TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka native is turning a hobby into a career as she starts to make a name for herself in the beauty industry.
Lauren Smith, 22, is a makeup artist who has been in the business for four years. She worked at places like Sephora and MAC before becoming a freelance makeup artist.
“I was always in my mom’s makeup,” Smith said.
Lauren was born and raised in Topeka and graduated from Highland Park in 2015.
She knew she wanted to do makeup professionally since she was in high school.
Her career path was something many people didn’t think was possible, since to them, it was just makeup.
“I think they were more so confused because they never heard of someone actually being a makeup artist and trying to do it as a career,” she said. “I think for most people it’s a hobby.”
She kept working to make her makeup dream come true. Then one day in June, she got a message on Instagram asking if she wanted to be in New York Fashion Week.
“I’m thinking like, this is a joke,” Smith said. “There is no way!”
Lauren got the chance to do makeup for about 10 different shows on dozens of models.
“I think it is great and inspiring,” Shelby Nelson, another makeup artist, said. “You’re only as small as your mind thinks you are. So whatever you put yourself to, you can achieve your dream.”
The hard work was all worth it for Lauren.
“It was long days,” she said. “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.”
Being a makeup artist isn’t the only job Lauren juggles, as she is also a new mom.
She said being in New York Fashion Week and working hard to make it big in makeup is all for her son.
“He motivates me to do it even more,” she said. “I want him to grow up and think my mom has done some amazing stuff.”
While it is just makeup to some, working hard to make her dreams come true is a reality for Lauren.
She hopes to use her story to encourage others to chase after their dreams as well.
“I hope that I can inspire the next boy or girl who wants to do makeup or follow their dreams,” she said. “That they’re told they’re small or unachievable. I just want to show them that you can do anything you want to do.”
While this was Lauren’s first New York Fashion Week, she has done makeup for Kansas City Fashion Week as well. She hopes to do another one.
If you have someone you think we should know, use our Report It feature.