|(Neicy Small/ Photo Credit: www.neicysmall.com)|
Unfortunately, not everyone recognizes their innate talents and hits the the road to reach their goals. In fact, it's easy for many people to get discouraged and quit before their journey even begins.
But for Neicy, the in-demand beauty stylist who is known to "beat" faces and whip hair with the best of them (arguably, the best in Los Angeles), her itch for styling developed after a significantly memorable moment as a young girl. "I went to a salon to get my hair done...my hair was down to my waist. I was so young! I didn't know the lady would end up cutting all my hair to the point where I couldn't even make a pony [laughs]," recalls Neicy. "I was traumatized and wanted no one to touch my hair, so I went to hair school."
|(Jasmine Villegas/ Photo Credit: Courtesy of Neicy Small)|
Although it wasn't necessarily her initial dream ("I used to rap and make music, but that didn't work out so hair and makeup it was."), Neicy knew that LA was the place to pursue her career in the beauty industry. And while the pressure that comes with making a name for oneself in Hollywood can feel daunting and discouraging to most, Neicy's strength and faith drove her to eventually leave Philly and head to the west coast.
"I come from a city where there is not much opportunity, and being a mixed child, I grew up in a competitive hood where I always had to prove myself," says Neicy. "Pressure doesn't bust my pipes...it just makes me go harder."
And she is doing just that. Currently, Neicy is prepping for a new, upcoming travel experience that she welcomes with open arms. Scheduled to accompany acclaimed American pop singer/songwriter, rapper, actress, and record producer Ester Dean on "The Pinkprint Tour" in Europe (headlined by Nicki Minaj), Neicy has come quite a long way since getting her long locks, unknowingly axed.
|(Ester Dean/ Photo Credit: Courtesy of Neicy Small)|
Excited to be on board for this 1-month, overseas tour with Ester (who has contributed to some of Nicki's hottest hits, including "All Things Go" and "Super Bass"), Neicy is also excited about spending time in a spot she's never been. "I'm looking forward to the different culture and places outside of what I see each day," she says. "Everyday people, art, fashion, lifestyle, nature...pretty much anything can inspire me."
|(Tyrese Gibson/ Photo Credit: www.neicysmall.com)|
As for Neicy's renowned skills in hair, makeup, nails, and male grooming, her "east coast flava" definitely adds a unique touch to her work on the west coast. "I use technique with style and grace when I touch a client's hair or face. I like to call myself a lifestyle hair and makeup artist," she says.
Famous for providing her clients with "good vibes and laughs," Neicy reveals who she would absolutely love to makeover. "I would love to make over a regular girl maybe from a small town. I've worked with a lot of celebrities, but I would love to give someone a makeover who doesn't know about fashion and style...someone who doesn't even watch TV like that," says Neicy, who has proudly worked with Jasmine Villegas for five years, the American pop and R&B singer featured in Kendrick Lamar's "That's Me Right There."
In speaking of the "regular girl" or even the girl who is clueless about how to attain a fresh-looking face, what simple makeup tips would my favorite lifestyle hair and makeup artist give? "My simple tips would be to always clean and moisturize your face first, before applying makeup. Use an everyday foundation of your choice. If you have oily skin, use non-oil foundation. If you have dry skin, then use a moisturizing foundation...and little mascara and lip gloss for a clean, everyday look!"