Bobbie Riley: Secrets To Breaking Into Her Own Light & Being a Beauty Guru

Bobbie Riley is on-set hair and makeup artist who is growing as an agent of change and innovation in the fashion and beauty industries. For over 10 years, she has been a young and noteworthy leader in the professional beauty industry with work done in TV, Film, Commercial & Press publications/channels, such as Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Self Magazine, BET, TV One and so much more.

She upholds an image as a self-taught beauty professional, content creator & now beauty educator. Riley prides herself with providing exceptional service to productions/clientele with whom she is hired to work and is determined to now uplift others longing to break into or redefine themselves as beauty professionals.

? Captured By: Dorian C.

On Instagram, you talked about getting back to your child-self. What does that look like? 

It looks like cultivating a space where play exists to access my creativity, healing, growing, and protecting myself along the way.

Walk us through the step-by-step process you went through to get to where you are today.

Woah! That’s a big question…. I’d say God and my sisters have played a big part in where I am today. When I was about 16 years old, my sisters insisted I start building my career and introduced me to the first makeup artists I interned for. I immediately loved the environment and just chased upward on that path ever since! 

You have a built-in tribe between your parents and siblings. How important is it to have a supportive tribe? And how has yours aided in your personal growth?

Oh man, I’d be nothing without my tribe. My inner tribe, or built-in tribe, is just a personal reminder of my legacy of excellence. I mean my siblings are all heavy hitters in their industries or up-and-coming powerhouses (my little brothers). Honestly being around them and even existing next to them gives me the motivation to rise to the occasion. It gives me the strength to give that to others in my tribe with who I have a strong relationship and add value to me. 

You’ve said, “You are divinely protected unless you quit on life no decision you make regardless of the outcome was a mistake ever.” Can you explain this?

Absolutely, I mean it is a very plain statement. I would say to this as I say often, FAILURE IS DATA – without it, you won’t know how and where you need to be better. We are trained and traumatized by a world that expects perfection, and honestly making a mistake these days can seem more overwhelming than you even realize. I said it as not only a reminder to myself but to also evade the fear of failure in general. Nothing truly belongs to us “forever” besides what we have within us and everything will forever interchange (even if we don’t want it to). Things will always change, even your mindset or your ecosystem, so it was important to me to acknowledge that mistakes are simply just those two words broken up MIS TAKES. So what do you do when the take is a fail? You shoot again! 

Nothing truly belongs to us “forever” besides what we have within us and everything will forever interchange (even if we don’t want it to).

Now, let’s talk career. You’ve dominated the beauty industry with Bobbie Riley Beauty. Something different than your sisters, what inspired you to pursue beauty? What sets you apart in the industry?

I appreciate that statement, and honestly, me and my sisters though are very alike are just good and passionate about different things. It has empowered me to proclaim my individuality as a little sibling and it’s something I’ve always been fascinated with and loved. My mother is one of the most beautiful women on this Earth to me. This sparked my first intrigue. How is her hair so perfect? How is her skin so smooth? Thus playing in all of her things to concoct the perfect elixir to emulate my mother’s beauty and from there, I just fell in love with it. The smells, the packaging, the transformations, and giving that to others as well.

If any, what challenges were you faced with as you were breaking into the industry?

If any would be an understatement. There are challenges at every turn and every new level of being a freelancer and forging your own path as an individual in your own industry. I’ve dealt with feelings of inadequacy because of:

  • The enemy of comparison
  • Simply not having it together
  • Having to figure it out on my own
  • Observing as a self-taught makeup artist
  • Creating peership and community though we’re programmed not to do this
  • Finding new sources of money so that I wouldn’t be desperate for jobs

…The list could honestly go on.

Share the best piece of advice you’ve received that has helped you in business?

The best advice is to do everything you can to be successful, even when it’s hard or hurts, and never put all of your eggs in one basket! 

You’ve been doing this for a while, what’s the difference between the woman (you) before starting Bobbie Riley Beauty and the woman you are today?

I mean I started about 8 other businesses/companies in makeup or music before getting to this point. The woman before Bobbie Riley Beauty had just the same mindset, “think again,” but now I have inset a calm, peaceful joy as my brand Bobbie Riley Beauty that is open, transparent, beautiful on the inside too, and has passion with a mission and purpose. The woman before was naive to living fully in this and because of this, she was unhappy.

Lastly, what keeps you struttin’?

My self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love, along with my confidence, my hair, my fashion. Just feeling completely comfortable and sure in my skin is what keeps me on STRUT.

  • Bobbie’s Makeup Fun Facts
  • My Favorite Makeup Look is Natural Glam. 
  • One Beauty Item I Can’t Live Without is My lashes.
  • Essentials in my makeup bag include Skincare & hydrating lip gloss.
  • Make Up Rule I Live By is “Beauty is power,” so use it wisely!
Bobbie Riley

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