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  • Writer's pictureNicole Riddle

You can expect more than well-shaped eyebrows from local aesthetician, Marissa Baptista

HALTON HILLS - Marissa Baptista never imagined herself as a business owner at the age of 22 but today she is the owner of Marissa Marie Artistry, a small business that offers makeup application along with eyelash, brow and waxing services.

She was fifteen when she started working in the cosmetics department at Shoppers Drugmart. Baptista had no training but she found herself spending her shift doing makeovers on women of all ages. The surprising thing was, despite her lack of experience, all of her clients loved the makeup she did for them.

“When I applied to work at Shoppers Drugmart, I assumed I would get hired as a cashier but instead, they hired me to work in the cosmetics department,” said Baptista. “At first I felt out of my comfort zone but makeup came so naturally to me that soon, makeovers became not only one of the biggest parts of my job but my favourite part.”

Today, Baptista has committed herself to collecting the right credentials, skills and equipment to run a successful business and her goal is to provide a high-quality service, but at the end of the day what she leaves her clients with is a lot more than well-groomed eyebrows and longer lashes. Baptista calls herself a medical aesthetician and a beauty professional but what she neglects to mention, likely due to her humble demeanour, is that she is also whatever the client needs her to be; a friend and a teacher.

Baptista remains motivated to do what she does not only because she loves makeup and all things beauty but because everyday she has a client is an opportunity for her to make a difference in that person’s day, whether it is boosting their confidence, lending a listening ear or giving them tips about how to apply makeup or maintain healthy skin.

“When someone reaches out to you and tells you that the day you did their makeup, was the prettiest and the most confident they ever felt, it makes you feel amazing,” said Baptista. “The idea that I can make people feel that way, motivates me to keep doing what I do.”

About two years ago, Baptista did the makeup for a bridal party and one of the bridesmaids reached out to her after the fact and told her that Baptista’s makeup job made her feel so beautiful and she asked Baptista to give her makeup lessons.

“You could tell that she was a little uncomfortable because she wasn’t confident in her ability,” said Baptista. “She was about thirty-years-old and it was the first time she was taught to do makeup properly and customize it to both her face and her desires. I am happy I was able to do that for her.”

After winning the Halton Hills Reader’s Choice Award in 2019, Baptista’s business started to grow and she was booking clients nearly every day from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.. Business was steady, but things came to a dramatic halt when the pandemic struck.

Due to government regulations, Baptista shut down her business from March to August 2020. “I honestly felt like I lost everything, everything that I went to school for, it all felt like it was gone,” said Baptista. Now, as Ontario slowly loosens restrictions on its third lockdown, Baptista feels more committed than ever to her business. “I think since it [the business] was taken away from me for a while, I developed a newfound appreciation for it.”

Baptista has big plans for her business in the years to come, she plans to introduce new services including facials, new business partnerships with local beauty suppliers and a salon of her very own.

“My goal will always be to give people the opportunity to step away from the stressors in their life and just relax,” said Baptista. “I want all my clients to leave me feeling like they are putting their best face forward.”

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