Graduate Feature: Brenda Waters - QC Makeup Academy

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Brenda Waters. I have a loving, supportive husband, and am the proud mother of two doctors. I also have five beautiful grand-babies!

I was born on the beautiful island of Barbados, and migrated with my family to New York City at twelve years of age. In 1990, after earning my baccalaureate degree in nursing, I commissioned into the United States Air Force.

From there, I left New York City and started exploring the world!

Why did you decide to earn your makeup artist certification and become a professional MUA?

As a child, I possessed compassion, as well as a desire to provide comfort and encouragement. This is why my original career choice was to become a nurse. As a nurse, I fulfilled my calling by caring for people, and helping them improve their lives.

As of this summer, I’m proud to say that I’m completing a successful, 30-year career as a military nurse. I decided that from there, I will embark on a new journey! I’ll enhance the lives of others by becoming a professional makeup artist.

This path will allow me to fully evolve, and walk on the path that God has set for me.

I look forward to blending my military nursing experience with my vast knowledge of skincare and cosmetics. My goal is to showcase my clients’ natural radiance, so that they may present their “best” for any opportunity or occasion!

What’s the meaning behind your business’s name, KQBawi?

My goal is for EVERYONE I touch to feel like Kings and Queens! This is where the first two initials (KQ) in my business name are from.

“Bawi” stands for Brenda, Adrion Waters Inc. These are my husband’s and my initials. I combined all the letters together to create an exotic, elegant, and classy name.

Ultimately, these are the ways I want my clients to feel.

How would you describe your makeup style? Do you have a particular niche?

I am an educator. I teach clients how to enhance their natural beauty for a professional look, suited for work or social events.

However, I love to add an extra spark or “shine”, too. This can transform that everyday look into red carpet glamour; perfect for an evening out with friends, or any sort of special occasion!

As you mentioned, you’ve served as a military officer and nurse for the past 30 years. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your service! What practices, values, and work ethics would you say you’ve taken from your military experience and incorporated into your makeup career?

I have extensive experience caring for people, as well as organizing both formal and informal ceremonies. Moreover, I’ve applied and provided makeup education to VIPs and business associates.

I also have an excellent track record of customer service. This is evident by repeat customers, who return not just for my artistic skills alone, but also for tips to expand their use of cosmetic products.

I have lived in multiple countries, thus creating a vast pool of contacts, both nationally and internationally. Europe, Canada, Asia, and the Caribbean are just a few examples!

I intend to devote myself as faithfully to my clients as I did when in the military!

Your business specializes in working with battered women and underprivileged girls. This is truly inspirational; thank you for giving back the way you do! Why did you choose to devote your makeup career to this cause, and what type of work does this typically entail?

As a nurse, I found joy in healing wounds and restoring health to people in need. Moreover, I once was a battered woman myself. Before that, I was an underprivileged teen.

During those periods of my life, I wished that I had someone to make me feel good about myself, and teach me I matter. So, I have made it one of my life’s goals to make EVERY effort to do what I wish someone had done for me.

I relished the opportunity to rebuild self-esteem and confidence in these young ladies!

By teaching them the benefits of makeup, it reveals their outer and inner beauty. This can start the rehabilitation process, and provide strength for them to overcome their situations.

It’s so rewarding to witness these ladies’ attitudes and confidence transform exponentially. Plus, it was also a wonderful outlet for me to give back to my community!

KQBawi also offers organic skincare products for purchase. What is your holy grail skincare product, and why?

After traveling around the world and trying many different products, I ultimately chose Soielle’s natural, organic skincare products. The Soielle products are incredible at cleaning, soothing, and brightening my skin!

My husband and I also use them to treat multiple skin conditions. For example, my husband used Soielle’s black soap and mango butter to relieve his inflammation and discomfort from razor bumps. He also used mango butter to reduce the appearance of fine facial lines.

As for me, I use the black soap and castor oil to remove my makeup and clean my makeup brushes. Soielle’s natural butters (Shea and mango butter) are the best for:

  • Moisturizing
  • Anti-aging components
  • Anti-inflammatory treatments
  • Regenerating skin cells
  • Protecting natural products
  • And so much more!

I find that these skincare products best protect my skin from UV sunlight and harsh climates. For example, the Shea butter is a natural ingredient already existing in everyday body, hair, lip balm, and lotion products. I utilize all these items, and I am always looking for different manners to employ them.

If I didn’t truly believe in Soielle’s products, I would not offer them on my website!

The services you offer clients are very eclectic; ranging from full face applications to bridal makeup, to airbrush makeup, to makeup specifically for men, and so much more! Of all the types of makeup and beauty services you offer, is there a particular favorite you most enjoy doing?

I aim to be all-inclusive. I love providing all of these services!

However, my favorite specialty is creating the evening or special occasion look. This isn’t a quick, everyday look, nor is it the extensive bridal makeup service. Rather, it falls somewhere between the two.

In my experience, this is the look most of my clients prefer. My clients often request something a little more than their everyday professional/work makeup, but not too much as what they’d wear for a formal event.

You graduated from QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course back in 2015. Since graduating, how has your training and makeup artist certification helped you in your professional career?

I loved my training from QC Makeup Academy! I refer to it all the time!

If I receive a request that I have not performed in a while, I actually refer back to my QC Academy books as part of my research. As I work to initiate and further my business now, I’ve even been implementing the QC Academy Business Plan template!

What ONE piece of advice would you give aspiring makeup artists who want to one day launch their own business?

Conduct your research on what, where, when, and how your business will provide services. Then complete all the administrative paperwork, such as a business plan, business registration, website, etc.

By doing all of this, it’ll free your mind. You’ll have more room to create your artistic work, and start working towards what you envision your business to be!

What made you want to earn your makeup artist certification online, and why did you ultimately choose QC Makeup Academy?

I always loved makeup, and often applied it to my family and friends. But I wanted to learn more! I wanted to develop and incorporate more techniques, along with different looks and styles. I also wanted to properly learn how to work with colors.

I originally went to the makeup stores like Sephora, MAC, and Ulta, and applied for jobs. But I couldn’t find employment. I even offered to work as an assistant to other makeup artists for free, but that didn’t work out.

Determined not to give up, I attended a bunch of free makeup classes on various topics. I just wanted to learn!

So, one day I was doing some extensive research on the internet, looking for makeup schools. In doing so, I came across QC Makeup Academy! They offered the courses I wanted,. Best of all, I didn’t have to take extracurricular classes, like I would’ve needed to in cosmetology schools.

I called QC and spoke with a very nice lady, who assured me that I would only be enrolled in makeup classes (with no hidden gimmicks). From there, my adventure began!

What’s in store for KQBawi in the next year?

KQBawi is a freelance makeup business, strategically located in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. My aim is to provide clients with professional and/or casual looks for ALL occasions.

I’m looking to attract as many customers to my business in the first year as possible. So, I am working to build a solid business structure. This way, I can achieve my desired goals and objectives.

My biggest goal being: meeting and exceeding the expectations of my clients!

Inspired by Brenda’s story? Write your very own! Enroll today in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry course today, and get certified in as little as 3-6 months!

Author Sarah Seguin

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