Sfdoubletake's Blog

The Beauty Queen

Ariana FainaBy: Chris Campos

At 21, Ariana Faina finds endless opportunities in a world that many see as bleak and dreary. Born and raised in San Francisco, Faina was exposed at a young age to an interesting world around her. With protest, marches and rallies outside her door steps Faina was sparked with creativity.  Now living in South San Francisco City, Faina is using that creativity that sparked her as a child to make a career out of it.

The Art Institute of California-San Francisco is where she spends most of her time building upon the trades she needs to have a successful career. Majoring in Fashion Marketing/Management, Faina finds it even harder to juggle all different aspects: social, academic and business. “My life is so crazy right now, working full time and going to school full time,” says Faina. “Even in the home stretch (I’m supposed to be graduating in December 2009) I find it hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Mainly I’ve has to sacrifice sleep, staying up late doing homework.” Being this close to graduation Faina finds that her nights would be better invested in homework than friends.”

Although her life may be hectic, Faina has the encouraging and loving comfort of her family to keep her going.  “My family has been respectful of all my career decisions. They ultimately want me to be happy and succeed, and I know that no matter what I do they’ll be there for me.” Although she understands how big of a role they play, she feels that she should have a chance to experience life on her own. “I’ve been in the same place for my whole life and I want to experience new places,” Faina says. I feel like it’s time for me to move away from them for a while. My family understands this, that it’s time for me to fly the nest!”

Helping Faina transition from the “nest” to the asphalt is her current employer.  Working with one of the leading cosmetic stores (Sephora) as an operations manager Faina has found that not all positions in beauty are “beautiful”. “Definitely not the glamorous role,” Faina says. “I hope to end up long term, but it’s definitely the best learning experience for me right now,” said Faina.

Despite the arduous tasks in being an operations manager Faina still relishes her decision to work in beauty.   “To me, beauty is all about confidence and fun.” I love to play with color on people and showing them that even a 30 plus soccer mom can rock some crazy turquoise, purple and gold eye shadow. It’s all about owing your look and feeling comfortable in your own skin.” As the market place in beauty widens and high fashion brands such as MAC gain moment Fiana still feels a calling with Sephora.  “I have respect for what those MAC associates do,” Faina says. “It’s art.” “Before I started at Sephora I had never applied makeup on anyone else,” says Fiana. “Now that I am in… I love it!”

It seems that at this beginning point in her life, Fiana’s future is bright with great possibilities in the store. “I’m interested in visual merchandising and buying, but I’m open to try anything once.”


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