Gabby Riveral is a self taught makeup artist who migrated from Honduras over 5,000 miles to Barcelona to have a better life and pursue her dream as a makeup artist.
Sammi Scotto: Can you describe your journey as to how you got to where you are as a makeup artist?
Gabby Riveral: I started wearing toy makeup when I was six or seven. Then when I was growing older I would hide in the bathroom and use my mom`s. It was funny because I didn't need to do it, she knew how much I loved it and she was willing to teach me how to use it.
When I was 13 I would buy cheap makeup (when you are a teenager I guess you don't need luxurious brands) from a lady that always visited my mom; she was so sweet that she always ended up giving me extra goodies until I was able to save and afford to buy better quality makeup.
I have to be honest and say that I never went to a makeup school, I learned everything through my mom, practice and all the love and passion I felt for it, being passionate about something can make you do the impossible.
"Being passionate about something can make you do the impossible."
My love for makeup and beauty, is not for the products only, but because it is a way of showing your love for yourself, it's the fact that you can look like someone else but still be you, it's the fact that you can make someone else feel like they are beautiful!
Describe the biggest misconception people have about immigration?
Being forced to move to a country in another continent has not been easy for me and my family, not because people have mistreated us, we have been so lucky, but for all the people, dreams, and even belongings you worked so hard for that are being left behind- I forgot to include the food too! I miss the food! :)
This feels like if you were born again, only old enough to know that you will have to work really hard to move forward.
"This feels like if you were born again, only old enough to know that you will have to work really hard to move forward."
Dreams, goals and family are the real motivation for immigrants to leave their country (mine was Honduras), a thirst for something better. Unfortunately, we are often judged for ``stealing`` people`s jobs, for bringing disgrace to their countries, for being thieves and other horrible things that are not worth to mention.
But the reality is that immigrants as well as natives, want the best for their families, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for them and even for those in the country. Immigrants are willing to give the best of themselves and show how capable they are, they are willing to do what was denied back in their countries, they are willing to make the best of the opportunities they are given and they are willing to serve as if they were born in that place, like if they belong!
Has there been a moment in particular where you felt as though you were meant to be a makeup artist?
Life surprises us in many ways, sometimes we get ready for one thing but end up in a very different path; and that's what happened to me. I never thought I would become a self taught makeup artist when my dream started with being a teacher, but I don't regret it! In fact, this is something that fills my heart and makes me happy because I enjoy what I do!
But for me there wasn't a definite moment where I realized this was for me. I guess it has always been there inside of me, growing and becoming a passionate.
How did you first hear about RealHer? What made you want to reach out?
I am an immigrant in Europe coming from a Latin American country, where even though I graduated from college I had no job opportunities...life in those countries is really hard. I really felt I had no future there.
Then I got engaged, by that time I was 24 and it's been 4 years without being able to marry because both my fiancé and I could not afford it (I'm 28). Thankfully I always had and have my parents and family's support but for a woman that's not enough if you want to succeed. My family, fiancé and I came to the conclusion we needed to migrate in order to achieve our dreams.
"...we needed to migrate in order to achieve our dreams."
My stepfather (I call him dad, he has earned that spot in my heart) got the residence in Barcelona, Spain and he encouraged us to move in with him, at first it was like a dream.
Then, each year passed and we were beginning to think we weren't going anywhere. We couldn't find someone to buy our house (yes, we had to sell our house, our dream we so cherished after years of rent and living with other members of our family) or the furniture or something to buy the tickets.
I started feeling depressed but at the same time I was trying to do something with my life and worked freelance as a makeup artist, makeup is not so valued in my country so I only got a few big events and that really let me down.
That's when RealHer makeup came to the rescue!
A very loved friend and compatriot in Texas, Anna Giron, she was so kind and sent me a box full of makeup, along came the lip pencil "I am Unstoppable" and the liquid lipstick "I Will Succeed" and my heart sank and started crying.
At that moment my life was a dark hole and I couldn't seem to find a way out, but RealHer made me realize I really was and am UNSTOPPABLE and that no matter the circumstances if I worked hard enough I would SUCCEED.
"At that moment my life as a dark hole and I couldn't seem to find a way out, but RealHer made me realize I really was and am UNSTOPPABLE and that no matter the circumstances if I worked hard enough I would SUCCEED."
Three months later a client was willing to buy our house and rushed things up because he was excited (our house was beautiful). We had 15 days to leave and I was so afraid, I was wondering if we would finally be able to travel to the other side of the world.
Life has some mysterious ways to test you. After leaving my house and moving to my grandma's I found out I had something on my breasts, my family especially my beloved mom was so stressed with all we were going through and this added more to the stress. I went to the doctors right away and they sent me for some breast cancer tests, I WAS SCARED. After all those tests they found out I have a benign tumor on my left breast and some masses on both, nothing serious. I was lucky, thank god.
I kept reminding myself, I Will Succeed because I Am Unstoppable. I've been recovering, taking my pills, with no caffeine and non greasy food diets, and finally in Barcelona. I moved in a few weeks ago along with my family, my fiancé is on his way and I feel like I am beginning to live again! I will fight fiercely for my dreams and I WILL SUCCEED.
I left almost everything behind, my real beloved dad, his amazing wife, some siblings and other members of my family, I even left the material things that once belonged to me along with my house, some of my unfulfilled dreams but that won't stop me.
"I left almost everything behind...but that won't stop me."
It's amazing that RealHer left me scared in a good way, those messages helped me overcome my fears.
What are your goals for the future? How do you plan on achieving those goals?
My biggest goal is to become a professional makeup artist, to have my own makeup studio and to make it a living. I will work really hard for it!
But in reality, my biggest dream is to be able to help those women who lack confidence and to make them feel they are beautiful, worthy and that they deserve the best.
"...my biggest dream is to be able to help those women who lack confidence and to make them feel they are beautiful..."
In one sentence can you answer "Who is the real Gabby Riveral?"
Gaby Rivera: A Dreamy, Enterprising and Creative Human Being.