February Academy Student of the Month: SandyFebruary 21, 2014
Meet Sandy Romero Heymann, our new student of the month. Sandy and I met on a cold blistery February afternoon for coffee to do the interview. I did my usual preparations for our sit down, but what I was not prepared for, was the inspiring journey she was about to take me on. So I want to make this profile special - because she IS special and her story is one for the books.
Hailing originally from beautiful Ecuador, Sandy had lived a relatively comfortable life. As the daughter of a prominent economist, she was thrusted into the business world early on and has a degree in Business Administration. She later opened her own Nail Spa and became widely recognized even earning her a regular TV spot on a local show as a Beauty Advisor. But her impressive resume doesn't stop there. She is also a Lash Extension expert having completed her certification with the same people that do the Miss Universe Pageant in Argentina. At this point I was already very impressed with her. In my prior encounters with Sandy, she never came across as a know-it-all on a pedestal. Her humility and eagerness to learn despite her extensive background is so rare and refreshing in the industry. So what did Sandy do following all these successes? She sold her business and dropped everything - to come to MAKE UP FOR EVER Academy New York.
Yes, you read right, she dropped everything just so she can come to school for makeup artistry. To leave your family, all your friends, everyone and everything you know, now that is PASSION. Ever since she can remember, she was always raiding her mother’s beauty arsenal and this was when she would feel the most beautiful, till this day she never lost that sense of wonder and excitement with makeup.
I jokingly asked her, the whole module must have been such a walk in the park for you since you did very well in body painting which is admittedly the hardest to master. But according to Sandy, the Beauty module was where she had a hard time adjusting, for you see, a month prior to starting at the academy her father died. Her father whom she considered as the light of her life, her best friend and her biggest fan. My heart dropped and tears began to form, her strength was palpable now, every other person would have crumbled and not have gone on. Sitting before me was a superwoman, who challenged all the odds to pursue her dream. If this isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is. But she never let her loss get in the way, her father would have pushed her to go on. Instead of giving in to mourning, she let his memory be the enduring force during the difficult times. Case in point, one of her most successful pieces was her Siberian Tiger face painting. Initially she had a hard time looking at the reference pictures and being very cautious not to copy them. So instead she listened to one of her father’s poems while working and came up with an immaculately beautiful design garnering praise from everyone in class.
Hardworking and passionate are two words that come to mind when I think of Sandy. She would wake up around 5:00 am, travel from NJ to NY, work from 7:00AM - 9:00 AM, go to the academy from 10:00AM till 5:00PM and then top off her day with another 2 hours of work. She did this for six months. Six months of intensive makeup training and grueling assessments and she never gave up. Instead her work ethic paid off earning her the highest marks for the body painting module and student-of-month title. I could have gone on about how talented she is, but I will let the pictures speak to that. She is truly an artist, but what makes her incredibly amazing is how she was able to overcome adversity in pursuit of her dreams. So the next time you think up of excuses why you are still sitting miserably at your 9-5 job right now instead of doing what you truly love, reflect on Sandy’s story. She didn’t make excuses - she carved her own yellow brick road in a sea of thorns.
To end on a lighter note, what is an interview without the top 5 must-have MAKE UP FOR EVER Products? Here are Sandy’s picks:
1.Panstick - she loves coverage and panstick can do just that without the breakout
2.Aqua Black - in Flo’s words “NO TRANSPARENCY”
3.Diamond Powder - it's not glitter, it's not shine…it’s Diamonds
4.17S brush - best blending brush
5.Artistic Lashes - it makes the piece
So to Sandy, we are so proud of what you have achieved during your time here. Your MAKE UP FOR EVER family wishes you all the best in your career.