As beauty professionals, we're in a unique position to touch the lives of the people we come in contact with, even the unexpected ones. As amazing as it is for me to have a forum such as this column, like anything else I have to work on, it can feel like a chore sometimes. But then I get a letter like the following, which makes me wonder why I would ever not write this column. The woman who sent it had read about me in a posting on one of her favorite (and, coincidentally, a favorite of mine as well) Web sites, www.makeup411.com:
My name is Kristina, and I just read a post on 411 mentioning your March column. I went to the American Salon Web site to read it. I don't work for the beauty industry; I'm just the mother of two autistic-spectrum children who happens to love art. My lifelong dream of becoming actively involved in the beauty industry took a backseat several years ago so that I could be an advocate for my children's special needs. But I couldn't believe it when I saw that your column was about Kevyn Aucoin. He made my world a more colorful place even though, like you, we never met. His personal story about the pain he suffered as a child offered me hope for a better future. His art gave me something beautiful to look at when my world seemed like it was in shades of gray. He was brilliant, not just as an artist, but as a human being who cared enough to help make the average woman beautiful. I have also read your personal stories about your struggles to get where you are now. Like Kevyn, you have offered me hope that in the future, I may be able to offer my creativity to the industry in some form. Right now, my children's welfare is my top priority, but I will continue to study and learn from gifted artists such as yourself. I truly enjoyed reading your article about Kevyn, and I think he would have been honored to know you.
Aside from being one of the sweetest letters I've ever received, Kristina's message reaffirms my amazement at how passionate people are about makeup and hair. I too enjoy visiting beauty Web sites; I stumbled upon another favorite of mine, www.makeupalley.com, totally by accident. And I recently discovered www.Iamprettynyc.com, the brainchild of a former assistant of mine, Kim Weinstein, herself a busy mom. There are hundreds and hundreds of postings on these sites from consumers who have built this incredible circle of friends in cyberspace, all with a common interest in beauty, and who also have found a unique forum for discussing women's issues.
Check out some of Billy B.s favorite makeup Web sites: www.makeup411.com (pictured); www.makeupalley.com; www.iamprettynyc.com
Every so often I'll post aay bey message myself, and I'm amazed at the responses I get. In fact, through the power of cyberspace, my column reaches wond my imagination in terms of who reads it, and how they find it. I write it with the American Salon reader in mind, yet through a Web site, Kristina heard about it, found it and read it, and was inspired enough to write me a letter. Even though she's not a beauty professional, she's inspired by artists like Kevyn Aucoin and the rest of us. Whenever we're dealing with the public, inside or outside our industry, we're making an impression, no matter how we reach them, here or worldwide. It's six degrees of separation all around.