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Using make-up to enhance natural beauty

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Artists’ Corner: Julia Rusu – Make-up people happy

Photography courtesy of the artist

An artist sees a blank canvas, a ball of clay, or collection of materials and has a vision to take what’s there and transform it into a beautiful creation.

With this definition of an artist in mind, we take another unconventional diversion in our Artists’ Corner feature this issue and review the notion of art from a different perspective.

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Julia Rusu—one of the multi-talented stylists at Studio One Salon and Spa on Tortola—specialises in her passion for cosmetology. Upon seeing a client, the make-up artist instantly recognises their natural beauty, and uses her skills and products to enhance their features.

Julia was recruited by her employer Nicole in 2014, who sought staff with expertise in all areas of the salon business in addition to hairstyling.

Hailing from Galati, Romania, Julia obtained her education from a four-year course training in hairstyling, aesthetics, waxing, and cosmetology. Her portfolio showcases impressive work in all areas and glows vibrantly in her accomplishments in cosmetics.

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Since her childhood, Julia had a keen interest in drawing, which played a significant role in the path to her current vocation.

“I wanted to do more in the arts but I thought I was not talented enough; then I discovered make-up and realised it was a passion I could turn into a career,” said Julia. The stylist hopes to expand the make-up services options offered in the British Virgin Islands and has taken courses in special effects make-up for movies and creative photoshoot themes. She applied what she learned in school to projects executed in the BVI including a Geisha photoshoot, and make-up done for the Tortola Dance Project’s ‘Thriller’ performance at Halloween.





In addition to creative concepts, Julia learned how to correctly select products and apply make-up for all skin types, with an emphasis on darker skin to cater to BVI clientele.

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“We can do makeup for everybody and all skin tones, regardless of their ethnicity. Techniques are the same, and my ‘Skin Tone Project’ was done as an example to show the diversity in what we can offer,” said Julia, speaking on behalf of her team at the salon.

When Julia visited Romania in the summer of 2015, she took another unique course to enhance her portfolio. The programme was ‘micro-pigmentation,’ semi-permanent make-up for eyebrows. Trained professionals like Julia use 3D pigmentation to recreate the appearance of hair, matching the colour of the client’s own eyebrows. The service is a significant improvement to the old design, and can also be used to fill in colour of the lips. Micro-pigmentation will be offered in the upcoming high season at Studio One, the first service of its kind to be offered in the BVI.


Julia sees make up not as a mask to cover up or change who you are, but a way to bring out the best version of yourself, boost your confidence, and accentuate your beauty. She is excited to be in her second year at the studio and in the BVI where she plans to further expand the cosmetic services offered to the community.

“It’s been a great experience. I love my job, and I love my team, and I am happy to be here,” said Julia with a smile.

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Lauren Charley

Lauren Charley

Writer at aLookingGlass
Lauren graduated with an Honours B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She has worked as a feature magazine writer, where many of her stories pertained to events, people, activities, and places in popular tourist destinations.

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