Press Feature: Voyage LA Magazine

I am so honored to be featured in Voyage LA Magazine’s series highlighting inspiring & successful female leaders/role models!  I would not be where I am without my supportive family, friends & clients - I am beyond thrilled to be given the opportunity to share my story.  You can see the full spread here!


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Meet Trailblazer Tina Tom

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Tina Tom.

Tina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Ironically, I was never allowed to wear any makeup growing up – my mom was very strict and did not allow me to experiment with makeup, ever. It wasn’t until I moved away to college that I had the freedom to experiment with cosmetics, and once I started, I couldn’t stop – I was hooked and wanted to know every little detail, every step behind the art of creating a beautifully made-up face.

I got my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 3 years from UC Irvine at 20 years old – at the time, I was interning with the US Department of Commerce, specializing in International Trade. While this stable career path seemed to be the safe route to take, the nagging feeling in my heart got the best of me and I made an overnight decision to obtain a second degree at The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), where I studied Beauty Merchandising & Marketing. I started working behind the counter for CHANEL Beauty and continued until I finished school. After I graduated, I worked full time doing product development, product marketing, & brand management for skincare/makeup companies while freelancing for CHANEL as one of their regional makeup artists in the LA region.

I never had the desire to work on my own and start my own brand because I liked the safety and stability of working for a large cosmetics brand. It wasn’t until my boyfriend nagged me for months, purchased a makeup train case for me and presented me with a Sephora Gift Card to start my own makeup kit that I took the first steps toward freelancing for myself. Slowly, my retail customers started calling me to work bridal events and word-of-mouth created endless referrals for me. I have had the good fortune of having supportive friends, family members, boyfriend, and clients stand by me throughout the years to watch me build my brand and grow my business.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As cliche as it sounds, it is true what they say: nothing in life worth doing comes easy. In the beginning, I was constantly worried about where my next appointment would come from. I was constantly comparing myself to other artists & other makeup teams, and to be honest, it wasn’t until I stopped paying attention to what others were doing and focused on ME and what I wanted to do, that everything started falling into place. I now truly operate my business with the intention that there is more than enough business out there for all of us and we should view each other as comrades, rather than competition.

I have learned so much over the years through trial and error. I learned that running a successful brand requires more than passion and skill – it also requires an insane amount of patience, superb people skills, organization, good follow-through… the list never ends. People out there only see what you’re posting, but they don’t know the endless amount of hours that are spent behind the computer answering emails, dealing with contracts, updating social media outlets, websites, working with different vendors on scheduling, etc. Another huge thing that I’ve learned to accept throughout the years is that you really can’t please everyone.

My advice for young women just starting their journey is to stay focused on what it is they are trying to accomplish and chip away at it, day after day. Stay positive and hustle! Be persistent and never give up. It is okay to lose sight of your goals every once in a while, but the important thing is to never give up. Look for people who inspire you and ask them to share their story with you. Constantly strive to improve yourself and build on your skill set. Never stop learning. I was fortunate enough to have amazing colleagues at CHANEL who were willing to share tips and tricks of the trade with me.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Tina Tom Makeup – what should we know?
Tina Tom Makeup consists of a team of passionate stylists who have only one goal in mind: to bring out your best features without making you look or feel overdone. We specialize in soft, elegant beauty and intricate hair looks with a focus on enhancing your natural features. We are known for creating looks that are described as “soft glam” – pretty without looking overdone, with a focus on glowy skin & eyes that pop.

Which women have inspired you in your life?
I have had so many women inspire me – I don’t know if I can name them all!

Off the top of my head, my mom and my sister have been there for me since day one. They continue to inspire and motivate me to be better and do better because they always see the greatness in me even when I don’t see it myself. My team of artists, as well as fellow makeup teams, inspire me through their dedication, their willingness to help, and their camaraderie. Quite a few of my former bosses*& instructors from FIDM have inspired me in my life – Lily, AnaLisa, Ms. Habermeyer. They have always been supportive and helped me with anything I’ve needed. I also have a small group of girlfriends who have inspired me to continue on with my journey, even when times have been rough. They are always there to listen and give sound advice.

I appreciate the women in my life who have consistently lifted me up – it is so important to surround yourself with people who share your vision and goals.

