New York, something that had been a longtime dream of mine.
What are some interesting facts about what you do?
I am always going or doing something new. My schedule is pretty crazy — sometimes I work for 14 days straight, which is as amazing as it is exhausting. But I am always so grateful to be working.
Tell us about one of your proudest moments – personal or professional.
Professionally – When I got my position here with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and working with Bobbi on shoots. I am so grateful to doing what I love.
Personally – When I finally found the perfect apartment in my favorite neighborhood – and if you know New York you know how hard it is to find a place.
What is something that you have learned during the past five years?
My work as a make-up artist has taught me patience. If you work hard and stay positive, great things will happen. Hard work always pays off. Do not take things personally and giving an honest opinion from the beginning is the best way to go. Makeup can always be fixed- if I am stressing out about something I always think to myself it is easy to change.
Who are some of your heroes and why?
My mom is definitely one of my heroes. She keeps me positive and she reminds me to always be grateful and to take care of myself. My makeup hero, of course, is Bobbi — I have learned so much from her and keep learning to this day.
Tell us about how Southwest Airlines has helped your career.
With fashion shows, photoshoots and television shows all over the country, the ability to catch flights with short notice and at the best prices has allowed my business and work to flourish. It is not unusual for me to have to fly to a shoot, change my return to another city for a television show, before going to another city that same day, before returning home. Without Southwest Airlines, none of this would be possible.
What is your favorite quote?
My mom reminds me frequently to “Always trust your instincts.”