In 2007 I had been currently working with L’Oreal Paris for a few years when I came to meet fellow Makeup Artist Brandy Gomez-Duplessis She was vibrant, full of life, oh so Glam and one of the warmest humans I had ever met. We kicked it off instantly and spent the next several years traveling together dolling up talent at Sundance Film Festivals, VIP Events and everything in between( I can hear the Beyonce music playing Brandy)….I was amazed at someone with her resume( The Kardashians, Kerry Washington, NBA All Stars, Brad Pitt…the incredible list goes on!) was so grounded and humble. Now if you are anyone in the entertainment Industry you know these beings of humility are very hard to come by, but when you do meet them it’s like a breath of fresh air!
Her Story has many layers….Hurricane Katrina Survivor, Wife, Mother, Talented Makeup Artist, entrepreneur, Blogger and while wearing all these hats she lives everyday fighting RA, Lyme Disease and Lupus. All Autoimmune Diseases that make the Glam Life of a Makeup Artist, traveling around the country and being present at home for her family a day-to-day struggle.
I throughly remember one our last years working Sundance Film Festival together, it was a few days into the event…long hours and many days ahead. Brandy’s hands started to cramp up, shooting pain up and down her arm and for a Makeup Artist that is their worst fear. How can you perform your craft if your hands are immobile? I asked what was wrong and she replied ” just a little arthritis baby girl don’t worry.” That’s Brandy, game face and “the show must go on” kind of attitude. She later would discover through many tests, exhausted days and putting her career on hold she was fighting more than just a little arthritis.
Yet no matter the struggle she conquers every day with such energy, positivity and the right shade of lipstick to prove to us all no matter how hard your body is fighting against you, you must never give up on the journey!
Brandy shared her journey with Vine and Oak + what inspires her to push on….
Brandy: (laughing) Who Am I? Wow, Brandy Gomez-Duplessis is a lot of things. I’m a wife, a mother of 2 adult kids, a makeup artist who has been in the beauty and entertainment industry for 21 years. You have seen my work in magazines, on TV, at concerts, billboards, you name it. I’m an entrepreneur, a business owner, a blogger, an influencer, a writer, a speaker, a mentor, and a survivor of Lupus, Lyme and RA. Because my life journey has been a plentiful I have decided to finally write a book about it. To give you a quick rundown of who Brandy Gomez-Duplessis is, my parents are from Honduras, we moved around a lot, so I learned to adjust at a very young age and to read people from a distant, (laughing). I build my life chapter in New York, Florida and mostly New Orleans. In NOLA, I owned a total of 3 makeup studios and lost them due to natural disasters. I rebuilt my life 3 times due to hurricanes, so I now know the blueprint on how to do it successfully. In 2010 I moved back to NY because of my career in the entertainment industry and then in 2012 I moved to CT. This is where my life came to a complete stop. My Lupus & RA flared and never stopped then in 2015 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I had to take 1.5- 2 years off to deal with my health and this is when I fell in love with writing. I needed a way to deal with my new lifestyle and writing about it was the best way for me as I was in & out of the hospital. Slowly, I was able to maintain and started to rebuild myself as brand. The first thing I had to learn was to say NO, I learned what friendship really was, and my caregivers (my husband & kids) became my reason to fight. I still must use my breathing machine at least 3 times a week, I lost my sense of smell and taste and I now use an inhaler everyday sometimes twice a day. In 2016, I met my business partner Johnny Luoma and we started Makeup & Martini’s a video makeup blog where we review everything beauty and in November of this year we launched Entitled Beauty, a mineral based makeup line.
V&O: Who Inspires you?
B: Women and kids with any type of life challenges inspire me. These are people who must fight and struggle everyday and I personally know what that feels like. So, when I see kids with health issues fight to have one more day that touches me to not dare to complain about what I’m going through. My mom always told me that as a child I always cheer for the underdog. But, I’m inspired by fighters, and warriors. They don’t portray themselves as victims they work hard to get through each day and as we all know life nowadays is not always easy.
V&O: What is your (1) ritual everyday you do to re-center yourself?
B: I have very long work days with a very long To Do List so everyday I take some time for myself and I just find a spot anywhere and just sit and close my eyes. I turn off the phone, turn off the music and just sit and close my eyes. It doesn’t matter if it’s for 10 mins to 1 hour I have a ME time. I turn off and if I don’t my body will shut down instantly. If I’m driving I find a spot park under a tree and just relax.
V&O: What is your biggest fear/struggle in life?
B: My biggest struggle is getting through my busy day. A lot of people share with me that I make it look easy with everything that I do. But what they don’t know is how hard I struggle to do it. It doesn’t matter the task it can be from being at home preparing and cooking dinner, to washing clothes, to commuting by train to the city. It’s a struggle! I never complain especially when I’m working because I don’t want anyone to think I cannot do it or that I won’t give them great services. I find that I give 300 % when I’m on set. Because I never want a client to think I can’t handle it. And I’ve been like that for years before I even shared with anyone my health challenges.
V&O: What do you hope for in the future?
B: My only hope for myself in the future is for my health to go into remission. I pray and ask God for that every day. I want to see my kids be successful in their careers and I want to just mature comfortably with my husband somewhere in a warm climate state.
V&O: If you had to visit one place you haven’t been to where would it be & why?
B: Phuket, Thailand would be a perfect location for me to get away and be at peace. I’ve learned to enjoy my own company and if I’m looking for a perfect location I want few people just me in nature. Phuket has one of the most amazing rainforest and beautiful clear water on their beaches. Their seafood like King Prawn and Mussels are my favorite dishes. And to be surrounded around beautiful exotic flowers all day what else does a girl need for a perfect location.
V&O: Use (1) word to describe what you have learned from your journey
V&O: Pick (1) song to offer you motivation
B: Destiny’s Child “I’m A Survivor”
To Learn More about Brandy + follow her journey visit
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