{I + E | Wedding at Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden}

I am so blessed to be able to work with entire families & to watch everyone grow & evolve.  I had originally worked with Ivy's sister for her wedding 2 years ago and was honored when Ivy asked me to do her hair & makeup for her wedding!  Time flies & I was able to meet her sister's baby for the first time -- I won't lie, it made me feel like I was getting old.  One of my favorite things about doing bridal makeup is to be able to watch my brides get married & I grow with them -- through their bridal showers, wedding days, pregnancy photoshoots, family photoshoots...  it's like a never-ending relationship : )

Enjoy these gorgeous photos from Justin Element Photography!

{J+K Engagement Session}

I am obsessed with this sweet, sweet couple.  They are so in love & it shows!  Thank you so much Kathy for sharing your photos with us!

*Photos by Adamo Imagery.

Sneak Peek: Linda + Andrew | Wedding @ The Hilton, San Gabriel

Hi everyone! For the past month I've been swamped with endless bookings, refining my website, updating my other social media outlets as well as transitioning over to a new position (that I am so excited about!).  I am so guilty of not updating this blog as often as I should - however, I do have a few photos to share with you that I've picked out from Linda & Andrew's wedding at The Hilton, San Gabriel.  The gorgeous backdrop & pretty color scheme are to die for - and not to mention, I can't get over what a cute couple Linda & Andrew make!!  I actually bumped into Linda a while back while I was out shopping and was so happy she shared her photos with me! 

I'm currently booking for July 2017 so please be sure to reserve your spot ! :)

Ly & Thi Engagement | Michal Pfeil Photography

I worked with Ly on her engagement makeup and her gorgeous features made my job super simple!  She had a Vietnamese-style engagement party in Irvine, CA that looked amazing - filled with family, love & laughter.  Her mom was meticulous with the details and everything was perfect.  

*Photography by Michal Pfeil Photography.

Esther & Soomin | Wedding Photos

Esther is one of the sweetest brides that I've worked with to date and I am so happy that she shared some of her gorgeous wedding photos with me! I wish you and Soomin all the best! 

*Photos are by Daniel Johung Photography.

Prom Season is Here!

Hi loves! I hope you all had a great weekend - I know I did! I've had a huge influx of prom appointments lately and it's so heartwarming to watch my clients' excited faces they look at their reflections in the mirror.  Over the past weekend, I had a sweet client named Sadie who wanted to bring out her eyes but didn't want to look overdone or cakey.  We were both very happy with how her hair & makeup turned out and I was in particular impressed with how flawless and radiant her skin looked.  I really wanted to create a fresh look for her so I concealed all her blemishes using Make Up For Ever's amazing waterproof concealer & used a very small amount of foundation.  Doesn't she look gorgeous?!

 Makeup by Tina & Hair by Melanie. 

Makeup by Tina & Hair by Melanie. 

New Website & What I've Been Up To!

I am so excited to finally launch (or do a pre-launch) of my new website and share it with you guys! Let's be honest - my old site was pretty juvenile - but hey - it was pretty decent for someone who literally has zero tech-savvyness and I was able to showcase my work in a functional way.  When the time came to renew my domain, I decided it was time to re-brand and I am so happy with the way everything turned out! 

I have had the craziest few months, packed with hair and makeup appointments, makeup lessons, personal shopper appointments, and weddings!  I have also been bumping into so many of my past brides while I'm shopping for some reason, and it's always lovely to catch up with them and to see how marriage is treating them : ) 

This past weekend was filled with prom appointments as well as makeup+ hair appointments for wedding guests.  I've shared my two favorite transformations below: 

We had a distressed mom call us over the weekend because her daughter hated the way her hair turned out after she left the salon. She felt that the hairstyle looked way too old for a prom event & asked if we could fix it. She had originally booked us for makeup only but luckily we were able to take the whole thing down & give her the youthful style she wanted! 

This sweet client's main concern was to cover the discoloration in her cheeks & to look fresh and awake. I think we did a great job without making her look cakey, wouldn't you guys agree?

Cheers to 2016!

Happy New Year from everyone here at Makeup by Tina Tom to you! Thank you for your unwavering support in 2015. We can't wait to share what's in store for 2016!